Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News February 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 February 8 - 28, 2018

Stay safe in all that snow and sleet and rain! It's the final weekend to catch ALABAMA STORY at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield.  And it's the opening weekend for college theatre spring semester performances: catch DREAM PLAY at UMass, and a reading at Mount Holyoke. Smith College will also present the first of five New Play Readings on February 15th. 

Know anyone will capital campaign experience? CitySpace in Easthampton is looking for a consultant. See details below for more information and an application.

The next issue will include events through March 7. 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
Notes to the Note-Givers; or, Embracing the Paradox
by Catherine Trieschmann

From the article: 

Feedback is an essential part of collaboration; I depend upon it. I am incapable of writing a good play without it, much less a terrific one. There’s no greater gift than when an intelligent and keen theatre artist encounters my work and reflects it back to me in a thoughtful and probing way. More often than not, I improve my plays with each draft. Indeed, the hope of revision is the only thing that gets me through the pain of a first draft. Keep writing, C.T., this steaming pile of shit can be revised!

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The Majestic Theater presents Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones
February 8 - 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.
UMass Theater presents Dream Play

An immersive experience based on the classic play by August Strindberg
Directed by Mary Corinne Miller

February 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.
Departs from and concludes in the Curtain Theater, and travels to Rooms 433-442 on the Fourth Floor Arts Bridge, Fine Arts Center; accessible
$5 per play students/seniors, $15 general admission
We accept credit cards and Ucards at the door
Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office in person, online, or by calling 1-800-999-UMAS

Eyes looking forward, feet still, knees straight ahead — that's how we take in most theater performances. Not so with UMass Theater's Dream Play. In director Mary Corinne Miller’s innovative vision for August Strindberg’s drama, the internal psyche of dreams comes to life in a site-specific, experiential/immersive play, the first of its kind to be part of the UMass mainstage season.
Audience members are invited to mingle with performers as they forge their own path through this unique take on a classic, running Feb. 7-17 on the fourth floor Arts Bridge in the UMass Fine Arts Center. 
Written in 1901 as a counter strike on the era of realism, Dream Play  challenged people to reconsider how they experienced time and space. 
In Strindberg’s original production, Dream Play followed Agnes, a daughter of the gods, on her quest to understand humanity. In her travels, she met countless individuals and couples whose suffering was great. Miller’s immersive adaptation of this play invites the audience to step into the role of Agnes. Like her, they'll venture through the story, meeting the other characters Agnes met, pondering what their experiences mean. They will encounter not only the hardships of human existence but the joys of life; they will get the opportunity to discover for themselves what it means to be human. 
A team of fourteen actors will guide audience members from the Curtain Theater up to the fourth floor Arts Bridge in the Fine Arts Center, where a dream-world will unfold throughout ten different rooms. Audience members can choose to stay in one room, follow a specific actor on their journey through the space, or forge their own pathway through the Arts Bridge. 
Not only will this production of Dream Play be the first immersive, experiential performance done as a mainstage production at UMass Theater, it will also be one of the first to experiment with engaging all five senses throughout the performance. Audience members will not be required to participate in the performance but may be offered objects to hold by actors, invited to listen through telephones, experience smells in the separate rooms, and even taste food and drink while they move through the spaces.
After the performance concludes, audience members are invited to join members of the production in the Curtain Theater to mingle, enjoy a beverage, and discuss the performance.

Buy your tickets now and join us inside a gorgeous, surreal world!
Mount Holyoke College Rooke Theatre presents Play Reading of Chay Yew's "Question 27, Question 28"
Feb. 9-10, 2018 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

What happened to the women of the Japanese American Internment? How did these brave women keep their American dream alive?

This play weaves a story of the struggles, plights and courage of Japanese American female detainees in the American internment camps of World War II. Nationally-recognized playwright Chay Yew draws from the special archives of the Japanese American National Museum to create a documentary theater project based on testimonials, transcripts, documents and interviews with female internees living in the camps during WWII.

Directed by Heidi Holder.  
Free and open to the public. 
More information.
Exit 7 Theater presents William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
February 9,10, 16,17 at 8pm, February 11 and 18 at 2pm
Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut st, Ludlow, MA
(413)583-4301 or at

The Exit 7 Players are proud to announce Its winter production, William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Show dates are February 9,10, 16, and 17 at 8pm and February 11 and 18 at 2pm. The Bard’s famous comedic romp known for the brilliant war of words between the feisty Beatrice and the staunch bachelor Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party. When Don Pedro Prince of Aragon visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, love antics ensue. War hero Claudio falls in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero and their marriage is agreed upon. While marriage preparations ensue, Don Pedro schemes up a plan to make old flames and longtime bantering partners Benedick and Beatrice fall in love. This charming exploration of love and marriage, friendship and honor, features some of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most poignant dialogue.

The show is directed by Ryan Bird. Ticket prices are $22 (preferred), $20 (adult) and $18 (seniors over 62/children 12 and under), and are available through the Exit 7 Theater website at or via phone at (413) 583-4301. Discounted group tickets are also available by calling the box office.
Sammy and the Grand Buffet, Piti Theatre's newest touring production, will have a local showing this Saturday, 2/10 at 3 pm at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street, in Shelburne Falls. This is a free performance. Donations accepted to benefit West County Arts and Culture. Saturday's version will feature Piti's Youth Troupe as guests at the Buffet. 

“ . . .  a unique approach to theater, mixing storytelling with clowning, juggling and lots of foolishness meant to entertain children of all ages . . . part of the charm is the pure joy he expresses throughout and the gentle kindness with which he engages the children . . .”
– Ellen Blanchette, Montague Reporter

Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents HOW TO DATE A MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL
Written and Directed by Lyssandra Norton MFA
Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
122 Green Street, Northampton, MA

Spencer is sure he's found the perfect girl, complete with quirky hobbies, an alternative look, and an indie road trip. But does he really know her at all? Or is he just seeing her in pieces?

Free and open to the public.

Sunderland Public Library presents Sunderland Short Story Series
February 17 at 2:00 PM
Sunderland Public Library - Community Room

Dramatic readings performed by professional local actors that bring short stories to life.

Myka Plunkett reads "The Lone Pilgrim" by Laurie Colwin

Troy David Mercier reads stories from "Man Seeking Woman" by Simon Rich

This performance is free and open to all.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
February 17 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults. Every show is all new and created on the spot based on your suggestions. A high-energy interactive improv comedy show that is funny for the whole family. $5/child, $10/adult, 4 and under/free (attendees do NOT have to pay museum admission; however discounted show tickets are available for museum members).
Real Live Theatre presents When Last We Flew (a staged reading)
February 17 at 7:00 PM
Gateway City Arts

After stealing his local library’s only copy of Angels in America, misfit teenager Paul locks himself in the bathroom and begins reading the landmark play. He soon finds that his life and the lives of those around him in his small Kansas suburb are about to take flight, and over the course of a seemingly ordinary day, extraordinary things start to happen…

RLT presents a staged reading of the funny and powerful script When Last We Flew by playwright Harrison David Rivers. This coming of age story follows teens Paul, Ian, and Natalie (and their families) as they take ownership of their identities as Black, gay, and activists.

Co-directed by Ellen Morbyrne & Trenda Loftin.

The reading is taking place at Gateway City Arts and their fabulous Bistro will be open for food and drinks before and after the performance. A perfect all-in-one night out! Check out their full menu.

Mature content (sexual themes and strong language).
This reading is also a fundraiser for RLT's 2018 5th Anniversary Season. Sliding scale tickets $10-$20. (Inquire about potential group discounts.)

Promotional image art by Clare Black.

Please visit us online!

Also find us on Facebook and YouTube
Happier Valley Comedy presents We Made a Thing: a Tiny Audience Show
February 19
February 26
Northampton Senior Center

We Made a Thing, a tiny audience show: Super casual, weekly improvised theater show every Monday at 9pm at 67 Conz Street, Northampton. Free.


Smith College Department of Theatre presents THE WOLVES 
by Sarah DeLappe
directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer
February 23, 24, March 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College
122 Green Street, Northampton, MA

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.

Tickets $10 General, $5 Students/Seniors, FREE for Smith students.
Purchase tickets online or by calling 413-585-3220.

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

Ja'Duke Center for the Performing Arts

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


Turbulent Times Theater

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!
CitySpace Inc. seeks a driven and proactive Capital Campaign Consultant responsible for a fundraising effort to reconstruct and renovate the 2nd floor of the historic Old Town Hall. Renovations will include making the 2nd floor accessible to the public and developing a public gathering and performance space. The Capital Campaign Consultant will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the CitySpace capital campaign. The consultant will work in partnership with the CitySpace Board of Directors and a Capital Campaign Committee to carry out a fundraising plan targeting individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies to support this initiative. The Capital Campaign Consultant will coordinate a $2.5 million fundraising effort as part of anticipated $5 million campaign.

Details and application here. 
K and E Theater Group Sweeney Todd Auditions at Gateway City Arts
February 20, 5:00-10:00 PM
Gateway City Arts 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA  01040
K and E Theater Group is so excited to announce auditions for their premiere production 
" Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street".
Auditions are February 20, 2018 from 5-10pm. Callbacks will be held Febraury 26, 2018 from 
5-10pm. Both auditions and callbacks wil take place at Gateway City Arts.

Please email to secure an audition slot. Please include in your email 3 times that you request for a time slot and someone will answer confirming your slot.
Valley Performance Playground presents Movers & Shakers
Fridays, 10-10:45 am Jan 5-March 16, April 6-June 15
Northampton Center for the Arts, Downstairs, 33 Hawley St, Northampton MA

Go on a creative adventure each week with your child as you move your bodies and stretch your imaginations. Children will gain physical awareness and hone social skills as they explore the dynamics of movement and rhythm. The class is designed to give caregivers the opportunity to connect with their children in a joyful and playful environment and take home creative tools to incorporate into everyday life. A variety of music, imaginative props, and stories will be used to create a stimulating and fun creative movement/drama class.

Ages: 18 mos-5 yrs, and their grown-ups,
drop-ins welcome ($15, 1/2 price for siblings)
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. 

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.  

NOW MUSIC AND THEATER Summer Programs for Children at beautiful Eaglebrook School 

Eggtooth Productions offers TWO different two week sessions of summer theater or music for children ages 8-13.
July 30 - August 10, 2018
MUSIC with Jo Sallins 
This program allows children to have their hands on their very own instrument and become part of an ensemble. Participants are taken on a journey from percussion basics into complex sound techniques for a truly magnificent music appreciation experience.
THEATER with Bill Stewart 
Learn about stage play and combat, comic bits, delightful language and the joy that play can bring all while relishing the language of the Bard. Children create their own devised production that will be presented at the end of the session!
Registration Form 
The cost is $590 with a limit of 15 children in each section. A check may be made to: Eggtooth Productions 102 Highland Ave., Greenfield, MA 01301. Founded in 1922, Eaglebrook School is located on 750 acres on the Pocumtuck Ridge in Deerfield, MA just off Routes 5 & 10. To learn more about Eaglebrook School or for directions visit: Camp runs 9 AM to 3 PM with mornings devoted to creation and rehearsal. Lunch will be provided in the beautiful Gibbs Dining Hall.  Activities including swimming in the Schwab Pool, playing on the fields, and more.
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