Thursday, June 7, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 7, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 June 7 - 27, 2018

It feels like summer is really here, doesn't it? Nice warm days, nice cool nights, not too humid yet - and my farm share starts today! And look, a nice fresh crop of summer theatre - check out Chris Rohmann's article on what he's looking forward to seeing here. You might want to mark your calendar for some of these. 

The next issue will include events through July 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 The New York Times
Ding. Hiss. Chirp. Broadway's Best Sounds (Other Than the Songs)
by Michael Paulson

From the article: 

What kind of noise does a wand make? How about an angel?

In 2014, Tony Awards administrators eliminated sound design as a contest category, arguing that too few voters understood the craft well enough to judge it. But an outcry ensued, and this year, the category is back, with a twist — only about half of the 841 voters, those deemed expert enough, will be allowed to vote.

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.
Pauline Productions Presents 
I AM MY OWN WIFE by Doug Wright

Thurs.  June 7 at 7pm
Fri.       June 8 at 8pm
Sat       June 9 at 8pm
First Congregational Church of Ashfield 429 main St. (Route 116)

Rylan Morsbach who wowed audiences with his one-man performance of Scaramouche  Jones (2010) returns to Ashfield to perform in Pauline Productions’ ( I Am My Own Wife by playwright Doug Wright.  This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning modern classic tells the fascinating true life story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, born Lothar Berfelde, who remarkably survived both Nazi Germany and Soviet controlled Berlin as a transgender woman. Actor Rylan Morsbach portrays over 30 characters in this tour-de-force performance as we follow the many threads that make up Charlotte's life. 

“An experience that is intellectual, theatrical, funny, and poignant…without forgiveness and sentiment [it] unravels the story of one life."

(until 2 hrs before show) $18 Student, $22 General and At Door ($3 more, cash or check).
Stageloft Repertory Theater
450A Main Street, Sturbridge MA presents THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.  

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score, as well as new songs by Menken and Schwartz. Peter Parnell’s new book embraces story theatre and features verbatim passages from Hugo’s gothic novel.  

Performances are June 8 through June 24, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 2PM.  This production is directed by Kevin McGerigle, music direction by Virginia Bailey, choreography by Jackie McGerigle. Tickets are $20 adults, $17 seniors/students/military, $10 youth.  Groups rates available. For tickets call 508-347-9005 or visit

The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be "Out There," observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

Ghost Light Theatre Tony Awards Viewing Party
June 10 at 8:00 PM
Gateway City Arts

Join Ghost Light Theater and GCA as we cheer on The Tony Awards 2018 on our big screen in the HUB.

Who will it be? SpongeBob? Harry Potter? Mean Girls? You'll have to join us for the verdict!

GLT will be conducting a raffle and the winner will win tickets to see a broadway show!

Vitek will be BBQing in the beer garden, the food will be pay by the plate starting at 6pm.

Doors to the HUB will not be open until 7:15
Facebook event.
Wilbraham United Players presents BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
June 15, 16, 22, 23 at 7:30PM, June 23 at 10:30AM also, June 24 at 2:30PM
Minnechaug Regional High School Auditorium, 621 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA 01095

Wilbraham United Players Production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast will be held in the Auditorium at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham. MA. Tickets are $25 for premium seats, $20 for regular seating. ALL SEATS ARE RESERVED. $5.00 discount for Students and Seniors. Tickets can be purchased through players website.

Facebook event can be found here.
Eggtooth Productions is proud to remount their sold out immersive theater production of: 
Deus Ex Machina by John Bechtold 

June 20-24th 
at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls, MA 
We offer two shows each night at 7 pm and 8:30 pm for five nights only with a limit of 250 participants total. Tickets are $25:


For the uninitiated, what is immersive theater? Immersive theater is a brand of performance that puts the audience directly into the world of the show, often in non-traditional spaces and with a higher level of agency than a conventional performance. Unlike "audience participation" moments in more traditional theater, immersive theater audiences are not put on the spot for entertainment purposes so much as invited into the show's universe, where meaningful connections between characters and audience begin to take form. 

In Deus Ex Machina, audience members will be invited to explore the many corners of the historic Shea Theater, which has been a home for 1920's vaudeville troupes, a controversial 1970's commune called the Renaissance Community, and much more. Though a carefully-curated experience, they will get the chance to play with the ghosts of the building in exciting and sometimes unexpected ways. 

Indeed, the star of the show is the Shea Theatre, a venue with a long and wondrously checkered past. Denis Shea opened the theatre on Valentines Day 1927. The stage was the home for amateur theater productions put on by such groups as the American Legion Auxiliary, the Rotary Club, and the Turners High School. Mr. Shea also brought in occasional vaudeville shows. He died in 1945 and his family sold the theatre two years later. It continued to operate under various owners until 1956. The Shea then remained dark except for a short time in 1963-64.

In 1973, the Renaissance Community bought the Shea and used it as a recording studio and site for their religious activities under the leadership of Michael “Rapunzel” Metelica. In 1986, they sold it to the Franklin County Community Development Corp, who launched the restoration project whereupon the town of Montague bought the property. Most recently, in 2015, a new board of directors took on the lease and restored the building to once again become an active and vibrant community cultural center.

The cast of Deus Ex Machina includes Eggtooth regulars and a few new performers: Linda Tardif, Marina Goldman, Reynolds Whalen, Katie Spurgin, Atticus Belmonte, Enzo Belmonte, Pax Belmonte, Amelia Chalfant, Jack Golden, Katherine Adler, Monte Belmonte, Lindel Hart, Lori Holmes Clark, Michayla Robertson-Pine, Emma Ayres, Troy Mercier, Emily Pritchard, Matt Ferrari, Joe Dulude, Deb Banks, and Julia Whalen.

South African playwright Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, has been called “a penetrating study of the role of the artist in any society.”  Silverthorne Theater continues its exploration of the function of art with this piece that runs June 21-30 at the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield.
The Play
The play is based on the true story of an aging Afrikaaner woman, Helen Martins, whose evocative sculptures transformed the yard of her house in her isolated community into “a visionary environment”, assaulting the sensibilities of her conservative Dutch Reformed neighbors and causing them to doubt her sanity. Her home became known as “The Owl House” for her frequent depictions of owls in addition to a variety of human figures. The Mecca in the title does not have a religious implication but instead reflects Miss Helen’s fascination with the eastern culture that resulted in her having the statues all facing East.
Fugard is best known for his plays dealing with the evils of apartheid, but here he brings together two social & political opposites from white South Africa who each consider themself Miss Helen’s friend and take a strong interest in her welfare according to their own conflicting views about artistic creativity & the challenges of aging. Fugard himself had a home in remote Nieu Bethesda, Miss Helen’s community, and loved the stark beauty of the Karoo desert setting. The play won the 1988 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and was hailed "[T]he author's most personal play to date, an essential Rosetta stone for the entire canon." - The New York Times.
The People
Silverthorne’s production is directed by Rebecca Daniels and features veteran actors Jeannine Haas as Miss Helen, Chris Devine as Pastor Marius, and Mo Mosley as Miss Helen’s young friend, Elsa.. A native of South Africa herself, Mosley speaks Afrikaans and will serve as dialect coach for the other actors.  
Former NMH instructor Ted Thornton serves as dramaturg, contextualizing for the cast and audience the nature of Afrikaaner culture in the 1970s setting of the play. The Company has engaged professional designer Molly Hall to create the magical environment of Miss Helen’s home that so expresses her unique artistic gift.  
Production Details
Tickets for the play may be purchased online through or by calling the Silverthorne Box Office at 413-768-7514. Discounted tickets will be available as of June 1 at World Eye Bookstore in Greenfield and Broadside Books in Northampton.  Performances are scheduled for June 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 pm with a matinee on Sunday, June 24, at 2 pm. The fourth floor space at Hawks & Reed at 289 Main St, Greenfield, is air conditioned and fully handicapped accessible.
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
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:

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.
St. Michael's Players of East Longmeadow Auditions for A Christmas Story, the Musical
June 7 at 6:00 PM
St. Michaels' Community Center, 53 Somers Road East Longmeadow

Auditions for ages 7-12 begin at 6PM; ages 13-adult at 7:30PM.Please choose ONE night to attend. Tap experience is a plus! Callbacks June 13th. Show runs November 15-18. Please use this link for further information and printable audition forms.

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 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
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.

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.
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