Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 24, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 September 24 - October 14, 2015

At this point, I'm not sure how many of you I know personally - which is great!  In addition to my day (and night) jobs in the Smith College Theatre, New Century Theatre, and the Academy of Music, I am a stage manager. This week, I thought I would share a little article that may be helpful for anyone starting to put together their own stage management kit. This link has a nice list of ideas for how to stock an SM kit on a budget. And a good list of places to get free samples.  If you have any great tips or resources for theatre people, send them my way! (And please, keep sharing this newsletter with absolutely everyone you know - the broader the network, the more successful these listings will be!)

My next gig is Issue #3 of the Live Art Magazine, at the Academy of Music on October 23. More information here, and you can get your tickets now! And I hope to meet many more of you at TheatreTruck's next Meet and Greet on Tuesday the 29th at the Brass Cat (see the listings for more information).

The next issue will include events through October 21. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Submit Your Theatre Event
from Howlround

This is About Us, Not About You: A Call for Action
by Seth Lepore
From the article: It’s time for us to stop dilly dallying, theorizing all day long, and pointing at quantitative data as an excuse to sit on our hands and wonder why the performing arts community has a huge poverty mentality running it into the ground. I’m not in any way above this. Ever since I decided to be a performer on as much of a full time basis as possible I’ve been struggling financially. But I’m tired of just talking about it.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The Emily Dickinson Museum presents BEFORE YOU BECAME IMPROBABLE
Emily Dickinson Museum
September 24-26, 6:30 PM

It took eight years of correspondence before T.W. Higginson arrived in Amherst to meet his elusive advisee, Emily Dickinson. Before You Became Improbable reimagines the day of that meeting, offering audience members an encounter with her words and poems in a remarkably personal theatrical experience. This immersive journey returns to the Emily Dickinson Museum in September after a sold-out 2014 run.

BYBI is written and directed by Amherst Regional High School Performing Arts Department Head John Bechtold and produced by Wendy Kohler and the Emily Dickinson Museum. 

Designed as an experience for two people at a time, audience participants should come prepared with comfortable shoes, the willingness to walk for much of the show, and a venturesome spirit.

One or two participants depart every four minutes between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Emily Dickinson Museum, located at 280 Main Street in downtown Amherst.

Reservations are required; please check out the event web site to make one.
The Majestic Theatre presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 
by Tennessee Williams
September 24 - October 18, 2015
Wednesday - Sunday

The Majestic Theatre, West Springfield
Streetcar not only one the Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1948, but more than any other play ushered in a new dramatic naturalism to the stage. "The Method", as it became known, woudl revolutionize American Theater forever. Blanche DuBois, fragile and penniless and having lost the family home, once a large plantation, to creditors, finds herself in the French Quarter of New Orleans and under the roof of her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley Kowalski. She finds Stanley "common" but strikes up a relationship with Mitch, one of his poker buddies, until old truths are forced into the open. A Streetcar Named Desire is our first Tennessee Williams production at the Majestic — you won't want to miss it!

More information at tickets available online 
or call (413) 747-7797.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents a playreading of SWEATSHOP CINDERELLA by Elllen Kaplan
Friday, September 25 at 2:40 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Anzia Yezierska, born in a mud hut in Plinsk, Poland in 1885, emigrated to the Lower East Side as a child, and gained fame writing about the Jewish immigrant family. "Sweatshop Cinderella," Ellen Kaplan's new play, is a trenchant, often hilarious look at Yezierska's life and work. Staged reading featuring Sam Rush, Justin Cammy, Ellen Kaplan and Smith theatre students. 

Free and open to the public.

Check out the rest of the Smith Fall semester online.
Fundraiser: Paper City Performing Arts presents The Things We Do 
Friday, September 25 at 8:00 PM
Winter Palace Theatre and Ballroom
108 Cabot Street, Holyoke

Dramatic scenes, sketch comedy, and popular show tunes all create this non-tale of the human condition. Join us on this theatrical journey as we raise money to improve The Winter Palace Theater. Improvements include lighting and sound equipment, along with putting money towards a new sprinkler system.

Tickets may be purchased at the door at a price of $10.00. Contact them via Facebook to make reservations or should you have any questions. 
Real Live Theatre presents a staged reading of a brand new Shakespeare play,

Gateway City Arts

92 Race Street, Holyoke MA

September 25 (7:30), 26 (7:30), and 27 (2:30).

Margaret of Anjou, featured in an unparalled four Shakespearean plays, should, by rights, be the star of her own story. Real Live Theatre company members Toby Vera Bercovici and Daniel Morbyrne create a riveting drama, pulling text from nearly all of Shakespeare’s plays to create scenes from history and the imagination to flesh out the life of this extraordinary woman.  “Queen Margaret" presents the most well-rounded, powerful, stereotype-defying, complex Shakespearean woman to ever tread the boards. This performance is a dynamic staged reading, and will serve as a preview to the fully staged production, which will be performed in Spring 2016. Come early and enjoy excellent food and drink in the beer garden; stay after for a thought-provoking talk back with the artists.

Tickets are $10, available in advance or at the door. 
More information at and tickets online.
THE DRAFT by Peter Snoad
based on the book by Tom Weiner
Sunday, September 27 at 4:00 PM
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton

The play takes 10 stories from Weiner's book, "Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft." The book and play include all of the possible choices faced by those drafted, including serving, resisting, leaving the country, conscientious objection and somehow beating the draft. A powerful, moving rendering of those turbulent times that appeals to a broad audience, "The Draft" opened to rave reviews in Boston.

More information and tickets online.
Happier Valley Comedy presents SUNDAY IMPROV FUN TIME
Sunday, September 27 at 7:00 PM
Arts Block (289 Main St, Greenfield)

Would you like to play easy-to-learn, very fun improv games with us? Or would you just like to watch? Everyone is in luck! Sunday Improv Fun Time is an improv jam open to one and all where you're invited to play with the pros (or just watch.) No experience necessary. Just a willingness to play. (Or just watch.) 

Just ask a recent Sunday Improv Fun Time guest: "Had fun the other day when a bunch of us stepped to the plate to actually be on stage. Less scary than I had thought, but your team made it easy and fun!"

Tickets are only $5 at the door!

is a show in two parts:

The first is an open invitation to play improv games lead by the SIFT House Team. Anybody can get up with us and try out easy-to-play short form improv games in a very supportive, positive environment. (Or you can just watch.)

Then in the second set, sit back, relax, and watch the SIFT House Team perform a longform improvised set inspired by you.


More information online.
Theatre Guild of Hampden presents DOUBT, A PARABLE
by John Patrick Shanley

The Greenhouse Theater 2 Somers Road Hampden MA
October 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30 PM, October 4 and 11 at 2:00 PM

Set against the backdrop of a Bronx Catholic school in 1964, Doubt is the story of a strong-minded woman faced with a difficult decision. Should she voice concerns about one of her male colleagues…even if she’s not entirely certain of the truth? The acclaimed production of this new play, which won prolific writer John Patrick Shanley the Tony Award for Best Play, moved from its off-Broadway home at Manhattan Theatre Club to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre. Ben Brantley of The New York Times raves that the show is, “sharp, subtle and superb.” There’s no doubt–this play is sure to be a hit and a must-see for any theater lover.

More information online.
The Seth Show: A Year to Live
Tuesday, October 6 at 7:00 PM
Every first Tuesday of the month through May 2016
Eastworks, Suite #160

During Season 2 Lepore explores the theme ‘A Year to Live’ on the first Tuesday of each month. While exploring new material as if he has a short time left on Earth, Lepore will challenge himself and his audience anew, creating a framework for the inevitable part of life we all must face.

More details online.

Happier Valley Comedy Show:  SCRIPTED/UNSCRIPTED
Saturday, October 10 at 8:00 PM

Arts Block Cafe (289 Main St., Greenfield)

What happens when you put one theater actor following the script line by line in a scene with one improviser who has no idea what the script is and has to make everything up as it goes along? You get SCRIPTED/UNSCRIPTED! We've got a fantastic line up of highly respected Valley stage actors paired with the Valley's best and brightest improvisers to create this very popular show that is sure to make your holiday weekend into a HA-HA!-liday weekend!

Audiences can look forward to a full evening of comic entertainment rated PG-13 in this handicapped-accessible space. For more information about The Happier Valley Comedy Show, visit the show website.

Tickets $10 in advance online and $13 at the door.
TheatreTruck hosts a roving Meet & Greet for The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Community
Tuesday, September 29
The Brass Cat

We've met you in Amherst. We've met you in Northampton. It's time for round 3!

Please help spread the word and add your company members and colleagues to the guest list on facebook.

A casual night out of chatting and networking. Come grab a drink, say hello, talk up your latest project. We hope to see you there.
TheatreTruck's Halloween Happening

September 30, 7-10 at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center.

One need not be a Chamber -- to be Haunted --

One need not be a House --
The Brain has Corridors -- surpassing
Material Place --                            
-Emily Dickinson

TheatreTruck is pleased as punch to be offering a storytelling event at The Evergreens (Amherst) ​over
Halloween weekend, in partnership with The Emily Dickinson Museum.

We are seeking actors to play Storytellers and a Spectre. The event will celebrate all things Gothic, but especially the house itself​ - ​the perfect space to explore the great and gripping ghost story.

​Auditions will take place on September 30th from 7-10pm at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. We ask that actors send a headshot/resume and make an appointment via email.

Auditioners should prepare a 1-2 minute ghost story. It does not need to be memorized, and can be a juicy selection from a longer story (no need for a full tale - after all, the cliff hanger is a tool of Gothic storytelling). We ask that you present it with strong physical choices and a sense of character (if you need inspiration, look to Victorian melodrama or the works of Edward Gorey!)

The event will take place twice nightly from October 28-Nov 1(Wednesday-Sunday). 

To learn more about TheatreTruck please visit the website.
AUDITIONS: Smith College Department of Theatre
STOP KISS by Diana Son, directed by Jennifer Sturley '17J
YELLOW FACE by David Henry Hwang, directed by Megumi Lee '17

Auditions will be held Sunday and Tuesday, October 4 and 6, 7-10 PM
Callbacks for YELLOW FACE on Wednesday, October 7, 7-10PM

Callbacks for STOP KISS on Thursday, October 8, 7-10 PM
TV Studio

No preparation required. Sides from the script will be provided.

All shows at 7:30 PM - Acting Studio 1 (TV Studio)

Thursday and Saturday, December 10, 12
STOP KISS by Diana Son, directed by Jennifer Sturley '17J
After Sara arrives in New York to teach school, she meets Callie, a traffic reporter who has lived in New York for over a decade. Sara and Callie's first kiss provokes a violent attack by a bystander. STOP KISS tells their story before and after the brutal hate crime that reverberates through their lives in unexpected ways. "...irresistibly exciting...a sweet, sad, and enchantingly sincere play." -The New York Times

Friday and Sunday, December 11, 13
YELLOW FACE by David Henry Hwang, directed by Megumi Lee '17
When a Caucasian man is accidentally cast in the role of an Asian man in a play, an elaborate and expensive attempt to save face results in a semi-autobiographical exploration of race and the interactions between media and politics. YELLOW FACE is a powerfully unapologetic look at cultural identity in America. "YELLOW FACE is that rarity in theater, a pungent play of ideas with a big heart. Picaresque tale brings to the national discussion about race three much-needed commodities: a sense of humor a mile wide, an even-handed treatment and a hopeful, healing vision of a world that could be." -Variety
University of Massachusetts Amherst -
Assistant Professor, Scenic Design, Theater Department

The Department of Theater in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts invites applications for a tenure-track position in Scene Design at the rank of Assistant Professor, to begin September 1, 2016.

This professor, specializing in scene design, will be an impressive professional practitioner and teacher who will bring experience and vision to the Department. The successful candidate will teach MFA graduate and undergraduate courses in such areas as Scenic Design, Drawing/Rendering, Architectural History, Scenic Painting, Scale Model Building, Drafting, Computer Skills, and collaborative classes across theater disciplines. The professor is also responsible for the scene design, scenic art and properties design of the department's main stage season, the supervision of student designers and artisans, as well as contributing other specialties to complement departmental offerings. The professor will collaborate closely with all production areas including the Scene Shop Faculty and Staff, consisting of the Faculty Technical Director, Scenic Construction Director, 2 graduate students, and numerous undergraduate work-study and practicum students. Two newly renovated theaters include a 450-seat proscenium and a 100-seat flexible performance space.  Participation in departmental and university service is also a responsibility.

We are seeking talented applicants qualified for an assistant professor position. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration.

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

  • MFA in Scene Design by time of hire
  • Extensive experience as a professional scene designer at the national level
  • Evidence of ongoing creative achievement
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching scene design at the college level
Additional Information:
The university is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body.  The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.  Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University's goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual's record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic degree and career.
Application Instructions:
To apply submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae (or detailed professional resume), a link to your online portfolio, and the names and e-mail addresses of three references here. Applicants should apply by the priority deadline of  November 2, 2015, in order to ensure consideration.
Fall Drama Classes Taught by Becca Greene-Van Horn at LSSE in Amherst Start Next Week

Fall drama and acting classes through LSSE are now open for registration. Below is a description of the classes offered for 3rd grade through Adult. All Classes meet at the Bangs Center in Amherst.  or call 413-259-3065.
Make Me Laugh: For grades, 3-5, meets on 8 Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 PM starting October 1. Love to laugh? Then you’ve come to the right place! Taught by former professional actress and experienced drama teacher, Becca Greene-Van Horn, participants will have a blast learning improvisation, drama games and practicing comedy scenes! Participants will increase their listening and collaborative skills, as well as verbal and physical confidence on stage.  An informal demo will be presented at the end.
Youth Improvisation: For Grades 6-8, meets on 8 Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00 PM starting Sept. 29.
A take-off on the popular “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” show, this popular class will give participants an opportunity to hone their improvisational skills in a humorous, playful, nonjudgmental, and supportive setting. The acting exercises, drama games and scene work are designed to encourage young actors to take creative risks, while increasing their improvisational comfort level and self-confidence. Participants will increase their listening and collaborative skills, as well as verbal and physical confidence on stage. Participants will visit Hampshire College for a fun evening of Improv with Hampshire students and perform for a young audience.
ACTSMART Improv Company: For High School, meets 8 Wednesdays from 3-5 PM and starts September 30. Come be part of the 2015-16 ACTSMART IMPROV COMPANY! Actors will be trained in Improv, Playback Theater and other ensemble acting techniques. The company will perform in schools, community settings and organizations, addressing the relevant issues that youth face: peer pressure, bullying, conflict management and more. One to two public performances will be scheduled as part of the class at a school, or after school program, and one for the general public.
This year I am also starting a Junior ACTSMART Improv Company, that will carry on the wonderful work that the teen ACTSMART group has been doing. Seasoned ACTSMART actors will have an opportunity to mentor and teach the younger (7-9 grade) group some of the skills that they have honed and perfected. Please let me know if your middle schooler/high schooler is interested in these two groups. Email me at
Adult Improv: Acting for Fun and Pleasure For 16 years and up, meets 6 Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30 PM and starts Oct. 6. Come learn improvisation skills and drama games just for the fun of it! This class is for 16-adult participants of all ages and abilities. Improvisation teaches us to think on our feet, be in the moment and learn to trust our instincts; all the while having a great time. Taught by former professional actress and experienced teacher, Becca Greene-Van Horn, the class will focus on the basics, and also encourage participants to stretch themselves into previously unknown and hilarious territory!
ADULT ACTING WORKSHOP: 8 Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM starting October 1. For 16 and up. In this new and fun class, participants, 16 to adult, will learn how to work on monologues and scenes with former professional actress and experienced drama teacher, Becca Greene-Van Horn. The acting exercises, drama games and scene work are designed to encourage new, and/or more experienced actors to take creative risks, while increasing their stage presence, comfort level and self-confidence.
***YOUTH ON BROADWAY 2016 AUDITIONS: Just a heads up for all you musical theater kids/teens! YOB 2016 auditions will be this Fall! Will update you as soon as the dates are set. Scholarships available.
Please register by calling 413-259-3065, or going to .
Phantom Sheep comedy troupe with JART presents 
LaughCrafters: Comedy Improv Classes for young adults
Tuesday for 4 weeks, beginning October 6th at 7:00 PM
Springfield Jewish Community Center, Dickenson St. Springfield, MA

The next 4 week session of successful comedy improv classes begins Oct. 6th at the Springfield JCC. 
Learn theater games and exercises, sharpen quick thinking, build stage confidence, unleash creativity, ease stress and laugh...a lot!
All taught in a very fun, encouraging, and constructive atmosphere by experienced professionals. 

This session will focus on adding scene structure and character development. Great for writers and performers. All experience levels welcome and open to the general public.

Meeting every Tuesday 7-9PM for 4 weeks.
Only $60 for the 4 week session.  Discounts available for JCC and JART members. Payment plans also available.

Contact or 413-739-4715 to register.

Phantom Sheep is a professional comedy troupe with over 15 years of experience together teaching, performing, and producing shows and workshops. They specialize in improv, sketch comedy, and even theme park entertainment.

They have been partnered with the Springfield JCC since spring 2014 providing classes and production consultation.  There work has also been seen at Six Flags, various schools and libraries, and West Hartford's Improvaganza. 

Visit online or on Facebook. Facebook event here. 

Happier Valley Comedy presents Redefining Failure Through Laughter (A Personal Growth Through Improvisation Workshop)
with Pam Victor of The Zen of Improv
(For Everybody!)

Saturday, Oct. 103:00-5pm (2 hours)
Hadley, MA

Fee: $25 (plus $6 OFF coupon to that night's Happier Valley Comedy Show)
*limited amount of discounts available for college students and professionals*

Pre-requisite: Just a willingness to disempower failure. EVERYONE can do this workshop.

Weathering mistakes and overcoming setbacks are tricky but absolutely vital both at work and at home. In this workshop, improv exercises provide many experiences that help you understand that defining something as a "failure" only sets up roadblocks; and instead you can see it as a judgment-free event, freeing you to move forward with more confidence and creativity.  And you learn it all through laughter! Empower yourself by disempowering failure with this powerful workshop.


About Your Facilitator:

Pam Victor is a teacher, improviser, and author in Western Massachusetts. She designed and teaches the Zen of Improv a multi-level improv curriculum as well as the entire Through Laughter Program. Pam writes the “Zen of Improv” series, a sassy (and sometimes saucy) look at the alignment of improvisation and Zen thinking as well as the well-respected "Geeking Out with..." interview blog series. Along with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi, Pam is the co-author of Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book. Pam is the founding member of The Ha-Ha’s with whom she performs at The Happier Valley Comedy Show (Arts Block Cafe/Greenfield), which she also produces. She's a regular performer with the Majesters (Majestic Theatre/W. Springfield), and when she's lucky she graces the stage with her dear friends at ImprovBoston. A graduate of Smith College with a Master's in Education from Iona College, Pam has received improv  training from iO Theater (Chicago), Annoyance Theatre (Chicago), ImprovBoston, and from Second City teachers.

More information online.
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