Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Regional Updates
Click Here for More Articles on Regional Updates

Berkshire Theatre Group Announces 2021 Outdoor Summer Season Featuring Kelli O'Hara, Norm Lewis and More

Productions include The Importance Of Being Earnest directed by David Auburn, Nina Simone: Four Women starring Valisia LeKae, plus many more!

Berkshire Theatre Group Announces 2021 Outdoor Summer Season Featuring Kelli O'Hara, Norm Lewis and More

Berkshire Theatre Group has announced immersive outdoor experiences for summer 2021, with a casting sneak-peek. BTG will be releasing a complete season cast announcement at a later date. Berkshire Theatre Group will work in adherence with government guidelines and corresponding health and safety officials.


Maguire says, "Berkshire Theatre Group's vision is to be a center for creative work that enriches, invigorates, transforms, and strengthens our community for the better.
In 2020, we held tight to that vision. We worked hard, maintained strict safety protocols and became the only theatre in the country to provide live entertainment outdoors on multiple stages from July right through December, including Godspell, the first Equity approved musical."

Maguire continues, "In 2021, we will produce live theatre once again, creating immersive outdoor experiences on multiple stages in Pittsfield and Stockbridge. Each production and performance was selected with the setting in mind."

The Importance Of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde's much loved, exhilarating and enduring masterpiece will be set outside under a tent on a three quarter thrust stage. Surrounded by the bucolic grounds of Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, the production will be directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner David Auburn. According to Auburn, "BTG heroically and almost single handedly kept live, in-person theatre going during the pandemic with their (literally) ground-breaking outdoor productions of Godspell and Holiday Memories. This summer we are thrilled to continue this work with The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde's beloved 'trivial comedy for serious people.' We hope it will be a joyous show for newly hopeful times."

Nina Simone: Four Women is set in the fragments of a shattered world, audiences will be in the Courtyard surrounded by the gritty and historic Mellon Barn outdoors at Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge. The production will be directed by Gerry McIntyre and will feature Tony and Grammy Award nominee Valisia LeKae as Nina Simone. McIntyre says, "At a time when people are feeling the need to do something in our hurting world but don't know how to start, this production is an incredible reminder that you just need to take the first step. Or write the first note. Nina Simone: Four Women meditates on Nina Simone's transition from a singer to an activist. It also deals with issues of colorism among black women that aren't typically dealt with. The play will be performed outdoors, to add just another layer of purity and realness without limitations. I found from choreographing last summer's show Godspell that performing outdoors is a priceless experience that can never be duplicated!"

The Wizard of Oz welcomes back the well-loved community production and will be a reimagined musical adventure full of world travelers, festive carnivals and spectacular sideshows for families outside under the Big Tent on the grounds of Berkshire Theatre's Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. BTG's Administrative Director of Education, Allison Rachele Bayles says, "We are thrilled to be able to bring back theatre for families this summer with the production of The Wizard of Oz and our BTG PLAYS! summertime classes. When thinking about Oz, I am reminded about the fundamentals of what theatre can do for the community and our young people. We are reminded to have heart, support our friendships, have courage, and know that 'there is no place like home.'"


In addition to these productions, the Colonial Concert Series continues with evenings of unforgettable performances by Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26 at 7pm, and Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess) on Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 at 7pm. Kate Maguire says, "These intimate evenings of song will be enchanting under the Big Tent at the Colonial in Pittsfield. Last year's special evenings with The Naughton Family and Brian Stokes Mitchell were thrilling. When Brian Stokes Mitchell announced that the acoustics under the big tent were perfect, I thought, we are going to do this again!"

Stay tuned for more details about the fall and winter including: additional concerts at the Colonial, the warm and humorous play, Shirley Valentine, this fall in Stockbridge; and the Berkshire Theatre Group premiere of Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical at the Colonial this holiday season.

A portion of sales for the Tuesday performances of The Importance of Being Earnest and Nina Simone: Four Women; and the Saturday performance of Norm Lewis: In Concert will go to The Actors Fund and Black Theatre United.


Tickets for all of BTG's exciting summer season productions will be on sale Friday, April 2 at 10am. BTG is offering a 10% discount on tickets for all front line workers. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org or by calling (413) 997-4444. Ticket office hours are every day from 12pm-5pm, or on any performance day from 12pm until curtain.

BTG's Pittsfield Campus is located at 111 South Street, (Colonial Theatre/Colonial Big Tent) Pittsfield, MA. BTG's Berkshire Theatre Festival/Stockbridge Campus is located at 6 East Street, (Unicorn Theatre/Courtyard Outside the Unicorn) & 83 East Main Street, (Fitzpatrick Main Stage/Main Stage Tent) Stockbridge, MA.

In person ticket sales will resume in Pittsfield at The Colonial Theatre on April 19th and in Stockbridge at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage on June 7th.

2021 SUMMER SEASON

At Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge

Outside Under the Main Stage Tent

The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde

directed by David Auburn

at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage
Outside Under the Main Stage Tent


Previews: Friday, June 18 at 7pm
Press Night/Opening: Saturday, June 19 at 7pm
Closing: Saturday, July 10 at 7pm
Tickets: Preview: $50
Tickets: $75

ABOUT:

The Importance Of Being Earnest tells the story of two bachelor friends, dandy Algernon Moncrieff and reliable John (Jack) Worthing, as they take on double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and the romantic Cecily Cardew. But the gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse...and with the formidable Lady Bracknell. The results are a world filled with chaos, mistaken identity and uncontrollable laughter! Oscar Wilde's much loved, exhilarating and enduring masterpiece will be set outside under a tent on a three-quarter thrust stage. Surrounded by the bucolic grounds of Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, the production will be directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner David Auburn (Proof; BTG: The Skin of Our Teeth, The Petrified Forest).

Casting Sneak-Peek:

Featuring: David Adkins, Rebecca Brooksher, Shawn Fagan, Corinna May, Claire Saunders, Matt Sullivan, Mitchell Winter

BTG has announced a casting sneak-peek for The Importance of Being Earnest. A selection of the cast is as follows: David Adkins (BTG: The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?; The Petrified Forest) as Reverend Canon Chasuble; Rebecca Brooksher (Broadway: Burn This, The Real Thing; Off Broadway: Dying City; BTG: The Petrified Forest, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof) as Gwendolyn; Shawn Fagan (Off Broadway: Mint Theatre, Pearl Theatre; BTG: Petrified Forest; Regional: Arena Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ) as Algernon Moncrieff; Corinna May (Broadway/National Tour: The Graduate; BTG: Holiday Memories, Benefactors, Same Time, Next Year; Homestead Crossing, Two-headed) as Miss Prism; Claire Saunders (BTG: The Skin of Our Teeth; TV/Film: Modern Love, Law & Order: SVU, Tell Me a Story, The Good Cop, The Intern) as Cecily; Matt Sullivan (Off Broadway: The Roads to Home; BTG: The Skin of Our Teeth, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You) as Lane/Merriman, and Mitchell Winter (Off Broadway: Sleep No More; TV/Film: Oh Jerome, No; Mr. Robot; Regional: Yale Rep) as Jack Worthing. Complete casting will be released at a later date.

Nina Simone: Four Women

At The Unicorn Theatre

Outside in the Courtyard

by Christina Ham

directed by Gerry McIntyre

music direction by Danté Harrell

The Unicorn Theatre
Outside in the Courtyard

Preview: Friday, August 13 at 7pm
Press Night/Opening: Saturday, August 14 at 7pm
Closing: Sunday, September 5 at 2pm

Tickets: Preview: $50
Tickets: $75


ABOUT:

Nina Simone: Four Women imagines a conversation, often through music, between Simone and three African-American women. Set in the fragments of a shattered world, audiences will be in the Courtyard surrounded by the gritty and historic Mellon Barn outdoors at Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge. The production will be directed by Gerry McIntyre who choreographed last summer's hit Godspell and will feature Tony and Grammy Award Nominee Valisia LeKae (Broadway: Motown The Musical, Book of Mormon, Ragtime) as Nina Simone. In the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963, Nina Simone rocked the nation with "Four Women," her tribute in song to the four young girls lost in the tragedy. Scholar and artist Thulani Davis called the song "an instantly accessible analysis of the damning legacy of slavery, that made iconographic the real women we knew and would become."

Casting Sneak-Peek:

Featuring: Darlesia Cearcy, Adrianna Hicks, Sasha Hutchings, Valisia LeKae

BTG is proud to announce a casting sneak-peek for Nine Simone: Four Women. The cast is as follows: Darlesia Cearcy (Broadway: Once On This Island, Shuffle Along, The Color Purple; TV/Film: High Fidelity, Madame Secretary, FBI, and House of Cards) as Aunt Sarah; Adrianna Hicks (Broadway: SIX the Musical; The Color Purple, Aladdin) as Sweet Thing; Sasha Hutchings (Broadway: Oklahoma, Hamilton, My Fair Lady, Motown the Musical, Memphis; TV/Film: Run The World, Fosse/Verdon, The Bold Type, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Blue Bloods, The Dangerous Book for Boys, and SMASH) as Sephronia; and Tony and Grammy Award nominee Valisia LeKae (Broadway: Motown the Musical, The Book of Mormon, 110 in the Shade, Ragtime; TV/Film: The Blacklist , Blue Bloods, Live at the Lincoln Center (Camelot) and the 60th and 67th Annual Tony Awards; BTG: Rock & Roll Man) as Nina Simone.

The Wizard of Oz

At The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield

Outside Under the Big Tent

by Frank L. Baum

with music and lyrics of the

MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg

background music by Herbert Stothart

book adaptation by John Kane from the motion picture screenplay

directed by E. Gray Simons III
music direction by Jacob Kerzner

choreography by Isadora Wolfe


The Colonial Theatre
Outside Under the Big Tent

at The Colonial Theatre Parking LotPreview: Friday, July 23 at 7pm
Opening Night: Saturday, July 24 at 7pm
Closing: Sunday, August 15 at 2pm
Tickets: Adult: $50, Child (16 and Under): $25

ABOUT:
BTG's extensive education program is now serving 13,000 school children and this year our well-loved community production is back! Relive the classic tale of four unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime. Join America's original heroine Dorothy as she leads her friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow on a journey down the yellow brick road to the magical Emerald City. Set in Kansas during the 20th century, this brand new, reimagined musical adventure is full of world travelers, festive carnival's and spectacular sideshows for families outside under the Big Tent on the grounds of Berkshire Theatre's Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Featuring the classic songs, "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," The Wizard of Oz reminds us all, there really is no place like home.

Kelli O'Hara In-Person in the Berkshires

Colonial Concert Series
The Colonial Theatre
Outside Under the Big Tent

at The Colonial Theatre Parking Lot


Friday, June 25 at 7pm

Tickets: $100
Saturday, June 26 at 7pm, includes post-performance talkback

Tickets: $150

ABOUT:

Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara brings her glorious voice, irresistible stage appeal, and radiant personality to the Berkshires in an evening of personal favorite songs. Plus she'll share post-pandemic ponderings about the purpose and power of the arts and its resilient people.

BIO:

Stage and screen star Kelli O'Hara has established herself as one of Broadway's greatest leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Loenowens in The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics and Olivier Nominations. She reprised the role while making her West End debut, and performed a limited engagement at Tokyo's Orb Theatre. Kelli also received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series The Accidental Wolf. Other film and television credits include: Season 2 of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, All the Bright Places, Peter Pan Live!, Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese's The Key to Reserva, Showtime's Master of Sex, The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk. Other Broadway credits include Kiss Me Kate (Tony, Drama League, OCC nominations), The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work if You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula and Jekyll & Hyde. She was awarded the prestigious Drama League's Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in 2019. In 2015, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Lehar's The Merry Widow opposite Renee Fleming and returned as Despina in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte. Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS's live telecasts, The Kennedy Center Honors and performs often alongside The New York Philharmonic. Along with her two Grammy nominations, her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World, are available on Ghostlight Records. Next up, Kelli will star alongside Christina Baranski & Cynthia Nixon in HBO's new series The Gilded Age shooting in New York City this fall.

Norm Lewis: In Concert

Colonial Concert Series
The Colonial Theatre
Outside Under the Big Tent

at The Colonial Theatre Parking Lot

Friday, July 2 at 7pm

Tickets: $75
Saturday, July 3 at 7pm, includes post-performance talkback

Tickets: $125*

*A portion of sales for this performance will go to The Actors Fund and Black Theatre United

ABOUT:

SAG and Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis brings his glorious voice and ineffable charm and warmth to Berkshire Theatre Group. Star of Netflix and Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, Phantom Of The Opera, Les Miserables, Porgy & Bess, The Little Mermaid and more, Lewis is "among the most reliably impressive voices on Broadway" (NYT) and one of its most sought-after leading men. In an evening filled with the songs from roles that have brought him critical acclaim to unique takes on musical theatre standards, Lewis promises to leave audiences wanting more.

BIO:

Norm Lewis can currently be seen starring in the SAG, Critics Choice, and NAACP Image Award-nominated Netflix film Da 5 Bloods by Spike Lee and in the Hulu miniseries, Mrs. America. He was previously seen in the NBC television special, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. He recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In May of 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera's first African American Phantom on Broadway.

He has been seen on PBS in the Live From Lincoln Center productions of Showboat with Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, and New Year's Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, as well as American Voices with Renée Fleming and the PBS Special First You Dream-The Music of Kander & Ebb. He can be seen recurring in the VH1 series, Daytime Divas, also alongside Vanessa Williams. His additional television credits include Better Things, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bull, Chicago Med, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama Scandal.

Mr. Lewis is a proud founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization which stands together to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who's Tommy. In London's West End he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS.

Off-Broadway Mr. Lewis has performed in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park's The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. His regional credits include Porgy in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks. His additional film credits include Magnum Opus, Winter's Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences, and Preaching to the Choir. Norm's albums The Norm Lewis Christmas Album & This is The Life can be found on Amazon.com as well as cdbaby.com.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You