Lots of great shows this week! The Final event in the Smith College New Playreading Series this spring is tonight - Meryl Cohn's THE FINAL SAY, featuring a wonderful cast of local actors. There are also performances this weekend at Mount Holyoke College and the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center.
And this weekend in Easthampton - the third annual BookFest featuring a new 10 minute play showcase. Stay in Easthampton that evening for the Happier Valley Comedy Show and the after show improv jam.
The next issue will include events through May 3. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Smith College Department of Theatre New Playreading Series presents
THE FINAL SAY 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.
Mount Holyoke College presents CABARET
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.
THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST:
Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Jennifer Onopa
The Rand Theater, Fine Arts Center
April 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30 pm
April 15 at 2 pm
Pulitzer-winner Quiara Alegía Hudes’ The Happiest Song Plays Last follows Puerto Rican cousins Elliot and Yaz as they navigate their haunted pasts and uncertain futures in the shifting political climate of a post-9/11 world. Elliot, a former marine, is now a military consultant for a war film in Jordan; while Yaz, a music professor, opens her house to feed and assist the local community in North Philadelphia. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Elliot and an international cast of characters explore and negotiate their identities in a world that often ignores and silences their stories. Elliot and Yaz must not only find ways of protest and language to end the cycle of violence that haunts their family, but also find music to feed and heal their souls. UMass Theater is producing a new version featuring 2016 revisions by Hudes.
Tickets: 1-800-999-UMAS or visit umass.edu/theater
Attack Bear Press presents ECA+ BookFest New 10 Minute Plays: People That are Going to Hell April 8 at 5:00 PM
Eastworks: 116 Pleasant St. Room 160, Easthampton, MA
Join us for Easthampton BookFest's "People that are Going To Hell" an showcase of New 10 Minute Plays at Eastworks on 4/8/17 at 5pm. This is an adult event.
In 2017 Attack Bear Press produced the New 10 Minute Play Showcase for Easthampton City Art's 3rd Annual BookFest. Jason Montgomery was hard at work to gather together amazing local performers and playwrights from across all of Western Mass. to make BookFest 2017 the best year for new theatre in Easthampton. Being that it's theatre, and also being that it's Jason things got absurd quick. Now we are not sure if it was just that he was listening to a lot of The Vandals (he was) that week or if there was a theme to the works we received (also yes), but before Attack Bear Press knew he was mumbling something about people going to hell. While this is kind of par for the course with Jason we were all a little surprised when that turned out to be theme for the evening.
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!
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: www.happiervalley.com.
SILVERTHORNE THEATER KICKS OFF 2017 SEASON WITH CLASSIC MUSICAL
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 www.silverthornetheater.org
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.
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: www.happiervalley.com.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents
BAKKHAI by Euripides, a new version by Anne Carson
April 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30 PM
Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
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 21-30 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, Louis 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.
Ping Chong + Talvin Wilks in conversation with Priscilla Page:
Return of the Mothership
The Rand Theater,
Fine Arts Center, UMass
April 22 at 4 p.m.
FREE and OPEN to all.
Theater artists Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks return to UMass Theater on April 22 for a conversation about theater and social transformation that is free and open to all. They'll be joined by UMass Theater Professor Priscilla Page.
The conversation will link their ground-breaking piece, Collidescope 2.0 and the topics of race relations, history, and politics to their latest endeavor, Collidescope 3.0, at the Wake Forest University this spring where graduate MFA director Jen Onopa served as assistant director and graduate MFA dramaturg Gaven D. Trinidad provided dramaturgy support.
Chong is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and a ground-breaking theater artist. He and Wilks, a frequent collaborator of Chong's as well as a theater artist/activist in his own right, spent much of last spring as guest artists of the department.
Together with a talented team of guest and student artists, they mounted the powerful Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Post-Racial America, which looked at the history of race relations and activism in this country and on the UMass Amherst campus — as seen through the eyes of a alien species traveling by on a mothership. They also participated in a conversation with Professor Priscilla Page about their work, their thoughts on theater and social transformation, and more; the conversation on April 22 serves as a sort of sequel to that one. One year on, the work these artists did on Collidescope continues to reverberate through the department and inspire students and faculty alike.
Please join us for this important conversation in the Rand Theater.
Serious Play presents BLANK
The second experimental work by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour after “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” presented by Serious Play in Fall 2016.
8PM – Sat., April 22, Sun., April 23 and Mon., April 24
A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA
About the Playwright:
Nassim Soleimanpour is a young independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been received many international awards.
About the play:
In a joint effort between audience and performer, the gaps in BLANK are filled in to reveal a story that celebrates the human imagination. As formally inventive as it is engaging, BLANK reverses the typical theatre experience: A script riddled with blanks leaves the audience in charge of how the story will unfold. The concept might be simple, the result is nothing short of empowering as a random audience member sees his or her future determined by the imagination of others.
Known for plays without directors, sets and rehearsals, the acclaimed Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour takes it to new extremes. Each night Nassim’s play full of blanks is to be completed by a new performer. The play becomes a story machine to share the life-story of the playwright, the performer and a random audience member.
Soleimanpour’s BLANK invites critical reflection about how our human identity is constructed around the stories we tell. Simultaneously, it celebrates the communal and elusive nature of theatre, as audience members shout, laugh, gasp and collaborate to write the evening’s story, a story that is irrevocably theirs and will never be told in the same way ever again.
BLANK -- About the Performers:
Saturday, April 22nd Tod Randolph… started acting at the age of 12 and decided she was interested in very little else from then on, much to the detriment of her grades in high school. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to fit herself into traditional university environments, she suddenly found that against all odds she'd been accepted into the Drama Division of the Juilliard School, and felt a profound relief at the thought that she need never go back to Academe.
Juilliard put her through 4 years' worth of rigorous grounding in classical technique, gave her a diploma and sent her on her way, woefully unprepared for the brutal realities of the entertainment industry. 12 years' pounding the pavement being quite enough, she then fled to the Berkshires in Western Mass., where she's been happily rooting ever since. She has worked primarily at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox (whose release-based training philosophy rocked her world when she first encountered it, just a few months after graduation), with periodic forays out to other theatres: Mixed Company in Great Barrington, The Nora in Cambridge, Portland Stage in Maine, Palm Beach Drama Works in Florida... In 2015 she appeared in the film Infinitely Polar Bear by Maya Forbes, having great fun in two scenes with Mark Ruffalo. She feels both trepidation and glee at stepping out of her comfort zone with Serious Play's production of Blank, by Nassim Soleimanpour.
Sunday, April 23rd Will McAdams… is a playwright, performer, and director who has worked in theater in the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa. Past projects include: a series of four plays about immigration, farming, and land, created with residents of Warwick, NY and the CA Central Valley; Peter Handke's "Kaspar," which he directed in Johannesburg at the brink of the post-Apartheid era; and "White Mourning", a new play about whiteness, parenting, and memory. He is a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Hampshire College, where he teaches a range of classes in acting, devising, and theater for social change.
Monday, April 24th Kali Quinn … is an actor creator originally from Buffalo, NY who has performed at the Hangar Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Telluride Rep, Dell’Arte Company, Padua Playwrights of LA, PushPush Theater, Bowery Poetry Club, GUTWorks, Celebration Barn, Manhattan Theatre Source, NYC Int’l Clown Festival, New England Center for Circus Arts, Putney Vaudeville, and Clowns Without Borders throughout Guatemala and El Salvador. Her solo shows Vamping (about aging, Alzheimer’s and nursing homes) and Overture to A Thursday Morning (about mother daughter relationships and infant homes in the 1950s) have played Off-Off Broadway at United Solo, The Tank, 3-Legged Dog, and soloNOVA at PS122 as well as touring to the Ko Festival, Duke University, Dialogue One at Williams College, Roadless Travelled Theatre in Buffalo, Mississippi University for Women, Coastal Carolina University, Los Angeles Women’s Solo Festival, Full Circle Festival, and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s Women’s Solo Fest. In 2015, Kali combined the shows and performed the full two-act solo feat at the Providence Fringe Festival and New England Youth Theater. Along with serving as Stateside Faculty for Accademia dell’Arte (Arezzo, Italy) and on the Board for the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Kali has been a movement instructor at Brown University and Trinity Rep and taught master classes throughout the US. She received training at the University of Rochester, with an MFA from the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in Northern California. Kali recently returned to live and create a Center for Compassionate Creativity in Guilford, Vermont after a national performance tour of her new book, I Am Compassionate Creativity.
All tickets $20 / Limited Seating / performances for 14 yrs.& up
Eggtooth Productions promises to shake off your mud season blues with a local twist on a classic game show. They present Match Game 413 on Monday, April 24, 2017 at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls. Show starts at 7:00 PM; doors and bar featuring craft beer from Berkshire Brew will open at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and are available at eggtooth.org and at the door.
Said Associate Producer Lindel Hart, “Remember how much you loved the Match Game in the 70s? It's even more fun now! And you can see it live on stage at the Shea Theater! Contestants match wits with six local panelists to supply the missing word in a phrase or sentence presented by the host. Winners advance to the Super Match round, going head-to-head with panelists to "fill in the blank" and try to win their game -- and a prize from a local business! Match Game tends to get bawdy, with double entendres, innuendo and risqué humor. Leave the kids at home because it's guaranteed to get outlandish!
We have an outstanding panel including local favorites Marina Goldman, Joe Dulude, and Charles Holt with some surprise guests to be named. Rod Hart is emcee of the whole shebang. Our tagline is, ‘What happens at the Shea, stays at the Shea!’
I loved game shows when I was a kid and watched all of them! I remember when Match Game 72 started and I loved it. I eagerly awaited to see what celebrities would be on the panel, and I was always enamored of their witty banter and the double entendres I'm their answers to the questions.
When I had the idea of doing a live version of Match Game, I thought it would be a great way of providing light-hearted entertainment in stressful times. And it fulfills my childhood dream of actually being on a game show! Yes, I will be on the panel. And if all goes well I want to make this a monthly event.
I wanted to bring together panels of witty, creative, irreverent people in the Valley and let them play with each other. The Match Game format is really a kind of structured improvisational theatre, and I know so many people who would be hilarious onstage. Many of these people would not necessarily be on the same stage at the same time-- or even onstage at all -- and I love the opportunity to bring them together and turn them loose with each other.
The Shea immediately came to mind as the perfect venue for Match Game 413. It's a great size, people are familiar with it, and so many local businesses have expressed interest in being more involved with events at the Shea so it's also a great community builder.”
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
Black Cat Theater is preparing for their Spring comedy “Noises Off," directed by Robert Clark. Auditions for this show will be held on 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.
Audition for our 2017 summer season of the Hampshire Shakespeare Young Company!
The Young Company will be performing the first Quatro of Hamlet, or Hamlet Q1. The intensive dates are August 4-18, rehearsing from 10-5pm (Monday through Friday). The performance weekend is August 19 & 20. Tuition is $325.
Auditions are open to youths aged 13-18 and will be Saturday, April 8th 11am-2pm, and Tuesday, April 11th 6-8pm, at the Renaissance Center, in Amherst. Callbacks will be held on Wednesday, April 12th from 6-8pm.
Other select positions may be available for characters, ushers, drummer, variety acts, and more. Opportunity for additional work including fall Fright Fest (October) and new Holiday in the Park (December)
Real Live Theatre presents Auditions for
She Kills Monsters
by Qui Nguyen
directed by Dan Morbyrne
She Kills Monsters is a funny, irreverent, gory, sexy, and surprisingly touching journey into the world of Dungeons & Dragons and the fraught relationship between two sisters. When Agnes finds her dead sister's Dungeon Master notebook, she must play the adventure to discover who her sister really was, and kill a shit-ton of monsters along the way. Dark Elves, Demon Queens, giant gelatinous cubes, Quantum Leap-obsessed devils, and cheerleading succubi, She Kills Monsters has something for everyone.
Roles available for actors ages 18-35 (all races, genders, orientations, ethnicities)!
Rehearsals begin June 6th, and take place in both Sunderland and Springfield.
Performs July 7th, 8th, 9th in the West End, Eastworks Building, Easthampton
Auditions inside the North Star building (45 Amherst Road, Sunderland)
Friday, April 14: 6-9pm
Saturday, April 15: 5-8pm
Sunday, April 16 (Easter): 3:30-6:30pm
Sign up for a 45 minute slot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
Call-backs will be Thursday, 4/20, 6-9pm.
WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
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.)