Artwork by Lee Middle and High School students, which will be shown during a virtual art reception Wednesday, June 3. (See item below) Images courtesy Lee Middle and High School

Bits & Bytes: ‘Inside the Bolshoi Ballet’; TINA TALKS; Live Out Loud workshop; Wildcat Art Gallery reception; BCD graduation

Over six weeks, Tina Packer will discuss how Shakespeare's plays reveal underlying messages and major questions that interested him as well as how his ability as a dramatist allowed him to express ideas in action as well as words.

Virtual conversation to discuss history of the Bolshoi Ballet

Marina Harss. Image courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington — On Sunday, June 7, at 5:30 p.m., the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present via Zoom “Inside the Bolshoi Ballet,” a conversation with dance writer Marina Harss and Jacob’s Pillow director of preservation Norton Owen.

Harss’ current work on her book about choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who was director of the Bolshoi Ballet from 2004 to 2008, has provided her with rare behind-the-scenes access to the Bolshoi. The informal conversation will explore her insights and address questions from the audience.

Norton Owen. Photo: Bill Wright

Harss is a writer, journalist and critic based in New York City, writing on all aspects of dance and occasionally on opera. Her writing appears regularly in the New York Times, the New Yorker, DanceTabs.com, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine. Curator, writer and archivist Owen has been associated with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for more than 40 years, where, as director of preservation, he oversees projects involving documentation, exhibitions, audience engagement and archival issues as well as the online archives and podcasts.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information, or to register, email rsvp@mahaiwe.org with “Inside the Bolshoi” in the subject line.

–E.E.

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Shakespeare & Company to introduce TINA TALKS webinar series

Tina Packer. Photo courtesy Shakespeare & Company

Lenox — On Thursday, June 4, at 2 p.m., Shakespeare & Company will introduce TINA TALKS, a webinar series hosted by founding artistic director Tina Packer.

Over six weeks, Packer will discuss how Shakespeare’s plays reveal underlying messages and major questions that interested him as well as how his ability as a dramatist allowed him to express ideas in action as well as words. Each week, Packer will look at the plays through a different lens: Philosophical, Political, Psychological, Physical, Poetical and Personal. The first webinar looks at the philosophical.

The webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Shakespeare & Company at (413) 637-3353.

–E.E.

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BCC to host Live Out Loud workshop with Ann Northrop

Ann Northrop. Photo courtesy gayusatv.org

Pittsfield — On Friday, June 5, at 2 p.m., Berkshire Community College will present a Live Out Loud workshop with LGBTQAI+ activist and “Gay USA” co-host Ann Northrop via Zoom.

Northrop was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Live Out Loud Community Conference. During the virtual workshop, Northrop will talk about her actions battling homophobia on the front lines of the current pandemic with the Reclaim Pride Coalition COVID-19 Response Working Group.

In 1988, Northrop joined the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power in New York City. She became involved in demonstrations and was arrested approximately two dozen times for civil disobedience. In December 1989, Northrop participated in ACT UP’s “Stop the Church” protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. In 1996, Northrop became a co-host of the television news program Gay USA, which presented news devoted to in-depth coverage of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, contact Jonah Sykes at jsykes@berkshirecc.edu by Wednesday, June 3.

–E.E.

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Wildcat Art Gallery to host virtual reception celebrating school-aged artists

Lee — The Wildcat Art Gallery, which displays art by students in the portfolio studio class at Lee Middle and High School, will host a reception Wednesday, June 3, from 10 to 11 a.m. via Zoom. Attendees to the reception will be able to visit with the student artists, comment on their art and congratulate them on their successful series of work.

The event is free and open to the public. Participants may drop in at any time throughout the reception; it is not necessary to stay for the entire hour. For more information, contact Nicole Webster Clark of the Lee Middle and High School art department at niclark@leepublischools.net.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Country Day School to hold socially distanced graduation ceremony

Jenifer Fox. Photo courtesy Berkshire Country Day School

Stockbridge — On Saturday, June 6, Berkshire Country Day School will hold a graduation ceremony for its ninth- and eighth-grade classes. The socially distanced ceremony will include a driving cavalcade of students and families hailed by all faculty and staff of the school on the school grounds, and a video for each student with pre-filmed personal speeches made by graduates and messages from their teachers.

Head of School Jenifer Fox noted: “Life is recalled in memories of moments that have ignited our emotions, or presented a novelty that jolts us from our everyday experience. I certainly believe when these graduates have children of their own, they will be able to clearly describe that one time when they graduated from Berkshire Country Day and how different it was from every other graduation in history. I know I won’t ever forget it.”

BCD graduates will attend the following schools in 2020-21: Miss Hall’s School, Emma Willard School, Berkshire School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, New Lebanon Junior/Senior High School, Central High School and Monument Mountain Regional High School.

–E.E.