Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 31, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  March 31-April 20, 2016

Auditions for New Century Theatre's 26th season are this weekend! Email us if you would like to reserve a slot for the mainstage season or for NCT Kids!

I'll be backstage at the Academy all week for Pioneer Valley Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY and THE FIREBIRD. Perhaps I'll see you there?

The next issue will include events through April 27. 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 The Stage
David Hare: Theatre Too Middle Aged and Too Middle of the Road
by Matthew Hemley
From the article: 

Double Olivier Award-winning playwright David Hare has accused artistic directors of prioritising box office takings over cutting-edge work, claiming they are confusing “what is popular with what is good”.

The acclaimed writer, whose hits include Skylight, Amy’s View and the recent adaptation of The Master Builder at the Old Vic, was speaking as part of the Festival at Hampstead Theatre. He said that his time as literary manager for the Royal Court in London at the age of 21 taught him that “anything good was going to be massively unpopular”.

He highlighted how Saved by Edward Bond, now “thought to be the great classic of the period”, played to 25% capacity, but said that theatres should be producing edgier content.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
UMass New Play Lab
What Actually Happened Was 

by Stephanie Swirsky
Performing 3/31/16 at 7:30
and 4/2 at 2:00

The Dance 
by Kim Euell
Performing 4/1/16,4/2/16 at 7:30

Both plays perform in the Curtain Theater, UMass Fine Arts Center
$8 general, $4 students/seniors

Buy tickets
More about the plays

The Department of Theater at UMass is excited to announce the two plays that will be part of the 2016 UMass New Play Lab this March: Kim Euell's The Danceand Stephanie Swirsky's What Actually Happened Was. Euell is currently the UMass Amherst Department of Theater's Playwright in Residence, and we are thrilled to offer our students the opportunity to work with her on this new piece.


What Actually Happened Was contains some sensitive scenes surrounding rape and violence, and The Dance is not recommended for audiences under 16. 

Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble presents ENDGAME PROJECT

March 31, April 1, 2 at 7:30 
Gateway City Arts

Serious Play!’s ENDGAME PROJECT, directed by Sheryl Stoodley, has been two years in development and incorporates the fusion of puppetry and theatre. With Kermit Dunkelberg, Rand Foerster, and puppeteer David Regan, we jump headfirst into Beckett’s “play world” in which games are saturated with the searing texture of adult experience.

Facebook event
hereEmail with any questions.
The Majestic Theater presents BUTLER  by Richard Strand
The Majestic Theater, West Springfield
March 31-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
Double Edge Theatre is proud to present an incredible double bill of solo performances from Grenland Friteater of Norway!

Geddy Aniksdal's My Life as a Man
April 1 & 2 at 7:30 pm

Lars Vik's Mr. Fumblebody
April 2 at 2 pm matinee

About My Life as a Man:
An autobiographical excursion into the story of Geddy Aniksdal’s Norwegian working class origin, which then becomes her working class characters. Her stories in theatre, the reasons why she makes theatre, the meeting with others made possible through the work. A story of finding a room of one’s own.

About Mr. Fumblebody:
The character Mr. Fumblebody is inspired by (and is an homage to) the great silent movie comedians Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin – and early Jaques Tati. In this hilarious show, suitable for ages 5 and up, Mr Vik combines physical slapstick with vivid audience participation and hilarious improvisations. Performed in English.

For tickets and information:
Westfield Theatre Group presents ANYTHING GOES
April 1, 2,8,9,15,16 at 7:30pm, April 9&16 at 2:00pm
The Westfield Woman's Club 28 Court Street in Westfield Massachusetts

The Westfield Theatre Group, a department of the Westfield Woman's Club, proudly presents Anything Goes! Tickets can be reserved online or by calling 
413-572-6838. The April 2 performance will be a benefit for the Carson Center, a program of the Behavioral Health Network. All tickets for that show must be obtained by calling 413-568-1421 xt 312.

More information
Pioneer Valley Ballet presents SLEEPING BEAUTY and

April 2 and 3, 1:00 and 4:30 PM
Academy of Music Theatre

The stories of Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird come to life April 2 and 3, 2016. Presented by Pioneer Valley Ballet, two beautiful ballet tales are in one performance. First, the colorful characters and spell-binding choreography of Sleeping Beautywith musical score by Tchaikovsky transport audience members to a Kingdom with magical fairies and the evil Carabosse. Then, The Firebird enchants audiences with music by Stravinsky to tell the journey of Prince Ivan, his battle with the immortal magician and the enchanted feather of the Firebird. Direction and choreography created by PVB Co-Artistic Directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti.

More information and tickets
Smith College
Department of Theatre
New Playreading Series presents

written and directed by Emily Atkinson
Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 PM in Acting Studio 1 (T100)

In the year 1632, Dr. Henry Bury, vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge and suspected necromancer, hangs himself on Easter Sunday. Despite the efforts of his dear friend (and perhaps more) James Somerville, the death is ruled a suicide. Three centuries later, in 1913, Charles Cooley, an Irish student, moves into Henry’s old rooms in Corpus Christi College, and finds himself drawn to the rambunctious and privileged Archer siblings, Katherine and Julius, and their friend Mark. Separated by hundreds of years, the two outsiders find themselves connected—haunted— by similar questions of identity and concerns about marginalization. All of these characters will have to choose whether to keep silence or face the consequences of their words as well as their actions, particularly when it comes to how they feel about one another. 

Northampton High School presents The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon
Written by Don Zolidis
Directed by Samantha Leahan

April 7, 8, and 9 at 7:00 PM 
April 9 at 2:00 PM
Northampton High School Auditorium

"The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are turned on their heads in this fast-paced, rollicking ride as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 stories ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil's Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun."

Handicap Accessible

$8 - Adults
$5 - Students, Seniors, and NHS Staff

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance.
The Academy of Music Theatre presents Arts Night Out: Academy of Music - Celebrating 125 Years
Friday, April 8 at 6:00 PM
R. Michelson Galleries, 132 Main St., Northampton, MA

The opening reception of a retrospective of the iconic Academy of Music as depicted in art, featuring works by Randal Deihl, Deborah Rubin, Jeff Kern, Mo Willems, Jeanne Birdsall, John Gnatek, Bill Rohan, and Steve Hannock. Join us from 6-8pm at R. Michelson Galleries on Main Street during April's Arts Night Out, or enjoy the exhibition during the gallery's business hours through April 21st.

More information online.

Youth on Broadway 2016 is a full scale Musical Theater Revue in its fourth year! Featuring 34 performers, ages 8-18 and 36 songs from 24 Broadway shows!!!

Shows are Friday, April 8 at 7 PM, 
Saturday, April 9 at 7 PM 
and Sunday, April 10 at 1:30 PM.
For tickets, call: LSSE at 413-259-3065.
Adults-$12, Children/students/seniors-$6
and at the door-Adults $14, Children/students/seniors-$8.

Don't miss out on this fantastic show!!!

Wilbraham United Players are BAREFOOT IN THE PARK
April 8, 9, 15, 16 at 7:30PM 
and April 10 & 17 at 2:30PM
Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA

The Wilbraham United Players will be performing the classic Neil Simon comedy BAREFOOT IN THE PARK on April 8-10 and 15-17 on the Fellowship Hall Stage at Wilbraham United Church – 500 Main St. in Wilbraham.  Featured in the cast are Carolyn Averill and Joe Van Allen as Corie and Paul Bratter.  The story revolves around this pair of newlyweds as they adjust to married life.  They begin their new marriage in a 5 story walk-up apartment where they meet the most unusual of neighbors - Victor Velasco (played by Paul Rothenberg).  They are also visited by Corie’s mother Mrs. Banks (played by Kate Hebert).  Rounding out the cast are Jay Muse and Bob Kelliher who play respectively, a telephone repairman and a department store delivery man.  The production is directed by Artistic Director Deborah Trimble and produced by Paul Nesbit.

Tickets for the production can be purchased on the Player’s
website or by contacting Marjorie Trimble (413) 596-6117.  Priority reserved seating is $25. Tickets for General Seating are $20. There is a discount for Seniors and Students under age 18.
Ware Commnity Theater presents

A Musical Satire about the History of Ware, MA
April 8 and 9 at 7:00, April 10 at 2:00
Ware Middle School Auditorium

Based on events in 1937, "We're Happy about the  Whole Thing" portrays events in Ware, MA when the Otis Company threatened to close its mill, putting many residents out of work.  Come cheer on the employees and residents of Ware as they sing and dance their way to saving the mill and the economic future of Ware!

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and seniors, to be sold at the door only.
Happier Valley Comedy Presents: Scripted/Unscripted
Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 PM
289 Main St. Greenfield, MA

Happier Valley Comedy’s SCRIPTED/UNSCRIPTED features a cavalcade of talented improvisers and stage actors from the Pioneer Valley in a half-scripted, half-improvised, totally unique and fun show! SCRIPTED/UNSCRIPTED combines one actor performing from a script with one improviser making it all up on the spot to mix up a wild and wooly show unlike anything thing you've seen before. This show usually plays to a sold-out crowd, so you'll definitely want to get your tickets in advance to guarantee your seat.

**This show often fills up fast, so we suggest arriving by 7:30 to stake out the best seat! **

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. Arts Block Calendar here.
Scenes from Oh My God by Anat Gov - readings from a dark comedy 
God is in Therapy - and No Wonder!
On April 11, 7-9
Smith College Campus Center:204

Join professor Ellen Kaplan for a reading circle of scenes from: O my God!
A comedy by Israeli playwright Anat Gov
We are inviting everyone to ask:
Why is "God" (in any way we interpret that) in THERAPY?  Let’s talk together – across differences – to stimulate dialogue about the diverse ways we think about faith

No Preparation needed, just come to talk, share, laugh, and eat! (Food provided!)
Call 585-3207 with questions!
The Majestic Theater will hold a special preview performance of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30pm to benefit Dakin Humane Society.  The musical, which features the music of Neil Sedaka, officially opens the following evening and is the final production in the Majestic’s 19th Season. 

The story is set during Labor Day Weekend in 1960 and features Marge and her stagestruck best friend Lois, who arrive at Esther’s Paradise Resort in the Catskills. Marge has just been left at the altar, and has decided to turn what would have been her honeymoon into a vacation with Lois. Romantic schemes and entanglements involve the pair along with several other characters, including Del Delmonaco, the resort’s handsome singer, Gabe, a geekish handyman, Harvey, the Borscht Belt comic and the widowed Esther. 

Specially priced tickets for this performance can be purchased by visiting the Majestic box office during regular hours (Monday through Friday, 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am - 1pm) or phoning 
(413) 747-7797.  Proceeds will benefit the care of homeless animals at Dakin. 

For additional information, visit  
Black Cat Theater presents DISCO INFERNO!
April 14-15-16  @ 7:00 pm 
April 17 @ 2:00pm
South Hadley High School
153 Newton St, South Hadley 

Come on down to the Disco Inferno and see this incredibly talented cast of young actors set the stage on fire!

The classic tale of the soul-selling Faust is set to the greatest disco hits of the 1970's.  Grabbing that jive old story and injecting it with groove, Disco Inferno is chock-full of the songs that defined a generation. 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. 

$15 General Admission    
$12 Seniors/Students
Veterans/Military Free of Charge
Scouts in Uniform, with Accompanying Adult FREE with a Donation of a Non-Perishable Food Item

or email

Created and directed by Ping Chong + Talvin Wilks
Produced in association with Ping Chong + Company
Rand Theater

4/14/16 Half-Price Preview at 7:30
4/16/16, 4/20/16, 4/21/16, 4/22/16 at 7:30
4/23/16 at 2:00 & at 7:30

What would visitors from another world think if they looked at the race history of the United States? In Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre and Post Racial America, which runs at the UMass Amherst Department of Theater from April 14 to 23, an alien species attempts to make sense of a subject fraught with inherent misperceptions, ironies and contradictions. Taking an “alien” view of this aspect of human behavior, the gaze of Collidescope places these issues under a microscope. Traveling from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, exploring the Pre-Revolutionary War era when freedmen and slaves contemplated their rights in a soon-to-be independent nation, then back to the present day, this work creates a cubistic frame, revealing different angles from which to observe America’s troubled “peculiar” history and its on-going, violent consequences.

We will have post-show conversations on April 16 and April 20-23. Stay tuned for details about topics and guest respondents, and check our website for updates as the event approaches.

On Friday, April 15, Silverthorne Theater Company will hold a gala fundraiser from 7 to 10 pm at the Arts Block Café, Main Street and Court Square in downtown Greenfield. All are welcome! Proceeds from the event will go to support the Company’s upcoming 2016 summer season

SILVERTHORNE ON STAGE (S. O. S.) will feature an Open Mic, hosted by local favorite Marv Shedd, actor and member of the Fall Town String Band. Partygoers will meet this summer's directors and actors, and will be entertained by talented Company members and friends, past and present.  And audience members will have a chance to strut their stuff!
Tickets are only $4.99 and can be purchased at the door or at Brown Paper Tickets.  The Arts Block Café hosts the cash bar and party snacks, with a treasure chest full of theme treats!
In addition to the entertainment, attendees will bid on a wide range of donated goods and services in a Potpourri Silent Auction. Unusual contests throughout the evening will add spice to the experience as will valuable door prizes!
Smith College Department of Theatre presents

by Katori Hall
directed by Nicole A. Watson
April 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 PM in Theatre 14

The Wall Street Journal calls Our Lady of Kibeho "The most important new play of the year.” Set in 1981, a village girl in Rwanda claims to see the Virgin Mary. Ostracized by her schoolmates and labeled disturbed, everyone refuses to believe, until the impossible starts happening again and again. Skepticism gives way to fear, faith, and fate, causing upheaval in the school community and beyond. The New York Times calls this play "Transfixing!... has the gripping intensity of a thriller!" 

$10 General, $5 Students and Seniors, FREE for Smith Students. Tickets available online or by calling 413-585-3220.

The Country Players presents Neil Simon's hit Broadway comedy "God's Favorite"
April 15, 16, 21, and 22 at 7:00 p.m. 
April 17th at 2:00 and 
April 23rd at 1:00 p.m.
Frontier Regional High School

Saturday April 17th is our Senior Show and everyone age 65+ pays only $10 per ticket!
For reservations, please call 413-768-9126.
For more information, please visit The County Players on Facebook. 

$10 for children under 12
$13 for student 13+ and those with valid student ID
$13 for 65+
$16 for Adult
Saturday April 17th is our Senior Show. Tickets are just $10 for 65+
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Improv Show!
Saturday, April 16 at 4:00 PM
Eastworks' 121 Club (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton)

Finally, an improv show for the WHOLE FAMILY! Happier Valley Comedy is proud to present this high energy show running on positivity and audience suggestions.

More info
Smith College Department of Theatre New Playreading Series: ALL WE KNOW IS NOT ENOUGH
written and directed by Darcy Parker Bruce
Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 PM in Acting Studio 1 (T100)

Romeo and Charlie are in flight, staying at a run down pay-by-the-hour motel. When Romeo uses his sister Charlie's ham radio, he makes contact with Nasrin, a young woman in a boat.All We Know Is Not Enough is a play which explores what it means to be a refugee, as well as the limitations of our access to immediate information and communication.

Free and open to the public.

The Majestic Theater presents The Majesters Improv Comedy
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 
New Century Theatre 2016 Season Auditions

Equity Principal Auditions for NCT's 2016 summer season and general casting files will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, 2016 - 9:00 to 4:30 at the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts - 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA. 

Non-Equity auditions will take place Sunday, April 3 from 9:00 to 4:30.

Dates below are all performance dates. Rehearsals begin the Tuesday prior to opening night.

YANKEE TAVERN by Steven Dietz
June 16-25
June 30 - July 9
TIME STANDS STILL by Donald Margulies
July 14 - 23
JAR THE FLOOR by Cheryl West
July 28 - August 6

NCT Kids! will be auditioning on Sunday, April 3 10:00-12:00 for A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. 

Appointments can be made via phone or email: (413) 587-3933 or emailing
Please prepare an short (under two minute) contemporary monologue and bring a headshot/resume.
Walk-in auditions will be accepted on a first come, first served basis as time allows. AEA actors will be given first preference.

PaintBox Theatre
Auditions for Summer 2016

A non-equity Theatre of Imagination and Improvisation For All Ages
Directed by Tom McCabe
Rehearsals and Performance Dates* for the 2016
* Times for rehearsals and performances will be a mix of day and evening.

Raggedy Ann
Rehearses: Tuesday, June 28 – Thursday, July 7 
Performances: Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 10 AND Friday, July 15 – Sat. July 16 

Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare
Rehearses: Tuesday, July 12 – Thursday, July 21 
Performances: Friday July 22 – Sunday, July 24 AND Friday, July 29 – Sat. July 30

Peter Pan
Rehearses: Tuesday, July 26 – Thursday, August 4 
Performances: Friday, August 5 – Sunday, August  7

The Approach: Each production features just three performers. It’s for family audiences. 

Actors play multiple roles. The rehearsal process begins with a basic script and then, through improvisation, the script is developed into a full production.

Performance Locations: We will be performing at Williston in Easthampton and at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls.

Who we are looking for: College age and older* actors who have a sense of humor, like to work in an ensemble, have an interest and maybe some experience with improvisation and a desire to perform for children and families.  
*We are also seeking high school age apprentices – e-mail if interested.  

Audition Date and Location:
Auditions will be held Sunday, April 3 from 1:00 - 4:00 at The PaintBox Theatre Office, 4 Old South Street, downtown Northampton (next to the Raven). E-mail Tom at for an appointment. You do not need to prepare anything. The auditions are improvisational.

The Audition Process: Bring your picture and a resume. Arrive a few minutes early to fill out forms. You do not need to prepare anything. The audition is improvisational. 

Salary: $450.00.  No housing.
Billy Shakes Free Shakespeare presents Hamlet Auditions
Pines Theater, Look Park, Northampton

The time has come again for auditions for Billy Shake's Free Shakespeare's summer show in Look Park, Northampton! The auditions will be held April 15, and 16, with a possible 17th if needed. Auditions will be held on a first come, first serve, basis starting at 2:00 pm, and going until 4:00pm each day. If you are unable to make any of those times, please send an
To schedule a time outside of that. 
HAMLET WILL BE CAST AS A FEMALE. All other parts will have blind casting. 
Please bring a head-shot, resume, and a 1-2 minute Shakespearean monologue. IF you are auditioning for the role of Hamlet, please prepare the monologue "Speech to the Players". 
Look forward to seeing you there!
Feast of Players is looking for two actors for a staged reading of GARDEN OF EDEN

One actor to play role of Lee, 30s, Techie in space communications, Has connections. Flamboyant, expressive, on a roll. Doesn’t hold back.
Youthful (20s fine) actor to play Alien P. What hip might be like 20 light years ahead.
Rehearsals the 2 weeks prior, 5 total.

The reading will be on April 30 at 7:30 PM at the ArtsBlock, 4th Floor.
Contact Alan Harris for more information. 
Real Live Theatre is looking for an actress aged 20 or older to play the Earl of Warwick in our all-female production of The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, a dynamic 'new' Shakespeare play co-adapted by Toby Bercovici and Dan Morbyrne and directed by Toby Bercovici. The piece begins rehearsals on May 21 and will rehearse two evenings and two weekend days per week in Sunderland and Easthampton, with actors being called to some but not all of those rehearsals. Performances are July 28-31 and August 5-6. We will also tour the show to Colby College in Waterville, Maine September 21-25. While the Summer production will not pay except in a profit split after expenses, the Fall tour promises $500 for the four days. For more information or to schedule an audition, contact Toby Bercovici,
Announcing the Silverthorne Theater New Play Competition: Call for Plays by Playwrights of Color
Silverthorne Theater Company is sponsoring a competition to select a new play by a local playwright of color for possible production during the 2017 season.  The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2016.  Complete information about the contest may be found on their website.
A reading committee of five members, headed by veteran Montague writer/actor Kent Alexander, will review all submissions. Three finalists will be selected for public staged readings in November and December, with the final competition winner announced on December 30, 2016.
Play submissions must be full length  (90 minutes to 2 hours running time); they must not have been previously fully produced. Playwrights of color (defined as non-white) who live or study in the Connecticut Valley/Western Massachusetts region are solely eligible to submit plays.
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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