Thursday, November 28, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 28, 2019

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
View this email in your browser

November 28 - December 18, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! This coming Tuesday is #GivingTuesday. As you prepare your list for all the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday sales, don't forget to set aside something for your favorite non-profits. A few participating organizations in the Pioneer Valley include CitySpace, The Academy of Music, Eggtooth Productions, Exit 7 Players, Ware Community Theatre, K and E Theater Group, Flywheel Arts Collective, Serious Play! Ensemble, Silverthorne Theater Company, and many others.

The next issue will include events through December 25. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Submit Your Theatre Event
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround

Protect the Body
by Claire Hennessy

From the article: 

In late 2018, I was commissioned to develop a draft of a play for young people that would shed light on eating disorders (ED), with prevention in mind. I was approached by the producer Emily specifically; not only did we share an interest in ED education and advocacy, but I had also been in recovery for many years from an ED of my own.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet

The Majestic Theater's 23rd Season continues with “Forever Plaid,” a musical that runs October 24 through December 8, according to Producing Director Danny Eaton.

The play, by Stuart Ross, tells the tale of a semi-professional harmony group on their way to their first big gig at the Hilton airport cocktail bar, rehearsing their big finale, when they are slammed broadside by a school bus full of teenage girls on their way to witness the Beatles make their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. While none of the girls are injured, the four harmony singers are killed instantly, but somehow manage to take the stage for one final gig. “Forever Plaid” is filled with great songs that audience members are sure to know and love, and has been described as “screamingly funny and entirely enchanting.”

The cast includes Tomm Knightlee (Smudge), Bryan Austermann (Jinx), Brian Michael Henry (Sparky), and Chris Coffey (Francis). The play is directed by Ben Ashley, and Mitch Chakour is the music director. Set design is by Greg Trochlil, Dawn McKay is costume designer and the lighting design is by Dan Rist. Doug Wallace is sound engineer, and Stephen Petit is production stage manager. The band includes Chakour, Cliff Schofer and Don Rovero.

Ticket prices range from $27 to $34 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (413) 747-7797 or visiting while the box office is open (Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, and Saturday 10am – 1pm). Tickets for the other plays in the Majestic's 23rdSeason can also be purchased.


Play reading series wraps up with programs at Dance Spree and Racial Justice Rising 

November 30, 2019 – 7:00 pm - Climate Change Theatre Action: Lighting the Way: 5 short plays about climate change read during Dance Spree Community Thanksgiving Potluck. Episcopal Church of St James & Andrew, 71 Federal St, downtown Greenfield. Suggested donation: $5-$10 plus potluck contribution. 

December 7, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. – Climate Change Theatre Action: Lighting the Way: 10 short plays about climate change plus songs about the earth by Musica Franklin's youth chorus, followed by a talk-back session. First Congregational Church, 43 Silver Street, Greenfield. Childcare available with reservation: Contact with number and ages of children. FREE.

5th Saturday FUNdrariser: All Star Show! 
November 30th at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)

A special show featuring an all star cast of improvisers with all proceeds being donated to the Welcome Home Refugee Resettlement Program. Saturday, November 30th 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:
STCC Theater presents Circle Mirror Transformation

12/5/19 at 11:00 AM, 12/06/2019 at 7:00PM and 12/07/2019 at 7:00PM

Scibelli Hall Theater, STCC, One Armory Square, Springfield, MA 01102

The College Theater Workshop at Springfield Technical Community College will bring to the stage “Circle Mirror Transformation,” a play centered around drama classes in a community center located in a fictional town in Vermont. The play traces the lives of a handful of small-town Vermont residents who gather each week for an acting class. After they begin to experiment with harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart and time wars of epic proportions are waged and won. Tickets, which cost between $5-$8, are available at the door
Mr. Drag and Karl 
to the Shea Theatre,
71 Avenue A in Turners
for their annual holiday show
on December 6 and 7
at 7:30 both nights. 

Tickets are $20 at
and free for all children under 12. 

This is a family friendly drag show with a few jokes tucked in for adults, an entertainment filled with song, dance and story enjoyable for both children and adults.

Broadway makeup designer, and Emmy nominee, Joe Dulude had this to say about the show that is based upon the favorite Seussian tale about the Grinch, “We all know the tale of how a Grinch with bad intentions tried to steal Christmas from a town and how the town showed him that the holiday wasn’t about the material things but about spending time with each other.  In our version the Grinch has very good intentions,  however misguided.  He is sad to spend the holidays alone and takes Karl so that he can have someone to spend the holidays with.  He already has a big heart, he just needs to be shown that he is parter of a much larger family.”

As Katherine Adler pointed out, “There’s so much to learn from the traditional holiday format from the 30s and 40s. What we do with Mr. Drag and Karl is to distill the essence of the human spirit from those forms to create a modern interpretation that holds onto that earnestness and celebration of life in all it’s facets, eccentricity, sentimentality and nostalgia. We embrace the tears and the smiles with song, story and dance. The thing about my character, Karl is that he and other characters give voice and visibility to facets of ourselves that are often kept hidden and that we are a bit nervous to share. Karl has a sweet vulnerability and awkwardness that is totally endearing.” 

When asked where the idea to do a drag show came from, Joe replied, “Mr Drag and Karl started as an idea that both Kat and I had when hosting our first Holiday Spectacular.  We wanted to play off of famous entertainment duos like Laurel and Hardy, Penn and Teller, Burns and Allen.  I am also inspired by old vaudeville - that form of entertainment of taking the stage in a town and entertaining the masses.  Taking from Penn and Teller, we decided that Karl would be the quiet one and that Mr Drag would be the showy one.  Over time the characters have grown deeper and we have discovered a whole history to them that we couldn’t have imagined when we first started.  Mr Drag is not just an over the top performer who thinks he is the best in the world.  He has a heart and truly loves Karl and could not live without him - something we explore in Mr Drag and How the Grinch Stole Karl.  And Karl, often soft spoken, has grown to show these amazing beautiful emotional parts of himself.  He expresses himself in dance and through a myriad of facial expressions paying homage to such incredible performers as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  He speaks loudly without speaking at all.

With Mr Drag and Karl, I want to firstly bring a form of positive entertainment.  Movies, shows, music have always been an escape for people.  Seeing and hearing these allows people a chance to enter a fantasy world for a little while, forget about what is happening outside and allow themselves a moment to embrace the joy that life could be.  With all of our shows, we strive to entertain the audience and make them smile.  But we also want to be able to inject a bit of reality into our shows.  Mr Drag’s stories are not just about making jokes and telling ridiculous fables but they also educate about history and present social and political views.  I want people to walk away with a smile on their face but with a question or thought in their mind.”

Featuring many local performers from Eggtooth Unstaged including Lindel Hart from Greenfield, Myka Plunkett from Northampton, Maureen McElligott from Northampton, Linda Tardif from Northampton, Jack Golden from Leyden, Monte, Enzo, and Atticus Belmonte from Turners Falls, Caitlin and Thomas Von Schmitt from Greenfield, Marina Goldman from Montague, Jane Williams from New Salem, Izzy Heltai from Northampton, Chris Rose from Northampton, Thatcher and Rebecca Beauregard, Reynolds Whalen, Tim Fisk, Katherine Adler and Joe Dulude II, all from Greenfield.
Darius Taylor presents Wrong Answer: Examining Stakeholder's Voices in High Stakes Testing

December 6th and 7th, 2019 at 7:00pm

New Africa House Theater, 180 Infirmary Way, UMass Amherst campus

What’s race got to do with high stakes testing?

What would you change about standardized testing to make it better for all?

Wrong Answer: Examining Stakeholder Voices in High Stakes Testing is a theater-based intervention that highlights the challenges with testing in the black and brown communities who all too often fall victim to detrimental outcomes for being at the lower end of the educational achievement gap.

Come out and join us in a multimodal theater experience and community conversation that reimagines current testing practices and develops action steps to incite equitable change in society.


Special Holiday Variety Show to Run December 11-22

West Springfield’s Majestic Theater will present its annual seasonal variety show, “Home For The Holidays,” December 11-22. 

The family-friendly show, featuring Pioneer Valley-based performers, has become a tradition at the theater for more than 10 years. Similar in style to nostalgic holiday specials of years past headlined by Andy Williams and Perry Como, “Home For The Holidays 2019” will be hosted by singer Ray Guillemette, Jr., who has headlined several previous "Home for the Holidays” shows and countless "A Ray of Elvis" sold-out shows at the Majestic.

Joining Ray onstage will be veteran Majestic performers including Ben Ashley, Myka Plunkett, Tomm Knightlee and Kait Rankins. Guest performers include Steven Sands, Brad Shepard, Kaytlyn Vandeloecht, Lori Efford, Autumn Marchetto and Rob Clark. 

Music Director Mitch Chakour will lead a band that also includes Tim Hosmer, Cliff Schofer and Don Rovero. The show will be directed by Sue Dziura

Tickets are $24 & $26 for adults, and $10 for children 10 and under, and are available by visiting or calling the Majestic Theater Box Office at (413) 747-7797 during its hours of operation (Monday – Friday 10am - 5pm, and Saturday 10am - 1pm).



 For two years, the Holiday Season has seen the re-telling of the Dickens’ classic Christmas story in Silverthorne Theater Company’s 1930s radio adaptation of the familiar tale.  A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play, was a terrific hit in 2016 and 2018, and this year will once again be playing in three different Franklin County locations the weekend of December 13-15.  

Director John Reese and actor Michael Haley have revised the 2018 script that was adapted from a full-length version of the story. This hour-long 2018 version presents the recreation of a 1930s production being broadcast live from the radio studio and is performed without intermission.  It is complete with six actors in period costume, gathered around standing microphones and voicing multiple characters.  Haley anchors the performance as Scrooge, joined by Joan Haley, David Rowland, Kimberly Salditt-Poulin, Ann Steinhauser and John Reese, with Marvin Shedd providing narration. 

Sound effects genius John Iverson recreates the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks!

As Reese says, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human.  It engages and delights the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.”

Specifically designed to be family-friendly, A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play will be performed in three venues:

·      Friday,  December 13 at  7 pm in the Perch at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (289 Main Street, Greenfield) 

·      Saturday, December 14 at 7 pm at Centennial House (94 Main St, Northfield – part of Northfield’s Special Day Celebration)

·      Sunday, December 15 at 4 pm at The Deerfield Inn (81 Old Main Street, Deerfield)

Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 for students/seniors. Tickets may be ordered online at or by calling 413-768-7514. Details at

Next year, Silverthorne plans to present a fully staged Holiday production in December as part of its regular 2020-2021 Season. Details will be forthcoming in January, 2020.

Four mini-comedies will be read at Arms Library in Shelburne Falls at 6:30 on Friday, Dec. 13.
All are welcome.
"I Can't Hear You When the Water is Running" by Robert Anderson is made up of four one-act comedies, written in 1967
"They are very funny and a welcome hiatus from all that's happening right now.  They have absolutely nothing to do with politics!" said Jackie Walsh, managing director of Footlights at the Falls, which has organized the reading with the Arms Library.

These short comedies are about an older man and woman competing for the title of "Least Demented," a middle-aged couple who can't agree about how much sex education their children need, another couple who can't agree whether it's time to replace their queen-sized bed with twin beds, and a playwright who's adamant that one of his actors should appear onstage naked.

This is the third in a series of plays read at the Arms this year.

Others were "The Ferryman" and "The Foreigner." Last year, the group read "A Christmas Carol."

The event is free.

Refreshments will be served.

All are welcome, regardless of experience.

"We've had an experienced actor drive up from Connecticut to read, people reading who have never, ever performed before, and many in between," said Walsh.  "This play is very funny and we are bound to be laughing a lot."

The Arms Library is at 60 Bridge St. in Shelburne Falls.

For more information, call Walsh at 413-625-9413.

Written and Performed by Gabe Levey
In Collaboration with Lucy Shelby

Saturday, December 14th at 7pm
$10 in advance / $12 at the door
$8 student tickets
$5 seniors / military

Last summer Gabe had brain surgery, which left him with a whopping dose of Speech Aphasia. After that Gabe moved back to Northampton to recover. After that Gabe began writing short stories as part of his speech therapy. And now, after all of that, Gabe is going to read some of them out loud for the first time ever in front of mostly strangers and some friends and family. What could possibly go wrong?

Join us as we travel into the post-operative mind of a comic performer, his journey back to coherent speech and the birth of Completely Ridiculous Productions.

Reception to follow.

ARTIST LED WORKSHOP: Intro to The Fun of Failure!
The following day, Sunday December 15th, Gabe will run a 2 hour workshop focused on Games and the reclamation of each individuals ability to play with ease, wonder and reckless abandon. No experience required.

12-2pm in Eli’s Room at The Northampton Center for The Arts @ 33 Hawley Street.
$20 to be paid upon arrival.
Sign up after the show Saturday night, or on the day of!
And bring your program from Saturday night’s show for a $5 discount!!

A New Comic Drama for the Holidays!
Several “Voices” share their thoughts and feelings in twenty-eight spoken-word songs as they look to make their way through early winter and the holiday season—that is, as they try to make more sense of their lives and the life around them.  They seek a true coming to light.
Influenced by Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, poetry slams, and traditional Advent, Coming to Light (it follows) is innovative.  It’s designed to be not only interactive, with audience on three sides and no fourth wall, but also immersive.  Members of the audience who are interested in taking part will be invited at different points to step on stage, take the place of one of the Voices, and read a song for that Voice, reflecting the poetry slam quality of the play.
Christmas will naturally be addressed in several songs, but the essence of the play is nonsectarian.  Non-Christian elements are incorporated, including the playing of klezmer music by Jim Armenti of the band Klezamir.  Some of Jim’s own ballads are featured as well.
Please join us in our progress through the holiday season!
ONE SHOW ONLY – Saturday, December 14, 7:30 pm in The Northampton Center for the Arts
$5 SENIORS/STUDENTS (age 13+ recommended)
Cash/Check at the Door
Online tickets:
Be a part of a collaborative community theatre project! Looking for actors to play the lead character of a cowboy and sheriff from Denton, Texas in "My Life As a Cowboy"

About the project: This play was conceived by Mike O'Neil, a participant at Riverside Industries in Easthampton, a non-profit organization that supports people with disabilities through job training, arts, and education programs. Mike dreams of being a cowboy and with the help of a Riverside staff member Lyndzi Wildheart, he wrote “My Life As A Cowboy,” a fictional memoir of his imaginary life as Sherriff Buford Ewing, a trick shooter and leader of a down-and-out western town called Denton. Along with a team of other artists, a playwright, set builders, actors (professional and amateur), and Riverside participants we want to help Mike’s dream become a reality. 

We are building a life-sized set of Mike’s town (including the city hall and the Sherriff’s di facto office, the Sweetwater Saloon) and stage a play inspired by his story for a live audience. The team will perform the short play in a free, outdoor performance in Easthampton in late Spring 2020. 

Auditions for Buford will take place in November & December, exact times TBD. All levels of actors or any gender are encouraged to audition.
Interested? Please contact Amanda Herman at
Springfield JCC Auditions
December 1 at 2:00 PM
Springfield JCC: 1160 Dickinson St

Tony Award-winning writing team, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's, first produced show, Lucky Stiff, premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. Based on the novel, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth, Lucky Stiff is an offbeat, hilarious murder mystery farce, complete with mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair. The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently murdered uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing his uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn... or else his uncle's gun-toting ex!

Facebook event.
Call For Director Proposals

Hampshire Shakespeare Company is getting ready to embark on our 31st season and we want you to join us!  We are accepting proposals for plays for our 2020 season of Shakespeare Under the Stars. This year, we are envisioning a summer of exciting shows, with at least one being family friendly. To that end, we are seeking proposals for the following shows:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Tempest
Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo & Juliet
Julius Caesar 
Love’s Labours’ Lost 
A Winter’s Tale 
At Hampshire Shakespeare Company, the director is the creator of the artistic vision of the production and the nexus of the collaborative process. We want a director who is passionate about their work, and passionate about being a part of our company!  While we have a short list of plays we’d like to see proposals for, you can submit a proposal for a show that is not listed above. We will read every proposal we receive, but keep in mind our goals for the season when drafting your proposal. 

What’s in a proposal? A proposal by any other name would smell as sweet.
What we want is to hear your vision for the show and why this play speaks to you. Just a few paragraphs will do. Have some drawings? We’ll look at those, too!

The Deadline for proposals is December 1st, with an interview process to follow for selected candidates. You can  send your proposal to While we are a community theatre, we do offer a small stipend to most staff. Please send any questions or concerns to the above email address as well.

More Information
Ghost Light Theater's Auditions for FUN HOME

Announcing Ghost Light Theater’s Auditions for Fun Home. 
Book & Lyrics by Lisa Kron. Music by Jeanine Tesori. Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.
Directed by Megan Healey
Music Direction by Jacob Nichols
Produced by Kimberly Overtree Karlin
Choreography by Susan Dresser

Auditions by appointment – sign up for an audition slot here

Monday December 2nd 6:30-9:00 at the Bangs Community Center (70 Boltwood Walk Amherst)
Wednesday December 4th 6:30-9:30 in Stage 2 at Gateway City Arts (92 Race Street Holyoke)
Callbacks (if necessary) by invitation only: Friday December 6th at 6:30 PM

Please fill out this audition form before your audition if possible.

Performances are May 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 & 9 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, MA.

Any questions should be directed to Megan Healey at

The Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home traces the coming-of-age of lesbian author Alison Bechdel, from her youth, to her years at Oberlin College, and finally to the present, where Alison, now grown, is struggling to write her own graphic autobiography. As Alison reflects on her past, she struggles to make sense of it, particularly her relationship with her father, Bruce, a closeted gay man and the owner of the family business -- the Bechdel Funeral Home (“fun” home, as it’s known to young Alison and her brothers, John and Christian). As she watches her father’s self-loathing consume him, Alison recognizes her own experience of discovering, and ultimately embracing, her identity. As Fun Home progresses, Alison is drawn deeper and deeper into her memories, finally entering into them, desperate (but unable) to reverse her father’s self-destruction. An unforgettable and groundbreaking musical, Fun Home explores the haunting pull of memory and the power it has to alternately destroy or shape, our identity.

**PLEASE NOTE** The Characters of Alison Bechdel, Small Alison, Christian Bechdel & John Bechdel have been cast. All other roles available.


Facebook Event Link
Black Cat Theater, Inc. is seeking actors/actresses for the spring production of Disney’s Frozen Jr. directed by Dawn Larder with Greg Williams as Music Director. Auditions are open to all genders ages 10 to 18. They will be held on Monday, December 2 and Thursday, December 5 at 6 pm in Kidder Hall, All Saints Church, 7 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley.
Each named role will have a specific song they will be asked to sing from the show and there will also be short readings from the script. Those auditioning for the Ensemble will also be asked to sing the beginning of For the First Time in Forever. All those auditioning will sing to recorded music accompaniment. For character list, sheet music, and audition backing music tracks see, or email
All candidates must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. All applicants should bring a short write-up of previous theater experience with them.
Disney’s Frozen Jr. is expected to be produced at South Hadley High School on April 2–5, 2020. Rehearsals are on Monday and Thursday evenings at 6pm starting January 6th.
If unavailable to be seen in person, please call 413-563-6023 or email
As a community theater, Black Cat Theater, Inc. is always looking for people who would enjoy working “behind the scenes,” assisting with costumes, props, set construction and painting, and other tasks associated with producing a show. If interested, please call 413-563-6023 or
(See for sheet music and audition backing music track.)
Anna -- Do You Want to Build a Snowman (sing measures 4-22)
Elsa-- Let It Go (sing measures 25-50)
Olaf -- In Summer (sing measures 6-23)
Hans -- Love is an Open Door (sing Hans' part measures 5-23)
Ensemble --  (Including the Housekeeper, Butler, Handmaiden, Cook, King Agnaar, 
Queen Iduna, Pabbie, Bulda, Kristoff, Sven and Oaken)
For the First Time in Forever (sing all parts measures 4-23)
The Play Reading Co-op is currently seeking submissions of full length plays from New England writers for a monthly, ongoing reading series. The mission of the co-op is simply for local theater makers to have a chance to get in a room together to work on high quality material for our own learning, enjoyment, and camaraderie. It's also a great way to learn about new works and writers. The reading is intended to be informal and without an audience other than other co-op “members” and potentially a friend or colleague(s) of the writer. If the writer is looking for a discussion or feedback afterward, we are happy to make space for that as well. We are ideally looking for plays with at least 2 female identifying roles.
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
Northampton Community Arts Trust

Northampton Playwrights Lab

PaintBox Theatre


Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Royal Frog Ballet

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Shakespeare Stage

Shea Theater Arts Center

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
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
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 


No comments:

Post a Comment