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Bits & Bytes: ‘The Weir’ at Ghent Playhouse; Matt Pardo at Berkshire Pulse; RSYP open mic; ‘The Brave Little Parrot’ at Camphill Ghent

Pardo has a special connection to Berkshire Pulse: his solo piece “Life.Long” began in the old Berkshire Pulse dance studios.

Regional premiere of ‘The Weir’ at Ghent Playhouse

Ghent, N.Y. — The award-winning play “The Weir” by Conor McPherson will mark its regional premiere when it opens at the Ghent Playhouse on January 22. Performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through February 7. The production is directed by Aaron Holbritter.

Set in a rural Irish pub, the drama revolves around reminiscences: four friends sharing drinks and stories of their personal experiences attempt to impress a pretty newcomer. Soon their conversations, combined with more than a few drinks, turn to stories with a supernatural twist. But when the newcomer tells her own story, the undoubtedly true and melancholy tale shocks the men, leading to salvation and an eventual happy ending for two of the characters.

“The Weir” made its Broadway debut in 1999 after first being produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London, England in 1997. It won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play of 1997-1998, with Conor McPherson winning the Critics’ Circle Award as the most promising playwright in 1998 as a direct result of the play’s success.

The cast of the Ghent Playhouse production consists of Donald Dolan as Jack, Jerry Greene as Brendan, Neal Berntson as Jim, John Wallace as Finbar, and Monica Brady as Valerie. Gabrielle Smachetti is the assistant director and the stage manager, Cathy Lee-Visscher is the producer, and set design is by Robert Walker. Tickets are $20 each, $17 for Friends of the Playhouse, and $10 for students with ID. See the Berkshire Edge calendar for tickets and more information or call 1 (800) 838-3006.

–E.E.

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Modern dance technique workshop at Berkshire Pulse

Matt Pardo profile
Matt Pardo.

Housatonic — On Saturday, January 23, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Berkshire Pulse will welcome Matt Pardo who will lead a three-hour intermediate level workshop in modern and post-modern techniques.

Originally from East Greenbush, N.Y., Pardo currently lives in Pittsburgh where he co-founded The Blanket, a project that aims to expand that region’s dance community. A graduate of the University at Buffalo with an advanced honors BFA in dance, he has danced with Eisenhower Dance, GroundWorks DanceTheater, RG Dance Projects, and the River North Chicago Dance Company. In 2011 he joined Lucinda Childs Dance and now teaches company classes while on tour. Pardo has a special connection to Berkshire Pulse: his solo piece “Life.Long” began in the old Berkshire Pulse studios.

The workshop will begin with a modern class exploring the integration of technique into an organic movement sensibility. The class will also include post-modern compositional elements and will culminate in participants creating their own unique compositions. The cost of the workshop is $20. Call Berkshire Pulse for more information at (413) 274-6624.

–E.E.

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RSYP open mic nights

Great Barrington – Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP) hosts open mic night every Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Musicians, poets, dancers, actors, and artists of all ages are invited to perform. Call RSYP for more information at (413) 528-2475.

–E.E.

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‘The Brave Little Parrot’ eurythmy performance at Camphill Ghent

Chatham, N.Y. — Eurythmy, music and storytelling will combine in a program of the Jataka tale “The Brave Little Parrot” on Sunday, January 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Culture Hall at Camphill Ghent. The program is suitable for children over age 6. Donations of $15 will be taken at the door the evening of the performance.

“In a playful and tender way, ‘The Brave Little Parrot’ touches on a current theme of how to respond to great danger when you feel inadequate,” according to organizers. The story will be told through eurythmy, or expressive movement art, performed to the rhythm of spoken words. The performance will include the Beatitudes from the gospel of Matthew plus music by Bach, Chopin and Schumann. “The Brave Little Parrot” will be performed by Jeanne Simon-MacDonald, Jong Won Choi, Karen Derreumaux, Sofia Mancini, Patti Regan, Ran Shimizu, Stephen Steen, and Jordan Walker.

Contact Camphill Ghent for more information at (518) 392-2760.

–E.E.

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