Thursday, December 28, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News December 28, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 December 28 - January 17, 2017

First Night is almost upon us! Do you have your button yet? Perhaps I'll see you at the Academy of Music. 

Thanks for another great year of Pioneer Valley Theatre News - I so so so appreciate everyone who is keeping theatre alive in this area. Thank you for reading this newsletter and for contributing ideas, but mostly, thanks for all your hard work making and seeing theatre!

The next issue will include events through January 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
from Howlround
Does Your Theatre Department Have a Patriarchy Problem?
by Holly L. Derr

From the article: 

A little over a year ago, America elected a president who bragged on tape about committing sexual assault. What a difference a year makes. Today, charges being made against men in entertainment and politics for abusing their colleagues, with a few prominent exceptions, are believed and action is being taken to stop the abuse.

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

The Northampton Arts Council is delighted to present our city’s 33rd annual New Year's Eve festival of the performing arts on December 31, 2017. This is the first year that the Northampton Arts Council will produce First Night. Arts Council staff are working closely with the Center for the Arts to ensure a smooth transition and to preserve the community’s New Year’s Eve tradition. 

First Night Northampton continues to be a special opportunity to celebrate the cultural vibrancy of our community while sharing time with friends, neighbors and visitors. Because the event falls on a Sunday this year, it’s poised to be the centerpiece of a long holiday weekend, drawing enthusiastic crowds to the venues and streets of downtown Northampton. A First Night button—available at various locations throughout the Pioneer Valley and online—is your ticket to each performance at every venue, day and night. The Northampton Arts Council and their partners at PeoplesBank invite you to take part in this alcohol-free, family-friendly event. All are welcome.

As always, a spectacular display of fireworks can be witnessed at 6:15 p.m., visible from the heart of the city. As midnight approaches, revelers will gather outside the Hotel Northampton for a unique “ball-raising.” 

First Night depends upon the support of our most important partner: the city of Northampton. The offices of the Mayor and Central Services along with police, fire, public works, and licensing departments are critical to its success. We also rely on the generosity of performance venues throughout the city and button-sales locations throughout the Valley. In the end, we benefit from the assistance of over 100 volunteers, who make a logistically complex operation run smoothly.

For the First Night 2018 Schedule, to purchase buttons, and for more information about sponsorship please visit: FIRSTNIGHTNORTHAMPTON.ORG
The Majestic Theater presents Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones
January 4 through February 11
Majestic Theater, West Springfield

The play tells the true story of the State Librarian of Alabama, Emily Wheelock Reed, who was persecuted for protecting books in the south during the days of the Jim Crow laws. In 1959, Garth Williams, a well-known writer and illustrator, has just published a children's book entitled The Rabbit's Wedding, in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit. State Senator E. W. Higgins is outraged, certain that the book promotes race-mixing, and mounts a crusade to have it removed from the shelves and banned.

Alabama Story has been hailed as a social justice drama that's “a vest-pocket cousin” to To Kill a Mockingbird. It has been described as a “love letter to reading,” and productions have garnered both critical praise and standing ovations wherever it's been produced.

Cast members include Cate Damon, Jack Grigoli, Rand Foerster, Melenie Flynn, Silk Johnson and Mark Dean. The play is directed by Sheila Siragusa and producing director is Danny Eaton. Set and lighting designer is Dan Rist and Dawn McKay is costume designer. Stephen Petit is production stage manager, and assistant production manager is Aurora Ferraro.

Ticket for the play range from $23-$30 and are now available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm.
Happier Valley Comedy presents
We Made a Thing,
a tiny audience show

January 8 and 15 at 9:00 PM 
Northampton Senior Center

Everyone is invited to this weekly intimate,  super casual, and free "tiny audience" improv show featuring Pam Victor and Scott Braidman in their new improv duo "We Made a Thing,"
where Scott and Pam live two other people's lives, occupying spaces between time ... until the the show is over and they have to stop. If you like patient, character-based, discovery-rich improvlusciousness, "We Made a Thing" is just the thing.

These shows are free of charge and open to the public in a handicap-accessible space. 

Each show is about 35-40 minutes long. 
Audiences are welcome to stick around afterwards to hang out and discuss the show with Scott and Pam, if that's of interest.

More information. 

Smith College Department of Theatre presents a New Play Development Residency - Daniel Talbott and Lucy Thurber
122 Green Street, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Welcome and Information Session
January 5 at 11:00 AM in Mendenhall Green Room

Playwrights Daniel Talbott and Lucy Thurber will be in residency at Smith College January 3-10. Daniel and Lucy will talk about their work in theater and television and will then elaborate on the shape of their project for this week's residency.

Public Reading
January 9 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Smith College Department of Theatre presents the final reading of the play written by Daniel Talbott and Lucy Thurber during their residency.

Free and open to the public.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show
January 13 at 8:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

This month features The Ha-Ha's and SeaTea Improv Touring Company! The Ha-Ha's perform an "Armando," where a guest monologist graces us with their life experiences and anecdotes which The Ha-Ha's use as inspiration for a slew of silly, imaginative improvised scenes.  Internationally acclaimed musician Peter Blanchette is our story teller this month!

More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase (Happier Valley Comedy)
January 13 at 10:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

Open improv jam for everyone and anyone to play and watch improv games, plus a showcase set featuring up-and-coming improv team.

More information. 
Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Is your theatre company missing? Email me!
Academy of Music Theatre

Arena Civic Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company

The Country Players

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Ghost Light Theater

Hampshire Shakespeare Company

Happier Valley Comedy

Ko Theater Works/Ko Festival of Performance

Majestic Theater
New Century Theatre

PaintBox Theatre

Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Silverthorne Theater

Smith College Department of Theatre

St. Michael's Players


Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
Hampshire Shakespeare Company is currently seeking 2 Directors and a Fundraising Director for the 2018 Summer season of “Shakespeare Under the Stars,” which will include the adult productions of Othello and Twelfth Night and the Young Company production to follow. Please see the website for more information on how to apply!
St. Michael's Youth Players---an A.C.T.(All Inclusive Community Theater) production presents Auditions for "The Wizard of Oz" Young Performer's edition
January 9 and 10 at 6:00 PM
St. Michael's Community Center 53 Somers Rd. E. Longmeadow, MA

All youth ages 7-21 are welcome to audition for our new initiative that partners youth with and without disabilities!!  All ability levels are welcome to audition.  We ask that those who wish to have a lead role, be prepared to sing a bit of a song from the show. Actions/feelings and scenes will be acted out based on abilities. Feel free to call Rose at 413-525-0371 with questions/concerns or email See you in January!  
Happier Valley Comedy presents Improv for Scaredy Cats (and Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)
January 13 at 3:00-5:00 PM
33 Hawley Street, Northampton (NCA Downstairs Studio)

Have you ever watched improv and thought, "I could never do that!"? 
Have you ever watched improv and thought, "Hell, I could definitely do that!"?
Do you not give a flying fig about improv comedy but want to learn a new technique that will improve your theater training?
Are you curious about improv but you don't consider yourself a scaredy cat?    

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, "Improv for Scaredy Cats (And Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)" is the workshop for you. It's designed especially for folks who want to try something that might scare 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 by failing to learn something new. 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. 

Go ahead, register now before you chicken out or get distracted by a cute kitten video. (Kittens!) 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...

More information.
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