Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News April 27, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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April 27-May 17, 2017

This Saturday, New Century Theatre kicks off the 27th summer season the Life in the (413) at the Academy of Music. Get your tickets now! This super fun live radio play extravaganza features writing by Meryl Cohn, Harley Erdman, Phil O'Donoghue, Kelsey Flynn and Hilary Price, and Jack Neary. 

And check out Arena Civic Theatre's Six Degrees of Separation in Deerfield this weekend!

On Sunday, 1:30-3:30, you can take a peek into the Arts Trust building at 33 Hawley Street. 

The next issue will include events through May 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
Tickets available here.
from Howlround
A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights: Lynn Nottage
by Todd London
From the article: 

What do you make of artistic prophecy? I've been wrestling with the question myself, with the growing awareness that artists—playwrights in particular, the artists I know best—often seem to predict world events before they happen. A work of "science fiction" mentions the fall of the towers several years before the World Trade Center incinerates. I read a dark, futuristic tale set in greenhouse-like fortresses where the wealthy escape climate change, while their private armies keep the rabble outside the gates, and then I learn that wealthy New Yorkers keep fully staffed yachts docked on the Hudson to escape troubles to come.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Smith College Department of Theatre presents A Conversation with Erin Cressida Wilson 
Thursday, April 27 at 4:30 PM
Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center

The screenwriter for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, CHLOE, and SECRETARY will discuss the related crafts of writing for stage and for film. Erin and Professor Len Berkman will be conversing about her work, her juggles of film, stage, and academia, at a College-wide gathering open to the general public. Among conversational triggers, they will screen scenes from Erin's film SECRETARY.

Erin will also be at an Open Meeting of Len Berkman's playwriting class, Theatre 261/262, at 1:00 PM in the Green Room (T114) of the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts. Both events are free and open to the public.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents 

by Euripides, a new version by Anne Carson
April 27, 28, 29 at 7:30 PM
Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
Northampton, MA

A powerful new translation of the Greek classic by award-winning classics scholar, poet, and writer Anne Carson. Pentheus has banned the wild, ritualistic worship of the god Dionysos. A stranger arrives to persuade him to change his mind. Euripides’ electrifying tragedy is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and the irrational, human and god.

$10 General, $5 Students/Seniors, Free for Smith students.
Tickets available online or by calling 413-585-3220.

Arena Civic Theatre opens their 2017 season with “Six Degrees of Separation” by John Guare

The play runs April 27-30 at the White Church Community Center in Historic Deerfield, MA.

Inspired by a true story, the play follows the trail of a young black con man, Paul, who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, Ouisa and Flan Kittredge, claiming he knows their son at college. Paul tells them he is the son of actor Sidney Poitier, and that he has just been mugged and all his money is gone. Captivated by Paul's intelligence and his fascinating conversation (and the possibility of appearing in a new Sidney Poitier movie), the Kittredges invite him to stay overnight. But in the morning the picture begins to change. Ouisa and Flan discover that friends of theirs have had a similar run-in with the brash con artist, and the play unfolds, layer upon layer. Winner of the 1993 Olivier Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

The play features the direction of Tony Jones. The cast includes Phiilipe Janvier as Paul, Kip Fonsh as Flan, Louise Krieger as Ouisa, Paul Rothenberg as Geoffrey, Dawn Mayo as Kitty, Jim Merlin as Larkin, James Reilly as Dr. Fine, Hilary Dennis as Tess, Ethan Blake as Woody, Trent & Policeman, Emme Geryk as Jen, Dominic Baird Rick, the Detective and the Hustler, Austina Towle as Dee & Doorman and Carolyn Como as Elizabeth.

Tickets are $16 for general admission or $13 for students or seniors, and can be purchased on our Eventbrite page or at the door. For reservations please call 413.233.4368.

*This show is not appropriate for young audiences*

Six Degrees of Separation is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Facebook Event here.

The Majestic Theater presents LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
APRIL 27 – 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.
Wilbraham United Players spring 2017 production

a play with music by Rick Elice based on the novels by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
April 28, 29 and May 4, 5, & 6 at 7:30PM and April 30 & May 7 at 2:30PM
Wilbraham United Church Fellowship Hall, 500 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA

Directed by Deb Trimble
Musical Direction by Ben Mabrey
Choregraphy by Dina Del Buono
Producers Stacy Gilmour and Patricia Colkos
Stage Managed by Sharon MacAbee

Cast Includes: Tyler Nowakowski, Stephani Bauduccio, Joe Van Allen, Jim Martin, Kevin Bechard, Jon Hebert, Dylan Pereira, Casey Dion, Kevin Kary, Paul Nesbit, Don Clements, and Joe Lessard

Both youth and adults will find something to laugh about in the play that gives us the back story of how a poor orphan boy becomes the infamous boy who won't grow up - Peter Pan!

Tickets and more information. Facebook event. 
New Century Theatre presents LIFE IN THE (413)
Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 PM
Academy of Music Theatre

New Century Theatre and WHMP are teaming up once again on April 29 to present LIFE IN THE (413), a rollicking, celebratory night of original radio plays that lampoon life in the Pioneer Valley. Five short radio plays - each focusing on a different locale - will feature a range of Valley performers. The event helps to kick off New Century Theatre's 27th summer season at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School in South Hadley and the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. 

Playwrights include: Meryl Cohn, Harley Erdman, HIlary Price & Kelsey Flynn, Jack Neary, and Phil O'Donoghue.

LIFE IN THE (413) will be hosted by WHMP's Monte Belmonte. The fifth annual event will include special guest musical acts: Philip Price and Flora Reed of The Winterpills, Kalliope Jones, The Wise Guys (with musical direction by Jeff Olmstead), Expandable Brass Band, and Josh Sitron.

Live foley by Sam Rush and Frank Aronson.

Facebook event here. Tickets available here or by calling 413-584-9032 x105.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents a Studio Production 
ICARUS'S MOTHER by Sam Shepard

Directed by Isabelle Brown '19
May 3, 4 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

The lazy picnic taking place slowly becomes an electric vision of apocalyptic menace.

Free and open to the public. General admission, no reservations. 

Springfield Technical Community College, School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, College Theater Workshop presents WIT by Margaret Edson

May 4 at 11:00 AM, May 5 at 7:00 PM, May 6 at 7:00 PM, May 7 at 2:00 PM
Building 2 Theater, Springfield Technical Community College, One Armory Square, Springfield, MA 01102

Wit, A play by Margaret Edson is directed by Phil O'Donoghue. Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.

$5/Students and seniors
*May 6th is a benefit performance for Survivor Journeys ( featuring a post-performance talkback with Dr. Jay Burton.)

More information here. 

Program Showcasing Local Musical Theater Talent Returns for Fifth Year – featuring nearly 38 songs and dances from 24 Broadway Shows!

For the fifth year, Amherst Leisure Services (LSSE) will be presenting the “Youth on Broadway” musical theater revue, showcasing the talent of Pioneer Valley youth between the ages of 9-17 and presenting nearly 40 songs and dances from more than 20 Broadway shows. The program will present three shows: Saturday May 6, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sunday May 7, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. All shows will take place at the Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium, located at 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst.

“Youth on Broadway” is directed and choreographed by Becca Greene- Van Horn. The musical directors for “Youth on Broadway” are Daniel Monte and Cindy Naughton.

Tickets for “Youth on Broadway” are available by calling 413-259-3065. Ticket prices in advance are $13 for adults, $7 for children/students/seniors. Tickets at the door are available for $15 for adults and $9 for children/students/seniors.

Facebook event here.

Happier Valley Comedy Show
May 13 at 8:00 PM
Eastworks 121 Club 116 Pleasant St Easthampton MA

This month's super special guest is Boston's Unscripted Musical Project (B.U.M.P.). B.U.M.P. performs a fully improvised one-act musical on the spot created by YOU, the audience.  You’ll laugh your ass off as characters are created, plot unfolds, and songs are pulled out of thin air.  Everything from the songs, the music created by their house band, and what they lovingly call “choreography" is 100% improvised. Don't miss your chance to see this unique show which BU Today recently called "laugh-out-loud" and said was "funny, with frequent uproarious laughter...intelligent and hilarious."  B.U.M.P.  features an all-star cast from all over New England featuring top performers from Improv Asylum and ImprovBoston. Every performance is completely improvised, dictated by audience suggestion, where anything can happen on stage. If you enjoy musicals, improv, or just like to laugh - you will LOVE this group.

Following B.U.M.P. the The Ha-Ha's perform "The Buckingham." What is The Buckingham?
A unique structure created by Pam Victor, The Buckingham combines the joys of fleet-footed short-form and the soul satisfaction of longform improvisation. Most of all, it's a rip-roarin' fun time!

Audiences can look forward to a full evening of comic entertainment rated PG-13 in this handicapped-accessible space.
Happier Valley Comedy presents 
More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase

May 13 at 10:00 PM
Eastworks 121 Club 116 Pleasant St Easthampton MA

Open improv jam for everyone and anyone to play and watch improv games, plus a showcase set featuring The Rumour Cauldron and jam leader Ashley Hammel. Saturday, May 13th at 10pm at the 121 Club, Eastworks (116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton.). Free show (one drink minimum). For more info:
The Northampton Arts Council is pleased to announce the opening of our ArtsEZ 2017 SPRING GRANT ROUND on April 15, 2017 with a deadline of May 17, 2017. Individuals as well as schools and arts organizations are encouraged to seek funding for creative projects to be held in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. The grants are funded by the proceeds from the Arts Council’s signature events: Four Sundays in February and Transperformance.

The Arts Council will award up to $18,000 in grants to local artists and arts groups. Grants will be awarded in the following categories: DANCE, FILM/VIDEO, LITERATURE, MIXED MEDIA, MUSIC, SCHOOLS, THEATER, and VISUAL ARTS. Individual artists and arts organizations will receive equal consideration for grants.

Last spring, the Council awarded $15,000 to 23 recipients with grants ranging from $250-$1,500.    

To apply, please complete the ArtsEZ Spring 2017 Online-Only Application Form. It is a simple form with short questions, a place to upload supporting materials and a required project budget. Only one grant application per person or organization will be considered.  Please carefully review the ArtsEZ Spring 2017 guidelines for criteria and eligibility requirements.

Guidelines are available on our website: HERE

Projects must start no earlier than July 1, 2017, and must be completed by June 30, 2018.

This local round of funding would not have been possible without the support of numerous local businesses, arts organizations, and artists that have helped make our fundraising efforts such a huge success.

Auditions are currently being booked for parts in Children's Theater at West Springfield's Majestic Theater. On Saturday, April 29, the auditions will take place from 10am - 6pm. 

Performers aged 14-19 are encouraged to call the theater at (413) 747-7797 during business hours (Monday through Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday10am-1pm) to schedule an appointment. They will be asked to read scenes during their audition. Performing a monologue (not to exceed two minutes in length) and singing are encouraged, but not required. If singing at the audition, performers may bring an instrumental CD to accompany themselves.

Shows being performed on a rotating schedule this July and August are “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Disney's Sleeping Beauty KIDS.” Tickets can be purchased by calling (413) 747-7797.
Auditions for the Northampton 24-Hour Theater Project
Sunday April 30 1-3pm
The Upstairs Studio, 25 Main St. Northampton, Ma, on the 4th floor of the Fitzwilly’s building.

Seeking diverse actors of all ages, genders, ethnicities for the Northampton 24-Hour Play Project, performing June 17, 2017 at Smith College.

*Unfortunately, the audition space is not wheelchair accessible, please contact us to arrange for an alternative audition.

Actors must be available 8am-11pm on Saturday June 17, 2017.

The auditions will be cold readings (no prepared monologues required).

About the Project: We perform six 10-minute plays, written, directed, and produced within 24 hours.
Valley Light Opera announces May auditions for its 43rd annual Fall production of Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" - to be presented at the historic Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts November 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12, 2017.

Auditions will be held at Parish Hall of Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood Ave, Amherst, MA on Tuesday, May 16th and Thursday May 18th from 7:00-9:30PM and on Saturday, May 20th from 10AM-3PM. Callbacks may be requested at the directors' discretion. 

Rehearsals will be in Hadley or Amherst, start in early September and are typically held on two weekdays from 7-9:30 and Sundays 5-9:00(with snacks coordinated by rotating cast member volunteers and company dinner on Sundays) Rehearsals will be at the Academy daily in the evening during tech week just prior to opening night. 

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with book, music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, MY FAIR LADY is the tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady. The classic American musical features one of theatre’s greatest scores, along with memorable, iconic characters such as Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. 

Valley Light Opera will be performing My Fair Lady as a fully-staged and orchestrated production, complete with the sumptuous costumes and splendid sets for which the company is renowned. 

Artistic/Stage Director: Drew Gilbert
Music Director: Aldo Fabrizi

To audition please click on this link to schedule a date and time.

Auditioners for lead parts are encouraged to come on Saturday, although it is certainly possible to audition other days. . 

Auditioners should be familiar with descriptions of the show and roles, which may be found by searching general online material related to My Fair Lady for more information. Vocal scores, recordings and piano-vocal sheet music for audition selections are widely available online - and may be downloaded for a nomimal charge or membership fee at sites such as Scribd. Piano-Vocal scores have also been placed on reserve at Jones Library in Amherst and Forbes Library in Northampton.

Character descriptions, vocal ranges and required audition vocal selections appear on the Facebook event. Auditioners for leads will be asked to read from the script for their roles. 

There are also a variety of singing and dancing ensemble parts of all vocal ranges and ages, such as servants, flower girls, Ascot race patrons, and employees, Embassy Ball guests - including the Queen of Transylvania and her escort, bar patrons, cockney choristers, buskers, market vendors and bystanders. Ensembles will likely play multiple roles and some will later be selected for individual speaking and singing parts. 

Auditioners for ensemble should prepare a piece to sing in the style of the show - bring piano music if not from My Fair Lady. Ensemble auditioners will not be required to read. 

All auditioners should be prepared to indicate dance ability and any experience - some may be asked to participate in a brief dance/movement piece.

Audition forms are accessible via a Google Drive link here:
or on our web page at, and will also be available at the audition. Please fill out your audition form in advance or arrive early enough to complete it prior to your audition.

Valley Light Opera is committed to diversity and everyone is encouraged to audition and participate. We also have MANY roles behind the scenes. If you have a talent for theatre arts and sciences, or want to learn - we welcome volunteers at all levels for backstage, technical, costume, administration, publicity and assistants to the production team - whether or not you audition or are cast!

Valley Light Opera is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization based in Amherst, MA. Each year for over 40 years the VLO has produced fully-staged, orchestrated and lavishly costumed productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and other large musical theater works. Rehearsals are typically in Hadley or Amherst, and performances at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Applicants who are unfamiliar with the VLO are encouraged to explore our website at

Questions? Please email the VLO at You can also visit our facebook page at
Auditions: New Musical & Justice League Characters
Six Flags Shows & Entertainment is seeking to fill openings for their summer productions

Six Flags New England Human Resource Center

Currently looking to hire:
Male singer/dancers for brand new 80's themed musical revue.  18+ Not height/weight specific.

Men and Women to portray famous DC Comics Justice League Superheroes. (IE: Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.).   Heights ranging 5'6"-6'2". Physically fit.

Contact 413-786-9300 ext.3320 for more information and to schedule an audition appointment.
In partnership with J-ART, Phantom Sheep presents LaughCrafters:Comedy Improv Classes! 
Adults 15+. 5 Weeks Spring Session!
Mondays 7-9PM Starting May 15th!

Springfield Jewish Community Center

Open to the General Public! All levels welcomed!

Sharpen quick thinking and collaboration!
Unleash creativity and characters!
Build confidence in your own talents!
Improve acting and stage presence!
Relax and laugh! (a lot)!

All levels welcomed and challenged at own pace.
Taught in a very fun, encouraging, and constructive atmosphere by instructors with over 15 years of professional experience.

Tuition: $86*
*Only $76 if registered by May 1st! Don't wait!

Sign up today: 413-739-4715 or email
Facebook event here.

Announcing a new Real Live Theatre Workshop:

FRIDAY JULY 14th 6:30-9:30pm
AND SATURDAY JULY 15th 10:00-5:00pm with a lunch break
AND SUNDAY July 16th 10:00-5:00pm with a lunch break; sharing at 3:00pm

In this workshop, theatre artists and RLT members Dan Morbyrne and Toby Bercovici (who recently collaborated on the “new” Shakespeare play The Life and Death of Queen Margaret) lead you through the process of deconstructing a classic text. Using Shakespeare’s King Lear, participants will spend three days engaging with exercises in improvisation, creative composition, gesture work, writing, moving, and more, to take apart and then put back together this dynamic text. The workshop will culminate in a sharing for family and friends.

Open to actors, writers, directors, dancers, and folks interested in expanding their creative repertoire. For ages 18 and up.

Location: North Star building, 45 Amherst Road, Sunderland, MA 01375

Cost: $150-$300 sliding scale, scholarships available

Email us at for more information or to reserve a spot!

More information here.

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.)

Two week session of summer theater for children ages 8-13 at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield

July 31-August 11, 2017

The program is a two-week theater intensive where we build an original version of a well-known play through improvisational games. All actors will have the opportunity to use text if they choose, and all students will learn plots and characters of classic plays, but the actors will have a great deal of choice in the characters they play and the words they say. In the past six years we have done several original mysteries, Moliere's The Physician in Spite of Himself, and  Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and last year's critically acclaimed tragicomedy, Hamlet. Come play! After all, the play's the thing...

 Running time of camp, 9 am to 3 pm with mornings devoted to theater games and then on to rehearsal. Lunch will be provided in the beautiful Gibbs Dining Hall. Recess will take place in the afternoon with activities including walking to the Rock, swimming in Schwab pool, playing on the fields, and enjoying the gym. Performance last Friday afternoon to showcase week's work with parents and friends invited to each performance. 
More information at:

The cost is $560 with a limit of 15 children. A check may be made payable to Eggtooth, 102 Highland Ave. Greenfield, MA 01301. For more information call Linda at 413-522-1445.

Founded in 1922, Eaglebrook School is a located on 750 acres along Pocumtuck Ridge in Deerfield, MA just off of Routes 5 and 10 in the village of Old Deerfield. The Percival Theatre is a 260 seat theatre featuring beautiful acoustics and flexible seating. For directions:
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