Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News January 3, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 January 3 - 23

Happy New Year! Hope you are all recovered from your hangovers and ready for some theatre! Did you make any resolutions for 2019? Maybe go see more plays. Or audition for one! Or take that class or workshop you've been meaning to get on the schedule. Hopefully these listings will help you find the opportunity you've been waiting for. 

Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of in this newsletter? Let me know how I can make it the most useful resource for you! Send me an email with any feedback you have so we can make 2019 the best year yet.

The next issue will include events through January 30. 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
Creating Ability-Positive Theatre for Children
by Tim Collingwood

From the article: 

The word “disability” carries a negative connotation, and I think the fact that it’s used so much as a way to describe people is problematic. I prefer the term “ability-positive,” which offers a realistic and constructive way of looking at different ability statuses in society.

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
West Springfield's Majestic Theater  presents “The Mountaintop,” a historical drama by Katori Hall
January 3 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.

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Understudies: An Improvised Musical
January 5 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
It's the opening night of a brand new Broadway musical! Unfortunately, the entire cast is unavailable. This is the moment we've been training for. Be part of the fun as four determined Understudies create an entire musical from scratch, with a little help from the audience. Saturday, January 5th 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:
Ghost Light Theater January's Wednesday Workshop
January 9 at 7:00 PM
Gateway City Arts

This month we are featuring two plays by Charles Schoenfeld, The Dueling Master and Truth In Fiction. 

The Dueling Master: In post-revolutionary Virginia, dueling over matters of honor is a common custom—until the gunsmith Edward Boone introduces a new way of dueling that allows honor to be served without loss of life. But even in this changed culture, Boone discovers there is still a price to be paid when strong-willed people come into conflict.

Truth in Fiction: A father and daughter are reading bedtime stories together. Their night takes an unusual turn when the character they’re reading about, trying to escape a misunderstanding with the police, climbs in through their apartment window. The book continues to tell the story, even after the readers have become part of it.

Wednesday Workshop is a monthly reading series hosted by Ghost Light Theater and Gateway City Arts, presenting staged readings of local and new works to showcase the broad range of creative theatrical talents in the Valley. As well as a performance, the intention is to make Wednesday Workshop an opportunity for artists from our many communities to come together to meet and socialize.

In the interest of making the event financially accessible, the series runs on a pay-what-you-will model with a suggested donation of $5. The donations will be split between Ghost Light and each month's featured author(s). Please also consider coming early to order dinner from The Bistro, to support our generous venue; food and drink from The Bistro can also be brought into the performance. After the show, The Bistro will be open for food, drinks, and socializing.

Facebook Event.
Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents Peter Pan
Thursday, January 10 at 7:30 pm (general admission); Friday, January 11 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, January 12 at 1:00 pm (matinee); Sunday, January 13 at 1:00 pm (matinee); Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 pm; Friday, January 18 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, January 19 at 1:00 pm (matinee); Saturday, January 19 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, January 20 at 1:00 pm (matinee)
Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall, UMass

This January, come with us where dreams are born and time is never planned! PETER PAN arrives on the Bowker Auditorium stage set in a newly imagined Neverland, with the illustrious Peter and his pack of lost boys, the ingenious Tiger and her runaways, surly pirates of all ages, the Darling family, a truly amazing Crocodile, and of course the nefarious Captain Hook– all with an extra special helping of fairy dust! PETER PAN comes to Bowker Auditorium at UMass, Amherst, MA • January 10-13 and 17-20, 2019. This full-scale, live production brings lavish sets and costumes, a full live orchestra, and a remarkable cast together in a gorgeous singing, dancing extravaganza! See for tickets and more info, or call 413-259-3065.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Ha-Ha's & Friends: From Justin To Kelly
January 12 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 on the second Saturday of every month! Each show has a new special guest - this month we welcome prolific touring and teaching duo From Justin To Kelly from NYC! Saturday, January 12th 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:
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Family Comedy Show
January 19 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, January 19th 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: Not In Charge
January 19 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
Join the talented new group Not In Charge for a polished, fast-paced improv show inspired by the improvisers' real life stories! Saturday, January 19th 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:
Ghost Light Theater's Auditions for Significant Other by Joshua Harmon
January 3 at 6:30 PM
Chi Omega House - 47 Olympia Drive in Amherst

Ghost Light Theater announces auditions for their May 2019 production of Significant Other, by Joshua Harmon. Directed by Megan Healey.

Auditions will take place January 2nd & 3rd 2019 at 6:30 PM at Chi Omega House, 47 Olympia Drive, Amherst. Callbacks, if necessary, will be by invitation only.

Please familiarize yourself with the script before auditions.

Please prepare a 1 to 3 minute contemporary monologue. You may be asked to read sides from the play. 

Link to fill out audition form in advance. (we will also have some on hand at auditions).

Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan discovers that the only thing harder than finding love is supporting the loved ones around you when they do. From the critically acclaimed writer who brought you Bad Jews.

Performances are May 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 & 12 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke.


Jordan: Male, 25-30
neurotic, but extremely lovable and incredibly loyal; he's a talker; prone to loneliness, he likes to be around other people; left to his own devices, he can be a mess; Jewish. A great comedic actor.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Laura: Female, 25-30
the epitome of the best friend; warm and caring; vibrant in her own right, but thinks of herself as more suited to friendship than romantic love.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Vanessa: Female, 25-30
very salty; tends to see the glass half-empty until she unexpectedly finds love; with love comes all the things she swore she never wanted in life, like marriage. A great comedic actress.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Kiki: Female, 25-30
a no-filter girl; relishes her role as the audacious one of the group; Jewish. A stellar comedic role that requires the right balance of intelligence and warmth.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Will/Conrad/Tony: Male, 25-30
plays either the love interest or obsession of several characters in the play. All the characters are very handsome and smart. A versatile actor who is great with comedy.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Gideon/Evan/Roger: Male, 25-30
a great character actor who is adept at playing multiple roles. Plays both the chatty, gay coworker and the straight love interests.

ETHNICITY: All Ethnicities

Significant Other is presented with permission from Samuel French, Inc.


Facebook event.
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.
Valley Performance Playground presents Winter Theater Classes
January 8 at 3:40 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St

Valley Performance Playground's Winter Theater and Creative Movement Classes are OPEN FOR REGISTRATION. There are morning, after-school, and weekend options, for kids ages 1.5-18. Contact for more info.
10 week acting class for children ages 9-12
Starting January 9th
Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm
Performance at the end! 
$150 due at first class
At the Northampton Center for the Arts 
Taught by Carissa Dagenais 

Help your child build confidence, embrace spontaneity, practice teamwork, rehearse emotional regulation, make new 
friendships, and laugh! This ten week theater class will cover the basics of improvisation, storytelling, and ensemble work. 

Carissa Dagenais has been working with children as a teacher, director, drama therapist, and actor for almost ten years. She has been teaching theater to elementary school kiddos with Hampshire Shakespeare's Educational Workshops for the last five summers at the Williston Northampton school. Carissa holds her BA in theater from Smith and MA in drama therapy from New York University.


"Carissa has an easy going and yet completely engaged manner that made my daughter feel comfortable being herself and taking risks. Carissa is also creative, empathetic and knowledgeable; she attunes well to the kids, their abilities and their needs. My daughter says every year that doing drama with Carissa is her favorite camp!"

contact for more info
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.

Upcoming Training Programs at Double Edge Theatre 

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.

Summer Intensive: May 31 - June 14, 2019
Spectacle Immersion: May 31 - Aug 24, 2019
Fall Immersion: Fall 2019

Winter Intensive: January 1 - 7, 2019
Spring Intensive: March 15 - 17, 2019
Creation Lab: March 15 - April 14, 2019

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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