Nicholas Paleologos Is First ED at Berkshire Theatre Group
March 17, 2018 The Berkshire Theatre Group, a nonprofit based in Stockbridge that presents live theatrical productions at four venues in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, this week announced Nicholas Paleologos, a former Massachusetts state legislator and Tony Award-winning producer, has been appointed to the newly created position of executive director.
The position was established in response to the expansion of Berkshire Theatre Group
(BTG) from two venues to four, a longer performance season, and a substantially increased educational component, a spokesperson said.
Kate Maguire, artistic director of BTG, said, "Nicholas brings a wealth of experience to us from the world of producing and governing."
Paleologos, who has served as executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts since 2011, is a two-time Tony Award-winning producer whose credits include the London and Broadway productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
"I fell in love with the Berkshires in my twenties when I saw my first show here at the invitation of Senator Jack Fitzpatrick. Coming back now to work for such a storied institution as BTG is a dream come true," said Paleologos.
Paleologos served for 14 years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where his primary focus was education and the arts. He chaired the House Education, Arts, and Humanities Committee from 1985 to 1990, during which he authored several major initiatives, including the Education Reform Act of 1985 (Chapter 188), the Performing Arts Student Series (PASS Program), the 1988 Boston/Moscow Cultural Exchange program, the Student Freedom of Expression law, and the College Opportunity Bond law.
After leaving the legislature in 1990, Paleologos helped spearhead the drive to create the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, the largest of its kind in the country at that time. He then served for more than a decade as one of its founding trustees. He was honored by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees in 2007 for lifetime service to public education.
In September of 2000, Paleologos founded Boston's Stuart Street Playhouse where he was the producing director for nearly a decade, during which time he taught a course in theater production at Tufts University.
From 2007 until 2010, he served as executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office. Under his leadership, the office attracted more than a billion dollars of new direct spending on film and television production to Massachusetts. During his tenure, Massachusetts-made movies included The Fighter, Shutter Island, The Town
, and The Social Network
Paleologos is the recipient of a Primetime Emmy Award-nomination for the HBO film In The Gloaming
, which marked the directorial debut of the late Christopher Reeve. He has produced documentaries for PBS' Frontline and The American Experience. His last film for PBS was, Louis Brandeis, The People's Attorney.
Paleologos earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Tufts University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.
BTG was created in 2010 by the merger of two of Berkshire County's oldest cultural organizations, Berkshire Theatre Festival founded in 1928 in Stockbridge and The Colonial Theatre built in 1903 in Pittsfield. Its Stockbridge campus, comprised of The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and The Unicorn Theatre, is home to Berkshire Theatre Festival. It also operates The Colonial Theatre and The Garage in Pittsfield.