PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Julianne Boyd, founder and artistic director of the award-winning Barrington Stage Company, has announced plans to retire at the end of the 2022 season.
Under Boyd's leadership, BSC has produced 41 world premieres, 17 of which have moved on to New York or major regional theatre productions, including three on Broadway and 10 Off Broadway. It has been credited with helping to revitalize the downtown area and energizing the city's theatrical culture.
The board of trustees is conducting a national search for her successor, who will assume leadership next fall.
"Seeing Barrington Stage Company grow from humble beginnings to the vibrant institution it has become has been one of the greatest joys in my life," said Boyd. "I am proud of all we have accomplished — from producing innovative revivals to serving as an incubator of bold and challenging new plays and musicals. And just as important to me is the work we have done in the community, both in our educational programs and our productions — they have made a difference in the lives of youth and adults in Pittsfield and the larger Berkshire community. However, theaters need new blood, and after 27 years at the helm, I am ready — and excited — to support the next artistic director and the new era BSC will enter.
Marita Glodt, president of the board of trustees, said, "Julie's imprint on the city of Pittsfield and Berkshire County is part of her extraordinary legacy. Her commitment to community and the arts has been instrumental in shaping the Berkshires as a destination. The theater has flourished under her inspired leadership. We look forward to the 2022 season with Julie and to welcoming the next artistic director to launch 2023 at Barrington Stage."
Boyd founded BSC in 1995, with the company originally performing in a high school in Sheffield. BSC staged several award-winning shows in its early seasons, including a production of "Cabaret" that moved to Boston for an extended run.
In 2004, the theater achieved national recognition for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," which originally workshopped and premiered in the high school's cafeteria, as well as a critically acclaimed production of "Follies" that was staged in the auditorium.
Boyd led the company the next year to purchase a dilapidated former vaudeville house in Pittsfield. After a year of renovations, BSC opened the venue as a state-of-the-art theater where such hits as "On the Town," "The Pirates of Penzance," the world premiere of "American Son, Company" starring Aaron Tveit, "West Side Story" and the recent world premiere of "A Crossing" have played.
In 2009, BSC rented a former Veterans of Foreign Wars post home in Pittsfield for the company's Stage 2. The building, which was purchased in 2012, is now the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Center where such notable productions as "Freud's Last Session," "Southern Comfort," "Dr. Ruth All the Way" (later retitled "Becoming Dr. Ruth") and "The Chinese Lady" (soon to be seen at the Public Theatre) had their world premieres.
Boyd has helped BSC to develop close and supportive relationships with many artists, including William Finn, Mark St. Germain, John Rando, Joshua Bergasse, Debra Jo Rupp, Beowulf Borritt, Alejo Vietti, Christopher Innvar, Jeff McCarthy, Alan H. Green and Mark H. Dold, all of whom have become Associate Artists at the theatre.
BSC has developed a five-building campus in Pittsfield: the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage; the Blatt Center, which houses the St. Germain Stage and Mr. Finn's Cabaret; the Wolfson, which houses BSC's administrative offices and rehearsal studios; the Octagon House for staff housing; and the newly acquired Production Center.
Boyd has created several educational programs and initiatives at BSC, including the award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project, a program for underserved youth, which received a national award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; the Musical Theatre Lab, to help young artists develop and create new musicals; the popular 10x10 New Play festival, now in its 11th season; and the Musical Theatre Conservatory, training pre-professionals for careers in musical theater.
BSC was the first Equity theater in the country to open during the pandemic in 2020 with "Harry Clarke" starring Mark H. Dold. This year, it produced a six-show season, including three world premieres: "Sister Sorry," "Boca" and "A Crossing" as well as the critically acclaimed "Who Could Ask For Anything More: the Songs of George Gershwin," "Chester Bailey" and "Eleanor."
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Pittsfield School Committee Aims to Shorten Meeting Times
By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School Committee members recognize that meetings can be dramatically long and are looking to change that.
The policy subcommittee on Monday unanimously voted to limit them to three hours with a 2/3 vote needed to extend; to move agenda item 6: School Committee non-agenda participation; 7: approval of minutes from previous meetings, and 8: approval of reports to the end of the agenda; and to remove item 9: school presentations from the agenda.
Mayor Linda Tyer assembled the subcommittee to address the issue of meeting lengths. She said that in the past year, they have sometimes run for four or five hours.
"My real aim here is to shorten the length of meetings to make them meaningful and productive, but not to the point of exhaustion for the committee members," Tyer explained.
Kenneth Gloss, owner of the 200-year-old Brattle Book Shop in Boston and longtime contributor to WGBH-TV's "Antiques Roadshow," will be speaking via Zoom to audiences at the Berkshire Athenaeum and the Milne Public Library in Williamstown.
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Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer and former Director of Public Health Gina Armstrong has been selected as the special project managers for the city's $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. click for more