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Bits & Bytes: ‘The Oregon Trail;’ M.A. Orthofer at the Bookstore; Victor Borge talk; Jacob’s Pillow morning dance classes

Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, “The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction” introduces the styles, trends, and genres of the world literature.

WAM Theatre to present staged reading of ‘The Oregon Trail’

Bekah Brunstetter.

West Stockbridge — WAM Theatre’s 2016 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series will continue on Sunday, June 19, at 3 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café with “The Oregon Trail” by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Estefanía Fadul.

“The Oregon Trail” is a tale of two young women, both named Jane, one of whom is an awkward middle-schooler with epic skills in the Oregon Trail computer game, and the other is a woman in the game living through the hardships of trail life with her family. Looking at the impact of memory and the legacy of sadness across generations, the play weaves parallel stories of survival, and asks the age-old question: Do you want to ford the river?

Playwright Bekah Brunstetter’s plays have been read and produced by New York Stage and Film, Luna Stage, the Babel Theatre Project, and others. She was the 2009 playwright-in-residence at Ars Nova. She is currently working a commission for the Roundabout Underground and Naked Angels, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She holds a B.A. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.F.A. in dramatic writing from New York City’s New School for Drama.

Tickets are $20 and include a post-show conversation and the opportunity to meet the cast and director. Seating is very limited. For more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact WAM Theatre at (413) 274-8122 or


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M.A. Orthofer to speak at the Bookstore

M. A. Orthofer.

Lenox – On Monday, June 13, at 5:30 p.m., the Bookstore will host M.A. Orthofer for a reading and discussion of his new book “The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction.”

Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, the Guide introduces the styles, trends, and genres of the world literature from Scandinavian crime thrillers and cutting-edge Chinese works to Latin American narco-fiction and award-winning French novels.

M. A. Orthofer is the founder, managing editor, and lead contributor to the Complete Review and its blog the Literary Saloon. Launched in 1999, the Complete Review has been praised by the Times Literary Supplement, Wired, and the New York Times Book Review. Orthofer has served as judge for the Best Translated Book Award and the Austrian Cultural Forum’s ACFNY Translation Prize, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

For more information, call the Bookstore at (413) 637-3390.


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‘My Father, Victor Borge’

Rikki Borge headshot
Frederikke “Rikke” Borge.

Lenox — Frederikke “Rikke” Borge has been heard to say, “I had the best childhood that could ever be had. It’s been downhill ever since,” and will give a talk entitled “My Father Victor Borge: Concert Pianist/Comedian” at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, June 14 at 4 pm. The talk will be followed by a Victorian tea.

Using videos and anecdotes, Borge will share what it was like growing up with Victor Borge in the house, on the road, and as her father. She will also discuss his Danish childhood, upbringing, family, and career. Borge studied acting at Carnegie Mellon University and with Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, and Sanford Meisner, creating her own celebrity on stage and TV and in feature films. A Berkshire resident, Borge trains and boards horses.

Tickets for the Tea & Talk are $24 in advance and $29 day of the event. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or


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Morning dance classes at Jacob’s Pillow

Becket – Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival has kicked off its summer season by opening its grounds and studios to the community for weekday morning dance classes through Friday, August 26. The classes are taught by professional dance and movement practitioners and are open to all experience levels (ages 16 and over) with no pre-registration required.

Morning classes will include African dance with Marilyn M. Sylla and live music by Sekou Sylla of Bamidele Dancers & Drummers; Modern dance with Adam H. Weinert; Pilates with Sean P. Gallagher; Ballet with Sharon MacDonald; and Zumba® with Ilana Siegal.

The cost is $10 per class or $50 for a six-class card. For more information, call (413) 243-9919.



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