Spencertown Academy Arts Center will welcome the Nields Saturday, Jan. 18. Photo courtesy Spencertown Academy Arts Center

Bits & Bytes: The Nields at Spencertown Academy; Winter Play Reading Festival; Beth Robbins at Hevreh; snowshoe hikes

Spencertown Academy to welcome the Nields

Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s Roots & Shoots Concerts series will welcome folk-pop duo the Nields Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m.

Sisters Nerissa and Katryna Nields are well into their third decade as musical partners. They have released 17 albums; had major and independent record and publishing deals; and performed with the likes of the Band, James Taylor, Dan Zanes, 10,000 Maniacs, the Indigo Girls and others. Their most recent album, “XVII,” is about the lessons the Nields hope to have learned by midlife: accepting the passage of time and the choices they’ve made, and being thankful for moments of grace.

Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Academy members and $10 for students. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact Spencertown Academy Arts Center at (518) 392-3693 or info@spencertownacademy.org.


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Shakespeare & Company to present Winter Play Reading Festival

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company will present its Winter Play Reading Festival Saturday, Jan. 18, and Sunday, Jan. 19, in its Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. The weekend of staged readings will showcase emerging and established playwrights, and feature Company artists.

Festival titles include the dark comedy “The Norwegians” by C. Denby Swanson; “The Price” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller; the critically acclaimed “Five Mile Lake” by Rachel Bonds; “When We Were Young and Unafraid” by Golden Globe Award-winning Sarah Treem; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Water By the Spoonful” by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Each reading will be followed by a talkback with the artists.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. For tickets and a complete lineup of festival offerings, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Shakespeare & Company box office at (413) 637-3353.


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Author Beth Robbins to discuss new book

Beth Robbins. Photo courtesy Keats & Company Publishers

Great Barrington — On Thursday, Jan. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m., author Beth Robbins will join Rabbi Neil Hirsch at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire for a reading of and conversation about her new book, “A Grief Sublime.” Light refreshments will be served.

After the sudden death of her husband of nearly 30 years, Steve “Sproutman” Meyerowitz, Robbins turned to writing for comfort — and to Keats, Whitman, Melville, and Dickinson. What began as a mourning rite for a grieving widow eventually transformed into a lyrical memoir of childhood, marriage, grief and, ultimately, resurrection.

“The fragmentation, or, perhaps better said, the shattering of my world led me to look for conversation, reconnection, dialogue,” says Robbins. “’My poets,’ as I began to call them, offered me solace. They spoke to meaning and purpose. Somehow Steve’s death allowed me to (re)discover my strength.”

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact info@keatsandcompanypublishers.com or Hevreh at (413) 528-6378.


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Tamarack Hollow to offer snowshoe hikes

Windsor — Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center will host snowshoe hikes Sunday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its spruce-fir boreal forests. Participants will learn about the ecology of the upper elevations of Massachusetts featuring balsam fir and red spruce trees, snowshoe hare and ruffed grouse tracks and other characteristics unique to higher elevations. This moderate trek is approximately 2 miles round-trip. The event is free and open to the public. Snowshoe rentals, if necessary, are available at Tamarack Hollow for $5 per pair. For more information, to reserve snowshoes or to register, contact aimee@gaiaroots.com.