As summer winds its way down one of the country’s most cherished performance festivals will be ending yet another year of events. Though the ticketed shows in the different Jacob’s Pillow theaters are exquisite in their own right, my favorite place at ‘The Pillow’ is the Inside/Out space. This simple outdoor stage is set amidst the most beautiful backdrop of the Berkshire mountains. The stunning scenery lends an almost magical feel as you watch the dancers perform and lets audience members enjoy the Berkshire summer as well as the talented performers, all for free.
From the middle of June until the end of August, Wednesdays through Saturday (6:15 – 7:00), you can pack some wine or a nice picnic dinner and some chairs, and head up to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket. There are rows of benches if you get there early enough but bringing the chairs ensures you a place to sit when the benches fill up. These events are family friendly and it is not uncommon to see little children dancing and playfully running through the audience. The performances are held rain or shine and sometimes if the weather is bad they will move the event to one of the smaller indoor venues. There are always a wide variety of performances throughout the season so even if you go to several shows you’ll always see something new and exciting. I have seen African dancers, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and many other genres of dance. They are always exhilarating.
When I attend one of the Inside/Out performances, I usually stop at a local shop and pick up some tasty snacks, a bottle of wine, and some drinks for the kids and head to Becket to get to ‘The Pillow’ early, to secure my favorite spot on the benches. Then, after the crowd arrives, I sit with my children and watch and listen to the sights and sounds of talented dancers surrounded by the natural amphitheater that surrounds the stage. When the last shows of the season roll around, it makes me a bit sad to see the season end, but it also makes me anticipate next year’s season. That is part of the wonder that is the Berkshires, there is always more magic to look forward to. I am already looking forward to next year, and this season hasn’t even ended yet.
Photo Credit: Ben Rudick