History

THE NEW STAGE STORY

New Stage Performing Arts Center (NSPAC) is a not-for-profit theatre company that was founded in 2010 by Nicki Wilson to present new and innovative work, plays that would not ordinarily be produced in the Berkshires and to create a home for Castle Hill Theatre Company.  Its secondary purpose was to serve as a Performing Arts space for visiting artists in music, dance, theatre, poetry and performance art.

For its first two years NSPAC was located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts’s Uptown Cultural District and presented over 50 productions.  Most notable amongst them were their avant-garde production of Genet's THE MAIDS with an all-male cast, Ariel Dorfman's chilling DEATH AND THE MAIDEN and Ray Bradbury's portrait of a dystopian society in FAHRENHEIT 451.

In addition, NSPAC created NEW WORKS at NEW STAGE, where 30 new plays were given staged readings. Three of those plays went on to have very successful full productions; Ed Bernstein's THE TRIAL OF FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, where Roosevelt's actions are reexamined in relationship to the Holocaust; Yasmine Beverly Rana's BLOOD SKY which showed the effects of how an abusive childhood relationship affected a young woman's future; and Mark Rosenthal's sensitive drama FEAR ITSELF, which looked at the intimate relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickock.

As a Performing Arts Center NSPAC hosted many events, including; Laura Zam's searing one-woman show COLLATERALLY DAMAGED about her mother’s Holocaust experiences, poetry evenings, WAM Theatre Company's first production, the 10 x 10 Festival, storytellers from the Moth, the anarchistic live music of Bella's Bartok, Jeremy Goodwin's hilarious performance art piece THE BATTLE OF EGREMONT and KARA-O-GAY an evening of karaoke that celebrated the LGBTQ community.

NSPAC also served as the permanent residence of Castle Hill Theatre Company (CHTC), the not-for-profit travelling theatre company created in 2006 by Nicki Wilson to bring quality family theatre to the Berkshires. Wilson and her creative partner Andrew Joffe adapted fairy tales, myths and the classics. Prior to NSPAC, their shows were performed at many well-known venues in the area; MASS MoCA, Eric Carle Museum, the Berkshire Museum and the Hudson Opera House to name but a few.

After two years of non-stop NSPAC productions, Wilson wanted more time to write and decided to close the performing arts space and revert back to her original Castle Hill Theatre Company model of pop-up productions. Since closing its space in Pittsfield, NSPAC has produced the premiere of THE JEWISH JESTER by New York Times best-selling author Daniel Klein at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA and FULLY COMMITTED by Becky Mode at the Mixed Company Theatre in Great Barrington, MA.

NSPAC's next production will be a staged reading of Wilson's new play DIAL IT BACK at Saint James Place, the multi-faceted community arts center, located in the heart of Great Barrington's recently designated Massachusetts' Cultural District.   DIAL IT BACK will be part of Saint James Place's inaugural theatre festival THEATREFEST in May 2019.