Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 22, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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June 22-July 12, 2017

There are a ton of upcoming workshops! KoFest is back for another summer and there are many other physical theatre, improv theatre, devised theatre, and youth theatre workshops - scroll all the way to the bottom and view this email in a browser to see the whole list!

The next issue will include events through July 19. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Saturday and Sunday at First Churches - Tickets $5
Submit Your Theatre Event
from Howlround
Confronting Oppression on Boston's South Shore with Community-Based Theatre
by Gavin Damore
From the article: 

After two successful events with Artists From Suburbia, a community-based theatre initiative on Boston’s south shore, I sat down with my fellow co-founder and artistic director, Andrew Child, to decide how to shape our future programming. We knew we wanted to continue blurring the line between community and fringe theatre, but we weren’t sure what that meant for our artistic choices.

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

TheatreTruck presents THE MILL PROJECT:
an original new play exploring women's bodies in labor and resistance in the age of industrialization. 
June 22-25 at 7:30pm
Leeds Common across from the historic Nonotuck silk mill. 

The audience is invited to bring a blanket or chair and a picnic in the tradition of outdoor Summer theatre. 
This performance is recommended for ages 14 and up.  Parking is available in the Chartpak lot. 

The Mill Project deconstructs the historical record, re-membering & embodying women's experience of labor in the textile mills of 19th century New England through a performance-collage drawing on letters, newspapers, pamphlets and etiquette books. Woven in a tapestry of original music and movement, the play puts the mill girls of factory towns like Leeds and Lowell into relationship with the experience of American women today. The Mill Project invites the audience to place themselves in history while imagining our shared future. 

The Mill Project was conceived by TheatreTruck cofounders Brianna Sloane and Elizabeth Pangburn and created by Sloane and Pangburn with Emily MacLeod, Emma Ayres, Christine Stevens, Jayme Winell, Robyn Sutton- Fernández, Maya Lapping Rivera and Julia Read. 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and with support from the Leeds Civic Association and the Bement School.


In the event of heavy showers or storms, Rain Date Friday June 30.
Silverthorne Theater Company’s second Season production goes out on a limb (literally) with Aaron Posner’s brilliant comedy, Stupid F***ing Bird, opening June 22, in the Company’s new space on the fourth floor of The Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (formerly The Arts Block) in downtown Greenfield.

Stupid F***ing Bird runs June 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and July 1 with performances at 7:30 pm, and a 2 pm matinee on Saturday, July 1.  There will be a post-show talkback with the cast and dramaturg after the June 29 performance. The Hawks & Reed PAC is located at 289 Main Street on the Greenfield Common in the middle of the town’s Cultural District. It is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible. 

Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for students or seniors (65+) and may be purchased online at Full information and tickets available at  NOTE: the production contains strong language.

Stupid F***ing Bird is rightly described as “a sort of adaptation of Chekhov’s classic play, The Seagull.” 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 prototype. 

THE CAST: The talented cast of seven, under the direction of Toby Vera Bercovici, includes Myka Plunkett as the young, vulnerable aspiring actress Nina. Michael Greehan’s Con is an idealistic young playwright who seeks to overturn conventional theater with a radical new ‘authentic’ voice. Con’s mother, Emma Arkadina, played by Lisa Abend*, is a highly successful actress but represents all that Con despises about conventional theater. Michael Schurter is Emma’s lover, Trigorin, himself a well-known writer. (*Member, Actors’ Equity Association)

Con’s best friend Dev (played by Julian Findlay) is desperately in love with Mash (Linda Tardif), the household’s cook, who in turn is in love with Con who loves Nina.  Emma’s elder brother, Sorn, a doctor (played by Thom Griffin), takes the philosophical viewpoint of the passions and tensions that wrack this complex group of characters.
Hampshire Shakespeare presents
Hamlet by William Shakespeare

June 22, 24, 30. July 2, 13, 15, 21, 23. August 3 & 5 at 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Renaissance Center, Amherst MA
Directed by Ingrid Oslund

This contemporary production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet will use this classic text to explore the cycles of abuse at play within the story and how they manifest supernaturally. By employing immersive staging and utilizing the full potential of this outdoor space, this show will take the audience on a journey through the haunted halls of the decadent Danish court, examining the trials and tribulations of those who dwell there. From the traumatic effects of a murder that destroys a country to the behavior of the Prince himself, this play explores the affects of madness on both an intimate and political level.

Tickets available here.

The Majestic Theater has announced an encore performance of the musical “Million Dollar Quartet” which will run June 14-25 at the West Springfield venue.

The rock and roll musical, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, tells about the real-life events of Tuesday afternoon, December 4, 1956 at Sun Records' Memphis studio. Rockabilly star Carl Perkins was there working on a revamped version of the blues song “Matchbox,” when fellow Sun recording artists Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley drifted into the studio, and the quartet took part in a loose jam session that producer Sam Phillips had the foresight to record. A local reporter who was called and sat in on the session headlined his newspaper article which ran the next day, “Million Dollar Quartet.”

The play had a six-week run at the Majestic last fall to kick off the venue's 20th anniversary of live theater and is returning due to popular demand.  An audience favorite, "Million Dollar Quartet" was frequently sold out during that run and enthusiastic crowds rewarded the actors and musicians with a standing ovation at the end of each performance.

Majestic subscribers will be able to purchase tickets for a special price of $22. Otherwise, tickets for the play range from $25-$33 and are available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. 

For additional information, visit the website
Stageloft Repertory Theater, 450A Main Street, Sturbridge MA presents THE PRODUCERS.  This hit Broadway musical sensation is based on the 1968 film with a Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks. 

Performances are June 23 through June 25, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 2PM. 

This production is directed by Kevin McGerigle, music direction by Leah Marley, choreography by Jackie McGerigle. Tickets are $18 adults, $16 seniors/students/military, $10 youth.  Groups rates available.  For tickets call 508-347-9005 or visit


THE PRODUCERS once again sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor and winner of twelve Tony Awards! A down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit! 

Starring David Leslie as Max Bialystock, Isaac Swanson as Leo Bloom, Robyn Spain as Ulla, Josh Raymond as Franz Liebkind, and John Leslie as Roger Debris, along with an ensemble that includes Grace Leslie, mother of David and John, THE PRODUCERS marks the first time mother and sons (all veteran performers) have appeared together onstage!

Hampshire Shakespeare presents
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead 

June 23, 25, 29. July 1, 14, 16, 20, 22. August 4, & 6 at 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Renaissance Center, Amherst MA
Directed by Calvin Atkinson

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is playwright Tom Stoppard's philosophical-comedic reaction piece to Shakespeare's greatest work. Through the eyes of two of Hamlet's minor characters, we see the story from another angle as the politically powerful step on everyone beneath them. This contemporary staging will get up close and personal, inviting the audience to laugh and ponder with our heroes as they explore identity, truth, and what might really be rotten in the state of Denmark. 

Tickets available here.
June 23 and 24 at 7:30 PM
Hess Theatre at Deerfield Academy

Imagine. Imagine a living human gallery where Vincent Van Gogh becomes his own canvas. Imagine a pair of magical clowns guiding you through new dimensions of beauty as the regions’ finest dancers and choreographers tickle your perceptions. 

We invite you to enter Fine House, a gallery of moving installations, where fine art and fun house collide. Experience new concert dance from the region’s finest choreographers. The Dance Co-operative explores its theme, Perception, through varied lenses; to challenge and delight you. Come, enjoy this multifaceted adventure! 

The Dance Co-operative: Lori Holmes Clark, Christie Clovis, Hayley Descavich, Christina Maerlender, Verity Nichols, Rebecca Rideout, Stephanie A. Shumway, and Meg Van Dyck

Contributing Artists: Emma Ayres, Joe Dulude II, and Jack Golden

Tickets are $20 and $15 for senior/students available here.
New Century Theatre presents a stage reading of 
by Ellen Wittlinger

directed by Sam Rush
June 24 @ 7:30 PM and June 25 @ 2 PM
First Churches, Northampton
Our staged reading series will take place in the sanctuary space. 
The entrance is located on 129 Main Street, Northampton
The accessible entrance is located on Center Street.

Edie's husband has been dead for thirty years, and now, to the frustration of her two grown daughters, she's moved into the basement of her house where he apparently lives. This Thanksgiving, her children and grandchildren gather to sort out the accumulated rubbish of Edie's life and somewhere between dinner and dessert family mysteries are are revealed.

Tickets available online or at the door.
PaintBox Theatre presents 
The Wizard of Oz
Thursday, July 6: 10:30 a.m.
Friday, July 7: 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9: 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Williston Theatre

Weekday Performances for Camps, Groups and the Public
Wednesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 13 at 10:30 a.m.
The Shea Theater

The classic story, beloved by children for generations. Can PaintBox do it with just a cast of three? Oh, we’ve lined up great actors: Jasmine Jiles (Grace in Grace for President), Connor Paradis (Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island), and Linda Tardif (Raggedy in Raggedy Anne), but how are they ever going to play all of the characters. Jasmine is playing Dorothy—that will keep her busy the whole show. So, Linda and Connor are planning share all of the rest including the Cowardly Lion, Tinnie, Scarecrow, the Wizard, Glenda, the Wicked Witch, and Auntie Em, not to mention Toto, winged monkeys, and all those munchkins. How will we do it? The way we do everything at PaintBox—with creativity, cleverness, and, lots of help from the audience, who will, of course, play the munchkins. How will we drop a house from the sky? You’ll have to come and see.
Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton
Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Tickets: $10, Free for children under 2
Season Pass: $24
Groups (12+): $7 each, email
Tickets at the door or
New Century Theatre presents
by Larry Shue

directed by Jack Neary
July 6-15
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School
15 Mulligan Drive, South Hadley, MA

New Century Theatre opens its 27th season with an inspired comic romp that feels more timely now than when it was written. Froggy, a British military demolitions expert on loan to the US Army, brings his friend Charlie, a socially awkward and painfully shy civilian, to a remote fishing lodge in Georgia. In a well-meaning attempt to cheer up his friend to ease his fear of conversing with strangers, Froggy tells everyone that Charlie is a foreigner who doesn’t speak a word of English. This one simple premise has made THE FOREIGNER one of the sweetest and most celebrated comedies of all time. The New Yorker said, "I laughed start to finish at one comic surprise after another."

PVPA Performance Times:
All evening performances are at 7:30 PM
Sunday: Matinee at 2:00pm and 7:30 PM (PIZZA  and a  PLAY)
No performance on Monday.

Tickets available online or by calling 413-587-3933.

Real Live Theatre presents SHE KILLS MONSTERS
by Qui Nguyen
directed by Dan Morbyrne

July 7 at 8:00 PM, July 8th at 4 PM and 8 PM, July 9th at 4 PM
The West End Community Space at Eastworks (near Riff's) 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA

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!

Artwork by Jaime Vallés,

Tickets online.
Ko Festival of Performance presents Jimmy & Lorraine performed by Hartbeat Ensemble
Fri July 7, Sat July 8 at 8pm; Sun July 9 at 4pm
Holden Theater, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

JIMMY & LORRAINE is a meditation on the American political climate of the late 1950s & early 1960s through the lens of two writer/activists, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry. Performed by Hartford's HartBeat Ensemble and written by Talvin Wilks, former Interim Director of New WORLD Theater at UMASS. The piece explores James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry’s extraordinary friendship, as they navigated speaking truth to power in their roles as activists/authors and gay people of color.

Amherst College’s air-conditioned Holden Theater, S. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. Tickets: $22 Adults / $18 Students & Seniors; $10 for SNAP/EBT cardholders. Tickets and Info  Box office (413) 542-3750.  Before July 3: (413) 427-6147.  
Volunteer, Intern or Apprentice with New Century Theatre
Seeking backstage crew, ASMs, board ops, costume assistants, set and lighting assistants, and many more opportinuties for our 2017 season. 

Performances are at PVPA in South Hadley and the Academy of Music in Northampton. Internships run June 20-August 20, and can be designed for the whole time or for select shows and dates.

Apprenticeships are for high school aged students, Internships are for college aged students and can also be tailored for community members of any age! 

For more information, see the description and applications on the website or send an email

Back Stage,  Run Crew, and Front of the House Volunteer Opportunities

Hampshire Shakespeare Company is seeking  volunteers interested in assisting in the production of  our 2017 summer season of “Shakespeare Under the Stars,” which will include productions of Hamletand Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead in repertory.  Opportunities are available as run crew, sound and light board operators, and costume and front of the house assistants. The positions start immediately and run through late-August.  Interested applicants should send an email stating their availability and interests to  Jessica Thompson, Producer, at
Creating Worlds: A Physical Theatre Workshop

Hosted by Serious Play Theatre Ensemble 
Studio #233 Eastworks, Easthampton, MA

Taught by Til Lalezar Theatre
Ages 16+
June 24-25 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
This two-day workshop, taught by international troupe Til Lalezar, is an   investigation of theatrical "worlds" employing character, design, plot, and objective to invoke the mystery and poetry of an imaginative realm.
On the first day we will introduce and develop tools of world-building; the second will be mini-laboratory with each participant constructing, creating, and birthing a piece of the world they dream of in theatrical form.

No experience necessary.  Artists of all mediums encouraged to attend.
Register by e-mailing or calling 413-824-9883.  More information at     

Til Lalezar Theatre creates comic, character-driven physical performance. Founders (seen below in order) Tone Haldrup Lorenzen (DK), Vida Taybati (IR), and Grace Booth (USA) met in California when training together at Dell'Arte International's MFA program. Their cultural differences and creative similarities make for combustible, exciting collaboration.  

Lalezar Street was the "Broadway of Iran," full of music and cabaret in the early twentieth century.  Inspired by the Champs-Élysées of Paris, Lalezar was a street of cultural intersection, performance, and intellectualism before the revolution.  Today, Lalezar Street is a line of commercial storefronts and abandoned theaters.  "Til," meaning "to" in Danish, is our direction.  Til Lalezar!  This is our dream: to re-create places where cultures meet through the arts.
Youth Drama Programs taught by Becca Greene-Van Horn through LSSE in Amherst this Summer. 

Fantabulous Fairy Tales- June 26-June 30 Ages 5-8 (Grades K-2) 9:30-12:30. Wicked Witches, Magical Genies, Fairy Godmothers, Scary Beasts and Wily Wizards are just some of the wonderful characters children will have a chance to inhabit in this creative drama approach to fairy tales. In addition to acting out the stories, children will hone their creative and imaginative skills and build confidence through drama games, improvisation and role play. They will have a chance to explore different parts of themselves through the roles they are playing, be it Cinderella, Aladdin, Belle or Peter Pan. They will make masks and puppets of their favorite characters. On the last day, we will invite the parents for an informal demonstration. Fort River School

Gods, Goddesses and Percy Jackson: For 3-5 Grades. July 10-14: 9:30-12:30. Come join us on Mount Olympus as we “try on” the characters of those fun and fascinating Greek Gods. What would it be like to be Zeus, Hera, Hades, Athena, Poseidon or Aphrodite? What about Hercules, Perseus, or Prometheus? We will also explore the characters of the Percy Jackson novels, integrating the ancient with the modern. Through drama games, improvisation, scene work, storytelling and monologues, participants will gave a chance to learn about and explore the mythical world of heroes, gods, goddesses and beasts. Art activities will also be included. Fort River School.

MPROV EXTRAVAGANZA:  For ages 11-18 (6-12 grade). July 17-21, 10-1 PM. This fun week is jam-packed with Improv!!!!  Inspired by the popular “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” show, this program will give participants an opportunity to hone their improvisational skills in a humorous, playful, nonjudgmental, and supportive setting. The acting exercises, drama games and scene work are designed to encourage young actors to take creative risks, while increasing their improvisational comfort level and self-confidence. Participants will increase their listening and collaborative skills, as well as verbal and physical confidence on stage. Fort River School.

SING OUT! Musical Theater Audition and Performance Workshop. For ages 10-18 (5-12 grade). July 24-28, 1-4:30 PM. Come learn how to not only do your best at an audition, but how to perform a musical theater song! The Valley offers so many wonderful opportunities for young performers to audition for various children’s theaters, and local community theaters. Auditioning can be very challenging to even the most seasoned performer. It has to be approached in a very specific way. Once cast in a show, there are specific tips on how best to “sell” your song. Taught by former professional actress and “experienced auditioner”, Becca Greene-Van Horn, participants will work on performance songs/scenes, audition songs, learn basic audition technique, and practice performing in front of the group. Dealing with performance anxiety, stage fright and the disappointment of not being cast will also be addressed in this class. Participants will learn relaxation techniques and suggestions on how to maintain a positive attitude during the performance/audition process. Fort River School.

CURTAIN UP: SUMMER ACTING WORKSHOP. For ages 11-18+ (6-12 grade). August 7-11, 2-5:30. Do you love to act? Are you longing to feel more confident and comfortable on stage? Want to practice your acting skills and learn new ones? Improve your comfort with improvisation and physical theatre. Learn audition skills and methods to help manage audition anxiety and stage fright. For all levels of experience, and taught by former professional actress and experienced drama teacher, Becca Greene-Van Horn. The acting exercises, drama games and scene work are designed to encourage young actors to take creative risks, while increasing their improvisational comfort level and self-confidence. Participants will increase their listening and collaborative skills, as well as verbal and physical confidence on stage. Fort River School.

To register, call LSSE: 413-259-3065 or to  to register for summer drama programs.
Agawam Library presents Teen Improv Workshop
June 27 at 6:00 PM
Agawam Public Libary

Local professional comedy troupe “Phantom Sheep” returns to Agawam Library on Tuesday June 27th starting at 6PM to present their popular Improv Workshop for teens. Students will learn and play theater games that teach skills used by improvisers, actors, and comedians. This event is free for students ages 12-18. Interested participants should contact the youth service librarians at 413-789-1550 ext. 3 to reserve their spot.

Phantom Sheep has been performing and teaching improvisation together for over 17 years with work seen at Six Flags, and several schools, libraries, and theaters around New England. Since 2014, they have been a partner of the Jewish Community Center offering classes in improv, acting, and puppetry for youth students (K-4) all the way up to the J-Art adult theater group.  

Facebook event here.
Ko Festival of Performance presents Telling Tales with Crankies
Mon July 3 - Sat July 8; 10am-4pm
Webster Hall, Amherst Colleg, Amherst MA

Ines Zeller Bass of Sandglass Theater leads this 6-day workshop exploring a storytelling form that uses illustrated, rolling scrolls.  A crankie is an old storytelling art form that has recently become hot again.

Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85.

Learn more and register online
Ko Festival of Performance presents Compassionate Creativity with Kali Quinn
Mon July 10 - Sat July 15; 10am-4pm
Webster Hall, Amherst Colleg, Amherst MA

Kali Quinn teaches this 6-day workshop on how to jump-start your creative process and reconnect to the things you value most through a variety of access points including movement, visualization, writing, visual art, meditation, making music, nature time, and storytelling. Learn how to facilitate group play and hone your own daily practice of artistic expression and mindfulness.

Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85. Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

More information or registration. 
Ko Festival of Performance presents First Person - Crafting your Story for Performance with Gerard Stropnicky
Mon July 17 - Sat July 22; 10am-4pm
Webster Hall, Amherst College, Amherst MA

Gerard Stropnicky teaches this 6-day workshop.

Come with a story. (Or two. Or three.) Leave with a performance. (Or two. Or three.)

Come without a story, and by the end of Day One, you’ll discover more compelling material than you’d ever think possible. “After all,” says theatre artist Gerard Stropnicky, “people are simply wonderful walking story anthologies.”

Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85. Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

More information and registration here.
UMassTheater presents The Summer Theater and Performance Intensive
Beginning July 23, 2017 
UMass Theater, Fine Arts Center

Find your voice as an actor and as a theater artist!
Experience life on a college campus!
Find your voice as an actor and as a theater artist at UMass this summer!

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.

“We are so excited to offer a program that will give each individual student a chance to develop their own essential and unique voice ,” said Cuomo.

In addition to the main theater program, members of the intensive will get a taste of college life. During their two weeks at UMass, students will live in UMass dorms, eat at the dining halls, and participate in optional evening social events and college prep sessions.

The Department of Theater welcomes students of all races, ethnic origins, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identifications to apply.

Some need-based scholarships will be available to students who may not otherwise be able to afford the program tuition.

More information. 
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