Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 30, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
View this email in your browser

 November 30 - December 20, 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! Lots of shows in the next few weeks heading towards the end of the year. Smith's New Play Reading Series ends the year tonight with four short plays by Traci Williams. There's still a couple weeks to catch CRIMES OF THE HEART at the Majestic. And Serious Play presents an exciting performance as part of their exchange with theatre artists from Edinburgh. 

The next issue will include events through December 27. 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
Challenging the Narrative of Disability on Stage
by Tim Collingwood
From the article: 

My Asperger's is the last thing people see when I am on stage. If it's visible, it isn't an abnormality, hindrance, or liability like it is in the world outside the stage door. A lot of people think that people with Asperger's cannot read body language and pick up social cues. It would be unfair to say that theatre didn't teach me these skills because that is what creating theatre is all about. It would also be unfair to say that Asperger's prevents me from getting work. I have had scripts read and produced at theatres, and I can honestly tell you that Asperger’s Syndrome has greatly contributed to my professional life as a theatre artist.

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

Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series 
Thursday, November 30 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Four Short Plays: 
"Pee, Dee, Ess, and Tee" "BOXES" "Final Jeopardy" and "Amerika: Make Your Election Sure!"

Written by Traci Williams, Ada Comstock Scholar ‘18
Directed by Traci Williams and Erica Linderman, Ada Comstock Scholar ‘18

A collaborative discussion of mental illness, colorism, sexism, domestic violence, racism, and politics.

Free and open to all

The Majestic Theater presents Crimes of the Heart
by Beth Henley

November 30 through December 10
The Majestic, West Springfield

The story is set in Hazelhurst, Mississippi in 1974, and focuses on the gathering of the three Magrath sisters; Lenny, Meg and Babe. The trio has come together at the home of their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in a local hospital. Lenny, the eldest sister, is unmarried and facing few prospects. Meg, the middle sister, has had an unsuccessful attempt to launch a singing career in California, and Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her abusive husband. Joining them are their cousin Chick, an old boyfriend of Meg's named Doc, and Barnette, an awkward young lawyer attempting to keep Babe out of jail. As one critic put it, "It's a play with heart, wit, and zany passion."
Cast members include Emily Bloch (Lenny), Suzanne Ankrum (Meg), Katie Sloan (Babe), Dan Whelton (Doc), Josiah Durham (Barnette) and Elizaeth Drevits (Chick). The play is directed by Cate Damon, and producing director is Danny Eaton. Set designer is Greg Trochlil, Dawn McKay is costume designer and lighting designer is Dan Rist. Stephen Petit is production stage manager.

Ticket for the play range from $23-$30 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.
UMass Theater Department presents QUEER & NOW: A Lip Sync Spectacular
December 1 at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM, December 2 at 7:00 PM
UMass French Hall, Room 102

QUEER & NOW: A Lip Sync Spectacular is a new theatrical event that fuses the forms of drag, lip sync, and ensemble-based physical theater. Conceived by director Garrett Sager in response to the increased anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in American culture, QUEER & NOW disrupts oppressive narratives through the celebration of queerness as an act of radical dissent.

Free admission -- reserve your tickets TODAY!

This event was made possible (in part) by a grant from the UMass Arts Council.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents PULSE
December 1 and 2 at 8:00 PM
The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376

Direct from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scottish actress and musician Mairi Campbell performs her critically acclaimed one-woman show! A tale of growth, discovery, and passion, this performance tells Campbell's own story, her search for her musical "pulse." 

"Not many musicians could hope to fill a theatre with a one-woman experimental musical about their own lives. But Mairi Campbell’s new show 'Pulse' in which she acts, sings, plays the fiddle and dances the story of her own musical coming of age has been selected to represent the best of Scottish musical culture at the prestigious Showcase event at Celtic Connections in January 2016." -Jackie Kemp/ journalist 

"Pulse" is a part of Serious Play Theatre Ensemble's new Perspectives Through Performance Initiative, a program of performance exchange with theatre artists from the U.K., particularly Edinburgh. 

Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and students, and $20 at the door. Reservations are strongly recommended! Tickets available here.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble - ROOTS AND WINGS
A conversation with Mairi Campbell, John Sheldon,  Managing Director Robin Doty, and Artistic Director Sheryl Stoodley
Sunday, December 3, 3:30-5:00 PM
at the new Northampton Community Arts Trust building, 33 Hawley St from 3:30-5pm (Free to public)

Discussing the collaboration of musicians, their personal storytelling and ensemble theatre- and the inspiration for, and making of, both PULSE and Serious Play's THE RED GUITAR.

When I first saw Mairi Campbell perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival , she owned every moment of her movement, her story, her music, her singing- every sound she uttered onstage. She owned them with a vitality, commitment and grace, all her own. I was inspired as I observed her enthusiasm for the exploration of her own creative expression, the care and intelligence with which she infuses every step of her ongoing process. It was never ego that was at stake. She has the patience to keep exploring, and she is never content with mediocre attempts in herself or others. She is an authentic artist, the kind of performer I seek out as a collaborator with Serious Play. I knew I wanted to bring her here to the Pioneer Valley. 
- Sheryl Stoodley
UMass New Play Lab
Snowflakes by Dustin Chinn: Dec. 1, 2, 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.
Unconditional by Tatiana Rodriguez: Nov. 30, Dec. 6, 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Attrition by Nicholas Cummings: Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
Director/Dramaturg Teams: 
Gabriel Harrell and Gaven Trinidad, Kim Euell and Judyie Al-Bilali
The Curtain Theater, Fine Arts Center

Dustin Chinn has spent time developing plays across the nation, from Washington D.C., to the Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York, A.C.T. in San Francisco, and most recently at The Ground Floor Summer Lab Intensive at Berkeley Rep. His work is edgy and humorous. Chinn doesn’t shy away from political discourses on race and representation in the United States. In his futuristic political satire Snowflakes or Rare White People, Chinn explores conversations around whiteness through the lenses of people of color in the 23rd century United States. 

Attrition, by student Nicholas Cummings '19, delves into the complicated friendship between two working class men at three vastly different stages in their lives. Cummings explores the complexities and multiple dimensions of love. Audience members will see how these two men’s lives are intertwined through the performances of six different actors who will perform the two characters throughout the play.

Tatiana Maria Rodriguez '19 presents her play Unconditional, a drama about the experiences of a circle of college-aged friends caught in abusive relationships. Rodriguez explores how even in the most tumultuous experiences in one’s life, love and support can always be found. Rodriguez is also an author of other plays. A presentation of her short play “The Difference” was enthusiastically received at the Five College Word! Festival last Spring. Her play was the only one selected to represent UMASS.

$5 per play students/seniors, $15 for a choice of 2 plays for general admission
Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office in person, online, or by calling 1-800-999-UMAS 
Starlight's Youth Theatre presents The Rememberer
December 1 at 7:00 PM 
Maple Ridge Community Center, Sunderland, MA

Starlight’s Act Two class (8th-9th grade) is proud to present,  “The Rememberer,” Joyce Cheeka’s true story of life as a young Squaxian Indian girl who was placed in a government run school in 1911.
Starlight's Youth Theatre presents The Laramie Project
December 2 at 7:00 PM
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Fifth Beat (10-12th grade) will be performing “The Laramie Project.”  In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was victim of a hate crime upon hearing this new Mosies Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made numerous trips to Laramie and interviewed over 200 people. Due to the mature content of this play, it is not recommended for children under the age of 12.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents Studio Productions

Thursday, December 7 and Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Smith College

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Nykole Darby ’19

When a housewife comes to the end of her rope with her abusive husband, she doesn't expect him to spontaneously combust. Now she has a pile of ashes on the floor, and a life to reclaim.

By Harold Pinter
Directed by Micaela Brinsley ‘20

A woman who has been in a coma for thirty years awakes with a mind still that of a sixteen-year-old. She must confront a body which seems to have aged without her prior knowledge or consent.

Free and open to the public.

Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts presents BULL IN A CHINA SHOP
December 7-9 at 7:30 pm, December 11 at 2:00 pm
at the Rooke Theatre on the MHC campus

The Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts concludes its Fall Season with Bryna Turner’s BULL IN A CHINA SHOP. Directed by Molly Page, the original play is inspired by the real letters between Mary Woolley, MHC's 11th President, and Jeannette Marks, spanning 1888-1937. This fast-paced comedy asks: What is revolution? What does it mean to be at odds with the world? How do we fulfill our potential? The production includes set design by Wenfei Jia, lighting by Yael Silver, and sound by Lara Dubin.

"A pugnacious, tender and gloriously funny new play. Bryna Turner makes an immensely auspicious professional playwriting debut....Bull in a China Shop is passionate, joyous and radiant with life!"
- The New York Times

Buy Tickets Now at:
For reservations: (413) 538-2406 or email:
Reserved tickets must be picked up ½ hour prior to the performance.
Tickets: $8 general | $5 students and senior citizens
Smith College Department of Theatre presents the Senior Collaboration Capstone Presentation
Friday, December 8 and Sunday, December 10 at 7:30 PM 
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Smith College

The final project by Smith senior theatre majors. 

Ghost Light Theater presents December's Wednesday Workshop Play Reading
December 13 at 7:30 PM
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke, MA
Please note the time change: We are starting half an hour later this month! 

December's offering will be a full length play from local author Richard Ballon, entitled All Souls:

The healing gift came with the price of a bone and with that bone, a spirit named Orphan. Now that Eva is dead, Franitza needs to get that bone off the island, so she arranges an interview with two reporters who will chronicle the life of her sister.

Wednesday Workshop is a new monthly reading series hosted by Ghost Light Theater and Gateway City Arts, presenting staged readings of local and new works to showcase the broad range of creative theatrical talents in the Valley. As well as a performance, the intention is to make Wednesday Workshop an opportunity for artists from our many communities to come together to meet and socialize. Join us every second Wednesday of the month!

In the interest of making the event financially accessible, the series runs on a pay-what-you-will model with a suggested donation of $5. The donations will be split between Ghost Light and each month's featured author(s). Please also consider coming early to order dinner from The Bistro, to support our generous venue; food and drink from The Bistro can also be brought into the performance. After the show, The Bistro will be open for food, drinks, and socializing.

Facebook event here. 
Special Holiday Variety Show to Run December 13-22

The family-friendly show, featuring Pioneer Valley-based performers, has become a tradition at the theater for the past nine years. Similar in style to nostalgic holiday specials of years past headlined by Andy Williams and Perry Como, “Home For The Holidays 2017” will be hosted by singer Ray Guillemette, Jr., who has headlined several previous "Home for the Holidays” shows and countless "A Ray of Elvis" sold-out shows at the Majestic.

Joining Ray onstage will be veteran Majestic performers including Ben Ashley (“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” “La Cage aux Folles”), Sue Dzuira (“Miss Saigon,” “Next to Normal”), Tomm Knightlee (“The Full Monty,” “La Cage aux Folles”), Christine Greene (“Blood Brothers,” “La Cage aux Folles”), Kaytlyn Vandelochte (“Million Dollar Quartet,” “Amadeus”)

Other performers in the lineup are Amy Porchelli, Steven Sands, Brad Shepard and Michael Morales. Santa Claus will also be on hand to entertain.

The show will be directed by Cate Damon, with music direction by Mitch Chakour. Band members include Chakour, Tim Hosmer and Cliff Schofer.

Tickets are $24 & $26 for adults, and $10 for children 10 and under, and are available by visiting or calling the Majestic Theater Box Office at (413) 747-7797 during its hours of operation (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday10am - 5pm, Wednesday 10am - 8pm, and Saturday 10am - 1pm).
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

Ko Theater Works/Ko Festival of Performance

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

Wilbraham United Players
Hampshire Shakespeare Company is currently seeking a Production Manager, a Fundraising Director, and a Publicist for the 2018 Summer season of “Shakespeare Under the Stars,” which will include the adult productions of Othello and Twelfth Night and the Young Company production to follow. Please see the website for more information on how to apply!

Office Manager/Programs Coordinator Needed for Innovative Improv Company

Would you like to make a living facilitating laughter and joy? Happier Valley Comedy is a small, nonprofit company in Western Massachusetts in search of a sharp Office Manager/Programs Coordinator. Happier Valley Comedy’s mission is to bring more laughter and joy to Western Massachusetts by providing regular improv comedy shows, a full-curriculum improv school, and personal/professional training programs. If you are psyched about doing the administrative work, logistics and program coordination necessary to maintain a small non-profit then this may be the job for you. If, in addition to running the day-to-day activities, you are excited about the opportunity to help a small company grow via fundraising, marketing and grant-writing, then this may be your dream job.

Presently, Happier Valley Comedy is run exclusively by its founder, who needs someone who has strong office management skills and an interest in learning new skills. The position has a lot of growth potential and would be a super exciting job for someone interested in getting in on the ground floor of an improv company with an extremely supportive, enthusiastic, and burgeoning cliental community.

The position is paid hourly for up to 40 hours/week - flexible hours and potential for remote work. The pay is $18/hour.

Desired skills:

  • ●  Demonstration of strong office management skills

  • ●  Experience coordinating and administering logistics for events/classes/workshops

  • ●  Strong communication skills, including writing

  • ●  Proficient in online and social media communication tools, such as: Google Drive, Excel/Google

    Sheets, Google Calendar, Brown Paper Tickets, MailChimp, Weebly, Canva, Facebook, Twitter,

    Instagram, etc.

  • ●  Managing payroll process and analyzing big picture financial plans

    Desired attributes:

  • ●  Highly organized, detail-oriented, and capable of independent prioritized task management with

    minimal supervision

  • ●  A quick learner and self-starter with an interest in the arts and a commitment to help grow the


  • ●  While sales, marketing, and/or grant-writing experience is a bonus, more important are an

    interest and aptitude to learn independently through experience and become skilled in these areas. The company president is willing to provide training and experience for the right individual

  • ●  Positive, helpful attitude in interactions with clients

  • ●  Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree preferred

    Key Duties and Responsibilities :

    Administrative/Office Management Duties: Independent, crackerjack organizing of office operations and procedures. Correspond with clients and staff in a positive, supportive way. Design images for programs. Update website. Self-directed design and implement of office policies by establishing standards and procedures; measuring results against standards; making necessary adjustments.

Logistics/Coordination : Manage and administer registration, logistics, and running of 6+ weekly classes, workshops, retreats and special events throughout the year. Organize and manage annual schedule of classes in conjunction with president, staff, and teachers. Liaison with staff and clients. Provide contracting and other paperwork for teachers and clients. Assist with show production duties (booking guests, space rental, organizing volunteers.)

Sales and Marketing: Create and enact traditional and unique publicity and marketing strategies to promote class, shows, and training programs as well as grow client base. Draft eye-catching, weekly newsletters, press releases and social media posts. Solicit sponsors and carry out fulfillment of sponsors’ agreements.

Financial Oversight: Prepare payroll. Coordinate with bookkeeper to analyze financials (draft P&Ls) in order to create beneficial financial strategies. Grant-writing preferred.

Interested parties should review . Send cover letter and CV to: Pam Victor, .

Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences