Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 22, 2013

Morgan O-Yuki

Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
through September 1, 2013
by Shera Cohen

One of the somewhat hidden gems in the Berkshires is the annual play at Ventfort Hall. Each summer’s performance stars a solo female actor in the role of an historic figure related to Ventfort’s history. Subtitled, “The Geisha of the Gilden Age,” the story is the biography of Yuki Kato, wife of George Morgan of the famous J.P. Morgan family. George’s parents were owners of Ventfort Hall in the 1900’s.

Mayu Iwasaki is beautiful and splendid in the role of the Japanese geisha whose life changes dramatically upon her marriage and life in the United States. It is, obviously, difficult for one person to hold an entire play together. Iwasaki, along with director Enrico Spada, flows smoothly from scene to scene just as her costume flows onstage. Iwasaki tells her audience Kato’s story in the first person – a story that isn’t always pretty, yet honest.

As Ventfort Hall’s renovations continue, the staff increasingly adds public programs and events. In addition to theatre is a unique fashion doll exhibit, lectures, Appraisal Day, and the Tea & Talk Summer Series. The latter features noted experts speaking on such subjects as the Jekyl Island Club, the New York Subway tunnel art, Louisa May Alcott, Nellie Bly, and Miles Morgan. Talks are on Tuesdays from 4pm – 6pm.