Friday, November 23, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 22, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 November 22  - December 12, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving. Just a quick reminder, while we are counting all the things we have to be grateful for this year, that Giving Tuesday is on Tuesday. Take a moment to tell your favorite theatre company how much you appreciate them - and if you can, send them a donation as well. Scroll to the bottom if you need a reminder about all the wonderful companies we have in the valley. 

I'm feeling grateful to you - of course. Thanks for reading the newsletter. Thanks for submitting. You can always join the PVT Personnel list - and check it if you are looking to reach out to hire people you don't always work with! If you want to support the Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter, consider taking out an ad to promote your upcoming shows - ads are just $5 /week. Listings will always be free!

The next issue will include events through December 19. 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
Who Designs and Directs in LORT Theatre by Gender
by Porsche McGovern

From the article: 

I first published this study in 2015, hoping to provide a baseline on gender of designers in League of Resident Theatre (LORT) Theatres. This article and the accompanying charts are the result of the last five years of collecting, confirming whenever possible, and analyzing the data. The chart in the original study looked at the 2009-2010 through 2013-2014 seasons, whereas these represent 2012-2013 through 2016-2017. Overall, there is very little change between each five-season set of the statistics (there are two seasons shared between them)—rarely more than a percentage or two. The biggest change is that in the first study, female lighting designers held 13.7 percent of the positions, and in this latest study, they held 17.1 percent. This is the largest growth. Overall, women held 28.2 percent of all design positions in my first study, and hold 29 percent in this latest one. 

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
Premiere Production of Latest Play Written by Majestic’s Producing Director Danny Eaton

“The War and Walt Whipple,” a comedy/drama written by Danny Eaton, makes its debut at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater November 1 – December 9. Eaton is the producing director at the Majestic.

The play, based on events in Eaton’s family history, tells the story of Walt and Alice Whipple, parents to four sons. When World War II erupts, three of the sons immediately join the services, but before shipping out, each marries and sends their wives to the Whipple family homestead for the duration of the war. The arrival of three daughters-in-law, following a lifetime raising sons, challenges Walt on many levels.

I was inspired to write this play because I wanted my children and grandchildren, who are generationally removed, to better understand the life my parents and my grandparents led,” said Eaton. “World War II was a time of common purpose in America, and those families who endured such hardships deserve to be remembered and honored. It was a great experience for me, as one of three survivors of my generation, to look back into my family's history and to bring life to it. My dad was the story teller in the family, and I hope this play not only carries on that tradition, but maybe even inspires a few people to reach back into their own lives.”

The War and Walt Whipple” features several actors who have appeared in previous Majestic plays including J. T. Waite, Sue Dziura, Ron Komora, Tom Dahl, Margaret Streeter and Mark Dean. They join other cast members including Katie Mack, Jami Wilson, Jordan Reed, Chris Rojas, Joshua True and Cliff Blake.

Eaton will direct the play, and set design is by Greg Trochlil. Dawn McKay is costume designer, Dan Rist is lighting designer and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.

Tickets range from $24-$34 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.
UMass Amherst Department of Theater presents WHAT OF THE NIGHT
By María Irene Fornés
Directed by Vishnupad Barve
Nov. 29 & 30, Dec. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m. | Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
The Curtain Theater

This November, the UMass Department of Theater will honor the legacy of Cuban-born American playwright, María Irene Fornés, with a production of her Pulitzer Prize-finalist play, What of the Night? The collection of these four plays, directed by MFA graduate student in directing Vishupad Barve, spans several generations moving through to a dystopian future and features a family of characters who live on the fringes of society, desperately poor and scrambling to eke out a living under harsh conditions. 
Though the quartet focuses heavily on the violence we enact on each other when our basic needs for survival aren't being met, there's a persistent thread of hope running throughout the work. Fornés' characters strive for more than mere survival, seeking connection and community and challenging the audience to see beyond the signifiers of class to recognize their full humanity.
"Fornés presents some deeply flawed, but authentically human characters in this piece. She depicts their struggles without eliciting pity from us, but rather gives us space to critically examine the world they are navigating. It speaks to the way we treat each other and move through the world," says What of the Night? dramaturg Shaila Schmidt.
María Irene Fornés, who recently passed away, will always be remembered as a visionary force in the American theater who continually pushed the boundaries of creative expression. Her work, often sparse in language and boldly character-driven, has influenced generations of playwrights and artists over the years. Help us celebrate the generous and creative spirit of one of the greatest hearts and minds of the American theater. Come join us for a truly powerful night of theater with What of the Night?, running Nov. 29 — Dec. 8.
$5 students and seniors, $15 general admission, reservations encouraged. Call 1-800-999-UMAS or visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office online.
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents 


Written and directed by Marty Bongfeldt
Thursday, November 29 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

Tali has finally resorted to therapy to figure out how to change her life; but is changing her life at this point really an option? Sometimes figuring out where you are means discovering where you’ve been … all along.

Free and open to the public

Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents 

"I'ma Be My Own Sun" and "Dumb House"

Two One-Acts written and directed by Andrea Hairston

Friday, November 30 at 7:30 PM 
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

Free and open to the public.

Shakespeare Stage presents Twelfth Night (Or What You Will)
11/30/18 at 7:30 PM, 12/1/18 @ 7:30PM; 12/2/18 @ 6:30PM
Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley Street

Shakespeare Stage presents TWELFTH NIGHT (Or What You Will)
Love. Trickery. Mistaken identity. Join us for a classic retelling of one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies. Through laughter, music, and a fair bit of pranking, once again, love conquers all. 
Performed in the Flex Space at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley.
Friday, November 30th at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 1st at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 2nd at 6:30pm
Tickets $15.00 cash or check at the door. 
Email for reservations and more information.

Facebook event.
Smith College Department of Theatre presents Studio Productions
FAR AWAY by Caryl Churchill

Directed by Gabby Farrah
December 6, 8 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre 

Confronting our deepest fears, Caryl Churchill's extraordinary play depicts a chilling world where everyone is at war, and not even the birds and trees can be trusted.

Free and open to the public.

Springfield Technical Community College presents Removing the Glove
December 6 at 11:00 AM, December 7 and 8 at 7:00 PM 
Springfield Technical Community College, Scibelli Hall Theater

The Springfield Technical Community College Theater Workshop will perform two plays, back-to-back. “Some Prepared Remarks,” a one-man show written by Jason Gray Platt that covers a man’s life in seven short speeches, and the satire “Removing the Glove,” about coming out … as a left-hander. 
On Dec 6th, the STCC GLBTA Club will host a panel discussion afterward. 
On Dec 7th, Theater-goers can pay to see the plays or, for an additional charge, enjoy a pre-performance meal on the 7th floor of Scibelli Hall. The cost of the special dinner and show package for the Dec. 7 evening performance is $30 or $25 for students. Theater-goers not interested in the meal can pay the regular ticket price to see the plays. 
On Dec 8th, the performance is a benefit for the Enlaces House of Colors, Holyoke’s first and only LGBTQ health and resource center, designed by and for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The resource center is run by the nonprofit family resource organization Enlace de Familias, of Holyoke. 

More information.
Smith College Department of Theatre
Senior Collaboration Capstone Presentation

December 7 and 9 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Two performances by senior theatre majors. 

From Will to Women explores the narration of the women of Shakespeare. The show acts to give power back to the female characters in Shakespeare’s work who have previously been used as collateral damage in the lives of the leading male characters.

Free and open to the public.
Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts
The House of Bernarda Alba

12/6 & 12/7 & 12/8 at 7:30 pm and 12/9 at 2:00 pm
Rooke Theatre

After her husband's death, iron-fisted Bernarda imposes an eight-year mourning period on her daughters, trapping them in a claustrophic house teeming with jealousy and repressed desire under the burning Spanish sun.
QUEER & NOW: Sync or Swim
12/6 at 7:30 pm, 12/7 at 7:30pm, 12/7 at 10:00pm, 12/8 at 10:00pm
UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center, Arts Bridge, Room 434

QUEER & NOW is a devised physical theater project that fuses drag, lip syncing, choreography, and gender play to create an evening of celebration and protest. Sync or Swim is the second installment of the series, combining ancient world mythologies with contemporary pop music to create a tapestry of our impending new queer world. From fresh takes on Mami Wata and Demeter, to Narcissus and the Selkies, QUEER & NOW: Sync or Swim embraces our possible future through queering the past.

This event was made possible (in part) by grants from the UMass Arts Council and the Commonwealth Honors College.



 The Holiday Season is not complete without the re-telling of the Dickens’ classic Christmas story.  Silverthorne Theater Company’s 1930s radio adaptation of the familiar tale, A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play, was a terrific hit in 2016, and this year will once again be playing in three different Franklin County locations the weekend of December 8-9.  At NEPR’s upcoming fundraiser, Jazz, Baby! at the Hotel Northampton on December 1,  STC will perform a short scene from the show in the Wiggins Tavern!

Director John Reese has revised the 2016 script adapted from an original full-length play he penned with Linda McInerney and Michael Haley. The 2018 version has retained the original 2016 cast and presents a 1930s live radio broadcast, complete with six actors gathered around standing microphones voicing multiple characters – 33 in all.  Haley anchors the performance as Scrooge, joined by Joan Haley, David Rowland, Sharon Weyers, Ann Steinhauser and John Reese, with Marvin Shedd providing narration.

Sound effects genius John Iverson recreate the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks!

As Reese says, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human.  It engages and delight the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.”

Specifically designed to be family-friendly, A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play will be performed in three venues:

·      Saturday, December 8 at 7 pm at Centennial House (94 Main St, Northfield – part of Northfield’s Special Day Celebration)

·      Sunday,  December 9 at  2 pm in the Perch at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (289 Main Street, Greenfield)

·      Sunday, December 9 at 7 pm at The Deerfield Inn (81 Old Main Street, Deerfield)

Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 for students/seniors; $35 maximum per family. Seating is limited; tickets may be ordered online at or by calling 413-768-7514. Details at

Exit 7 Players presents Avenue Q Auditions
December 9 and 10, 7pm and Callbacks if needed are on December 12 at 7pm
Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA 01056

Director: Christina Climo
Music Director: Dan Monte
Choreographer: Kelsey Collis
Stage Manager: Bruce Torrey
Producers: Rebecca Johnson, Jami Wilson

Audition Dates:
Sunday, December 9th at 7pm
Monday, December 10th at 7pm
Callbacks (if needed) will be held on Wednesday, December 12th at 7pm 

You must be age 18+ by first rehearsal (Feb 11).  

What to expect for auditions:
Please bring (or fill out) an audition form, your theatrical resume, and a recent photo or headshot.

If you need a copy of the sheet music for yourself, please bring your own copy. The pianist will have the accompaniment to each piece.
No acapella or backing tracks. An accompanist will be provided.
Please bring comfortable clothing and shoes for movement auditions.
The auditions will consist of a vocal audition, a movement audition, and cold readings for certain parts from the script.
Experience with puppetry is not required.
If you cannot make the audition dates listed or have questions, please email the director Christina Climo at

Audition Forms and Sheet Music are available on the following link:

General Schedule:

Rehearsals will be on Sundays 2-7pm (mostly 2-6pm), Mondays 7-10pm, and Wednesdays 7-10pm starting Monday, February 11. Tech week is Saturday, April 20 - Thursday, April 25 (with the exception of Sunday, April 21 as it is Easter Sunday). Tech week and all performances are required for casting.

Performance Dates:
April 26, 27, 28, May 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12. Fridays and Saturdays are 8pm performances, Sundays are at 2pm.

Winner of the Tony Triple Crown for Best Musical (beating out Wicked), Best Score, and Best Book, the hilarious Avenue Q tells the timeless story of a recent college graduate trying to find his way in the world. Set in New York City all the way out on Avenue Q (he couldn’t afford anything better), we are introduced to fresh-faced Princeton as he struggles to find his purpose: meeting friends, finding love, losing love, and finding it again, along the way. Inspired by the beloved children’s show Sesame Street, Avenue Q creates a puppet-filled world that is a little more reflective of the difficult, R-rated realities that we face when we learn that real life isn’t as simple as we dreamed it might be – but perhaps, suggests Avenue Q, life is all the more colorful and worthwhile for it.

Note: despite featuring puppets, Avenue Q is R-rated, featuring adult topics, offensive language, and an onstage portrayal of puppet sex.

Principal characters details and vocal ranges listed here. 
Ensemble: additional ensemble members will be added for partners to Nicky, Trekkie, and Mrs. T in addition to box puppets and other various puppet appearances. These ensemble members can be from an age group, any vocal range, and gender.

*Only people of color will be considered for the roles of Christmas Eve and Gary Coleman. Christmas Eve is from Japan and Gary Coleman is the famous actor from Different Strokes.

Note about ages of characters: while the ages listed are from MTI’s website, actors do not necessarily need to reflect the character’s age.

There is also flexibility with the gender of roles, meaning the characters are the gender listed but if someone is of a different gender and wishes to audition for the role, they will be considered.

Audition Songs:

Please use the following songs when auditioning for various roles, you should plan to prepare the ENTIRE song unless otherwise noted. You should also sing in the correct character voice for your character (if they have one). If you wish to audition for more than one character, please choose ONE of the songs but be sure to indicate on your audition form the multiple parts you wish us to consider you for. Sheet music is linked and karaoke backing tracks (to practice with) are also attached. You can also do a quick youtube search and find all of the songs on that as well for reference.

Princeton: Purpose

Kate Monster: There’s A Fine, Fine Line

Rod: My Girlfriend Who Lives In Canada

Nicky: If You Were Gay

Trekkie Monster: The Internet Is For Porn (m. 1-32, sing Kate’s part as well in Trekkie’s voice)

Brian: I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today (whole song), There is Life Outside Your Apartment (m. 1B-21)

Christmas Eve: The More You Ruv Someone

Gary Coleman: Schadenfreude (m. 1-41)

Lucy: Special

Bad Idea Bears/Ensemble: Avenue Q Theme (sing melody line, whole song)

Theater Manager, Academy of Music Theatre

Full Time

Reports to Executive Director

The Academy of Music Theatre, an 803 seat performing arts center, located in beautiful downtown Northampton, Massachusetts, seeks a Theater Manager who will ensure quality customer service and the smooth and effective operation of the theater during productions and other events. This individual is responsible for recruiting, training and supervising customer service staff, including house managers, concessions workers, and volunteers, and also oversees the activities of third-party vendors (e.g., caterers) who participate in supporting productions. The Academy is a fast growing non-profit. Applicants with the following experience and skills preferred:

Front-of-House Responsibilities:

· Provide appropriate house management for all rehearsals, performances and events, including development events

· Oversee all front of house staff and volunteers, including recruitment, hiring, scheduling

· Work closely with backstage staff to ensure a timely start to performances

· Assist Development Committee and Executive Director with development and community events planning

· Ensure that front-of-house staff follow proper procedures as established by the theater’s board and management to maintain guest safety and comfort

· Serve as the point person for handling any situations that arise with guests immediately before, during and immediately after performances.

· Supervise the maintenance and cleaning of public spaces, including the main theater seating area, lavatories, lobby and lounge, heating and cooling systems

· Supervise Box Office

· Arrange building maintenance with Central Services or outside vendors

· Tracking rental charges and fees and providing invoice for renters

Concessions Responsibilities

  • Coordinate concession and merchandise displays in the concession area
  • Manage vendors associated with concessions
  • Maintain concession inventory and reports
  • Apply for permits and licenses associated with concessions and vendor activities (e.g., liquor licenses, raffle permits)

Volunteer responsibilities

  • Recruiting, coordinating and training all front-of-house volunteers, including ticket takers, ushers, hosts, or reception workers
  • Communicating opportunities to existing volunteers
  • Providing proper supervision for volunteers at events at the theater
  • Coordinating any artwork, seasonal decorations or advertisement on display


· Poster displays

· Marquee

· Assist marketing manager with e-newsletter address additions and editing

· Zip code collections

Any other tasks assigned by Executive Director

  • B.A. in related field
  • Strong knowledge of theater, performing arts and film and experience working in theater or a related field
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and responsibilities
  • Customer service skills and experience
  • Ability to manage staff effectively
  • Strong familiarity with computer software, including word-processing, Excel spreadsheets, email, and Webmail. Knowledge of Mailchimp helpful.
  • Physical ability to lift and carry boxes, equipment and supplies up to 30 lbs.
  • Physical ability to be on one’s feet for extended periods of time and to climb stairs to access balcony areas.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends on a flexible schedule as required.
  • Certified in first aid procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) preferred
  • ServSafe or TIPS certification will be required upon employment

How To Apply:
Send cover letter, résumé and three references by December 20th to Executive Director, Debra J’Anthony at or mail to Academy of Music, 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060. No phone calls please.

Apply by:
December 20, 2018
About this Organization:
The Academy of Music Theatre is an 803 seat non-profit performing arts center located in the beautiful college town of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Intro To Musical Improv
December 1, January 5, and February 2 at 11:00 AM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Introducing Happier Valley Comedy's FIRST Improv Musical Class!
Are you an improviser who wants to expand your skills into the exciting world of musical improv?
Are you a confident singer who wants to learn how to make up songs on the spot?
Are you terrified by the idea of improvised singing on stage?

If any of the above are you, join us for Intro to Musical Improv with instructor Jeff Kimball! We'll explore musical improv from the ground up in a fun and positive environment where every student feels safe taking risks and trying something new.
No matter what your previous musical experience is, you can do musical improv!

Topics include:
Song Structure & Rhyming - How to make your improvised music sound like a real song!
Connecting to Character via Music - How & why does music make us feel all the feels, and how can we use that to do better improv with or without music?
Scene-to-Song - Learning to navigate that moment when your character feels so strongly, they just have to SING!

Over three 3-hour sessions, we'll start with the basic building blocks and build to full organic musical scene work. 
Classes will include skills & activities that you can use to practice and perform, with or without a pianist. 

Prerequisite: Completion of Zen of Improv 3 or 
equivalent long form experience from another comedy school.
Students are expected to attend all three meetings of this class in order to get credit to proceed to the next level of your musical improv studies.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Healing Anxiety Through Laughter
December 1 at 1:30 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

A recent pilot study published in the Journal of Mental Health found that even brief intervention using improv exercises may provide "a strong and efficient treatment for patients with anxiety and depression." This experiential and fun-forward personal growth workshop uses easy-to-learn improv exercises to provide you with an opportunity to learn and practice a new vocabulary to kick to the curb the darn voices of fear, doubt, and judgement inside all of us. Using a series of accessible, non-performance improv exercises, we will sharpen the tools of insight, reframing negative thoughts, disempowering fear, and choosing laughter and play to shift from anxiety towards discovering the positive in everything. All exercises are voluntary and performed in a circle or pairs; participants are never “on stage.” Your facilitators are pros at making sure all people along the introvert-extrovert spectrum feel successful, learn a lot, and have a blast with this THROUGH LAUGHTER workshop. Side effects of participation may include giggles, guffaws, internal delight, joy, and ease. 

No improv (or any other) experience necessary.
Despite what your inner critic may be whispering, YOU CAN DO THIS!
All you have to do is register, show up, and get ready to learn some powerful tools to Heal Anxiety THROUGH LAUGHTER.


Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier Kids Improv Workshop
December 16 at 10:00 AM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Calling all kids! Join long-time improviser Kelsey Flynn for a fun-filled one-time improv comedy workshop. 

For kids’ eyes only: We’ll spend the morning playing lots of crazy fun improv games together like Bus Stop, Bunny Bunny, and Hitchhiker. If you don’t know how to play the games, don’t worry! They’re super easy to learn! Whether you’re brand new to improv or have played a bunch of these games already, you are guaranteed to laugh because that’s what improv is all about.

For adults’ eyes only: In recent years, research studies have shown that laughter is known to reduce stress hormones, boost brain power, and increase energy and focus, in addition to being contagious. Using fun and low risk comedy improv games (all suitable for elementary school aged kids), we’ll laugh as well as strengthen self-expression and communication skills.
This morning workshop is appropriate for 8- to 11-year olds.

Prerequisites: Be 8-11 years old. No other experience necessary!

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

K and E Theater Group

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

Valley Light Opera

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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