About Berkshire on Stage

First published on April 15, 2010 with reports on Jacob’s Pillow, Mass MoCA and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Berkshire on Stage has always covered the performing arts in its corner of Western Massachusetts, but also keeps an eye on trend-setting happenings elsewhere.

You, our readers and commentators have been right there along with the writers who make up our merry band of explorers of the arts. Thanks to you we reached the milestone of a million readers since we began on April 10, 2015.

Wonder Who’s Who?

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About Gail Burns

Gail Burns, the Berkshire’s unofficial theatre historian.

A theatre critic and the area’s go-to person for theatre history in the Berkshire and adjacent area, Gail M. Burns has been writing about theatre since 1997. She has been a critic for the North Adams Transcript and many other publications over her career. Ms.Burns brings first hand knowledge of acting, directing and producing theatre, having done so for many companies over her lifetime. Her unique approach of blending what she sees on stage with what she has seen in real life brings a personal approach to her writing.

During Larry Murray’s lifetime, Burns was honored to be one half of the online dialogue that took place in the column Burns & Murray. That unusual approach to reporting theatre was a hybrid blend of criticism and advocacy.

About Roseann Cane

Roseann Cane is a writer, editor, actor and critic and brings a unique perspective to her observations.

Roseann Cane is a writer, editor, actor and critic and brings a unique perspective to her observations.

Although actress-director Roseann Cane made her television debut at the age of four on “Howdy Doody,” it would take her nine more years to begin training professionally, first with private teachers, then at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Emerson College, Hofstra University, and The New School. The New York City native would go on to appear onstage in a wide variety of roles by playwrights ranging from Shakespeare to Neil Simon and Chekhov to Beckett.

For much of that time Cane supported herself by writing, editing, and teaching. She’s been a writing instructor at Hunter College, the 92nd Street Y, and a slew of other institutions; a promotional writer for Cambridge University Press; copy supervisor at Harper & Row (now HarperCollins); editor of Quadrant, the journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology (where she was also a faculty and editorial-board member); program director of the New York Open Center; and a columnist for Lifetime Television’s website.

During the 1990s she appeared on Lifetime Television’s Pandora, and was the voice of the BRIDES Magazine horoscope line. Acting on the stage remains her first love. Recently, she played Sonia in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Latham’s Curtain Call Theatre; Lady Boyle in Superior Donuts at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theater; Hannah in As It is In Heaven at Lee’s Spectrum Playhouse; and Edna in The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Ghent Playhouse. She appears in the film “H.”, directed by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, which premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and won awards at the Sundance Festival.

About Macey Levin

bosgloriamacey

Macey Levin, pictured here with his wife and fellow theatre critic Gloria Miller, is Artistic Director of the Aglet Theatre Company.

A former educator who was named New York State Theatre Educator of the Year in 1983, Macey Levin has been the artistic director at two theatres on Long Island where he directed more than thirty-five major productions, receivng highly positive reviews in The New York Times, Newsday and Backstage. He has written for a number of regional newspapers in Connecticut, New York State and the Berkshires and also lectures on theatre history and criticism for Elderhostels and at C.W. Post University.

About Barbara Waldinger

Artistic Director

The accomplished Barbara Waldinger is currently the Artistic Director of HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson, NY, among MANY other things!

Having earned a Ph.D. in Theatre (CUNY Graduate Center), Barbara taught at Queens College, Hofstra University and Marymount Manhattan College.  Currently she teaches for OLLI and Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield.  She has served as a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities,  a respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and a performer in over one hundred Reader’s Theatre productions.  As a director, she has worked at university and regional theatres, local Berkshire venues, the Strindberg New York Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, and LUNA Stage in West Orange, New Jersey.  As Artistic Director of HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson (where she has been working since 2000), and as a director for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, and the Plays in Progress Annual Short Play Festival at the Hudson Opera House, she has collaborated for many years with playwrights on original scripts.

About the late Larry Murray

Larry Murray, Photo by Troy Frye.

Larry Murray began publishing Berkshire on Stage in April of 2010. Prior to that he contributed reviews and interviews to Berkshire Fine Arts from 2007 to 2009 where he was contributing editor. The two online venues continued to share content from time to time. Murray’s critical commentary also appeared in BroadwayWorld.com and was often excerpted in Nippertown.com and elsewhere.

Prior to retiring to the Berkshires from Boston and New York, Murray’s career spanned the performing arts (Boston Symphony, Tanglewood, Boston Ballet and Arts Boston), movie making (Universal Films, Warner Brothers) with several stints in advertising, public relations and marketing. He has written for the Boston Globe and Phoenix and been an Associate Producer at WBZ-TV, most notably the documentary Backstage at the Nutcracker.

In 1988 New England Entertainment Magazine named him the Entertainer of the Year and his last appearance on stage was in 1989.

Larry passed away on March 10, 2017. There is also a short but somewhat more detailed biography of Larry Murray here.

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6 thoughts on “About Berkshire on Stage

  1. What a very very cool site you have here Larry. I am thrilled to meet you via Kristen Van Ginhoven of WAM. I am promoting my event at the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers on March 2, 2012 at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington. ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes: An evening of Mothers reading to Others’ will feature the readings of 7 Berkshire authors and be followed by a facilitated discussion of mothering and creativity led by Matthew Tannenbaum and myself. You can be sure we will submit a full press release, photos, links, and maybe a video blog in the next 2 weeks. Thank you for maintaining this beautiful site. I will share it around. Thanks, Suzi

  2. Larry – Really enjoyed reading your blog. I had been doing research on my great aunt E Virginia Williams and fell on your article about her there. Virginia was my mother’s aunt. Janis Williams Sprague, mom is 90 today and one of Virginia’s few remaining relies. Her dad Harold was Virginia’s brother. – John

    • John – Thanks for the note and I must say that “e” changed the lives of so many people that she lives on in many a dancer and their students even today. We had a hell of a partnership for several years, an agreement that if I filled the seats, she would put something on stage that people would remember forever. How I miss her. – Larry

  3. Hi Larry,

    Every once in a great while I’d try to find out what you were up to nowadays and I’m glad I finally did, and that you are so active in the arts you love so much.

    You may not remember, but long ago, in the very early ’70s, you were an integral part in sustaining the enthusiasm of a bunch of recent high school grads in Woburn MA to sustain their newly hatched drama guild. It was a good time to be young and in love with acting. Thank you after all these years, and I hope all is well.

    Keith Sullivan

    • Keith –

      The amazing thing about life is the way it reconnects people after many years apart. I remember with great joy and pride that production of “Inherit the Wind” which you, Nick Paleologis and Fred Zollo put together. I can even recall my hands under the lapels of the Mayor I played, my sly salute to then current Mayor Gill who did not believe in funding the arts. Or helping out the youth of his city. But what a historic production that was. In my mind, it was the best regional theatre of the 70’s.

      Oddly, this week in Tennessee, where that trial over teaching evolution took place, they introduced legislation to ban using the word “gay” in classrooms. Some things haven’t changed much for the better among the bigots and idiots.

      Larry Murray

  4. Larry,

    Thanks for your response! I’d forgotten, for the moment, the whole bruhaha over Mayor Gill (what a memory you have!) and the whole arts funding issue. And your wonderful, yes sly, “tribute to him…what a blast we had, and still have.

    It’s really wonderful to reconnect with you after all these years…many fond memories of chez Murray and your eclectic selection of music…first place and time I heard Alexander Nevsky, complete with your narration of the events being depicted…

    Let me see if you’re on Facebok…

    Best,

    keith

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