Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News February 16, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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February 16-March 8, 2017

The New Playreading Series kicks off tonight at Smith College - this semester Smith will present four plays by grad students, recent MFA graduates, and community members. Check out the Series Facebook page for more information. 

The next issue will include events through March 15. 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
No More Mamets
by Matthew Clinton Sekellick
From the article: 

We must take a hard look at how our own field participates in the creation of hate. If you believe that Trumpism is a threat to decency and democracy, we should look at how we produce decency. The theatre is a site of culture, a site for transmission of ideas. As such, it played key roles in both the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth century, and in the establishment of derogatory and dangerous stereotypes about people of color that persist today. We must understand that theatre is always political, whether implicitly or explicitly, and that what narratives we choose to promote is a political decision about whose stories deserve telling and get resources.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Smith College New Playreading Series presents

Written and directed by
Lyssandra Norton '18
Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts
122 Green St, Northampton

When Jamie gets back from fighting a war overseas, she finds one waiting for her at home as she has to rebuild her life from it's most basic elements. Good thing her new neighbor seems to be adept at this sort of thing. Even if she does have a little too much of that 'Walter White' vibe around the chem set in her living room.

Free and open to the public.
Eggtooth Productions is proud to present TIL LALEZAR THEATRE COMPANY'S  HAPPYLAND & we try it out on February 17 & 18 at 7:30 pm at the Shea Theatre, 71 Ave. A, Turners Falls.


What happens when three young women from around the world meet up to create a resonant work of theatre that is visceral, athletic, & engages the mystery underlying all experience?

HAPPYLAND pits the Poet against the Dictator in the wild world of a Wrestling Match. Tickets are $15 available at & at People’s Pint on Federal Street in Greenfield.

HAPPYLAND was born at the Dell’Arte International School where Vida Tayebati from Iran, Grace Booth from Gill, MA, & Tone Haldrup Lorenzen from Denmark met & joined Danish director/dramaturg Linn Haldrup Lorenzen. You sure don't want to miss this one!
Xfinity Theater presents #TheFlagWeLove
February 17 at 7:30 PM
The Student Union Art Gallery at 326 Student Union, UMass-Amherst, 01003.

With the backdrop of our current political climate, recent flag protests at Hampshire College, and the recent election's nationalist surge, Patrick Gaughan debuts his installation and performance, #TheFlagWeLove. 

Drawing on figures from Buzz Aldrin to Colin Kaepernick, the performance collages anthems, recordings of speeches, patriotic YouTube clips, the children's book "The Flag We Love," and historical research to explore what is essentially America’s logo, in all its forms, examining how all of these nationalist reminders signify tentative community & aestheticize control. 

The installation, which includes video, photography, sound collage, and consumer flag objects, will be on view from February 6-17, 2017, Monday-Friday, from 10-5pm, with a closing night reception from 6-8pm on February 17 (performance at 7:30pm).
More info here.
Exit 7 Players presents

Feb 17, 18 @ 8pm; 
Feb 19 @ 2pm
Exit 7 theater, 37 Chestnut Street Ludlow, MA

Directed by: Joe Van Allen
Produced by: Christina Climo, Stephanie Gilbert and Megan Hoy

Cast list:
    Truvy - Christine Voytko 
    Annelle - Steph Magillivary
    M'Lynn - Becca Greene-Van Horn
    Shelby - Carina Savoie
    Clairee - Janet Crosier
    Ouiser - Theresa Allie

Starting off on Shelby's wedding day, Steel Magnolias follows six women from different generations and backgrounds as they move through their lives, facing challenges and triumphs while finding support in each others company. Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, Steel Magnolias witnesses the characters undergo the sudden realization of how their mortality affects the others. The strength and love of the women make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.

Tickets available online.
Smith College V-Day Campaign presents THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES
February 17 and 18 at 8:00 PM in Theatre 14
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College

Tickets available at the Office of Student Engagement Office at Smith College's Campus Center, or at the door. 5 dollars for Smith students; 10 dollars for community members and Five College students

Happier FAMILY Comedy Show:
Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults. 
Saturday, February 18 at 4-5pm at the Community Room (Suite 160,)
Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton).
Tickets: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/3 yrs and under, $30/Family Max. For more
Facebook event here. Tickets available online.
Majestic Theater presents PAINTING CHURCHES
February 23 - April 2 

Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA

The Majestic Theater continues the celebration of its 20th season of live theater with the presentation of “Painting Churches,” a contemporary drama by Tina Howe. Winner of both the John Gassner Award and Best Off-Broadway Play, Painting Churches is set in a Beacon Hill townhouse owned by Fanny and Gardner Church.

As the play opens, they are packing and planning to move to a beach home on Cape Cod. Their daughter, Mags, an artist who lives in New York, arrives to help — and to paint their portrait. Gardner, who has become frail, is also having memory problems and in his frustration recites poetry. Meanwhile, Fanny has trouble holding onto a thought, and Mags sees her role in the parent-child relationship changing.

Cast members include Ellen Colton (Fanny Church), Anderson Matthews (Gardner Church) and Eve Passeltiner (Margaret Church). Rand Foerster is the director, and set design is by Greg Trochlil. Costume designer is Dawn McKay and Dan Rist is the lighting designer. Stage manager is Cate Damon and Stephen Petit is production manager.

Ticket for the play range from $25-$30 and are available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. The phone number is (413) 747-7797.
A night of painting benefiting Ghost Light Theater
Friday, February 24 at 6:30 PM
Gateway City Arts

A little nervous to paint? Don't be! No talent or experience is necessary. Wine & Canvas's talented instructors will guide you step-by-step! You will be amazed at your very own work of ART!

Tickets are $40 and available through the Wine and Canvas website.

Food and drink are available for purchase (please see menu in discussion posts). This event is in the Mark Landy Party Hall.

Facebook event here.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents
by Kim Rosenstock

Directed by Megumi Lee '17
February 24, 25, March 2, 3, 4 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre.
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

TIGERS BE STILL is a comedy that follows the misadventures of Sherry Wickman, a young woman who has recently earned her masters degree in art therapy only to find herself moving back home with her family, sending out countless résumés and waiting for the job offer that never comes. Unemployed and overwhelmed, Sherry retreats to her childhood bed and remains there until an unexpected employment opportunity gives her a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

$10 General, $5 Students/Seniors, FREE for Smith Students. Tickets available at or by calling 413-585-3220. Facebook event here.
Ghost Light Theater presents Venus In Fur by David Ives
March 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 at 8:00 PM
March 5 at 2:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race St. Holyoke, MA

Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale Venus in Fur. Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress—oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas' interest with her seductive talents and secretive manner. As the two work through the script, they blur the line between play and reality, entering into an increasingly serious game of submission and domination that only one of them can win. A mysterious, funny, erotic drama that represents yet another departure for the multifaceted David Ives.

The play features the direction of Erin Fitzgerald, dramaturgy by Zach Apony, and technical direction by Kevin Tracy and Ana Steiner. The cast includes long time alum Colin Allen as Thomas, and Ghost Light is proud to welcome Manda Jacobi as Vanda to our theatrical family.

Facebook event here.
Silverthorne Theater Company is seeking experienced directors for its 2017 Season shows. Paid position. All performances at The Arts Block in downtown Greenfield. To set up an interview, contact Lucinda Kidder at 413-768-7514 or write to

Auditions will be held March 10-12; show dates STUPID FUCKING BIRD, by Aaron Posner June 22 - July 1; CHAPATTI, by Christopher O'Reilly July 20-29; GREATER TUNA, by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams October 5-14.

Once more proving our versatility, Silverthorne opens the season with a musical! Full of edgy passion and poignant humorJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris will take full advantage of our new performance space. It will be April in Paris when the actor/singers create a sophisticated cabaret atmosphere as performers and as servers with attitude.  Jacques Brel runs April 20-22, 27-29.
The Company’s second season production goes out on a limb (literally). Stupid F***ing Bird is rightly described by playwright Aaron Posner as “a sort of adaptation of Chekhov’s The Sea Gull.” The familiar characters are there in all their tortured glory, even if the names are slightly modified. The themes of thwarted ambition and family conflict are played out in this thoroughly contemporary and achingly funny piece that leaves no doubt about the comedic genius of both Posner and his Russian prototype. June 22-24, 29 - July 1.
In the third show of the season, Chapattithe only thing preventing Dan from committing suicide is his dog, Chapatti. His faithful companion cannot fill the hole in his life caused by the death of his life-long companion.  In this little-known piece full of humor and compassion, playwright Christopher O’Reilly introduces Betty, a similarly lost soul, with unpredictable consequences. July 20-22, 27-29.

The season wraps with an all-time comic favorite, Greater Tuna, by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. Silverthorne’s production re-visits this send-up of small town life in rural Texas to look at what makes us so incurably and endlessly obsessed with each other’s personal foibles.  GT is a truly hilarious antidote for depression in these complicated times. October 5-7, 12-14.
Interviews for directors are currently underway, and open season auditions will be held in March.

Audition information to come in February!
Creating Characters Through Physical Theatre
Til Lalezar’s workshop explores the development of theatrical character through physicality, voice, image, games, and the concept of costume/mask. This workshop is taught by all three company members and includes discussion/exercises in ensemble-based work.

Saturday, February 25
10 am to 1 pm
At the TL Studio, 12 Federal Street in downtown Greenfield
Cost: Pay what you can (suggested $20-35) - cash or check only please
REGISTER NOW at or call 413-768-7514.

Til Lalezar Theatre creates comic, character-driven physical performance. Founders Tone Haldrup Lorenzen (Denmark), Vida Tayebati (Iran), and Grace Booth (U.S.A.) met in California when training together at Dell’Arte International’s MFA Program. The Dell’Arte training is a “dynamic contemporary acting approach in which body, voice, and point of view celebrate the work of the actor/ creator.” It is based in ensemble creation and investigations into the territories of clown, mask, tragedy, and melodrama. Til Lalezar’s work and teaching combine this training with their own absurd, gender- bending, cross-cultural perspective.
Til Lalezar is currently in residence in Greenfield, MA developing their production “Happyland” which premieres February 17 – 18 at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls.
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