Bits & Bytes: Civil rights re-enactment; ‘Things We Think but Don’t Dare Say;’ artist panel discussion; scene-study acting class

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By Friday, Aug 4 Arts & Entertainment
The 1963 civil rights roundtable discussion that followed the March for Jobs and Freedom will be re-enacted at Dewey Hall in Sheffield on Wednesday, Aug. 9, in a benefit for the restoration of Great Barrington's Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church. Image courtesy Clinton Church Restoration LLC

Re-enactment of 1963 civil rights roundtable to benefit Clinton Church Restoration

Levi Joseph. Photo: Beth Carlson

Levi Joseph. Photo: Beth Carlson

Sheffield — On the day of the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, a group of celebrity participants gathered for a televised discussion on civil rights. That gathering, known as the Hollywood Roundtable, will be re-enacted in a special performance at Dewey Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. The program will benefit the Clinton Church Restoration project, which aims to restore and repurpose Great Barrington’s Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, a hub for the local African-American community until its closure in 2014 as well as a place of significance to W.E.B. Du Bois.

Joining CBS journalist and moderator David Schoenbrun on Aug. 28, 1963, were James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Sydney Poitier, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston and Joseph Manckiewicz, all of whom were in Washington for the civil rights march. The filmed roundtable was one of several short documentaries the United States Information Agency produced about the march as part of its ongoing efforts to influence perceptions of the United States around the world.

Levi Joseph will direct the re-enactment and will join David Asaph, Frank Gioia, Brian Kantor, Johanne Kesten, Grace Rossman and Joe Scully in the cast. Joseph’s inspiration for the project came while studying 1960s-era videos of acclaimed American writer and social critic James Baldwin. Joseph put out a call for participants and quickly assembled a cast. The cast has spent months with the material, delving deeply into the characters and issues of the civil rights movement. The performance at Dewey Hall will be followed by a discussion with the cast and a reception for the Clinton Church Restoration.

The event is free, though donations will be accepted to benefit Clinton Church Restoration.

–E.E.

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Barrington Stage Company to present ‘Regretting Almost Everything’

Jeff Blumenkrantz. Photo courtesy Barrington Stage Company

Jeff Blumenkrantz. Photo courtesy Barrington Stage Company

Anne L. Nathan. Photo courtesy Barrington Stage Company

Anne L. Nathan. Photo courtesy Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield — Lauren Taslitz and Danny Ursetti will present their new project “Things We Think but Don’t Dare Say” at Barrington Stage Company’s Mr. Finn’s Cabaret starring on Sunday, Aug. 6, and Monday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m.

Starring Broadway veterans Anne L. Nathan and Jeff Blumenkrantz. “Regretting Almost Everything” is a mature love story that combines humor, honesty and compassion to deliver a seldom-seen musical look at life from the perspective of late middle age.

“Most theatre tickets are purchased by older people like me,” said Taslitz, the show’s writer and lyricist as well as a recent graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate musical theatre writing program. “A long marriage and raising kids are very relatable experiences for many people, yet they’re rarely written about. But it’s perfect material for a musical. Those endeavors are both emotional and complex, and–with some perspective–highly entertaining.”

Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Barrington Stage box office at (413) 236-8888.

–E.E.

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Artist Book Foundation to hold panel discussion, high tea

Mary Sipp Green, 'Sunflowers From Torrita,' 2007

Mary Sipp Green, ‘Sunflowers From Torrita,’ 2007

North Adams — The Artist Book Foundation will host an artist panel discussion and high tea on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. The panel will consist of artists Mary Sipp Green and John Van Alstine, author and historian Tim Kane and book designer Irene Cole. The panelists will explore the importance of publishing an artist’s monograph and the power of the artist book to preserve an artist’s legacy and provide cultural context for future generations.
The high tea will include treats from local purveyors as well as a selection of teas from around the world.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Artist Book Foundation at  (413) 398-5600 or leslie@artistbkfoundation.org.

–E.E.

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Temple Anshe Amunim to host acting class

Barbara Waldinger. Photo courtesy Berkshire On Stage

Barbara Waldinger. Photo courtesy Berkshire On Stage

Pittsfield — Temple Anshe Amunim will host a four-part scene study class on consecutive Tuesdays at 10 a.m. beginning Aug. 8.

Under the leadership of Barbara Waldinger, Ph. D., students will have the opportunity to prepare and perform scenes and monologues from contemporary plays in a supportive atmosphere. Working both alone and in pairs, students will tackle exercises, explore their unique talents and share their work with others. Both new and experienced actors are welcome.

A director and professor of theatre, Waldinger taught at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York; and Marymount Manhattan College, and Queens College in New York City for 25 years. She received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, and is serving her 17th year as artistic director of HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson, New York. Waldinger directs for Plays in Progress, teaches for OLLI at Berkshire Community College and reviews plays for Berkshire On Stage.

The cost the four-session course is $40 for Temple members and $45 for nonmembers or $15 per session. For more information, contact the Temple Anshe Amunim office at (413) 442-5910 or templeoffice@ansheamunim.org.

–E.E.


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