Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News February 25, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  February 25-March 16, 2016

Orlando opens tomorrow night at Smith - perhaps I will see you there!

It's another busy theatre week, with shows opening up at most of the colleges. Don't miss the Really Big Show at the Academy of Music this Sunday! And lots of upcoming auditions and classes to check out too.

The next issue will include events through March 23. 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
from Howlround
The "Real World" Dilemma: Successfully Transitioning from Student to Practitioner in the Theatre Arts
by Christina Cook
From the article: I entered the freelance design world as an eager, young costume designer fresh out of a well-rounded, art-based MFA program.

My first professional gig was for a small local theatre company. I had interviewed with the producers months earlier, and was excited when they called and offered me a chance to design a show for their upcoming season. The company was successful and had a great reputation.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Hampshire College Theater presents Pullman Car Hiawatha
February 25, 26, 27 at 8:00 PM

Mainstage, Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College

Thornton Wilder's Pullman Car Hiawatha is a one-act play set on a train traveling from New York to Chicago in December of 1930. When Harriet dies, conventional time is suspended, and the only true measures of existence are life and death. As a result of the following metaphysical journey with personified places, hours of the day, the weather, the planets, and supernatural beings, we return to reality with a new realization of our own identity in this vast universe.
Umass Amherst Department of Theatre presents LOVE AND INFORMATION

By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Nikoo Mamdoohi
Curtain Theater

2/25/16 Half-Price Preview at 7:30
2/27/16, 3/1/16, 3/2/16, 3/3/16, 3/4/16 at 7:30
3/5/16 at 2:00 & at 7:30

In acquiring the gadgets we use to connect, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns, and all our longings in surprising new ways. Churchill’s dazzling language draws us into brief encounters with a series of characters, until the story that emerges is not about individuals, but about humanity and connection. 

Buy tickets
Post-show discussions every night—free with admission, immediately following the performance.
Learn more about the play.
Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts presents 
Fefu and her Friends by María Irene Fornés

February 25, 26, 27 at 7:30, February 28 at 2:00 
Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College

You are cordially invited to join Stephanie (call her Fefu, please) and her seven female friends for an intimate country-house gathering.  On the agenda: cocktails; discussions of love, sex, art and philosophy; singing; poetry recitation; kissing; hallucinations; a water fight.  Oh, yes, there is also a shotgun, which may or may not be loaded with live ammunition.

The number of guests is limited.  For reservations, please contact Rooke Theatre Box Office, 
(413) 538-2406 or More information online.
The Majestic Theater presents BUTLER  by Richard Strand
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield
February 25-April 3

Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler was a successful Massachusetts lawyer in civilian life. Now, at the start of the Civil War, he is given command of Fort Monroe, a Union outpost in Virginia, which has just seceded from the United States. besides the threat of an attack, Butler has another problem — three escaped slaves have appeared at the fort seeking sanctuary. The law at the time requires him to return the slaves to their "rightful owner", a Confederate colonel who is soon to arrive. Shepard Mallory is one of these slaves. Both educated and defiant, he challenges the general to find a loophole in the law that will set him free. Butler is at once a comedy, a historical drama, and a biography — or, as one New York Times reviewer said, "Just call it 'splendid'." 

More information and tickets
Smith College Department of Theatre presents ORLANDO by Sarah Ruhl
directed by J. Mehr Kaur 
February 26, 27, March 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Based on Virginia Woolf's biographical parody, ORLANDO is a musical romp through time about passionate love, gender nonconformity, and the Royal English Court. A young nobleman wakes up one day and realizes she is a woman. The play follows her journey through the centuries as she navigates her gender identity while writing an epic poem about an ageless Oak Tree. This magical comedy penned by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony award nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl promises a clever exploration of the importance of discovering one's true self.

Tickets $10 General, $5 Seniors and Students, Free for Smith students.
Call 413-585-3220 or buy online.
Facebook event here.
Northampton Arts Council presents The Really Big Show
Sunday, February 28 at 2:00 PM 
Academy of Music Theatre

A showcase of the BEST local talent at the Valley’s FAVORITE variety show in the Pioneer Valley’s MOST BELOVED theatre! Steve Westfield of the Pajama Slave Dancers hosts the Gong Show with music from the Really Big Show orchestra led by 
Jim Armenti.  Appearances from NCTV's Fools Be Known(feat. hosts Gabe Bernini of LuxDeluxe and Jack Haller), The School of Contemporary Dance & Thought, Peter Blanchette of the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, fiddler Zoe Darrow and a variety of surprise performers. Enjoy witty quips by our celebrity judge panel featuring comedian Pam Victor, Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper, 93.9 The River radio personality Monte Belmonte. Win prizes! See your friends and loved ones display their talents! What celebrities will be featured this year? Will they get gonged off stage?

ADVANCE - $10 Adults, $8 Senior 65+/Veterans, $5 Children 12&Under

DAY AT DOOR - $12 Adults, $10 Senior 65+/Veterans, $7 Children 12&Under
The Seth Show: A Year To Live (3 Months Left)
Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 PM
121 Club, Eastworks
116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA

With only 3 months left to live, Seth gets legal, figuring out his will and other practical crap. Characters from his former one-man shows start popping up all over the place, commenting on the way he's dealing with his short time left on Earth. Basically, telling him he's doing it *all wrong*.

Seth's best friend from childhood makes a special apperance, telling the audience about the effect this is having on him. This one is going to be bittersweet and funny as fuck.

Facebook event
The Majestic Theater presents The Majesters Improv Comedy
March 1, April 19, May 10 and June 7 at 7:00 PM
The Majestic Theatre, 131 Elm St. West Springfield, MA

An evening of musical improv comedy featuring the valley's best spontaneous comics.

Tickets for the Majesters shows will be $7 and sold at the door only the night of each show. The troupe takes suggestions and inspiration from audience members. Seating is general admission.

More info online
J-ART at the JCC presents Shrek the Musical
March 3 at 7:00 PM, March 5 at 8:30, March 6 at 3:00 PM
March 10 at 7:00, March 12 at 8:30, March 13 at 3:00 PM
Herbert M. Goldstein Auditorium, 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA

Book & Lyrics By: David Lindsay-Abaire
Music By: Jeanine Tesori
Directed by: Jasmine Joy Kearse
Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatrical and Neal Street Productions.

J-ART returns for a thrilling, hilarious musical adventure in a land far, far away. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there's more to the story than meets the ears.

More information on
Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance presents The Right Move
Written by Lara Min ‘16
Directed by Hans Meyer
March 3-5, 8PM, Holden Theater
Admission is free
Reservations recommended 
(413) 542-2277

What is the actual difference between dating and hooking up? A close-knit group of friends attempts to navigate their post-grad Manhattan lifestyle until their anxiety-ridden neighbor upstairs crashes a party and sends them all into disarray. The Right Move is a hilarious and deeply reflective story of money, success, drugs, and dysfunctional relationships.
The playwright, Lara Min ’16, is a Theater and Dance, and Mathematics double major.  Visiting Artist Hans Meyer returns to Amherst College to direct.  Scenic design by Lynndy Smith ‘17, costume design by Noah Tager ’18, and lighting design by Resident Lighting Designer Kathy Couch.
For more information about The Right Move and other arts events on the Amherst College campus, go to, and
The Drama Studio presents
The Secret Garden

March 4 at 7:30 PM,
March 5 and 4:00 and 7:30,
March 6 at 3:00 PM
CityStage, One Columbus Center, Springfield, MA

Dramatized by Drama Studio Founder Steve Hays and directed by Artistic Director Dan Morbyrne, "The Secret Garden" is based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Written just over 100 years ago, this powerful story will resonate with children of today, dealing with themes of loneliness, abandonment, and the powers of nature and friendship to heal the spirit.  A large cast of advanced Drama Studio students will inspire family audiences in a production that will fill the Blake Theatre stage with beautiful sets, music, lights and costumes.

More information and tickets
online. Free parking!
Bay Path University presents James and the Giant Peach
March 4 at 7:30 PM, March 5 at 2:00 and 7:30, March 6 at 11:00 (Sensory Friendly | ASL Interpreted Performance) and 2:00
Mills Theatre | 588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106

When orphan James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a mysterious potion which results in a tremendous peach, and launches a journey of enormous proportions! Featuring wickedly tuneful orchestrations, steampunk styled costumes and a curiously quirky book adapted from the classic Roald Dahl tale, children and adults alike will fall in love with the magical sweetness of a young boy on a whirlwind adventure to find his chosen family.

Hop by up to one hour before each performance to weave your own web, color in your favorite characters, and hear an abridged retelling of Roald Dahl's whimsical tale. Be sure to visit Spider and Sponge's Whackery Snackery for show-related treats!

Following the performance, there will be a meet and greet with each of the characters.

Buy tickets ($5 - $12) online at or call the Box Office(413) 565 – 1307. Enter promotional code "FamilyBundle" to purchase 2 Adult and 2 Child tickets for $30.
Academy of Music Theatre presents UNCLE VANYA
Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5 at 7:30 PM
Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060

The Academy of Music Theatre presents Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a contemporary adaptation by Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker. Lauded as “wholly absorbing,” “devastatingly beautiful,” and filled with “astonishing verbal magic,” this intimate, immersive adaptation brings colloquial language to this internationally beloved story of human relationships and yearning.  Directed by Linda McInerney, starring Daniel Popowich, Myka Plunkett, Susanna Apgar, Jeannine Haas, Thom Griffin, Bill Dwight, Linda Putnam, and Bill Stewart.

Tickets and more information
The Academy of Music Theatre presents THE MUSIC MAN JR.
Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11 at 6:30 PM
Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060

Master showman Harold Hill is in town, and he’s got “seventy-six trombones” in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? Based on the timeless Broadway classic, The Music Man Jr. adapts this masterful musical for young performers. The result is family entertainment at its best – a bold, brassy show that will have the whole town atwitter!

The story follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize. The catch? He doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, whose belief in Harold’s powers just might help him succeed in the end in spite of himself.

This is the sixth annual Academy Youth Production show. Past shows include: Fame Jr., Willie Wonka Jr., Camp Rock, The Phantom Tollbooth Jr., and last year’s Into the Woods Jr. Academy Youth Productions are performed by area youth ages 9-15, with full staging, professional lighting and sound, costumes and sets.

More information and tickets
Alt Shakespeare Company presents 
Shakespeare: After Dark

March 10, 11, 12 at 7:00 PM
Studio Seven, Greenfield

Who wants to see KINKY SHAKESPEARE?!

Come see our inaugural production, Shakespeare: After Dark! It's an uncensored romp through Shakespeare's raunchier scenes. We'll be exploring various types of relationships through the medium of Shakespeare's text, ranging from a gentle rub on the back to a full-on sexcapade.

We'll be serving light refreshments in our gorgeous gallery space beginning at 7, where you can rub elbows with members of our company and get in on the action before it begins.

Tickets are $10. Email to reserve yours today!

**18+ ONLY. This show is not suitable for children.**

Facebook event
Valley Light Opera presents
Iolanthe Pub Sing

Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 PM
Mi Tierra, 48 Russell Street, Hadley

For the last few years the Valley Light Opera has mounted community sings in a local pub. 

What are we singing? One of our all time favorites, Iolanthe. This is the one with the peers and the peris, the nobles and the fairies, great music and one of the best first act finales in the whole canon. We last did Iolanthe as our fall show in 2010.  

We'll have food and drink service throughout the sing. Mi Tierra serves Mexican food and has a full bar.  If you'd like to order dinner, come before 7 o'clock. We'll start singing at about 7:30. You are the chorus singing all this wonderful music! We'll have a few scores available, but if you can bring your own or extras, please do. 

And who's singing the leads? First of all, the Lord Chancellor - Steve Morgan. Then the two lords who were boys together (at least one of them was) - Lord Mountararat will be sung by Robin Parsons, Lord Tolloller by Steven Williams. Private Willis, who opens the second act, will be sung by Michael Budnick. Finally, the last male lead, Strephon, in love with Phyllis, will be Stephen Atkinson. The mighty Fairy Queen will be sung by Donna Griffin. Lorie Healy will be our Phyllis and the opera's namesake, Iolanthe, will be sung by Nina Pollard. 

The singing will be accompanied on the piano by Glen Gordon, one of the original members of the VLO. 

Our pub sings are music only - no dialogue, so things move right along. Come on along for a fun evening of Gilbert and Sullivan!

More information
24 Hour Theatre Project
Saturday, March 12 at 7:00 and 9:00 PM
Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College

Six original ten-minute plays written, rehearsed, directed, produced, and staged within 24 hours. Northampton's critically acclaimed theatrical high-wire act takes this stage at the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College to benefit New Century Theatre's 2016 summer season. 

Tickets available online. Facebook event here.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show
Saturday, March 12 at 8:00 PM
The Arts Block Cafe, Greenfield

This completely improvised show is an hour of non-stop fun. Every month is an all-new show, made up on the spot and inspired by you!

Calendar Information
AUDITIONS for Six Flags New England Summer Shows & Entertainment
February 28th 11-3, March 12th, 2-6PM
Six Flags New England Human Resource Center, 1756 Main Street, Agawam MA

Six Flags is hiring over 75 people to join their Entertainment Team- Actors, Dancers, Tech, Drummers Seamstress, Variety Performers, and Ushers!  This is the perfect opportunity to get paid doing what you love- performing in a creative fast paced thrilling environment for an audience of thousands daily!

Roles include licensed character portrayal (WB & DC Comics), street comedy teams, magic show, Fairy Tale parody interactive show ("StoryTale"), and much more for spring and summer shows with opportunity for more shows in fall Frightfest season!

More on 
Must be at least 16 years old to apply.

This is a paid position, including for rehearsals. Part time work also available.
Great perks such as free park tickets, employee exclusive events, skill workshops for further development, and more!

There will also be an open call held at Holyoke Community College onMarch 2nd11-4PM.  

Please contact 
413-786-9300 ext.3320 or for more information.
Springfield Jewish Community Center is searching for a Choreographer for youth theater production - Into the Woods, Jr.

We are looking for a choreographer to work with the J-Art Youth group at the Springfield Jewish Community Center. Working with the director, Tony Jones, the choreographer will be a major part of the production team and should have experience working with kids.

Please contact to set-up a meeting. You may also submit resumes to this email address. 

Information on dates and performances can be found on the Facebook Audition page.
Auditions for Smith College Studio Productions
February 28 and 29

Studio Production Auditions will be held Sunday, February 28, 7-10 PM and Monday, February 29, 7-10 PM, in Acting Studio 1 (T100). Callbacks will be on Tuesday, March 1, 7-10 PM. No appointment or preparation necessary. Perusal scripts will be available in Josten Library.

A WINTER'S TALE by William Shakespeare
Directed by Samantha Biatch '16
Performances April 27, 29, 7:30 PM, Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

MAD FOREST by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Kitty Lixin Lin '16
Performances April 26, 28, 7:30 PM, Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Parts for 11 actors (most playing multiple combines roles) gender-blind, Five College and community members welcome, all ethnicities. One role for a child aged 6-12.

Parts for 11 actors. Gender-blind, Five College and community members welcome, all ethnicities.

Questions about Auditions? Email
The Academy of Music is looking for a volunteer for a Run Crew position for the production of Uncle Vanya. 

Must be available from 6-10 PM Monday, February 29 through Saturday, March 5. 

For more information, please
email Nikki. 
TheatreTruck hosts a roving Meet & Greet for The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Community

This month, join us in Amherst! 

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

A casual night out of chatting and networking. What is the most pressing issue facing Pioneer Valley performing artists? American artists? Come talk about it. Grab a drink, say hello, talk up your latest project. 

We hope to see you there. 

Monday, February 29
7:30pm High Horse, downstairs bar area 
24 N Pleasant St, Amherst MA

New Century Theatre 2016 Summer Internship Program
Information Session:
Monday, March 7 at 4:15 PM
T114, Green Room, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College

Each summer, NCT offers internships for college aged students and apprenticeships for high school students. Learn more about Summer opportunities offered by New Century Theatre at this informational meeting. Meet staff and past interns and eat free pizza! 

More information and applications available online
Opportunity to join a new teen vocal ensemble!

Tom Kopyto Music Lessons in East Longmeadow is forming a new vocal ensemble, inspired by TV shows like “Glee”, for highly skilled high school aged singers! This ensemble will be focused on performance and advanced vocal training. Singers will work collaboratively to draw from a variety of contemporary genres including: pop, R&B, Rock and others, to create original arrangements. They will then form setlists for the purpose of performing at different community events. Coaching will be provided in technique related to singing multi-part harmonies (with both instrumental accompaniment and a capella), song arrangement, style, and stage presence as well as other performance skills. For more information and to schedule a short assessment, call 413-563-9809 or email

About the instructor: Kate Saik holds a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She is an accomplished and versatile performer who has sung in a wide array of genres including pop and jazz bands, musical theater and opera. Kate has worked around the country as a voice and piano instructor, and as a director, producer and drama coach.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company is hiring for our upcoming 2016 summer season of Shakespeare Under the Stars.

Looking for a publicist, technical director, and associate producer. More information is available on our
website and interested applicants can address inquiries to

Join us for the chance to put Shakespeare in the great outdoors and be part of a talented community that will innovate and enchant as we breathe new life into old words.
Piti Theatre Company seeks actors for Olde Coleraine: A Musical Hilltown History
Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls

Piti Theatre Company is seeking two adult male actors, 1 female adult actor and boys ages 7 - 13 to join in the last two rehearsals (3/12 and 3/19 in the afternoon) before the premiere of our original musical "Olde Coleraine" at our 7th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on March 20th at 2 pm. Interviews will be set up on a first contacted/first seen basis. Small stipend available for the adults.

For young people there will be no audition. Families can simply contact us with questions or to sign up. 
(413) 625-6569
Information available online or send an email.
Acting Classes at New Century Theatre!

NCT Producing Director Sam Rush teaches two courses beginning this Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  Cost for the eight-week course is $275. Classes will be held in the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts on the Smith College campus - Green Street, Northampton, MA

To register, send an email to Sam Rush ( or call 413-587-3933 to hold a spot. You can Click on this link to download the PDF information and registration form.

Acting for Non-Actors
Instructor, Sam Rush 
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission)  
Tuesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m.  
March 1 - April 19 
Course Description:
The perfect course if you have never taken an acting class before but have always wanted to try or had a class once way back when and want to try again. With NCT Producing Director Sam Rush, you'll have a chance to explore your inner ham in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment. Using improvisation, text and original source material, you'll learn fundamental acting techniques that may just serve you the rest of your life - on stage or off.  

Scene Study Intensive
Instructor, Sam Rush 
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission) 
Wednesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m. 
Northampton, MA 
March 2 - April 20
Course Description: 
This class is for actors with previous experience and for students who have taken the Acting for Non-Actors course and wish to continue their study of the actor's craft. We'll start right away with scene study work and excercises that suport the rehearsal process. 
Double Edge Theatre's
Open Training 
March 13 from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Photo by Maria Baranova
Join Double Edge Theatre for a two-hour training session, tour of Double Edge Theatre's Farm in Ashfield, and a home-cooked meal with the Double Edge ensemble. All levels - even the simply curious - are welcome to attend! 
For more information or to sign up, visit the website.
Happier Valley Comedy Show presents Mindfulness Through Laughter
Six Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm, beginning March 16
Holyoke Community College

Mindfulness and improv each promote significant personal and professional growth - and this class combines them both. As enlightening as it is irreverent. As funny as it is thoughtful. But YOU don’t need to be funny! Just a willingness to play and live in the moment in an extremely supportive, positive, and affirming environment, where we laugh and learn through easy, relevant theatrical exercises and improv games that get us up on our feet, out of our heads, and into the moment. Would you like to reap the many benefits of mindfulness while having a ton of fun? The first step is saying “Yes, and... Instructor Pam Victor.

More information online.
Double Edge Theatre's Spring Training Intensive
March 18 - 20, 2016
Photo by Maria Baranova
Ideal for artists from any discipline, the Spring Intensive engages participants in Double Edge's physical training methodology and techniques for ensemble collaboration. Participants will experience 3-4 training sessions daily in and out of doors at Double Edge Theatre's Farm, located at 948 Conway Road in Ashfield. For more information, visit the website.
Happier Valley Comedy Show presents Mindfulness Through Laughter
Six Thursdays 
2:30-4:30 beginning April 7

Greenfield Community College

How would you like to practice being more mindful, staying in the moment, and paying attention to the present while laughing all The Way? Join professional improv comedian, teacher, and author, Pam Victor, as we replace “Om” with “Ha!” in MINDFULNESS THROUGH LAUGHTER, where you’ll reap the rewards of mindfulness while playing easy improv games in an extremely supportive, affirming environment. It’s like yoga for your funnybone and soul (without the bendy stuff).

More information 
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