Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 3, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 May 3 - 23, 2018

Valley Gives Day was a huge success for lots of local theatre companies - but don't forget that your favorite organizations are year-round non-profits and will always accept donations. Buy tickets! Volunteer! Donate! 

The next issue will include events through May 30. 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
Using Storytelling and Dance to Transform a Community Space
by Caroline Prugh

From the article: 

I don’t like working on the plays as much as I like going out for dinner after.

It seems fitting the inaugural iteration of Kaimera’s SPACES was in Harlem, the home of many twentieth century cultural innovations. Currently in talks with presenters in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Romania, as well as New Orleans and Oakland in the US, SPACES is on track to become a global endeavor. Between the co-creators of SPACESJonathan CamuzeauxSimón Adinia Hanukai, and Lauren Cox—English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese are spoken. With their SPACES project, Kaimera Productions offers a new piece of place-specific, rather than site-specific, theatre. At the heart of SPACES is a curated performance of a diverse group of local storytellers, inviting its audience to connect with real people in an actual place—an experience theatre is primed to provide in our increasingly digitized world.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews? Check out In the Spotlight, Inc.

Smith College Department of Theatre presents Spring Studio Productions

May 3, 17, 18 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre
Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts
Smith College

written and directed by
Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk ‘18

Linnea and her daughter Heather must navigate a notable shift in their relationship when the progression of Linnea’s Alzheimer’s prompts Heather to take on a maternal role.

RED BIKE by Caridad Svich
directed by Marty Bongfeldt AC ‘19
featuring Alana Young ‘18

What kind of future will you have living in these here United States? Remember when you were eleven years old and you had a bike, one that made you dream about a world bigger than the one in which you live? This is that memory. Except it is now.

Free and open to the public, no reservations


Silverthorne Theater is honored to bring to the stage an important piece of dramatic writing, The Tattooed Man Tells All - a new voice in the telling of the stories of the Holocaust.  New York playwright Peter Wortsman's gripping solo piece, woven from a series of interviews conducted, on a fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, in Vienna in 1975 with witnesses to and survivors of the Holocaust, the scene of Western Civilization's worst excesses.

The play will be performed by Silverthorne Theater Company May 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 pm and May 6 at 2 pm in the Pushkin Studio of Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center of Greenfield, Massachusetts Ellen Kaplan directs Keith Langsdale in this tour-de-force performance. Tickets are available at or on Silverthorne Theater’s web page. 

By condensing these accounts into that of a survivor who is committed to a no-holds-barred retelling, Wortsman gives us a fully fleshed out dramatic character, the Old Man, warts and all, for the audience to come to know. As the playwright says in his introduction, “The interchange[s] recorded on tape [were] painful to revisit...for my interlocutors’ merciless bluntness...[T]he subject of which [the Old Man] speaks has since been loaded with a leaden label, idealized and idolized, riddled with spotlights, torchlit for moral uplift, hagioscopically highlighted with a reverence formerly reserved for the Crucifixion."

The audience becomes the interviewer to whom the Old Man talks, retelling and reliving his time in the camp. "I could be whatever they wanted...melt in...become part of the landscape...or better yet, turn into thin air so they could look right through me."

From his closet comes his camp uniform that quickly assumes a life of its own. The stories weave in and out of the Old Man’s memories and paint a picture both fascinating and horrifying. 

Why now? Now we need to hear and see again what ‘humanity’ is capable of under duress and at its darkest moments. “You can’t just dispose of the past, cut it out like a malignance tumor! It’s still there, it’s still an intimate part of me...” Playwright Peter Wortsman

"I admired The Tattooed Man Tells All. It seems to me you handle both subject and dialogue with just the right degree of passion and distance. [...] Congratulations. I would imagine it is a part one of the best actors would like to take on." The late Arnold Wesker

 For questions and further information, go to, or call 413-768-7514. 
Springfield Technical Community College presents
All Nighters: Original Ten Minute Plays from 24-Hour Theater Festivals

Directed by Phil O'Donoghue
May 3 through May 6 

Playwrights include: Meryl Cohn, Emily Savin, Peter Shelburne, and Phil O'Donoghue. 

Our Saturday night performance is a benefit for the Springfield City Library's Read/Write/Now program. This is a wonderful adult literacy program. We are honored to be donating the proceeds of our performance to them.
Exit 7 Players present Spring Awakening
May 4 & 5 @ 8pm
May 6 @ 2pm

Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut St, Ludlow, MA

Based on Frank Wedekind’s groundbreaking and controversial play (once banned in Germany), Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s brilliant rock score and searingly emotional book take the story of sexual awakening, youth revolt, and self-discovery into a new century. It’s 1891, and grown-ups hold all the cards.

Rated R. Due to mature content, parents are strongly cautioned. Material may not be suitable for young audiences.

May 5 performances will be ASL (American Sign Language) interpreted. Please purchase seats in section 3 for the best viewing of the interpreters.

More info.
Starlight's Youth Theatre is celebrating our 10th Anniversary by performing the production that inspired our mission a decade ago. 

Starlight Express is a rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar). In the story, a child’s train set magically comes to life, and the various engines compete to become the “Fastest Engine in the World!” The underdog, Rusty the steam train, has little chance until he is inspired by the legend of the Starlight Express. This family-friendly production will be a show not to miss - with spectacular lighting, costumes, makeup, video projection and roller skating on the Academy of Music stage! Please come experience "Starlight's Magic" as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary with this entertaining production.

Friday, May 11 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 12 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, May 12 at 7:00 PM
$18.00 Adults
$14.00 Students and Seniors

Tickets available online and at the Academy of Music Box Office.
Three Fundraising Performances for:
Serious Play / Edinburgh Fringe Performance Exchange

An international exchange of compelling performances. Taking work of inspiring Valley performers to the Fringe festival every August, and bringing back bold and authentic work for local audiences.

When & Where:
Saturday May 12, 8PM, Gateway City Arts in Holyoke
& Friday June 1 st, 8PM, Hallie Flanagan Theater, Smith College in Northampton

Tickets: In advance at ($15 Seniors & Students / $18
General Public, $20 at the door )

Time: Each show is 50 mins with an intermission in between
Additional information: email or call 413-588-7439
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents the two shows going to the August 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival: 

John Sheldon’s The Red Guitar directed by Sheryl Stoodley
A virtuoso guitarist, a red Stratocaster, a life in sound

In 2016, The Red Guitar struck the right chord in Scotland, earning a coveted 5-star review with The Herald’s highly respected music reviewer Rob Adams and has been invited to return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. His candy apple red Fender Stratocaster in hand, John takes us on a trip, careening through the rise of guitar music in the nuclear age, from Folk through Blues and Rock, to a vision of the future in which the past is vibrantly alive, a heartfelt yet unsentimental performance. Just when you think you are seeing a deconstruction of popular music, you sense something else taking place, a quickening, an awakening of senses long lost, a reclaiming of sounds you thought were consigned to history. Something unexpected is being made right in front of you, a sound loop sculpture plucking chords of your memory.

John, a master guitarist who played lead in Van Morrison's band at the age of 17, wrote songs for James Taylor, unknowingly drew praise from Jimi Hendrix, and whom Ed Ward of National Public Radio called "One of the great guitarists of our time," uses a unique blend of storytelling, unearthly sounds, and wicked, layered guitar licks, to send us zipping through the folds of time and space, emerging into the light of a simple, transformative melody. John's ironclad belief in the power of sound pervades the whole performance, the conviction that music is not just entertainment, but a soul saving enterprise, worthy of the lifelong commitment he has made to it. His technical skill never overwhelms the story, the poignant, the humorous, the moments of connection, of illumination. The journey continues, setting a course to the center of who we truly are: vibration.

In the same evening, Serious Play also presents:
DO IT NOW: Manual Override directed by Sheryl Stoodley

Three master artists collaborating with a mutual message for change

Danger!! Danger!! Systems are being corrupted or broken. A crash surely lies ahead. No time to waste. We must take back control! Do It Now. Manual Override. Pulling the controls together are John Sheldon on electric guitar, Tony Vacca on all things percussion, and Paul Richmond’s beguiling William S. Burroughs-like spoken word. The trio takes on anything from the mundane envy for a neighbor’s dog to nuclear power posturing to interracial tension, turning them into poetic flashes of text that erupt from a hotbed of music. Non-verbal communications on stage, based in trust and intuition between masters at their craft, creates theatrical moments with authentic music interwoven with Richmond’s text. An evening of food for the mind as well as the soul.
Happier Valley Comedy presents the Happier Valley Comedy Show

Saturday, May 12 at 8:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts (33 Hawley St)

A completely improvised comedy show on the second Saturday of every month! May's show features our guests ImprovBoston's Musical Improv Company, and the Ha-Has performing their signature form "Shrink: Where Frued Meets Funny."

At The Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton. Doors open at 7:30pm, tickets are $13 at the door.

More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents More Improv More Better Showcase and Jam
Saturday, May 12 at 10:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts (33 Hawley St)

The "More Improv, More Better Jam & Showcase" is an open improv jam and short performance.
Play improv games lead by a Happier Valley Comedy School Jam Leader and watch a short improvised set featuring Josie's Magical Flute! Takes place directly after the Happier Valley Comedy Show. Come watch, come laugh, come play!

More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
Saturday, May 19 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum (125 W. Bay Rd, Amherst)

A high-energy, interactive comedy show for the whole family! Come shout out suggestions, or even join us onstage, and we'll create the entire show on the spot. The third Saturday of every month at 3pm at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. (Audience members are not required to pay museum admission to see the show.

More information.
Arena Civic Theatre presents an evening of One Acts
Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 PM
Montague Common Hall

Join us for an evening of one-acts spotlighting  local artists!


No DeLorean, by Stephen Fruchtman

Behind Closed Doors, by Hannah St. Jean

2082, by Izzy Salant

Savage The Musical (selections),  by Nicolette Blount and Lindel Hart and music by Nicolette Blount and John Waynelovich

Tickets $10 
Available at the door
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

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation is accepting applications from emerging directors and choreographers for paid opportunities to observe the work of master directors and choreographers as they create productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and at leading regional theaters across the country.

Through the program, SDCF Observers may have access to the entire rehearsal process, from first rehearsal through opening night. Observers also will have the invaluable opportunity to observe first-hand the techniques, disciplines, approaches, and insights of master artists as they create new productions and revive classics. 

Each observer receives a weekly stipend of at least $250 as well as a project travel stipend. 

Anyone with serious interest in pursuing a career in directing and/or choreography may apply to the Observership program. A $25 application fee is required to apply for those unaffiliated with SDC. Any observer who is not already a member of SDC will be awarded a free, one-year SDC associate membership.

See the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Link to Complete RFP
Springfield College Theater hiring a Technical Direction/Scenic Designer
Springfield College Fuller Arts Center and scenic shop
Beginning Fall 2018

Provide technical direction and scenic design for Springfield College Theater, supervised and directed by Prof. Martin Shell.  We produce one play each semester.

Fee per show. Applicants with an MA or MFA may also apply to instruct a stage production course as an adjunct. TD does not require the grad degree, but please provide your resume of experience.

The Northampton Arts Council's ArtsEZ 2018 Grant Round has a deadline of May 18, 2018 Individuals as well as schools and arts organizations are encouraged to seek funding for creative projects to be held in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. The grants are funded by the proceeds from the Arts Council’s signature events: The Silver Chord Bowl, Transperformance, and First Night. The Arts Council will award up to $20,000 in grants to local artists and arts groups. Grants will be awarded in the following categories: dance, film/video, literature, mixed media, music, schools, theater, and visual arts. Individual artists and arts organizations will receive equal consideration for grants. Last spring, the Council awarded $18,000 to 34 recipients with grants ranging from $250-$1,000.     
To apply, please complete the ArtsEZ Spring 2018 Online-Only Application Form. It is a simple form with short questions, a place to upload supporting materials and a required project budget. Only one grant application per person or organization will be considered.  Please carefully review the Arts EZ Spring 2018 guidelines for criteria and eligibility requirements. Guidelines are available on our website.

Projects must start no earlier than July 1, 2018, and must be completed by June 30, 2019. This local round of funding would not have been possible without the support of numerous local businesses, arts organizations, and artists that have helped make our fundraising efforts such a huge success. To read our guidelines, or download a practice application, visit our website.

Contact Brian Foote with grant questions or 413-587-1069.
West Springfield, MA (4/30/18) – Auditions for both Equity and non-Equity performers for roles in the upcoming 2018-2019 Season will be held at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater in June according to Producing Director Danny Eaton.  This will be the 22th Season since the Majestic was re-opened for live theater in March 1997.

Equity performers will be scheduled to audition June 4 & 5; non-Equity performers will be scheduled to audition June 6, 7, 8 & 9. Both Equity and non-Equity performers are encouraged to apply. The specific hours are:

Monday, June 4: 10am – 6pm
Tuesday, June 5: 10am - 6pm

Wednesday, June 6: 6-10:30pm
Thursday, June 7: 6-10:30pm
Friday, June 8: 6-10:30pm
Saturday, June 9: 10am - 3pm

Actors will be auditioned for parts in the following productions: “Johnny Guitar” (September 6 – October 21, 2018), “The War and Walt Whipple” (November 1 – December 9, 2018), “The Mountaintop” (January 3 – February 10, 2019), “Boeing-Boeing” (February 21 – March 31, 2019) and “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (April 11 – May 26, 2019).

Equity auditions are scheduled in five minute time slots and participants must prepare a monologue. If auditioning for a musical, performers must bring sheet music of their choice. An accompanist will be present. Equity performers may be asked to stay longer, if time permits, and read from prepared script selections.

Non-Equity auditions are scheduled in 10 minute time slots. Non-Equity performers new to the Majestic should prepare a monologue of their choice and, if singing, bring an instrumental CD accompaniment as well as a picture and resume. They will also be asked to read from prepared script selections.

To book an audition, call the Majestic Theater at 413.747.7797.
Heidi Haas - 2 Improv workshops for families

Fridays May 4 and May 18

They will be held at the Florence Civic Center next to Lilly Library from 4:00-6:00.

All ages and abilities are encouraged to join the fun. It’s a great opportunity for people who want to play and try out improv.

The cost is $25 per family for each workshop. Any questions, contact me at 413-584-5562 or email me at

We are psyched to launch five brand new summer workshops for theatre makers of all backgrounds, interests, and levels of experience.

All workshops are led by RLT members and educators and will take place at the North Star Building on Route 116 in Sunderland, MA. Join us for any or all of these fabulous afternoons - discounts are available for those interested in more than one!

Saturday July 21st 1-4 PM: Theater Making with a Conscience with Ellen Morbyrne

Saturday July 28th 1-4 PM: Rooting and Rising: Cultivating Community and Championing the Creative Spirit with Angelica Polk and Julissa Rodriguez

Saturday August 4th 1-4 PM: The Art of the Director with Toby Vera Bercovici

Saturday August 11th 12-4 PM: Choreographing Intimacy with Toby Vera Bercovici and Ellen Morbyrne

Saturday August 25th 1-4 PM: Instigating Hope and Change Through Theater with Ezekiel Baskin and Trenda Loftin

CLICK HERE for more information on each workshop, our educators, and how to register! Feel free to email with any questions.
3 unique workshops as part of the 27th Annual KO FESTIVAL OF PERFORMANCE, held each summer on the beautiful Amherst College campus in Amherst, Massachusetts. Join us for one or more of our 6-day intensives, led by expert teachers, who are adept at gearing their classes for multiple levels of experience. 

July 9 - 14, 2018
An Embodied Approach to Voice, Text & Sound Design for the Theatre
with RICHARD NEWMAN, Co-Artistic Director of The Hinterlands (Detroit)

July 16 - 21, 2018
Crafting Your Story for Performance
with Gerard Stropnicky, Co-Founder Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble (PA)

July 30 - August 4, 2018
with Helen Stoltzfus of Black Swan Arts & Media (San Francisco)

All classes meet from 10 am - 4 pm on the Amherst College campus.

More information.
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