The Berkshire Fringe has quickly become a respected fixture on the landscape here, drawing praise from local newspaper theater critics and respect for its grit... “We knew we wanted to do the Fringe in the Berkshires because we thought the festival would add something fresh to the landscape and because we thought the Berkshires hadn’t fully developed as a place where emerging artists could have a voice,” Ms. Katzoff said.
The trio founded the festival two years ago to make an artistic mark they felt they'd be unable to achieve in the city, where expenses are high, space is hard to find, and hundreds of similar projects (including the New York Fringe Festival) already exist.
"We wanted something that wasn't like anything else in the Berkshires," Ms. Katzoff said at a fund-raiser for the festival Monday at the Lascano Gallery here. "We're hoping the festival is a new way for people to explore new ideas."
The Berkshire Fringe Festival is on its way to becoming a fixture of the summer arts scene. This year, energetic co-directors Sara Katzoff, Timothy Ryan Olson and Peter Wise unveil their third annual festival, which runs from July 17 through August 5 at Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington, Mass. On offer? Three weeks of siz shows, plus special events including a staging of Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days, 365 Plays—by Katzoff, Olson and Wise's own production company, Bazaar Productions—and readying of new works by local young writers from a brand-new playwriting mentorship program called EarlyStages.