Photo Gallery | A Midsummer Night's Dream at Springside Park in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD -- This month's Third Thursday street festival celebrates the Shakespearean theme of "All the World's a Stage," with the city's downtown serving as center stage.

"It's going to be a beautiful night. We're so excited," said Shiobbean Lemme, administrative assistant for the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development, who helps coordinate Third Thursday festivities. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a high near 80.


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City Director of Cultural Development Jen Glockner said one of the highlights of the event will include a public celebration for the opening night of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a free production by the new Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park initiative, presented in an open-air setting at Springside Park.

"We are thrilled to be a part of the opening night celebration for the inaugural year of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park," Glockner said.

"The cast and crew have been working for months to prepare for this production and we cannot wait for Pittsfield residents to see it."

A Third Thursday Art Show will open under a tent at St. Joseph's Church. The $5 admission to the show will benefit Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park and give patrons access to a pre-performance party. Local artists will begin displaying and selling their work at 5 p.m. There will be hors d'oeuvres provided by Mission Bar + Tapas and a Shakespeare-themed cake by Madeleine's Patisserie and Café.

Members of the cast of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are expected to arrive on the St. Joe lawn around 6:30, for a meet and greet, before taking their places for an 8 p.m. performance at Springside Park. A free shuttle will be available at 7:30 p.m. to usher guests from the St. Joe parking lot to the park for the show, returning around 10:15 p.m.

"We are all ecstatic about finally sharing this story with an audience on Thursday and beyond," said Enrico Spada, director and founder of Pittsfield's Shakespeare in the Park program.

The cast members range in age from 7 to 75, and include seasoned Shakespearean actors and local newcomers alike.

"We've been rehearsing six days a week, nights and weekends," Spada said. "We started last Thursday working in Springside Park on our stage, and it's finally coming together into a solid, exciting -- and very funny -- production."

He said that every performance between July 17 and 27 will feature a cameo appearance by a special guest, including lead sponsor Berkshire Money Management's Allen Harris on Thursday's opening night, and Pittsfield Mayor Daniel Bianchi on July 24.

"July's Third Thursday is shaping up to be a highlight of the season. I am happy to welcome Shakespeare in the Park to Pittsfield," Bianchi said. "This Third Thursday truly highlights, not only the adult performers and artists in the community, but also the talented children living in the Berkshires."

In addition to Shakespeare in the Park, Third Thursday attendees can also check out live theatrical performances and scenes from various productions, including: "Hairspray Jr." by the young actors Barrington Stage Company; Berkshire Theatre Group's community production of "Seussical;" Opera Notte and cabaret performances from The Whit, and scenes from the various productions of Shakespeare & Company.

Third Thursday festivities run from 5 to 8 p.m., and are family-friendly and open to all. The City Stage will be located on Park Square this month, due to construction at Sottile and Persip parks. North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street, and will be filled with music, demonstrations, kids activities, information booths, a photo booth, food and product vendors and plenty of atmosphere for community members to mingle and meet.

To reach Jenn Smith:
jsmith@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6239.
On Twitter: @JennSmith_Ink

Learn more ...

To learn more about the production and how to volunteer or support Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, visit pittsfieldshakespeare.org or call (413) 551-9585.

For more information on Third Thursdays, visit discoverpittsfield.com/3rdthursdays, email slemme@pittsfieldch.com or call (413) 499-9348.