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'Pasture-ized' Partners WTF, Cricket Creek Farm

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff
10:01PM / Thursday, August 07, 2014
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The PigPen Theatre Company, which is performing at Williamstown Theatre Festival, will also appear Sunday at Cricket Creek Farm.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Since he is a theater guy, it is not surprising that Eric Kerns evokes a playwright to explain the philosophy behind the Williamstown Theatre Festival's newest offering.
 
"Have you ever seen the movie 'State and Main' by David Mamet?" Kerns asked when talking about Sunday's concert at Cricket Creek Farm. "There is this great line where he says, 'When you live in a small town, you have to make your own fun.' And she says, 'If you don't make it yourself, it's not fun. It's entertainment.'
 
"We like to to think we do both here."
 
WTF, which has been entertaining summer audiences for decades, has invited families to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening at Cricket Creek to soak in the scenery, learn about the farm and have some fun while listening to contemporary folk music from PigPen Theatre Company.
 
The New York City-based theater troupe is in town to perform "The Old Man and the Old Moon" on the Nikos Stage at the '62 Center through Aug. 17. And for one night only, the versatile company is going to show its other side.
 
"In addition to being a theatrical performing ensemble, there's a band," said Kerns, WTF's director of marketing and development. "They tour as a band as well as doing these [stage] shows. We had seen them earlier this spring in Northampton at the Iron Horse. They talked about wanting to do a benefit concert for the theater while they were up here."
 
Kerns said WTF was intrigued but wanted to put a little space physical space between PigPen's two-week run on stage and the one-off concert.
 
The festival approached Cricket Creek, the grass-based dairy farm operating under a community-supported agriculture model on Oblong Road.
 
"We thought it was an awesome idea, and we're really excited," Cricket Creek Manager Topher Sabot said. "We're always looking for ways to get people out to the farm and enjoy the landscape.
 
"This is certainly a different type of event, which will be neat. We're not interested in being like a big venue for concerts all the time, but this fit in with what we're doing — a band with a name like PigPen and the local food component."
 
In addition to performances by PigPen and indie-rock star Mark Mulcahy, the event, dubbed "Pasture-ized," will showcase Dalton's Red Apple Butchers, Sheffield's Big Elm Brewing and Williamstown's Hops & Vines and Mezze — along with Cricket Creek artisanal cheeses, of course.
 
"We met with Cricket Creek early on and said, 'Who are the people who should be here?' " WTF Marketing and Development Associate Jennifer Crowell said. "It's restaurants who have partnered with us, people who buy Cricket Creek cheese and feature local products on their menu. It wasn't hard to come up with a good mix."
 
The music will start at about 6 p.m., but the event gets under way at 3:30. Because there is limited parking at the farm, attendees will park at Mount Greylock Regional School and travel by bus to Cricket Creek.
 
If there are tickets left, Kerns said they will be available for sale at the school, but space is limited and WTF is strongly encouraging advance purchases. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 7 to 18.
 
Kerns said ticket sales have been strong, and there has been an uptick in the last few days as the weather forecast has predicted sunny skies and highs in the low to mid-80s.
 
Cricket Creek's Sabot said the farm, which is attempting to establish a side business hosting weddings, has had crowds on the magnitude of the one expected Sunday but has not had an event quite like this. But he is aware of the Seeds of Harmony concert series at Lanesborough CSA Bradley Farm and could foresee Cricket Creek replicating Sunday's concert down the road.
 
"I think that is something we have thought about doing, and music is a nice complement to agriculture," Sabot said. "One of the nice things about working with the theater festival is they handled all the logistics.
 
"But there are so many great local and regional musicians out there. It would be a really neat thing to do."
Meanwhile, WTF, which is making an extra effort to market the total Williamstown experience this season, is happy to be able to showcase the local farm.
 
"We hope it paves the way for the future," Kerns said. "I think it's a great way to get people outside and show off the community and the environment.
 
"We're proud of the community we're in. If the show is attended by visitors to our community for whom we can open up a iwider fiew, that's great. But it's also for local folks to remind them that the theater festival is not just this thing that comes in and sets up shop for the summer and then leaves."
 
For tickets and information, call 413-597-3400 or visit wtfestival.org

Tags: CSA,   farming,   music,   WTF,   

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