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Decorations at the Berkshire Museum's 2017 Festival of Trees. The museum will kick off its 2019 event with a preview party Friday, Nov. 15. Photo courtesy Berkshire Museum

Bits & Bytes: Festival of Trees; Berkshire Natural History Conference; ‘Bedroom Farce’ at BCC; swing dancing at Dewey Hall

By Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 Life In the Berkshires

Berkshire Museum to host Festival of Trees: Heroes

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum will open its Festival of Trees: Heroes exhibit with a preview party Friday, Nov. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit will run Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, and will feature more than 100 decorated trees sponsored by businesses, schools and community organizations in celebration of the holiday season.

Festival of Trees 2019: Heroes challenges participants to capture the essence of their idols — from the caped crusaders of the silver screen to the everyday heroes in our community — in creative, colorful, one-of-a-kind trees. This year’s decorated displays will compete against each other in Festival of Trees Bingo. Adults and children alike will enjoy searching for a tree that honors first responders, spotting a unique ornament or locating an image of a local icon. Completed Bingo cards can be entered to win a prize in a weekly drawing including dual/family memberships, admission passes, and museum merchandise. An ever-growing, participatory display will invite visitors to share their own ideas about the actions and characteristics that set an individual apart as a true hero.

Tickets to the preview party are $50 for adults and $25 for children. Tickets for museum members are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Children ages 3 and under will be admitted free. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 443-7171 x319.


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Berkshire Natural History Conference to feature local, regional naturalists

Williamstown — The fifth annual Berkshire Natural History Conference, featuring presentations by local and regional naturalists and acclaimed authors, will take place Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Clark Art Institute.

Presenters will include botanists/historians Maida Goodwin and Allison Bell, who will retrace the steps of 19th-century naturalist Grace Greylock Niles; evolutionary biology student Jenks Hehmeyer, who will introduce the world of incredible organisms, including the Berkshires’ giant amoeba slime mold; author Lauren Stephens illuminating Thoreau’s decision to spend the night atop Mount Greylock; and Ron Bassar detailing the plight of native brook trout in light of the climate crisis. Other speakers will introduce the incredible density of little snakes, local efforts to restore cliff swallows, and how the new Lidar technology can tell a great story. Ending the day will be Williams College ecologist Hank Art on the changing landscape of western New England.

Attendees can also see displays by more than a dozen local and regional natural history organizations, purchase new and historic books, and join in a silent auction to help support student attendees. A natural history quiz will test participants’ knowledge of the Taconic/Berkshire environment.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Admission includes lunch and access to all of the presentations. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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The cast of the BCC Players production of ‘Bedroom Farce.’ Photo: Jay Miller

BCC Players to present ‘Bedroom Farce’

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College and the BCC Players will present “Bedroom Farce” by Alan Ayckbourn Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. at BCC’s Robert Boland Theatre.

Trevor and Susannah, whose marriage is on the rocks, inflict their miseries on their nearest and dearest: three couples whose own relationships are tenuous at best. The action takes place sequentially in the three beleaguered couples’ bedrooms during one endless Saturday night of co-dependence and dysfunction. The cast includes Hunter J. Cannon, Ryan Cavanaugh, Dana Grieb, Kimberly Gritman, Rebecca Hughes, Grace Kelley, Joseph Sicotte and Sam Slack.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for senior citizens and BCC faculty, staff, students and alumni. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 236-2100.


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The Lucky 5. Photo courtesy Oldtone Productions

Dewey Hall to host swing dancing with the Lucky 5

Sheffield — Oldtone Native will present a night of swing dancing Friday, Nov. 25, at Dewey Hall, beginning with a lesson with Jason Fenton at 7:30 p.m. Dancing to live music from the Lucky 5 will begin at 8:30 p.m.

The Lucky 5 is a hard-swinging jazz band that blends swing and gypsy jazz to create a unique, foot-stomping blend of music that appeals to a wide range of music lovers. The Lucky 5 performs both original compositions and old jazz standards, and includes Kip Beacco on guitar, Matt Downing on upright bass, Carolyn Dufraine on trombone, Jonathan Talbott on fiddle and Emily Herder on clarinet.

The cost is a sliding fee of $10–$20. Beginners are welcome, partners are not necessary and refreshments will be available. For more information, contact (413) 429-1176 or beth@oldtonemusicfestival.com.


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