Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 9, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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May 9 - 29, 2019

Summer events are starting to show up - if you are looking to hire crew or designers or actors or need any other help with a production you are planning - let me know and I'll spread the word!

The next issue will include events through June 5. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

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from Howlround
Exploring Colonization and Identity at Belgium's New Theatre Festival
by Verity Healey

From the article: 

Colonization, decolonization, identity, and global geopolitical economics. I didn’t know a lot about how these topics were connected to Belgium before February of this year, when I traveled to Ghent, a city in the country’s Flemish region, for the new theatre festival same same but different (SSBD, created by VooruitCampoNT Gent, and Black speaks Back (BsB)). But, by the end of my few days there, I had gained a good sense of the country’s complex mix of nationalities and languages, their historical demonizing rule of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the decades of cultural and political fallout that have followed.

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
Northampton High School Theater presents Snow Angel by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Stephen Eldredge
5/9/19 at 7:00 pm, 5/10/2019 7:00 pm, 5/11/2019 2:00 pm, 5/11/2019 7:00 pm
Northampton High School

When the quiet town of Deerpoint, Vermont is hit by the biggest blizzard in 107 years, a mysterious girl named Eva steps out of a snow bank and into the lives of 15 confused teenagers who are asked to help her in her search. What Eva's searching for -- and who she truly is -- becomes a mystery that baffles, divides, and energizes the teens of Deerpoint. Told through journal entries and interactions among the students over the course of a single snow storm, Snow Angel is a funny and eerie tale of teen angst, discovery, and the power of believing.


Ghost Light Theater Presents Significant Other by Joshua Harmon
5/9, 5/10 & 5/11 @ 8 
Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street in Holyoke

Ghost Light Theater Presents: Significant Other, by Joshua Harmon
Directed by Megan Healey

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 for Significant Other are May 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11 at 8:00 PM and May 5 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for evening performances and $10 for the matinee and can be purchased at the door or online.

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


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
Exit 7 Players present Avenue Q

Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut St, Ludlow, MA, 0156
May 10 -12, Friday’s and Saturday’s at 8pm, Sunday’s at 2pm

Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart.

The laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that, although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show; a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

Rated R for adult situations and content.

Tickets On Sale Now!
NEWSIES Disney Musical performed by Starlight’s Youth Theatre. Now is the time to Seize the Day!  
Friday May 10, 7pm and Saturday May 11, 1pm and 7pm at the Academy of Music in Northampton.

Newsies performed by over 50 students from all over the Valley from Starlight’s Youth Theatre, which was established 10 years ago as a non-profit youth theater in the Valley. Artistic Director Cynthia Strycharz states “ I hope as the director of this powerful story this amazing cast will always remember that they can also be a leader and change history for the better!”  


Happier Valley Comedy presents The Ha-Ha's & Friends: Kornfeld & Andrews!

Local favorites The Ha-Ha's are joined by renowned NYC Improv Duo Kornfeld & Andrews. Saturday, May 11th 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:
Sunderland Public Library presents Sunderland Short Stories
Sunderland Public Library, 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375
May 14 at 6:30 PM

Actor Court Dorsey will perform a dramatic reading of the short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell.  This story is a classic thriller written in 1924.
Court Dorsey has performed widely throughout the Pioneer Valley and with more than three dozen theater companies across North America and Europe.

This event is free and open to the public.  It is sponsored by the Sunderland Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by the Friends of the Sunderland Public Library.

For more information, call 413-665-2642.
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.

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Family Comedy Show
Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, great for 5-12 year olds and their adults. It's funny for the whole family! Saturday, May 18th 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
Join the talented group Not In Charge for a polished, fast-paced improv show inspired by the improvisers' real life stories! Saturday, May 18th 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:

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:
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. 
Black Cat Theater, Inc. is preparing for their Fall production of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS directed by Stephanie Flinker with Alexa Flinker as Music Director. We will be putting a new twist to this iconic show in that it will be an all adult cast (ages 19-90+) only. Auditions for this show will be held on Monday, May 20 th and Wednesday, May 22 nd at 6:00pm in Kidder Hall, All Saints Church, 7 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley.

All roles are open. See Breakdown for synopsis and character details. Interested candidates should bring with them a short biographical sketch (headshot optional) and be prepared to perform a short musical piece. There may also be readings from the script.

Each named role will have a specific song they will be asked to sing from the show. Those auditioning for the Ensemble may sing any song chosen from the show’s song list. Musical accompaniment will be provided. No a cappella please. For character list and song list see the Black Cat Facebook page or email

Mattress is expected to be produced at South Hadley High School in mid-November. Rehearsals are primarily on Monday and Thursday evenings (with occasional Wednesdays) starting September 9th.

If unavailable to be seen in person please email or leave a message at 413-563-6023.

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
Real Live Theatre presents Exploring the Expressive Voice & Its Extremes
7-10pm on 5/10 and 10am-5pm on May 11
Real Live Theatre, Sunderland, MA

Tune in to find your voice

Discover the universe of sound that is inside you

Experience your boundless voice

Explore song and text

Create space and time with sound

We’ll begin with discovering and exploring the voice “as it is,” then work toward less familiar vocal areas. Through this process participants will increase awareness of centers of resonance in the body, developing a personal vocabulary unifying sound, sensation, image, and emotion. We will explore the voice in relation to simple song and spoken text. We will deepen the relationship to unknown vocal territories regarding pitch, timbre, resonance and dynamics. We will discover the world of vocal soundscapes and our connection to sound as an expression of space and time.

Liz Stanton is a New York City-based, multifaceted theatre artist, who has studied with a variety of teachers from the Roy Hart Theatre: primarily Richard Armstrong, Ethie Friend and Jonathan Hart Makwaia. She has incorporated the Roy Hart voice work into her teaching for nearly 20 years. She creates award-winning devised theatre pieces, composes music for theatrical sound scores, and she’s written an opera - The Bacchae: In Song and Vocal Extremes. She is the theatrical development producer of Convergences Theatre Collective in New York City. Liz is an adjunct instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Experimental Theatre Wing and New York Film Academy.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Listen 2.0
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA
May 11 at 10:00 AM

Listening in a scene goes beyond just hearing the words your scene partner said.  It's about taking in every small detail available to you: tone, body language, stage picture.  Good listeners put themselves in their scene partner's shoes to see the scene as they see it.  Our essential task as an improviser boils down to, "What do I think this other person thinks is true?"  In this workshop, we'll endeavor to do that really, really...really well.
Prerequisites: Completion of Zen of Improv 3 or the equivalent at another comedy school

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!
May 18 // 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.

Open Training: May 19 @ 11 am
Summer Intensive: May 31 - June 14
Spectacle Immersion: May 31 - Aug 24
Fall Immersion: Sept 15 - Dec 8

Summer THEATER Program for Children at beautiful Eaglebrook School 

Eggtooth Productions offers A two week sessions of summer theater for children ages 8-13. Click here for our registration form:
July 29 - August 9, 2019

THEATER with Bill Stewart 
Learn about stage play and combat, comic bits, delightful language and the joy that play can bring all while relishing the language of the Bard. Children create their own devised production that will be presented at the end of the session!

The cost is $590 with a limit of 15 children in each section. A check may be made to: Eggtooth Productions 102 Highland Ave., Greenfield, MA 01301. Founded in 1922, Eaglebrook School is located on 750 acres on the Pocumtuck Ridge in Deerfield, MA just off Routes 5 & 10. To learn more about Eaglebrook School or for directions visit: 

Camp runs 9 AM to 3 PM with mornings devoted to creation and rehearsal. Lunch will be provided in the beautiful Gibbs Dining Hall. Activities including swimming in the Schwab Pool, playing on the fields, and more.
Bill Stewart teaches in the Leverett Elementary School and has taught theater workshops for young actors since 1995.  He has played the roles of writer, director, Ultimate Frisbee Player, archaeologist, and especially actor, where he has performed as princes, monsters,  & cowboys. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Playwrighting/Performance and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts.
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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