Berkshire Playwrights Lab––shows for the summer
Berkshire Playwrights Lab celebrates its tenth summer with an anniversary celebration, a new home at St. James Place in Great Barrington, and its first fully staged production, Some Old Black Man, opening in August.
The season begins June 9, 2017with an annual gala of one-act plays. A constellation of playwrights has written new work for the BPL gala, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet, to Grammy–winning improv comedian and Oscar–nominated screenwriter Elaine May.
Dedicated to encouraging new work, BPL receives as many as 100 scripts each year and whittles them down to three. Those three go through an intensive three days or more of rehearsal with BPL actors, while the playwrights often rewrite as they go. After the performance, the audience has a chance to share thoughts and questions in a moderated Q&A with the playwrights. This year, BPL will present its first staged reading on June 28.
The exchange has been positive and warm, says co-artistic director Matthew Penn. Playwrights including Richard Dresser and Anna Ziegler have come back more than once, and BPL has developed a loyal audience, whose questions have moved playwrights to make changes. Performances of these new works have moved on to Boston, New York and Los Angeles. berkshireplaywrightslab.org