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Bits and Bytes: National Theatre at the Mahaiwe; Oceanography Professor Visits; Benefit Concert for Ukraine; Historical Society Announces Season

Veteran tour guide John Dickson and Executive Director Lesley Herzberg lead an enlightening walk through Arrowhead and the surrounding grounds.

Mahaiwe to screen National Theatre broadcasts

Great Barrington –– Continuing its tradition of bringing the best of the world’s performing arts houses to the Berkshires, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center has added three HD broadcasts from London’s National Theatre to its year-round schedule: Henry V on June 18, Prima Facie on July 22, and Straight Line Crazy on September 10.

“Offerings from London’s National Theatre never fail to be moving, thought-provoking, artistically-groundbreaking, visually compelling, and deeply relevant, all at once,” says Mahaiwe Executive Director Janis Martinson. “NTL brings together the world’s finest actors, directors, and playwrights in shows that often make the transition, later, to Broadway. This is a chance to see these memorable performances first.”

The Mahaiwe will screen Henry V on Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) plays the title role in Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power, captured from the Donmar Warehouse in London. Fresh to the throne, King Henry V launches England into a bloody war with France. When his campaign encounters resistance, this inexperienced new ruler must prove he is fit to guide a country into war. Directed by Max Webster (Life of Pi), this exciting modern production explores what it means to be English and the relationship to Europe, asking: “Do we ever get the leaders we deserve?”

Prima Facie will screen Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play. Tessa is a young, brilliant barrister. She has worked her way up from working class origins to be at the top of her game, defending, cross examining, and winning. An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge. Prima Facie takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game. Justin Martin directs this solo tour de force, captured from the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End.

The Mahaiwe will screen Straight Line Crazy on Saturday, September 10 at 7 p.m. Ralph Fiennes (Antony & Cleopatra) leads the cast in David Hare’s (Skylight) blazing account of the most powerful man in New York, a master manipulator whose legacy changed the city forever. For forty uninterrupted years, Robert Moses exploited those in office through a mix of charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created parks, bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. Faced with resistance by protest groups campaigning for a very different idea of what the city should become, will the weakness of democracy be exposed in the face of his charismatic conviction? Broadcast from the Bridge Theatre in London, Nicholas Hytner directs this exhilarating new play.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 29 at 12 p.m. and are $17, or $10 for ages 21 and under. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 413-528-0100 during Box Office hours, Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

See for current safety protocols.

About the Mahaiwe:

Located in downtown Great Barrington, Mass., the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of world-class music, dance, theater, classic films, Live in HD broadcasts, and arts education programs for the southern Berkshires and neighboring regions. The intimate jewel box of a theater opened in 1905. Since 2005, the performing arts center has hosted over 1,500 events and welcomed over half a million people through its doors. More than 22,000 students from 73 different schools have benefited from the Mahaiwe’s school-time performances and residencies. For more information, see

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Prominent research professor of oceanography to speak at Bennington College

Bennington, Vt. — Research Professor of Oceanography at Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Dr. Kara Lavender Law, will give a virtual lectureA Global Look at Plastic in the Ocean” on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. 

The event, this year’s Robert H. Woodworth Lecture in the Sciences, is free and open to the public. Register for the online lecture.

Since the 2000s, when ocean plastic pollution first became an issue of environmental concern, scientists have documented microplastics in every ocean in the world, as well as in freshwater, soils, the air, and in the human body. The identification of microplastics seemingly everywhere we look has prompted alarm and further study, as major gaps remain in understanding the magnitude and severity of the problem. This talk will discuss the plastics problem from an environmental perspective, examining its impact on wildlife and human health, and asking what can be done to reduce and manage the plastics under production, and those we have with us today.

Dr. Lavender Law

Dr. Lavender Law will be introduced by Beyond Plastics’ Policy Director, Dr. Megan Wolff, and will lead a discussion on the plastics problem from an environmental perspective, examining its impact on wildlife and human health, and asking what can be done to reduce and manage the plastics under production, and those we have with us today.

As a Research Professor of Oceanography, Dr. Lavender Law holds a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD, Physical Oceanography, a B.S. in Mathematics from Duke University, and her primary research and areas of interest include large-scale and mesoscale ocean circulation; intermediate and deep water formation in the North Atlantic and its role in the meridional overturning circulation; the distribution of plastic marine debris driven by ocean physics; and the degradation and ultimate fate of plastics in the ocean.

 Established in 1988 by former students, the Robert H. Woodworth Science Lecture Series honors a longtime Bennington biology faculty member and pioneer in the development of time-lapse photography.

About Bennington College

Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that distinguished itself early as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education, and to integrate work in the classroom with work in the field. To this day, Bennington stands apart in requiring that every student—every winter term—get a job, complete an internship, or pursue an entrepreneurial experience. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests. The College graduates small classes of tested students, regardless of chosen field, who are notably confident in their capacity to engage and succeed in the world. For additional information,

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Lucky Bucket Band partners with Rotary Club and WSBS to present benefit concert for Ukraine

Great Barrington — On Saturday, May 14, popular local dance band Lucky Bucket will partner with the Great Barrington Rotary Club and WSBS Radio to present an open-air, sunset concert and dance party to benefit Ukraine. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Great Barrington Bandstand in Town Park. Admission to this family-friendly event is free, with any and all donations gratefully accepted. 100% of funds collected will go directly to support the people of Ukraine.

“We know everyone in our community is horrified by the recent events in Ukraine,” says Lucky Bucket founder Nadine (Dee) Foster. “We’re all wondering what we can do, and we thought this could be a way for Lucky Bucket to help. When guitarist Will Osborne and I suggested a benefit concert at a rehearsal, our fellow musicians were 100% in favor of donating our services to help the people of Ukraine and celebrate their bravery.”

Great idea, but why free?  “People keep asking why we aren’t charging admission to raise even more money for this great cause,” says Osborne. “The thing is, we want to do something for our community as well as Ukraine, and believe no one should feel excluded because they can’t afford admission. So we’ve chosen to be 100 percent dependent on voluntary donations to meet our fundraising goals.”

The event will kick off with a welcome from by State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and feature an appearance by beloved local entertainer Roger the Jester, as well as other kid-friendly activities. So bring folding chairs, bring the kids, bring your dancing shoes, and get ready to boogie for a very good cause!

Food will be available for purchase, provided by Momma Lo’s Barbecue and Pixie Boulangerie.

For more information or to make an advance donation, contact Nadine Foster: or visit the Lucky Bucket Facebook page:

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Berkshire Historical Society 2022 summer season

Pittsfield —The Berkshire County Historical Society, located at Herman Melville’s historic Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will open its summer season on May 14 offering guided tours of the historic house Thursday through Monday beginning at 10 am. Currently tours are available on Saturdays only.

“This summer we are expanding our exhibitions program to include programs both at Arrowhead and at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in downtown Pittsfield,” said Executive Director Lesley Herzberg. “The Arrowhead show will explore the rich history of the Works Progress Administration in Berkshire County, and the Lichtenstein exhibit will feature works by contemporary artists Jim Jasper and Christopher Volpe. We’ve built a robust and varied program of events that will explore the history of Berkshire County and Herman Melville’s influence on contemporary art and writing. We look forward to welcome visitors this summer.” 


May 14–October 31

Guided tours of Herman Melville’s historic Arrowhead are available Thursday through Monday beginning at 10 am, with the last tour beginning at 3 p.m. Rates for guided tours are: adults $16, seniors $14, students $10, children 12 and under, free. Members of the BCHS receive free admission. BCHS participates in the Card to Culture program extending free admission to EBT, WIC, and Connector Care health plan insurance cardholders. Visit for details.


BCHS’s grounds and nature trails at Arrowhead are open year-round free of charge during daylight hours. The trails offer a wonderful opportunity to commune with nature and unwind. To protect and preserve this natural and historic habitat, dogs must be leashed at all times and owners must clean up after their pets. Motorized vehicles are not allowed except for in the driveway and parking lot. Metal detectors are prohibited. 


July 2–October  31

The WPA in the Berkshires

The history of the Works Progress Administration (1935-1943), the largest of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, and its associated Berkshire projects are examined in this exhibition. The WPA in the Berkshires examines the impact these programs had on Berkshire residents and the ways in which they shaped the county we know today. The exhibit will look primarily at the Federal One projects (the Federal Art, Music, Theater, and Writer’s Projects, and the Historical Records Survey), along with adjacent New Deal programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Historic American Building Survey. The history of these programs and the specific sites and individuals associated with them will be illustrated by photographs, documents, and objects from the collection of the Berkshire County Historical Society.  FREE

This exhibition is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

August 5–26


The exhibition, presented at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in downtown Pittsfield, is a fascinating dialogue around Melville’s work, how it has inspired generations of artists, and how many of the themes are relevant in today’s world. Featured artists Jim Jasper and Christopher Volpe have created bodies of work exploring themes in Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, Moby-Dick. Jasper’s series, Moby Dick, consists of works on paper referencing each chapter of the novel. Rather than simply illustrating each chapter, the artist draws on the sources that inspired Melville in his writing. Volpe’s series, Loomings, which references the title of the first chapter of Moby-Dick, includes paintings which incorporate other materials beyond oil paint: primarily liquified coal tar. He uses this medium to explore the relationship between humanity and industrialization, and the resource-driven destruction of the natural world. FREE

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield

Open Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., or by appointment. Call 413 499 9348

This exhibition is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.


All events and programs take place at Herman Melville’s historic Arrowhead unless otherwise stated.

The heritage sign at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

May 28–Architecture and Landscape at Herman Melvilles Arrowhead, 11 a.m.

Veteran tour guide John Dickson and Executive Director Lesley Herzberg lead an enlightening walk through Arrowhead and the surrounding grounds. John Dickson will provide an overview and evolution of the architectural features of the building from the 1780s to the present. This talk is followed by Lesley Herzbergs walk through the north field to discuss the cultural landscape where the entire Melville family participated in the cultivation of the farm and gardens in the 19th century. (Rain date: May 29, 11 am), FREE

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

June 8–Moby-Dick Monologue, 5:30 p.m.

Herman Melville learned about the art of soliloquy from his reading of Shakespeare and after reading the Bard, he re-wrote his whaling epic. Actor and educator Stephen Collins expands on this tradition by performing monologues from Melvilles expansive novel. This performance features the musings of Ishmael, Father Mapple, Captain Peleg, Starbuck, and Ahab. FREE

This event is sponsored by Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.

June 22–Hester Blum on Moby-Dick, 5:30 p.m.

Moby-Dick has a monumental reputation. Less well known are the novel’s unexpectedly weird, funny, tantalizing, messy, and wondrous moments. Hester Blum, leading Melville scholar and editor of the new Oxford World’s Classic edition of Moby-Dick, discusses these moments and her additions and annotations of Melville’s best-known novel. Themes will include the novel’s elasticity and continued relevance for twenty-first-century readers, with attention to its queerness and its meditations on race, power, and disability, FREE

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

June 24–Book Talk: Thirty-Five Days To Baltimore, 5:30 p.m. 

Join Writer-In-Residence Emeritus, Jana Laiz and Author Alexis Portillo as they celebrate the release of their new book, Thirty-Five Days To Baltimore. This bilingual book explores topics of migration, immigration, poverty, and hope, through the story of an unaccompanied minor, as he makes his way from Honduras to Baltimore, ultimately arriving in the Berkshires. Part of the Berkshire County Historical Society’s Underrepresented Voices initiative. FREE 

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

July 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31–ReWritten, 8 p.m.

ReWritten is an immersive performance that explores the often-silenced intimate relationship between authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Moving between their lives, work, and remaining letters, ReWritten reimagines an intergenerational queer love story that helped shape American literature. Through dance, live music, visual art, projection, and text this performance questions what happens when we say no to dreams when we want to say yes. Co-created and performed by Tom Truss and Matthew Cumbie.

$10 for BHS members

$15 for non-members

Use your EBT card and get 50 percent off

12 and under free

July 26 – Lace in American Culture, 5 p.m.

Lace came to America more than 400 years ago. Lightweight, easy to pack, it was an expression of civilized European lifestyle, and brought with it the optimism for a similar life in the New World. Over time, lace defied hardship, celebrated socio-economic advancement, indulged the wealthy, often in unexpected format. During this talk, Irish lace expert Beverly Wolov will discuss how lace became so deeply imbedded in American material culture. FREE

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

July 27–Berkshire County Historical Society Summer Fundraiser, 4 p.m.

Join us under the tent at Arrowhead for a summer evening of food, drinks, and fun! Enjoy our historic site and the newly-restored 1840s barn as we gather to celebrate with a silent auction and a peek at the new performance of ReWritten. Tickets available at

July 28–August 1: Moby-Dick Sixth Annual Read-A-Thon,  10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Call me Ishmael” and sign up to read part of Melvilles masterpiece on the site where it was written. Come on your own or bring a group to read with us until we finish the book. Virtual reading more your style? Join in with others from around the globe from the comfort of your own home. For more information, visit

$5 recommended donation

This event is sponsored by MA Humanities/Bridge Street Foundation and Berkshire Roots.

July 31–Monument Mountain Hike, 9 a.m.

Celebrate the day (August 4, 1850) Melville met Nathaniel Hawthorn on a hike up Monument Mountain by joining BCHS for a similar hike and reading of local poet William Cullen Bryant’s Monument Mountain. The guided hike takes approximately two and one-half hours and is appropriate for families. Hikers should meet at the Monument Mountain Reservation Parking lot on Route 7 and should be prepared with their own water, proper footwear, hiking gear and bug repellent. FREE

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

August 5–Opening Reception for Moby-Dick exhibition, 5–8 p.m.

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield


This event is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

August 10–Jim Jasper Artist Talk, 5:30 p.m.

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield


This event is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

August 17–Reflections on the Marble Corridor of Western New England, 5:30 p.m.

Historian William Hosley will discuss the history and economic impact of the western New England’s “marble corridor.” As early as the 1780s, western New England stonecutters, discovering high quality marble in the Berkshires and Vermont, soon began exporting artfully finished products to points south and beyond. At its height the marble industry along the Taconic Range (todays Route 7 corridor) was a beehive providing thousands of monuments, gravestones, and architectural features to buildings, cemeteries, and town squares. Rutland, Vermont, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Marbledale, Connecticut, were economically transformed by the stonecutting industry. The products they made were varied, artistic, and sophisticated. It was an art industry of national influence. FREE

This event is sponsored by MountainOne Insurance.

August 24–Christopher Volpe Artist Talk, 5:30 p.m.

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield

 This event is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.


The Mastheads is a writers’ residency program that creates a dialogue about place through literature and architecture.  Five original architectural spaces serve as studios for selected writers-in-residence to produce new work each summer. Each space is inspired by an American author who produced work in and around Pittsfield – Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Longfellow, and Holmes Sr. The studios remind us of the past while providing a platform for new creativity. Visit for more information.

Day Residencies May 14–July 11, August 8–October 31

The Day Residency includes private use of your choice of The Mastheads studios, a tour of Melville’s historic home, and access to the extensive grounds and trail network at Arrowhead. Writers may reserve as many days as you like.

July Residency July 16–August 6

Each summer, five writers across disciplines (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, translation, playwriting, comics, and more) are awarded three-week residencies at Arrowhead.  This summer, we’re delighted to invite the Virtual Residents of 2022—Kendra Allen, Sasha Debevec-McKenney, Jessica Laser, Helen Betya Rubinstein, and My Tran to finally work in the studios in person.

About the Berkshire County Historical Society

The Berkshire County Historical Society is a non-profit corporation dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the history of Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. In addition, the Berkshire County Historical Society is committed to the preservation and interpretation of Arrowhead, home of author Herman Melville, designated a National Historic Landmark. The Berkshire County Historical Society provides tours of Arrowhead, and programming dedicated to the history of western Massachusetts and the life and writings of Herman Melville. For information on visiting, go to


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