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Are We There Yet?: What fools these mortals be!
By Rebecca Dravis On: 10:57PM / Thursday April 03, 2014
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I've got Shakespeare on my mind.

First, the Bard's birthday is coming up, and I always remember it because it's close to mine. His is April 23, mine is April 26. Of course, his birth was 450 years ago, so he's got a few years on me. (Not that I'm telling how many!)

Second, I just signed my daughter up for a session of the Riotous Youth camp at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. She did a session last summer and loved it, and I have to admit it was pretty funny hearing a monologue from "Twelfth Night" coming out of the mouth of a 7-year-old.

Third, since said daughter has been bitten by the Shakespeare bug, she also is auditioning for the new "Shakespeare in the Park" series at Springside Park in Pittsfield this summer. If she ends up in the play it would be particularly meaningful for me, as I grew up in Pittsfield, across the street from Springside Park, and spent many happy and carefree hours frolicking in the park.

And fourth, Shakespeare is my family fun pick of the weekend. Because yes, Shakespeare and kids can and do go together.

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is kicking off a run of its annual “Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World” event at 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 5. This is a whirlwind tour through the life, times and work of the Bard that features six actors, a few props, a truck-load of historical information, popular misinformation and scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. This hysterical, fast-paced presentation is designed to introduce kids and adults to Shakespeare through his stories, characters and words—with a bit of sword-fighting and clowning thrown in for good measure.

All “Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World” presentations are followed by a hands-on workshop during which audience members will get their own shot at playing with scenes from "A Midsummer Nights Dream" - which incidentally is the play my daughter will learn at Riotous Youth this summer and the play being performed at Shakespeare & Company.

My husband, daughter and I went to see “Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World” two years ago when my daughter was 6, and she loved it, though I think older kids get a little more out of it. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, with a maximum admission fee of $30 per family (up to six people per family discount). Tickets are available the day of the presentation, or in advance from the box office at 413-637-3353 or shakespeare.org.

Shakespeare not your thing? Sorry to hear that - but Saturday morning is the first Saturday of the month, which means its Kids Workshop Day at Home Depot, meaning you can take the kids to the Pittsfield or Bennington, Vt., between 8 a.m. and noon to let them hammer away at a cool project. There are also a couple of high school musicals this weekend that should be lively enough to entertain the kids: "Grease" at Mt. Everett and "Dames at Sea" at Wahconah Regional. 

And maybe, just maybe, this will be the first weekend of real spring weather ... so get out and enjoy it!

“Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;

Four nights will quickly dream away the time.” 

 

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.



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Are We There Yet?: Take Comfort in the Community
By Rebecca Dravis On: 10:43PM / Thursday March 27, 2014
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When my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010 and then another rare autoimmune disease last fall, several well-meaning people said to me, "It could be worse. At least it's not cancer."

I know how much it hurts to hear that, because when you're in the middle of a personal crisis, it doesn't really matter if it could actually be worse. It's bad enough in that moment.

So I won't say that to the hundreds of people who have lost their jobs with the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital, and their families, who now face an incredibly uncertain future. I know they are all hurting right now. All I can do is offer some fun ways to encourage community spirit with the family.

So how about some puppets?

MCLA Presents! is offering up the latest event in its inaugural MCLA Puppet Fest this weekend. On Saturday, March 29, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m., puppeteers Dan Froot and Dan Hurlin will perform "Who's Hungry" at the Puppet Lab at Gallery 107 at 107 Main St. in North Adams. "Who's Hungry" features an all-star cast of actors, dancers and puppeteers  following the lives of five hungry residents of Santa Monica, Calif., to weave elements of those five life stories into a 55-minute theatrical spectacle featuring a variety of puppetry styles, high velocity dancing and spirited music. The audience is seated before a 24-foot dinner table, which transforms into a runway-style puppet stage. Admission is $10 and the show is most appropriate for tweens and pre-teens.

Have younger kids? Consider a pajama movie night screening of "Frozen" at the Mason Library on Friday night, March 28, at 6:15 p.m. (My daughter and I just can't get enough of this music, especially the music ... though I wish I could sing with more conviction that "the cold never bothered my anyway.") Or on Saturday, March 29, take kids 5 and up to a bat house-making workshop at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., Rene Laubach talk about bats in our area and their natural history before the workshop on building the house. The cost is $20 for adults and free for children; registration is required. Register by calling 413-637-0320. And on Sunday, March 30, Project Native will be showing the movie "Flight of the Butterflies" - in 3D! - at 10 a.m. at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington. Following the year-long annual migration cycle of the butterflies, the award-winning production team filmed hundreds of millions of monarchs in their remote overwintering sanctuaries in Mexico in 2011 and again in 2012 and also along their migratory routes from Canada, across the United States and into Mexico. How cool is that? Even cooler, admission is free.

One more thing to mention, if you're in the mood to help out those people who actually do have cancer: Moments House is hosting its fourth annual Slice of Life Pizza Competition at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Come sample pizza from all over the county and vote on your favorites. Awards will be given to Best Crust, Best Sauce, Most Unique Pizza and Best Overall Pizza in Berkshire County. Adults are $25 at the door and children are $7 at the door (4 and under are free).

Take strength in the community right now. We're all in this together.

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.



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Are We There Yet?: March starts off with a whoosh
By Rebecca Dravis On: 08:00AM / Friday February 28, 2014
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The town of Adams is throwing a party, and you are all invited.
Adams is known for its awesome affairs, like the Susan B. Anthony Street Fair to the Fall Run party to the Columbus Day RambleFest extravaganza. So this weekend's shindig - ThunderFest at the Adams Visitors Center on Saturday, March 1 - should be no different.
ThunderFest is a celebration in honor of the Thunderbolt Ski Race, which happens at 11 a.m. First, a word on the ski race itself: The Thunderbolt Trail was originally cut in 1934 and the annual race in the 1930s and 1940s attracted world-class skiers and Olympians. A few years ago the trail and race were restored, and this year, 120 skiers and snowboarders will hike to the summit of Mount Greylock and take a wild ride back down. Specators are more than welcome; visit here for the rules: http://thunderboltskirun.com/spectators.
After the race - or even if the race itself doesn't happen because of lack of snow (insert crazy laughter here) - the party will go on from noon to 5 p.m. and will feature food, music, a campfire to warm up to and activities for the kids provided by the Adams Youth Center. For all the details, click here: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderFestAdams.
If that gets you in the mood for celebrations of winter sports (or if you are suffering from Olympic withdrawal) head up to the Peter Foote Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Rink in North Adams for Christmas Brook Figure Skating Club's annual show, titled "Skating Through the Golden Years." The show begins at 2:30 p.m. and features skaters from 3 to 16 years old. Admission is $6 for ages 3 and up.
I have one more Saturday event to mention, if you are looking for something that doesn't involve snow, ice or blades. How about a Rubik's Cube competition instead? Yes, that frustrating but addicing game from the 1980s has quite a following, including locally, where a Williamstown teenager has competed on the national level. In fact, it's this teen - Ric Donati - who is hosting the official competition at Goodrich Hall at Williams College. More than 40 people are slated to complete from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you just want to come and watch, there is no charge for spectators.  For a schedule of events, go to: http://union.cubingusa.com/williamswinter2014/schedule.php.
That's all I have for a pretty quiet first weekend of March. We're closing in on spring ... I promise!

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor for iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.



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Are We There Yet?: Is It Spring Yet?
By Rebecca Dravis On: 10:53AM / Friday February 21, 2014
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Are you there, God? It's me, Rebecca.

Please God, don't make it snow on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or any other school day before July. And please God, don't make it so cold that even if it's not snowing it hurts to go outside. Or raining so that everything turns to ice. Or all of the above. All at once. It's New England, after all.

Everything that can be done in the house has been done. Kids are stir crazy and cranky. Parents are short­-tempered  and cranky. If I have to watch another ice-­dancing routine on my living room floor, I'll be completely twizzled. If I have to play another game of "Operation," I'll need to be hospitalized.

I know, God, there are a few fun things to to do this weekend. The "Ten Days of Fun" imagination extravaganza continues daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Berkshire Museum, which is also hosting Berkshire Theater Group's performance of "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen at 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22 (berkshiremuseum.org). The play about a king who is so consumed with designer clothing that he thinks about nothing else in his kingdom sounds like fun, even though the only fashion I personally can wrap my head around right now is something, well, to wrap around my head. A hat. A scarf. Anything to keep the snow and rain and cold off of me.

Is there sleet in Heaven, God?

And I know, God, that there are two great (indoor) family fundraisers this weekend, and I do love a good cause, even though my favorite cause right now is Being OK With The 8­Year­Old Watching Eight Hours of Television Today, Tomorrow and the Next Day. Yes, we can go miniature golfing inside the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise money for the Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County (pittsfieldlibrary.org). And yes, we can go bowling at Greylock Bowl & Golf in North Adams on Sunday, Feb. 23, from 1 to 6 p.m. to raise money for Child Care of the Berkshires' Youth Mentoring Program (ccberkshire.org).

So I know, God, that's it's pretty selfish of me to complain that there's nothing to do and... That. We. Have. To. Get. These. Kids. Back. In. School.

Now.

Please!

Pretty please?

Surely, God, you can arrange so that spring come a little early to New England, can't you? I would really appreciate it.

From, your friend, Rebecca.

h the last few days of vacation!

Berkshire County native Rebecca Dravis of Williamstown is a former journalist who now works for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. She can be reached at rdravis@verizon.net.


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Are We There Yet?: Start Vacation With Indoor, Outdoor Options
By Rebecca Dravis On: 04:40AM / Friday February 14, 2014
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Another week, another snow day — or maybe even two.

How fabulous, right before February vacation.

Happy Valentine's Day to us!

We're now facing 10 days of sheer boredom... or, how about 10 Days of Play? For the second year, the Berkshire Museum is transforming its Crane Room into anything a child might imagine, using readily available and recyclable materials from cardboard to fabric and tape. Presented in partnership with the Transition Team of Pittsfield and Pop­-Up Adventure Play, this is the epitome of child­-directed play, something pretty much everyone agrees that today's kids don't get enough of. Haven't you ever been tempted to just throw your kids into a room with no screens, just lots of random stuff, and see what they can come up with? Here's your chance!

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Feb. 14 through Feb. 23 and is free with museum admission. For more information, visit berkshiremuseum.org.

That is my definite stay-inside choice for the weekend and upcoming vacation week. But if you are game for going outside, consider a North County tradition: Winter Fest in downtown North Adams on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature ice sculpting, music, pony rides, a fun run/walk at 10:30 a.m., the annual Chowder Cook­-Off from noon to 2 p.m., horse­-drawn wagon rides and more. It's a fun day out for the whole family... even though the weather forecast right now shows a high of only 20 degrees. Or maybe the cold is a good thing for Winter Fest. It depends on how you look at it, I guess! For more details and a specific schedule of events, click here.

And if you're looking for more vacation week fun, beyond the Berkshire Museum, check out another area museum: the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. They are running drop-­in workshops in which all ages can explore how the art of Norman Rockwell, Ruth Sanderson, and Wendell Minor tell stories in pictures, and create artworks in mixed media that express their own ideas. These run from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and are free with museum admission. For more details, visit nrm.org.

Stay warm, stay sane ... and I'll be back next week with some ideas on making it through the last few days of vacation!

Berkshire County native Rebecca Dravis of Williamstown is a former journalist who now works for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. She can be reached at rdravis@verizon.net.


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Page 6 of 31 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11 ... 31  
News Headlines
Pittsfield Weighs Construction Manager Model For New Taconic
Backstop Repairs Drain Last of Pittsfield's Bossidy Funds
Berkshire Battalion Loses Second Straight
McCann Students Lauded for Leadership & Skill Building
BU Looking For More Use of Tanglewood Campus
Battalion Falls at Danville
Berkshire County Arc Receives Workplace Wellness Grant
Cultural Pittsfield This Week:Dec. 19-Jan. 4
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held at New Williamstown Senior Housing
Shakespeare In the Park Will Resume At Pittsfield Common

 




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