Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 18, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 August 18-September 7, 2016

Are you interested in puppets? There's a listing below for five large puppets that may need a new home. Check it out!

There are a few more chances to catch Becky's New Car at Gateway City Arts. See below for information and tickets.

The next issue will include events through September 14. 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
Local Art and the Local Economy

by Brianna Susan Smith
From the article: 

Over the past four years since the inception of TAPROOT, a devised performance ensemble of which I am the Founding Artistic Director, we have had two hard and fast rules that have helped to shape many of the ways that we work.

1. No one gets paid unless everyone gets paid. Our ensemble knows that if the Artistic Directors are asking them to work for free, we believe in the project to the point that we are also willing to work for free. This pushes us to find funds, ask for what were worth and ensures that we never value our own artistic contributions above the artistic contributions of others.

2. The best opportunity is one you share. When someone gives us a chance to flourish through funding, residencies, or curatorial opportunities, we do our best to create space for other organizations to share in the opportunity.

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

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.
Double Edge Theatre presents Once a Blue Moon (Cada Luna Azul) 
August 18-22
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.
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.
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 24 - 7pm - $7
Seth Lepore Project presents The Seth Show
September 6 at 7:00 PM
The West End at Eastworks 116 Pleasant St, Suite 160 Easthampton, MA 01027

The Satirical Smartypants is back! The Seth Show returns with Season 3, as well as to SUITE 160, which is now being called THE WEST END. 

This time around all shows are completely theme-less. Every show will be different including how you pay based on your experience. 

Implementing the Pay-What-You-Decide model that ARC theatre uses, audience members will pay for the show *AFTER* the performance, and pay what they feel the show was worth. Due to this new model, reservations will be REQUIRED.
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.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents

Sunday and Monday, September 11 and 12, 7-10 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts
122 Green St, Northampton

By Robert Harling, directed by Jennifer Sturley '17J
Performances October 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 7:30 PM, Theatre 14

Auditions will be held Sunday and Monday, September 11 and 12, 7-10 PM in Acting Studio 1. Callbacks will be on Tuesday, September 13, 7-10 PM. Perusal scripts are available in Josten Library.

Roles for 6 actors. Five college and community members welcome. We welcome diversity and color inclusive casting.

For more information about these auditions, see the Facebook event or the website.

Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents Auditions for Shrek!

Thursday, September 15 from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm; Friday, September 16 from 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm; Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm; Sunday, September 18 from10:00 am to 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm

Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst

SHREK is coming in January! Join ALSCT and audition for this spectacular and splashy, extravagant and hysterical show. Nine performances in January, in beautiful Bowker auditorium, a full live orchestra and lavish sets, with audiences totaling over 5000 people--this is one of the premiere opportunities for actors in the greater Pioneer Valley. And remember--in the swamp are people of all shapes and sizes and colors and ages, and  many roles are non-specific in regard to age, gender, race, body type, etc. and  may be cast non-traditionally.
Auditions are open to everyone from ages 7 to 107! 
FOR AUDITION APPOINTMENTS, Call Amherst Leisure Services at 413-259-3065. QUESTIONS? See

Easthampton City Arts+ (ECA+) announces new online applications for the upcoming 2017 grant cycle. Applications are being accepted for programming in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences for projects benefitting the residents of Easthampton. The deadline for applications is October 17, 2016. ECA+ has also scheduled a free Grant Writing Workshop on Sept. 14, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 43 Main St., Easthampton 01027. Attendees will learn about guidelines, priorities, and the new online application process.

“Moving to online applications will make the process much easier for everyone, especially applicants,” said Christy Crutchfield, ECA+ Grants Committee Chair. “We can’t wait to fund innovative and engaging projects in 2017.” Online applications will be available on September 1, 2016, and ECA+ will also announce their funding allocation at that time.

Each year the ECA+ Grants Committee, a Local Cultural Council, selects projects that strengthen and diversify arts and culture in the community. Projects must occur during 2017 and priority will be given to proposals that utilize Easthampton spaces and resources. Applications, however, will not be denied solely on this funding priority and will be evaluated based on local guidelines and those outlined by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Funding for the ECA+ Grants Committee is provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). Previously funded projects Bear Fest (2009), Art in the Orchard (2012), REACH (2013) and Unbuttoned (2015) have received recognition as Gold Star recipients, exemplary projects reflecting the mission of MCC. For more information please see

Easthampton City Arts+, formed in 2005, enriches lives through the integration of arts, culture and community and promotes revitalization and protection of Easthampton’s cultural assets. ECA merged with the Easthampton Cultural Council & Art Walk Easthampton to form ECA+ in 2011. Easthampton City Arts+ is funded in-part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
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.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Zen  of Improv 1: Discovering the Joy and Ease of Improv
Beginning September 12
Hadley, MA

Would you like to play and laugh for two hours every week?
Do you want to get better at thinking on your feet?
Could you use some practice in mindfulness and staying in the moment? turning off your judgmental mind? being brave?
Would you like to become more confident speaking in public?
Wanna try out this improv thing that all the kids are raving about?
How about hanging out with some of the coolest, kindest people in the Valley?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, Zen of Improv 1 would be an ever so lovely way to spend a couple hours every week. Happier Valley Comedy's Founder and Head of Happiness Pam Victor offers this weekly class for adults who want to try something fun, rewarding, and, quite possibly, mind-expanding. You'll learn a very gentle, very easy approach to improv comedy in an incredibly positive and accepting atmosphere that will get you up on your feet and out of your head. Through exercises, improv games, and scenework, you'll practice the vital improvisation skills of paying attention acutely, accepting other peoples ideas, redefining and disempowering failure, staying in the moment, reacting honestly to the reality of the here and now, and much more. 

No experience necessary. Being funny is not required! You can do this. (Yes, we mean you.)

Want to stretch your wings for a couple hours every week and laugh yourself silly in in the process? The first step is saying, "Yes, and..."

This class meets SIX MONDAYS from 6:30 to 8:30pm in Hadley, MA.

Class Dates:
(If we need a make up class it will be on 11/7)

(Plan on getting there about 5-10 min. early to settle in so the class can start promptly.)

***Students are required to attend at least four of the six classes in order to graduate to the next level.***

For more class offerings visit this site.

Register online. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO REGISTER ONLINE, you may call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 to register via phone. If that doesn't work for you, email Rich at to complete the process, old school-style.

(Small print: Please note that once you make your purchase, your place in the class is non-refundable unless we can get someone to fill your spot.)
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