Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News January 11, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 January 11-31, 2018

January has just begun and spring performance and auditions are cropping up! Check out Amherst Leisure Services' production of Beauty and the Beast opening tonight or the Majestic Theater's performance of Alabama Story, which will run through next month. Check out listings below for plenty of auditions, workshops, and classes - kick your new year off right!

The next issue will include events through February 7. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

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from Howlround
#52PlaysbyWomen: An Advocacy Action Introspection
by Laura Shamas

From the article: 

In August 2016, a group of Twitter users from different countries started using a new hashtag designed to bring more attention to women-identified playwrights. Modeled on the successful “#52FilmsbyWomen” social media campaign created by Women in Film (which has had as many as 10,000 participants already), each participant in #52playsbywomen volunteered to see or read one of these plays each week for a year (readings, musicals, adaptations, and short plays included), and then to tweet about it.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater (ALSCT) presents Beauty and the Beast
Thursday, January 11 at 7:30 PM, Friday January 12 at 7:30pm, Saturday January 13 at 1:00pm, Sunday January 14 at 1:00pm, Thursday January 18 at 7:30pm, Friday January 19 at 7:30pm, Saturday January 20 at 1:00pm, Saturday January 20 at 7:30pm, Sunday January 21 at 1:00pm
Bowker Auditorium in Stockbridge Hall on the UMass Campus

Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater, now in its 25th year, brings Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the classic “tale as old as time” to Bowker Auditorium on the UMass Campus, Amherst, Massachusetts in January 2018! This full-scale, live production brings lavish sets and costumes, a full live orchestra, and a remarkable cast together in a gorgeous singing, dancing extravaganza! Great for the whole family--come be our guest!

The Majestic Theater presents Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones
January 11 through February 11
Majestic Theater, West Springfield

The play tells the true story of the State Librarian of Alabama, Emily Wheelock Reed, who was persecuted for protecting books in the south during the days of the Jim Crow laws. In 1959, Garth Williams, a well-known writer and illustrator, has just published a children's book entitled The Rabbit's Wedding, in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit. State Senator E. W. Higgins is outraged, certain that the book promotes race-mixing, and mounts a crusade to have it removed from the shelves and banned.

Alabama Story has been hailed as a social justice drama that's “a vest-pocket cousin” to To Kill a Mockingbird. It has been described as a “love letter to reading,” and productions have garnered both critical praise and standing ovations wherever it's been produced.

Cast members include Cate Damon, Jack Grigoli, Rand Foerster, Melenie Flynn, Silk Johnson and Mark Dean. The play is directed by Sheila Siragusa and producing director is Danny Eaton. Set and lighting designer is Dan Rist and Dawn McKay is costume designer. Stephen Petit is production stage manager, and assistant production manager is Aurora Ferraro.

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 Friday10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show
January 13 at 8:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

This month features The Ha-Ha's and SeaTea Improv Touring Company! The Ha-Ha's perform an "Armando," where a guest monologist graces us with their life experiences and anecdotes which The Ha-Ha's use as inspiration for a slew of silly, imaginative improvised scenes.  Internationally acclaimed musician Peter Blanchette is our story teller this month!

More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents More Improv, More Better Improv Jam & Showcase (Happier Valley Comedy)
January 13 at 10:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts in the Arts Trust Building (33 Hawley St., Northampton, downstairs entrance)

Open improv jam for everyone and anyone to play and watch improv games, plus a showcase set featuring up-and-coming improv team.

More information. 
TheatreTruck in Residence, Greenfield MA, January 2018
TheatreTruck is thrilled to announce we have been awarded a grant from the Greenfield Local Cultural Council for a developmental incubation of The Mill Project while in Residence at 12Federal in Greenfield, MA this month. We are so excited to embark!

We will be bringing our devising ensemble together again to revisit and refine The Mill Project, an original devised performance which premiered in Leeds, MA last summer (over 300 people attended!). The Mill Project is an exploration of women's bodies in labor & resistance in the age of industrialization. You can learn more about it here.
On Sunday January 14, 2018 at 6:30pm
Join the creators of The Mill Project for a peek into our process!
Following a week-long Residency in Greenfield, MA*,
TheatreTruck invites you to join us at 12 Federal St.,
Greenfield MA
The evening includes discussion of our process with the artists, performances of selected new scenes and music from The Mill Project.
​This event is FREE. Space is limited.
Please RSVP
Happier Valley Comedy presents
We Made a Thing,
a tiny audience show

January 15 at 9:00 PM 
Northampton Senior Center

Everyone is invited to this weekly intimate,  super casual, and free "tiny audience" improv show featuring Pam Victor and Scott Braidman in their new improv duo "We Made a Thing,"
where Scott and Pam live two other people's lives, occupying spaces between time ... until the the show is over and they have to stop. If you like patient, character-based, discovery-rich improvlusciousness, "We Made a Thing" is just the thing.

These shows are free of charge and open to the public in a handicap-accessible space. 

Each show is about 35-40 minutes long. 
Audiences are welcome to stick around afterwards to hang out and discuss the show with Scott and Pam, if that's of interest.

More information. 

The Young Shakespeare Players-East
King Henry IV part 1

Performances at The Shea Theater, 73 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA

January 16, 17, 19, 2018 at 6pm
January 20 at 10:30am and 6pm
January 21 at 1pm

Cheerily, the Young Shakespeare Players-East announce their Fall/Winter production of King Henry IV, Part 1. This play is one of the best kept secrets in Shakespeare, one that many Bard- lovers count as their very favorite, particularly for its comedy and rich language, which includes many of the best insults to be found in his (or anyone else’s) writings. It’s a play perfectly suited to our time, the story of a young prince’s coming of age, trying to figure out what is (inherited or taken) power worth as he journeys through three distinct worlds and finds empathy for his kingdom’s disparate populations—be they perfidious politicians, overheated rebels, or raucously witty commoners.

With twenty-four youth actors drawn from across western Massachusetts and southern Vermont, YSP East will accomplish feats that few theater companies anywhere would believe is possible:
• An unabridged, unedited Shakespeare production
• Actors ages 8-18 who fully comprehend the language, including its double- and triple-entendres
• Three casts alternating roles across performance nights
• Nearly 100%-youth tech crews (who are also the actors in another cast)
• Free performances in an exquisitely restored architectural gem

The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP) East, a volunteer run non-profit theater program founded in 2012, invites young people ages 8-18 to perform full-length works of Shakespeare. It is the very first YSP chapter outside Madison, WI, and the proud recipient of the Bardie People’s Choice Award: Best Shakespeare Educational Program (K-12). Its motto, from Hamlet, is “the readiness is all.” At YSP East there are no auditions—all participants receive substantial speaking roles.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. No reservations required. Doors open 20 minutes prior to each show.

Academy of Music History Tour

Thursday, January 18 at 12:00 pm


Did you know that a trap door was once cut into the stage at the Academy of Music in Northampton for Harry Houdini’s disappearing act? Or that Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff, appeared at the 123-year-old theater? And, come see the recently discovered and conserved 1913 Tuttle scenic curtain to learn more during a history tour led by Academy Theater Manager Addie MacDonald will lead the tour with Technical Director Hugh Hall.

Free; reservations required. (413) 584-9032 ext. 105.

Arena Civic Theatre presents It Can't Happen Here -  A Staged Reading
January 18 at 7:00 PM, January 19 at 8:00 PM, January 20 at 2:00 Pm and 8:00 PM
1/18 &1/19- The Greenfield Gallery 231 Main St Greenfield, 1/20- The Boylston Room at Keystone Mill,122 Pleasant St, Easthampton

ACT will perform a staged Reading of It Can't Happen Here.
It Can't Happen Here is Sinclair Lewis' 1936 novel about the rise of fascism in America.  Set during the Great Depression and under the shadow of Huey Long, the story detailed events yet to play out across Europe with the outbreak of World War II.  Lewis explores political trends and social patterns that remain familiar -- and ominous -- today.  More of a call to action than an alarm, the novelist renders a chilling and prophetic world that remains timely and frighteningly relevant in this faithful adaptation commissioned in  2016 by Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

This is a fundraising event for Arena Civic Theatre.
Thursday's performance will have a talk back after reading.
All tickets $10

Tickets for Greenfield performances.
Tickets for Easthampton performances.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
January 20 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. Tickets at the door: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/4 yrs and under (Reduced admission for museum members).

More information.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents Tudor Tailor: As I Lie Dying

Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 PM
Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts

See inside the wardrobes of two Elizabethan women living in England in the 1570s and go through their garments to discover how very differently they live their lives. Barbara Bundock, a much-married merchant’s widow, and Margery Trollope, a soap and candlemaker, meet for a gossip and to enjoy their favorite conversation – the ailments they suffer and their imminent gathering to heaven, which they have discussed weekly for more years than either can remember. Each is blessed with clothes that represent their wealth and standing among their neighbors. They are competitively well-informed as to the relative value of their dress: the raw materials, where they come from, who made them and how they rival each other in quality and cost. But their clothes also carry a heavy burden of responsibility as tokens to be passed on to friends and family. Not only must they decide who is most deserving of their own garments, there are many items of their husbands’, which demonstrate their doings in more detail than is necessarily comfortable. Barbara and Margery assess which of their grasping friends and family may benefit from the best rather than the worst items on offer.

Join Jane and Ninya for this lively presentation and dressing demonstration which draws on the wealth of material gathered by The Tudor Tailor team since the publication of The Tudor Tailor ten years ago, and gives enjoyable insights into the exciting new content of their forthcoming book The Typical Tudor.

Free and open to the public.

Panopera, Pioneer Valley Ballet, and Eggtooth Productions present THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Friday, January 26 at 7:30 PM 
Sunday, January 28 at 2:00 PM
Academy of Music Theatre

Don't miss this opportunity to see a fully mounted production of one of the world's most beloved operas in one of the most beautiful opera houses in the country!

Panopera, in collaboration with Pioneer Valley Ballet, and Eggtooth Productions, presents The Marriage of Figaro, an 18th century version of an all-too-common tale with an all-too-uncommon ending: When a powerful man attempts to cross the line with a female employee, he doesn’t always meet his match. This time, he does.

Widely considered to be Mozart’s greatest opera, the Marriage of Figaro is famous for its depiction of an aristocrat outmaneuvered and thwarted by his underlings. The play by Beaumarchais on which the opera was based has occasionally been banned by the powerful. Come find out why!

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!

A Shot of Theater is back and currently seeking WRITERS and DIRECTORS for our first set of revival performances taking place in our new Easthampton venue in March 2018. Scripts should be no longer than 15 minutes in performance length, written for 2-5 actors, have minimal set/costume/tech requirements, and relate to the theme of “THE RETURN.” Scripts are due on January 27th, sent to

Interested directors should send an e-mail with basic contact information, availability, and experience to the same address. Rehearsals will run independently through the month of February and will be performed every Thursday in March, with a tech/dress on the first Wednesday. 

A Shot of Theater is a low commitment theater opportunity for writers, local directors, and actors. We perform bare-bone style, original one-act plays within a cabaret setting every Thursday for a month, every three months. Previously performed at The Elevens in Northampton, we are excited to have found a new venue at 121 Club in Easthampton!

Ashfield Community Theater happily announces January auditions for our show in May, Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.”

The play is about the election of a fascist American president (Buzz Windrip), his ensuing crushing  of civil rights, and the underground rising against him by a  Vermont editor (Doremus Jessup) and his family and friends.

Josh Platt of Greenfield is directing.

Auditions will be held at the Belding Memorial Library, 344 Main St. (Route 112), in Ashfield from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, and from 6 to 8 pm. on Monday, Jan. 29.

Auditioners may attend either audition.  They will work from the script: no preparation  or experience is necessary. Those unable to make these times can set up another audition by contacting Jackie Walsh at 413-625-9413 or

A large, diverse ensemble is needed, ages 20 and up.

The play runs May 18, 19, 20, 25 and 26 in Ashfield.  

The company also needs help on set design, set construction, lighting, publicity, hair and house managing.

For more info, contact Jackie Walsh at 413-625-9413 or

Smith College Department of Theatre presents Auditions for MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Tara Franklin

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. MEN ON BOATS is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River.

Auditions are Sunday and Monday, January 28 and 29, 7-10 PM in Acting Studio 1. 

Callbacks will be Tuesday, January 30, 7-10 PM in Acting Studio 1. 

Roles for 10 women.

No appointment or preparation necessary. Perusal scripts are available in Josten Library. Sides from the script will be available at auditions. 

Five college and community members welcome. We welcome diversity and color inclusive casting.

Email with any questions. 

Silverthorne Theatre Company seeks a set/lights designer for a spring production of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca. Production dates are June 21-23 and 28-30, 2018. Silverthorne is the resident theatre company in the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. The performance space on the 4th floor is relatively small [capacity approximately 100], and it has a nice, intimate feeling about it. Stipend involved. For further information or to express interest in the position, please contact Lucinda Kidder, producer, at, or Rebecca Daniels, director, at
Happier Valley Comedy presents Improv for Scaredy Cats (and Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)
January 13 at 3:00-5:00 PM
33 Hawley Street, Northampton (NCA Downstairs Studio)

Have you ever watched improv and thought, "I could never do that!"? 
Have you ever watched improv and thought, "Hell, I could definitely do that!"?
Do you not give a flying fig about improv comedy but want to learn a new technique that will improve your theater training?
Are you curious about improv but you don't consider yourself a scaredy cat?    

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, "Improv for Scaredy Cats (And Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)" is the workshop for you. It's designed especially for folks who want to try something that might scare them. (It's cheaper than sky-diving and less likely for you to end up as road-pizza!) 

You'll learn a very gentle, very easy approach to improv comedy in an incredibly positive and accepting atmosphere in which the only way you can fail is by by failing to learn something new. We'll practice the vital improvisation skills, like: 
* listening carefully
* accepting other people's ideas 
* redefining and disempowering failure 
* staying in the moment
* reacting honestly to the reality of the here and now.

No experience necessary. Being funny is NOT required. 

Go ahead, register now before you chicken out or get distracted by a cute kitten video. (Kittens!) This workshop will be a wadzillion times less scary than you think. The only thing you have to lose is your opinion that you can't improvise...

More information.
New Century Theatre Producing Director Sam Rush will offer two courses beginning in early 2018. Classes will be held at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street in Northampton, MA.

To register, send an email to Sam Rush ( or call 413-587-3933 to hold a spot. You can click on this link to download a registration form.

Acting for Non-Actors
Instructor, Sam Rush  
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission)  
Tuesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m.  
Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street 
February 13 through April 10 
(no class on March 13) 

Course Description:
The perfect course if you have never taken an acting class before but have always wanted to try or had a class once way back when and want to try again. With NCT Producing Director Sam Rush, you'll have a chance to explore your inner ham in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment. Using improvisation, text and original source material, you'll learn fundamental acting techniques that may just serve you the rest of your life - on stage or off.  

Scene Study Intensive
Instructor, Sam Rush
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission) 
Wednesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m. 
Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street  
January 24 through April 4
(no class on February 21) 
Course Description: 
This class is for actors with previous experience and for students who have taken the Acting for Non-Actors course and wish to continue their study of the actor's craft. We'll start right away with scene study work and exercises that support the rehearsal process.
J-ART in partnership with Phantom Sheep Productions presents Comedy Improv Classes- Adult & Teens (15+) Winter Session
Six Weeks starting Feb 5th at 7:00 PM
Springfield Jewish Community Center

6 Weeks Session.
Mondays 7-9PM Starting February 5th!

Open to the general public!
Adults & Teens 15+

Sharpen quick thinking!
Unleash creativity and characters!
Build confidence!
Enjoy the power of collaboration!
Improve acting and stage presence!
Relax and laugh! (a lot)!
Taught in a very fun, encouraging, and constructive atmosphere.
All levels welcomed and challenged at own pace.

Facebook event.
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