Evelyn Mahon and Nicole Jones from Mount Greylock Regional High School will reprise their roles from 'Guys and Dolls' onstage at The Colonial with more than 100 other high school students on May 2.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Getting from Mount Greylock Regional School in Williamstown to Mount Everett Regional School in Sheffield is a 45-mile, hourlong drive.
So it's no wonder that people from Williamstown don't get to see Mount Everett's performances, or people from North Adams don't get to see Monument Mountain's performances. The Berkshires, after all, is not all just around the corner.
But on Friday, May 2, the Colonial Theatre is changing the equation by inviting more than 100 students from eight Berkshire County high schools to perform all together on a professional stage. And inviting the public to watch the 10-minute segments each school will revive from their spring musical.
It's a giant encore — hence the name of the event which will be held at 7 p.m.: "Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals."
The performance is being directed by Travis Daly, Berkshire Theatre Group's associate artist in education. Daly said the idea of the show came from Monument Mountain seniors Isabel Costa and Caroline Mack, who are interning at The Colonial and had performed in that school's production of "Into the Woods." Daly immediately thought it would be a great way to bring together students from different schools.
"A lot of them can't travel around to see each other's shows," he said.
Daly said he envisions this event offering up the Colonial as kind of a "docking station" for students from all over the country to share their experiences with each other.
"For them it's more of a chance to have community," he said. "It's about the students seeing each other's work."
The eight schools participating are Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, Miss Hall's School, Monument Mountain, Mount Everett, Mount Greylock, Pittsfield High, Taconic High and Wahconah Regional. Performances include "Cats," "Grease" and many other fun musical selections. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online.
Jeff Welch, who directed the spring performance of "Guys and Dolls" at Mount Greylock, said his two leading ladies — sophomore Nicole Jones and senior Evelyn Mahon — are excited to give their encore performances.
"They are really chomping at the bit to reprise their roles," he said.
Daly said he hopes this performance will be the first of many "Encore" performances.
"Hopefully, it's the first annual," he said. "There's room to grow."