Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 21, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 21 - October 11, 2017

This is the closing weekend of the Scarlet Professor opera - and this weekend's performances will feature an ensemble of young artist principals. Come see the world premiere of this incredible opera! All three performances last weekend sold out.

The next issue will include events through October 18. 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
The Living Stage: Building Possibility in the Age of Climate Change
by Lanxing Fu
From the article: 

The Lower East Side of New York City has historically been a neighborhood of immigrants, a mad tangle of streets and narrow buildings filled with enclaves of working class folks from all corners of the world. By 1886, over 3,000 people lived on each city block, in extreme poverty, struggling to adapt to a new country while holding fast to big dreams. That number only grew, creating a wildly diverse, creative, poor, and volatile microcosm within the city. Today, the pressing tide of gentrification lays bare undercurrents of socioeconomic and racial inequity.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The Majestic Theater presents

September 21 Through October 22
Majestic Theater, West Springfield

The Majestic Theater celebrates the launch of its 21st Season with the opening of “The Bridges of Madison County” on September 7. The Tony Award-winning musical was adapted from Robert James Waller's 1992 book, which also inspired the hit film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.
The story revolves around Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride living in Winterset, Iowa in 1965. She has had eighteen years of a largely unfulfilling farm life, and when her husband Bud and two teenage children leave Iowa to attend a national 4H fair, she looks forward to a weekend free from responsibility. But then a stranger named Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic, drives up seeking directions to the covered bridges he's been assigned to photograph, and from that moment both of their lives change.
Cast members include Heather Hannon (Francesca), John Baker (Bud Johnson), Joe Casey (Robert Kincaid), Bryan Austermann (Michael), Molly Damon-Rush (Carolyn), Margie Secora (Marge), Kevin Reid (Charlie), and Kaytlyn Vandeloecht (Marian/Club Singer/Waitress). Theater Project Founder Danny Eaton is producing director, Mitch Chakour is music director and set design is by Greg Trochlil. Costume design is by Dawn McKay, and Dan Rist is lighting designer. Cate Damon is stage manager, and production manager is Stephen Petit.
Ticket for the play range from $23-$33 and are now available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. Tickets are now also available for the rest of the Majestic's 21th Season lineup, which includes “Crimes of the Heart” (November 2-December 10, 2017), “Alabama Story” (January 4-February 11, 2018), “Outside Mullingar” (February 22-April 1, 2018) and the season closer, “Guys and Dolls” (April 12-May 27, 2018).

For additional information, visit the website.  
Five College Opera presents The Scarlet Professor
composed by Eric Sawyer, libretto by Harley Erdman, based on the book by Barry Werth

September 23 at 8:00 PM,
September 24 at 3:00 PM
Theatre 14, Smith College

A true story of shame and scandal from 1960: renowned Smith English professor Newton Arvin is arrested and disgraced for possessing gay magazines and materials. The drama centers on Arvin’s friendship with a young colleague also caught in the scandal, as well as Arvin’s literary obsession with The Scarlet Letter, whose characters spring from his imagination onto the opera stage. The first weekend of world premiere performances presented by Five College Opera features a cast of top opera professionals. The second weekend features a cast of young artists from the Five Colleges. Ron Bashford directs the stage and Eduardo Leandro conducts an orchestra of Five College faculty.

More information. 
Five College Theater Alumnae of Color Showcase
Thu, Sep 28 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Kirby Theater

Theater Alumnae of Color Panel: “Theater in These Times”
Fri, Sep 29 2017 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: Kirby Theater

Performing artists of color who have graduated from Five College campuses will return to the consortium to work with students in residencies, offer the public a demonstration of their work and participate in a panel discussion. Organized by the theater department chairs of the campuses, the residency, showcase and panel discussion are designed to feature accomplished alumnae from each of the Five Colleges presenting the work of artists who are deeply engaged not only with theater-making but also with issues of social justice. 

The aim of the events is to facilitate discussions of race and gender across multiple disciplines and institutions, and to connect students to alumnae whose work is activist, visionary and inspiring. It will feature: Lisa Biggs, Amherst ’93; Kunsang Kelden, Hampshire ’09; Sueann Leung, Mount Holyoke ’10; Nia Witherspoon, Smith ’05; and Dawn Monique Williams, UMass MFA ’11.

Facebook event. 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:30PM
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:30PM
Bowker Auditorium

Set in 1847 aboard the ship the Star of the Sea as it journeys from Cobh to New York during the Great Famine, “Star of the Sea” follows a twice scorned servant, her landlord’s weak willed son and a suspected killer as they head to America. Star of the Sea addresses the complexity of the Famine, and the individual tragedies that are often lost among statistics. As well as capturing the epic nature of O’Connor’s book, this bilingual production breaths a fresh life into the characters through the use of both Irish and English language along with traditional song, live music and movement.

Post-show talk with the members of the company immediately following each performance. 

Ticket Prices 
$35, $25; Five College Students & Youth 17 and Under: $10
Please call the Box Office to see if you or someone in your party is eligible for a discount. More info.


October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 with performances at 7:30 pm, and a 2 pm matinee on Saturday, October 14
Fourth floor of The Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (formerly The Arts Block) in downtown Greenfield, MA

Twenty different residents of tiny Tuna, Texas, come to life onstage in Silverthorne Theater’s production of the perennially popular comedy, Greater Tuna. Two of Silverthorne’s favorite actors, John Reese and Julian Findlay, take on the play’s challenging lightning-fast costume, voice and persona changes under the direction of veteran Valley theater artist Steve Henderson. 

There will be a post-show conversation with the director and cast after the October 12 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. 

Written by Texans Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams, Greater Tuna brings us a day in the life of the third smallest town in Texas as seen through the eyes of OKKK Radio Station announcers Arles Struvie and Thurston Wheelis. In the course of the play, the two morph into such characters as Vera Carp, self-appointed guardian of the town’s morals; Petey Fisk, the desperate head of the local SPCA; Bertha Bumiller, a housewife who has lost control of her children, husband and pets; and many others.

The trials and tribulations of this wild assortment of personalities reflect beliefs and practices that may mystify New Englanders. By many standards, the play is anything but poitically correct, but behind the accents and opinions are small-town folks with problems and aspirations with which we can identify.

Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for students or seniors (65+) and may be purchased online at Full information and tickets available at
Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Is your theatre company missing? Email me!
Academy of Music Theatre

Arena Civic Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company

The Country Players

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Ghost Light Theater

Hampshire Shakespeare Company

Happier Valley Comedy

Majestic Theater
New Century Theatre

PaintBox Theatre

Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Silverthorne Theater

Smith College Department of Theatre

St. Michael's Players


Westfield Theatre Group
UMass Amherst Auditions: Actors, singers, dancers sought for an immersive take on Dream Play
All performers are encouraged to audition Sept. 17 & 18 for our of Strindberg's classic
We are looking to cast an ensemble of 12-14 actors and seeking a diverse cast with all roles open to students and members of the community of all ages, races, genders and identities. Dancers, singers & musicians are encouraged to attend!
For Dream Play auditions, actors will be asked to sign up for a 1 hour time slot and should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to their scheduled time to fill out the necessary paperwork.  Actors do not need to prepare anything in advance, but may be asked to cold read material for the Audition and will be given material to prepare if they are asked to attend Callbacks. Actors should come dressed to move and be prepared to participate in some collaborative devising exercises. 
Further details:
  • Sign up for an audition slot at
  • Please check in with the stage management staff in Purple Lobby when you arrive for your audition
  • Please sign-up below for an One Hour audition session. You will audition with a group of up to ten performers per hour slot
  • You do not need to prepare anything prior to arriving at your audition. During auditions you will be participating in some corroborative devising exercises. You may also be asked to do some cold readings from the play. 
  • Please come dressed to move comfortably
  • Please BE READY TO BEGIN YOUR AUDITION PROMPTLY at your chosen audition time (Plan to arrive 15 minutes early for your audition to allow check-in and warm-up time.)
  • CALLBACKS: Please check the callboard on Tuesday morning for the callback list and schedule. Callbacks will also be posted on the UMass Department of Theater blog page:
  • Production performs Feb. 7-17, 2018
William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Ryan Bird

PERFORMANCE DATES: February 9-11 and 16-18, 2018
AUDITIONS: Closed auditions Sunday & Monday September 24 and 25, 6:30-9pm by appointment.  

Click here to schedule your appointment.

Actors who arrive without an appointment will be see on an “as available” basis.  

Please note that appointments will be in 15 minute blocks and times are first come/first served.

Call backs, as needed, by invitation on Wednesday, September 27

Please note that auditions are being held at the United Church of Christ in Ludlow, MA (a few blocks from Exit 7 theater) located at 51 Center St. Ludlow, MA. Please email if you have any questions.

All actors must be 18 years of age or older by audition date.  
All races, genders, shapes and sizes are encouraged to audition.  
All roles are open.  

All ages listed in role description are approximate only.  

Actors should bring a theater resume and headshot if they have one. 

Actors who wish to be considered for the roles of Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio, Hero and Dogberry should prepare an approximately one minute comedic Shakespearean monologue.  

Actors who are open to any role should familiarize themselves with the script and be prepared to read from the script.

REHEARSALS: Tentatively scheduled for Sunday-Wednesday beginning on or shortly after October 29th. With a break over the Thanksgiving and Winter holidays. Please be prepared to list conflicts with rehearsal dates at time of audition.

ROLES: 4-12 women and 7-12 men. Approximal half of the roles are gender neutral and very flexible on age

More information about each role.
What's going on at UMass Theater?

We're marking the beginning of the 2017-2018 season with a kick-off celebration!
Curious about what we do over in the Fine Arts Center but not ready to spend money — or a lot of time? Come to the Rand Theater, located off the FAC Lobby, for the UMass Theater Season Kick-off Celebration on Oct. 5from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. 
We’re premiering clips of our upcoming shows:
One of them’s a musical. Most of them have funny parts. Some of them are brand-new. One’s about a flower who wants to get married! 
It’s free, it’s going be an emotional journey, and there will be food after — what’s not to love?
To sum up: Shows! Food! Prizes! You’ll be done in an hour! 
We’d love for you to come to our party.
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