Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 20, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 September 20 - October 10, 2018

This weekend and next - your first chance to check out the new Arts Trust Flex Space - and listen to brand new plays written and directed and performed by valley theatre makers! Check out the Play by Play festival September 21-23 and 28-30: seven new performances!

The next issue will include events through October 17. 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
Tickets Available Now!
Suggested Donation at the Door: $10-15
from Howlround
Theatre's Part in the Quest to Save Public Land
by Ashley Teague

From the article: 

Making Theatre Off the Grid
My organization, Notch Theatre Company, seeks to engage communities that our brick and mortar theatres are not reaching—connecting in their neighborhoods, in their language, and around the issues that matter to them. Our nation seems stalled in an ever-polarizing inability to engage in productive dialogue, and I believe this requires us artists and cultural workers to find ways of being in proximity to communities with which we might not normally interact. This includes bringing the theatre experience to geographically marginalized and rural communities.

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?
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
Real Live Theatre presents She Kills Monsters
written by Qui Nguyen
directed by Dan Morbyrne
presented by Real Live Theatre and Pauline Productions

Gateway City Arts, Holyoke: Thursday-Saturday, 9/20-22 @ 8pm & Sunday 9/23 @7pm
First Congregational Church, Ashfield: Thursday, 9/27 @ 7:30pm, Friday-Saturday 9/28-29 @8pm & Sunday 9/30 @4pm

TIX: $25 tickets (with $10-$25 sliding scale available as needed),

SHE KILLS MONSTERS is a funny, irreverent, gory, sexy, and surprisingly touching journey into the world of Dungeons & Dragons and the fraught relationship between two sisters. When Agnes finds her dead sister's Dungeon Master notebook, she must join the campaign to save her sister's soul from Tiamat, and kill a ton of monsters along the way. Bugbears, Dark Elves, Demon Queens, Quantum Leap-obsessed devils, and cheerleading succubi, SHE KILLS MONSTERS has something for everyone!
September 20 Through October 21

The Majestic Theater celebrates the launch of its 22nd Season with the opening of “Johnny Guitar” on September 6. The madcap musical, by Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, Martin Silvestri and Joel Higgins, is based on the legendary Joan Crawford cult Western from the 1950s. The play is a send-up of fifties-style acting, melodramatic romance, and rough and tumble cowboy action, set to a doo-wop/country ballad musical score. The story follows what happens to a sultry saloon keeper and her jealous nemesis when a handsome stranger rides into town. Screwball comedy reminiscent of a Mel Brooks spoof is the result.

The cast includes Billy Clark Taylor (Johnny), Myka Plunkett (Vienna), Bethany Fitzgerald (Emma), Michael Morales (Dancin' Kid), Walter Mantani (McIvers), Joe Duda (Turkey), Michael King (Bart), Steven Sands (Eddie) and Michael Garcia (Sam). The play is being directed by Producing Director Danny Eaton, and Mitch Chakour is the music director. Greg Trochlil is set designer, Dawn McKay is costume designer and stage manager is Gary Lamagna. 

Tickets for these shows range from $24-$33 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. Subscriptions are still being accepted for the five Season shows.
For additional information, visit
Arena Civic Theatre presents Annie
9/20 at 7:00pm 9/21 7:00pm, 9/22 2:00pm & 7:00pm, 9/23 2:00pm
Shea Theater Arts Center, Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA

Arena Civic Theatre is pleased to present the Tony Award winning best musical, ANNIE, as its Fall production. Under the Direction of Megan Healey, Music Direction of Anthony Ferreira, Choreography by Sue Dresser and Costumes by Maggie Duprey, this popular children’s musical based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, runs September 20th through 23rd with evening performances Thursday through Saturday at 7pm and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.
After premiering at the Goodspeed Opera House in 1976, Annie became an instant family classic. Depicting real-life situations of the Great Depression, Annie is the story of a lovable little red-haired orphan who outsmarts her greedy orphanage matron, Miss Hannigan, and wins an invitation to stay at billionaire business mogul, Oliver Warbucks’ mansion for Christmas.
Including all the hits you know and love; “Tomorrow,” “Hard Knock Life,” “Fully Dressed” – ANNIE is the premier fall musical event!


Ticket prices for all other performances are:
General Admission $18
Senior/Student(pre K-college) $15

Reserve tickets by calling 413-233-4368

Limited tickets available on WHAI's 30% Off Store while supplies last

The quintessential New England play -- "Our Town"  -- is coming to the quintessential New England Town Hall in Shelburne in mid-September..
The Thornton Wilder play about life in a small town in 1904 will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21, and 22 at Memorial Hall Theater, above Town Hall.
Tickets are $12 matinee tickets are $6.
About 2/3 of the cast and crew are from Shelburne or Shelburne Falls.  Jackie Walsh at Footlights at the Falls chose the show in celebration of Shelburne's 250th anniversary of its founding.
"I wanted to have lots of people from town in it, and I am thrilled with how many people from town came to auditions and were cast," said Jackie Walsh, founder of Footlights and "Our Town" producer.  "It's a really talented cast."
Thornton Wilder wrote the play about a small, New Hampshire town.  It features two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs.  Three acts focus on day-to-day life, marriage and death.
Grovers Corners, very much like Shelburne in 1904, has a milkman delivering milk by horse, a constable walking the streets, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, lots of churches and houses with lots of flowers and vegetable gardens.
Like Shelburne then, people in the play tend to stay put after high school and get married.
Nicole LaRoche of Shelburne is enjoying directing.
"The opportunity to direct this quintessential American play has been such a blessing. Wilder’s words resonate as deeply today as when written and together the cast and I have been discovering what they mean to us in our own town. I am so pleased to be able to share our emotional journey with the community we all love," LaRoche said.

Shelburne residents will see plenty of familiar people in the play, whether its a barista from Mocha Maya's coffee shop, a clerk at the post office, the woman who drives a school bus in the Shelburne hills, a girl who rides the bus, or a runner they see in Shelburne Falls. Nicole LaRoche of Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls is the director.
Walsh began Footlights at the Falls two years ago to bring theater back to Shelburne Falls, which has had little theater since West County Players closed its doors nearly 20 years ago.
So far, the group has put on "Later Life" and "Dixie Swim Club."  This is its first show with a big cast (20 people).
"I'm so happy we can give all these actors an opportunity to do theater right down the street!" Walsh said.  
Anyone interested in ushering or joining the Footlights board of directors, please contact Walsh at 413-625-9413 or
Cultural council grants help fund this production.  They are from Ashfield, Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Charlemont-Hawley, Heath, Rowe, Goshen, Plainfield and Shelburne.
The Northampton Playwrights Lab and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, in association with the Northampton Center for the Arts and A.P.E. Gallery Ltd.  present:
Third festival of readings of new plays performed by local professional actors with INAUGURAL performances in the Arts Trust Building FlexSpace Theatre!
September 21 – 30, 2018
FlexSpace Theatre, Northampton Community Arts Trust Building, 33 Hawley Street, Downtown Northampton
Featuring new plays by playwrights Leanna James Blackwell, Stephanie Carlson, Meryl Cohn, Harley Erdman, Peter Kennedy, Talya Kingston, and Tanyss Rhea Martula
All Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. 
Sunday Sept. 23rd performances at 2 p.m and 3:30 p.m. 
Sunday Sept. 30th at 7:30 p.m
Suggested donation at the door: $10
Week One:
Friday, Sept. 21:  Leanna James Blackwell, NEW SOUL,directed by the playwright
Saturday, Sept. 22: Tanyss Rhea Martula, FRESH AIR, directed by Sam Rush
Sunday, Sept. 23:  Stephanie Carlson, SEA MONSTER, directed by John Bruner
Sunday, Sept. 23:  Talya Kingston, CAMPUS UNREST, directed by Trenda Loftin
There will be a half-hour reception between performances on 9/23
Week Two:
Friday, Sept. 28: Harley Erdman, INSTITUTION, directed by Talya Kingston
Saturday, Sept. 29: Meryl Cohn, ALMOST HOME, directed by Will MacAdams
Sunday, Sept. 30: Peter Kennedy, FAMILY GAME NIGHT, directed by the playwright
The Plays
NEW SOUL by Leanna James Blackwell
A young, mixed-race couple in love in France in the early 1960s. A married couple in urban America at the dawn of the new millennium. Long-buried secrets and a search for a stranger. New Soul is a full-length drama about race, family, religion, love, and the eternal question: what makes us who we are?
FRESH AIR, a letter play by Tanyss Rhea Martula
Two very different families in the 80's participate in a summer program that sends inner city children to the country. What happens? Who benefits? What happens when relationships develop long-term? What happens to the children?
SEAMONSTER by Stephanie Carlson
Jane and Kim are at an awkward stage in their relationship: They're not sure when they're getting in each other's way or getting in their own way.  Internal conflicts come to the fore in this offbeat one-act comedy, as Jane and Kim's inner voices take the stage to banter and bitch. A funny, honest story about creativity, trust, communication ... and seamonsters.
CAMPUS UNREST by Talya Kingston
Mia arrives full of excitement and hope for her Professorship at a prestigious New England College. She soon discovers that while in Britain it was enough for her to lecture about identity politics, in America she is expected to embody her politics. Her partner Kwame finds his place in the burgeoning campus Black Liberation Collective, but Mia is increasingly intimidated by the spectre of the beloved gender studies professor that she is replacing.
INSTITUTION by Harley Erdman
 An academic search committee. A professor who refuses to retire. A case of champagne, and four colleagues with vastly different ideas for the future of their institution. These are the ingredients for a fast-moving, madcap 90-minute play that is a mirror of our times – and full of surprises. 
ALMOST HOME by Meryl Cohn
When Phoebe’s poet partner, Amanda, takes off with a young fan, Phoebe is left with Amanda’s teenaged daughter Jody. Both Phoebe and Jody are outraged at being dumped by Amanda, but is that enough to keep them together as a pseudo-family? Phoebe confronts her past and tries to launch her photography show, while Jody pushes against every boundary she can find. Will the two succeed in their struggle to recreate their relationship without Amanda?  Almost Homeis a drama/comedy about the search for a place to belong. 
FAMILY GAME NIGHT by Peter Kennedy
 On the third Saturday evening of every month, the Mortons gather together for their traditional board game night at Mom and Dad's house. Tonight, however, will be a little different than the usual round of Monopoly or Clue.   What begins with a mildly irritating board game featuring glitter and Grim Reaper hand puppets suddenly turns darker as three generations of the Morton family struggle with articulating wildly different views about their individual end of life (and afterlife) choices.
Join the parade and fill the street
with color, noise, movement & performance!

Saturday, September 22 at 4pm - AmherstWe are the Parade! You are the Parade!

Stepping off from in front of the UMass FAC at 4pm sharp, rain or shine, the parade is lead by members of Double Edge Theatre and the TheatreTruck Clowne Corps!

  • As we follow the route of the XTCA exhibit, we encounter sculptural work by 13 nationally recognized & local artists and members of the academic community.
  • Live performances by Michi Wiancko, Terre Vandale, Katherine Adler, Emma Ayres of Old Flame and more!
  • Artists and community members take over the street - our feet, voices and intentions transforming the corridor between UMass and Amherst, uniting town and gown.

Costumes, balloons and props are encouraged! Come to a flag-making workshop and fly your colors!

MEET at 3:45 in front of the UMASS FINE ARTS CENTER at Haigis Mall!

Learn More

Want to know more? 

The XTCA Art Parade, hosted by the University Museum of Contemporary Art and TheatreTruck, invites all ages to join in the celebration of art and creative expression! Simple acts can produce big effects. By walking together this Saturday we will transform North Pleasant Street and physically enter the conversation about public art and community building.

Beginning at the Fine Art Center, the parade will foster a direct encounter with both the physical environment and the community artists and performers that made this project possible. Departing UMass at 4pm sharp, participants will be led to Amherst's Kendrick Park. We will engage “town” and “gown” by coming together in the streets, experience sculpture & performance along the corridor and celebrate the value of art and culture in building community.


We sincerely hope you'll join us!

XTCA: Cross Town Contemporary Art is an outdoor public art exhibition that seeks to reveal our interconnectedness as citizens and to highlight the gateway district between downtown Amherst and the University of Massachusetts. The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) has partnered with the UMass Architecture Department and the Town of Amherst to build an art and culture bridge– a series of public sculptures–to activate the North Pleasant Street corridor and connect downtown to campus. 


Prior to the parade, UMCA will host free, public flag making workshops led by Rory Valentine in the FAC Atrium from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. All materials will be provided. The participants of this workshop are encouraged to join the parade and carry their flag high.
Learn about the Performers
Silverthorne Theater Company presents DELECTABLE DURANG A Collection of Six Unruly Comedies

September 27, 28, 29 and October 4, 5, 6 at 7:30 PM, September 30 at 2:00 PM
Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main St, Greenfield

This production will be an ‘homage to the theater‘ featuring Durang’s most pungent satirical takes on the world of the stage. The six plays are The Actor’s Nightmare, Women in a Play Ground, Nina in the Morning, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, One Minute Play & Medea. Every theatrical element will be in full view of the audience throughout, as the actors function as a mini-repertory company, 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.

Double Edge Theatre presents 7 Songs of the Refugee, Grenland Friteater of Norway
September 28 and 29 at 8:00 PM
Double Edge Theatre

This September we welcome back Norway's acclaimed Grenland Friteater with two different performances. 7 Songs of the Refugee, created and performed by Geddy Aniksdal and directed by Tor Arne Ursin, will have its United States debut at the Farm after a sold-out run of Geddy Aniksdal’s My Life as a Man in 2016. 

The drama takes us to China twelve hundred years ago to the downfall of the mighty Tang dynasty. We meet the hermit Tu, an old man who is "exiled forever." He fell from a position of high office at the Emperor's court: "It was a misunderstanding: I expressed myself too clearly." Now he is a refugee, living on the few herbs he can find under the snow. In a flashback he remembers his years as a soldier at the front, how he had to leave his family, and the bloody battles he fought.

For tickets.

The HCC Alumni Players
The Phillips Festival 2018

September 29 at 7:30 PM
Leslie Phillips Theater, Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA
Please join us for the PHILLIPS FESTIVAL 2018, a celebration of creativity, friendship and original theater. For the third year, a talented group of HCC alumni, students, and staff, will showcase one-act plays that are produced, script to stage, in just 24 hours ... yes, ONE DAY ... for the delight of the audience and to honor the legacy of Leslie Phillips, founder of the HCC theater department

Facebook event.

Want to join the fun? Contact the HCC Alumni Players at or on the HCC Alumni Players Facebook Page or here.
Double Edge Theatre presents "Mr. Fumblebody," Grenland Friteater of Norway
September 30 at 1:00 PM
Double Edge Theatre

“Mr. Fumblebody” is a performance and a character created and performed by Lars Vik, an experienced Norwegian actor, director and playwright. Fumblebody is inspired by and is a hommage to the great silent movie masters Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin – and to the  French comedian Jaques Tati.

The performance is the story of an ordinary day with Fumblebody at his “Help Agency”. People can call him up to get help in solving all kind of problems. No problem is too little, no problem is too big. The audience will pretty soon understand that Fumblebody himself is the one in need of help.  

”Mr Fumblebody” aims at people from five years and up. It will be performed in english.

For Double Edge tickets

This will also be performed at the Shea Theater Arts Centeron October 8, at 3:00pm
For Shea Theater tickets
JUST BACK from a month of performance at the 2018 FRINGE & much success -
Catch Serious Play Theatre Ensemble's  RETURN FROM THE FRINGE
October 5 and 6,  at 7pm 
Flex Space/A.P.E@Hawley,
Arts Trust building, Northamtpon

Each evening two shows: 
THE RED GUITAR with master guitarist John Sheldon, 
& DO IT NOW: Manual Override with John,Tony Vacca & Paul Richmond 
Both directed by Sheryl Stoodley (one 10 minute intermisson)

Continue your support for the ongoing Serious Play / Edinburgh Fringe Performance Exchange Project

Tickets: $18 at
              $20 at the door

Thank you to this year's Performance Exchange sponsors: BJ Goodwin Fund / NAC, Tanyss & David Martula, Nancy Wheeler, Alyssa Wright Consulting & several anonymous others

 THOMAS GLEISSNER photo credit
Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m.
on the Rand Theater stage, Fine Arts Center, UMass

FREE and OPEN to all, reservations encouraged. Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office online.
Reception to follow

Join UMass Theater for the Kick-Off Celebration set for Oct. 2
We're so thrilled about our upcoming season here at UMass Theater that we're throwing a party!
Join us for our (free!) Season Kick-off Celebration on Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m., in the Rand Theater, located off the FAC Lobby. Book your seats now, at the Fine Arts Center Box Office
We'll give you excerpts of upcoming shows, preview the backstage technical skill that goes into putting a complex production together, and introduce you to some of the main players in the department. 
After the presentation, we hope you join us in the Fine Arts Center Lobby for a reception. The Fine Arts Center Box Office will be open until 7 to process single ticket and subscription orders. Mingle with theater artists as you enjoy appetizers at our reception! Pick up a season sticker! Enter to be one of the lucky few who will win free show tickets or season passes! 
Our 2018-2019 season is going to be a powerhouse, featuring a slate of plays that consider the issues of our day from multiple perspectives, whether it's a futuristic comedy about nearly-extinct white people, a powder-keg drama about race and class, or a wildly relevant play about gender identity written in 1613.

9/25 & 9/26/18 at 6:30PM
UMass Amherst, French Hall, Room 102

QUEER & NOW is a ensemble theater project that fuses physical theater, drag, lip syncing, choreography, and gender play to create an evening of celebration and protest. It features a series of vignettes, devised by and owned by the members of the ensemble, that create a varied queer tapestry of our lived experiences, our questions, our desires, and our possibilities. Premiering on the UMass Amherst campus in Fall 2017 to great audience response, the project will continue this Fall with a brand new installment exploring mythology.

 More information.
Northampton 24 Hour Theater Project presents auditions for Northampton 24 Hour Theater Project
September 29 at 1:00 PM
33 Hawley St. Northampton MA

Announcing auditions for the Northampton 24-Hour Theater Project 2018! 

We will perform five 10-minute plays written, directed, and produced within 24 hours. The focus in our projects is on the playwriting - the scripts are 10-minute plays, not skits, and are performed as written; they are not improvised. 

We’re looking for actors to fill out our company. Actors in the Project work only one day, but it’s a long, arduous, albeit fun, day. You must be able to commit to the date of Saturday, November 3 from 8:00 am to the end of the second show, approx. 11 pm.

We are seeking actors of all types, teen and above. 

Auditions will take place Saturday, September 29, 1-3pm in the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley St.

For questions or further information, please email

Request for Proposals
Eggtooth Productions Radical Interconnectedness Festival

Turners Falls, MA
April 26, 27, 2019

We are seeking proposals from artists to address the concerns of marginalized communities.
We invite stories that engage issues of race, age, gender, religion, economic class, and those aspects of cultural identity that have been suppressed.
We seek a wide range of artistic expression: music, dance, theatrical, visual, immersive, installation.
Commission fee will be $500 and Eggtooth will provide the venue, the audience, and promotions for the work.
Email proposals to:
Deadline is October 31, 2018
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

Starlight's Youth Theatre, Inc.


Turbulent Times Theater

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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