How to get to the theater, what to wear, when to arrive, where to park and everything in between to make your visit a great one.
Coming To The Mahaiwe, Great Barrington
Ready to attend a Close Encounters With Music concert? You will most often find us performing at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (The Mahaiwe) in downtown Great Barrington. The Mahaiwe is a beautifully restored theatre listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It began as a live performance venue in 1905 and eventually became a movie house with the birth of silent films. The Mahaiwe went through a major renovation in 2003 and became a year-round venue for performing arts, film, and educational and family programs. The Mahaiwe seats up to 680 people and features floor and balcony seating as well as Juliette balconies. Learn more about The Mahaiwe here.
Traveling to The Mahaiwe from outside of the Berkshires? It’s an easy trip to 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington. If you’re driving from Boston or New York, it will take you about 2-1/2 hours to get to the southwestern corner of Massachusetts.
You’re probably wondering where you should stay and dine. There are many B & Bs, historic inns, and hotels in Great Barrington and the surrounding towns. Once here for a weekend, a week or longer, you’ll find endless opportunities for other cultural events, outdoor recreation, shopping at local boutiques and shops, and casual dining. More information below on where to go and what to do when you’re here:
Our Other Venues
While we consider The Mahaiwe our home, we do use other performance venues in the Southern Berkshires. Once every winter and in the summer, we offer concerts at Saint James Place at 352 Main Street in Great Barrington. Saint James Place is an arts and cultural center featuring a jewel of a performance hall with comfortable orchestra and balcony seating. Concerts have taken place at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, at the Norman Rockwell Museum, and The Clark in Williamstown as well as The Frick and Merkin Hall in NYC. We also present informal talks at Edith Wharton’s The Mount and at various inns and cultural sites in the area.
What Should I Wear?
Come as your artistic best self – all fashion statements are welcome. Boho, preppie, office attire, country chic, après-gardening or pre-dinner cocktail. We are completely non-judgmental. And don’t forget that you’ll have your moment on stage at the Afterglow Reception where you can meet other sharp dressers as well as the performers. Seriously, we even encourage dress-up to follow occasional program themes – Gypsy music, The Roaring Twenties, etc.
Where Can I Park?
Ahhh, parking. The positive news is that Great Barrington is a very walkable town, so wherever you park, it’s not too far away from our performance venue. If we’re performing at The Mahaiwe or Saint James Place, there are several lots you can use at no charge. Download the downtown Great Barrington parking map here.
If you’re driving south on Main Street, access these 24-hour parking options:
- Rosseter Street
- Dresser Avenue (next to the Mason Library)
- Pleasant Street (next to the Mason Library)
- The parking lot at the top of Railroad Street
If the performance is after 7pm, and almost all of our performances are in the evening, you can use these lots:
- Berkshire Bank lot
- Mason Library lot
- First Congregational Church lot
- Lots off Bridge Street (across from the Co-op Market)
- Berkshire Co-op Market lot
- Great Barrington Town Hall lot (immediately across from the Mahaiwe and next to Saint James Place)
- Berkshire Community College lot
- Saint James Place lot (if event is at Saint James Place)
What Can I Do Before Or After The Concert?
Great Barrington, often labeled one of the best small towns in America, and the surrounding Southern Berkshire towns are filled with opportunities for entertainment, rejuvenation and relaxation, and fun. If you’re staying for a weekend or longer, you can enjoy all the Berkshires has to offer: hike, bike, and kayak; tour historic homes, like The Mount and Naumkeag; visit breweries, wineries, and the Berkshire Mountain Distillery; enjoy other events and performances (we recommend you check the Berkshire Edge Calendar).
Here are a few ideas to guide you when planning your trip.
Great Barrington and surrounding towns offer dozens of dining opportunities. It’s best to make a reservation and enjoy dinner before or following the concert. Some of our favorite local restaurants include:
- The Prairie Whale – Farm-to-table casual fine dining (walking distance)
- Number 10 – Casual fine dining steakhouse (right next to The Mahaiwe)
- Bizen – Gourmet Japanese restaurant and Sushi bar (waking distance)
- Baba Louie’s – Features wood-fired sourdough pizza and more (walking distance)
- Café Adam – Contemporary seasonal food serving locally sourced ingredient (eight minutes from downtown)
- Xicohtencatl Mexican Restaurant (five minutes from downtown)
- The Aegean Breeze – American and Greek Cuisine (five minutes from downtown
If you’re looking for a quick bite:
- GB Eats – Diner atmosphere with outdoor seating (walking distance)
- The Well – A local favorite with a bar menu (walking distance)
- Tangiers – Moroccan and Mediterranean Cuisine (waking distance)
There are some wonderful restaurants 10 to 20 minutes from Great Barrington, including The Old Inn on the Green, Cantina 229 and Gedney Farm in New Marlborough; The Old Mill and John Andrews Farmhouse in Egremont; Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge; and multiple restaurants in Lenox.
How Long Are The Concerts?
Our performances vary in length depending on the event and format. If you attend a concert that is part of our winter/spring series, they generally run about two hours with an intermission in the middle and an Afterglow gathering with nibbles and drinks afterward. The summer Moonlight Sonata performances featuring faculty and students from our Berkshire High Peaks Festival run one to two hours.
Are there provisions for people with disabilities?
Whether we’re at The Mahaiwe, Saint James Place or other performance space, accessibility is always considered. The Mahaiwe has accessible seating and parking and offers a hearing assist system. Saint James Place, another venue we use, meets all American with Disabilities Act requirements. All areas of the building are accessible by wheelchair.