The Lee High School quiz team will appear on the Jan. 5 episode of 'As Schools Match Wits' on WGBY. Image courtesy WGBY

Bits & Bytes: Lee students on TV; ‘A Forgotten History’; Radius Playwrights Festival auditions; sustainability at GB Green Drinks

Lee High School students to participate in TV quiz show

Westfield — A team of students from Lee High School will participate in the public television quiz show “As Schools Match Wits,” which will air on WGBY Saturday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. The episode will be rebroadcast Sunday, Jan. 6, at 10:30 a.m. and will also be available for subsequent online streaming.

ASMW pits teams of western New England high schoolers against each other in a fun but competitive game of academic performance. The competition is open to both public and private high schools throughout western New England.

Each season, up to 50 schools go head-to-head in qualifying matches to see which team can earn the greatest number of points. The eight highest-scoring teams of the season then compete in playoff matches to determine the season’s champion, which is then awarded the coveted Collamore Cup, named for the show’s creator.

ASMW is a collaborative production of WGBY and Westfield State University. Produced using WSU facilities, students in the communications department serve as the production crew. WGBY supplies the professional producer, broadcast, marketing and technical support. Broadcast weekly during the school year on WGBY, questions for the show are written by longtime ASMW writer and judge Todd Rovelli along with WSU faculty and students in accordance with Massachusetts and Connecticut state high school curriculum guidelines.


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‘A Forgotten History’ to explore history of black community in Salisbury

Found in his newly purchased house in 2016, this photo and others prompted Salisbury resident Peter McEachern to research the history of African-American families in northwest Connecticut. Photo courtesy Scoville Memorial Library

Salisbury, Conn. — Scoville Memorial Library and the Salisbury Association Historical Society will present Peter McEachern for the talk “A Forgotten History,” the story of a black family in northwest Connecticut, Saturday, Jan. 5, at 4 p.m. at Scoville Memorial Library.

In 2016 in their newly purchased house on Farnum Road, McEachern and his wife, artist Danielle Mailer, discovered, hidden in the attic, a cache of photographs from the 1930s to the 1970s. The home and photographs were previously owned by the Fowlkes family, one of several black families who lived in the mostly white town. Recognizing the historical importance of the images, McEachern developed a proposal to use the photo archives as a starting point to give the course “Black History in Rural Connecticut” at Salisbury School, also resulting in two exhibitions at the school. Said McEachern: “This is a story of people living their lives in a community, working, contributing, fitting in, or not. There is a far more diverse history in Salisbury than you would expect when you look around town in 2018.”

McEachern is a Connecticut native and jazz trombonistwho has toured and recorded three CDs for PolyGram with blues legend Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. He has also worked and recorded with minimalist composer La Monte Young. He is a member of the Connecticut Improvising Composers Project and is the chairman of Salisbury School’s music department. He is a busy freelance musician in the tri-state area and has been a teaching artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp since 1998.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Scoville Memorial Library at (860) 435-2838 or


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Radius Playwrights Festival announces auditions

Chris Tucci, left, and Kevin O’Rourke in ‘The Audition’ by Steve Otfinoski at Berkshire Playwrights Lab’s second annual Radius Playwrights Festival in January 2018. Photo courtesy Berkshire Playwrights Lab

Great Barrington — Berkshire Playwrights Lab will hold auditions for its third annual Radius Playwrights Festival, Saturday, Jan. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Saint James Place.

The Radius Playwrights Festival features six new short plays written, directed and performed by talent living within a 50-mile radius of Great Barrington and selected via a blind submission process. BPL will present fully staged readings of plays by playwrights Marty Bongfeldt, Anne Undeland, Joe Starzyk, Chris Liberati-Conant, James McLindon and Kara Krantz.

Actors living within a 50-mile radius of Great Barrington are encouraged to audition. Rehearsals will run Monday, Jan. 28, through Thursday, Jan. 31. Performances will take place Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information regarding the audition, audition slots and details on how to prepare, those interested are asked to send a resume, headshot and contact information including email address and phone number to or call (413) 528-2544.


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Green Drinks meeting to discuss new sustainability committee

Natalie Narotzky

Great Barrington — Great Barrington Green Drinks will present a discussion on the newly forming Great Barrington Sustainability and Livability Committee Thursday, Jan. 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Prairie Whale.

On Dec. 17, 2018, the Great Barrington Selectboard unanimously voted to approve the creation of a new Great Barrington town committee on sustainability and livability. At the December Great Barrington Green Drinks meeting, Natalie Narotzky and Jovanina Pagano, who brought the committee proposal to town staff and the selectboard, presented the committee proposal and next steps, which include public committee recruitment.

The event is free and open to all. For more information, contact Natalie Narotzky at