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Bits & Bytes: ‘SEVEN’ at Simon’s Rock; Berkshire Opera Festival; Bret Stephens to give Feigenbaum lecture; Laurel Hill Day

SEVEN was commissioned in 2006 by the Washington, D.C.-based Vital Voices Global Partnership, which had seven playwrights dramatize the stories of seven women.

‘SEVEN’ to benefit Elizabeth Freeman Center

Carol K. Mack
Carol K. Mack

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m., the Simon’s Rock Council for Equity and Inclusion and CeCe Sloan will present SEVEN – A Documentary Play in the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith

SEVEN was commissioned in 2006 by the Washington, D.C.-based Vital Voices Global Partnership, which tasked a septet of playwrights with interviewing and dramatizing the stories of seven women. Inspired by the women’s tales of triumph, playwrights Carol K. Mack, Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith and Susan Yankowitz gave voice to the stories of women who labored to improve the living conditions of women in Africa, Central America, Europe and Asia. SEVEN has been translated into 23 languages and boasts more than 300 performances staged in 32 countries. Regional actors Barbara Greenbaum, Carla Lewis, Lori Evans, Sheila Dabney, Gail Ryan, Tyler Malik and Anne Undeland will make up the cast.

Director, activist and longtime member of the U.S. National Committee of UN Women Sloan will host the evening and lead a post-show discussion. Mack will be on hand to share the genesis of the play and its remarkable subjects. She will also screen a clip of the soon-to-be-released film The Power of 7 narrated by Meryl Streep.

The event is free with a suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center and reservations required. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Simon’s Rock at (413) 528-7400 or danielartscenter@simons-rock.edu.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Opera Festival to stage ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’

Pittsfield — Berkshire Opera Festival will present a new production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26; Tuesday, Aug. 29; and Friday, Sept. 1, at the Colonial Theatre.

Directed by Jonathon Loy and conducted by Brian Garman, the production will feature soprano Marcy Stonikas as Ariadne, tenor Kevin Ray as Bacchus, soprano Nicole Haslett as Zerbinetta and mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala as the Composer. Filling out the roles of Zerbinetta’s burlesque troupe and Ariadne’s nymphs is a supporting cast of up-and-coming young stars. All performances feature the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra. Ariadne auf Naxos will be sung in German with projected English translations.

Tickets range from $20 to $98. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial Theatre box office at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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Bret Stephens to deliver Feigenbaum lecture

Bret Stephens. Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
Bret Stephens. Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

Pittsfield — The 50th annual Hilda Vallin Feigenbaum Memorial Foundation Lecture will be held on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Anshe Amunim. The speaker will be New York Times foreign policy and domestic politics op-ed columnist Bret Stephens whose topic will be “Global View: Forces Changing Our World.”

Stephens joined the New York Times as an op-ed columnist in April 2017. Previously, he wrote “Global View,” the foreign affairs column of the Wall Street Journal for which he was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. He was the WSJ’s deputy editorial page editor and a member of the paper’s editorial board. Before that, he was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, a position he assumed in 2002 at the age of 28. Stephens has reported stories around the world including in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and has interviewed many world leaders. His 2014 book is titled America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics, Stephens was raised in Mexico City and lives in New York with his wife, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim­–a classical music critic for the New York Times–and their three children.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited and early arrival is recommended. The doors may close before the lecture begins. Refreshments will be served after the lecture. For more information, contact Temple Anshe Amunim at (413 442-5910.

–E.E.

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Laurel Hill Day to feature birds of prey demonstration

Stockbridge — The Laurel Hill Association will hold its 164th annual Laurel Hill Day on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. at the rostrum at Laurel Hill Park behind the Stockbridge Town Offices, 50 Main St.

The guest speaker will be Tom Ricardi of Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway who has been presenting his program to adults and children of all ages for many years. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with rescue birds such as hawks, eagles and owls. Music will be provided by the Berkshire Hillsmen, led by Dan Burkhard. Rev. Brent Damrow of the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge will give the invocation and benediction. Laurel Hill Day will also feature the presentation of LHA’s 41st annual college scholarship. Refreshments will be served. In case of rain, the event will take place at the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives.

For more information, contact LHA at info@laurelhillassociation.org.

–E.E.

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