Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre News December 10, 2015

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  December 10-30, 2015

This week, students at Smith College are presenting two studio productions: STOP KISS by Diana Son and YELLOW FACE by David Henry Hwang. They promise to be interesting low-scale performances. They are free, but presented in the very small Acting Studio 1. There are no advance reservations: early arrival strongly encouraged. 

It's not strictly a theatre event, but it's Nutcracker weekend at the Academy of Music! Performances are Friday at 4:00 and 7:30, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 and 4:30. I'll be backstage!

The next issue will include events through January 6. 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
Contact me for more information!
from Howlround

Ensemble Creation: Entering the Unknown, and Fostering the Conditions for Creativity in the Theatre
by Ben Yalom
From the article:  Mainstream theatre in America works largely on a season model, meaning a company selects plays to produce in a given year, announces the bunch of them, and then gets to work bringing these productions to life, one after the other. For better and for worse, this requires a highly product-oriented approach to making theatre, one in which the rehearsal time is limited, and as soon as one play is up, the next goes into rehearsal. Ensemble approaches to theatre tend to embrace a different philosophy, one which places more emphasis on the process of creation, often taking more time to develop new works and, when successful, resulting in rich, surprising works of art. 

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

Smith College Department of Theatre presents Two Studio Productions:

STOP KISS by Diana Son

directed by Jennifer Sturley '17J 
Thursday and Saturday,
December 10, 12 at 7:30 PM 

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

by David Henry Hwang

directed by Megumi Lee '17 
Friday and Sunday,
December 11, 13 at 7:30 PM

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

Performances in Acting Studio 1 (T100), Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Northampton. Free and open to the public. Early arrival strongly encouraged as the venue is very small. More information available online.

Majestic Theater presents HOME FOR THE HOLLY-DAYS
Wednesday-Sunday, December 10-20
Majestic Theater, West Springfield

Rock and roll blends seamlessly with holiday tunes when the Majestic Theater presents “Home for the HOLLY-Days December 9-20 at the West Springfield venue.
Producing Director Danny Eaton will reunite the lead performers in the Majestic's previous production of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” when Ben Ashley (Buddy Holly), Aaron Porchelli (Big Bopper) and Frank Manzi (Richie Valens) take the stage. Joining the trio will be Ray Guillemette, Jr., Woody McLoyd, Stacy Ashley, Darcie Champagne, Lori Efford and – in a special guest appearance – Santa Claus.
Eaton will direct the show, and Musical Director Mitch Chakour will lead a band that includes Tim Hosmer, Don Rovero and Cliff Schofer.

More information available 
December 11th & 12th at 8:00 PM
Holden Theater
Tickets are free. 
Reservations recommended.
Box Office 

The Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance is proud to present Performance Project, an evening of original dance and theater works created by Five College students as part of their work in Performance Studio taught by Visiting Resident Artist Peter B. Schmitz.  Lighting designs by students in Lighting Design taught by Resident Lighting Designer Kathy Couch. 

The performance features a variety of pieces, including Body Haunt, choreographed by Alexandra Leite (HC), which explores the impact of body shaming in performance dance. The piece engages the audience to reflect on how they are watching (and judging) the bodies that are on stage. The dancers are in a battle with their own destructive thoughts that evolve and manifest physically throughout the course of the dance.  

Daphne Thompson’s (AC) “the stuff of movies” explores our generation’s tendency to watch films for content instead of form, basing how we go about our lives on cinematic manipulations (specifically, those of the romantic comedy) rather than honest, spontaneous, and messy experience.  Under the narration of the Academic, film conventions are experimented with, explained, and put into practice on the stage. 
Playing Pretend is a piece choreographed by Lauren Horn (AC) that explores the identity we put forth for all to see and the one we keep to ourselves. The words for each of the solos were created by each of the dancers. 
Elena Marione’s (AC) Arrastreo is the murmur of all our mouths, a frightened and wondrous exploration of attention, identity, and the things we leave behind.
A Flickering Candle, written and directed by Mark Hawkins (AC), follows the tragic relationship of a young man and woman amid alcohol addiction, forcing us to consider whether people truly change. 
Silverthorne Theater presents A Special Holiday Event: Stage Reading of Dylan Thomas' A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES
Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 PM, Centennial House Bed and Breakfast, 94 Main St, Northfield and
Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 PM, Beehive Parlor, Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main St, Deerfield.

Along with the reading will be a performance of Celtic holiday harp music presented by Piper Pichette (The Pied Harpist), followed by a Holiday Story Slam, when audience members will vie for prizes for telling the best Holiday tale as determined by audience vote.
Tickets for this fundraiser for Silverthorne Theater’s summer season are $30 for the Northfield performance, $35 for the Deerfield event. The ticket price includes holiday treats and beverages. Seating is limited. Reservations may be made online on the Special Events page of the 
website. This event is suitable for adults and children 12 or older.
Questions and further information: 
email  or call 413-768-7514
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Valley Show with THE HA-HA'S with special guests "Pat and Misch Breakup"
December 12 at 8:00PM

Arts Block in Greenfield

This month's all new show features The Ha-Ha's performing "The Fourth Wall" with special guests, musical improv show "Pat and Misch Breakup"

Tickets $13 at the door or online
J-ART at the JCC presents Vodkas and Latkes Miscast Cabaret
Saturday, December 12th at 8:00 p.m.
The Goldstein Auditorium

Join us for this Hanukkah Celebration with Vodkas And Latkes, plus a special performance by J-ART featuring all the right singers and all the wrong songs. Hear your favorite musical theater tunes like you've never heard them before!

18+ Event, ID Required! Purchase tickets in advance 
(413) 739-4715. $15/person includes 1 drink ticket & 1 latke bar trip. Additional drink tickets and food will be available for purchase.

More information
Phantom Sheep presents LaughCrafters:Holiday Show
Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30PM

Agawam Library, 350 Cooper St, Agawam, MA

Western MA comedy troupe "Phantom Sheep" is proud to be returning to the Agawam Public Library with a free performance featuring lots of live improvised scenes created right on the spot based on audience suggestions along with a few pre-recorded sketches.  

The Phantom Sheep Players repertoire includes Western MA natives Eric Boucher, Tommy Lynch, Jesse Redmond, Greg Seymour, Jeff Tingley, and Kevin Zabawa. They have over 15 years working together writing, performing and producing shows and workshops for schools, libraries, special events, and the theme park industry. They have also been teaching and performing at the Springfield JCC and will begin their next session of weekly improv classes in January.  This Holiday show has been their annual tradition to celebrate the season with the local community.  

More info on Facebook.
The Drama Studio presents FACE OF THE DRAGON
Friday, December 18 at 5:00 PM

The Drama Studio, 41 Oakland St. Springfield, MA

In the ancient Chinese city of Wu the young streetsweeper, Han, longs for a different life - sweeping the gates of the city was not what he desired. When the marauding Wild Horsemen come to attack the city, the bumbling Mandarin decrees that all inhabitants should pray to the Great Cloud Dragon for help. After a little beggar is ridiculed for announcing herself the dragon, Han shows generosity that touches the beggar’s heart and allows her to reveal her true Dragon form.

FREE for everyone and fun for the whole family! More info on their website.
Real Live Theatre presents AUDITIONS for "The Life and Death of Queen Margaret" 
December 13, 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-IIIand 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 132-5pm at North Star (45 Amherst Rd., Sunderland MA.);  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.
The Country Players present AUDITIONS for Neil Simon's GOD's FAVORITE
Sunday December 13 and
Monday December 14, 
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Frontier Regional High School,
South Deerfield

Auditions for The Country Players production of "God's Favorite" by Neil Simon.  Directed by Terry Adams. The cast consists of 5 men and 3 women.  This comedy follows the Benjamin Family: Father/Joe 50's; Wife/Rose 50's; Twins Ben and Sarah 20's; Son David mid 20's; Servants Mady and Morris, and Sidney Lipton.

Check out our audition notice event on our Facebook Page "The Country Players" for more show details.  The last three characters listed are not age specified.
Performances will be towards the last two weeks of March 2016.   

Have a workshop or class coming up? Submit it!
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