Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: GBRSS May Day celebration; ‘Tested’ at Berkshire Playwrights Lab; home project workshop; BCC ranks in RecycleMania

Berkshire Community College has improved its waste diversion rate by 42.79 percent since 2009 and has a goal of zero waste by 2020.

Berkshire Playwrights Lab to present staged reading of ‘Tested’

Michael Brady

Great Barrington — On Monday, May 7, at 7 p.m., Berkshire Playwrights Lab’s Berkshire Voices writers’ group will present a staged reading of “Tested” by Michael Brady at Saint James Place.

“Tested” tells the story of Virginia Farrell, a teacher at a prestigious New England prep school who has survived on dignity, discipline, intelligence and will power.  A lover of lost causes, Virginia can recall long-dead emperors and empresses in impressive detail but now, in her 60s, her memory has begun to falter.

Playwright and director Brady’s play “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” was developed through the literary department of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and moved to Circle-in-the-Square in New York City; it later received Newsday’s Oppenheimer Award and was produced as a film by Sony Pictures. Brady is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a playwright member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has presented staged readings of two recent plays with BPL and also directed in BPL’s first two Radius Playwrights Festivals. In addition to his work in theatre, Brady served for several years with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, overseeing a grant-giving program for literary, visual and performance artists, and also served as a playwright mentor for Barrington Stage Company’s Playwright Mentoring Program.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to limited seating. For more information or to reserve tickets, contact Berkshire Playwrights Lab at (413) 528-2544 or


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Lee Library to host do-it-yourself home project workshop

Erica Fay

Lee — Interior designer Erica Fay will present the workshop “Three Essentials for Preparing a Successful Home Project” Tuesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. at the Lee Library.

Fay created the workshop in response to homeowners whose dream projects have gone awry or never been started. Said Fay: “With the advent of HGTV and the internet, people are filled with ideas. They see wonderful transformations right before their eyes – all in less than 30 or 60 minutes. It’s great entertainment and expands our knowledge of what’s possible but it does not prepare the homeowner for the real challenges.”

Along with photos and case studies from her 20 years of working in the field, Fay will offer useful tips and handouts so participants will leave with something to help them with their own home projects.

The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information, contact


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Laura Saldarini, right, chair of Berkshire Community College’s Green Team, discusses the process of composting with a group of students. Photo courtesy Berkshire Community College

BCC ranks high in RecycleMania competition

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College has announced that it finished first in Massachusetts and third in the United States in the Diversion category of the 2018 RecycleMania competition with a recycling rate of 80.9 percent.

2018 marks BCC’s tenth year of participation in the annual RecycleMania competition, which is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities. BCC has improved its waste diversion rate by 42.79 percent since 2009 and has a goal of zero waste by 2020. BCC’s Green Team coordinates BCC’s annual participation in RecycleMania as part of the team’s efforts to reduce the college’s carbon footprint, maintain sustainable practices, and coordinate efforts with other colleges and institutions.

Participating colleges and universities are ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they divert from the landfill over two months. Between the Feb. 4 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in March 31, participating schools recycled or composted 68.6 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 94,152 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 20,160 cars.

The 2018 tournament featured 300 participating schools from the U.S. and Canada. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.



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