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Bits & Bytes: BFWW announces March schedule; February at the Mahaiwe; ‘Heart Song’ at Ventfort Hall; Williams planetarium schedule; DCSC in February

Astronomy students at Williams College will host free shows for the public at the Old Hopkins Observatory’s Milham Planetarium Friday evenings at 8 p.m beginning February 5.

Schedule announced for 6th annual BFWW

Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen.

Great Barrington — The 6th annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers (BFWW) has announced its schedule and will offer 33 events from Saturday, March 12 – Sunday, 20. This year’s Festival will feature nine full days of events, many of which will be free, with nationally renowned and local women writers presenting workshops, discussions, readings, performances, and talks.

Ruth Reichl Richard Sands
Ruth Reichl. Photo: Richard Sands.

Among this year’s featured presenters are the young adult authors Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple; food writer and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl; journalist Sheila Weller; Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers founders Cheryl Clarke and Breena Clarke; A Room of Her Own Foundation founder Mary Johnson; Unseen America project founder Esther Cohen; Ms. Magazine founder Letty Cottin Pogrebin; and authors Veronica Chambers, Helen Epstein, Barbara Slate, Alison Larkin, and Karen Schoemer.

Festival performances will include the new one-woman show “Special” by Rachel Siegel, a concert by singer-songwriter Kate Campbell, and a reading by girls from Monument Mountain Regional High School.

A complete schedule of events can be found online.

–E.E.

*     *     *

February programming at the Mahaiwe

Great Barrington – The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present a variety of events during the month of February.

On Saturday, February 6, at 1 p.m., the Mahaiwe will screen Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of “The Winter’s Tale” in HD, captured live from the Garrick Theatre in London. This year’s Valentine’s Day treat for the community will be a screening of “Roman Holiday (1953)” on Sunday, February 14, at 7 p.m.

Warren Miller‘s “Chasing Shadows (2015)” will be shown on Saturday, February 20, at 7:30 p.m. The screening will feature discount ticket prices for Ski Butternut and Catamount season pass holders and Mahaiwe members, and those interested should contact the box office. Free lift vouchers for Sugarbush will also be offered at this screening.

On Sunday, February 28, at 3 p.m., the Mahaiwe will present London’s National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in HD. Bluegrass legends Del and Dawg (Del McCoury and David Grisman) will perform a concert at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, February 27, at 8 p.m. in celebration of the musicians’ nearly 50-year friendship.

For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

*     *     *

‘Heart Song’ Valentine celebration at Ventfort Hall

Samantha Talora Ron Ramsay
Samantha Talora and Ron Ramsay.

Lenox – New York City cabaret singer and pianist Ron Ramsay and Berkshire vocalist Samantha Talora will present “Heart Song” on Saturday, February 6, at 4 p.m. at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum.

“Heart Song” will explore the many different aspects of love, taking listeners on a nostalgic journey of song. The program will feature selections from the Great American Songbook, Broadway, and contemporary music. Ramsay and Talora will be joined by woodwind musician Michael Gillespie.

Tickets for the program are $25 and include an afternoon tea with Valentine sweets. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations call Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or e-mail info@gildedage.org.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Williams College spring semester planetarium schedule

Williamstown — Williams College invites you to experience the wonders of our universe at the Milham Planetarium, located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College.

Astronomy students at Williams College will host free shows for the public at the Old Hopkins Observatory’s Milham Planetarium Friday evenings at 8 p.m beginning February 5 and running through May 13, with the exception of March 18 and 25 and April 1. Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector installed in April 2005.

Shows will last about 50 minutes. Reservations are required and those interested should contact Michele Rech at (413) 597-2188 or email at mcr4@williams.edu. Others will be admitted as space permits and large groups should call for special appointments.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Down County Social Club February line-up

Jackson Whalan Isabella Goldman
Jackson Whalan. Photo: Isabella Goldman.

Sheffield — The Down County Social Club beneath the Stagecoach Tavern features a handpicked selection of entertainment presented in an intimate New Orleans-style speakeasy. Its February line-up will feature DJ and performer Jackson Whalan on Thursday, February 4; Bronx singer/songwriters Philip Lynch, Eric Sullivan, and Rob McMahon on Thursday, February 11; the Nice Ones frontman Patrick Surdam on Thursday, February 18; and OxBow Road, featuring Kiki DuFault and Deborah McDowell, on Thursday, February 18.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. and have a suggested donation of $10. Call the Stagecoach Tavern for more information at (413) 229-8585.

–E.E.

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