The Berkshire Fringe Festival has never been afraid to tackle gay and lesbian topics whether plays, monologues or performance art. Not nearly as well known as the Berkshire's four major theatre companies, they present a different kind of theatrical experience, one that is more gritty and probing than their more polished (and mainstream) brethren.
The BFF takes up residence at Daniels Arts Center at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington from July 27 to August 17 this year. There will be six major presentations and many one-shot-only workshops, readings and discussions to get those little grey cells in your head firing. Several of these are of great interest to the LGBTQ community.
Dan Bernitt performs Phi Alpha Gamma August 12-16. Dan is a writer and solo performer as well as a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Since 2004, he has performed his work in festivals across the United States, from Minneapolis and Cape Cod to Cincinnati and New York.
Phi Alpha Gamma deals with an all too familiar subject. Two years after a gay-bashing, how will the fraternity react when a brother comes out of the closet? Using the structure of a Greek tragedy, 'Phi Alpha Gamma' weaves together the voices of four fraternity brothers as they grapple with the remnants of a hate crime and their own fears. This haunting portrait of panic focuses a compassionate eye on the complicated threads of brotherhood embedded in Americana.
Wednesday, August 12 @ 8:00 PM (followed by a post-show discussion)
Thursday, August 13 @ 9:00 PM
Friday, August 14 @ 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 15 @ 9:00 PM
Sunday, August 16 @ 7:00 PM
Dan will also teach a free workshop on Saturday, August 15 @ 1:30 PM about uncovering, discovering, and recovering the stories contained inside the only thing we ever really own: our bodies. Explore stretch marks and scars, broken bones and wrinkles, our hearts and minds and our lives.
Dan lives in New York City, where he is a student of Christopher Shinn in the graduate playwriting program at The New School for Drama. An ENFJ Gemini, Bernitt enjoys kalamata olives, artichoke aioli on focaccia, and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Never one to shy away from difficult subjects, he was last at the Berkshire Fringe with his solo show Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface!
"MUST-SEE SHOW ... The fast-paced piece examines masculinity, faith, brotherhood, and love in a college fraternity struggling to deal with two brothers, one an imprisoned gay-basher and the other newly emerged from the closet. Bernitt's savvy script offers few easy answers and plenty of twists that toy with the audience's sympathies."
- Ross Raihala, St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Only in his early twenties ... [Dan Bernitt's] solo piece, Phi Alpha Gamma moved, surprised, and even shocked some Fringegoers. Its harsh portrayal on homophobia and its emotional residue in a college fraternity understands the tragic psychology of homophobia. Hence, it's rendered with anguish, not vindictiveness. ... He's an exciting young writer-performer."
- John Townsend, Lavender Magazine
"One of America's next great monologists."
- Emily Otto, nytheatre.com
For more information on the Berkshire Fringe Festival, you can visit their new website: http://berkshirefringe.org/