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Business Briefs: Lifetime achievement award for Packer; new play program at Chester Theatre Company; grant for Berkshire Humane Society; Meczywor named Balance Rock partner

This marks the first commission in what the organization sees as a new artistic initiative to consistently develop original works that will appear on its stage and have life in other theaters beyond western Massachusetts.

Tina Packer receives lifetime achievement award from Shakespeare Theatre Association

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company has announced that founding artistic director Tina Packer was honored by the Shakespeare Theatre Association with its Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award while attending the 2019 STA conference in Prague. The award honors STA members who have made and are still making significant contributions to the field of Shakespearean theater.

Packer has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays, acted in eight of them, and taught the whole canon at more than 30 colleges including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University. At Columbia University, she taught in the MBA program for four years, which resulted in the publication of “Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management” with professor John Whitney for Simon & Schuster. For Scholastic, she wrote “Tales from Shakespeare,” a children’s book that received a Gold Medal Award. Packer’s book “Women of Will” was recently published by Knopf, and she has been performing “Women of Will” with Nigel Gore in New York, Mexico, England, the Hague, China, and across the U.S. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Commonwealth Award.


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Chester Theatre Company announces new play program

Darcy Parker Bruce. Photo courtesy Chester Theatre Company

Chester — Chester Theatre Company has announced a new play program, underwritten by a $100,000 gift from longtime attendees Frances Henry and Walter Korzec. Playwright Darcy Parker Bruce has been selected to author the new work, tentatively slated for the 2020 season. This marks the first commission in what the organization sees as a new artistic initiative to consistently develop original works that will appear on its stage and have life in other theaters beyond western Massachusetts.

The play will deal with the topic of childhood sexual abuse. Co-commissioner Henry is the founder and former executive director of Stop It Now!, an organization that, since 1992, prevents child sexual abuse by helping adults to recognize and to talk about warning signs and risk factors.

Bruce is a graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Smith College and is currently on faculty at several Connecticut colleges teaching playwriting and theater activism. She was the recipient of a 2017 Tennessee Williams Scholarship through the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and was recently granted the Association for Theatre in Higher Education‘s 2018 Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Theater, which brought her play “Soldier Poet” to Boston. She has been commissioned through Exquisite Corpse Company and the Navigators Theater Company.


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Berkshire Humane Society receives grant

Pittsfield — Berkshire Humane Society has received a grant for $18,000 from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s License Plate Program to continue providing low-cost spay/neuter services for cats and dogs in Berkshire County. The grant, which was funded in the fall of 2018, made BHS’ “100 Cats for Christmas” program possible. A portion of the grant has been awarded to Animal DREAMS for its feral and community cat spay/neuter efforts, and the remaining funds will support BHS’ Be Hip & SNIP Your Dog.

Be Hip & SNIP Your Dog serves dog owners who are Berkshire residents and in financial need. The program provides low-cost spaying or neutering for approximately 50 dogs and puppies aged three months and older. Participants purchase vouchers at either the main shelter in Pittsfield or Bark N’ Cat in North Adams. Dog owners must schedule the surgery with an approved veterinarian by Tuesday, April 30, and submit the voucher on the day of the surgery.


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Jonathan Meczywor named partner at Balance Rock Investment Group

Jonathan Meczywor. Photo courtesy Balance Rock Investment Group

Pittsfield — Balance Rock Investment Group has announced the promotion of longtime advisor Jonathan Meczywor to vice president. While continuing his work as an advisor, as vice president, Meczywor will take a leadership role in planning and implementing strategies for the future growth of the firm, including hiring new team members to work with a growing client base.

Meczywor, who has over 12 years of industry experience, has been an advisor with Balance Rock since 2008. He specializes in retirement income planning, asset management, qualified retirement plans, and developing education savings strategies. After attending the University of Maine, he went on to earn his degree in business administration from Westfield State College. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 Securities registrations with LPL Financial along with health and life insurance licenses. In 2012, he earned the professional plan consultant designation from Robert Morris University. Meczywor was named to LPL’s Freedom Club in 2017 and 2018, a distinction based on an annual production ranking of approximately 16,000 registered LPL advisors nationwide.



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