Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre News December 7, 2017

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 December 7 - 27, 2017

It's NUTCRACKER weekend at the Academy of Music! Pioneer Valley Ballet presents a favorite holiday tradition - and this season featuring a sensory and family safe production on Friday at 4pm. Come see the show!

The next issue will include events through January 3. 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
Power and Humiliation in the Theatre: Reflections Post-Harvey Weinstein
by Lydia Stryk
From the article: 

Me, too.

I’m twenty-one, a budding actress fresh out of drama school and new to the city. Through a friend of a family friend, I’ve found a sublet, a one-room walk-up with a sleep alcove on the Upper East Side over by the river. It’s grimy and it’s cold, and as winter approaches, I cover the bed with my coat, a flea-market moth-eaten fur (remember this detail).

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

UMass New Play Lab
Snowflakes by Dustin Chinn: Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.
Unconditional by Tatiana Rodriguez: Dec. 8 at 7:30 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. 
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 
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
The Majestic Theater presents Crimes of the Heart
by Beth Henley

December 7-10
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.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents the Senior Collaboration Capstone
Friday, December 8 and Sunday, December 10 at 7:30 PM

 in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

The final presentation of the Senior Collaboration Capstone class. Featuring new work by four student-led theatre companies:

Thirdhand Theatre Company presents: Harold
The purple crayon has been stolen! 20-year-old Harold must find her "precious little instrument of creation” before it falls into the wrong hands. Harold is a fun, fresh, upbeat take on the classic children’s book by Crockett Johnson brought to you by Thirdhand Theatre. Learn more at: &

Beyond Babel Theatre Company presents: The Yellow Wallpaper
An adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s 'The Yellow Wallpaper', a seminal piece exploring themes of women’s rights, agency, and autonomy.

Sauti Theatre Company presents: Let Her Woman
‘Let Her Woman’ is a collaboratively devised movement based performance based on the poem ‘Let Her Woman’ written by Wacuka Njoroge, that was awarded the Tyron Prize ‘16. It was inspired by the Garden Figure on the second floor of the Smith College Museum, by Gardon Lachaise. The poem explores black female identity and the reclamation of the body from a space of violence. It also explores the concept of female liberation, as inspired by Alice Walker’s Essay ‘Womanism’. In the poem, to ‘Woman’ is a verb, an action that is every black woman’s right to have, and an action that is reclaimed. 

LivingRoom Theatre Company presents: Lit x Lit
You're in a club with your friends on a Saturday night living your best life, but a wild bachelorette party gets in the way.

Free and open to the public.
Pioneer Valley Ballet begins its season each winter with The Nutcracker onstage at the historic Academy of Music Theatre.

This treasured community event includes over 250 dancers from towns throughout Western Massachusetts, dancing alongside PVB's pre-professional students and guest artists from Boston, New York, and the Carolina Ballet.


Friday December 8th at 4:00pm: Sensory and Family Safe Presentation

This newly created performance has lighting and sound accommodations for reduced sensory experiences. A narrator will assist the audience at the start of the performance. This show will run approximately 1 hour without an intermission.

Friday December 8th at 7:00pm: Celebration Performance

Join us for a full evening of entertainment. Arrive at 6:30 for a vocal holiday treat from The Doo Wop Shop, followed by our full-length production of The Nutcracker. At intermission, enjoy live jazz music from Forest Loomis-Dulong (bass), James McCarthy (drums), and Keegan Marshall House (piano). You'll also have the chance to meet a guest artist or two, and celebrate The Nutcracker with a complimentary glass of champagne.

Saturday December 9th and Sunday December 10th
Full-length shows at 1pm and 4:30pm
Silverthorne Theater Company presents a special holiday show, A CELTIC CHRISTMAS: the Age-Old Traditions in Song and Story.

This hour-long family-friendly event features storytelling, masque, music and comic theater much as in performances throughout the Celtic Nations, in the past and still today.

A Celtic Christmas will be performed in three locations: 

Friday, December 8, at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main Street, Greenfield

Saturday, December 9, at Centennial House Bed & Breakfast, 94 Main Street, Northfield (as part of Northfield’s Special Day)

Sunday, December 10 at the Deerfield Inn, Main Street, Old Deerfield

All shows are at 7 pm.  Tickets are available at or by calling 413-768-7514. Adults are $10, children $5, maximum for a family $25. 

A Celtic Christmas features the talents of four talented local performers: Rosie Caine on Celtic harp and vocals; Chris Devine, guitar, violin, and vocals; Piper Pichette on harp and vocals; and Dan Jarvis as the King of Fools.

The music and stories are drawn from Celtic traditions in seven different countries, including Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Gallacia and more. Audience members will recognize “Good King Wenceslas” , “The Holly and the Ivy”, and “Greensleeves” (and can sing along!). Not so familiar: “Kerloas Menhir”, “Nollaig na mBan”, “Alban Arthuan” and “Muineira de Chantada”, “Hogmanay” and the traditional Stargazy Pie.

This holiday show is a fundraiser for Silverthorne Theater Company’s 2018 Fifth Anniversary Season. Proceeds from the performances will go toward early season expenses. The show is partially sponsored by Valley Advocate/Preview Magazine.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier Valley Comedy Show
December 9 at 8:00 PM 
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

All-new monthly improv comedy show! This month features The Ha-Ha’s and special guest performers Julie Waggoner and Sally Ekus. Saturday, December 9th at 8pm at the Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance). Tickets: $13 at the door. For more info.
Happier Valley Comedy presents More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase (Happier Valley Comedy)
December 9 at 10:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase (Happier Valley Comedy) - Open improv jam for everyone and anyone to play and watch improv games, plus a showcase set featuring up-and-coming improv team CLOUD 9. Saturday, December 9th at 10pm at the Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance.) Suggested donation: $3-5.

For more info.
Phantom Sheep Productions presents LaughCrafters: Holiday Show
December 12 at 6:30 PM 
Agawam Public Library

Celebrate the season and laugh off that holiday stress! The Phantom Sheep comedy troupe is performing their annual free show of live improv and sketches!

Featuring Eric Boucher, Devin Horan, Jessica Lamoureaux, Tommy Lynch, Jesse Redmond, Greg Seymour, and Jeff Tingley.

Facebook event here.
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).
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
December 16 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W Bay Rd., Amherst)

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults. Saturday, December 16 at 3-4pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W Bay Rd., Amherst). Tickets at the door: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/4 yrs and under (Reduced admission for museum members). For more info.

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 2 Directors and a Fundraising Director 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!
Black Cat Theater is preparing for a Spring production of Little Mermaid, Jr.
Auditions for this show (youngest age 10 - oldest age 18) will be held on
Thursday, December 7 th , 6:00 pm in the South Hadley High School Library and Monday, December 11 th , at 6:00 pm in the South Hadley High School Auditorium.
All candidates must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Applicants
should bring with them a short write-up of previous theater experience and be prepared to perform a short musical piece. A CD player will be available and a cappella is also acceptable.
There may also be short readings from the script and a simple choreography
movement piece.
Little Mermaid, Jr. is scheduled to be produced at South Hadley High
School April 6-9. Rehearsals will be on Monday and Thursday evenings starting January 8.
If unavailable to be seen in person please call 413-563- 6023 or email.
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