Barrington Stage Education Programs

Tim Pare and Jane O’Leary

As educators, as well as theatre goers, we know how important theatre can be for young people as they develop. The importance of the arts generally has been underrated by some educational policy makers. However, as we have interviewed theatre companies that  offer educational programs of different kinds to children and young adults,  we have seen how significant and important they are.  Having  heard generally  about the theatre programs Barrington Stage offers, we wanted more details. We were fortunate to interview Tim Pare and Jane O’Leary, the Director and Associate Director of the rich variety of programs available to young people in the Pittsfield and North Adams areas.  Tim and Jane provide an updated account of the programs, some of which are shown in  videos that were available on youtube.

Interview with Tim and Jane


Kids Act


Playwrights Mentoring Project






Action Theatre Conservatory

ATC-logo-15Our daughter-in-law, Maren is an actress, director and teacher. She has done all three at the Action Theatre Conservatory in Clifton New Jersey, as well as at other places. One of our fondest memories is when Maren directed the Scottish play, with the co-founders of Action Theatre Conservatory, Joel Robertson and Kathleen Kellaigh, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Our son Paul was Duncan and Macduff, our younger granddaughter, Marnie, who was ten or eleven at the time, played Macduff’s son and our older granddaughter, Kate, was the stage manager. The production was excellent.

Currently, Maren is being directed by Kathleen, in a production of Cabaret where she plays Fraulein Schneider. We are expecting rave reviews. 13029653_10153639220008723_415483109517636323_o10509770_10153601575768723_6991619946628868846_n









Last year we interviewed Maren about the Action Theatre Conservatory. The year before we interviewed Joel Robertson, who was in Kiss me Kate  at Barrington Stage about that production and about ATC.

Interview with Maren

Interview with Joel Robertson Part 1

Interview with Joel Robertson Part 2


Action Theatre Conservatory

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bennington College

Lysander and Hermia

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and is performed widely. There are many different ways of approaching the play as is true with all Shakespeare’s plays. Besides theatre productions, Midsummer has been reimagined in ballet, opera, film and television.  The characters have appeared in paintings, children’s books, manga and graphic novels, as well as in literary and dramatic parodies such as Lords and Ladies and Shakespeare in Hollywood. 

The Bennington College Drama Department is offering a production of Midsummer at the Lester Martin Theatre on May 6,  7, and 8 at 8 pm. Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing the play’s director, Jean Randich, Music Director Christopher Giannitti and Technical Director Michael Rancourt. After talking with them, we are excited to see this production.

We met on the set of the play which was quite impressive.  Here is a model of it.Midsummer


Bennington College Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Danube

the Danube posterBennington College’s Drama department presents theatre education in a liberal arts setting. Exemplifying this is Patrick Harnett-marshall, a senior whom we interviewed about his production of the play The Danube by Maria Irene Fornes. This is Patrick’s senior project in drama. We saw Patrick act in Dancing at Lughnusa, but hadn’t had the pleasure of talking with him before. The play, under Patrick’s direction, will be performing at the college on Friday, April 8, Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10 at 8 pm. Tickets are free and can be reserved at

Interview with Patrick Harnett-Marshall Part 1

Interview with Patrick Harnett-Marshall Part 2

Patrick Harnett-marshall
Patrick Harnett-marshall


Maria Irene Fornes
              Maria Irene Fornes

Shakespeare and Company Schools Tour

            Talk back with students

Every year in late winter and spring,  Shakespeare and Company sends out six young actors to present a Shakespearean play to schools in the Northeast. Besides performing all the parts in a 90 minute version of the play. after each performance the actors have  a talk back with the students. If the schools wish, the actor/teachers also offer workshops of various types.

The touring play  is performed later  at The Mount, the Edith Wharton estate, during the summer.   This year, for the first time, the company is offering a choice of  two plays. Macbeth and Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night will be the play performed at The Mount.

Having seen the productions at The Mount over the past few years, we are impressed with the quality of the productions and the skill of the actors. After watching a performance of Macbeth for elementary and middle school students, we had the opportunity to talk with the actors and the play’s director, Jonathan Croy.

Shakespeare Regional Tour Part 1

Shakespeare Regional Tour Part 2


                                                        Workshops with Students


Students at Workshpo 4

Students at Workshop 1






Students at Workshpo 3Students at Worksohp 2







Actor Selfie with Rich
                   This year’s actors plus friend

Teaching Acting at Oldcastle Theatre Company

VacaCa5OutLChristine Decker is a talented actress whose performances in a wide variety of roles have thrilled audiences  at Oldcastle Theatre and at Hubbard Hall in New York State.  Chris is also the Director of Education at The  Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington. Her students range in age. She teaches school age children during vacations and adults throughout the year.

Recently Chris talked with us about the  Vacation Theatre program as well as about her other acting program, Acting 101. Fortunately, we also have a record of her talking about that program with one of her students, Miriam Silver, when the program first started.

Here is a picture of the first day of the February Vacation Theatre Camp as well as  our interview with Chris.


Christine Decker and Vacation Theatre Camp Part 1

Christine Decker and Vacation Theatre Camp Part 2


Here is an interview about Acting 101 from 2014.

Acting 101 Part 1

Acting 101 Part 2

Shakespeare and Company’s Month Long Intensive

Dennis Krausnick with students from the Intensive program.
Dennis Krausnick with students from the Intensive program.

There are three parts to Shakespeare and Company; performance, education and professional actor training. Besides producing  exciting performances of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as contemporary plays, offering educational programs for young people and teachers,  Shakespeare and Company also trains professional actors in a variety of ways. There are month long intensives, weekend intensives, specialized study programs and  programs for early career actors.  The month long intensive programs are geared for performers of varying ages and backgrounds. Dennis Krausnick heads this program. We interviewed him and Riley Bartlebaugh, Program Manager, as the most recent program was drawing to a close in January

Intensive Part 1

Intensive Part 2