About Us

Mission

Our mission is to provide the playwright with space to create. Berkshire Playwrights Lab provides an opportunity for emerging and established playwrights to find a secure berth where they can develop new work and/or explore new avenues of creativity. Without a commitment to nurturing new voices and new talent, the American theater is losing promising playwrights. Through readings, workshops and fully-staged productions, BPL provides emerging and established writers with a professional and creative environment, while offering audiences the engaging and provocative opportunity to share in the dramatic evolution of premiere works.

History

Berkshire Playwrights Lab was founded in 2007 by Joe Cacaci, Jim Frangione, Bob Jaffe and Matthew Penn to encourage, develop and present new plays. BPL quickly made a name for itself with its flagship program, the Staged Reading Series, presented on select summer Wednesdays at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Plays presented in the Staged Reading Series start with an intensive four day rehearsal process, during which professional actors and directors help the playwright see the work more clearly by getting it on its feet, trying new things, going down wrong paths and back up the right ones. A fully-blocked, script-in-hand staged reading is then presented free of charge to the public, many of whom stay for a talkback with the playwright. More than 37 short and 50 full-length plays have been presented under the BPL banner since its inception in 2007.

In 2016, BPL launched the Radius Playwrights Festival to celebrate the immense talent that exists in the local area.  The first festival will be held in January 2017 and will feature plays written, acted and directed exclusively by locals.

BPL remains under the artistic direction of three of the founders – Joe, Jim and Matt – with Managing Director Ann Garner serving since 2014.

Funded in part by