Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 28, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  July 28-August 17, 2016

Jar The Floor - the final play in New Century Theatre's 26th season - opens tonight. The play is directed by Gilbert McCauley, who also directed the play's professional premiere. It's definitely not to be missed. 

Silverthorne's The Turn of the Screw also opens tonight. And it's the final weekend to catch Yankee Tavern at Arena Civic Theatre. Summer theatre is starting to wind down - catch a show before it's too late. 

The next issue will include events through August 24. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Submit Your Theatre Event
Get your tickets today!
from Howlround
Taking Responsibility for the Plot

by P. Carl
From the article: 

Personal transformation is complicated and terrifying.

There’s a picture of me with my two brothers when I was about five. I’m wearing my dad’s sunglasses and my brother’s purple paisley shirt that I loved. The shirt is unbuttoned, wide open, my little kid chest proudly on display. I look fierce and happy. Like myself.

I’ve spent a lifetime getting back to that photo.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
New Century Theatre presents JAR THE FLOOR
by Cheryl West

Directed by Gilbert McCauley
July 28-August 6
Theatre 14,
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College, Northampton

Humorist and author Erma Bombeck once said, “Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.” She could have been talking about Cheryl West’s heartwarming dramatic comedy set in a Chicago suburb. A quartet of single African-American women, spanning four generations, come together in celebration of their great grand- mother, MaDear’s 90th Birthday. Filled with all the resentment, love, accusations and humor that any family reunion brings, JAR THE FLOOR has been hailed as “Boisterous, earthy, enraged and insightful” (Seattle Times) and “ of the wisest plays I’ve seen in ages” (USA Today). Don’t miss this laugh-filled and poignant closer to NCT’s 26th season.

Call 413-585-3220 or click here for tickets. Facebook event here.


Silverthorne Theater Company presents THE TURN OF THE SCREW
July 28 – AUGUST 6
Sloan Theater at Greenfield Community College

Jeffrey Hatcher’s masterful adaptation of Henry James’ eerie Victorian tale of two very frightening children recreates the nightmare world of a country house that may or may not be haunted by the malevolent spirits of former servants. This is a tour-de-force piece in which two actors, Valley favorite Stephanie Carlson as The Governess, and Steven Eldredge (The Man) inhabit the liminal space between reality and imagination.

Guiding this production is Ellen Kaplan, one of the most prolific directors in the Valley and beyond. Kaplan’s contributions to local, regional and national theater are legion. She is currently chair of the Smith College Theater Department; a noted playwright, she recently returned from Malta where a new play received a staged reading.

The Turn of the Screw will run July 28 through August 6. The August 4 post-show talkback will be led by Smith College professor Michael Gorra, whose biography of Henry James was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Nighttime show curtain time is 7:30 pm; Saturday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets are $19 general admission, $17 students/seniors (over 65). Group rates for 10+ are available. Pre-sale discount tickets are available at the World Eye Bookshop, Main Street, Greenfield, and Broadside Books, Main Street, Northampton, after June 1. They are now available by calling 413-768-7514 or online at Brown Paper Tickets or at

Double Edge Theatre presents Once a Blue Moon (Cada Luna Azul) 
July 28 - August 22
Wednesdays - Sundays at 8 p.m.
All performances will take place at Double Edge's Farm, 948 Conway Road in Ashfield, MA 

Once a Blue Moon (Cada Luna Azul) is inspired by magic realism and many Latin American stories, including Alejandro Jodorowsky's Where the Bird Sings Best, Isabel Allende's Eva Luna, writings by Borges and Marquez, as well as poetry by Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz, Imagining Argentina by Lawrence Thornton and the film Black Orpheus. The story reflects an increasingly universal situation in which “progress” displaces people, in this case causing a flood. It is a story of memory, culture, and song, imbued with the excitement of Latin American carnival. Audience members, traversing the landscape, encounter and mingle with the townspeople of Agua Santa.

For tickets and more info., visit the website.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents MACBETH
July 28-31, Wed-Sun
Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, 650 E Pleasant St, Amherst MA 01002  

Macbeth remains one of the Bard's most popular pieces because, at its core, the play touches upon a piece of humanity that is uncomfortably relatable. This coming production hopes to cut away the emotionally stunted masculinity and militarism that can dominate the piece. We will instead explore the simplicity and ease of losing yourself to ambition, the trauma of no longer recognizing the person you love most, the crossroads in a story where insanity and supernatural horrors merge, and even the notes of humor that can hang in the air above a tragedy. Colorful, engaging, visually intriguing witches will clash with the lives and fates of grim, gray-scale soldiers. Two lovers will watch their lives disintegrate. And behind it all lies the eerie Birnam Wood (or rather the trees by the Center for Renaissance Studies). Come play in the woods!

Tickets here. Facebook here.
The Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare
Directed by Tom McCabe

Friday July 29, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday July 30,
10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Shea Theater in Turners Falls 
It's the greatest sports story of all time!
Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise and the Hare. Who wins? You probably know the answer, but there will be twists and turns and hilarity before any critters cross the finish line. PaintBox favorite (and Valley icon) Kelsey Flynn is coming out of retirement, dusting off her rabbit ears, and hopping into the race as that pesky hare. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory.
This year, PaintBox Theatre, the Pioneer Valley's theatre of imagination and improvisation for all ages, has moved to the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, with side trips to the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. We're thrilled to expand our audience and bring our shows to these beautiful (air-conditioned!) theaters. As always, PaintBox Theatre's shows will feature lots of audience participation, artwork created by dozens of local kids, and plenty of belly laughs.
Arena Civic Theatre presents Yankee Tavern 
Presented at the White Church Community Center,
16 Memorial Street Deerfield, MA 01342
7/29 & 30 at 8:00 PM and
7/31 at 2:00 PM.

A thriller set in a New York bar about to be demolished. Adam, a young graduate student, finds himself caught in a web of intrigue as he grapples with questions about his impending marriage, his late father's best friend (who may be a paranoid schizophrenic), and a mysterious stranger who appears to knows far more than he should about the 9/11 attacks.

Suddenly outlandish theories become dangerous realities. Coincidence or conspiracy? Written by Steven Dietz and directed by Jennifer Coliskey. The cast includes Dominic Bairds as Adam, Carolyn Caron as Janet, Jim Merlin as Ray, and Tom Kokonowski as Palmer.

Tickets $16 General Admission, $13 Seniors/Students, $10 Children (12 & under) and are available at the door or by calling to reserve at (413) 233-4368 or onlineFacebook event.
Ko Festival of Performance presents FREEDOM PROJECT by Everett Company.  

Fri., July 29 and Sat., July 30 at 8:00 pm; Sun., July 31 at 4:00 pm at Holden Theater, Amherst College. 

Multimedia Physical theater interweaving stories, stunning imagery and choreography – about the current incarceration epidemic in the “Land of the Free.” Followed each night by a FREEDOM CAFÉ, with speakers, performance and discussion.

Tickets $20; $16 Students and Seniors. Call about a limited number of $8 tickets.  

To order before July 4, call 413-427-6147, or online anytime at  After July 4, Box Office line: 413-542-3750.

Part of Ko Festival of Performance, celebrating its 25th season, a perennially popular summer theater experience in Western Massachusetts.  July 4-August 7, 2016 on the beautiful campus of Amherst College.  KoFest presents five weekend-long theatrical performances, two special single events, and three 6-day intensive theater workshops.  
RLT presents the world premiere of our "new" Shakespeare play "The Life and Death of Queen Margaret," featuring a kickass all-female cast!

Friday & Saturday, 7/29 & 7/30 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, 7/31 @ 2pm
Friday & Saturday, 8/5 & 8/6 @ 7:30pm

Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre,
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College

Get your tickets now!

In a year when Hillary Clinton, campaigning for President of the United States, is not only vilified above and beyond her male counterparts for comparable behavior, but also has her physical body available for public discussion and judgment, Real Live Theatre brings you a 'new' Shakespeare play which examines what really goes on when women rise to power inside patriarchal systems. 

"The Life and Death of Queen Margaret" follows the story of Margaret of Anjou - a fierce, strong-willed, and independent woman who was both a historical figure and also one of Shakespeare's greatest characters. Her rise to leadership and subsequent downfall, portrayed through bitingly relevant and alarmingly prescient 400-year-old texts, hold a necessary mirror up to our modern society. 

Cast: Myka Plunkett, Linda Tardif, Jeannine Haas, Julissa Rodriguez, Kate Hare, Faolain Bobersky, Ellen Morbyrne, Emily Tanch
Production: Toby Bercovici (direction), Annelise Nielsen (choreography), Ezekiel Baskin (lights/stage management), Julia Vincenza Whalen and Rich Vaden (costumes), Catherine McCurry (sound), Josh Platt (dramaturgy), Dan Morbyrne (fight choreography)
Sunday July 31 - 2pm & 6:30pm
Monday, August 1 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, August 2 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, August 3 - 10am, 1pm

The Majestic will also present children’s theater this summer.  “The Frog Prince: A Musical," "A Little Princess" and "Treasure Island" will be presented in July and August.  Admission is $9 per person.  Those who purchase tickets to all three plays at the same time join "The Snack Club," which entitles them to get free snack at each play.

Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Music by Robert Reale
Directed by Cate Damon
Musical Direction by Mitch Chakour

August 3-6
10:30 AM
Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
122 Green Street, Northampton, MA

Join NCTKids this summer for a tuneful re-telling of Arthur Lobel’s beloved classic children’s books Frog and Toad. In A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, follow best friends--worrywart Toad and confident Frog--as they sing and dance their way through a year in the swamp with all their hopping, crawling, flying friends. All the gentle joy and fun of Lobel’s books come to life in this charming, funny, Tony award-nominated musical for kids of all ages!

More information and tickets available online. Call the box office for tickets at 413-585-3220 or email with any questions. Facebook event here.

The Majestic Theater presents Improvisational Comedy with The Majesters

Featuring a troupe of the best improv comics from across the Pioneer Valley and beyond for an evening of unscripted comic mayhem.  The program begins with improv scenes similar to "Whose Line is it Anyway," and is followed by a storyline that's developed with help from the audience.  Improvisational Comedy with The Majesters takes place Wednesday nights at 7pm July 6-August 24.  Tickets are $7.

Wednesday, August 3 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 10 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 17 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 24 - 7pm - $7
Billy Shakes Free Shakespeare presents HAMLET
August 5th and 6th starting at 5:00, and August 7 starting at 1:00
Pines Theatre, Look Park, Northampton

Billy Shakes Free Shakespeare is glad to be back for it's second year at the Pines Theater in Look Park Northampton! The show will go up the first weekend of August with the performance on the 5th and 6th showing at 5:00 and the7th starting at 1:00. There is no fee for entrence to this show! It is free! Come on by, pack your car with your friends, and see a fantastic production on Hamlet on a beautiful summer day! No cost to you! The first hour of our show will be a sort of meet and greet with the characters of Hamlet! Ren Faire style! There will be vendors and concessions, and music! If you have any questions please contact us.
PaintBox Theatre presents Peter Pan   
Performances at Williston, Easthampton
Friday August 5: 7:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday August 6 and 7 - 10:30 and 1:00

Yes, we have gone and done it. Troy David Mercier IS Peter Pan! I think that's all we have to say. This is going to be a delight. Oh, here's a question: how are we going to fly him if we don't use strings? Imagination, of course! In our version the entire audience gets to fly. Oh, and Connor Paradis (last season's Jim Hawkins) has agreed to play Tiger Lilly.
Tickets: Available at the door or at
Admission: $10.00 for single tickets. 
Group Discount: 15 people or more - $7.00 per ticket - email Tom for details
Web site:
Phone: 413-923-7159
Ko Festival of Performance presents TENDERNESS by The Performance Project’s “First Generation” Ensemble
Fri., August 5 and Sat., August 6 at 8:00 pm; Sun., Aug 7 at 4:00 pm at Holden Theater, Amherst College. 

Young theater artists from Springfield contrast the dehumanization at the core of violence, racism, and the school-to-prison pipeline with the eternal power of human tenderness. 

Tickets $20; $16 Students and Seniors. Call about a limited number of $8 tickets.  

To order before July 4, call 413-427-6147, or online anytime  After July 4, Box Office line: 413-542-3750.

Part of Ko Festival of Performance, celebrating its 25th season, a perennially popular summer theater experience in Western Massachusetts.  July 4-August 7, 2016 on the beautiful campus of Amherst College.  KoFest presents five weekend-long theatrical performances, two special single events, and three 6-day intensive theater workshops.  

Sunday August 7 - 2pm & 6:30pm
Monday, August 8 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, August 9 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, August 10 - 10am, 1pm

The Majestic will also present children’s theater this summer.  “The Frog Prince: A Musical," "A Little Princess" and "Treasure Island" will be presented in July and August.  Admission is $9 per person.  Those who purchase tickets to all three plays at the same time join "The Snack Club," which entitles them to get free snack at each play.
The North Hall Arts Festival will present a staged reading of The Gin Game

on Sunday, August 7 at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the play is free, with general seating. The hall is wheelchair-accessible and air-conditioned. An after-party follows, with donations welcomed.

The Gin Game is a two-person, two-act dramatic comedy by Donald L. Coburn that won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play, set entirely on the porch of a retirement home, centers on two strangers who form a strained bond as they develop their relationship playing gin rummy.

The staged reading at North Hall, directed by actor and playwright Mitch Giannunzio, stars Kenneth Tigar and Margery Shaw. Giannunzio’s play “Last Tag” was made into a Sweepsweeks CBS-TV movie, Falling For You, starring Jenny Garth. His play A Smaller Place was made into a feature film, The Hiding Place, starring Kim Hunter and Timothy Bottoms.

Shaw has performed over 150 leading roles in regional theatres throughout America, including the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, the Buffalo Studio Arena, St. Louis Repertory, Stage West in Massachusetts, and the Repertory Theatre of New Orleans.

Tigar, a recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award, has appeared in Barney Miller and the Lethal Weapon movies, The Good Wife and The Avengers. He can be seen on both the Amazon series Alpha House with John Goodman and the Netflix series House of Cards with Kevin Spacey. He directed the national tour of The Gin Game with Academy Award winner Kim Hunter.

This event and others in the series is made possible by support from the Westfield News Group, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and the arts councils of Chesterfield, Cummington, Huntington, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Westhampton, and Worthington.

For more information about the Festival’s events, visit or phone 413-667-5543.
Ghost Light Theater Presents: Becky’s New Car
By Steven Dietz
Directed by Joe Van Allen

Presented at Keystone Mill 122 Pleasant Street Easthampton
August 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 8:00 PM and August 14 & 21 at 2:00 PM.

Have you ever been tempted to flee your own life? Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage—with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night a socially inept and grief-stricken millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life… and the audience is offered a chance to ride shotgun in a way that most plays wouldn’t dare. The cast includes Sue Dziura as Becky, Ethan Blake as Chris, Patrick Healey as Joe, Emily Smith as Kenni, Luke Smith as Steve, Kevin Tracy as Walter and Christine Voytko as Ginger.

All tickets are $10 and are available at the door or online or on the Facebook page. Facebook event here.

Sunday August 14 - 2pm & 6:30pm
Monday, August 15 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, August 16 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, August 17 - 10am, 1pm

The Majestic will also present children’s theater this summer.  “The Frog Prince: A Musical," "A Little Princess" and "Treasure Island" will be presented in July and August.  Admission is $9 per person.  Those who purchase tickets to all three plays at the same time join "The Snack Club," which entitles them to get free snack at each play.
Six Flags New England presents Auditions for Frightfest
July 29, 3:00 PM and August 13th 11AM-5PM
Six Flags New England Human Resource Center
Hiring over 200 performers to staff the largest Halloween event in New England!
Actors, Singers, Dancers, Tech, Make-up, and more!
Stage shows, haunted attractions, and midway monsters!
More info and apply at
413-786-9300 ext.3320
Must be at least 16 to apply. Frightfest runs weekends Sept. 26ththrough October. All hours for training, rehearsals, and performance are paid.
Auditions for Black Cat Theater's production of Oliver!

Black Cat Theater is preparing for their 30th season with the fall production of OLIVER! directed by Emily MacLeod with Dick Matteson as Music Director. Singing actors (male and female) ages 10 and up are invited to attend auditions. Anyone under the age of 18 must  be accompanied by a parent/guardian. The auditions will begin at 6:00 pm at All Saints Church, 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA. 

Lead Role audition dates are on Monday, August 8th and Tuesday, August 16th. Each role will have a specific song they will be asked to sing. Check the website or Facebook for the list of songs. There may also be readings from the script.

Ensemble audition dates are Tuesday, August 9th and Wednesday, August 17th. It is not necessary to attend both dates.

Ensemble singers should be prepared to sing a short song in the style of the show (songs from the show are encouraged). An accompanist will be provided, but may not transpose. No CD’s please. 

If unavailable to appear in person please email or leave a message at 413-563-6023.

Rehearsals are primarily Monday & Thursday evenings beginningSeptember 12th with an occasional Wednesday night. The show is currently scheduled for November 17-20, 2016 at South Hadley High School.
The Academy of Music is doing a big clean out at the end of August! You can volunteer to help out at the Facebook event here.
Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton is looking for a director for the annual spring musical this year - March 2017. We have a generous stipend to offer someone with experience (preferably) working with high school students. Our standards are high and the production team is strong. We can provide excellent support to the right candidate.

More information online.
Two new openings for our Summer Program for Children 
Two slots just opened up for our single two week session of summer theater for children ages 8-13 at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield.

 August 1-12, 2016

The program is a two-week theater intensive where we build an original version of a well-known play through improvisational games. All actors will have the opportunity to use text if they choose, and all students will learn plots and characters of classic plays, but the actors will have a great deal of choice in the characters they play and the words they say. In the past six years we have done several original mysteries, Moliere's The Physician in Spite of Himself, and  Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and last year's critically acclaimed tragicomedy, Hamlet. Come play! After all, the play's the thing...

 Running time of camp, 9 am to 3 pm with mornings devoted to theater games and then on to rehearsal. Lunch will be provided in the beautiful Gibbs Dining Hall. Recess will take place in the afternoon with activities including walking to the Rock, swimming in Schwab pool, playing on the fields, and enjoying the gym. Performance last Friday afternoon to showcase week's work with parents and friends invited to each performance. 
More information at:

The cost is $560 with a limit of 15 children. A check may be made payable to Eggtooth, 102 Highland Ave. Greenfield, MA 01301. For more information call Linda at 413-522-1445.

Founded in 1922, Eaglebrook School is a located on 750 acres along Pocumtuck Ridge in Deerfield, MA just off of Routes 5 and 10 in the village of Old Deerfield. The Percival Theatre is a 260 seat theatre featuring beautiful acoustics and flexible seating. For directions:

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