Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 13, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 June 13 - July 3, 2019

The Ko Festival of Performance has openings in two of their summer workshops - Toy Theatre and Unlocking Inspiration. If you are interested in either, sign up soon to guarantee a spot!

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The next issue will include events through July 10. 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
Directing and Embracing Open Texts
by Kate Bergstrom

From the article: 

“My body is one with the bike,” says the kid. The kid is played by one to two to three or more performers in Caridad Svich’s Red Bike. Svich calls this play an open text, which means that when it comes to cast size, performers, character breakdown, and more, it is up to the artists interacting with the text to choose.

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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

The fourth play in Silverthorne’s New Play Reading series is DEAR GALILEO, by Claire Willett. It will be read at 7 pm on Thursday, June 13 in the Franklin County Coop meeting space at  170 Main Street., Greenfield. The reading is free and open to the public.
Dear Galileo follows three women in three different times as they 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.
Willett quotes Father Raymond Carey at the top of her script: “All creation is connected. We are stardust. Literally. Do you know why your blood is red? Iron. Which is one of the same molecules that makes up the matter of space. Jesus' blood was red as well. Jesus also was made of stardust.” She also includes a quote from Galileo Galilei: “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.”
Directed by Rebecca Daniels, the cast of 8 readers shifts back and forth within three different time periods. and locations. In 2006 in Arizona we have Jasper Willows (a famous astrophysicist and author read by Chris Devine; Cassie Willows (Jasper’s daughter, a welding artist read by Schuyler Evans); and Gabriel Vaughan  (a Jesuit astrophysicist, Jasper’s assistant read by John Haag. The Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (read by Nick Simms and his daughter Celeste (read by Val Vaille) appear in 1641 Italy. Finally, in 2017 Robert Snow (read by Dan Jarvis) is a research fellow at a creationist think tank where he is joined by his precocious 10-year-old daughter Haley (read by Vivienne Potee.).

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.
Majestic Theater

“Johnny Got His Gun” is a riveting drama that reminds us that behind every casualty of war, there’s a story of a young person whose hopes, aspirations and dreams are stolen from them. Tosh Foerster stars as Joe Bonham in this play based on the Dalton Trumbo novel. Show dates are June 13 (7:30pm) and June 14 (8pm). Tickets are $26 & $24. Call the box office at 413.747.7797.

Directed by Rand Foerster, Lights by Dan Rist, Sound by Justin LeTellier

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:

The Firefly Creative present Urinetown: The Musical
 6/14 @ 7 pm 6/15-6/16 @ 6 PM.
348 Stony Hill Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095

Urinetown, where the humor is clean but the people definitely aren’t. 

Join us for our inaugural production of an off-the-walls, rip roaring musical that won multiple Tony awards, where high restroom taxes cause a young boy named Bobby Strong to start a revolution.

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:
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 20 – 29 in The Perch at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. 
The run kicks off with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County Opening Night Benefit on June 20 with all tickets priced at $30, proceeds to benefit the charitable organization. Patrons will enjoy a special Pre-Show Reception at 7 pm in the theater, followed by the performance at 7:30 pm.  
Dates for the production are June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm. The Sunday matinee on June 23 begins at 2 pm. Tickets for opening night, June 20, are all $30; otherwise 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.
Three nights, three eras, one cast.  

Upon arrival, go to the side door of the theater, and use the password "Rosebud" to gain access.

Bring a friend--or four. We invite you to dress for the occasion.

WHEN: Saturday, June 22nd at 8PM 

WHERE: Shea Theater Arts Center
$12 in advance/ $15 at the door

Cash bar! Local beer, wine, and custom champagne cocktails.
Live music! Performer to be announced. New performers every night!


What is Sam's Place?
Sam's Place is a secret club where everyone gets to be an insider, held for three consecutive nights at the Shea Theater.  Snuck in via a side door with a password, audience members find their way through the building to Sam's - a pop-up bar with live music all night and special drinks for the occasion.  A cast of characters, all of whom share some connection to Sam, await you to share their stories across the evening.  And - if you're lucky - one of them might sneak you off into the corners of the building for a magical tête-à-tête.  The twist?  Sam's Place will transform each evening of the run - June 20-22 - into a club from a different era.  

What will Sam's Place be each night?
Thursday, June 20: Speakeasy, 1925
Friday, June 21: Folk Club, 1967
Saturday, June 22: Dance Club and Bar, 1984

How does it work?
Each evening, audience members will arrive to the Shea with a (not so secret) password: "Rosebud."  After giving our doorman the password, you'll be escorted into the building through a special route that will transport you to Sam's.  Audience members are encouraged to dress for the occasion and to bring some cash for the bar, where era-appropriate drinks will be served.  Live music and a drink are just the start of your night.  As the audience settles in, the residents of Sam's Place will begin to emerge and share the many secrets the evening has in store.

Is this a play or a music event?
It's both.  Sam will keep you caught up in live music all night, with many theatrical ventures at the edges of the show.  Characters from Sam's will interact with the audience across the night, and you'll be encouraged to seek them out to learn their stories.  That said, you could have a fine evening of it with the band all night by itself!

I heard that this is immersive theater.  Does that mean that I'll be forced to perform?
Absolutely not.  As an audience member, you stay fully in charge of your experience.  You may choose to seek out the stories and characters of Sam's, which will unlock new corners of the show, or you can stay a fly on the wall, taking it all in.  It's up to you.

How should I dress?
We encourage you to dress for the appropriate era each night of the show.

If the show changes every night, can I come back?
Yes!  There will be brand new experiences and performances each night of the show.  Returning is encouraged.

I still have questions.  Who can I talk to?
Contact Emma Ayres (Shea Program coordinator at
Chester Theatre Company presents THE NIGHT ALIVE by Conor McPherson
une 20-30; 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.
Odyssey Bookshop presents a reading by Regina Porter

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
9 College st.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Join us Thursday, June 20 at 7:00pm for an evening discussion and book signing with Regina Porter, author of The Travelers

About the Book

The adventures of two families unfold and intertwine—across continents and generations, spanning the 1950s through Obama’s first year as president—in The Travelers, an absorbing tale of family, history, and the persistence of love.

Meet James Samuel Vincent, an affluent Manhattan attorney who shirks his modest Irish American background but hews to his father’s meandering ways. James muddles through a topsy-turvy relationship with his son, Rufus, which is further complicated when Rufus marries Claudia Christie.
Claudia’s mother— Agnes Miller Christie—is a beautiful African American woman who survives a chance encounter on a Georgia road that propels her into a new life in the Bronx. Soon after, her husband, Eddie Christie, is called to duty on an air craft carrier in Vietnam, where Tom Stoppard’s play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” becomes Eddie’s life anchor, as he grapples with mounting racial tensions on the ship and counts the days until he will see Agnes again.
These unforgettable characters’ lives intersect with a cast of lovers and friends—the unapologetic black lesbian who finds her groove in 1970s Berlin; a moving man stranded in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during a Thanksgiving storm; two half-brothers who meet as adults in a crayon factory; and a Coney Island waitress whose Prince Charming is too good to be true.
With piercing humor, exacting dialogue, and a beautiful sense of place, Regina Porter’s debut is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today.

About the Author

Regina Porter is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of a 2017-2018 Rae Armour West Postgraduate Scholarship. She is also a 2017 Tin House Summer Workshop Scholar. Her fiction has been published in The Harvard Review. An award-winning writer with a background in playwriting, Porter has worked with Playwrights Horizons, the Joseph Papp Theater, New York Stage and Film, the Women's Project, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Horizon Theatre Company. She has been anthologized in Plays from Woolly Mammoth by Broadway Play Services and Heinemann's Scenes for Women by Women. She has also been profiled in Southern Women Playwrights: New Essays in History and Criticism from the University of Alabama Press. Porter was born in Savannah, Georgia, and lives in Brooklyn.


This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please click here.

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents THE WALL
A close kin to the one we hear so much about, but this wall both real & metaphoric separates Jews from Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. Litwak knows first-hand the perspective from both sides spinning a tale of hope and crushed dreams, faith and failure, and above all the unrelenting search for justice.  

Written and performed by NYC based, award winning international theatre artist, Jessica Litwak
THE WALL- a new one woman play, written & performed by Jessica Litwak with post show discussion following each performance
When:   June 21 & 22    7:30pm
Where:  Flex Space APE@Hawley / Northampton Community Arts Trust 33 Hawley St, Northampton MA

Reservations encouraged:
Ticket Prices:   $22 general, $20 students & seniors, At the door $25 (14 yrs and up)
Additional information: or phone 413-588-7439              

As seen by Serious Play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August, this play uses poetry, humor, and diverse characters through puppetry to give voice to an impossible problem that can only be survived through increased humanity, paradoxical curiosity and artful expression. As a Jewish artist with important relationships in Palestine and Israel, Litwak has a unique perspective on the Occupation. She grapples with deeply felt paradoxes of heart & heritage, east & west, men & women, justice & peace.

Jessica Litwak is a multifaceted international theatre artist focused on theatre for social change & community engagement. She is an award winning playwright, actress, and educator. She received her BA in acting from NYU and her MFA in playwriting from Columbia. She often works creating theatre in the Middle East, Central Europe and the U.K. She is a core member of Theatre Without Borders and Artistic Director of the H.E.A.T. Collective and the founder of Artists Rise Up New York.
Acclaimed One-Man Show to Run at West Springfield Theater June 21-23

Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated actor Gordon Clapp will bring the poetry of Robert Frost to Majestic Theater audiences for four performances June 21-23. Clapp, who has been touring in the one-man show for nearly 10 years has received acclaim for his portrayal of the iconic American poet and native New Englander who was invited by President Kennedy to recite his poem “The Gift Outright” at Kennedy's inauguration.

The play, by A.M. Dolan, combines Frost's lively poetry readings with a more intimate monologue to show the audience both the public and private faces of the beloved poet and long-time Amherst College professor. Gus Kaikkonen will direct the show.

According to Danny Eaton, producing director at the Majestic, “We're really delighted to have an actor of Gordon's stature and reputation on the Majestic stage in a great piece of theater that celebrates one of America's greatest poets.”

Clapp is best known for his Emmy Award-winning portrayal of Detective Greg Medavoy on the TV series “NYPD Blue,” and has been seen most recently in the series “Chicago Fire.” He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Dave Moss in the 2005 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of David Mamet's “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Clapp has appeared in “Flags of our Fathers,” “Moonlight Mile,” “Matewan” and “Eight Men Out.” His television credits include “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Deadwood,” “Wings” and “Cheers.”

Tickets for “This Verse Business” are $26 and $24 and can be purchased over the phone at (413) 747-7797 or in person at the Majestic's box office. More information about “This Verse Business” can be found at
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Valley World Open Cup Grand Prix Series Derby Bowl Championship!
June 22 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

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, June 22nd 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:
Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents Henry V
Directed by Noah Tuleja
June 26-30 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:


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:

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 date!
June 22 
All sessions run from 10am - 4pm
Food will generously be provided by Galaxy

Learn more about how you can participate!
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
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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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