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BWLI Students and Committee

According to script

B-HIP intern joins professional cast


07/08/2009

The theatre career of MCLA graduate Peter Fitzgerald '09 (above) of Quincy, MA, got off to a great start over Memorial Day Weekend when he performed for well over 350 people with actor Dan Lauria, perhaps best known for his role in The Wonder Years television show.

Fitzgerald, a theatre and English major who minored in arts management, is concluding his MCLA career this summer by participating in the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP). His internship at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington is a first for B-HIP.

Founded by Joe Cacaci, Jim Frangione, Bob Jaffe, and Matthew Penn, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab is dedicated to encouraging, developing, and presenting new plays through readings, workshops, and fully-staged productions.

Fitzgerald's performance was at this year's Gala Season Opening. The event featured original material written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet (Glengary Glen Ross) and Pulitzer Prize finalist Eric Bogosian (Talk Radio), as well as Larry Gelbart, who is best known for writing the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the television series M*A*S*H and for co-writing the Oscar-nominated screenplay Tootsie.

The proceeds of the gala support the Berkshire Playwrights Lab Free Staged Reading Series.

In its second season, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab seeks to support the development of new plays. Every other Wednesday, the Lab offers a dramatic staged reading of an entirely new play, each of which is free to the public. These plays, performed by professional actors, are written by both established and up-and-coming playwrights. 

Fitzgerald aims to become an actor and eventually a director, operator/manager or theatre owner. He said one of the best things about his internship is making contacts with people in the theatre industry.

"This is absolutely the best place that I could be right now, at this stage in my life," Fitzgerald said. "I'm perpetually surrounded by people who give me good advice. Many of the actors who have come through here went through top MFA programs. From talking to these people, I am now looking at that as a very distinct possibility for the near future."

Fitzgerald said he wears a wide variety of hats in this internship. In addition to office work, he works on the Lab's Facebook page and is setting up a Twitter account and a blog.

Recent staged readings have drawn more than 350 theatre enthusiasts.

 "Our Internet presence is growing," Fitzgerald said. "I'm getting us a deeper hold on Facebook, so we'll hopefully draw more people in."

Upcoming readings will take place on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on July 15, July 29, August 12, August 26 and September 16 at the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington. For more information, go to www.berkshireplaywrightslab.org .