Thursday, December 13, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News December 13, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 December 13 - January 2, 2018

Time for all the shows about Santa... If you are feeling Christmassy, go check out some of the performances below. Or if you are planning your spring, check out some of the opportunities listed at the bottom of the newsletter - lots of classes, workshops, and job openings below!

The next issue will include events through January 9. 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
Crazy for Theatre: Mental Illness and Theatremaking
by Jacob Juntunen

From the article: 

This summer I attended a playwriting conference, where, at the end of every day, I skipped the evening of drinking, socializing, and networking. I’d return to my room to write and go to bed early. On the last night, I decided to go to the bar for a bit. One of the friends I’d made over the last few days saw me and joked, “Hey! You didn’t go home to take your meds tonight!” I tried to smile and laugh it off, but the joke hit me hard.

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
Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” will be performed by Mohawk Trail Regional High School students at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, at the school.
Tickets are $5 to $10 and free for students.

In the play, neat-freak Felix Ungar and messy friend Oscar Madison try sharing an apartment with hilarious results. When Ungar’s marriage falls apart, he has nowhere to turn but his uncontrollably messy friend, Oscar. The mismatched combination proves volatile, and both friends are tested as they attempt to navigate their less-than-ideal living situation.
This staging of Neil Simon’s iconic comedy will not only celebrate the playwright, who died on August 26, but will also update the play to reflect today’s understanding of
gender roles and relationship, says Director Jonah Godfrey of Shelburne Falls.
Godfrey recently returned to Shelburne Falls after graduating from Emerson College’s theater education program. It was during his 9 years in the Mohawk Public Schools that
he fell in love with theater, so he feels honored and thrilled to be directing on the stage where he acted in his first play.
The cast includes Sarah Close as Oscar, Oliver Flynn as Felix, Connor Bailey as Murray, Natalie Szewczyk as Roy, Emery King as Speed, Abigail Hawk-Wickline as Vinnie, Jessica Choiniere as Gwendolyn Pigeon, Julia Hager as Cecily Pigeon.

Eggtooth’s third annual Holiday Spectacular

will take place at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls on December 14 and 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Your hosts are the inimitable Mr. Drag and Karl as they welcome you into the comfort of their living room a la Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. They will entertain you with a variety of delightful offerings including dance, song, spoken word, food, drink all shared in a joyous holiday spirit.

Imagine learning how to twist challah dough with Karl or swaying to old time holiday favorite songs while sipping on local cider with your family. Tickets are only $10 because we want to share this loving, laughter filled holiday show with you and all your children are free! So if you want to celebrate the holidays in a highly traditional non-traditional way, this is for you! Come one come all!


Fri Dec 14 at 7:30 PM, Sat Dec 15 at 10:30 & 1:00 and Sun Dec 16 at 10:30 & 1:00
WILLISTON in Easthampton

Join our fifth season of THE SANTA SHOW. This year Mrs Claus is in Charge! The ensemble is cast to perform for Santa...come join the fun as they rehearse for the Big Show! Will they remember their lines? Or will they have to make it all up? Come join the laughs, the play, and the ugly sweaters !

Ja’Duke is Wrapping a Bow on this Holiday Season with A Christmas Story: The Musical 
Ja’Duke wraps up 2018 with a bright, red bow as the holiday favorite A Christmas Story: The Musical brings all the festive cheer audiences could ever need – without the risk of shooting their eyes out on the Frontier High School Stage, 113 N Main St, South Deerfield, MA on Saturday, December 15 @ 2pm, - Saturday, December 15 @ 6pm and Sunday, February 16 @ 2pm

Since the film version of this story based on the short stories of Jean Shepard premiered in 1983, A Christmas Story has joined the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street as one of staples of the holiday season. 

Let’s face it. Whose holiday season is complete without revisiting little Raphie and his quest to obtain a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas? Who doesn’t look forward to the family’s surprise when Ralphie’s dad opens his “major award” or the tension when Flick is triple-dog-dared to touch his tongue to a frozen pole on the playground, or the mayhem ensuing from the neighbor’s unruly dogs? 
Now take this classic story and add musical numbers like “A Major Award,” “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out,” and “Up on Santa’s Lap” and you’ll have a holiday treat perfect for the entire family. A Christmas Story: The Musical, adapted by Joseph Robinette with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, premiered at Kansas City Repertory Theatre in 2009 and was further developed at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle before going to Broadway in 2012. The film, and by extension the play, is based on a series of autobiographical short stories by Jean Shepard about growing up in 1940’s Ohio, but was mostly drawn from the story “Duel in the Snow, or Red Rider Nails and the Cleveland Street Kid”. 
Ticket prices are Adults $12.00 - $10.00 12 and under - $10.00 65 and over. Tickets are available or can be purchased online at
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
December 15 at 3:00 PM
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, great for 5-12 year olds and their adults. It's funny for the whole family! Saturday, December 15th at 3pm 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 Happier Valley Comedy Presents: Not In Charge
December 15 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Join the talented new group Not In Charge for an impressive, fast-paced improv show inspired by the improvisers' real life experiences! Saturday, December 15th at 7pm at the new Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). And stick around after for the 9pm showcase and open improv jam! Tickets: $10 online and at the door. For more info:

Phantom Sheep Productions presents LaughCrafters Holiday Show
December 17 at 6:30 PM
Agawam Public Library

Local comedy troupe Phantom Sheep returns to the Agawam Public Library with a free performance celebrating the season on Monday, December 17th starting at 6:30PM. “LaughCrafters” will feature live unscripted scenes, each with a custom holiday twist, created right on the spot with lots of audience interaction.  This Holiday show has been an annual tradition for many years to share a night of laughter with the local community.

Facebook event.

The Phantom Sheep Players repertoire includes Western MA natives Eric Boucher, Devin Horan, Jessica Lamoureaux, Tommy Lynch, Jesse Redmond, Greg Seymour, and Jeff Tingley. The troupe has worked together for over 15 years writing, performing and producing shows and workshops for schools, libraries, special events, and the theme park industry. They have also been teaching and performing at the Springfield JCC since 2014 and will offer their next session of weekly classes starting early 2019.

Happy New Year! You’re invited to attend First Night—Northampton’s most beloved signature event.

On Monday, December 31st, the Northampton Arts Council and PeoplesBank welcome you to the 34th edition of our city-wide New Year’s Eve party. Since 1985, First Night Northampton has filled the Paradise City with a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Gather with friends, neighbors and visitors at over 20 terrific downtown venues for an astounding array of entertainment presented by hundreds of talented performers. Our efforts are supported by generous local sponsors and dedicated volunteers. One hundred percent of proceeds benefit community arts.

More information.

Sex and Power Looking for Lighting Designer and Stage Manager!

Performances will be in early spring at the Northampton Arts Trust. Small stipend available. 

Actor, dancer, interfaith minister Joanna Rush girlsplains the complexities of Sex and Power in our culture. Enduring date rape and gang rape in real life she went on to a career in movies and on stage playing various species of seductress, which, by the way, exposed her to misogyny as practiced internationally throughout history. Covering ground that ranges from evolutionary biology to Greek mythology, the invention of masculinity, our socio-economic systems, and anecdotes from her own acting career, she provides insights that can help us heal today’s sorry state of sexual affairs. Rush’s creative, nontraditional outlook offers hope and a road map for how we can progress and ride the #MeToo movement into a healthier sexual landscape for all.

More information here. Contact Joanna with questions.

Looking for directors! Hampshire Shakespeare Company is still looking for directors to help shape our summer 2019 season of Shakespeare Under the Stars! We are specifically seeking proposals for the eight plays below and will select our season based on the proposals we receive.

The plays in consideration are:

  • Henry V
  • Love’s Labor’s Lost
  • Measure for Measure
  • Richard III
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Timon of Athens
  • The Tempest
  • The Winter’s Tale

The Director is the creator and enactor of the artistic vision of the production they direct and will be a collaborative center point for the success of the play. We want a director who is passionate about their work, so choose plays that really excite you! Interested in multiple plays? Feel free to submit proposals for up to three plays. Have a dream to direct something not on this list? Submit your proposal for it anyway! We will consider every proposal we receive.

What’s in a proposal? A proposal by any other name would smell as sweet. What we want is to hear your vision for the show and why this play speaks to you. Just a few paragraphs will do. Have some drawings? We’ll look at those, too!

While the priority deadline has passed, we are still accepting proposals on a rolling basis until 12/31. Send your proposal to While we are a community theatre, we do offer a small stipend to most staff.

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 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!

New Century Theatre presents Acting Classes

Classes are held at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street in Northampton, MA.

To register, send an email to Sam Rush ( or call/text 413-626-3238 to hold your spot. 

Acting for Non-Actors - Instructor, Sam Rush  
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission)  
Mondays, 5:15-7:15 p.m.  
Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton, MA
January 14 - March 4
Cost: $285

Course Description:
This is the perfect course if you have never taken an acting class before. This is also the perfect class if you studied years ago but told yourself you'd get back to it someday. With NCT Producing Director Sam Rush, you'll have a chance to explore your inner ham in a fun, relaxed and supportive environment. Using improvisation, text and original source material, you'll learn a solid base of fundamental acting techniques that may serve you the rest of your life - on stage or off.  

Exploring the Craft - Instructor - Sam Rush
Ages 18 and up (or by instructor permission)
Wednesdays, 5:15-7:15 p.m.
Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton, MA
January 16 - March 6
Cost: $285

Course Description:
If you are an actor with any amount of performance experience you know that staying present and relaxed on stage is necessary for honest and truthful work. Finding that right balance of "being in the moment" and actor awareness is something actors continue to seek out. In this class, designed for actors with previous experience, we'll use in-depth scene work, text analysis and exercises to shed an actors bag-of-tricks and instead deepen your true craft as an actor.
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

UMass Theatre Guild

Valley Light Opera

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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