Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson, announced today the creation of The Wolfson Theater Center, at 122 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. The center is made possible through a generous gift from Jessie and Bernard Wolfson, and will serve as the center of BSC operations. Renovations on the building are set to begin in August 2016, with the administrative offices set to relocate in November 2016. BSC’s current office space, known as Octagon House (58 Union Street), will be converted into company housing. A.J. Schnopp Jr. Construction Inc., of Dalton, MA, will be the general contractor.
Through the Wolfsons’ generosity, BSC will be able to customize the 28,000 square foot building to serve as their main headquarters. The building will house BSC’s administrative offices, which will all be under one roof for the first time since the company moved to Pittsfield. The offices will accommodate 20 year-round staff members, as well as an additional 40 staff members during the season. The facility will also contain 2 large rehearsal studios; classrooms for the Playwright Mentoring Project, KidsAct! and the Musical Theater Conservatory; a costume shop, including storage of the large costume inventory amassed in BSC’s 22-year history; a year-round box office; and an additional reception area for staged readings and other public events. The scene shop will still be located on 4th Street.
“I am absolutely thrilled to know that Barrington Stage Company will be expanding its footprint through the purchase of the 122 North Street building in downtown Pittsfield” said Mayor Linda Tyer. “We are privileged to live in a city where the arts flourish continuously throughout the year. Cultural institutions like Barrington Stage present high-quality theater productions and are equally committed to inspiring a love of the arts in our youth through dynamic community programming. I am excited about the many opportunities for creative engagement that this additional location will provide for our city, Berkshire County and beyond.”
Barrington Stage has been at the forefront of “arts leading the economy” in Pittsfield and in the Commonwealth for more than a decade, first with the purchase and renovation of the Berkshire Music Hall—now the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage on Union Street—and the purchase and renovation of the VFW on Linden Street, which now houses the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Center for the Performing Arts, home of the St. Germain Stage and Mr. Finn’s Cabaret. The “campus” (extending from Fenn Street to Maplewood) will now be complete with the Wolfson Theater Center, a multiuse complex that will serve Barrington Stage’s many programs.
The first production to make use of the new rehearsal space will be the world premiere of Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer Joe Iconis’ Broadway Bounty Hunter, starring Annie Golden and Jeff McCarthy. Broadway Bounty Hunter features music and lyrics by Joe Iconis, a book by Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams, choreography by Jeffrey Page, and direction by Leah C. Gardiner. Rehearsals begin today, with previews starting August 12, 2016. Opening night is set for August 19th for a limited run through September 4, 2016.
Currently playing on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage is Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. Directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse, the team behind the acclaimed and Tony Award nominated Broadway revival of On The Town, Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance began performances July 15, 2016, opens July 20, and runs through August 13, 2016.
The 2016 season at BSC includes two additional premieres— the new musical Presto Change-O and the winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, American Son. Presto Change-O features book and lyrics by Eric Price, music by Joel Waggoner, and direction by Marc Bruni of Broadway’s Beautiful The Carole King Musical. American Son is by award-winning playwright Christopher Demos-Brown, and starred Tamara Tunie (“Law and Order: SVU”) and Michael Hayden (Broadway’s Carousel).
The St. Germain season also includes Kimberly Akimbo, starring Debra Jo Rupp (“That 70’s Show”), written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire; and peerless, written by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo), and directed by Louisa Proske (Engagements), which recently premiered at Yale Rep. Peerless begins previews July 21, 2016, and opens July 24 for a limited run through August 6, 2016.
The 2016 Barrington season will also include the acclaimed Drama Desk Award winning play Tribes by Nina Raine and directed by Jenn Thompson; and Mark St. Germain’s Camping with Henry and Tom, the recipient of both the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Lucille Lortel Award, directed by Christopher Innvar.
In addition to the theatrical productions, BSC will present two special one-night-only performances for the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. On Monday, July 25, 2016 at 8pm, Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom will appear in Divalicious, accompanied by Michele Brourman; and on Monday, August 8, 2016 at 8pm, married stars Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley return to BSC in Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition after their tremendously successful concert at BSC last summer.
Performance schedules for all productions are available by visiting www.barringtonstageco.org.
ABOUT JESSIE AND BERNARD WOLFSON
Longtime residents of Coral Gables and Miami, Florida, the Wolfsons grew up in south Florida. Jessie attended the University of Miami where she obtained a BS in Business Administration. She then attended Nova University where she earned an MA in Mental Health Counseling. Bernard attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1959 with a BS in Business Administration, majoring in real estate. He then matriculated at the University of Miami School of Law earning a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in August 1963. They were introduced to each other in 1963 and were married in Miami in 1965. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last August. Their son, Howard, resides in Miami Beach, FL, and their daughter, Helena Campos, is a resident of Asheville, NC. They are the proud grandparents of Abeni and Jacob and are expecting their third grandchild soon.
Mr. Wolfson practiced law in South Florida from 1963 until 2000, primarily in the areas of real estate, mortgages, condominium law, corporations, business and commercial matters. For over 50 years Mr. Wolfson has been involved in various real estate ventures and investments and he continues to involve himself in real estate investing, development and operation. Currently, Mr. Wolfson is president of Hospitality Operations, Inc., the general partner of four Hampton Inn partnerships all operating in South Florida and secretary of Monday Morning Mortgage & Investments Co., an entity that originates and manages a portfolio of mortgages and loan receivables.
The Wolfsons have enjoyed participation in various philanthropic endeavors over the years. They have contributed to and participated in benefits to the arts, theaters, hospitals and religious organizations.