Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 25, 2016

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 August 25-September 14, 2016

The Academy of Music is looking for a new Theatre Manager - see the listing below for the full job posting link and more information. A big thanks to Alison for everything she's done for the Academy in the last few years! We'll miss you - best of luck in your new job.

The next issue will include events through September 21. 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
from Howlround
Bored with the Well-Made Play: Jordan Tannahill's Theatre of the Unimpressed

by Sam Weisberg and Rob Onorato
From the article: 

A few years ago, Jordan Tannahill and his friend Amy went to go see some Shakespeare-in-the-pub in their hometown of Toronto. “I generally see theatre out of obligation,” Amy confessed. Tannahill, a young playwright and director who has made everything from dysfunctional-family dramas to scrappy queer performance, had heard that line before. At intermission, they shared that look—you know the one: eyes poised to roll, mouth trapped between a grimace and a God-help-us faux-grin—and they bolted. “I expected to hate it,” said Amy. “It’s like we’re resigned to being unimpressed.”

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
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.
Northampton Playwrights Lab presents PLAY BY PLAY
A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton
September 15, 16, 17,  22, 23, 24, 25

Seating is very limited. Please arrive early! $10 Suggested Donation.

Thurs Sept. 15 at 7:30: Harley Erdman, CROWSNEST, directed by Sheila Siragusa
Fri Sept. 16 at 7:30: Mojie Crigler, THE WINKLEMEYERS BET IT ALL
Sat Sept. 17 at 7:30: Eric Henry Sanders, WHERE’S ANNIE?

Thurs Sept 22 at 7:30: Meryl Cohn, NAKED WITH FRUIT, directed by Melissa Redwin
Fri Sept. 23 at 7:30: Meryl Cohn, NAKED WITH FRUIT, directed by Melissa Redwin
Sat Sept. 24 at 7:30: Leanna James Blackwell, GRIMM WOMEN, directed by the playwright
Sunday, Sep. 25 at 4 p.m: Tanyss Rhea Martula, HOTPOT, directed by Becca Greene-Van Horn, and MY LIFE IN ROCK ’N ROLL

The Plays
CROWSNEST by Harley Erdman
In an ecovillage somewhere up in the hills, Danny, a newcomer, arrives at a utopian community divided over its future direction. His friendship with two residents, Sarah and Carl, embroils him in passion, jealousy, secrets, and conspiracy. CROWSNEST explores the meanings of love, family, and community, in a corner of contemporary America where people striving for utopia put these terms to the extreme test. This will be the first-ever public performance of this brand-new play by Harley Erdman, a UMass theater professor known locally for his librettos for the operas THE GARDEN OF MARTYRS and THE SCARLET PROFESSOR.

THE WINKLEMEYERS BET IT ALL is the story of one man’s boom and bust during the first wave of big Internet money, and the price he pays for success that continues to elude him. This play, which was originally produced at an obscure, now-defunct theatre festival in New York City, is one of a number of works by Mojie Crigler, whose other plays have been seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Magic Theatre, New York Performance Works, and Carnegie Mellon University.

WHERE’S ANNIE? by Eric Henry Sanders
Where's Annie? Who's Annie? And what have Jack and Birdie done with her? In this dark comedy, Sarah Bitts returns home to confront her estranged grandparents, only to discover that the eccentric pair hides a past more frightening than she ever imagined. Caught in the couple’s alternately terrifying and bitterly humorous web of riddles, lies, and suspicion, Sarah fights her way to the truth and to her family’s redemption. Originally workshopped at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, WHERE'S ANNIE? was developed in a reading with Frances Sternhagen at the Hudson Stage Company, where it also received its premiere production. This reading offers audiences a first glimpse at a substantially revised version of the play.

Can three people who share the loss of the same love come together to heal? NAKED WITH FRUIT is a comedy about grief and the quest for love and family. Isabel and Marilyn reconsider polyamory as they grieve the death of the secret third member of their intimate relationship. Isabel’s longing to connect inspires desperate measures, including befriending a Rabbi -- which leads to more secrets and betrayals. Through a tricky road to recovery, the loss of a shared love may turn out to be a powerful bond. An earlier version of Naked with Fruit was produced at the Provincetown Theater and was a Mass Cultural Council Finalist for playwriting.

GRIMM WOMEN by Leanna James Blackwell
A radical re-envisioning of three classic fairy tales, GRIMM WOMEN features a trio of women – a young runaway from a religious community, an adoptive mother living in urban public housing, and a globally successful business owner - telling their stories in a series of impassioned monologues. GRIMM WOMEN transforms the traditionally maligned witches, stepmothers, and spell-casting fairies of legend into living, breathing, 21st century women with a mission: to tell their side of the story for the first time. This will be the first-ever public performance of GRIMM WOMEN, the newest play by the director of Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction and the author of CURTAIN CALL, recently performed at the Berkshire Theatre Group; THE WENDY CHRONICLES; and NEW SOUL.

HOTPOT and MY LIFE IN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Two pieces by Tanyss Rhea Martula
HOTPOT, a short play. Two mothers meet to talk about their teenage children and find themselves in a melange of tight spaces, awkwardness, and confusion as things heat up. An earlier version of the play was staged at Chicago Dramatists. MY LIFE IN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, a solo performance piece in progress. A roller coaster ride through the highs of an unexpected late-in-life passion and the highs and lows of an unpredictable family. Performed by the playwright who will be showing the work she develops during the two-week PLAY BY PLAY residency at A.P.E. There will be a brief talk-back after ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.

The Dixie Swim Club, a play about five Southern women and the constancy of their lifelong friendships, forged on a college swim team, will dive into five performances, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16, 17, 23, and 24 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. Tickets are $15 and $12 (students and seniors, 65+) and can be reserved through email; only cash and checks at the door can be accepted. Performances at the Shelburne Falls Memorial Hall. 

The Dixie Swim Club celebrates with poignancy and a good deal of laughter the dynamics of women’s friendships -- college buddies, sisters, neighbors - and the long-lasting love, challenges and great girls’ weekends that are a part of those friendships. The five friends, former college swim team buddies, come together once a year at an Outer Banks beach cottage to talk, laugh, swim, relax, reminisce, comfort, confront, talk and laugh some more. Throughout the 50-some years they have been meeting at the cottage, they have been the glue for each other through all of life’s happiness and crises. 

Sue Tracy of Ashfield is Sheree, the spunky, holistic, super-organized team captain. Julie Sarsynski of Deerfield plays Lexie, a lover of love, beauty, and staying young at all costs. Louise Krieger takes on Vernadette, who is deftly sarcastic in order to manage the perennial dark cloud hovering over her life. Sue Davis of Williamsburg is Jeri Neal, the optimistic former nun with a new vocation. And Walsh plays Dinah, the high-powered and wealthy lawyer with a fondness for mixing the perfect cocktail and a secret passion for standing by her friends.

Besides the actors, many others are lending their talents to the show. Jean Devereux Koester of Northampton is directing, Cynthia James of Shelburne Falls is costuming, Dan Jarvis of Williamsburg has designed a cozy cottage setting, and Chip Roughton of Florence and Jim Neeley of Shelburne will provide atmosphere with sound and lights, respectively. Rose Carragher of Williamsburg and Caroline Ludvik-Johnson are stage managing. The play is written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, who also wrote for TV’s Golden Girls.
The Academy of Music is hiring a Theatre Manager. Check out the listing for this full-time position at Northampton's historical theatre venue here
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.
Starlight Youth Theatre Fall Acting Classes
Maple Ridge Community Center, 659 Amherst Rd., Sunderland, MA
September 3 - December 3

Registration and more information available online.

Starlight's Youth Theatre is excited to offer open enrollment in our Fall classes! 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 theatre. We offer 5 different classes for age groups ranging from Pre-K to grade 12.

Playacting (pre-K and K - ages 4 & 5) Saturdays 9:15-10am, Sept 10 - Oct 15. Tuition $100
Storybook Theatre (grades 1 & 2) Saturdays 9-9:45am, Sept 3 - Nov 5. Tuition $165
Actor's Tool Box (grades 3-5) Saturdays 10-11am, Sept 3 - Nov 5. Tuition $165
Lights Up (grades 6-8) Saturdays 12:30-1:30pm, Sept 10 - Dec 3. Tuition $170
The Fifth Beat (grades 9-12) Saturdays 11am-12:15pm, Sept 10 - Dec 3. Tuition $170
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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