THE NEW STAGE STORY
In the fall of 2009, after three years of running Castle Hill Theatre Company, the acclaimed family theater group that she founded in 2006, Artistic Director Nicki Wilson decided to branch out into more dramatic productions.
After testing the waters with a successful production of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, and with the encouragement of her Castle Hill collaborators, Wilson decided to try to find a permanent home for the family theater, as well as a place that she could produce innovative theater pieces year round.
Converting a loft space in the newly redesigned Beacon Building in downtown Pittsfield, MA into a black box theater, Wilson founded the New Stage Performing Arts Center April 2010.
In its two years of operation, NSPAC was home to over 50 productions, both from its in house theater company as well as from visiting groups. Drama, comedy, cabaret, modern dance - New Stage was focused on being a home to the kind of performing arts that might not get a chance to be performed anywhere else in the Berkshires.
Starting in 2011 with it's New Works at New Stage festival, New Stage also began a commitment to premiering new, socially focused works. After establishing relationships with the playwrights Edward Bernstein and Yasmine Beverly Rana during the festival, NSPAC gave full productions to Bernstein's The Trial of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and to Rana's Blood Sky during the following year.
Though after two successful years, Wilson and her staff agreed that keeping the performing arts center open year round was becoming a burden. Choosing to instead take their time and ensure that their next project would be of the highest quality possible, they shuttered the theater after their June 2012 production of Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden.
Wilson and her staff are now focused on taking the New Stage Performing Arts brand and adapting it to the old Castle Hill Theatre Company structure of developing new and innovative theater pieces while taking them to expose the widest audience possible.