Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 30, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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March 30-April 19, 2017

Auditions for New Century Theatre's 27th season are this weekend - you can sign up for a slot by emailing See the listing below for more information. 

Smith College's production of BAKKHAI is looking for a few musicians to be a part of their cast - particularly keyboard, drummer, bass player. If you are interested, email for more information. 

Come see Pioneer Valley Ballet's production of Cinderella this Saturday at 1 and 4:30 PM at the Academy of Music!

The next issue will include events through April 26. 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
A Brief History of the Gender Parity Movement in Theatre
by Jenny Lyn Bader
From the article: 

In October 1978, the Feminist Theatre Study Group picketed five shows on London’s West End, handing out leaflets that began with a few questions. To wit,

Did the characters in this play imply that:

  • Blondes are dumb?
  • Wives nag? 
  • Feminists are frustrated?
  • Whores have hearts of gold?
  • Mothers-in-law interfere?
  • Lesbians are aggressive?
  • Intellectual women are frigid?
  • Women who enjoy sex are nymphomaniacs?
  • Older women are sexless?
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!

UMass New Play Lab:
Life Defying Acts

Thursday, March 30, 2017, Opening Night at 7:30 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017, Performance at 7:30 pm Saturday, April 8, 2017, Performance at 2 pm

The Curtain Theater, UMass Fine Arts Center

LIFE DEFYING ACTS by Pam Dickler: A tale of two sisters caught in throes of America’s epidemic wave of juvenile depression and young adult suicide, the toll and atonement, recrimination, recovery.

New works are the lifeblood of the American theatre. As a part of UMass’ long tradition of fostering and presenting new works to central Massachusetts, the theatre department sponsors a Play Lab every year.  Play Lab's mission is to help develop plays with bold and fresh forms that give voice to underrepresented communities and stories. Through an intensive selection process, we pick one new script that speaks to our campus community, and offer the playwright the thing they need most: a roomful of talented artists who dedicate a fortnight to helping them polish their rough gem into a diamond. Audience members are vital to this endeavor because their feedback helps shape the future of these new plays. Come be part of a community that fosters new work.

Buy tickets at 1-800-999-UMAS or visit

Black Cat Theater presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!  
Performances are March 30-31, April 1 at 7:00 pm and April 2 at 2:00 pm.
South Hadley High School, 153 Newton Street, South Hadley

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.
A riotous ride, complete with volunteer audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius. 

$15 General Admission
$12 Senior/Students
Military / First Responders -- Active or Retired -- FREE

For reservations, or to volunteer to participate in the show, call 413-563-6023 or email
Majestic Theater presents PAINTING CHURCHES
March 30 - 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.
Mount Holyoke College presents CABARET
March 31-April 1 at 7:30pm, April 2 at 2pm, April 6-8 at 7:30pm, April 9 at 2pm
Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075

The Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts closes its Spring Season with CABARET. John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way. The production is directed by Noah Tuleja and features set design by Vanessa James, costume design by Elizabeth Pangburn, and lighting and sound design by Lara Dubin.

Tickets and more information.
The Seth Lepore Project presents The Second to Last Seth Show
Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 PM
Eastworks' THE WEST END 116 Pleasant St, Suite 160 Easthampton, MA 01027

Easthampton, MA based humorist and performing artist Seth Lepore is ending his monthly observational satire show after three seasons.

It became clear to Lepore in January 2017 that he needed to retire The Seth Show and re-focus his intentions.“I have this life- this precious, precious countdown. What am I going to do with it?”, Lepore stated as the final line in his award-winning solo show, Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee. As the the whole world wonders “What now?”, Lepore takes a step back to examine how he can best serve his fellow humans in a time of authoritarian crisis. 

His second-to-last show on April 4th offers up why he is taking a long hiatus from 20 years of solo performance and all the complications and relief that come with it. During what he calls The Final Final on Tuesday, May 2nd, Lepore takes a look back on his entire existence as a human being. How does one person’s life experience influence or disrupt the life of others? Do our stories have impact, or are they just cyclical ways we define our circumstances? What is the difference between being on and off stage when you are known as a performing artist? How do you find your people, the ones you would lay down your life for? 

Both an absurdist love poem to the world, and a testament to the perseverance of human resiliency, The Final Final is Lepore’s swan song to his identity as a solo performer and rebirth as a community connector.
Smith College Department of Theatre New Playreading Series presents

by Meryl Cohn
directed by Melissa Redwin
Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 PM in Acting Studio 1
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

Betsy Goldstein might finally get her play about her grandmother’s war heroism produced-- if only "HOLOCAUST SUPERSTAR: THE MUSICAL weren't just about to open. When Betsy learns that the upcoming musical has an oddly similar story line and was written by her former mentor, she must decide how far to go to protect her play and her beloved grandmother’s story.

Free and open to the public.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show
Saturday, April 8th at 8pm
121 Club, Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton)

This month's super special guest is Peter Kim of Second City (Chicago). Peter Kim opens the show with his stand-up act, which he performs regularly at the Laugh Factory in Chicago. Peter has been featured in the Oddball Comedy Fest, hosts The Moth at Lincoln Hall, and has been called "a master storyteller at work" by the Chicago Tribune. Then Peter joins Happier Valley Comedy's Head of Happiness, Pam Victor, as they debut their two-person improv show, "Conklin." Pam and Peter first met at the iO Summer Intensive in 2012 and instantly fell in love with each other's hot nasty 'prov action ..."Conklin" is their love baby.

Second City Chicago's Peter Kim is the monologist for the The Ha-Ha's. The Armando is a beautiful trail of inspiration! The audience gives a suggestion, which inspires Peter Kim's stories. And Peter's stories inspire The Ha-Ha's improvised scenes. And the show inspires the audience to laugh a lot. It's the cycle of laughter!

Tickets: $13 at the door, $10 in advance online. For more info:

Tickets here.
Happier Valley Comedy presents More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase 
Saturday, April 8th at 10pm
121 Club, Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton)

Open improv jam for everyone and anyone to play and watch improv games, plus a showcase set featuring up-and-coming improv team LIVE in the '70s.  Free show (one drink minimum). For more info:


Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris is a cabaret musical built around the great Belgian/French singer/songwriter’s most memorable songs. They range through love ballads, comic novelties, social satire, political commentary and poignant memory pieces, all of them bursting with Brel’s abundant gift for melody and his heartfelt power and passion.

Performances of Jacques Brel are April 13-15 & 20-22 at 7:30 and April 23 at 2pm, in the Arts Block 4th Floor, 289 Main St., Greenfield.  Tickets are $25 for premium “ringside” seating, $20 general & $18 students/seniors.  Reservations at 413-768-7514 or

Silverthorne’s production is set in a Parisian café where the performers are the staff and regulars, and the audience are tonight’s patrons. Valley favorite Chris Rohmann directs; Northampton musician Josh Sitron is Music Director.

The songs form a chain of musical and personal interactions between the performers and with the audience, tracking moods and relationships as the numbers arise out of the lives and fantasies of the four characters: the bartender Jacques, Brel’s namesake (Frank Aronson of West Whately); Frieda, the chanteuse (Stephanie Carlson of Easthampton); Simone, the hostess (Kyle Boatwright of Amherst); and Jean-Luc, the poet (Jayson Paul of Amherst) whose “office” is the café.
The Majestic Theater presents LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
APRIL 13 – MAY 28

The Majestic Theater in West Springfield will conclude its 20th Anniversary Season with the Tony Award-winning musical “La Cage aux Folles, written by Jerry Herman and Havey Fierstein, April 13 through May 28.

The play, which won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book for its original 1983 Broadway production, tells the story of Georges, his longtime romantic partner Albin, and the complications that arise when Georges' son Jean-Michel comes home to announce that he is engaged to Anne, a young woman whose father is head of the “Tradition, Family and Morality Party.” Georges is the manager and master of ceremonies of the Saint-Tropez drag nightclub La Cage aux Folles, where Albin is the star attraction. Anne's conservative parents are led to believe that Georges is a retired diplomat, and their plan to visit their daughter's future in-laws creates havoc. “La Cage aux Folles,” which inspired the hit movie “The Birdcage,” is in turns heartwarming and riotously funny, ultimately spotlighting the power and love behind family values.

Cast members include Majestic veterans Ben Ashley (Georges), Luis Manzi (Albin), Josiah Durham (Jean-Michel), Christine St. Amant-Greene (Marie Dindon), Walter Mantani (Dindon), Lori Efford (Jacqueline) and Freddie Marion (Renaud). Also appearing will be Doug Lebelle (Jacob), Jackie Mishol (Anne), Luke Smith (Francis), Rich Vaden (Chantel), Tomm Knightlee (Hanna), Ian Weber (Phaedra), Steven Sands (Babette), Michael Garcia (Bitelle) and Gregorio Malonte (Angelique).

Danny Eaton, producing director at the Majestic, will direct the show. Mitch Chakour will serve as musical director. Greg Trochlil is the set designer and Dan Rist is lighting designer. Costume designer is Dawn McKay and Tony Isham is costume consultant. The choreography is by Stacy Ashley and sound design is by Justin LeTellier. Stephen Pettit is production stage manager.

Ticket for the play range from $26-$33 and are available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday10am – 1pm. The phone number is (413) 747-7797.
Greenfield Community College presents Arthur Miller's INCIDENT AT VICHY
April 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:30pm, April 15 2pm Matinee, and April 20 ArtsNight Performance at 5pm
GCC's Sloan Theatre 

INCIDENT AT VICHY is a 1964 play by American dramatist Arthur Miller about a group of men and women detained in Vichy France; and held to wait unknowingly, for what turns out to be their "racial" inspection by German military officers and Vichy French police during World War II. It focuses on the subjects of human nature, guilt, fear, and complicity and examines how the Nazis were able to perpetrate the Holocaust with so little resistance.

More information online.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
Saturday, April 15th at 4-5pm
Community Room (Suite 160,) Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton)

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults.  This month's show is a benefit show for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and will kick off our quarterly benefit show series. Tickets: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/3 yrs and under. For more info:

Tickets here.

NCT Auditions for 2017 Mainstage Season

Directed by Jack Neary 
July 6-15

HOLD THESE TRUTHS by Jeanne Sakata
Directed by Sheila Siragusa
July 27 - August 5

THE 39 STEPS Adapted by Patrick Barlow
Directed by Sam Rush
August 17-20

Non-Equity auditions will take place Friday, March 31 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Equity Principal Audition
New Century Theatre will hold an Equity Principal Audition (EPA) for NCT's 2017 summer season and general casting files.The audition will be held on Saturday, April 1- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street in Northampton, MA.

To make an appointment, email
For the full character breakdown, see the website.


The ECA+ Easthampton City Bookfest Ten Minute Play festival is seeking new ten minute plays for a staged reading at Eastworks Room 160 at 5pm on April 8th, 2017. Last year the New Play Festival was attended by over 100 Bookfest goers and is a popular feature of Bookfest. All playwrights will received advanced marketing and a $50 stipend from ECA+.  Guidelines are:

Plays should be no longer than 10 minutes 

Self-Producing Playwrights will be given preference. Playwrights must indicate if they are providing their own directors and actors. Playwrights unable to self-produce will be considered 

This is a staged reading. Props and sets should be minimal and provided by the Playwright.

For more info or to submit a play, contact:
Auditions for The Cuckoo Clock Makers Apprentice
Saturday, April 1, 1:00-4:00 PM
12 Federal St, Greenfield

The Cuckoo Clock Master's Apprentice is an original play with both human actors and puppets. It follows the coming of age journey of the main character, Compass Rose, who enters the outside world only to discover it is bent on erasing their own history.


Compass: earnest young adult trying to figure out their life path, interested in the little details of life, sensitive, reserved, careful and intentional in all that they do, sees the best in people, naïve

The Cartographer: parent to Compass, brilliant, eccentric, super-nerdy mapmaker, makes maps on any/all surfaces available, creates magical maps bringing imagined places into existence

Equanimity Cricket: brilliantly colorful cricket puppet, serene, loving, wise, secretive and sneaky 

The Idols: human/puppet hybrid, very charismatic, charming, seemingly good folks who turn out to have really flawed social politics

Come any time between 1pm and 4pm to audition for one of these four main parts. No acting or puppeteering experience necessary! All ages welcome. Snacks provided!

Facebook event here.
Ghost Light Theater presents Zombie Prom II: Terror at the Bottom of the Sea
April 1 at 7:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race St. Holyoke, MA


Ghost Light Theater presents its second Zombie Prom, this time an underwater adventure! Terror at the Bottom of the Sea: an evening of pirate zombies, beach zombies, Lovecraftian zombies, squid zombies, you name it!

All proceeds directly benefit Ghost Light Theater in its mission to produce works that entertain and challenge its audience. Tickets are $10!

We'll be naming our prom King and Queen, Or King and King, or Queen and Queen. Be sure to dress to win!
There will be games, cash bar & bistro, and all your prom songs. 
Stay tuned for more information about the activities and adventures that will be available that evening.
We'll see you (and your brains) soon!

Facebook event here.

Hampshire Shakespeare Company is seeking two Stage Managers for the 2017 summer season of Shakespeare Under the Stars, which will include our outdoor productions of Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead in repertory. The positions start immediately  and run through mid-August. The Stage Managers play a critical role in our Production Team and are responsible for managing the logistics of the rehearsal and performance process. Responsibilities include:

  • Scheduling rehearsals and collaborating to create the tech and show pattern schedule.

  • Running rehearsals with the director.

  • Ensuring accurate and timely communication with the cast and crew

  • Assembling and maintaining all records for the production, including  the Prompt Book, cue sheets, plots, and daily records, including reports to the Producer on attendance, etc.

  • Supervising the run crew during rehearsals and performances

  • Managing the timing and logistics of performance, including timing, cues, etc.

  • Reporting of the details of each rehearsal and performance, via email, to the administration of the company regarding details of rehearsal and production

  • Maintain active responsibility of rehearsal and performance, including for the technical running of each performance and technical rehearsals

  • Working with the Director and the Producer after opening including preparation of the Understudies, Replacements, Extras as needed.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced and creative team player dedicated to creating a sense of community in an organization that includes staff and volunteers. Because performances will be happening in repertory, the successful candidate will be detail oriented and have exceptional communications skills.  Strong organizational skills and an ability to quickly problem-solve is a must.  The ability to deal with stressful situations with grace, humor, and tact is essential.

Candidates should have reliable transportation, leadership and conflict management experience, excellent communication skills, and enjoy working with young people under the age of 18. The ideal candidate will be excited to grow and develop with a small local theater committed to providing valuable experiences for those beginning their careers.

Salary: $500 for the season
Application Deadline: April 3

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter in PDF format to Jessica Thompson, Producer at

Black Cat Theater is preparing for their Spring comedy “Noises Off," directed by Robert Clark. Auditions for this show will be held on Monday, April 3rd and Thursday, April 6th at 6:00pm in the South Hadley High School Auditorium, 153 Newton St, South Hadley.

Rehearsals will begin on Thursday April 13th and will continue on Monday and Thursday evenings. The show is scheduled to be produced at South Hadley High School June 8th – 11th 

All roles are open. Performers of all ethnicities are encouraged to attend. Candidates will be asked to read from the script. 

If unavailable to be seen in person please call 413-563-6023 or email

From July 23 to August 5, the UMass Department of Theater will offer its first-ever Summer Theater and Performance Intensive, a 2-week theater-making course open to all high school students with a passion for performance, theater-making, and changing the world through theater. The intensive is designed for students with all levels of theater experience, since the nature of devised theater allows seasoned actors as well as novices to work at the level that challenges them creatively. 

Participants in the intensive will devise (co-create) and mount a new theater piece that reflects their concerns, hopes and ideas about their communities and the world. All students will perform in the piece, which will be presented publicly at the close of the session. The students will become an ensemble through rehearsal, impassioned discussions, theater games, acting exercises, and the unifying process of creating a new work of theater. 

The course will be taught by UMass Department of Theater faculty member Lena Cuomo and director Jen Onopa. Both Lena and Jen are committed to nurturing a new generation of theater practitioners and are incredibly excited to launch this new program. (More information about the instructors and the program can be found on the Department of Theater website.)

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