Moby-Dick, written in 1851, recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael as he sails on the whaling ship Pequod under the command of Captain Ahab. It’s a classic tale full of drama which calls for a theatrical conclusion. That is happening as we approach Columbus Day weekend.
Conor Lovett of the Gare St Lazare Players Ireland stage a one-man performance based on their innovative adaptation of Moby-Dick on Thursday, October 4th at MCLA and Friday, October 5 at the Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield. Watch our lead video above for bits of the performance and how it came together.
Under the direction of Judy Hegarty Lovett, the production consists of lone actor Conor Lovett, a wooden table and the effects he creates with his voice, face and body. Gare St. Lazare and Conor Lovett’s solo performance has been hailed around Ireland, in the United States and around the world. These performances are sponsored in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
VOICES Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, presents Melville, Haunted at Arrowhead. A historic play, Melville, Haunted is the third in The Melville Trilogy written by Sally Filkins and explores the inextricably intertwined relationships that existed among Melville, his circle of intimates and the people he created in his books, through a series of ghostly encounters played out against the backdrop of Arrowhead’s museum rooms where Melville lived and wrote. The play will be performed within the context of a candlelight tour. A harvest dessert buffet, presided over by the ghost of Nathaniel Hawthorne, follows the play, which is scheduled from Thursday-Sunday, October 4-7 at 7:30pm. Tickets for Melville, Haunted are $25. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more information, contact Betsy Sherman at Arrowhead at 413-442-1793 or VOICES at 413-442-1928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s rather short notice, but this Friday, September 28, there’s an intimate performance of Orson Welles’ adaptation of Melville’s most famous novel, in a production called Moby-Dick Rehearsed at 7:30pm at The Garage, located inside The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street in Pittsfield. Following the young sailor Ishmael on his epic journey sailing across the world under the infamous Captain Ahab in pursuit of the Great White Whale, Moby-Dick Rehearsed culminates in a colossal battle between man and beast, leaving you on the edge of you seats! Admission is $10. Seating is limited. Reserve your tickets in advance by calling 413-997-4444 or visiting berkshiretheatregroup.org.
The October 5th First Fridays Artswalk in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District features two Call Me Melville events. The first is the dedication of the Herman Melville Memorial Moby-Dick Reciting Parkbench created by artist and composer Evan Lurie at Palace Park on North Street, featuring 130 recordings of passages of Moby Dick that play randomly when someone sit on the bench. And the second is the opportunity to help Crowd-Scribe Bartleby the Scrivener at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. Attendees are invited to inscribe a passage from Melville’s famous story of a rebellious scrivener and the first 100 participants will receive a free copy of the book.
Four ongoing visual arts exhibits throughout Berkshire County also celebrate the life and work of Melville. The City of Pittsfield’s Lichtenstein Center for the Arts hosts a juried group show entitled Melville Contemporary that is free and open to the public. Paintings, mixed media, sculpture and more are on display Wednesdays-Saturdays from 12pm-5pm through October 6.
The Berkshire Historical Society at Arrowhead features two ongoing exhibits based on Herman Melville’s last major novel and his whaling life. Most people have never even heard of Herman Melville’s last major novel is interpreted by local artist Doug Paisley in the show The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade displayed. So Far From Home: Whalers and Whaler Art includes images, text, scrimshaw, tattoos and Polynesian art exploring how Polynesian art influenced that of whalers. Both are on display daily from 9:30am-5pm through Monday, October 8.
Finally, A Sea Feeling in the Mountains can be seen at Chesterwood and Sohn Fine Art in Stockbridge through October 14 and 29, respectively. This exhibit is a photography show inspired by Melville and the relationship between seascapes and the Berkshire landscape. Chesterwood is open daily from 11am-4pm, located at 4 Williamsville Road in Stockbridge. Sohn Fine Art is located at 6 Elm Street, 1B-C, open Thursdays-Mondays 11am-5pm.
Call Me Melville is a collaborative community cultural project co-chaired by the City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development and the Berkshire Historical Society at Arrowhead. Major sponsors include Berkshire Gas, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information on these and other events visit www.discoverpittsfield.com/callmemelville.