See some theatre this weekend! BARE: a Pop Opera at Amherst, Mrs. Smith at UMass, or an improvised musical at Happier Valley Comedy. Or work on a play: auditions for The Tempest are this weekend, and it's the last weekend to apply to work on the set of Blithe Spirit with Black Cat Theater.
The next issue will include events through February 27. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at email@example.com
Near the end of La Ruta, Isaac Gómez’s new play that opened in December at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, teenagers Brenda (Cher Álvarez) and Ivonne (Karen Rodriguez) lie on the floor in Brenda’s bedroom discussing their favorite music. While this setup may appear familiar, Gómez has placed these girls in the slums of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where their lives are at risk simply by being young women. Their conversation on music turns to tragedy when Ivonne learns that her favorite singer, Desmaya, has just been murdered. Brenda tells her that is why the radio has been playing Desmaya’s songs so much recently. Ivonne responds: “A woman kept alive by the sound of her voice.”
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
West Springfield's Majestic Theater presents “The Mountaintop,” a historical drama by Katori Hall
January 31 through February 10
The play is set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., having just delivered his “I've Been to the Mountaintop” speech on behalf of the sanitation workers of Memphis, retires to the motel to prepare for another long day of campaigning. Here he encounters Camae, a beautiful maid. After some initial superficial exchanges, the pair begin a deep discussion about Dr. King's hopes and fears. “The Mountaintop” offers audiences a different side of Martin Luther King, Jr.; a man who despite his flaws remains an inspiration.
According to the Majestic's Producing Director Danny Eaton, “Toward the end of the play, Dr. King says, 'I am just a man. I am just a man.' He adds that all he wanted was to be a minister at a small church, and he wonders who will carry the baton after he's gone. Katori Hall has gifted us with a remarkable portrait of both the man as well as the icon. And, of course, the message is as relevant today as it ever was.”
“The Mountaintop” premiered in London where it won several theater awards and critical acclaim prior to its Broadway run in 2011. It has since been produced in leading American cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Palo Alto, in addition to being staged in South Africa, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Jamil Mangan will portray Dr. King, and Lynnette R. Freeman will play Camae. Gilbert McCauley will direct the play, with Eaton serving as producing director. Set designer is Josiah Durham, and Dawn McKay is costume designer. Dan Rist is lighting designer and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.
Tickets for these shows 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.
The Amherst College Musical Presents: BARE: A Pop Opera February 1 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, 2/2 & Sunday 2/3 both at 7:30 PM
The Powerhouse at Amherst College - 10 East Drive, Amherst MA 01002
Amherst College Musical Presents Bare: A Pop Opera
Directed by Megan Healey
Music Direction by Anthony Ferreira
Choreography by Sue Dresser
Tickets are free for Five College Students & Staff.
$15 General Admission
A group of high school seniors at a Catholic boarding school faces issues of sexuality and personal identity. As they struggle to come to terms with who they are, and who the world thinks they should be, they seek answers from their Church, their friends, and ultimately, from within themselves. A rich, vibrant score draws on many styles of contemporary music.
Please note that this show is not suitable for all audiences, and includes difficult topics such as homophobia, drug use, and death.
Bare: A Pop Opera is presented with permission by Theatrical Rights Worldwide.
UMass Theater presents Mrs. Smith at UMass February 1 at 7:30 PM
The Curtain Theater, UMass Fine Arts Center
Free and open to the community
Kidnapped from her Upper East Side penthouse and held for ransom by a Norwegian death metal band, Mrs. Smith suffered the Stockholm Syndrome granting her extraordinary musical abilities. She uses her mad guitar skillz and vocal stylings to express the grief and rage she feels over the disappearance of her beloved cat Carlyle. Why aren't you helping find him??
"Maybe you saw her in that Hungarian bathhouse Gucci ad last year, strumming on her guitar. She’s an elderly, pearl-wearing lady that rocks out to heavy metal and wails about her missing cat. Ridiculous and bizarrely funny.” - Vogue Magazine, 2018 Best in Music Editors Pick
Mrs. Smith's recent appearances include The Cutting Room NYC, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, Guitar Gods Festival, Feedback Fest (Costa Mesa, CA), Cafe Mojito (Bologna, Italy), and Club Helsinki (Hudson, NY). She has appeared in international ads for GUCCI and she is officially endorsed by Ibanez Guitars, DiMarzio pickups, Mezzabarba Custom Amplification, and Ernie Ball strings.
"PURRFECT!" - The New York Post
"LUMINOUS!" - Gay City News
"Truly a feast for the ears" - Hornet
"She might be the best hope for a shred revival" - Guitar World Magazine
This event is free and open to community members.
Mrs. Smith at UMass was made possible in part by a grant from the UMass Arts Council.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Understudies: An Improvised Musical February 2 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
Be part of the fun as four improvisers create an entire musical from scratch with a little help from the audience. Saturday, February 2nd 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: www.happiervalley.com.
Exit 7 Players presents You Can’t Take It With You Feb 8-17, Friday and Saturdays at 8pm, Sunday’s at 2pm
Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut St, Ludlow, MA 01056
At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. The plot shows how Tony, attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the Kirbys, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores, however, though sympathetic to Alice, find it hard to realize her point of view. Meantime, Tony, who knows the Sycamores are right and his own people wrong, will not give her up, and in the end Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores, particularly since he happens in during a visit by an ex-Grand Duchess, earning her living as a waitress. No mention has as yet been made of the strange activities of certain members of the household engaged in the manufacture of fireworks; nor of the printing press set up in the parlor; nor of Rheba the maid and her friend Donald; nor of Grandpa's interview with the tax collector when he tells him he doesn't believe in the income tax.
One of the most popular and successful plays of modern times.
We will have two ASL interpreted shows during this production: Sunday, February 10 and Friday, February 15. Purchase tickets in Section 1 if you need to see the interpreters.
Tickets On sale Now!
Penelope Sycamore - Terry Adams
Essie - Mo DuBois
Rheba - Sam Fett
Paul Sycamore - Joe Lessard
Mr. De Pinna - Bruce Torrey
Ed - Beau McGregor
Donald - Ben Cantwell
Martin Vanderhof/Grandpa - Leon Jerfita and Deb Jacobson
Alice - Krystle Bernier
Henderson - Regina Erpenbeck
Tony Kirby - Johnny Gordon
Bolus Kolenkhov - Lindsay Holmes
Gay Wellington - Victoria DeCosmo
Mr. Kirby - Jim Reilly
Mrs. Kirby - Nancy Colby
G-Men - Amanda Seymour, Hannah Zaitz
Olga - Court Lyons
Directed by Chris McKenzie Willenbrock
Future of the Performing Arts in Easthampton Saturday, February 9, 3-5pm
Flywheel Arts, Easthampton Old Town Hall
43 Main Street, Easthampton
Performing arts organizations, organizational leaders, performers, musicians, artists, and interested community members are invited to attend a convening on the Future of Performing Arts in Easthampton II.
Join CitySpace and performing arts stakeholders for a tour of the Old Town Hall and presentation and discussion about the next steps for the Old Town Hall’s 2nd floor performing arts and community space. We are looking for your feedback on the vision and facility plan, and how CitySpace’s next steps fits into the performing arts eco-system of Easthampton and the Pioneer Valley.
This convening is presented in partnership with CitySpace, Pioneer Valley Theatre News, Flywheel Arts Collective, and others. The Future of Performing Arts in Easthampton II is a follow-up and outcome from the 2013 charette that mobilized CitySpace to restore and manage the 2nd floor space into a flexible performing arts and community space. Since then CitySpace has been actively creating the strategies for the next steps including finalizing architectural construction design, and cost estimates with Kuhn Riddle Architects.
The Future of Performing Arts in Easthampton II is free and open to the public. Facebook event.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Ha-Ha's & Friends: Improvapella! February 9 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
Longtime local favorites The Ha-Ha's perform a completely improvised comedy show with a special guest - this month we welcome Improvapella from Catalyst Comedy in Boston! Saturday, February 9th 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: $13 online and at the door. For more info: www.happiervalley.com.
Phallacies at the Northampton Center for the Arts Saturday, February 9
Northampton Center for the Arts
33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA
Announcing the very first Northampton community performance of this award-winning program! Please join us as we will explore issues of masculinity and race, relationships, violence, body image, allyship, pornography, and friendships. A community dialogue will follow the performance.
Serious Play presents ON THE EXHALE by Martin Zimmerman Performed by Serious Play alumna, Elizabeth Solomon
Directed by Sheryl Stoodley, Artistic Director
*Post Show Discussion: following Sunday Feb 10, 2:30 staged reading
led by Boston University Dept. of Medicine’s Dr. Bindu Kalesan
Sunday Matinee, February 10, at 2:30pm (*with post show discussion)
and Monday February 11 at 7:30pm
Location: A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA
Tickets: $20 General, $18 Students / $24 at the door
Performances for 14 yrs.& up
Available starting Jan 11 at https://ontheexhale.brownpapertickets.com
Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating
Box Office opens half hour before staged reading at A.P.E Gallery
Contact: Sheryl Stoodley for more information
Call (413) 588-7439 or email email@example.com
About the Play: After a devastating school shooting, a mother develops an obsession that begins to take over her entire existence.
“A startlingly original, and visceral examination of American gun violence.” NY Times)
Play written in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.
There have been 1,300 school shooting incidents in USA since 1970.
In 2018, there were 82 school shooting incidents in the USA, the highest there have
ever been since 1970.
2018 was the highest year for the number of victims killed, including the shooter,
with 51 killed. --- Facts from Center for Homeland Defense & Security
Elizabeth Solomon is a writer, creator, business owner, living in Florence MA, who performed with Serious Play Theatre Ensemble in the early years when Serious Play was first part of the A.P.E Artist Associates on the third floor art space of Thornes Marketplace with Gordon Thorne & Lisa Thompson. Not only did her time in the Serious Play Ensemble transform her adolescence, but it shaped the trajectory of her life. Driven by a lifelong interest in systems, psychology and communication, Elizabeth has put storytelling and human connection at the foundation of her career. Serious Play welcomes her back to share this important staged reading with our Valley community.
Dr.Bindu Kalesan, MPH, PhD/ Post Show Discussion Leader is a clinical epidemiologist and a biostatistician at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Kalesan is interested in clinical and health outcomes research. Her work primarily explores cardiovascular and other long-term consequences in patients undergoing treatment for cardiac diseases, cancer, infectious and trauma. She also focuses on public health consequences of firearm violence in the US and the short- and long-term effects of firearm injury survivorship. Currently she is a faculty and the Director of Center for Clinical Translational Epidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research, department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Kalesan received her PhD in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics from University of Bern, master’s degree in public health and another in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Christian Medical College, India.
*Serious Play Artistic Director and Managing Director will join Dr. Bindu Kalesan and Bill
Newman on WHMP’s Bill Newman Show, this Jan 31, 9am, to discuss the issue of gun violence and survivorship in America and the play.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble works toward reshaping society’s conversation on prominent social issues through the art of ensemble theatre.
Join Serious Play for this staged reading and the important Sunday Feb 10, post-show discussion
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents Coming of Age By Ellen W. Kaplan, directed by Hannah Simms
Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Acting Studio 1
Free and open to the public.
Arena Civic Theatre presents Love Letters by A.R. Gurney February 16 at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Church of Saints James and Andrew, 8 Church St. Greenfield MA
Arena Civic Theatre is excited to announce a special Valentine’s Day production of Love Letters by A. R. Gurney. Through the reading of thank-notes, post cards, Christmas cards, and other correspondence, Love Letters tells the bittersweet story of a pair of childhood friends who remain connected over time and distance. As they share with each other their hopes, dreams, and many life changes, there is humor, jealousy, frustration, and, of course, romance.
Performances will take place on Saturday Feb. 16th at 2pm and 6pm at the Church of Saints. James and Andrew, 8 Church St. in Greenfield. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or reserved in advance by calling or texting 413-233-4368. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.
ACT’s presentation of this well-loved 1989 play features 2 local couples in the roles of Melissa and Andrew; Dee Herrera and Dominic Baird in the 2pm performance, and Sue and Marvin Shedd at 6pm. Directed and Produced by Jennifer Goselin and Maggie Duprey.
Arena Civic Theatre is a non-profit organization committed to producing quality community theater. We look forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2020!
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Family Comedy Show February 16 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, February 16th 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: www.happiervalley.com.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier Valley Comedy Presents: Not In Charge February 16 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
Join the talented group Not In Charge for a polished, fast-paced improv show inspired by the improvisers' real life stories! Saturday, February 16th 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: www.happiervalley.com.
UMass Amherst Theater presents WILD THING By Luis Vélez de Guevara, translated by Harley Erdman
Directed by Gina Kaufmann
Feb. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. | Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
School Matinee Feb. 15 at 10 a.m.
The Rand Theater
Sword fights, slapstick, over-the-top revenge, and a main character who defies the gender conventions of 400 years ago AND nowadays — Wild Thing is a wild ride of a play.
Running at UMass Theater's Rand Theater in the Fine Arts Center from Feb. 14-23, Wild Thing introduces audiences to Gila, a fiercely transgressive protagonist who considers herself both a daughter and a man. At first, things are well: Gila is much admired and loved in the small village where she grew up. She's a great hunter, enjoys a good swordfight, and has a crush on Queen Isabel.
Eventually, however, 17th century society demands feminity and marriage, and the men Gila encounters are willing to go to violent lengths to enforce obedience — which is when the play shifts into overdrive to follow Gila as she exacts her revenge upon the world.
Wild Thing was translated by Harley Erdman from Luis Vélez de Guevara’s La Serrana de la Vera. This compellingly theatrical production has been accepted to the Chamizal International “Siglo” Festival of Spanish Classical Theatre, to take place in El Paso, Texas in April 2019. It marks a triumphant return to the festival for UMass Theater, which presented Marta the Divine there eight years ago to considerable acclaim.
Erdman is a nationally-recognized translator and adaptor of works by Spanish-language playwrights from the 1600s, finding plays that have never been performed in English, often with female characters who break expected gender norms, which brings us back to Gila. Past generations may not have used the same language to talk about members of the non-binary and trans community as we do today, but Gila elicited a shock of recognition among the non-binary actors who auditioned for the role. It is rare enough to see onstage a character who doesn't fit neatly into the gender categories in our society, they told Theater chair and Wild Thing director Gina Kaufmann, but to find such a character cutting a swath through the Spanish countryside in the late Renaissance was a revelation.
Wild Thing, seemingly centuries ahead of its time, challenges even modern ideas of gender that exist in today’s society and makes for riveting theater. Join us in the Rand this February.
Due to the themes and language in our production including references to sexual violence and a high body count, we recommend this show for audiences members over 14 years old.
$5 students and seniors, $15 general admission, reservations encouraged. Call 1-800-999-UMAS or visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office online.
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
Shakespeare Stage presents Auditions for THE TEMPEST Directed by Julian Findlay
Locations and dates:
20 West st, Northampton, MA
Saturday, Feb 2nd, 12:15-2:25pm
Greenfield public Library
402 Main st, Greenfield, MA
Friday, Feb 1st, 4:30-7:00pm
Please prepare a classical monologue no longer than 3 minutes
Bring a headshot and resume. Must be 18 years or older.
Performed at the Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley st, Northampton, MA
Black Cat Theater CALL FOR SET CHIEF (South Hadley, MA) Black Cat Theater, Inc is seeking letters of interest and
resumes for the position of Set Chief for their Spring production of Blithe Spirit.
Set Chief will work with the Director’s design and be the point person
responsible for the construction of the set.Email letter of interest and resume to
firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1.
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.
Phantom Sheep Productions in association with J-ART presents
LaughCrafters: Comedy Improv Classes Winter Session (Feb-Mar)
J-ART with Phantom Sheep Productions is proud to offer their next session of Comedy Improv classes!
6 Weeks, Mondays 7-9PM Starting February 4th
Springfield Jewish Community Center
Open to the general public!
Adults & Teens 15+
Focusing on finding the funny, quick thinking, building scenes, creating characters, trusting yourself, and unleashing your talent through the power of collaboration!
Using short form theater games and exercises, each week is taught in a very fun, encouraging, and constructive atmosphere.
All levels welcome and challenged at own pace.
Tuition for entire session:
$86, General Public (discounts available for JCC members and previous students)
413-739-4715 or email@example.com for more info and to sign up! Facebook event.
Phantom Sheep has been a proud partner of the Springfield JCC since 2014 offering arts education for all ages including puppetry, acting, and improvisation. More information about the troupe is available at www.phantomsheep.com or fb.com/phntmsheep
Happier Valley Comedy presents Setting Sail Into Improv with Misch Whitaker February 9 at 11:00 AM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
You've heard of improv, maybe seen some shows, or maybe you've even taken a workshop or two already- and you want more. Improv is calling your name like the sea has called so many sailors before you - so climb aboard! Learn the ropes from the cast of Boston's Unscripted Musical Project as you play, seek, and discover more about what makes this art form so accessible and entertaining. We'll be using games, exercises, and scene work to learn new skills and have a lot of fun. Focus will be on improv as a team sport and how to give and receive support in a group. Make new friends, step outside your comfort zone and get ready to find out how much further we can go when everyone works together to get there!
Prerequisites: None! This workshop is great for beginners.
About Your Teacher:
Misch Whitaker has studied, performed and taught improv for over ten years; past credits include Improv Asylum Mainstage (2008-2012) and ImprovBoston Mainstage (2013-2014). She currently performs with and directs Boston's Unscripted Musical Project (B.U.M.P), KERPLUNK! and Dirty Disney at Catalyst Comedy.
Saturday, February 9
Northampton Center for the Arts
33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA
Do you want to:
- challenge toxic manifestations of masculinity?
- support young people to develop healthy masculinities?
- learn the skills to facilitate dialogue?
- be part of an innovative and award winning organization?
Together we will explore approaches to educational programming for middle and high school students focused on developing and supporting healthy masculinities. Topics will include:
- Dialogical approaches for social justice education
- Supporting healthy masculinities
- Masculinity and intersecting identities
- Creating healthy relationships
- Bystander intervention
- Violence prevention
- Workshop planning and facilitation skills
Double Edge Theatre was founded by Stacy Klein to research the role of actors’ training in the development of performance creation. Training is the heart and vitality of Double Edge’s creative process. Since 1982, when it was first developed by Klein based on her work with Rena Mirecka, Grotowski’s founding actor, it has grown to include work with large objects, developed by Klein and David Flaxman from 1985, and then outdoor work and spectacle developed with Carlos Uriona since 1996. Since 2011 Matthew Glassman has been leading the development of training at Double Edge. The unique, holistic methodology engages the actor’s full potential – physical, vocal, emotional, and imaginative – to drive individual exploration, ensemble collaboration, and performance creation.