There are lots of opinions as to why the Berkshires stage is the center of so many world-class theater companies, troupes, mainstay productions, and festivals but there is little argument that once The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Tanglewood, and Jacob’s Pillow were established, they served as magnets for much of what followed.
In this video Brian Weinrich describes gives an overview of Shakespeare & Company.
Brian also says:
In addition to Shakespeare & Company, there is Barrington Stage Company and the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and The Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, three other high quality live stage venues. So if you’re interested in live performance in a variety of different venues and different styles, from the traditional classical to much more contemporary comedy and drama, the offerings really are quite extensive in a very small area here in the Berkshires.
In this video, Brian and Kolleen Weinrich share their experience of Tanglewood.
They also say:
Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony, is ideally located just seven miles from the Federal House where visitors can hear classical, popular and jazz concerts all summer long. Tanglewood is such a unique spot to spread out a blanket on the vast lawn, feast on a delicious picnic and listen to live music as the sun sets and the stars come out. Fortunately, the beautiful Tanglewood grounds, overlooking the Stockbridge Bowl, are open year round. So an off season autumn stroll or a trek on cross country skies make an enjoyable afternoon outing at Tanglewood!
In this video Brian Weinrich, Federal House Innkeeper, gives an overview of Mass MoCA: Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art.
Brian also says:
An added plus to this unique museum, MassMoCA, are their presentations year round from music of their alternative cabaret series to scored silent films, to dance parties and July’s contemporary music festival. Their gift shop is filled with an assortment of unique items [great scarves according to Kolleen!] and their small café is the perfect place for a bite of lunch [their homemade soups are delicious].
We often suggest to guests that on their way to the MassMOCA they plan a stop in Williamstown, a quintessential small New England college town with lovely shops and a variety of restaurants. The college itself has a charming small art museum, but of course the world famous Clark Museum is located just minutes from downtown. Privately endowed, The Clark presents world class quality exhibits year round. Many of our guests who are connected with the art world in Boston, NYC and abroad are always very complimentary after their visit to The Clark.
And Kolleen Weinrich says:
One of the things that I always recommend for our guests is to visit the highest point in the state Mount Greylock, as they go right past the entrance on their way up to Williamstown and North Adams. It’s a wonderful day trip to go to Graylock, and then go up to the Clark in Williamstown and have some lunch. And then if they have time, continue on to MASS MoCA in North Adams.
In this video Brian Weinrich, Inkeeper at Federal House Inn, gives an overview of the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Brian also says:
Recently the Berkshire Theatre Festival merged and partnered with the Colonial, a renovated classic 1920s theater which now gives the Berkshire Theatre Festival a third stage. This venture now expands the variety of live theater and performance here in the Berkshires year round.
Founded in 1928, the Berkshire Theatre Festival is one of the oldest professional regional theaters in the United States. Presenting world premiers, contemporary works and classics that speak to a variety of audiences, we have never been disappointed after a Berkshire Theatre Festival performance. We always remind ourselves upon leaving the theater how fortunate we are to be located literally “just down the street” [a 5 minute drive] from this exceptional cultural venue.
In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes freebies at Jacob’s Pillow.
Kolleen also says:
Jacobs Pillow is a marvelous international dance festival with more than 300 free and ticketed performances, talks, exhibits and tours each summer. Open from June through August, the Pillow has been called “the dance center of the nation” by The New York Times.
We are thrilled to be situated only 10 miles from this National Historic Landmark. A large number of our guests head to the Pillow each summer and are never disappointed by the talent, the atmosphere and just the feeling of being immersed in the culture of dance in such a unique setting.
In this video Kolleen Weinrich describes her experience of the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Kolleen and partner Inkeeper Brian Weinrich also say:
Since moving to the Berkshires three years ago, we have fallen in love with the work of Norman Rockwell and his museum. In a small and intimate setting, visitors to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, can experience Rockwell’s original work and discover changing exhibitions of other masters of illustration. After a 35 year career in education, Kolleen especially enjoys the variety of children’s book illustrators who are featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum on a regular basis. [Most recently William Steig, Jerry Pinckney and Margaret and H.A. Rey].
An added treat during a visit is being able to tour Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio [open May thru October] located on the grounds overlooking the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Because we are members of the museum, we return year round to enjoy the changing exhibits of Rockwell’s work, to attend an opening reception or as a guest for one of the unique programs [lectures, presentations, etc] offered frequently. If one chooses to visit for an hour or a day, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge is not to be missed on a visit to the Berkshires.
We are so fortunate to have Jacobs Pillow, a National Medal of Arts recipient honored by President Obama this year, just 10 miles from the Federal House Inn.
One of our favorite evening pastimes is to watch the Inside/Out performance on the newly renovated out door stage at Jacobs Pillow. Then we enjoy a picnic on the beautiful grounds. And finally be an audience member in the theater for one of the amazing dance troupes.
We love having Jacobs Pillow as our neighbor.
By the way, one of our guests this past week went to see Tangueros Del Sur and shared with us,
I’ve been enjoying The Pillow for many years but Tangueros was one of the most phenomenal performances I’ve ever seen.
February has been the month for romance at the inn! We have had numerous guests celebrating anniversaries [the longest being 32 years], two marriage proposals during the Valentine’s weekend and a wedding! Numerous guests have also stayed this month just wanting to get away from their busy lives filled with long working hours, children’s schedules, etc. Some have come to explore our many [Rockwell, the Clark, Berkshire ] unique museums, stroll charming main street in Great Barrington, ski and snow shoe nearby or to simply sleep in and enjoy a good novel and sip tea all day feeling rested and rejuvenated when they depart. We feel blessed they chose the Federal House where we do everything possible to make their stay relaxed and memorable from candlelight gourmet breakfasts to wine and appetizers in front of a cozy fire in the early evening. Guests always enjoy perusing menus and sharing their dining experiences before they head out to dinner at one of our numerous excellent restaurants in the area with the closest being right across the street [Perigee]!