Thursday, June 27, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 27, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 June 27 - July 17, 2019

The 2019 Kilroy's List is here. Check it out if you are looking for something new to produce soon! Looking for other ways to inspire creativity? Make sure to scroll all the way down to see the workshop section of the newsletter - including one on Toy Theater from Ko Festival of Performance and an upcoming offering from Real Live Theatre about choreography intimacy. Know of another workshop? Send it to me!

Click to access the PVTN Google Calendar - if you want to add your events, send me an email and I'll give you permission.

The next issue will include events through July 24. 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
The Final Say by Meryl Cohn - June 28-July 14
Get your tickets today! 
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from New York Times
Seeking More Gender Diversity Onstage? Look at This List
by Michael Paulson

From the article: 

The Kilroys, a theater collective formed to encourage more stage productions of work by women, on Tuesday released its fifth annual list of new work recommended for companies seeking to diversify their offerings.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
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Silverthorne Theater Company presents The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical in Broadway history, as the second production of STC’s 2019 Season. The show plays June 27 – 29 in The Perch at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. 

Dates for the production are June 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for Thursday or Sunday are $20 general admission, $18 student/senior (65+). Tickets for Friday and Saturday night shows are $25 general admission, $20 student/senior (65+.)
The Fantasticks tells the gentle story of falling in – and out of – love and the perils of wishes realized. It features lovers, pirates, bandits, and turnips, as well as a memorable score with such classic tunes as “Try to Remember and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.” Join us in recalling that love is possible and dreams do come true.
Director Carmela Lanza-Weil first worked with Silverthorne as director of the world premiere of Aidan’s Gift, winner of STC’s 2016 New Play Competition. She has an extensive background in professional theater as a director and actor.  Music Director Ted Trobaugh was MD for Silverthorne’s premiere production of the original musical Tar2f! in the spring of 2018.  
The cast includes Larry Picard (Northampton) as El Gallo; Jasmine Goodspeed (Florence) as Luisa; and Andy Zane (Northampton) as Matt. Stephanie Carlson* (Easthampton) plays Hucklebee, while Autumn Tustin (Northampton) is Bellamy. John Reese* (Greenfield) and David Cavallin (West Springfield) play Henry (The Old Actor) and Mortimer respectively. Madeline Bolles Oldenberg (Colrain) rounds out the cast as The Mute. (*Members of Actors Equity Association)
Sharon Weyer (Northfield) will stage manage the production; Hannah Trobaugh designs the sets. John Iverson (Bernardston), Tech Director and Fight Choreographer, handles set construction, sound and lighting design. Costume design is by Jazmine Carroll of Keene, NH, and choreography by Molly Fletcher Lynch.  .  Rebecca Daniels is producer for the show. 
The Upper Pioneer Valley’s only small professional company, Silverthorne enjoys its status as resident company at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in downtown Greenfield’s Cultural District.
Ticket and reservation information may be found on Silverthorne’s web site. Tickets for all shows are currently available at (type in the name Fantasticks), or by calling 413-768-7514. Patrons can use credit cards at the door or over the phone.
Chester Theatre Company presents THE NIGHT ALIVE by Conor McPherson
une 27-30; Thursdays at 2pm and 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA

Dublin. A bare bones flat. Two mates just scraping by. When Tommy saves a young woman from a beating, things get worse--and maybe just a bit better. New York Drama Critic Circle Award Winner for Best Play. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer.

Box office: (413) 354-7771.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents Henry V
Directed by Noah Tuleja
June 27-30 and July 3-7
7 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Adult: $15 | Student/Senior: $10 | Child: $7
No one turned away for lack of funds.

All performances take place at the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, 650 E Pleasant St, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002

King Henry V is all in favor, and to this end he invades France. A good war? A just war? One of Shakespeare’s most beloved history plays offers us a most ambiguous hero, a dubious cause, against-the-odds victories, and one of the most rousing pre-battle speeches ever penned. Join us as we head “Once more unto the breach, dear Friends,” with this streamlined, small cast, ensemble production of King Henry V.

PaintBox Theatre presents MARY POPPINS
Williston Theater
18 Payson Avenue
Easthampton, MA

Drop on in for this fun and exciting satirical, PaintBox twist on that High Flying Lady in the sky! Linda Tardif will be bringing the fun with her take on this classic tale. 

June 28, Friday 10:30 & 1:00
June 29, Saturday 10:30 & 1:00
June 30, Sunday 10:30 & 1:00
July 2, Tuesday, 10:30 & 1:00 

Strident Theatre presents THE FINAL SAY 
By Meryl Cohn

Directed by Jonny Epstein and Susanna Apgar
Actors: Susanna Apgar, Kyle Boatwright, Marty Bongfeldt, Jeannine Haas, Steve Pierce, Chris Rojas

June 28-30, July 4-7, July 11-14
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00 PM, Sunday at 2:00 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre at Smith College

Naomi might finally get her play about her grandmother’s wartime survival and heroism produced – if only a bombastic musical with an eerily similar story line, written by her former mentor, weren’t just about to open off-Broadway. Naomi seeks the help, and friendship, of her late grandmother’s closest confidant, as she navigates a highly complicated road toward the truth. As Naomi decides how far she will go to protect her beloved grandmother's story, she discovers that a spunky production assistant, Martha, may be the key to untangling this mess …. and Naomi’s heart.

This comedy/drama attempts to answer the questions: Who owns a story? And can an idea really be stolen?

The Final Say was the winner of the Eventide Arts New Play Award, and the runner up for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award.

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Majesters
June 29 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

West Springfield's musical improv sensation kicks off their summer season for one night in Hadley! Saturday, June 29th 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:
Chester Theatre Company presents Now Circa Then by Carly Mensch
July 4-July 14; Thursdays at 2pm and 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA

A budding romance forms between two young historical reenactors as they become increasingly entwined with the lives of the immigrant couple they play at a New York tenement museum.

Ko Festival of Performance presents THE LAST RAT OF THERESIENSTADT
July 5, 6 at 8:00 PM, July 7 at 4:00 PM
Holden Theater, Amherst College

Lead Writer/Performer/Deviser: HILARY CHAPLAIN
Director/Deviser NANCY SMITHNER
Puppeteeers/Makers/Devisers: ARIEL LAURYN & MINDY ESCOBAR-LEANSE
Composer/Musician: SERGEI DREZNIN
Scenic Design: JUDY GAILEN

Our 2019 season opens with THE LAST RAT OF THERESIENSTADT, a show about Sofia BrĂ¼nn, a Weimar cabaret star from 1930’s Berlin who finds herself transplanted to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. In this completely foreign habitat, she forges an unlikely friendship with Pavel, a rat (played by a puppet), who despite the lack of food that has driven away the rest of his kind, remains out of love for her and her art.

THE LAST RAT is show about resistance and hope, and the need to fill the soul as well as the body. A black comedy, it’s a low tech, multi-media play with music, rod/bunraku style puppetry (our titular Rat), shadow puppetry,  overhead projections (artwork from the camp used to set the scene and illustrate a landscape for our story) — and three performers.

Developed at Ko during a 2017 rehearsal residency, the piece was performed in New York at The Tank and to sold-out houses at two theater/puppet festivals in Poland.  It won the Jury Grand Prize, Student Jury Prize, Audience Prize, A Moment of Beauty in Puppetry awards at the Lalka Tez Cztowiek Puppet Fest, Warsaw, Poland. It will be touring to Israel in the fall.

Tickets available online 
(413) 542-3750

Ghost Light Theater will present Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama How I Learned to Drive

July 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 at 8:00 PM and July 7 at 2:00 PM in the Mark Landy Party Hall at Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street in Holyoke. Directed by Sue Dziura. 

How I Learned to Drive is a warm, tragic, funny, and strikingly perceptive memory play in which a young woman named Li’l Bit looks back on her warped experience with love and struggles to forgive in the face of her past sexual trauma. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 the matinee performance, and will be available at the door or online.

How I Learned to Drive addresses difficult subject matter but does so with compassion, sophistication, and gentle humor. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play, as well as her second OBIE.
This play deals with difficult subject matter and is intended for mature audiences.

How I Learned To Drive is presented with permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Facebook Event.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Understudies: An Improvised Musical
July 6 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, July 6th at 7pm at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). Tickets: $13 online and at the door.
For more info:
ALL TICKETS:  $9.50 each ($9.00 each if all three shows are purchased at the same time)
Monday, July 8 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm
Tuesday, July 9 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, July 10 - 10am, 1pm

Sunday July 28 - 1pm & 4pm
Monday, Juy 29 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, July 30 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, July 31 - 10am, 1pm

Monday, July 15 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm
Tuesday, July 16 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, July 17 - 10am, 1pm

Sunday August 4 - 1pm & 4pm
Monday, August 5 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, August 6 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, August 7 - 10am, 1pm

Monday, July 22 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm
Tuesday, July 23 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, July 24 - 10am, 1pm

Sunday August 11 - 1pm & 4pm
Monday, August 12 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, August 13 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, August 14 - 10am, 1pm
Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour in Northampton, presented by North Star
Four shows July 9 & 10 1:00 pm and 6 pm
Three County Fairgrounds, 113 Old Ferry Rd, Northampton, MA

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton, thanks to North Star! Circus Smirkus, New England's premier traveling youth circus, proudly presents its all-new show, “Carnival.” Come to the Big Top Tent for a spectacular lineup of unforgettable acts, with amazing acrobats, clowns,(Gate 4, 113 Old Ferry Road, Northampton) jaunty jugglers, and wondrous wire-walkers. Awe, delight, and side-splitting laughter awaits!

Tickets available locally at River Valley Co-op and A2Z Science and Learning Store and online. More information.
Wednesday, July 10 - 7:30pm - $9
Wednesday, July 17 - 7:30pm - $9
Wednesday, July 24 - 7:30pm - $9
Wednesday, July 31 - 7:30pm - $9
Wednesday, August 7 - 7:30pm - $9
Wednesday, August 14 - 7:30pm - $9

Returning on Wednesday nights will be Improvisational Comedy with The Majesters, which features a troupe of the best improv comics from across the Pioneer Valley and beyond for an evening of unscripted comic mayhem.  The program begins with improv scenes similar to "Whose Line is it Anyway," and is followed by a storyline that's developed with help from the audience.  Improvisational Comedy with The Majesters takes place Wednesday nights at 7:30pm July 10-August 14.  Tickets are $9 and are available at the door the night of each show.
Ko Festival of Performance presents OK, OK by Katie Pearl
July 12, 13 at 8:00 PM, July 14 at 4:00 PM
Holden Theater, Amherst College


Writer/Performer: KATIE PEARL
Scenic Design: DEB O

OK, OK is a performance reckoning with the racism of today through the lens of what Katie Pearl learned—and didn’t learn—about Oklahoma history while growing up in Tulsa, OK. Performed by Pearl with a local ensemble of four, OK, OK weaves together personal biography and civic narrative to crack open closed surfaces and get at what’s underneath. Hilarious, heartbreaking and informative, it reveals the truths and untruths we as a country tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going.

OK, OK was developed, in part, during a 2018 Ko Festival Rehearsal Residency.

Running time: Approx. 85 minutes. Suitable for ages 12 and up.

Tickets available online 
(413) 542-3750

Happier Valley Comedy presents The Ha-Ha's & Friends: Axolotl
July 13 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Local favorites The Ha-Ha's perform alongside special guests from Boston Axolotl! Saturday, July 13th at 7pm at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). Tickets: $13 online and at the door.
For more info:
What We See
A.P.E. @ Hawley is launching "What We See", a month long project of five theater works in development at 33 Hawley Street and SCDT from July 7 – August 4, 2019..  “What We See” is designed to provide support for the evolving work of these five artists and artist groups. Each project will be provided a week of time and space in the flexible performance space at 33 Hawley St. and at SCDT, and will culminate in public showings at the end of each week.  Each project was selected because of its unique vision- use of spoken language and movement, use of other mediums, choice of performers and audiences they hope to reach.  “What We See” will assist each project deepen their investigations of what makes theater. 

July 7-14 (SCDT):
Andrew Pester’s Prelude to a Eulogy is an unearthing of queer ancestry through multidisciplinary archive, community storytelling, and performance ritual.  The week-in-residence will be part improvisation and part composing, reading, and digesting. A final showing will occur on Saturday, July 13 from 5-6 pm.
What We See
A.P.E. @ Hawley is launching "What We See", a month long project of five theater works in development at 33 Hawley Street and SCDT from July 7 – August 4, 2019..  “What We See” is designed to provide support for the evolving work of these five artists and artist groups. Each project will be provided a week of time and space in the flexible performance space at 33 Hawley St. and at SCDT, and will culminate in public showings at the end of each week.  Each project was selected because of its unique vision- use of spoken language and movement, use of other mediums, choice of performers and audiences they hope to reach.  “What We See” will assist each project deepen their investigations of what makes theater. 
July 7-14: 
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble develops Moving Water in collaboration with director Sheryl Stoodley, musician Jonny Rodgers, visual artist Roz Driscoll, playwright Eric Sanders, and designer Robin Doty.  
Public Showing: 
Saturday July 13, 7:30 to 8:45pm: “Getting Our Feet Wet” – A first step into Serious Play’s Moving Water Project a sharing of the collaborative artistic work and the discoveries. Phone to sign up for a 10 minute time slot for a walk thru to view the experiments: 413-588-7439.
9pm-9:45pm: Discussion with the five artist collaborators, and the acting ensemble and background on MOVING WATER.  For viewers 13 yrs and up (Suggested Donation toward the continuation of this project- $20 at the door)
Hampshire Shakespeare Company is pleased to present The *Annotated* Taming as a part of our 30th season of Shakespeare Under the Stars!

The *Annotated* Taming:
Or, Out of the Saddle, Into the Dirt
From Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew

Adapted & Directed by Toby Vera Bercovici
with music & lyrics by Old Flame

July 17-21 & 24-28
7 p.m.
Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies

Ticket Prices:
Adult: $15 | Student/Senior: $10 | Child: $7

For more info & tickets visit


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. 


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:

JOB OPENING at UMass Amherst

The Department of Theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst invites applications for a full-time, non-tenure-track lecturer in African American Theater and Playwriting/Playmaking.  This is a spring semester initial appointment with the possibility of renewal for an additional year, beginning January 15, 2020. The Department seeks a candidate with experience in playwriting and/or playmaking, African American theater and/or African American cultural production and a demonstrated record of professional theater experience at the national level.   
Responsibilities include: Teaching courses in playwriting/playmaking and African American theater, teaching undergraduate- and graduate MFA-level courses, and interacting with the Department’s multicultural curriculum and public outreach initiatives. This position is central to the Department’s interest in exploring and generating new theatrical works, both in workshop form and on our main stages as part of our production season. Candidate must have M.F. A. in Theater or equivalent professional experience. Salary is commensurate with experience. 
To apply, please submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae (including email and phone contact information for references) and three current letters of recommendation to UMass Theater Chair Gina Kaufmann via email.

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.

Real Live Theatre presents Choreographing Intimacy: a one-day intensive for all theatre practitioners
August 17 at 10:00 AM
45 Amherst Road, Sunderland MA 01375

“Intimacy Choreography” is a relatively new concept, having emerged out of a need to protect actors from unsafe working conditions and blurred boundaries. It is an important practice not only for the mental, physical, and emotional health of actors, but also for the experience of the audience: the more safe and grounded the performers, the more electric the scene. Utilizing techniques from multiple disciplines, including yoga, dance, and theater, Ellen and Toby will guide participants through a safe and specific process to develop choreography that feels motivated and appropriate for characters and situation, as well as authentic and dynamic in terms of external behaviors.

•As a performer, the take away will include language with which to speak to your director and co-actors and tools to create safe working conditions when there aren’t any. 

•As a director, teacher, or choreographer, you will learn how to build a safe environment, lead exercises to create trust within that environment, and utilize specific skills for analyzing and staging intimate moments.

•As an arts administrator, you will learn best practices for ensuring safe working conditions for your employees.

Check out the website for all the logistics and to register. Register by July 20 and receive $25 off the workshop cost!

Email Ellen and Toby with any questions.
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

Drama Studio

Double Edge Theatre

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Franklin County Youth Theater

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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