Saturday, March 2, 2013
Made in the Berkshires presents:
Exquisite Dilemmas: Women and Choices
Hosted by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims, featuring Sally-Jane Heit, Susan Merrill, and Joy Spivak
Unicorn Theater, Stockbridge, 7:30 p.m.
$20 admission to benefit the 2013 Made in the Berkshires Festival
For tickets, contact the Colonial Theatre box office at (413) 997-4444

Choice: n. the act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. adj. of very good quality

Join us as we eavesdrop on women who are exploring the exquisite dilemma of choosing how to live their lives. You’ll go from glee to sorrow and back again with Before I Forget, a delicious look at one woman’s life, loves, and losses, written and performed by Sally-Jane Heit with music by Uel Wade. We’ll reprise the 2012 Made in the Berkshires audience favorite The Rabbi Auditions, by Joy Spivak, in which the temple’s three-person search committee kvells, kvetches, and finally chooses a new rabbi. And we’ll round out the evening with humor, insight and personal recollections from Susan Merrill, the Berkshires’ favorite storyteller.

Sally-Jane Heit grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and trained at the High School of Performing Arts, Hunter College, and Yale Drama School. After raising three daughters in Washington, DC, she moved to New York and was cast in Michael Bennett’s Broadway musical Ballroom. Her impressive list of professional credits includes theater, television, and film. It was an inspired encounter with Lily Tomlin that ignited the passion that has evolved into her latest production, Before I Forget . . . A Musical


Stockbridge painter and writer Susan Merrill has exhibited her paintings in numerous local venues, including, for the past five years, an annual solo show of farm animal paintings at Hancock Shaker Village.  She began writing when Lyn Austin, the head of the Music Theater Group,  asked her to write something for her annual Berkshire Writers evening. As no one could ever say no to Lyn Austin, that’s when it all started. For many years Susan read stories at the Williamsville Inn, at the request of innkeeper Gail Ryan, as part of her Stories for a Winter Evening series. The stories eventually turned themselves into two novels. Warm Morning, published in 2010, is about growing up in a magic house on a farm in rural Maryland, where Susan spent  her childhood winters. The other novel, Cool Evening, not yet published, is about another house, this one in the Berkshires, and it is from this book that Susan will read tonight.


Prior to playwriting, Joy Spivak made records and performed in Las Vegas, writing her own shows and comedy. She later changed careers, becoming the second female police officer in New Jersey. She and her husband, Jerry, reside in Naples, FL, and West Stockbridge, MA.



Made in the Berkshires is a locally grown festival of new works including theatre, film, dance, poetry, music, short stories, performance, and visual art, under the aegis of the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Hilary Somers Deely is co-curator of Made in the Berkshires. An actress, director, and producer, Hilary has headed three academic theater programs in independent schools and is an emeritus member of the Berkshire Theatre Festival board and a member of the advisory board for the Berkshire Fringe. Most recently, she joined the Fringe in its artists’ residency at Mass MOCA in a world premiere production of The Waypoint. She has voiced three roles in Gregory Whitehead’s BBC 4 radio plays; stage managed and acted in several productions at Joan Ackerman’s Mixed Company; coproduced the third year of Ten Minutes in the Berkshires; directed an Equity touring Company of My Children, My Africa; and has appeared in staged productions at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Runway Theatre in Grapevine, TX.


Barbara Sims is co-curator of Made in the Berkshires and was a co-producer for the Free Concerts in Lilac Park series in 2010 and 2011. Her theater credits include A Streetcar Named Desire with Natasha Richardson and Noises Off with Patti LuPone on Broadway. Her Off-Broadway roles include the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane, with Alec Baldwin; Juno and the PaycockArms and the Man, directed by Roger Rees at Circle in the Square Theatre; The Hope Zone, with Olympia Dukakis; and Trip to Bountiful, with Ellen Burstyn. She has also performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Shakespeare & Company, Stages Repertory Theatre, and the Houston Shakespeare Festival. Her film and TV credits include Law & Order: SVUGuiding Light; PBS’s End of the Line; and Cornflower Blue.