Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pittsfield Shakespeare In The Park

Free Shakespeare Coming to Pittsfield's Springside Park this JulyChallenge Grant for Crowdfunding Campaign Announced

"Here's a marvelous convenient place...this green plot shall be our stage." — Peter Quince, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pittsfield, MA — The Office of Cultural Development and Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park announced today the launch of an exciting new initiative to provide free outdoor theatre in the City of Pittsfield.
The inaugural production of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park will be Shakespeare's magical and spirited A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by local actor, director and theatre teacher Enrico Spada and featuring a varied cast of 20 actors, including local professionals, community members, and youth from nearby schools. The lead sponsor is Berkshire Money Management , with generous support provided by Berkshire Bank, the Pittsfield Cultural Council, and a variety of local businesses and initiatives, and in-kind support from the City of Pittsfield and Barrington Stage Company.
"I'm so pleased that Pittsfield's growing array of cultural offerings now includes a fully staged and free production of Shakespeare in one of our beautiful parks." said Mayor Dan Bianchi. "Everyone in our community, without exception, can enjoy great outdoor theatre this summer."
"It's been my dream for a long time to bring a Boston- or NYC-style 'Shakespeare in the Park' production to the Berkshires, and Pittsfield is exactly the right place for it,” says director/producer Enrico Spada. "With the support of the City of Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development, we'll be able to provide the residents of Pittsfield and beyond with a NO-cost-of-entry cultural event right in their backyard, while giving more of our local actors and youth a chance to practice their art.”
"Shakespeare in the outdoors is not only a wonderful addition to park programming, but to the cultural scene of Pittsfield,” said Joe Durwin, president of the Friends of Springside Park.
The production is scheduled to open on July 17, following Pittsfield's 3rd.Thursdays street festival that evening, and runs Thursdays–Sundays at 8pm for eight performances ending July 27. Admission is free. Family-oriented Shakespeare workshops will be led by the actors before select performances.

Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park also announced they are launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campagn, believed to be the first in Pittsfield for a local cultural initiative. Lead sponsor Berkshire Money Management has offered a challenge grant, generously offering to match the first $5,000 raised in the campaign if $5,000 in donations are received within the first ten days.
"At Berkshire Money Management we support the arts for the sake of art; we also support the arts because they create vibrancy and economic growth in our communities, which benefits our bottom line. We hope other businesses and individuals will step up and join us in supporting this new initiative." stated Allen Harris, President and Chief Investment Officer for Berkshire Money Management.
Local artists and businesses have also provided an array of thank you gifts for donors, from colorful upcycled totes from Blue Q to one-of-a-kind handcrafted upcycled picnic blankets created by Crispina ffrench.
"It's wonderful to see how local artists and businesses are generously supporting Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park. It epitomizes the collaborative spirit here, and reflects real excitement about this new project." noted Megan Whilden, Director of Cultural Development, City of Pittsfield.
Other thank you gift donors to the Indiegogo campaign include artist Michael Vincent Bushy, who will create a limited edition print inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, and gift certificates and a picnic tote from Guido's Fresh Marketplace.
The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launches Wednesday, March 25 with a goal of raising $25,000 in 40 days to cover the costs of the 2014 season of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park.
To make an online tax-deductible contribution to Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park via the Indiegogo campaign beginning Wednesday, March 25, visit http://www.pittsfieldshakespeare.org. For more information about sponsorship opportunities for businesses, contact Enrico Spada at enrico@pittsfieldshakespeare.org. Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Auditions will be held on Saturday, April 12 from 10am-4pm at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts (28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield). Local actors and students aged 7 and up are encouraged to audition. For info and audition scenes, visit www.pittsfieldshakespeare.org. Email enrico@pittsfieldshakespeare.org for an appointment.

Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park founder and director Enrico Spada holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre & Education, and for the past 8 years has taught, directed and performed at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. He has directed in their Fall Festival of Shakespeare high school residency program for seven years, plus other K-12 residency programs. Enrico also served as Marketing Manager and then Marketing Director at Shakespeare & Company for several years and also runs his own business as a freelance graphic designer and director of a small co-working community in Lenox.

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