Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Sheffield in Celebration; CATA poetry reading; Earthcare festival; WAM ‘Grand Concourse;’ Walk & Roll; Simon Winchester discusses new book

The geological history of the Pacific Ocean has long transformed us but, from a Western perspective, its human history is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s 16th-century circumnavigation. --- Author Simon Winchester, on his new book about the Pacific Ocean

Sheffield in Celebration

The vegetables and preserves exhibits at the 2015 Sheffield Fair.
The vegetables and preserves exhibits at the 2015 Sheffield Fair.

Sheffield – The Sheffield Association will present the 16th annual Sheffield in Celebration, a weekend of fun and activities that celebrate Sheffield, Friday Sept. 9 – Sunday, Sept. 11.

The weekend will kick off with Tomato Fest at the Sheffield Farmers’ Market at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. On Saturday September 10, the Sheffield Fair will take place from noon – 5 p.m. at the Town Park off Miller Avenue. The fair will feature an animal showmanship and fitting competition; children’s activities provided by the Bushnell-Sage Library and Kiwanis volunteers; expanded baking contests including divisions in cupcakes, cookies, gluten-free, layer cakes, and quick and yeast breads; vegetable, flower, and preserves competitions; a music and entertainment tent; a variety of food choices; vendors; nonprofit organizations; and more. A chili sampler dinner at the Sheffield Senior Center will follow the fair at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, a bring-your-own-picnic will occur on the Ashley Falls Village Green followed by a 1:30 p.m. hike on the Schneck property with the Sheffield Land Trust. At 5 p.m. at Barnard Park on the corner of Rte. 7 and Miller Avenue, Christ Trinity Church will present a Service of Remembrance and celebration Sheffield’s first responders. A picnic supper will follow at the church.

–E.E.

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CATA poetry reading at the Mount

A writer from CATA. Photo: Julie McCarthy.
A writer from CATA. Photo: Julie McCarthy.
A writer from CATA. Photo: Julie McCarthy.
A writer from CATA. Photo: Julie McCarthy.

Lenox — Community Access to the Arts (CATA) will present its annual poetry reading celebrating CATA’s writers on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. at the Mount. The event will feature writer/performer Rachel Siegel reading selected excerpts from the CATA Writers’ Workshop in which writers with disabilities meet weekly to develop their skills in poetry, haiku, autobiography, and short stories. An exhibit of black and white portraits of CATA writers by photographer Julie McCarthy will be on display through Friday, Sept. 16.

The event is free but registration is required. For more information or to reserve space, call CATA at (413) 528-5485.

–E.E.

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Earthcare festival to celebrate poetry and nature

Kaiulani Lee.
Kaiulani Lee.

Cummington – The Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts will present the Earthcare ecofestival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead Friday, Sept. 9 – Sunday, Sept. 11. Earthcare will explore the human relationship to nature in a time of ecological crisis as experienced and envisioned by scholars, writers and artists.

Friday, Sept. 9, will include a pre-festival concert of Latin, Celtic, folk, Americana, world and classical music with a barbecue supper. Saturday, Sept. 10, will feature a series of in-depth talks by nationally known figures in forest ecology, sustainability, and environmental writing as well as poetry readings, music, dance, an exhibit of watercolors, and a performance by actress Kaiulani Lee of her one-woman play on the life of Rachel Carson, “A Sense of Wonder.” The Sunday, Sept. 11, program will offer stewardship talks and workshops, and a second performance of “A Sense of Wonder.” Meals catered by Green Fields Market are available for pre-order.

Tickets range from $18 – $97.50 for adults, half-price for youth ages 12 – 18, and free for children under 12. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Hilltown Chautauqua at (413) 634-5716.

–E.E.

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WAM Theatre to stage ‘Grand Concourse’

Heidi Schreck.
Heidi Schreck.

West Stockbridge — WAM Theatre will present the next installment in its 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series, “Grand Concourse” by Heidi Schreck and directed by Sheila Siragusa, on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café.

“Grand Concourse” tells the story of Shelley, devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, and Emma, an idealistic but confused young volunteer whose recklessness pushes Shelley to the breaking point. With keen humor and startling compassion, Schreck’s play navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of happiness. “Grand Concourse” was a nominee for the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award and a finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

A former Page 73 Playwriting Fellow and Sundance artist, Heidi Schreck is currently working on commissions for South Coast Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Foundation, and True Love Productions. Schreck is also a two-time Obie Award-winning actor. On television, she has appeared in “The Good Wife,” “SVU,” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” where she has also worked as a writer.

Tickets to “Grand Concourse” are $20 and include a post-show discussion and meet-and-greet with the cast and director. Seating is limited. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact WAM Theatre at (413) 274-8122 or info@wamtheatre.com.

–E.E.

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Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts to present Walk & Roll

Cheshire — The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) has expanded its annual Walk & Roll for Brain Injury to include western Massachusetts. The fundraiser will occur on Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Participants from throughout the region are encouraged to attend. Participants may register as individuals, set up teams, start fundraising pages, or provide one-time donations. The Rail Trail is a smooth, paved surface allowing accessibility for all participants. The registration fee of $25 ($10 for brain injury survivors) includes a post-event lunch and a T-shirt.

For more information, call (800) 242-0030.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Simon Winchester to discuss new biography

Simon Winchester
Simon Winchester.

West Stockbridge — Bestselling author and Berkshire County resident Simon Winchester will discuss his new biography “Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers” on Friday, Sept. 9, in the West Stockbridge Historical Society 1854 Town Hall. A reception with the author will follow.

The geological history of the Pacific Ocean has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc.—but from a Western perspective, its human history is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s 16th-century circumnavigation. In his talk, Winchester will delve into the history of this imposing force of nature and examine how it will help define the world of tomorrow.

The program is free and open to the public, though donations to benefit the 1854 Town Hall Restoration Campaign will be gratefully accepted.

–E.E.

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