Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pioneer Valey Theatre News August 4, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 August 4-24, 2016

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Check out what may be the remains of the first theatre built in Times Square.

The next issue will include events through August 31. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

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from Howlround
Zelda Fichandler's Address to the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society in Celebration of the Third Annual Zelda Fichandler Award—October 26, 2011

by Zelda Fichandler
From the article: 

Thank you so much, Jonathan, for your gracious introduction and your ongoing work as artistic director of California Shakespeare Theater. And congratulations on being the inaugurating recipient of this Award. I feel at home here in the Kreeger with my tribe of artistic directors, directors and actors and other theatre folk from around the country.  I look forward to speaking with you.

This Award was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and was the brain child of the Society’s President, Karen Azenberg, who flew in from directing at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to be with us; Laura Penn, our Union’s dedicated Executive Director; and Tom Moore, who flew in on his own steam, having become—to top his directing career—a trapeze artist!

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

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

August 4-6
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.

New Century Theatre presents JAR THE FLOOR
by Cheryl West

Directed by Gilbert McCauley
August 4-6
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
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) 
August 4-22
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.
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, 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)
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.
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 10 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 17 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 24 - 7pm - $7
Ghost Light Theater Presents: Becky’s New Car
By Steven Dietz
Directed by Joe Van Allen

Gateway City Arts
Judd Paper Hall
92 Race Street, Holyoke
Friday, August 12, 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 13, 5:30 pm
Sunday, August 14, 2:00 pm
Thursday, August 18, 8:00 pm
Friday, August 19, 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 21, 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.
Introducing our ALL NEW Show...
The Happier FAMILY Comedy Show!

Funny for the whole family (and perfect for kids 5-12 and their adults)! Get your family-friendly funnies in this totally interactive, high energy improv comedy show on the third Saturday of every month. 

Our next show is coming up!
Saturday, August 20th
4-5 pm (doors open at 3:45)
The Community Room of the Eastworks building (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton)
Tickets at the door: $5 Kids, $10 Adults, $30 Immediate Family Max. **Payments by cash or check only**

For more info on the show click here. Facebook event here.

Answers to your FAQs:
IS THIS SHOW FAMILY FRIENDLY? Um, yeah! By its very definition and design. This show is rated G. We think it's most appropriate for kids 5-12, but everyone is welcome.

WHAT MAKES A FAMILY? Love makes a family. You don't need to be related to come to the family show. You don't even need to be a kid! 

WHAT IS THE FAMILY MAX TICKET THING? It's our immediate family discount. So you pay only $30 max for an immediate family circle. But our tickets are super reasonable anyway: Kids are only $5. Their adults are $10.

Any more questions? Email or post them below!
This month, The Ha-Ha's are joined by our special local friends GerryNuggeT, a two-person improv group featuring Mosie McNally and Kristina Smarz.
The Ha-Ha's will perform "The Armando" with a special guest storyteller, Jay Sefton, who will inspire a series of wacky improvised scenes!

About our monologist:
JAY SEFTON is the writer/performer of The Most Mediocre Story Never Told!, for which he was the recipient of the LA WEEKLY award for best solo performance 2008. He lives in Hadley with his wife and three cats. He is a recent graduate of Lesley University’s Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences with a master’s degree in psychology.

Saturday, Aug. 13th at 8pm - doors open at 7 
Arts Block Cafe
289 Main St., Greenfield, MA
Tickets available online and at the door: $13
(Click the ticket link and scroll to the bottom of the page to choose single or multiple tickets.)

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 at

(Please note: There will be no after-show/jam in August. But it will be back in September!)

All-new shows every month!
The Happier Valley Comedy Show are
on the SECOND SATURDAY of every month
8:00 - 10:00pm 
at the beautiful, first floor Arts Block

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.
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.
Six Flags New England presents Auditions for Frightfest
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. 26th through October. All hours for training, rehearsals, and performance are paid.
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.
Valley Storytelling Collective presents Parts of Self: An Exploration in Writing, Theatre & Life
August 14 at 6:00 PM
Hope Community Church

An open community workshop in using theatre for therapeutic purposes. We will identify which voices “do the talking” and let words, images, theatre games, Playback theatre and more be our guide in exploring the parts of self that we would like to hear more of! This event is also intended as a networking opportunity for folks who are interesting in finding out more about the Valley Storytelling Collective and/or getting involved in a smaller ensemble collaboration, which will also be themed around Parts of Self. 

Please RSVP to register or direct questions to We look forward to hearing from you!
Happier Valley Comedy presents
Improv for Scaredy Cats

on Saturday August 20 from 12-2pm ($25)
The Pilates Studio of Hadley

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. 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...

Find the workshop on facebook.
More information online.
Starlight Youth Theatre Fall Acting Classes
Maple Ridge Community Center, 659 Amherst Rd., Sunderland, MA
September 3 - December 3

Starlight's Youth Theatre is excited to offer open enrollment in our Fall classes. We offer five different classes for various ages from pre-k through grade 12. 
All classes are held on Saturdays between 9am and 1:30 pm. Each class is 45min. to and hour and half in length. Registration and more information available online.

SYT is dedicated to providing quality education and production of children's theatre. Our priority is the development of the child, using theatre as the tool to build self-esteem, communication and confidence. Focusing on process over product, we invite children to enter, enjoy and expand their imagination in the world of theater. All held classes are under the direction of Cynthia Strycharz.
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