(Pittsfield, MA) Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, hosted its annual and most successful to date New York City Benefit, BSC/NYC, on November 13, to celebrate the New Works Initiative and honor composer Joe Iconis with the William Finn Award for Innovation and Excellence in Musical Theatre. The event raised $125,000 towards BSC’s New Works Initiative.
“On behalf of benefit chair, Eda Sorokoff, co-chairs Rosita Sarnoff and Clara Londoner, the BSC/NYC committee, and the Barrington Stage Company family, we were thrilled to present ‘An Evening of Pure Joy’, said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. “From the company of good friends, to the heartfelt and often hilarious performances of our artists, to the opportunity to honor a brilliant artist & friend, Joe Iconis, our BSC/NYC Benefit was a resounding success. Investment in this program will help BSC produce new works like The Royal Family of Broadway and support the voices of new playwrights, bringing fresh, groundbreaking work to the stage.”
President of Rodgers & Hammerstein musical theatre organization Ted Chapin, Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, and President of Sh-K-Boom Records Kurt Deutsch served as Honorary Chairs of the event, and Eda Sorokoff as Benefit Committee Chair. The evening featured cabaret performance by some of Broadway and Barrington’s most beloved stars, including Jeannette Bayardelle (Broadway’s The Color Purple, BSC’s Company), Allison Blackwell (The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess National Tour, BSC’s Ragtime), Ellen Harvey (Broadway’s Present Laughter, BSC’s Company), Lauren Marcus (BSC’s Company), Kyle Dean Massey (Broadway’s Pippin, BSC’s The Pirates of Penzance), Jeff McCarthy (Broadway’s Urinetown, BSC’s Kunstler), Anastacia McCleskey (Broadway’s Waitress, BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter), Anne L. Nathan (Broadway’s Once, BSC’s Ragtime), Will Roland (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, BSC’s The Black Suits), Scarlett Strallen (Broadway’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, BSC’s The Pirates of Penzance), Will Swenson (Broadway’s Waitress, BSC’s The Pirates of Penzance), and Stephanie Umoh (Broadway’s Falsettos, BSC’s Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know But Should…).
BSC believes that if theatre is to thrive and create meaningful and new experiences for audiences, then it is vital to support playwrights and their visions of the world we live in. Through the New Works Initiative, BSC has enjoyed great success with several new works, including: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Freud’s Last Session, Dr. Ruth–All the Way, Dancing Lessons, American Son and Joe Iconis’ Broadway Bounty Hunter.
“New Works are the heart and soul of Barrington Stage. There’s nothing more important we do than work with writers to develop, and then to produce their plays and musicals in a totally supportive environment,” said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.
ABOUT BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Barrington Stage Company is a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA. It was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and has a three-fold mission: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which later transferred to Broadway, where it won two Tony Awards. In 2009, Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session ran more than ten weeks on Stage 2 and later moved Off-Broadway and played for two years. St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth (which premiered at BSC as Dr. Ruth, All the Way in 2012) played Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in fall 2013. BSC’s all-time record-breaking musical, On the Town, was originally produced at BSC in 2013. In 2014, it opened on Broadway with BSC as a co-producer, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. In 2016, Barrington Stage swept the first Annual Berkshire Theatre Awards by winning 20 out of the 25 awards. In 2016, BSC produced three World Premieres; Presto Change-O, Broadway Bounty Hunter, and American Son, which won the Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play. In 2017, BSC won the Best of the Berkshires Reader’s Choice for Best Live Theatre.