Monday, July 22, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: ‘The Bakelite Masterpiece’ enrichment activities; ‘The Maine Coast’ in Old Chatham; mindful eating program; ‘Stories From the Field’

A facilitated post-show conversation will take place after each weekend matinee and select evening performances of 'The Bakelite Masterpiece'to promote open discussion of the larger issues around truth and reconciliation.

WAM Theatre enrichment activities for ‘The Bakelite Masterpiece’

Stockbridge — Via a grant from Mass Humanities, WAM Theatre is offering a comprehensive audience enrichment program around its Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) co-production of “The Bakelite Masterpiece” by Kate Cayley which will include program notes, post-show conversations with the playwright and other notable scholars, a lobby display and resource list exploring truth and reconciliation from World War II to today, and a subsidized ticket program.

The primary scholar for the program notes is Brenda Oppermann, a senior advisor for military and civilian organizations working primarily on issues concerning international peace and conflict. She is currently a visiting professor at the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service and lives in the Berkshires when not traveling for work. Oppermann’s program notes give an overview of formal and informal truth and reconciliation efforts throughout the world since World War II and explain how humanity’s ever-present need for justice has influenced the success and failure of those efforts.

A facilitated post-show conversation will take place after each weekend matinee and select evening performances to promote open discussion of the larger issues around truth and reconciliation. The conversations allow audience members to share their thoughts and engage with the issues around truth and reconciliation embedded in the play and how they relate to civic responsibility.

The conversation schedule is as follows:

A suggested reading list of five resources selected by Oppermann and Cayley is included in the playbill to provide audience members with opportunities for further personal research around truth and reconciliation.

In the lobby of the theatre is a display of Oppermann’s program notes plus a visual timeline of examples of truth and reconciliation efforts prior to and after the time period of the play.

A portion of the grant allows WAM Theatre to offer subsidized tickets to its partner organizations including the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Multicultural BRIDGE, the Rites of Passage and Empowerment for Girls program, the Elizabeth Freeman Center, and Moments House.

“The Bakelite Masterpiece” runs at BTG’s Unicorn Theatre through Sunday, Oct. 23. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the BTG box office at (413) 997-4444.


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‘The Maine Coast’ art exhibit

'Sea Smoke,' oil on canvas, by Joyce Eames Steel.
‘Sea Smoke,’ oil on canvas, by Joyce Eames Steel.

Old Chatham, N.Y. — The Old Chatham Country Store and Café Gallery presents the work of artists Frank Curran and Joyce Eames Steel in the exhibit “The Maine Coast” through Wednesday, Nov. 30. An opening reception with the artists will be held on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 3 – 5 p.m.

Curran is a painter and printmaker whose work has been exhibited widely throughout Columbia County and western Massachusetts over the past 20 years. Curran enjoys challenges in his work and often uses archaic production techniques and equipment. He is represented by Studio 21 South in North Adams, Massachusetts and by the Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham. He lives and creates in Columbia County.

Steel began formal art training at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and holds a degree in design from Hartford Art School in Hartford, Connecticut. She taught art at Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, Massachusetts, in the 1970s, later worked as graphic designer for the Lakeville Journal (Connecticut), and was the director of development and marketing for High Watch Farm in Kent, Connecticut. She now works from her studio in Waldoboro, Maine, and exhibits at Boothbay Region Arts Foundation, River Arts and Tidemark Gallery in Maine.

For more information, contact the Old Chatham Country Store at (518) 794-6227 or


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Fairview to offer program on mindful eating

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital will offer “Mindful Eating: An Effective Approach To Weight Loss,” an eight-week program that will be held on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., beginning on Thursday, Oct. 6. Robert Hoechster, RD, LDN, of Fairview’s Outpatient Nutrition Services will facilitate the program.

The Mindfulness Based-Eating Awareness Training program uses mindfulness, meditation, eating exercises, instruction and self-reflection to cultivate awareness and help repair the relationship an individual has with food. The program is modeled after mindfulness-based stress reduction practices that help treat stress, addictions, anger problems, relationship problems and more. The concepts and skills learned in the program are designed to empower an individual to make balanced food choices and to gain control of eating and weight.

The program will be held on the Thursdays of Oct. 6, 13, 20, and 27; Nov. 3 and 10; and Dec. 1 and 8. For more information or to register, call Robert Hoechster at (413) 854-9661.


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Olana to present ‘Stories from the Field’

Hiking at Olana.
Hiking at Olana.

Hudson, N.Y. — The Olana Partnership will host the second lecture in its Preserving Olana: Stories from the Field series on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 3 – 5 p.m.

The free lecture/hike will focus on Olana’s landscape preservation and the laborious and creative steps taken to restore and preserve the land and viewshed around Olana. The tour will be led by Daniel Seymour, RLA, senior landscape architect, and Trevor Saksa, LEED AP junior landscape architect, of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Taconic Region, as well as senior Olana staff.

For more information or to pre-register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Olana’s education department at (518) 828-1872 x105.



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