The Berkshires is world-renowned for its vibrant arts and culture scene, making up part of this scene are our fantastic performing arts venues. The quality of the performances in the Berkshires rivals those in New York City and other major metropolitan hubs. Today, we’d like to take a moment and thank those who make all this happen.
In the world of dance, Jacob’s Pillow is second to none and helming this illustrious dance company are Pamela Tatge and Andrea Sholler. Pamela is the Director of the company and Andrea is the General Manager. Pamela took over the company earlier this year after a long and distinguished tenure as the Director of Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts. Andrea began her career at “The Pillow” in the early 80s and returned to be the general manager last spring. With their years of experience in the cultural field and passion for The Pillow, we can’t wait to see what happens next year as the Festival celebrates their 85th anniversary season.
One of our most well-known theater companies, the Berkshire Theatre Group is led by Kate Maguire. Kate has been the artistic director and CEO since before the merger between the Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Colonial Theatre in 2010. This merger has not only been a success but has also meant more opportunities to focus on a wider variety of performances and increasing attendance, both of which they have done very well.
Julianne Boyd at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is a leader who continues to foster economic development in the region. Since 1995, Julianne has helped turn a small theater company into an award-winning production house with multiple stages and a number of high-quality educational programs. She has been very active in both the theater world and our local community for years. Their recent expansion on North Street is just one more example of how “Creativity Lives Here.”
Up north at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Mandy Greenfield became Artistic Director in 2013 after years of experience with Off-Broadway plays and musicals in New York City. For the past three years, she has ensured that the company continues to produce high-quality plays that have entertained thousands of patrons and continue the reputation of excellence that propels the summer Berkshire theater scene.
Leading the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington for the past decade is Beryl Jolly, Executive Director. Beryl has made the Mahaiwe one of the best theaters in our area and has ensured it offers year-round programming. She is a highly visible and dedicated leader in the area with a strong voice advocating for the arts in the Berkshires. She works tirelessly to foster a better collaboration between all the non-profit organizations in the region.
Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM Theatre’s co-founder and artistic director, is another that deserves recognition. Since its inception in 2010, WAM Theatre has aimed to create professional theatrical events for everyone, utilizing female actors and performing only plays written by women. WAM maintains a focus on women theater artists and/or stories of women and girls. Under Kristen’s leadership, WAM Theatre has donated more than $20,000 to organizations that help make better lives for women and girls across the globe.
Also in the region, in Chatham, NY, is Lynne Haydn, the co-founder, artistic director, and producer at the Mac-Haydn Theatre. Lynne and Linda MacNish established the theatre 48 years ago as a place for young hopefuls to gain experience in musical theatre. She has been deeply involved in the cultivation of talent and production of many amazing performances, including a few she starred in.
These are just a few of the many women who make the arts and culture scene in the Berkshires world-class and we thank them for their hard work and dedication! We aren’t the only ones honoring Berkshire women in theater. Read the Boston Globe article for more on this subject >>