Dance collective BodySonnet will present two performances and a masterclass this weekend at Chesterwood in Stockbridge. Photo courtesy Chesterwood

Bits & Bytes: BodySonnet at Chesterwood; BTG benefit; Open Studios DriveAbout; online poetry; virtual staged reading

Dubbed “the last leading man” by the New York Times, Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film and concert appearances.

BodySonnet to dance outdoors at Chesterwood

Stockbridge — Chesterwood will host “An Evening at Chesterwood Garden,” two outdoor pop-up performances by the BodySonnet dance collective, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5. The performance is in collaboration with Berkshire Pulse, where BodySonnet have been the artists-in-residence in August. In addition to the performance, BodySonnet will offer a masterclass at Chesterwood on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

BodySonnet is a collective of young contemporary dancemakers and performers co-founded in 2019 by recent graduates of the Juilliard School. As a collective they thrive in unconventional spaces and have made site-specific performance a central part of their creative process. Their performance at Chesterwood will be directly inspired by the landscape as well as the sculpture of Daniel Chester French.

The performances will run 30 minutes each and be accompanied by a live musician. A question-and-answer session will follow. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children under 12. The outdoor event is limited to 50 people per the COVID-19 Massachusetts guidelines. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Chesterwood at (413) 298-2034 or chesterwood@savingplaces.org.

–E.E.

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Brian Stokes Mitchell performance to benefit Berkshire Theatre Group

Brian Stokes Mitchell. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will host two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell in an intimate performance and fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. under the tent outside the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St.

Dubbed “the last leading man” by the New York Times, Tony Award-winner Stokes has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film and concert appearances. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in “Kiss Me, Kate.” He also gave Tony-nominated performances in “Man of La Mancha,” August Wilson’s “King Hedley II,” and “Ragtime.” Other notable Broadway shows include “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Jelly’s Last Jam,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Shuffle Along.” In 2016 he was awarded his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Award for his charitable work with the Actors Fund. That same year Stokes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $500 and will benefit BTG, with a portion of sales going to the Actors Fund and Black Theatre United. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshire Theatre Group at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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A map of the 2020 Open Studios DriveAbout participants. Image courtesy Becket Arts Center

Becket Arts Center DriveAbout to celebrate second year

Becket — On Saturday, Sept. 5., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Becket Arts Center will hold its second annual Open Studios DriveAbout, a community-oriented and -curated driving tour of studios of artists from Becket, Otis and Washington. Arts enthusiasts and supporters are invited to visit the studios and displays of artists working in media including painting, sculpture, photography, wood-working, ceramics, jewelry making, crocheted fashions, textiles, and original writing.

Said DriveAbout Committee Chair Hannah Sukonick: “We are taking every precaution to keep our visitors and participating artists safe. Everyone visiting a studio or the Becket Arts Center will be required to wear a mask. The number of people at any given location will be limited. Every venue will have hand sanitizer available.”

Thanks to a grant from the Feigenbaum Foundation, the event is free to both participating artists and studio visitors. A rain date has been set for Sunday, Sept. 6. For a map of locations and a schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Becket Arts Center at (413) 623-6635 or office@becketartscenter.org.

–E.E.

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Stockbridge Library to offer online poetry reading

Ted Mathys. Photo: Virginia Harold

Stockbridge — On Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m., the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will offer “Online Poetry: Medicine for the Soul” featuring poet Ted Mathys via Zoom.

Mathys is the author of “Gold Cure,” forthcoming from Coffee House Press, as well as “Null Set” (2015), “The Spoils” (2009) and “Forge” (2005). He is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. He was selected by Alice Notley for the Poetry Society of America‘s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award; and his poetry and criticism have appeared in American Poetry Review, BOMB, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Fence, the Georgia Review, PBS NewsHour and other publications.

Originally from Ohio, Mathys holds a master’s degree in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received the John C. Schupes Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry, as well as a master’s degree in international environmental policy from Tufts University. He lives in St. Louis, where he teaches at Saint Louis University and curates the 100 Boots Poetry Series at Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or join the Zoom meeting, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or info@stockbridgelibrary.org.

–E.E.

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Virtual Staged Readings Series to showcase suspense radio dramas

Copake, N.Y. — In association with the Copake Grange, the Two of Us Productions will present the old-time radio dramas “The Case Of The River Of Eternal Woe” and “My Dear Niece” as the next offering in its Virtual Staged Readings Series Saturday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

In “The Case Of The River of Eternal Woe,” Lamont Cranston, newspaper reporter by day and the Shadow by night, witnesses the police retrieval of wealthy widow Mathilda Redfield. It seems to be a case of suicide until the Shadow notices the deceased widow’s niece unobtrusively checking the corpse’s wrist for a missing diamond bracelet. Why was the widow’s niece more interested in her aunt’s jewelry than in her suspicious death? Only the Shadow knows! In “My Dear Niece,” Mrs. Rogers was the kind of a lady to whom nothing ever happens. But she hardly expected to become involved in murder when she put an innocent classified ad in the evening paper.

The performance is free and open to the public, and will be presented via Zoom. Donations will be gratefully accepted. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Two of Us Productions at (518) 329-6293.

–E.E.