Thursday, July 11, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 11, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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  July 11 - 31, 2019

There seems to be a lot of great theatre going on this month - which is perfect. You can spend the day in the sunshine and still get into the a/c for a little bit of relief in that strange afternoon humidity we've been getting all week. 

Real Live Theatre will be offering a workshop on Choreographing Intimacy this August - you can save $25 by registering before July 20. In the listing below, RLT has included a nice description of what the workshop will entail and how it will be helpful to people coming from all different angles to the theatre. This week's Howlround article may also help to illustrate how important this can be. And go see How I Learned to Drive at Ghost Light Theatre this weekend!

The PVTN Google Calendar is available through that link - if you want to add your events, send me an email and I'll give you permission.

The next issue will include events through August 7. 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! 
Real Live Theatre's Choreographing Intimacy Workshop
August 17 - Register Here
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround
Staging Sexual Assault Responsibly
by Charlene Smith

From the article: 

Barnstorming speeches, rousing calls to action, and unapologetic feminist rhetoric fill the play Emilia, written by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm for Shakespeare’s Globe in 2018. But, for me, the most profound moment in this all-female show is one I imagine slips by for a lot of others. The play is a historical fantasy about Emilia Bassano Lanier, sometimes thought to have been the Dark Lady of the Sonnets and a lover of Shakespeare’s. Near the end of the play, Shakespeare brags to Emilia that he’s “the world’s most famous playwright so any theatre I may step into can legitimately be considered ‘My gaff.’” Emilia responds, with quiet strength, “Not right now it isn’t.” The conversation in the play quickly moves on, but that moment reverberated through me.

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?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
ArtsBeat Radio and News Column
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
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

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.

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

July 11, 12 & 13 at 8:00 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.
Chester Theatre Company presents Now Circa Then by Carly Mensch
July 11-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 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
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 8-12(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.
Public showing and Q & A: Friday,  July 12 at 7 pm.  By donation.

Strident Theatre presents Strident Reading Series: The Rebound

Saturday, July 13 at 2:00 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Smith College

Join us for the final staged reading in Strident's 2019 season, The Rebound by Annalise Cain! Bev is sick of the dating grind in Manhattan, so her roommate arms her with pick-up artist techniques…created by a man. Meanwhile, Hal’s been in a bit of a slump since his ex dumped him three months ago, so his roommate sets him up with Bev! What could possibly go wrong? With high jinks galore, this dystopian Friends episode may not be what it seems. Directed by Ezekiel Baskin. With Christopher Rojas, Nichole Wadleigh, Mikel Garcia, and Kyle Boatwright.


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:
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble’s
Culmination of July Week of Dramatic Exploration
* Saturday, July 13 at 7:30pm / Gathering in Downstairs Lobby
Donations toward continuation of this project at the door
The Big Space- Northampton Arts Trust- 33 Hawley St.

Following closely on the heels of Serious Play’s June presentation of THE WALL with Jessica Litwak, this July, five collaborating artists and a select group of ensemble actors, enter the spaces at the Northampton Community Arts Trust building as part of the July Block "theatre in development” residency series, “WHAT WE SEE” produced by A.P.E @Hawley. This is Serious Play’s intensive week of theatrical collaboration exploring the movement, sound, musical, visual and dramatic possibilities around our often invisible, yet extremely valuable resource…WATER...

Be added to the audience Walk Through & Discussion list for this event- OR phone 413-588-7439

ALL TICKETS:  $9.50 each ($9.00 each if all three shows are purchased at the same time)
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


Sunday July 28 - 1pm & 4pm
Monday, Juy 29 - 10am, 1pm & 6:30pm 
Tuesday, July 30 - 10am, 1pm
Wednesday, July 31 - 10am, 1pm
TheatreTruck Meet & Greets are BACK by popular demand!
We've heard from lots of folks hoping to get together, so we are answering the call.

WHAT : A casual night out of chatting and networking. Grab a drink, say hello, talk up your latest project. We hope to see you there.

WHO: Performing Arts People of the Valley

Join us in Northampton for our kick-off. It's "community pint night" at the Brewery, so you can get a pint and choose which featured non-profit to support.

PLEASE help spread the word and add your company members and colleagues to the guest list.

This is a very low-key gathering. Come when you can, stay as long as you like. We will be there 6-9.

Tuesday, June 16
6pm-9pm at Northampton Brewery in the bar area
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
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.
Chester Theater Co. and Eggtooth Productions
A new immersive theater experience created by John Bechtold

Gem of the Valley
July 18 at 3 PM, 19 at 6 PM, and 20 at 3 and 6 PM

Gem of the Valley is a headphones-based immersive theater piece that puts you on a walk through the town of Chester, en route to CTC stage.  Designed for small groups of no more than six people at a time, you are set on an hour-long adventure that blurs the borders between theater, dream, and real life. 

With a storied town as a central character, Gem is a tribute to Chester and its home-grown theater that celebrates its 30th anniversary this summer.  The show is directed by John Bechtold, whose previous immersive works around the Valley include Sam's Place, Deus Ex Machina, Before You Became Improbable and The Winter's Tale.  

How Do I Purchase Tickets? 
Tickets should be purchased directly from Chester Theatre Company.
Strange worlds. Fantastical adventures. Mythic visions. Who is Baron Von Munchausen? Hero? Liar? Buffoon? Double Edge’s upcoming Spectacle is an ode to joy and a journey of the imagination indoors, outdoors, to the stars and back.
"Reality? Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever," says Baron Munchausen.

I am the Baron is created by the DE Ensemble and directed by Matthew Glassman & Jeremy Louise Eaton.



July 19 - August 18
PaintBox Theatre presents EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A PIRATE
Williston Theater
18 Payson Avenue
Easthampton, MA
July 20, Saturday, 10:30 & 1:00
July 21, Sunday, 10:30 & 1:00
Aug 7, Wednesday, 10:30 & 1:00

They areeeeeeee back with more jokes, more treasure, and more shenanigINs-and-OUTs. Kelsey Flynn, Troy Mercier, Myka Plunkett, and (out on his maiden voyage with PaintBox) Gerrin Mitchell will be holding strong this summer on deck with all new jokes. You're always welcome to join the crew for the third installment of the saga that is PaintBox PIRATES !!!

Tickets are also available at the box office on the day of the show(s). Parking available in the rear lot.
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 14-21
Long Bright Day is Karinne Keithley’s new play about political avatars and human community. A great leader decides to quit making pro-forma public statements so she can commune with an immensity on a boat by her lake house and rule her country in peace. A small community of political exiles wait and wait for their work to produce change. Everyone's done saying things the way they always said them. Everyone's watching the television. If they had bigger imaginations, they could say more. Or at least so says a chorus of cats out in the interplanetary light. 
Community Playwriting Workshop
Mon-Fri July 15-19:  9:30am-12 noon, pay-what-you-will
Public showing of work in progress:  Saturday 20th 7pm:  By donation.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Family Comedy Show
July 20 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W Bay Rd., Amherst)

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, great for 5-13 year olds and their adults. It's funny for the whole family! Saturday, July 20th 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 Not In Charge
July 20 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 true stories from the cast and audience! Saturday, July 20th 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:
Ko Festival of Performance Story Slam
Saturday, July 20 at 8:00 PM
Holden Theater, Amherst College

Since 2011, Ko Festival of Performance has hosted story slams: a fast-paced evening of true stories. This year’s “Habitat” themed story slam can be seen for one night only on Saturday, July 20 in the Holden Theater at Amherst College. For reservations please go to, call (413) 542-3750, or email
Ko Festival Artistic Director, Sabrina Hamilton says, "each summer the Ko Festival is curated on a theme that we think is timely and of compelling interest to people in the Pioneer Valley. The festival becomes a kind of five-week think tank, each week we present a different show that offers a different and entertaining lens on the theme.  Most of the Ko Festival artists come from across the country, but we like to get more local participation into the mix and thus, most of the Story Slam storytellers are local. The Slam is a chance to hear stories from our neighbors about their own experiences as they relate to the theme." 
Stories must be true, first person (though they need not be about the storyteller, there does need to be some first-hand involvement or witnessing). and related to Ko’s season theme of “HABITAT.”  Hamilton says “This year we’re interested in stories that have to do with human habitats – particularly changes in human habitats. For example, we might have a story that looks back at where someone grew up, or about move to a new locale or culture.  It could be a story about you, or a story about someone or something you’ve personally observed, but somehow it must have that first-person element. There’s lots of room for lots of kinds of stories., but all stories must be 5 minutes or under and told without notes. A gentle warning tone is sounded at four minutes and a far louder chime at the cut-off point. Hamilton says laughingly, "storytellers are allowed to finish the sentence they’re in the middle of — but no run-on sentences!”  There are 3 sets of 5 storytellers.  
Many of the performers will be telling stories that they have worked on in the 6-day “FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance” workshop that Ko offers each summer. The sold-out class is taught by Jerry Stropnicky, a multi-faceted theatre artist (director, writer and actor) who has traveled widely, creating original large-scale, site-specific performances in communities facing trauma, crisis, transition, or change. For this work, as well as for his role in co-founding the national Network of Ensemble Theaters, Jerry was honored as a United States Artists Fellow in 2010. More information about Stropnicky available at
Others who are interested in pitching a story can email with their contact information (including a phone number), a brief bio, and a description of the story they’d like to tell.  Most of the roster of storytellers will be set before the event, but Ko also saves at least one “wildcard” slot to be given away before the last set. If there are more people interested in these slots than there is space for on the roster - prospective storytellers audition their first lines and then the audience decide which story they’d like to hear in its entirety. In fact, the Grand Prize winner of Ko’s very first Story Slam, the “Secrets” one, Amherst resident Anne Burton, was so inspired by the stories she has heard that she found the courage to tell her own hysterically funny of her experience of moving from a desk job to a floor job at the Playboy Bunny Club in NYC. 
Each audience member is given a ballot on the way into the Holden Theater, and they vote for winners in 3 categories: Most Poignant or Moving, Most Humorous, and Best Storytelling Skills. The person getting the most overall votes wins the Grand Prize. There are festive refreshments and prizes. Hamilton adds, “the story slam is immensely popular. It usually sells out - probably because we are blessed to live in an area rich with story and full of talented raconteurs. The event is also our annual fundraiser that is part of the funding package that allows Ko to bring a 28th season of exciting work to the Valley. So at the end of the evening - we feel that everyone is a winner."
The Ko Festival of Performance Story Slam will be held one night only: Saturday, July 20 at 8:00 PM. KoFest performances take place in Amherst College’s Holden Theater, located behind the Admissions Office off South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Tickets are priced at: $16 General and $10 for SNAP/EBT cardholders. Tickets are available online at, by email at  and by phone at (413) 542-3750. The box office phone line is staffed daily from 1-5 and 1 to curtain on performance days.

Ko Festival of Performance presents Mettawee River Theater Company's The Ring Dove
Sunday, July 21 at 8:00 PM
Amherst College Observatory Lawn.  The backup rain space is Amherst’s Holden Theater.

This year, Ko Festival of Performance will present a special outdoor family friendly show for one night only. The Mettawee River Theatre Company has spent two years preparing a new version of “The Ring Dove,” which they first performed in 1988. An allegorical tale about friendship, it is drawn from The Panchatantra, a collection of stories whose origins reach back over 2,000 years, to ancient India. 
The central characters of “The Ring Dove” are a crow, a rat, a turtle and a gazelle, whose behavior and relationships reflect many aspects of human nature. The production tells the story of the creatures’ growth in friendship with each other, as they achieve strength and harmony through cooperation and understanding.
The production will incorporate an array of giant figures, puppets, and masks and will be performed out under the stars in a landscape permeated with live music, song and a spirit of celebration. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and insect repellent, but leave the dogs at home.
The Mettawee River Theatre Company, founded in 1975, creates original theater productions which incorporate masks, giant figures, puppets and other visual elements with live music, movement and text, drawing on myths, legends and folklore of the world’s many cultures for its material. The company is committed to bringing theater to people who have little or no access to live professional theater. Each year Mettawee presents outdoor performances in rural communities of upstate New York and New England as well as performing in the New York City area. For more information visit
There will be one performance only, on Sunday, July 21 at 8:00 PM. The performance will be held on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn off of Snell Street in Amherst. Rain Space: Amherst College’s Holden Theater. Tickets are $9 Adults / $7 Children (12 & under). Cash or check only.  No credit cards at the door. Tickets and further information on the savings that come with the KoFest “Passes & Posses” program are also available at or by calling the box office at (413) 542-3750.  

Ko Festival of Performance presents (dis)Place[d]
July 26, 27 at 8:00 PM and July 28 at 4:00 PM
Holden Theater, Amherst College

Written and performed by DEBÓRAH ELIEZER
Directed by BEN YALOM

In (dis)Place[d], foolsFURY Co-Artistic Director Debórah Eliezer cracks open the assumptions of her own identity through the story of her father, Edward Ben-Eliezer, an Iraqi Jew born in 1930, a member of the Zionist underground, refugee, Israeli spy, and immigrant to America.

Eliezer brings twenty years’ experience as an acclaimed physical performer to create a dozen different characters, including her father at three different ages, her great grandmother, their Iraqi neighbors, an ethereal embodiment of the Tigris Euphrates valley itself, refugees, immigrants, and more.

First generation immigrants have often hidden the stories of their past, sometimes to keep painful memories from their children, sometimes to enthusiastically embrace their new countries. The children are caught between cultures, with no way of acknowledging a multi-national, multi-ethnic identity. It was not until Eliezer’s father had begun his descent into dementia that she began to glimpse his past.

“We kept cyanide in our socks,” he said out of the blue one day. And she learned that her peace-loving father had been a spy for the Israeli Defense Forces. Other stories trickled out:

  • as a child he hid for days on a rooftop as Baghdadi Jews were slaughtered during the Farhoud, a Nazi-inspired “pogrom”;

  • at 11 he joined the Zionist underground, smuggling weapons;

  • at 19 he was targeted for assassination, fled Baghdad, crossed the desert on foot, and lived in a refugee camp on the Iraq/Iran border for two years;

  • he managed to bring 8 of his 9 siblings to Israel, unable to save the eldest, who stayed behind and was killed.

Bit by bit Debórah uncovered her roots, and the remarkable history of the Iraqi Jewish Diaspora. Remarkable because Jews had been deeply integrated into Iraqi life for over 2500 years, and made up a third of Baghdad’s population in 1940. And because, within a decade, all 130,000 were gone, expelled, escaped, or killed. Today fewer than 10 Jews remain in Iraq.

(DIS)PLACE[D] follows her exploration of these stories, and asks hard questions: Who has the right to tell the story of a people? What is the significance of borders versus land and culture? What is the relationship of nationality to identity? The work aims to open a space for community dialogue around these issues in general, and specifically within the diaspora of Mizrahi Jews. Through this journey, the artist also finds a missing part of herself, “a song sung in a language I can’t understand” as she puts it. “A dream I can’t remember.”

“Luminous…So beautifully written, performed and directed that you might wish it were longer.” (SF Examiner)

Tickets available online 
(413) 542-3750

New Century Theatre presents A WALK IN THE WOODS by Lee Blessing
Directed by Sam Rush
The West End at Eastworks
116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA 01027

July 26 - August 4
Friday, Saturday - 7:30 PM
Sunday matinee - 2:00 PM
Sunday evening - 7:30 PM

Beginning July 26th we'll present A WALK IN THE WOODS by Lee Blessing at The West End space located in Easthampton's Eastworks building. Directed by Sam Rush, this comedy/drama is set in the early 80's toward the end of the Cold War. A newly assigned American diplomat tries desperately to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty with her more experienced Soviet counterpart. As the talks stall and tensions mount the two decide to take a stroll in a mountain glen in Switzerland, away from the negotiating table, and the prying eyes of the press corps.
Eastworks at 116 Pleasant Street in Easthampton is surrounded by a wealth of great dining establishments and pubs all just a short distance from the West End Performance space.

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

Information & Questions:
A reading of off-Broadway play Occupied Territories at the Flex Space at 33 Hawley Street.
Local veterans to highlight intergenerational impact from wartime service.
Public Readings: July 26 & 27 – 7:00 P.M.  Free
Workshop: July 27, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. In connection with Occupied Territories, a writing workshop, led by acclaimed Vietnam Veteran and prize-winning author, Preston Hood of Colrain, Mass., will take place Saturday, July 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Flex Space. People interested in joining the workshop should send an email to
Occupied Territories is part of “What We See”, four weeks of theater projects presented by A.P.E. @Hawley.
Supported in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Western MA and the Northampton Arts Council. 

NORTHAMPTON, MA – Several community partners in western Massachusetts will present a staged reading of the play,Occupied Territories, at the Flex Space at 33 Hawley Street on July 26 and 27 at 7 p.m.  The readings are free to the public and are followed by a post-reading discussion.
Following its sold out off-Broadway run in 2017, Occupied Territories will be coming to Northampton for a special engagement reading that brings together actors from the New York City production and local veterans. Occupied Territories tells the story of an adult daughter coming to terms with her father’s experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War.  Inspired by the true story of a Massachusetts Vietnam veteran and the impact of his war experience on his life and on his family, the play’s themes of love and loss resonate with audiences. As one man said after seeing the play: “It is a love story: within a family and between soldiers.”
The reading is part of a project started by the creators of Occupied Territories, where the writers, director, and actors connect with local veterans to work on the play together for a week. 
 “It is a powerful and moving experience to hear Vietnam veterans reading for 19-year-old characters in the jungles of Vietnam,” said co-writer/director Mollye Maxner. Occupied Territories delves into the intergenerational impacts of war on families, and it serves to support increased conversation between soldiers and civilians, and between veterans and their families.
Maxner is a native of Northampton currently on faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Her father, Steve Maxner, served in Vietnam and received care at the inpatient PTSD unit at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Leeds. Bringing her family’s story to Northampton is in many ways an act of bringing the play “home.”
This summer’s reading is a first step in bringing a fully staged production of Occupied Territories to Northampton in 2020.
Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services, the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Department of the American Gold Star Mothers, the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System, and the Human Service Forum have worked together to bring the readings to Northampton and are key community partners assisting the Occupied Territories production team. 
For more information on Occupied Territories visit
Mary Poppins: Exit 7 Youth Players

July 26 - August 4, 2019
7/26 and 8/2 at 8pm; 7/27, 7/28, 8/3, and 8/4 at 2pm
Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA 01056

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect musical!

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."

Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stagecraft. This show is a perfect opportunity to showcase a strong, iconic female performer, as well as unique special effects and illusions.

Tickets On Sale Now!
Julian Olf Memorial Service

Everyone is welcome to a memorial service celebrating the life of Julian Olf, who passed way this past winter. The memorial service will take place on Saturday, July 27 at 10:00 a.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Center, with a reception immediately following in the FAC Atrium.

Announced on behalf of Julian Olf's family.

Tributes to Professor Olf from former students and colleagues during his time with UMass Theater.
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Happier Valley Championship
July 27 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, July 27th 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:


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. 
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.

Springfield College Theater seeking Scenic Designer/Technical Director
August 26, 2019
Springfield Colllege scene shop and Fuller Arts Center theater

The Theater Program at Springfield College invites applicants for a position as Scenic Designer/Technical Director for the Springfield College Theater. The program produces one play each semester, and the position is contracted on a per production fee basis. To apply, please contact Professor Martin Shell, Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts department, at, with a letter of interest, CV, and references.
STCC presents The Play's The Thing
Program runs July 29-August 2
STCC Campus

A week of theater immersion for kids ages 11-14 that includes theater games, improvisation, and an adaptive short play performed at the end of the week for family and friends. This week of theater builds social skills, confidence, and self-esteem.

More information.
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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