Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 10, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 September 10 - 30, 2015

Every Tuesday from 4:40-4:50 on WRSI 93.9 The River, tune into to the Arty Party to hear Joan Holliday and Pam Victor discuss the highlights of the theatre and comedy happenings in the Pioneer Valley. And if you have an event to list, be sure to send me the information - having your event in the newsletter gives you a pretty good shot at being mentioned on air the week before your show opens!

Acting classes are starting up this week - if you haven't registered yet, check with the teacher to see if there is still space! 

The next issue will include events through October 7. 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

In Praise of Cell Phone Users
by Jonathan Mandell

From the articleActor Andrew Blair remembers the first time a member of the audience distracted him; the man, sitting in the front row, “looked like Santa Claus and he was snoring like a chainsaw.” Blair recalls another theatregoer practically shouting on his cell phone “I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now, I’m at the theatre.” 

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The Majestic Theatre presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 
by Tennessee Williams
September 10 - 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.
Working-Day Company presents Coriolanus,
a tragedy by William Shakespeare
Friday and Saturday,
September 11 and 12 at 7:00 PM,
Sunday, September 13 at 3:00 PM
The Shea Theater Civic Center, 71 Avenue A in Turners Falls, MA

Caius Martius has dedicated his life to defending the newborn Roman Republic. A proud general and fearsome warrior, Martius leads Rome to countless victories against her enemies beyond the city's walls. But when he's ruined by enemies within them, he is consumed by a hunger for revenge. Seeking to punish the ungrateful citizens who cast him from his homeland, Caius Martius seeks help in the most unlikely & dangerous of places.

Check out the Facebook Event. Please call (413) 676-9229 for tickets.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show
Saturday, September 12 at 8:00 PM

Arts Block Cafe, 289 Main St, Greenfield

The improvisers of the Happy Valley unite in this rollicking good time show featuring The Ha-Ha's with their special friends and teammates in the SIFT House Team. Sundays come to Saturdays when the SIFT (Sunday Improv Fun Time) players bring their short form improv funnies to The Happier Valley Comedy Show stage. Come enjoy comedy created on the spot in this fast-paced, rip-roaring show!.

Everyone who RSVPs yes on the Facebook event page is automatically entered to win a FREE ticket give-away for this show!

More info
The Emily Dickinson Museum presents Before You Became Improbable
Emily Dickinson Museum
September 17-19
and September 24-26, 6:30 PM

An immersive journey through the Dickinson-Higginson correspondence

"A unique, phenomenal, and deeply treasured experience.”
- Len Berkman, Smith College Professor of Theater

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.

Before You Became Improbable is not a stationary production, but a walking theatrical journey throughout downtown Amherst, en route to the Dickinson grounds.  Equipped with a special pair of headphones, audience members are guided carefully through the show, following a path visible to only them, leading them through a series of compelling encounters. The journey ends in the Dickinson parlor, where participants gather to share insights and experiences with the playwright and each other.

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.

BYBI runs Thursday through Saturday 
(with a 
Sunday rain date) September 17-19 and September 24-26, with one or two participants departing 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.

Smith College Department of Theatre and the Wurtele Center for Work and Life present
One Drop of Love

Friday and Saturday, 
September 18 and 19
7:00 PM

Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts

A multimedia solo performance by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, incorporating filmed images, photographs and animation to tell the story of how the notion of ‘race’ came to be in the United States and how it affects our most intimate relationships.

Co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Smith College Theatre Department, and the Wurtele Center for Work & Life

Q & A to follow. Free!

Spindrift Theatre Works presents SOLDIER'S HEART
by Tammy Ryan
directed by Robert Freedman
September 18 and 19 at 7:30 PM, September 20 at 2:00 PM
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton

Marine Sgt. Casey Johnson, a single mom, goes to war in Iraq where, in addition to experiencing the horrors of war, is sexually assaulted by a fellow Marine. Once home and in the grip of PTSD, she tries to survive while haunted by the past.

More information and tickets available online.
Mature Audiences Only.
$20 General $18  Seniors, Students, veterans, active duty military. Box office fees will apply.
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.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Sunday Improv Fun Time
Sunday, September 27 at 7:00 PM
Arts Block (289 Main St, Greenfield)

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.

Everyone is welcome! No experience necessary. All you have to do is show up ready to play.

(Or just watch.)


More information online.
Eggtooth Productions presents AUDITIONS for INNOCENT KIND OF LOVE at the Double Take Fringe Festival

Saturday, September 12, 4:00-7:00 PM

We are seeking a male actor to play middle-aged and a teenager or adult female to play a 15 year old. The show runs on October 16th and 17th at The Wheelhouse in Greenfield. Please email our stage manager Peter Vaiknoras at for further details about the audition, including location. See below for character and show descriptions.

INNOCENT KIND OF LOVE takes us on a journey to small-town Alabama where we meet Dale, a middle-aged restaurant manager. Dale, our seemingly sweet and quiet narrator, begins the play by answering the question “Why did you do it?” We know instantly that what he is about to tell us is not only a love story, but a confession. We discover the object of his affection is Cindy, the 15 year old who recently took a waitressing position at the restaurant.

This is a dark story that explores the expectations and standards we put on love in today’s society. Do we choose love or does love choose us? Perhaps we are so conditioned to believe something is right or wrong that it is nearly impossible to see it in any other light.

Dale Johnston, 42, awkward old south restaurant manager. Speaks in a distinct southern drawl. The kind you might have found on a plantation. His presence is both endearing and unsettling.

Cindy Dupree, 15, innocent, young and adheres to southern standards and expectations. Must be comfortable with a southern accent.

INNOCENT KIND OF LOVE had a previous extended run at Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York City.
Alt Shakespeare Company
is hosting a Meet and Greet and Auditions for ASC's first show, Shakespeare After Dark. It'll be an uncensored romp through Shakespeare's raunchier scenes. If that doesn't sound like your thing, come anyway! We're looking to build an ensemble for this and future shows. 

This is an opportunity for us to meet you and you to meet us. It's an informal get-together at one of the producer's houses. (Please email for directions.) There will be food and drinks, feel free to contribute if you wish.

Saturday, September 12
6:00 to 7:00 - Mingling and hanging out
7:00 onward - Reading some Shakes

Any questions? Send an email or check out the Facebook event.
Auditions: Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents MARY POPPINS 
Auditions will be at the Bangs Community Center in Amherst on these dates and times:

Thursday, September 17 from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm
Friday, September 18 from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm
Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm
Sunday, September 20 from 10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm

Auditions are held in groups, begin on the hour, and last for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Callbacks will be held on Monday, September 21 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at the Bangs Center. Performances are in January.

Auditions are by appointment. To make an appointment call Amherst Leisure Services at 413-259-3065.

Questions: Visit our website or call Sam Karlin at 413-265-8900

Starlight Youth Theatre presents Acting Classes
September 12 - December 6 
Maple Ridge Community Center, Sunderland

grades 2-3 Seussical Storybook Theatre
grades 4-5 Phantom Tollbooth
grades 6-7 Neil Simon scene work

grades 8-12  David Ives "All In the Timing"

Please visit the 
website for more information.

Short Form Improv Fun Time with Laura Patrick
(For Beginning and Intermediate Improvisers)

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, 3:00-5:00pm (two hours)
104 Russell St. (Rt. 9 at West Street)/Downstairs, Hadley
Class fee: $25 (plus you receive $6 OFF that night’s Happier Valley Comedy Show ticket)

Have you ever watched “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on TV or seen improvisers play those “games” onstage and wished you could give them a try? Have you done a little improv and want to learn more basic short form games to solidify your foundation? Would you like get a deeper understanding of the games we’re playing at the monthly improv jam at the Sunday Improv Fun Time? Just want to get together and improvise with a group of cool people? This workshop is for you! Learn the how-to’s and insider tricks for a bounteous selection of short form games in a very supportive, positive environment. We’re all about the love and fun of improv! This workshop is open to beginning and intermediate players.

About your teacher:
Laura Patrick has been performing improv since 2003 with The Ha-Ha’s (formerly The Ha-Ha Sisterhood). She began her improv journey with classes taught by Cathy McNally and Kelsey Flynn of The Villa Jidiots. Born into a theater family, she started acting as a child, and spent years in New York as an actor/bartender/limo driver/bike messenger/house painter & paralegal.  After moving to the Happy Valley in 2002, she fell in love with improv from the start, and leapt into the comedy pond with both feet. She has been having a blast ever since, and SO CAN YOU!

To register or for more information, email

New Century Theatre presents Fall Acting Classes

Whether you dream of the bright lights of Broadway, want to have some fun in your life, or just want to be more comfortable expressing how you feel, make an investment in yourself and take an acting class at New Century Theatre. Enrollments are limited to 10 in each class.  

Acting for Non-Actors 
Instructor - Sam Rush 
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission) 
Tuesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m. Mendenhall Center, Green Street Northampton, MA 
September 15 - November 10 (No class October 13) 
Always wanted to try performing but were afraid to act? Now’s your chance. With NCT Producing Director Sam Rush, you’ll have a chance to explore your inner ham in a fun and supportive environment. Using improv, text and original source material, you’ll learn fundamental acting techniques that may just serve you the rest of your life - on stage and off. 
Tuition: $275.00 for 8 week course 

Playing the Moment 
Instructor - Sam Rush 
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission) 
Wednesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m. Mendenhall Center, Green Street Northampton, MA 
September 16 - November 11 (No class on October 14) 
This class is designed to strengthen the skills of actors with previous experience and for students who have taken the Acting for NonActors course and wish to continue their study of the actor’s craft. We’ll focus on scene study work and excercises that explore the theatrical moment. The class may work on a final peformance project. 

Tuition: $275.00 for 8 week course

More information available 
Happier Valley Comedy presents Zen of Improv 1
at Holyoke Community College (Adult Ed)
Six Wednesdays at 
Sept. 16

Would you like to play and laugh for two hours every week?
Do you want to get better at thinking on your feet?
Could you use some practice in mindfulness and staying in the moment? turning off your judgmental mind? being brave?
Would you like to become more confident speaking in public?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, “The Zen of Improv Comedy” would be an ever so lovely way to spend a couple hours every week. Pam Victor offers this series of classes for adults who want to try something fun, rewarding, and, quite possibly, mind-expanding. You’ll learn a very gentle, very easy approach to improv comedy in an incredibly positive and accepting atmosphere that will get you up on your feet and out of your head. Through exercises, improv games, and scene work, you’ll practice the vital improvisation skills of paying attention acutely, accepting other people’s ideas, redefining and disempowering failure, staying in the moment, reacting honestly to the reality of the here and now, and much more. No experience necessary. Being funny is not required! You can do this. Want to stretch your wings for a couple hours every week and laugh yourself silly in in the process? The first step is saying, "Yes, and..."

Register online.

Registration currently open for Zen of Improv 1 at GREENFIELD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Continuing Ed) also! Six Thursdays starting Oct. 8. More info online.

Acting Classes from instructor Toby Vera Bercovici of Real Live Theatre:


Adult Acting Workshop

Mondays 6pm - 9pm
September 21-December 7,
North Star, 45 Amherst Road, Sunderland

Acting is not about becoming a character, or even about being oneself on stage, but is, in fact, the art of becoming more fully present and open within each moment than one is able to be in ordinary life. Acting students will have the opportunity to perform in and receive coaching on a variety of exercises and scenes, working on, amongst other things, voice, presence, objectives, and authenticity. Excellent for both beginning, intermediate, and advanced practitioners of theatre, as well as for folks looking to deepen the connection between mind and body, self and other.
Cost of class is $450. Email for more info and to reserve a spot!

Theater improvisation increases spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. We work on tuning into one’s scene partners, creating bold characters and developing skits with each other. The students will have opportunities to perform in the community, for family and friends

5th -8th Grade Group~ Weds. 3:00-5:00
K-4th Grade Group~ Thurs. 3:30-5:00

10 WEEK SESSIONS FROM SEPT-JUNE At the Florence Civic Center (Next to the Lilly Library)

TO REGISTER CALL: Heidi Haas 584-5562 Or email at
Check out my website at

Instructor: Heidi Haas
I have been teaching theater to children since 1996. I co-created and organized the afterschool drama program at the Leeds Elementary School in Northampton. I also offer theater and anti-bullying workshops at elementary schools. I coach the NHS Improv  Troupes FUNKTONLUST and direct the theater education company, Caught Off Guard at NHS.  In addition to the theater work, I have been a clinical social worker for 30 years with a specialty in child/family concerns.

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