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The Parks Commission responded favorably to the idea of outdoor performances.

Artist Looks to Launch Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park

By Joe DurwinPittsfield Correspondent
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A local actor is looking to bring Shakespeare to Pittsfield's parks next summer, with possible evening performances at Springside.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Lenox actor and businessman Enrico Spada is seeking to expand the Berkshires' seasonal theater offerings with a new series of free outdoor performances in Pittsfield planned for summer 2014.
 
The proposed "Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park," Spada told the city's Parks Commission on Tuesday, would include eight nights of quality professional theater under the stars tentatively scheduled for either July or August of the coming year.
 
"I think it's something that Pittsfield would benefit from," said Spada, "Especially the families that may not have the time or funds to get out to Barrington Stage or Shakespeare & Company."
 
Spada, who has worked for several years as marketing manager at Lenox's Shakespeare & Company as well as having his own graphic design business, says the idea is still in an "exploratory" phase, but has already enjoyed support from the city's Office of Cultural Development and the mayor. Shakespeare & Company has also given the idea its "blessing," a situation Spada said he hopes will eventually mature into deeper support and partnership*.
 
"Those are conversations that are ongoing, so we'll see how that pans out," he said.
 
Other support will also be needed, as the project has an estimated budget of $40,000, which the organizer will look to cover through the help of grants, local foundations, donors and other fundraising efforts.
 
In addition to paying actors, these funds will defray the costs of sound and lighting equipment, set design, costumes and a professional director and stage manager for the eight-show series.

Spada is considering nighttime performances at Springside Park, though he said other parks are also under consideration.

"The idea of having it under the stars at night ... creates more of a party, celebratory atmosphere," Spada told the Parks Commission.
 
Parks Recreation Coordinator Rebecca Tefft said the presentation was simply an initial advisory to the commission, and once more details were fleshed out the series would need to go through the customary process of permitting for park events.
 
"There's a lot more than just the Parks Commission involved in this," said Tefft. "Tonight was just proposing this to the commission to see what your thoughts were."
 
"It's a great idea," said commission member Clifford Nilan.
 
"Keep us updated," said commission Chair Dr. John Herman. "We'll want to know how it progresses."
 
*Clarification on Oct. 28, 2013: As stated in the article, Shakespeare & Company is endorsing the idea of public performances but other than that is not in any way affiliated with the initiative.

Tags: free theater,   parks commission,   public parks,   Shakespeare & Company,   Springside Park,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 18-24

The 15th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 20. The Dayramir Gonzalez Quartet will perform at Berkshire Museum on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be preceded by a wine bar that opens at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m., The Colonial Theatre will host legendary vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and her daughter, Veronica Swift, in a rare pairing. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will open.
 
 
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Follow the yellow brick road to A Night in Emerald City and help Berkshire County Kids' Place raise critical funds. Enjoy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and more, at the Country Club of Pittsfield. 5-8:30 p.m.
Plus... 
FRI MAD Crew Halloween Bash at The A | FRI The Equalites at The Colonial | FRI Story Slam (In a Slump) at Dottie's | FRI Andy Kelly at Bread & Roses Coffee House | FRI Pediatric Development Center Fundraiser w/Whiskey City at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Spanish Guitarist Ben Schmolze at Mission | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Sky Full of Dippers at Hotel on North | FRI Jay Boland at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese and Trees at Bousquet | SAT Generation X Rock at The A | SAT Lyndsay Anne at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Django's Reserve at Mission | SAT Desserts & Live Music w/Hannah Bourdon at Dottie's | SUN Eagles Small Ensembles Concert at First United Methodist | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow THU Comedian Gus Constantellis at The Colonial THU Haunted Hancock at Hancock Shaker Village THU Arrowhead After Dark | THU Throwback Thursday at Uncorked | THU Jim Witherell at Proprietor's Lodge | THU The Picky B's at Mission
 
FAMILY FRIENDLY
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