“Wallflowers,” CATA’s annual performance and gala set for May 14-15


Community Access to the Arts (CATA) presents Wallflowers, their Annual Performance & Gala on Saturday, May 14 & Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox, MA.

Wallflowers features CATA’s performing artists with disabilities in a powerful showcase of talent in theatre, dance, music and more. Saturday’s Gala festivities begin at 5 p.m., with a performance at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing. The Sunday matinee begins at 1 p.m. Tickets for both performances are available online at communityaccesstothearts.org or by calling CATA at (413) 528-5485.

CATA’s Annual Performance is the culmination of hundreds of performing arts workshops which CATA provides to 600 people with disabilities across Berkshire County. CATA artists hone their talents throughout the year, then share them with the community through this joyful performance weekend that includes a gala evening, CATA’s largest fundraising event.

This year’s Wallflowers theme—developed by Program & Artistic Director Dawn Lane—explores what it means to be a part of or apart from, to choose to be seen or not seen.

“Our Annual Performance is an explosively creative celebration, where we invite the public in to witness the remarkable artistry of our CATA performers,” says Margaret Keller, Executive Director of CATA.  “The performance is at the heart of CATA’s mission to nurture and celebrate the creativity of people with disabilities. Every year, we hear from new audience members that the CATA performance opened their eyes to a new perspective on disability and even, a new perspective on the importance of art in all of our lives.”

Wallflowers will feature seven new pieces including In The Dust, choreographed by Dawn Lane, and the return of Scott Thomas, CATA’s own standup comedian. Local actors Diane Prusha and Barby Cardillo direct CATA’s Shakespeare’s Players in a riff on the audition process, while troubadour JoAnne Spies premieres a new song inspired by hundreds of encounters with elders from Berkshire Healthcare residences. 

The annual performance is attended by nearly 800 people from the Berkshire community and beyond. CATA’s performing arts workshops for people with disabilities and the culminating performance are made possible by many generous individuals, businesses, and foundations, including: 

Underwriters: Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Life Chartiable Foundation, Blue Q, Coolidge Hill Foundation, Joan & Jim Hunter, Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne, Emily Rechnitz & John Paladino, Carol & Joseph Reich, Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation, Liz & Mark Williams 

Producers: ARC Investment Planning & Management, Sandra Baron & Greg Diskant, Ann & Weston Hicks, Marisa Labozzetta & Martin Wohl, Kate & Joel Millonzi, Linda & Frank Russell

Sponsors: Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Canyon Ranch, Kathleen & Neil Chrisman, Linda & Reggie Cooper, Domaney’s Liquors & Fine Wines, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Anne Fredericks & Marc Fasteau, Dr. & Mrs. John George, Gogel & Gogel Law Firm, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Jami & Ira Grossman, Heather Wells Heim & Matthew Heim, Hillcrest Educational Foundation, Nancy K. Kalodner, Kwik Print, Mahaiwe Tent, Elizabeth A. Maher, Merit, Hillery & Neal Maxymillian, Julie & David McCarthy, MountainOne, Sharon & Matthew Mozian, Elaine Radiss & Rich Petrino, Mary Ann & Bruno Quinson, Deborah & Bill Ryan, Martha Sauer & David Rosenthal, Anne Schnesel, Leslie & Stephen Shatz, Shopper’s Guide, Elaine & Ben Silberstein, Maria Sirois, Smith, Watson & Co., Synqware, TD Bank, Kathleen & John Zutter

Tickets for Wallflowers are available online at communityaccesstothearts.org or by calling (413) 528-5485.

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