| Town Players of Pittsfield is on the Move
|Celebrating their 91st season, Town Players of Pittsfield, one of the nation’s four oldest community theaters, was almost forced to end its run after the devastation of hurricane Irene shut down its workshop location. As good fortune would have it, they have moved into a prime location in the center of Pittsfield taking its well-earned place in what is now being touted as the Pittsfield Downtown Theater District. Town Players has created a mutually beneficial arrangement with costume shop owner, Kara Demler, a Town Players Board member, to share their new home at 31 South Street on the corner of South St. and Bank Row in Park Square. Town Players will be using this new home to house a workshop, rehearsal and performance space.|
Town Players has been given a reprieve but their economic woes are not over. There is much to be done to clean up the mess caused by Irene. News sources indicate the Town Players' workshop suffered more damage than any other property in Pittsfield. The floods bypassed a non-functioning road culvert and poured into the structure's basement causing two partially filled oil tanks to spill. Town Players is working with the EPA in clean-up efforts. This has caused a financial strain on the organization as PEDA was unable to assist since the building is not a residence. The clean-up must be completed before Town Players can place the building on the market.
There are many ways the community is being called upon to help maintain the tradition of this Pittsfield historic institution. Turning the empty storefront, which most notably formally housed The Cottage and most recently the Storefront Artist Project, into a performance space will be an expensive undertaking. Local theater legend, Bob Boland, a long-time member of the organization, will be assisting in the design of the space. The Berkshire Bank Foundation generously provided a grant to purchase seating. Individual seats are currently available for sponsorship to raise funds and support the future of Town Players.
The group also plans to hold its first gala isince 1986 in June, which will feature a silent auction including a few vintage pieces from their costumes collection. The June event will also coincide with an evening of cabaret.
Town Players has already begun to hold meetings and to rehearse in the space. The renovations are set to be complete mid-March and the first performance in the space will be held the last two weekends of March. The group will perform Craig Pospisil's “Somewhere in Between,” directed by Kevin Wixsom.
The Town Players of Pittsfield is finishing up its “Readings at the Lichtenstein” series with its with final performance at the Lichtenstein on Sat., Feb. 11th at 7:30pm. They are presenting a reading of A. R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” directed by John Trainor. This Broadway hit and Pulitzer Prize nominated play alternates between tugging at your heartstrings and making you laugh. The performance contains strong language and adult themes. There is a suggested donation of $5. Although this is the last reading at the Lichtenstein, the group will continue this popular monthly series at its new location.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to Town Players towards the workshop clean-up or the renovation of the new space can mail it to Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc., P.O. Box 765, Pittsfield, MA 01202. If any business would like to donate labor or materials towards the renovation of the new space or would like to donate an item or gift certificate to the silent auction, please email Town Players at email@example.com. Please keep in touch with Town Players news, audition announcements and more at the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/townplayers.