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Syrup Fest starts today in Shelburne Falls

Masque Theater's Larry Hunt will lead mask workshops and will perform as part of this weekend's Syrup Performing Arts Festival in Shelburne Falls. (submitted photo)

Masque Theater's Larry Hunt will lead mask workshops and will perform as part of this weekend's Syrup Performing Arts Festival in Shelburne Falls. (submitted photo)

SHELBURNE FALLS — Why not celebrate the coming of spring with music, dance and maple syrup?

“Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival” takes place this weekend in Memorial Hall. This is the fourth annual Syrup Festival presented by the Piti Theatre Co., in which there is theater, interactive children’s performances, special guests and workshops for all ages.

At least three varieties of Shoestring Farm’s maple syrup will be available for sampling in the lobby on Saturday, along with organic pickles from Real Pickles of Greenfield.

This year’s headline performers include Connecticut’s award-winning Masque Theater, which has performed on four continents, for over a million people, since 1980.

Highlights include:

∎ Paper pattern mask-making workshop for children, today from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Masque Theater’s Larry Hunt will help children cut out and decorate a wearable mask and discover the emotion behind it. Participants can display their masks in Memorial Hall, take them home, or wear them during Saturday’s events. (Workshop is $5 or $8 with ticket for Saturday.)

∎ Performances Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. Piti Theatre Co. presents “To Bee or Not to Bee,” with music by Carrie Ferguson. This show is now touring New England after recent performances in Switzerland. The performance includes the local group, Ballet Renverse’s “Dance of the Honeybees” and “SYRUP Story,” a short comedy about maple sugaring created by a teen ensemble in Orange, called the Wheeler Play Group.

∎ The evening performance, for ages 8 and up, includes Masque Theater’s Larry Hunt in a non-verbal performance that has toured the world and includes over 20 masks and puppets. (Admission is $5 for afternoon events, $12 for evening performance and $15 for whole day.)

∎ Mask Movement Workshop, Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. at Hart Yoga. Hunt leads this workshop for those ages 15 and older, for those interested in exploring the non-verbal elements of masks, which can be applied to acting, puppetry, dance, music and public speaking. This workshop is limited to 15 participants, and the cost is $20 for students, $30 for others. To register call 625-6569.

For online information, go to:

www.ptco.org/shows/syrup

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