Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 2, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 November 2 - 22, 2017

So many shows opening this weekend: Crimes of the Heart at the Majestic, The Addams Family Musical at Exit 7, Runaways at UMass, Sister Act at Ja'Duke, Valley Light Opera's My Fair Lady at the Academy of Music, Other Desert Cities at GCC, and probably quite a few more! Plan your weekend carefully.

The next issue will include events through November 29. 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
My Gender is Hot Fire: The Birth of the Non-Binary Monologues Project
by K. Woodzick
From the article: 

n their HowlRound piece titled “Don’t Call me Ma’am: On the Politics of Trans Casting”, playwright MJ Kaufman eloquently expresses: “The bodies we see onstage make our experiences visible. For invisible people, like trans and gender nonconforming people, it is necessary that we use ourselves to tell our stories.”

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The Majestic Theater presents Crimes of the Heart
by Beth Henley

November 2 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.
Exit 7 Players present The Addams Family - a New Musical Comedy
11/3, 11/4 at 8PM; 11/5 at 2PM
Exit 7 Players Theatre, 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA

The Addams Family - America's darkest family, comes to life in this hilarious original musical about love, family, honesty and growing up. The Chicago Sun-Times had this to say about the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award-winning adaptation - "Note to Broadway (and not for the first time): If you want to see how to make a musical really snap into place — how to connect with an audience in that uncanny way that is so crucial for success, how to delineate characters so that we cannot help but cheer for them, and how to turn every production number into a giddy explosion of song and dance — pay a visit..." to the Addams Family Musical.

In the upside-down world of the Addams Family, to be sad is to be happy, to feel pain is to feel joy, and death and suffering are the stuff of their dreams. Nonetheless, this quirky family still has to deal with many of the same challenges faced by any other family, and the spookiest nightmare faced by every family creates the focus Lippa, Brickman, and Elice’s musical: the Addams kids are growing up.

The Addamses have lived by their unique values for hundreds of years and Gomez and Morticia, the patriarch and matriarch of the clan, would be only too happy to continue living that way. Their dark, macabre, beloved daughter Wednesday, however, is now an eighteen year-old young woman who is ready for a life of her own. She has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, a sweet, smart boy from a normal, respectable Ohio family — the most un-Addams sounding person one could be! And to make matters worse, she has invited the Beinekes to their home for dinner. In one fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and the Addams family must face up to the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations: change.

UMass Theater presents Runaways
Music, lyrics, and book by Elizabeth Swados
Directed by Lou Moreno, artistic director of New York City's INTAR Theatre
November 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
School matinee Nov. 8 at 10 a.m.

The authentic and diverse experiences of homeless youth come alive on our stage through the characters in Elizabeth Swados' Runaways, running Nov. 1-11 at UMass Theater. The authentic and diverse experiences of homeless youth come alive on our stage through the characters in Elizabeth Swados' Runaways, running Nov. 1-11 at UMass Theater. 

Shaping these stories into theater that is truthful and sensitive to the issue of youth homelessness, which is central to Runaways, is guest director Lou Moreno. He brings to bear his professional credentials as a director and as artistic director of New York City's INTAR Theatre, as well as his experience working with homeless LGBTQ youth. He's motivated by a desire to portray these tossed away youths as real people who often fade into the background of our everyday lives.  

Interviews with homeless youth in New York City formed the basis of Swados's musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1978 featuring some of those very same homeless youth. And as our artists tackled the play in 2017 at UMass, they quickly found that the stories are compelling and relevant in our time and place. 

The diverse cast, which includes community members as well as actors-in-training at UMass Theater, has come together as an ensemble to bring truth to characters who are by turns energetic, angry, joyful, and wounded as they tell of their experiences in a society that stereotypes, disrespects, or dismisses them. What happens to them, they want you to realize, happens not only in big cities but in smaller towns and even on this campus.

$5 students/seniors, $15 general admission
Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office in person, online, or by calling 1-800-999-UMAS
Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts presents SISTER ACT the Musical
Friday, November 3 @ 7pm - Saturday, November 4 @ 7pm - Sunday, November 5 @ 2pm
Greenfield High School, 21 Barr Avenue, Greenfield, MA 

This hilarious and joyful musical, based on the hit Whoopi Goldberg film with book by Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning duo Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, follows Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look - a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. This sparkling musical comedy was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and features original music by Tony Award and 8-time Oscar Award winner Alan Menken, with lyrics by Broadway’s Glen Slater. The New York Post called Sister Act “ridiculously fun,” and audiences around the world have jumped to their feet in total agreement. Don’t miss the heavenly musical comedy of the season SISTER ACT THE MUSICAL.

Valley Light Opera presents
My Fair Lady

November 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:30 PM
November 5 and 12 at 2:00 PM
Academy of Music, Northampton

In a brand-new, glittering and richly imagined production, Valley Light Opera brings Lerner & Loewe’s classic musical My Fair Lady to the Academy of Music in Northampton November 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th at 7:30 and November 5th and 12th at 2:00PM. Nearly everyone knows the story – based on Shaw’s Pygmalion – of Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl transformed into a grand lady by the eccentric Professor Henry Higgins. But the VLO gives this old favorite a new dimension, continuing its tradition of looking deeply into the hearts of its characters and bringing them vibrantly to life as complex and fascinating human beings.

Since opening 61 years ago, My Fair Lady has been beloved not only for its deliciously witty lyrics and enchanting music – including tender ballads, hilarious monologues, a racetrack Gavotte and boisterous barroom numbers – but also for the visual delights of the Edwardian period with swanky ballrooms, top hats, and sweeping gowns contrasting with colorful pubs and seedy street life. The show critics called “wise, witty, and winning . . . a miraculous musical” has only gained in stature over time. In today’s world, its grand themes have special resonance: the clash of cultures, the relations between men and women, class resentments – and the power of love to bridge all gaps.

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 Director: Drew Gilbert
Music Director: Michael Greenebaum
Choreographer: Nicole Newell

Presented by Arrangement with Tams-Witmark. 

Valley Light Opera 
Tickets online or contact the Academy of Music Box Office at 413-584-9032
Greenfield Community College/Theater Department presents OTHER DESERT CITIES
Nov 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 at 7:30 and Sunday Matinee Nov 5 at 2pm
Greenfield Community College, One College Ave, Greenfield MA 01301

About the play, OTHER DESERT CITIES by Jon Robin Baitz, Directed by Tom Geha:
This riveting and humorous play was nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for Best Play and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize. 
In this searing comedy-drama, young writer Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas with her famous and politically-connected parents, brother and aunt. When she announces her plans to publish a tell-it-all memoir of crucial events in the family’s past, she brings to light old wounds, family secrets, scandal, and intrigue.

Tickets Here.
Ghost Light Theater presents Wednesday Workshop: Monthly Play Reading Series
Wednesday, November 8 at 7:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke, MA

This month we are presenting Terra Incognita, a new musical by Colby Herchel. 

Terra Incognita is a one act musical based off of Sara Wheeler's travelogue novel of the same name. Sara Wheeler, a young woman from London, has taken upon herself to explore the vast expanse of Antarctica. The music features various genres and stylings. 

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.
St. Michael's Players presents Seussical the Musical
November 9,10, 11 at 7PM; November 12 at 2 PM
St Michael's Community Center, 53 Somers Rd, East Longmeadow MA

Join Horton, the Cat in the Hat, the Whos and other beloved Dr. Seuss characters as St. Michael's Players presents Seussical the Musical!

More info here.
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents

by Lyssandra Norton
Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Smith College
122 Green Street, Northampton, MA

A world immersed in magic is all that Talitha can remember. Until a falling star shakes something loose in her memory. Can Talitha and her friends figure out how to save their world? And is it even theirs? 

Free and open to all. Facebook event here.

Amherst College Theater presents PEER GYNT
November 9, 10, 11 at 8:00 PM
Kirby Theater 

The Theater and Dance Department is proud to present a contemporary adaptation of Peer Gynt, an early play of the renowned Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen. Directed by Assistant Professor Yagil Eliraz, written by Yagil Eliraz, Joshua Wren '14 and the company.

This play is a phantasmagorical journey that spans over the lifetime of Peer, a young, dreamy and ambitious man who sets out on a quest to find his true self. From the mountains of Norway to the desert of Egypt, from encountering trolls, to riding a moose, to sailing across the ocean, the audience accompanies Peer in his adventurous journey. Peer wants to fulfill himself, find his self and define who he really is while remaining loyal only to his desires and goals. Peer is the personification of our age—one in which individualism often comes at the expense of solidarity, camaraderie and social consciousness. By joining his journey around the world, we ask ourselves, What is the cost of the obsessive search after our true Self?

Tickets are free and open to the public. Reservations recommended (413) 542-2277.

Holyoke Community College Theater Department Presents "Rhinoceros" by Eugene Ionesco
Thursday, November 16 at 7:30pm, Friday, November 17 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 18 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm
HCC Leslie Phillps Theater, Fine and Performing Arts Building, 2nd Floor, Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Avenue Holyoke MA 01040. PARKING IN LOT F.

A small town is besieged by one roaring citizen who becomes a rhinoceros and proceeds to trample the social order. As more citizens are transformed into rhinoceroses, the trampling becomes overwhelming, and more and more citizens become rhinoceroses. One sane man, Berenger, remains unable to change his form and identity. The sublime is confused with the ridiculous in this savage commentary on the human condition, a staple of every theatre classroom and 20th century drama.

Directed by HCC Theater Professor Tim Cochran
Set and Lighting Design by Matthew Whiton
Costume Design by Rich Vaden
Sound and Projection Design by Deb McIntosh
Technical Director Steve Bailey

ADMISSION: $10 general, $8 students and seniors, $5 HCC community. Tickets available at the box office. Door opens at 7:00pm

Facebook event

Black Cat Theater presents Nunsense II: The second coming
November 16, 17, 18 at 7:00 PM, November 19 at 2:0 PM
South Hadley High School, 153 Newton Street, South Hadley

This show could easily be subtitled “the rest of the story.” The sequel to the international hit musical NUNSENSE takes place approximately six weeks after the first “benefit performance.” The same five nuns are back on stage at Mt. Saint Helen’s School for what is billed as a “Thank You Program” for their supporters. You will also meet Sister Julia, the cook, and some of the Sisters who are teachers, as well as part of the Mt. Saint Helen's student body.

Since their first time out was such a success, they have decided that they should stick to their successful variety show formula. This time they are forced to work around the set dressing of “The Mikado” which is being presented the following week by the Hoboken Music Society on the Mt. Saint Helen’s stage.

Tickets for Open Seating:
$15 General Admission, $12 Senior/Students
Military/Veterans/First Responders -- FREE
Scouts in uniform, accompanied by an adult, FREE with a donation of a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry.

email or leave a message 413-563-6023

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
Auditions for THE WOLVES
By Sarah DeLappe
Directed by Daniel Kramer 

Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals. 

Auditions: Sunday and Tuesday, November 5 and 7, 7-10 PM 
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Mendenhall Center, Smith College. 

Call backs on Wednesday, November 8, 7-10 pm

Performances: February 23, 24, March 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 PM; 
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Mendenhall Center, Smith College.

Casting Breakdown: 10 Women.

Audition Prep: No preparation necessary. Sides will be provided from the script.
Scripts: Perusal scripts available in Josten Library, Mendenhall Center, Smith College
Eggtooth Productions is presenting a holiday variety show at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls, MA upon the theme of COMMUNION. noun 1. the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

Would you like to submit a 10 minute offering that could be a part of our show? 

We provide the venue, the promotion, the tech, and any support (within reason) you might need to perform your piece. It could be theater, music, dance, circus arts, poetry, really anything that lasts under ten minutes and can be experienced upon a stage. Be creative!  
Proposals due by November 15, 2017.
Email Linda McInerney with your idea!

When venues for their Full Disclosure and Double Take Fringe Festivals disappeared or became too expensive at the same time the artists they love working with multiplied and expanded, the folks at Eggtooth Productions had an idea. What if they did the same thing as their festivals but tucked all the acts into one evening? The response was terrific and so the New Vaudeville Holiday Spectacular was born. 
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!
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