Thursday, May 30, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 30, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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May 30 - June 19, 2019

This is the 208th issue of the Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter - by my count, that means I've been at it for 4 years. Thank you for reading along! Want to support the newsletter (and your theatre company too)? Consider having your listing in the featured section - it's only $5 and goes directly to the cost of running the newsletter.

Do you have a Facebook event for your next show? If you add the Pioneer Valley Theatre News page as a co-host, your event will be seen by even more people - beat the algorithm! I'm also working on a PVTN Google Calendar - if you want to add your events, send me an email and I'll give you permission.

In the Spotlight is looking for a dance reviewer. It's not a paid position, but you'd get two free tickets to shows you would review. If you are interested, let me know and I'll connect you. If you are looking for more theatre coverage about the summer, Chris Rohmann has a great column (first in a series) right here.

The next issue will include events through June 26. 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
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround
Producing with a Disabled Lens
by Claudia Alick

From the article: 

To be successful, cultural productions, including theatre, require the artistic, technical, and administrative staff to have expertise in the areas they desire excellence. If the people who create or experience the work cannot access the production process or space, there’s an immediate barrier to creating or experiencing excellence. Work that does not center justice is centering injustice, which makes for negative artistic outcomes. Practically speaking, it is important for the production teams to have expertise in the areas they want to be successful in. And when it comes to accessibility, disabled artists have the lived experience necessary that will lead to more successful outcomes.

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
ArtsBeat Radio and News Column
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
Theatre Truck presents The Mill Project: Notions
at Florence Night Out 

Saturday June 1 | 6:30-7:30pm
Florence Paint Parking Lot,
right off the bike path, at 4 Depot Ave

TheatreTruck is excited to be participating in Florence Night Out withThe Mill Project: Notions, a duet of song & text quilted from our popular production, The Mill Project. 
Featuring Julia Read and Christine Stevens, this new, original short performance explores women's bodies in labor & resistance in the age of industrialization.

Performing twice during the hour, 6:30-7:30pm. Join us!
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Understudies: An Improvised Musical
June 1 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. Saturday, June 1st 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:
SHOW Circus Studio Gala Performance- Shipwrecked!
Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton
June 2 at 4:00 PM

SHOW Circus Studio invites you to join us for our 4th Annual Gala Performance! Follow along with an intrepid captain and her first mate as they run across all manner of sea creatures while sailing the seven seas. Starfish, pirates, jellyfish, crabs and sailors will entertain you with amazing circus performances including dynamic partner acrobatics and stunning aerial feats on the rope, horizontal hoop, and trapeze, as well as hand balancing, stilt dancing, unicycling and much more. This performance by SHOW Circus Studio’s Youth Performance Troupe and circus teachers is fun for the whole family.

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Ha-Ha's & Friends: The Thing Is...
June 8 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Local favorites The Ha-Ha's present a format that brings inanimate objects to life! Saturday, June 8th 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:
The Northampton Community Arts Trust invites the public to a free celebration on Sunday June 9th. The June 9th celebration runs from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm at 33 Hawley Street, and has something for everyone. Starting at 1:00 pm, local artists perform every half hour in the Flex performance/event space, while other activities are ongoing throughout the building and grounds, including chalk art for everyone and the collaborative construction of an outdoor sculpture. From 5:00 to 7:00 pm there is salsa dancing, while at the same time Disney's Coco is screened in the Flex space. Food and beverages are available for purchase throughout the day from food trucks on site, and beer is available in a Building 8 Brewing’s beer garden. For more information visit:
An integral part of Silverthorne Theater Company’s mission is to promote the development of new work, especially by Western Massachusetts and New England playwrights. In 2018, we staged the world premieres of three new works, two of which were from such writers.
In 2019 we offer a series of free rehearsed readings of new or new to us plays, , called Theater Thursdays, followed by audience discussions. These will be held in different locations in the region. Complete information for each reading may be found at
The purpose of the readings is to give a platform for new work to be heard, and when possible, to be able to give playwrights direct audience feedback.  It also gives Silverthorne a look at plays that we might consider fully producing in future seasons.

Thursday, June 13               DEAR GALILEO, by Claire Willett
                                                Directed by Rebecca Daniels
                                                7 pm   170 Main Street, Greenfield
Three women in three different times wrestle with their identity, the conflict between science and religion, and what it means to be their fathers' daughters…. As the three stories move toward their point of convergence, the destinies of each become inextricably bound with the others, linked through time by love, family, grief, the search for identity and the wonder of the stars.
Thursday, September 12               CAMPUS UNREST, by Talya Kingston
                                                            Directed by Trenda Loftin
                                                            7 pm   Location TBA
Complex choices face an inter-racial British academic couple newly arrived on the campus of a troubled American college.
Sunday, October 13                         VERITAS, by Betty Shamieh
                                                            Director TBA
                                                            3 pm   Deerfield Community Center
In the 1660s Harvard College’s governors insisted that Native American youths be trained at the College as Christian ministers to be able to convert their tribes to Christianity.  This play explores the lives of the first four of these early converts and the attitudes at the time toward them. Post-show discussion led by historians & members of local Native American communities.
Further details at  or call 413-768-7514.
New Century Theatre presents Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
Directed by Keith Langsdale
Gateway City Arts
92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

Friday & Saturday, June 14 and 15 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 16 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM
Friday & Saturday, June 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 23 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM

After taking a hiatus year, New Century Theatre returns to the Valley theatre scene this June with two productions in their 28th summer season. The company opens with Edward Albee's American masterpiece, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke for a limited run of eight performances.

Love hurts. In the wee hours on the campus of a small American College, a long-suffering couple, George and Martha, stagger home after a faculty party. Refusing to call it a night, Martha announces that she’s invited a new young professor and his wife for a nightcap. As the impromptu after-party rolls on towards dawn their fun and games escalate into a lacerating bout of words and wits. The gloves come off and George and Martha have at each other, at the expense of their guests, landing blow after blow. As dawn approaches and the alcohol continues to flow, a devastating revelation also comes to light that changes four lives forever. Winner of five Tony Awards, this masterpiece of American Drama is a brilliant and poetic exposé about our shared human condition.

The production will present just eight performances at the famed Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. Located at 92 Race Street along one of Holyoke's historic canals, Gateway City Arts was described by the City's Mayor, Alex Morse, as the "soul of Holyoke's creative economy."

Dine or have a drink before the show at Gateway City Arts' THE BISTRO – featuring a locally-sourced menu, merging classic favorites with just enough of an innovative spin to intrigue the adventurous palette. There is a full bar with 12 taps, classic and signature cocktails, wine, and beer from some of the finest regional breweries.

General Seating:
$32, $30 for Seniors (65+)
$15 Student Rush 

Information & Questions:
Majestic Theater and Pauline Productions
a new play by Laurel Turk, directed by Jeannine Haas
 The Majestic Theater in West Springfield for 3 Shows only
Saturday June 15 at 2:00 and 8:00
Sunday June 16 at 2:00 only

BREASTLESS is a play about one woman's determinedly truthful exploration of body image and sexuality after double mastectomy due to cancer.  Intimate monologues are juxtaposed with wry humor, song, and dance. Performed by Laurel Turk, Trenda Loftin, Emily Fox and Dorian Gregory. Directed by Jeannine Haas.  Winner of Biggest Box Office Award at Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC.

Tickets are sold by The Majestic Box Office only (not online) and at the door before the show (if still available).

Majestic Box Office-413-747-7797
Box Office Hours:  Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat. 10-1. 
More information.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Family Comedy Show
June 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 5-13 year olds and their adults. It's funny for the whole family! Saturday, June 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 HVC Presents: Not In Charge
June 15 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, June 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: $13 online and at the door. For more info:


Non-profit seeks to promote social-justice theater with $500 and $1,000 grants to qualifying theater companies and individuals

The Scarlet Sock Foundation is currently accepting grant applications. Theater companies and individuals with a social-justice focus are encouraged to apply online at Social-justice theater is a tool for promoting awareness of socially relevant topics. It’s a platform for the expression of individual differences and a catalyst for discussion for community members who fee marginalized and/or stigmatized. Companies whose work will include this focus will be considered for grants in the amount of either $500 or $1,000.

Children and/or young adults (ages 5-18) who are interested in attending theater arts camps, workshops, conferences, or other theater-related programs but are not able to attend because of financial need are encouraged to apply for individual grants.

Theater companies who receive Scarlet Sock Foundation grants will be invited to share their projects at the foundation’s annual gala in 2020.

The Vintage Cellar East

We are a large vintage mall in The Keystone Mill in Easthampton, MA.  Check us out if you are a local playhouse or theatre looking to rent props or even buy props for period pieces that can be reused.

Please feel free to email or call 413 977 1978. 

St. Michael's Players presents 
Auditions for November 2019 production of Oliver!

June 4 and 5 at 6:00 PM
St.Michael's Community Center, 53 Somers Road, East Longmeadow, MA

Auditions for ages 7-12 at 6:00 PM; ages 13-adult at 7:30 PM
Please prepare 16 Bars from a song from the show* as follows (choose ONE):
Youth/Teens/Adults: Consider Yourself; Who Will Buy?; I'd Do Anything; Where is Love?
Additional choices for ADULTS: 
Men: One Boy; My Name; Reviewing the Situation
Women: I Shall Scream; Oom Pah Pah; As Long As He Needs Me
*lyrics and sheet music will be provided if needed; please come dressed for dance/movement
Callbacks: Tuesday June 11, 6:00 PM

Please see our website or Facebook Page St. Michaels. Players of East Longmeadow for more details. Printable audition forms will be available on the website.


Silverthorne Theatre Company of Greenfield, MA, announces its Short & Sweet Festival of New (tiny) Plays, to be held in spring 2020, and invites submissions of original, unpublished works for the stage, in any style, with:

∙      No more than 20 minutes' playing time

∙      No more than four actors (reasonable doubling okay)

∙      Simple production values

Scripts selected for the Festival will be given full, low-tech productions.  We will pay a small royalty. This is not a workshop opportunity. Submissions must be finished scripts, not works-in-progress.

Submission protocol:

∙      Electronically, in PDF format.

∙      The filename should be the title of the play (or a reasonable abbreviation).

∙      Include a title page and character descriptions.

∙      Number the pages.

Submissions that do not meet these and the criteria above will not be considered.

Playwrights are welcome to submit more than one script to the Festival, as long as they meet the guidelines.

Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2019
Send pdf files to Rebecca Daniels, STC Literary Manager:

Announcing the Easthampton Futures Project!
Easthampton City Arts & the City of Easthampton's Planning Department, working in partnership with Dpict, are thrilled to announce the Easthampton Futures Project, a series of facilitated community workshops that will invite members of our community to envision and articulate the future of Arts & Culture for the City of Easthampton.

The information generated in these public sessions will provide the foundation for the next iteration of the Arts & Culture chapter of the City of Easthampton’s Master Plan.

Save the dates!
June 1 // June 22 
All sessions run from 10am - 4pm
Food will generously be provided by Galaxy

Learn more about how you can participate!

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
Spectacle Immersion: May 31 - Aug 24
Fall Immersion: Sept 15 - Dec 8

Ko Festival Workshop TOY THEATER

July 8  – 13, 2019

with John Bell & Trudi Cohen of Great Small Works

A light-hearted lecture by Great Small Works’ own singing professor Dr. John Bell will introduce the 19th-century history of Toy Theater (also called paper theater) — the pleasures of its traditional practice in Victorian parlors, and contemporary revival on stages and in classrooms around the world. Participants will be shown some basic techniques and materials. We will discuss image and text selection and dramaturgy. And then they will break up into small groups and create their own original toy theater pieces. The workshop will culminate with everyone presenting the results of their efforts to each other.

Our workshop will present the history and practice of this intimate and highly accessible puppetry form. It will offer a chance to construct a toy theater stage and scenery and figures, and to put together a multi-scene story. Participants will learn the value of Toy Theater as a teaching tool, both in curriculum-based school environments, and in community programs. Most of all, they will discover the possibilities of this historic parlor entertainment for telling the grandest of tales with the simplest of means.

Anyone who would like to consider subject matter for their piece in advance of the workshop is encouraged to do so.  A song, a poem, a location, an anecdote, a political idea, a hero, a news item, what I ate for breakfast, what I saw walking to the post office – there are infinite possibilities.

Register here.

Ko Festival Workshop FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance 2019

July 15  – 20, 2019

Come with a story. (Or two. Or three.) Leave with a performance. (Or two. Or three.)

Come without a story, and by the end of Day One, you’ll discover more compelling material than you’d ever think possible. “After all,” says theatre artist Gerard Stropnicky, “people are simply wonderful walking story anthologies.”

Why do some stories – some performances – spark your imagination, set fire to your soul, and leave you transformed, while others just sit there? Is it the content, or the telling? The framing, or the style? Can story be employed to bring laughter, or tears, or understanding, or lasting social change, or all of the above?

Gerard Stropnicky has been working in story for twenty years. This award-winning director has helped create compelling work from interview, gathered story, letters to the editor, even advertisements, recipes and children’s games. He’s written, directed and acted in countless styles; he’s coached diverse thousands of performers, professional and not, young and old, from every walk of life, to bring their stories to vivid life.

We’ll play with monologue, and help each other create scenes. We’ll experiment with styles, colors and tones. We’ll make ourselves vulnerable to our stories, and to one another. The workshop will draw on the work of the late playwright and poet Jo Carson, Stropnicky’s long-time creative partner, as well as other practitioners of Story Work, and will culminate with a showing. This on-your-feet writers and performers story intensive is designed to release the enormous potential energy already alive in you and your story.

A repeat of last summer’s sold out workshop – alums welcome!

Register here.

Ko Festival Workshop UNLOCKING INSPIRATION: The Vital Act
July 29  – August 3, 2019with Debórah Eliezer of foolsFURY Theater

Each of us has a vital story to share.  How do we reveal it?

This fun, participatory workshop will explore embodied creation methods that will remove your inner critic and allow your uninhibited creativity to flow. Through free writing, movement meditation, kinetic storytelling and vocal improvisation, we will unlock inspiration, discover untold stories and turn the idea of narrative on its head. Through the practice of ensemble theater training, we’ll explore horizontal leadership, the individual voice within the group and challenge assumptions about storytelling. We will conjure creations using physical scores, text, and song in a collaborative environment. Participants will gain more self confidence, greater expressive range and emotional availability in a fun and supportive setting. Suitable for actors, teachers, wellness coaches, and anyone interested in unlocking their creativity.

Register here.

Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Is your theatre company missing? Email me!
Academy of Music Theatre

Arena Civic Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company

Cold Spring Community Theatre

The Country Players

Drama Studio

Double Edge Theatre

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Ghost Light Theater

Greenfield Community College's Theater Department

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
No Theater

PaintBox Theatre


Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Royal Frog Ballet

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Silverthorne Theater

Smith College Department of Theatre

St. Michael's Players

Starlight's Youth Theatre, Inc.

Strident Theatre


Turbulent Times Theater

UMass Theatre Guild

Valley Light Opera

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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