Barrington Stage Company facts for kids
Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is a regional theatre company in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. It was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd, and former Managing Director Susan Sperber in Sheffield, Massachusetts. In 2004, BSC developed, workshopped and premiered the hit musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Following the successful Broadway run, which nabbed two Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Featured Actor, BSC made the move to a more permanent home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The company which was previously housed in the Consolati Performing Arts Center at Mount Everett High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, purchased and renovated the Berkshire Music Hall in downtown in 2005. The venue was renamed the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage after its renovation. The 520-seat Mainstage Theatre is now located at 30 Union Street. In 2012 the company purchased an old VFW building on Linden St in Pittsfield turning it into the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center . The Blatt Center includes the St. Germain Stage (formerly known as Stage 2) and a 99-seat space dubbed Mr. Finn's Cabaret. Additionally, the company acquired the Wolfson Theater Center which serves as the company's administrative offices and a rehearsal space in the center of the City of Pittsfield today.
The Mainstage Theatre
Originally named the Union Square Theatre, built 1912, the Mainstage theatre hosted vaudeville acts, stage shows, and eventually, silent pictures. In 1983, the venue became known as the Berkshire Public Theatre, which produced plays until 1994. In 1994 the space changed hands once again and became the Berkshire Music Hall.
When Barrington Stage Company purchased the building in 2005, the venue underwent a full renovation and became a 520-seat theater, opening its doors in the summer of 2006, under the name The Boyd-Quinson Mainstage.
Dedication to New Works
In addition to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, many other new works have seen their world premieres at BSC. As of 2020, BSC has produced 36 pieces of new work, including 19 of which that moved to New York stages in some capacity.
In 2003, BSC produced The Game, a musical based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Additionally, Mark St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee and Freud's Last Session, are all plays that were initially produced at BSC which transferred to New York for Off-Broadway runs. In 2016, Barrington Stage Company premiered Christopher Demos-Brown's American Son which later transfered to Broadway and became a Netflix film.
The Burman New Play Award
In 2018 the Burman New Play Award was established. This award is given to emerging playwrights for unproduced full length works. Past Grand Prize winners include Stacey Rose’s America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of the American Negro, and Daniella De Jesus's Get Your Pink Hands off Me Sucka and Give Me Back.
Musical Theatre Lab
Created in 2006 by Artistic Director Julianne Award and Tony-award winner composer William Finn, the Musical Theatre Lab (MTL) is a place for young musical theatre writers to develop their work from an early reading to full productions. As of 2020, it has produced six workshops and eleven world premiere musicals.
Many of the new musicals have gone on to a life after Barrington Stage. The Burnt Part Boys ( Chris Miller and Nathan Tyson) was produced at Playwrights Horizons and Funked Up Fairy Tales (Krisitn Childs) continued to be developed at the Sundance Institute. Calvin Berger (Barry Wyner) was produced at George Street Playhouse, and See Rock City or Other Destinations (Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias) and The Memory Show (Zach Redler and Sara Cooper) were later produced by The Transport Group. Southern Comfort (Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis) moved to the Public Theatre
Additionally, Robert Maddock and Joe Iconis's The Black Suits received a workshop production in 2012 before its world premiere at Center Theatre Group. And Iconis worked with Barrington Stage Company on a new musical once again in 2016 on Broadway Bounty Hunter, written by Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin and Jason 'SweetTooth' Williams, which was later produced Off-Broadway.
BSC won the Elliot Norton/Boston Theatre Critics Award in its inaugural year for The Diary of Anne Frank. In its third year it won two Elliot Norton/Boston Theatre Critics Awards and four Outer Critics Awards for its production of Cabaret, which transferred to Boston for an extended run at the Hasty Pudding Theatre.
Mark St Germain's Freud's Last Session, starring Mark H. Dold and Martin Rayner, became BSC's longest running show, playing 61 performances over two summers and multiple extensions, prior to its 2 year Off Broadway run. Mark's Dr. Ruth All the Way, starring Debra Jo Rupp, played to sold out houses at BSC before it moved Off Broadway renamed Becoming Dr. Ruth.
Other critically acclaimed productions at BSC include:
- Follies, starring Donna McKechnie, Kim Crosby, Leslie Denniston, Jeff McCarthy and Lara Teeter (2005)
- On the Town, starring Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Clyde Alves, Elizabeth Stanley and Alysha Umphress (2013), moved to Broadway in 2014
- Breaking the Code, starring Mark H. Dold (2014)
- the world premiere of Dancing Lessons, starring John Cariani and Paige Davis (2014)
- the world premiere of American Son, starring Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden (2016), moved to Broadway in 2018
- Pirates of Penzance starring Will Swenson, Scarlett Strallen, Kyle Dean Massey and David Garrison (2016)
- Company starring Aaron Tveit (2017)
- West Side Story, starring Tyler Hanes, Sean Ewing, Will Branner, Addie Morales and Skyler Volpe (2018)
- Mark H. Dold
- Gretchen Egolf
- Alan H. Green
- Christopher Innvar
- Jeff McCarthy
- Debra Jo Rupp
- Elizabeth Stanley
- Alysha Umphress
- Peggy Pharr Wilson
- Musical Directors
- Darren R. Cohen
- Vadim Feichtner
- Joe Calarco
- John Rando
- Press Directors
- Charlie Siedenburg
- Casting Directors
- Pat McCorkle
- Jennifer Caprio
- David Lander
- Scott Pinkey
- Brian Prather
- Sara Jean Tosetti
- Stage Managers
- Renee Lutz
- Joshua Bergasse
- Jeffrey Page
- Playwrights and Lyricists
- William Finn
- Joe Iconis
- Mark St. Germain
Barrington Stage Company Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.