Lenox, MA – Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Berkshires, Shakespeare & Company may soon play host to a captivating new act – a state-of-the-art film production and education center. The ambitious project, spearheaded by the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC), promises to transform a portion of the theater’s campus into BFMC+Kemble Street Studios.
BFMC envisions a sprawling 12,000-square-foot soundstage with cutting-edge technology that will include virtual and augmented reality stages, post-production suites, and podcasting hubs.
BFMC+Kemble Street Studios aims to become a beacon for future generations of filmmakers, nurturing their talents and equipping them with the tools to craft compelling narratives. The center hopes to attract national and international film productions to the Berkshires, injecting a dose of Hollywood magic into the region’s vibrant cultural landscape.
The Berkshire Eagle, who first broke the story, sat down with Diane Pearlam, Executive Director of BFMC. “We’re excited about the possibilities this collaboration presents. Imagine the Berkshires not just as a backdrop for stories, but as a breeding ground for them. We can foster talent, create jobs, and revitalize the local economy – all through the power of film.”
While Shakespeare & Company remains tight-lipped about the specifics of the proposed lease, Artistic Director Allyn Burrows acknowledges the potential benefits. “It’s a fascinating plan,” he says. “We’re carefully considering how it could complement our existing operations and contribute to the overall sustainability of the theater.”
With rising property costs posing a challenge for cultural institutions like Shakespeare & Company, the collaboration with BFMC offers a glimmer of hope. The potential financial offset could allow the theater to continue its artistic legacy while securing its future.
The road to Hollywood in the Berkshires is still under construction. BFMC is currently in the midst of fundraising, having secured $340,000 of the $450,000 needed for the initial development stage. A major capital campaign is set to launch in the coming months, aiming to raise the $15-18 million required for the project’s full-fledged realization.
Whether Shakespeare & Company and BFMC will share the spotlight in this cinematic endeavor remains to be seen. But one thing is certain – the Berkshires are poised to play a captivating new role in the world of film, one frame at a time.
Article first appeared in: The Berkshire Eagle
An artist’s rendering of the proposed BFMC Studio