Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 23, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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May 23 - June 12, 2019

Just a reminder: Pioneer Valley Theatre News has a Facebook page! If you are looking for information in between newsletters or want to share an event that maybe missed the deadline (Tuesday at midnight) you can post it to the Facebook page or send me an email and I'll post it! 

Here's a note from Silverthorne on the retirement of Lucinda Kidder from their press release: congratulations on your retirement, Lucinda, and we'll be excited to see what's next for Silverthorne!

"The Board of Directors of Silverthorne Theater Company announces that Lucinda Kidder will retire as Producing Artistic Director at the end of the 2019 season. During the remainder of the season, which includes mainstage performances of The Fantasticks, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists, as well as a monthly new-play reading series, Kidder will gradually step back from the daily operations of the theater and members of the Board will begin taking on her responsibilities to ensure a smooth transition as we plan for the future."

The next issue will include events through June 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
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround
Toward a Greater Empathy in the American Theatre
by D. R. Baker

From the article: 

Recently, at a show I was working on, an actor arrived at their call time with food poisoning. Their face was pale, their hands shaking relentlessly. It looked like the effort it took them to stand and speak to the stage manager used every ounce of energy their body could muster, and that once the conversation was finished they would collapse onto the Equity cot.

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
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.

RESTORATION ROOM, by Harley Erdman
Directed by Chris Rohmann

Two academics (Melenie Freedom Flynn and Jay Sefton) struggle to resist the power of their mutual intellectual and physical attraction. THE RESTORATION ROOM, the third in Silverthorne’s Theater Thursdays New Play Reading Series is directed by Chris Rohman. Playwright Harley Erdman will be on hand to discuss the play after the reading. Free and open to the public. The purpose of the readings series 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.
The reading takes place on Thursday, May 23 at UMass Fine Arts Center, Room 204, (Curtain Theater entrance to FAC), at 7 pm. For events in the Fine Arts Center building, free and secure parking is available on Massachusetts Avenue in University Lots 32, 34, and 71 after 5:00pm and all day on weekends. Accessible parking is available in the South Entrance Lot in front of the Fine Arts Center building when the appropriate license plate or placard is displayed. Please note: the Visitors Center parking lot and all meters near the Fine Arts Center are pay-to-park from 7:00am to 7:00pm.
Harley Erdman’s recent dramatic writing projects include Wild Thing (2019), a translation of Vélez de Guevara’s 17thcentury Spanish play about a gender-bending protagonist; the opera librettos The Scarlet Professor (2017) and The Garden of Martyrs (2013), both with composer Eric Sawyer; and the screwball comedy Nobody’s Girl, which debuted at the Northampton Academy of Music in 2014. With Gina Kaufmann and composer Aaron Jones, he is adapting the Don Juan legend into a musical set on a college campus. His cabaret My Evil Twin, created with Eric Sawyer, will be shown at the Ko Festival of Performance this summer.  He is the author or editor of six books, including Women Playwrights of Early Modern Spain (2016), which features his translations of ten plays. It won the Josephine Roberts Award. He is a professor in the UMass Theater Department.

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.

West Springfield's Majestic Theater will transport audiences back to the days of girl group pop music when it presents “The Marvelous Wonderettes” April 11 through May 26. The musical, by Roger Bean, is set in 1958 at Springfield High School. It's the Super Senior Prom, and the previously-booked Crooning Crabcakes can't perform. All hopes are pinned on the Wonderettes, an all-girl singing group that finished third in the State Song Leaders competition. Cindy Lou, Missy, Betty Jean and Suzy not only get the gig, they come back ten years later to perform at their reunion. Popular songs like “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Lipstick on Your Collar” and other 50's and 60's favorites are featured in the play, which has been described as a "cotton candy musical trip down memory lane!"

Majestic Theater Producing Director Danny Eaton will direct the play with Mitch Chakour serving as musical director. Greg Trochlil is set designer, Dawn McKay is costume designer, Dan Rist is lighting designer and production stage manager is Stephen Petit. Doug Wallace is sound engineer. Actors include Kait Rankins (Missy), Mollie Posnick (Suzy), Tina Sparkle (Betty Jean) and Kaytlyn Vaneloecht (Cindy Lou).

The play closes out the Majestic's 22nd Season. 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.

For additional information, visit

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Valley World Open Cup Grand Prix Series Derby Bowl Championship!

In this competitive comedy show, two teams of improvisers face off through scenes and games to see who can win the ultimate prize: an old trophy we found in someone's attic. Saturday, May 25th 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:
Theatre Truck presents The Mill Project: Notions
at Florence Night Out 

Saturday June 1 | 6:30-7:30pm
30 North Maple Street
just off the bike path

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!
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.



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.

We are collaborating to plan a multimedia Arts Hub in the three counties of Western Massachusetts and are asking your help in  spreading the word so that as many people as possible have a chance to weigh in on how the hub would work best for people in the myriad creative fields.


We are:

  • the Creative Economy Network (CEN), a regional network of more than 20 arts organizations officially designated by the Commonwealth and working together to support the creative economy of western MA;
  • Holyoke Media, (website under construction) a non-profit public access multimedia that uses bilingual audio and video production to help to educate, inspire and activate community engagement; 
  • and Itabix Inc  a web development and hosting company located in Hadley, MA that has been in business since 2000.  

The Community Foundation of Western MA has funded a planning grant to explore developing an multimedia and online ArtsHub that is intended to strengthen the arts and creative sector across the Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire Counties in Western MA with an emphasis on connectivity, visibility and coordination. The vision includes important outcomes of:

  1. Achieving a deepening understanding of the local creative economy, including diversity of programming, organizations, and individuals,
  2. Expanding the possibilities for enhancing and growing the creative sector, emphasizing arts organizations, and artists/creatives of all forms, and those who engage in the arts either as creators, sponsors, hosts, funders, renters, sellers, etc. If you are in any way connected to creativity, we would love to connect with you.
  3. Insuring that the ArtsHub is financially sustainable. 

To that end, we created a short survey that includes space for people to add any information/comments/questions.


Could you please complete the survey as well as share this link with your contacts?


We will be compiling the answers in the coming weeks and will share the results with everyone.


If you have any questions, please contact

Natalia Muñoz > Director > News > Holyoke Media > 
(O)  200-9733  (C)  204-0899
295 High Street #206
Holyoke MA 01040
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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