Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 11, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 August 11-31, 2016

Becky's New Car opens tomorrow night at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. If you haven't checked out that space yet, Ghost Light Theater's production should be reason enough! More information listed below. 

The next issue will include events through September 7. 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
What Is a Feminist Play Anyway?: Getting Specific

by Catherine Castellani
From the article: 

Last year, playwright Elaine Romero put out an informal call for feminist plays. I wanted to participate, and as I looked at my body of work to select a play, I went into a bit of a tizz. What is a feminist play? Are all my plays automatically feminist just because I am a feminist? I’ve had that call for scripts in the back of my mind for a while, wondering what it means for my own work and for interpreting work generally. In this series of blogs, I will open that question up to the hive mind. What is a feminist play? Can a feminist play be written by a man? Does the main character have to be a woman? Does that woman have to be “good” or “right” or fighting for her rights or what, exactly, what? In starting to stir these questions in my own mind, I decided to go back to the source, and get a definition from Elaine Romero.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Double Edge Theatre presents Once a Blue Moon (Cada Luna Azul) 
August 11-22
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.
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.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents Young Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream
August 12, 13, 14 at 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, 650 E Pleasant St, Amherst MA 01002  

Each summer Hampshire Shakespeare's Young Company takes part in a two-week rehearsal intensive to bring you their version of one of Shakespeare's classics. Come check out the hard work of these aspiring young actors. 

Athens, CT, 1995.  Colors are muted, rooms are air-conditioned, and expectations for boys and for girls are clear.  When one young woman resists the expectations of her father, she and her friends must flee into the wood- where the summer night is hot, the balance is off, and the rules are very, very, different.

All tickets $10. More information online.
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.
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 17 - 7pm - $7
Wednesday, August 24 - 7pm - $7
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!
Conclusion of new opera on 1960 ‘Scarlet Professor’ case in free preview staging
A free workshop performance of the concluding half of The Scarlet Professor, a new opera based on the celebrated 1960 arrest and trial of Smith College professor Newton Arvin, will take place on Sunday, August 21 at 3:00 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The semi-staged performance will be followed by a discussion with composer Eric Sawyer, librettist Harley Erdman, and author Barry Werth, on whose book the opera is based.
The Scarlet Professor recounts the story of Newton Arvin, a nationally renowned literary critic and English professor who was arrested in 1960 along with two younger colleagues for possessing ‘beefcake’ pornography. The opera blends the human drama of men caught in a national crusade against perceived indecency with fantasy based on scenes from the book Arvin wrote about most passionately: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, with its depiction of sin, secrecy, and shame in small-town New England.
Today, this nationally famous case is seen as an historical fulcrum, perched between the cultural McCarthyism of the 1950s and the “new world” of personal liberation ushered in by the 1960s.
The August 21 workshop is a final sneak preview to the world premiere production of The Scarlet Professor to be performed at Smith College in September 2017.
Sawyer, a music professor at Amherst College; and Erdman, a theater professor at UMass Amherst, collaborated previously on The Garden of Martyrs, an opera premiered in 2013 by the Springfield Symphony at Northampton’s Academy of Music. Werth’s award-winning account of the events first appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 1998.
Directing the stage will be Ron Bashford, a theater professor at Amherst College and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s lab, who brings his production of Shakespeare’s Pericles to Amherst next September. The performance will also feature dance and choreography by Paul Matteson, and Eduardo Leandro will conduct.
The cast will include seven leading opera vocalists from the New England region including UMass faculty tenor William Hite, as well as a chorus led by Gregory W. Brown.
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.
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 date is on 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 date is 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.
Easthampton City Arts+ hosts a networking event for creative people called C.H.A.T. (Come Hang Around and Talk). 
Monday, August 29 5:30-7:30
Luthier's Coop in Easthampton

ECA+ invites artists, performers, writers, musicians, dancers, and creative business owners to a relaxed networking hour at Easthampton’s own Luthiers. Connect with other creative makers, meet ECA+ members, or learn how you can become ECA+ member.

Join us! It’s fast, furious, and fun. Artists connect about exhibitions, meet social media peers in person, and learn about upcoming opportunities.
Bay Path University presents Auditions for Mary Poppins

Help us create the magic for Bay Path's biggest, high-flying production to date, which soars onto the stage November 10 - 13!

Auditions will be held in Mills Theatre (Carr Hall) on:
Tuesday, August 30 
from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday, August 31 
from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Mills Theatre | 588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106

Sign Up in advance for a 6-minute audition slot or come either evening and be seen in the next available slot.

Callbacks will follow on Thursday, September 1 at 7:00 pm. An optional informational kick off session and audition workshop will take place on Monday, August 29 at 7:00 pm.

ACTORS should prepare 32 bars (30 - 60 seconds) of a song in the style of the show (Classic Musical Theatre) and bring sheet music for the accompanist. Contact Music Director Robert James Tomasulo if you need assistance choosing a song.

DANCERS (who would prefer a non-singing or non-speaking role) should prepare to speak the following passage (which does not need to be memorized, although light movement/choreography is welcome, but not required): 
"Brush away the dirt and soot. Brush away your tears. Cobwebs that aren't swept away hang around for years. In all weathers, up all hours, we can see for miles. Our idea of heaven is a night out on the tiles. We may look a motley crew, smudged with tar and grime, but when you need a helping hand, we try to step in just in time."

Visit Facebook for a character breakdown.

If you have any questions or are unable to attend auditions, please email director Kevin Barlowski.
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.

5 parade style size puppets (designed to either be worn or carried on 10 foot poles). These puppets are of endangered animals: eagle, salamander, puffin, sea turtle and quetzal. They have been part of Quaker processions, First Nights in Boston, Orange and Cushman. I recently feel that I no longer have the energy to tote them around and orchestrate such events.
The puppets have been well received wherever they have been. Several years ago I received a grant that was used to create boxes for each puppet so that they would be able to be stored properly and not be damaged.  I am interested in finding an individual that would welcome these creations and see that the puppets continue to be put to good use in the world, primarily in raising awareness of environmental issues.
I have created these puppets and used them in processions and discovered how to keep them without destruction. I believe they could fill another role in theater. I seek a creative individual who is willing to give the puppets a new home and put them to work. A picture is attached. You can contact me, Judi Campbell.
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 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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