Thursday, March 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 March 8 - 28, 2018

hope everyone made it safely through another snowy day. If you need a nice indoor activity for tonight - boy, do I have a list for you! ANNIE at the Academy, SPELLING BEE at Amherst High, or maybe OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at the Majestic? Stay cozy.

The next issue will include events through April 4. 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
Opening Space for Collaboration and Change
by Amy Clare Tasker

From the article: 

Can vision be collaborative? How can I balance inclusivity, safety, quality, and rigor? Why do I keep trying to make collaborative work, when it seems so much slower and more difficult than doing it myself? I’ve been asking myself these questions for the last ten years or so, and trying new ways to answer them every time I direct a piece of theatre. I’ve recently stumbled across a revolutionary way of working that has become the foundation of my collaborative practice: Open Space.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Academy Youth Productions presents ANNIE, Jr.
Thursday, March 8 @ 6:30PM
Friday, March 9 @ 6:30PM
Academy of Music Theatre

Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.  

Amherst Regional High School presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
March 8, 9, 10 at 7:30; kid-friendly matinee on March 10 at 2:00.
Amherst Regional High School

Amherst Regional High School presents this 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Award-Winning musical comedy in an innovative staging. Upon your arrival, you be welcomed into the lobby and auditorium (and other locations, if you're keen...) of Putnam County Middle School as fellow community members attending this special anniversary edition of their beloved Spelling Bee.  

Continuing our tradition of investing deeply in student leadership at all levels of the show, Spelling Bee is performed, designed, played and produced by over 130 ARHS students. A warm, silly and immersive production,  you'll find all that you'd hope for from a winsome Broadway musical, along with spaces to explore and in-character performances before curtain and during intermission. And - each night - a new contingent of volunteer audience spellers invited to join us as on-stage competitors in the Bee!

Majestic Theater presents Outside Mullingar
West Springfield
March 8-31

The play was written by John Patrick Shanley, author of Doubt and Moonstruck, and follows the story of Anthony and Rosemary, two neighboring farmers who are clueless when it comes to love. Anthony's father and Rosemary's mother are rivals, locked in a bitter land feud, which challenges Rosemary's lifelong interest in Anthony, who seems either shy or unaware of her feelings. The pair must persevere to overcome the land feud, the family rivalry and their own romantic fears.  Outside Mullingar is filled with dark humor and poetic prose as it conveys the message that it's never too late to take a chance on love.

Cast members include Jay Sefton (Antony Reilly), Margaret Reilly Streeter (Rosemary Muldoon), Ron Komora (Tony Reilly) and Sara Whitcomb (Aoife Muldoon). Danny Eaton, producing director at the Majestic, will direct the play. Set design is by Greg Trochlil and Dan Rist is the lighting designer. Costume design is by Dawn McKay, Laura Kathryn Gomez is stage manager and Stephen Petit is production 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.

For additional information, visit the website.  
Academy of Music presents The Valley Letters Project
March 10 at 7:30 PM
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton

A Fundraiser to Benefit the Academy of Music Theatre

What do Susan B. Anthony, Alexander Graham Bell, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Leonard Nimoy, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Sojourner Truth and Kurt Vonnegut all have in common? They have all impacted the historical fabric of our beloved Pioneer Valley!

The Academy of Music Theatre is proud to present   The Valley Letters Project: Live on Stage, a new series celebrating the art of letter writing and its connection to our local history.

The evening will feature letters by historic people of note connected to the Western Massachusetts/Pioneer Valley region read aloud by contemporary people of note who are currently impacting the Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley landscape.

Join us for letters of love, home, friendship and advice with letter readings by Joan Holliday, Alika Hope, Daniel Jones, Richard Michelson, Mayor David Narkewicz, Bill Newman, Nannette Vonnegut, and MORE!

Bid on our silent auction in the Salon Room, with packages from the best in the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires, including Broadside Books, The Clark Art Institute, The Dr. Seuss Museum, Eastside Grill, The Emily Dickinson Museum, Holyoke Children’s Museum, Indigo Coffee, The Lord Jeffery Inn, The Mark Twain House, MASS MoCA, The Massachusetts Review, Porches Inn, Sugar Maple Trailside Inn, Writers in Progress, and MORE!

Enhance your night and come at 6:30PM for the VIP Cocktail & Hors d’oeuvres hour and browse early at the silent auction.
VIP Tickets – $35.00

All funds raised will support the Academy of Music Theatre.

Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier Valley Comedy Show
March 10 at 8:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts Downstairs Studio 33 Hawley Street, Northampton

Happier Valley Comedy Show -  All-new monthly improv comedy show! This month features The Ha-Ha’s and special guest performers Girls Night Out. Saturday, March 10th 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)
March 10 at 10:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts Downstairs Studio 33 Hawley Street, Northampton

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 H.A.T.S. Saturday, March 10th 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.




Sunday, March 11, 2018 

SYRUP 2018 will feature another delicious potpourri of world class performance for all ages, syrup tasting, free Real Pickles and more!

This year, Piti Theatre Company’s much loved sweet event has a new venue and . . . more syrup! We will enjoy the flexibility of two stages and a working kitchen at Shelburne Buckland Community Center, 53 Main Street, Shelburne Falls. Join us from 11 – 2:30 for a Pancake Brunch-Party! Enjoy pancakes with a wide selection of local maple syrup served by a very special costumed waitstaff (Piti’s Youth Troupe). Carrie Ferguson will perform some songs from our new album, Greatest Bits, Vol. 1 at noon and Piti’s Youth Troupe will perform “The Lion, the Lamb and the Wizard” at 1 pm. Piti Theatre’s family audiences musical “To Bee or Not to Bee” will return to the area after several years of touring in New England and Europe at 2:30 pm AND award-winning Sandglass Theater from Vermont will perform their puppet piece “Punschi”for all ages at 3:45 followed by a puppet making workshop for ages 6 – 14.

SYRUP on Facebook

Frontier Regional High School presents The Wizard of Oz!
March 16 & 17 at 7:00 p.m. March 18 at 3:00 p.m.
Frontier Regional School

Frontier Regional School is proud to announce their second annual musical, The Wizard of Oz. L. Frank Baum's classic tale of a young girl's trip over the rainbow. The story has been an American classic for decades, and now it comes to the Frontier stage. Directed by David Peck, with Music Direction by Max Sherrill and Choreography by Melissa Strelke. Show dates are March 16 and 17 at 7:00 p.m. and March 18 at 3. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. A tale for all time and all ages! The Wizard of Oz at Frontier Regional School! Contact info: and 413 834-8730
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
March 17 at 3:00 PM

Happier FAMILY Comedy Show: Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, best for 5-12 year olds and their adults. Saturday, March 17th 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.
Happier Valley Comedy presents We Made a Thing: a Tiny Audience Show
every Monday (except March 12, March 26, April 2, April 30) at 9:00 PM
Northampton Senior Center

We Made a Thing, a tiny audience show: Super casual, weekly improvised theater show every Monday at 9pm (except March 12, March 26 and April 2) at 67 Conz Street, Northampton. Free. More info.

UMass Amherst presents How Did We Get Here?: Using Verbatim Documentary Theatre to Make Sense of Our Contemporary Political Landscape
with Joe Salvatore '97G
March 20 at 4:30 in the Old Chapel at UMass Amherst 

Does gender affect how we perceive public and political figures? A UMass Theater alumnus examines the evidence via performance.

UMass Theater presents a talk by Joe Salvatore '97G, an artist and educator who's looking at the way gender influences our perceptions when political and cultural figures speak, by having actors of the opposite gender perform their words in the format called "verbatim theater". He's speaking about his experiences on March 20 in the renovated Old Chapel on the UMass campus. The event is free and open to all.

In January 2017, playwright and director Joe Salvatore '97G collaborated with economist Maria Guadalupe (INSEAD-France) to create Her Opponent, a re-staging of excerpts of the 2016 U. S. Presidential debates with gender-reversed casting. Following the success of that production and its subsequent Off Broadway run, Salvatore has created NYU-Steinhardt’s Verbatim Performance Lab to continue to produce live and mediated verbatim performances that challenge accepted political, cultural, and social understandings, while embracing the philosophy that social change emerges from dialogue, not monologue. Join Salvatore as he shares his experiences working on Her Opponent and recent Lab projects including The Lauer / Conway Flip and The Moore / Jones Challenge.
UMass Amherst Theater presents Infants of the Spring
Adapted by Ifa Bayeza from the novel by Wallace Thurman
Directed by Ifa Bayeza
March 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 p.m.
March 24 at 2 p.m.
School Matinee March 30 at 10 a.m.
The Rand Theater
$5 per play students/seniors, $15 general admission

How does an artist pursue their passion amid social upheaval and oppression? How do they stay true to their art? Can art create social change? A group of African-American artists struggle to find the answers to these weighty questions in the Department of Theater's Infants of the Spring. Running March 21-30 in the Rand Theater, Infants extends its hand to the audience, promising them a journey back in time to the Harlem Renaissance, an iconic and complicated moment in our nation's history that continues to influence our popular culture today. 

Adapted from Wallace Thurman's novel of the same name, Infants of the Spring follows the events that transpire in a Harlem boarding house for artists from spring to winter of 1929. Ifa Bayeza, playwright, director, and MFA graduate student, read the book years ago and decided there was a play trapped in those pages. Her immediate thought was, "I've got to liberate it!"

The plot follows a writer, Raymond, as he works to finish his novel, caught in the flow of events going on around him that lead him further and further away from his creative endeavors. He shares his life with a multicultural group of friends at the boarding house, most of them artists in their own right. Students of black history will recognize some characters as thinly-veiled takes on people like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, who were Thurman's contemporaries. Bayeza has masterfully transferred the satirical depiction of these Harlem Renaissance luminaries to the stage. 

While the setting is a period of revitalization and creativity and the play starts on a decidedly comic note, the harsh reality of living in a racist society intrudes upon the artistic idyll. Through Raymond and his compatriots, Bayeza depicts the struggle of the Harlem artists. Do they join in the Harlem Renaissance cause of elevating the prestige and respect for their race, or do they heed the call of their art, privileging creativity and freedom in their lives?
With brilliant characters and sparkling wit, Thurman's work is that rare tragicomedy — equally hilarious and poignant. Under Bayeza's hand, this glimpse of America's first "black arts movement" jumps off the page into living color! Join us and take the journey with them as they look for the answer. 

For tickets, visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office in person, online, or by calling 1-800-999-UMAS

Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents SHUT UP, EMILY DICKINSON
Written by Tanya Ritchie (aka Tanya O’Debra), Ada Comstock Scholar ‘19. Directed by Mary Beth Brooker, MFA ‘20

Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

Emily Dickinson: poet, recluse, a**hole. Loosely based on the Master Letters, Shut UP, Emily Dickinson! is a pseudo-historical, quasi-biographical, hysterically existential psycho-romance about America's most brilliant and annoying poetess. Holed up for all eternity in the bedroom of our minds, the “woman in white” stretches into a projection screen for truths, half-truths, truthiness, and truth-less-ness. She’s whatever you want her to be and nothing you imagined. Emily Dickinson is the definition of a difficult woman.

Free and open to the public.

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
Silverthorne Theater Company  Announces 

Open auditions for all three Season Shows below:
Friday, March 16     7-9 pm
Saturday, March 17   1-4 pm
Sunday, March 18     Callbacks    1-4 pm
·       Auditions at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main Street, Greenfield
·       By appointment only. To schedule an audition slot, please call 413-768-7514, or write to
·        Auditioners should prepare a one to two minute monologue. 
·       Please bring a current resume and headshot, or send electronically to when making your appointment
·       Equity & non-Equity; all roles paid. 
·       All types & ethnicities welcome
by Athol Fugard. Director: Rebecca Daniels. 
Performance dates: 6/21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30
Miss Helen: late 60s, widowed, an artist
Elsa: 30s, politically engaged schoolteacher.
Marius: 60s, Calvinist pastor, good-hearted but deeply conservative.
     The Road to Mecca, written by Athol Fugard, is set in 1970s South Africa. It was first staged in the US in 1984 at Yale Rep, had an off-Broadway run in 1988, and saw its Broadway premiere in 2012. Fugard is best know for his overtly political plays, mostly set in his native South Africa in the days of apartheid. While this drama’s focus on the life and work of an artist might seem like a departure for the playwright, in the words of New York theatre critic, Ben Brantley, the play “ throbs with a despairing awareness of the South Africa of the 1970s as a broken and corrupting nation, a spiritual prison for those who inhabit it. Set in the remote village of New Bethesda, in the Karoo desert region, this play considers the nature and possibilities of freedom within such a place.”
            Based on a real-life individual, Fugard’s story of Miss Helen, an aging Afrikaner widow who creates unusual sculptures in order to escape the crushing reality of her isolated life and the social expectations that accompany that life, brings together two social and political opposites who each consider themself her friend and take astrong interest in her welfare according to their own conflicting views about artistic creativity and the challenges of aging. Her very conservative minister, Marius, wants to send Helen to an old folks home, where she will be “safe” from both criticism and harm. Her young friend, Elsa, more politically engaged than Marius, wants Helen to have the independence as a woman and an artist that society seems to find so dangerous. 
World premiere
by Steve Henderson & Will Chalmus. Director: Keith Langsdale
Performance dates: 7/19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28
Joe Renshaw - 65-70, white. Academic type. Divorced.
Walter Jones - 25-35, black. A teacher and musician.
Lou Rankin - 30s, white. A police officer, big, physically formidable
Walter, a black man, breaks into the home of Joe Renshaw, an older white man, late at night. Walter has fled the scene of an altercation with a white off-duty police officer, during which he took the officer’s gun. It is not the way it seems. As Joe and Walter struggle to establish a fragile d├ętente, Officer Lou Rankin finds the house.. A taut life and death stalemate ensues as the three desperate men struggle to stay alive and to protect their families. Issues of race, trust, responsibility and last straws comprise powerful themes in the story.
DELECTABLE DURANG A Collection of Six Unruly Comedies
By Christopher Durang.  Director: John Reese
Performance dates9/27, 28, 29, 30, 10/4, 5, 6
3 F/ 3 M – various
           The 2018 season will close with the fall presentation of Delectable Durang, a collection of six hilarious and provocative one-act plays by Christopher Durang. The production, directed by John Reese, will be an ‘homage to the theatre‘. The six plays are The Actor’s Nightmare, Women in a Play GroundNina in the MorningFor Whom the Southern Belle TollsOne Minute Play and Medea. Every theatrical element (costume and set changes, etc.) will be in full view of the audience throughout, as six actors function as a mini-repertory company. Reese is seeking skilled and spirited actors capable of portraying a variety of multi-dimensional characters with serious personal issues who fearlessly leap into Durang’s world of comic mayhem with emotional abandon and a bountiful sense of play.
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. 
Hampshire Shakespeare Company
650 E Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

Hampshire Shakespeare Company is currently seeking a Dramaturg, 2 Stage Managers, and a Technical Director for the 2018 summer season of Othello and Twelfth Night and the Young Company production to follow. Please click here for more information on how to apply!

Please send all inquiries to
Happier Valley Comedy presents Be Inspired! Workshop for Beginning/Intermediate Improvisers with Elyse Schuerman
March 10 at 11:30 AM 
104 Russell St., Hadley, MA

Whether you are new to improv or a long-time veteran, the start of a scene can feel challenging. This is very normal considering the wide canvas you are working with. What you choose at the top affects the rest of the scene. Newer improvisers are often overwhelmed with choices and options and have concerns about making the right choices. Veteran improvisers often fall back on the same tools over and over and find their choices getting predictable. In this 2-hour workshop we will address the many options and tools we can choose from and how we can ground ourselves to complete a scene with those choices. 

Prerequisite: Completion of Zen of Improv 2 or the level two equivalent from another comedy school. $30 Fee. 

More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Sound Your Barbaric YUP! Workshop for Intermediate/Advanced Improvisers  with Kristina Smarz
March 10 at 2:30 PM
104 Russell St., Hadley, MA (downstairs)

Do you find yourself struggling to get inspiration for scenes? Are you spending more time trying to be original than you are connecting with your scene partners? Are you finding you play from conflict, frustration, or sometimes just find yourself not having fun?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this workshop is for you! (If you answered no to all of the above, you should probably also take this workshop.) Come discover the joy of saying YES with full commitment and excitement. In this workshop, well explore what saying yes really means, how we can say it more fully, and how we can say it through both words and actions. 

Well explore concepts such as extreme agreement, commitment, inspiration, mirrored-play and work to find the strongest connections possible. Participants will leave with a handful of new tools that can be used in almost any circumstance to give them a new sense of grounding, play and confidence.

Prerequisite: Completion of Zen of Improv 4 or the level 4 equivalent from another comedy school. $40 Fee. 

More information. 
Happier Valley Comedy presents "Creating a Crackerjack Team THROUGH LAUGHTER" Information Session
March 16 at 3:30 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts Downstairs Studio 33 Hawley Street, Northampton

Creating a Crackerjack Team THROUGH LAUGHTER, showcases a new professional development workshop that strengthens and deepens your teams communication and collaborative skills using the tools of improv and experiential training. You'll win two prizes  the excitement of participating in a hands-on, fun, and creative learning experience, and the prize at the bottom of a Crackerjacks box!

$25 Fee. More information.
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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