The 2012 International Berkshire Fringe Season

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by Bethany Geiger ‘10

During the summer, the Berkshires are a hub of cultural activity. Bard College at Simon’s Rock is once again proud to host a vital part of the artistic community: The Berkshire Fringe theater festival.

Running from July 23 to August 13, the Berkshire Fringe provides the Great Barrington community with live theater, as well as free concerts and acting workshops. True to the Fringe tradition, each show in the festival is extraordinarily fresh, often experimental, and wildly entertaining.

This Year's Lineup

Fringe.jpgThis year’s lineup includes shows from all over the world, featuring a wide variety of themes and styles. Hailing from the UK, the acclaimed Wardrobe Ensemble presents the United States premiere of Riot. The show was nominated for Best Ensemble at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe and features eyewitness of an actual riot that erupted outside of a London “infamous Swedish furniture store” in 2005. Returning after her 2011 Berkshire Fringe premiere of FACE, Korean artist Haerry Kim presents Bathtub Play, an original drama featuring one man, one woman, two different languages, and a glass bathtub filled with water.

For the light of heart, the Fringe presents two one-man comedy acts. Clown, prankster, and comic genius, Daniel Forlano, presents an impromptu physical theater show. Never exactly the same way twice, this acclaimed comedian delivers a clown show fit for children both young and old. For the more manically-minded, the Fringe welcomes a man who nytheater.com knows as “one of America’s next great monologuists”: Dan Bernitt! Returning now as a seasoned Berkshire Fringe favorite, Bernitt presents the world premiere of Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods, a riotous one-man comedy about America’s favorite topic: food!

World Premier

For a special treat, the Fringe is proud this year to present the world premiere of DARK, an original drama created by Bazaar Productions, the founders and artistic directors of the Fringe. Written and directed by alum Timothy Ryan Olson, the play features a series of original songs written by Peter Wise, as well as the on-and-offstage talents of several local artists (including Simon’s Rock alumni and adjunct theater professors).

And best of all, we can not only appreciate this year’s unique line-up at the Fringe, but look forward to next year’s festival being just as vital and just as fresh.