Despite its vaguely Hawaiian-sounding name, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is in fact one of the highlights of the Great Barrington arts scene. (“Mahaiwe” is a Mohican word meaning “the place downstream.”)
The Mahaiwe has been around, in one form or another, for over a century. Its history follows a familiar pattern, although unlike some of its contemporaries, it has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1905. It was built primarily as a vaudeville theater, changed over to a movie palace in the 1930s, and now acts as a fully restored vintage concert hall, renowned for its acoustics.
The Mahaiwe offers shows from across a range of disciplines: folk music, jazz, comedy, the occasional classic feature film, and more. It also hosts sporadic educational community events, generally geared toward young people, which aim to teach a bit of history through the use of puppetry and drama. (JM)
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (a 5-minute walk from BTA bus 21 at Rosseter Street/Main Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Programming includes folk music, jazz, comedy, film, opera, and more
- Ticket Prices: Range widely depending on event and seat selection. Student and children discounts are often available
- Memberships: Several levels are available. Friend ($65); Contributor ($100); Supporter ($250); Sustainer ($500); Patron ($1,000); Benefactor ($2,500); and Angel ($5,000). Benefits are tiered with every member receiving discounts on tickets to most events; priority ticket ordering period for most shows; and a Season Program listing
- Other Benefits: At the Patron Level ($1,000) members receive a private Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Mahaiwe for a group of up to six; at the Benefactor Level ($2,500) members receive an invitation to an intimate pre-show dinner with Mahaiwe board members and executive staff; and at the Angel Level ($5,000) members have the opportunity to host a private dinner on the stage of the Mahaiwe.