Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 5, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  November 5-25, 2015

And it's November! I hope everyone had a theatrical (but not dramatic) Halloween. 

I'm sharing two articles this week, both from Howlround - the first is the proposal that "For the 2020–2021 season, all performances produced in the United States of America will be by women, people of color, artists of varied physical and cognitive abilities, and LBGTQA artists."

Of course, there were many responses to the article, many of which were less than positive, so I'm also sharing a second article that responds to those responses. Check out the full articles below. 

The next issue will include events through December 3. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before next Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Submit Your Theatre Event
Get your tickets today for Steel Magnolias!
from Howlround

Welcome to the Jubilee
by The Committee for the Jubilee
From the article: We can envision a near future in which all American Theatre seasons are overflowing with works written and directed by women.

We can conceive of the myriad outstanding plays by people of color and Native artists being produced nationwide.

We can foresee LBGTQA creators hired to write, direct, and choreograph in every theatre in the United States of America.

We can anticipate artists of varied physical and cognitive abilities in every role the theatre has to offer, onstage and off.

You Don't Have to be an Ally, but Don't be an Enemy: A Response to the Jubilee Responses
by Catherine Castellani
From the article: As someone for whom the Jubilee proposal might (might) open a door or two, I read it with great interest and a gleam of hope. For those who might see a door or two temporarily closing, I heard some trepidation and some outright fury. Who will Jubilee close doors for, albeit at just some theatres for just one season? Straight white non-disabled cisgendered men. The biggest constituency on American stages today and yesterday and the day before that and many tomorrows. 

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!

Smith College Department of Theatre presents 

by acclaimed Spanish playwright David Desola
Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Having just returned to the unnamed country where her grandfather ruled as absolute ruler, his innocent Granddaughter finds him on his death bed, his cronies held for crimes which she finds unimaginable. Estela Harretche and Ellen W. Kaplan perform in English and Spanish, alternating scenes as the character changes and develops over time.


Black Cat Theater presents HELLO, DOLLY!
November 5, 6, 7 at 7:00 PM
November 8 at 2:00 PM
South Hadley High School

Black Cat Theater is delighted to announce their fall production of Hello, Dolly!, directed by Drew Gilbert (artistic) and Dick Matteson (musical). 

“Some people paint, some sew… I meddle!”  Hello, Dolly! is the story of matchmaker Mrs. Dolly Levi’s efforts to marry Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-a-millionaire, and send his money circulating among the people like rainwater the way her late husband, Ephraim Levi, taught her. Along the way she also succeeds in matching up the young and beautiful Widow Molloy with Vandergelder’s head clerk, Vandergelder’s assistant with Mrs. Molloy’s assistant, and a struggling artist with Vandergelder’s weeping niece.

Military personnel, active and retired (with ID), will be admitted free to any performance. Also, Girl/Boy scouts in uniform--and accompanied by a adult--can come free with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry. Profits from the show go toward a scholarship available to any South Hadley High or Granby Jr/Sr High student going on to college to major in the arts.

Ticket prices are General Admission $15.00 and Senior/Student $12.00. 
For reservations please email or call 413-563-6023. See the Facebook event.
The Majestic Theater presents THE FABULOUS LIPITONES
November 5 - December 6
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield

“The Fabulous Lipitones” is the next production in the 19th Season of plays at West Springfield's Majestic Theater. The musical comedy by John Markus and Mark St. Germaine follows the story of The Lipitones, a barbershop quartet from rural Ohio. When the lead singer suffers a fatal heart attack while holding the final note at a competition, the remaining members must find a replacement or give up the avocation that's been part of their lives for the past thirty years. The sole candidate at the audition is a mechanic who is twenty years younger than the group, wears a turban, carries a ceremonial dagger and goes by the name of “Bob,” short for Baba Mati Das. With that, the group finds a terrific new singer, and learns to co-exist with someone from an entirely different culture. The play runs October 29 through December 6.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at 
(413) 747-7797.  For more information, visit the website. 
Wilbraham United Players presents THE ODD COUPLE
November 6, 7, and 13, 14 at 7:30 PM,
November 8 and 15 at 2:30 PM
Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA

The Wilbraham United Players will present Neil Simon’s THE ODD COUPLE November 6-15th
. Appearing as Oscar Madison will be David Chivers from Wilbraham.  Co-starring as Felix Ungar will be Wesley Olds of Broadbrook, CT.  Also appearing in the production will be Don Clements as Murray the Cop, Paul Nesbit as Vinnie, Andy Price as Roy and Jeff Erb as Speed.  They’ll be joined by Christine Arruda and Aimee Lamontagne as The Pigeon Sisters.  THE ODD COUPLE is the first production in the Player’s “Season of Simon” focused around the works of playwright Neil Simon.

For more information about the Players productions go to their 
website –
or email them.
The Drama Studio presents The Terribly True Story of Sophia (last name unknown) and How She Came to Live Betwixt the Trees Or the Invention of Fairies
by Monica Giordano,
Directed by Mat Bussler
November 6 at 7:30 PM
November 7 at 4:00 and 7:30 PM
November 8 at 3:00 PM

The Drama Studio,
41 Oakland St. Springfield, MA

Three children set out on an unforgettable journey to change their ending after learning that one of them, Sophie, is going to die. The Terribly True Story of Sophia (last name unknown), is the terribly true story about growing up, and the terrible truth about wishes: how it is sometimes best to exchange them for Hope.

Visit the website or call 413-739-1983 for reservations.  Tickets are $18 for Adults and $10 for students.
Arena Civic Theatre presents STEEL MAGNOLIAS
by Robert Harling
directed by Russ Elstrom
November 6, 7, 13, 14 at 8:00 PM
November 8 and 15 at 2:00 PM
Katherine Sloan Theatre, Greenfield Community College

The action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser, ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a "good ole boy." Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, the play moves toward drama when the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) becomes pregnant.  Realizations of their mortality draws on the underlying strength—and love—which give the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.

Arena Civic Theatre’s cast includes: Dawn Mayo as Truvy Jones, Cristen Rosinski as Annelle Dupuy DeSoto, Terry Adams as Clairee Belcher, Louise Krieger as M’Lynn Eatenton, Kaineeca Pabon as Shelby Eatenton-Lacherie, and Claudia Eitner as Ouiser Boudreaux.  The production is directed by Russ Ekstrom.

Tickets are $16 for General Admission, $13 for Seniors and Students, and $10 for children 12 and under. Some of the subject matter may not be suitable for young children. Tickets are available at World Eye Bookshop, at the door, and through ACT’s website. They can also be reserved by calling (413) 233-4368.
Valley Light Opera presents BRIGADOON
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton
November 7, 13 and 14 at 8:00 PM
November 8 and 15 at 2:00 PM

"This is what happened, the strange thing that happened, to two weary hunters who lost their way......"  When Tommy and Jeff stumble into a quaint Scottish village that doesn't seem to be marked on their map, they are invited to be guests at a wedding, and perhaps much more.  In their first foray into the classics of American musical theatre, Valley Light Opera presents Brigadoon, long a favorite on the stage.  With sumptuous costumes and scenery, gorgeous music performed by a full orchestra and a talented cast, this will be a production you won't want to miss.

More information on their 
Youth Without God: Episode 1
Theatre Lobby, Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College
Nov 8 at 6:30PM and 8:30PM, Nov 9 at 7:30PM
What does serial theatre look like? Television is inherently episodic, and Victorian era literature was written in weekly/monthly installments, so what happens if we break a single story for the stage into four separate episodes that all work to tell both their own stories, and a larger overall story? These are the questions that Youth Without God is hoping to answer.

Youth Without God is an adaptation of the 1938 novel of the same name by Odon von Horvath, a German/Austrian playwright. In it, we follow a schoolteacher in 1930s Germany, as he struggles to understand his role in the rising violence in his students, as well as confront God's intervention (or lack thereof) in a cataclysmic time.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents PHOTOGRAPH 51
by Anna Ziegler
directed by Kitty Lixin Lin '16
Tuesday, November 10 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre


Anna Ziegler's PHOTOGRAPH 51 illuminates the life of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great and under-recognized female scientists of the 20th Century, whose passionate mapping of the contours of the DNA molecule has had untold consequence. The NY TIMES heralds Ziegler's refusal to smooth Franklin's edges "by making her anything other than formidably, even self-sabotagingly, intelligent."

Free and open to the public.

Amherst College presents

Written and Directed by Khalil Flemming
Nov. 12-14, 8PM, Studio 3
Admission is free
Reservations recommended 
(413) 542-2277
Equal Weight is an original comedy about friendship, love, and learning to listen to that not-so-little voice in your head. This immersive, multimedia performance - which combines live theater with film - invites us into the life and mind of Zeke as he navigates his relationships and learns about the most important one of them all. The quirky, emotional, and frequently outrageous cast of characters bring the stage to life in a style that is sure to engage audiences of all ages.
Khalil Flemming '16 writes and directs Equal Weight, which features set design by Lynndy Smith '17, costume design by Amir Hall '17, sound design by Thomas McPhee '16 of Hampshire College, and lighting design by Kathy Couch.
More information about the Department of Theater and Dance at Amherst College can be found on Facebook or their website.
J-ART at the JCC presents THE PRODUCERS
the new Mel Brooks Musical

Book by Mel Brooks & Tom Meehan
Music & Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Springfield Jewish Community Center Auditorium
November 12 at 6:00 PM, November 14 at 8:00 PM, November 15 at 3:00 PM, November 19 at 6:00 PM, November 21 at 8:00 PM, November 22 at 3:00 PM

J-ART returns for its 2015-2016 season with a spectacle you will have to see to believe! Mark your calendars, ladies and gents, The Producers opens this November! A scheming producer and his mousy accountant aim to produce the biggest flop on Broadway in Mel Brooks' laugh-out-loud spectacle. You've never seen The Producers like this!

More information available
413-739-4715 for tickets:
$10 Child, $15 Adult, $20 Patron Reserved Seating
"Little Women" the Musical at Bay Path University
November 12, 13, 14 at 7:30 PM
November 15 at 2:00 PM

588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106

Experience the classic tale of 19th century family life in Civil War America like never before! Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, this glorious musical for all ages follows the adventures of aspiring author Jo March and her sisters on a journey of personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. With joyful melodies, memorable characters and a tenderhearted message, come revisit the story you loved and the lessons you never forgot!

General Public all dates: $12.00
Senior Citizens all dates: $8.00
Children (up to age 18): $5.00
Family Bundle (2 adults & 2 children): $30.00
College Students: FREE!

For more information, see their website. For tickets, please call (413) 565 - 1307 or email.
The Oven and Total Verruckt!
A double bill of solo performances directed by Matthew Glassman
November 13 & 14 at 7 p.m.
Double Edge Theatre - The Farm
To reserve tickets, call 413-628-0277
The Oven 
Created and Performed by Ilan Stavans
In his critically-acclaimed one-man show, Ilan Stavans, writer and Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, invites the audience to experience a religious ceremony with an indigenous tribe in Colombia's Amazon jungle.
Total Verruckt!
Created and Performed by Joanna Caplan
Designed by Sarah Cormier
Total Verruckt! tells the true story of world-renowned Jewish cabaret performers held in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork from 1942-44 and posits the necessity of art as a means of survival and an act of resistance.
Happier Valley Comedy Show featuring The Ha-Ha's and Foiled: The Improvised Two-Man Musical
Saturday, November 14 at 8:00 PM
Arts Block Cafe, Greenield

All-new comedy show featuring improv comedians The Ha-Ha's performing "Shrink: Where Freud Meets Funny" and special guest "Foiled: The Improvised Two-Man Musical." 
Saturday, November 14. Arts Block Cafe (289 Main St., Greenfield) at 8:00pm. (Doors open at7pm
.) Tickets $13 at the door or $10 in advance online. For more information, call 413-774-0150
written and performed by John Sheldon in support of Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble
November 14, 15, 16 at 7:30 PM
APE Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton

John Sheldon, long-time Serious Play! collaborator, is bringing his dramatic monologue with music to Northampton - for the first time - as a fundraiser for Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble.
The three Journey performances are the highlight of - the sendoff for - our annual year-end fundraising.
Join us to experience John Sheldon's masterful storytelling with music - and to help support the art of ensemble theatre in the Pioneer Valley.

Seating is limited, reservations recommended! $22 reserved tickets, $25 at the door. Reservations
online or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Main Stage Theatre, Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College
Nov 17-22, 8PM
Adapted by Division III student Xingying Peng from the novel by Eileen Chang, Love in a Fallen City tells the story of Liusu, a woman who is being pressured by her family to return to her deceased husband’s household and perform the traditional duties of a widow. She meets the spoiled British-born Chinese man who was originally intended as a match for her sister. Their relationship takes a sharp turn as the Sino-Japanese war falls on China.
St. Michael's Players presents MARY POPPINS
November 19, 20, 21 at 7:00 PM
November 22 at 2:00 PM
53 Somers Rd. East Longmeadow, MA 01028

St Michael’s Players of East Longmeadow is gearing up for their autumn production of “Mary Poppins”. The show contains many familiar songs like “A Spoon Full of Sugar”, “‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, all performed by our all local cast. Performances will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday November 19, 20 and 21 at 7PM, and Sunday November 22 at 2PM, at St. Michael’s Community Center, 53 Somers Rd East Longmeadow. Tickets are available at
Happier Valley Comedy presents Sunday Improv Fun Time
Sunday, November 22 at 7:00 PM
Arts Block, Greenfield

Monthly improv jam and show open to all. Come improvise with and watch some of the Valley's premier improv comedians. Last jam of the year! Sunday, November 22. Arts Block (289 Main St., Greenfield, MA) at 7:00-8:15pm. Tickets only $5 at the door. More info online
 or 413-658-4615.
Virginia Woolf's

By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by J. Mehr Kaur ‘16 

Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, ORLANDO is a musical romp through time about passionate love, gender nonconformity, and the Royal English Court. 

Sunday, November 8, and Monday, November 9, 7-10 PM, Hallie Flanagan, Mendenhall Center, Smith College, Northampton. 
Call backs on Wednesday, November 11, 7-10 pm, Hallie Flanagan 

February 26, 27, March 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 PM; 
Hallie Flanagan, Mendenhall Center, Smith College, Northampton.

Casting Breakdown: 
Ensemble cast of 11, Seeking actors, dancers, and musicians of all backgrounds. 

Audition Prep:
No preparation necessary. Sides will be provided from the script. 

Facebook event.
Real Live Theatre presents AUDITIONS for "The Life and Death of Queen Margaret" 
November 15, 2-5 PM

The North Star Building,
45 Amherst Rd, Sunderland MA

Real Live Theatre is looking for women aged 16+ to fill 6 roles in their new Shakespeare show, The Life and Death of Queen Margaret. The show is a feminist retelling of Henry VI Parts I-III and Richard III from the perspective of Queen Margaret, Shakespeare’s best-written female character. Please prepare a 1-2 minute classical monologue and be prepared to read sides at the audition. Auditions December 13, 2-5 at North Star (45 Amherst Rd., Sunderland MA.); There are two possible production timelines, because of external factors. We will determine which one to follow in early December. Please consider auditioning if you can do either or both. Either rehearsals will start Jan 17, with performances late April or early May or, rehearsals will start in late May, with performances in late July or early August. Email to sign up for an hour slot & for more info.
AUDITIONS: Black Cat Theater presents DISCO INFERNO

Black Cat Theater is preparing for their Spring production of Disco Inferno, directed by Dawn Larder (artistic) and Greg Williams (music). Auditions for this primarily youth-cast show (ages 10 and up please) will be held on Monday, November 16th & Thursday, November 19th at 6:00 pm in the South Hadley High School Auditorium.

All candidates under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Applicants should bring with them a short write-up of previous theater experience and be prepared to perform a short musical piece. We will have a CD player and a cappella is also an option. All auditionees will learn a simple choreography movement so please dress prepared to move. Time permitting, there may be readings from the script as well.

In Disco Inferno, the story of Faust is brought to life in an explosion of hit 70’s songs, high energy dance routines, and glitter-ball spinning action. Jack is an aspiring musician who wants nothing more than to be famous, so signing away this thing called a soul is a small price to pay. But Jack soon finds all that glitters isn't gold on the other side, especially if you're all out of love.

Disco Inferno is scheduled to be produced at South Hadley High School April 14th-17th. Rehearsals will be on Monday and Thursdayevenings from 6:00-9:00 pm starting January 21st.

If unavailable to be seen in person, please call 
413-563-6023 or email. The Facebook event is here.
Director of Musical Production
Mohawk Trail Regional School in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts is looking for a 
creative individual with a background in educational theater to direct/produce a 
creative musical production for students in grades 9-12.  
Beginning casting in December, and rehearsals to begin on a regular basis in 
January for the staging of the show in early March.
The successful candidate will be able to engage students and community 
members in an original production that showcases student talent and ingenuity 
both onstage and behind the scenes.   Applicants should have experience 
managing all aspects of a production, including fundraising, community outreach, 
and promotion. The director/producer will work with a team of educators who 
have experience with staging productions, including lighting, direction, and 
music.  The specific musical will be determined by the team of educators.
Forward cover letter, resume, licensure, transcripts and recommendations to: 
Superintendent of Schools, Mohawk Trail Regional School District, 24 Ashfield Road,
Application deadline:  Open until filled.
The school district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, 
gender identity, disability, religion or sexual orientation.
Happier Valley Comedy presents IMPROV FOR SCAREDY CATS (And Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)
Saturday, Nov. 7th, 11am - 1pm
Hadley, MA

Does the idea of performing in front of people scare the dickens out of you? Have you ever watched improv and thought, "I could never do that!"? Do you not give a flying fig about improv comedy but want to become more confident speaking in public and more mindful in the moment? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, "Improv for Scaredy Cats" is the workshop for you. It's designed especially for folks who want to try something that scares them. (It's cheaper than sky-diving and less likely for you to end up as road pizza.) 

You'll learn a very gentle, very easy approach to improv comedy in an incredibly positive and accepting atmosphere in which the only way you can fail is by not showing up at all. We'll practice the vital improvisation skills, like: 
* listening carefully, 
* accepting other people's ideas, 
* redefining and disempowering failure, 
* staying in the moment, 
* reacting honestly to the reality of the here and now. 

No experience necessary. Being funny is NOT required. 

Go ahead, register now before you chicken out or get distracted by a cute kitten video. (Kittens!) This workshop will be a wadzillion times less scary than you think. The only thing you have to lose is your opinion that you can't improvise...

$25 (+ $6 OFF coupon for the Happier Valley Comedy Show)

Register hereFor more info, send an email
Happier Valley Comedy presents Zen of Improv ONE-DAY INTENSIVE
Sunday November 22nd, 
10am - 4pm (one hour for lunch)
Hadley, MA

Open to all levels of players - from beginners to experienced, this day-long intensive workshop dives deeply into the improvluscious waters of the Zen of Improv. We'll fully immerse ourselves in this uniquely natural and self-affirming approach to improvisation. We practice learning how to be more aware of the scene that's revealing itself onstage and following where the scene wants to go...while letting go of the need to work so damn hard and "make stuff up." 

This approach is all about improvising with mindfulness, performing from a place of ease, and playing the scene in the here and now - it's good for the stage and it's good for the soul!

$80 (+ $6 OFF coupon for the Happier Valley Comedy Show)

[After this workshop, participants will be eligible to go on to the Zen of Improv 2 (for beginning improvisers) or Zen of Improv 3 (for experienced improvisers.)]

Register onlineFor more info, email or see the Zen of Improv page online.

Apply Today: Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield is currently accepting applications for their 2016 Winter Intensive from January 1 - 7! Intensives are ideal for artists of any discipline who are interested in a holistic training method and in developing their own work in an ensemble context. Participants take part in 3-4 training sessions daily including:

- physical training
- work with large objects
- improvisation
- vocal exploration and song
- research
- individual & group etudes
- directed scenes
- indoor/ outdoor site-specific work
- dramaturgy
- design

The sessions take place both in Double Edge's indoor training spaces and outside in the fields, hills, pond and pastures of the Farm. Intensives are open to participants of all levels of experience.

For more information or to apply, see the website or send an email. We offer partial scholarships through the Timothy O'Brien Fund to emerging artists from underserved communities in our region.

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