Thursday, March 19, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 19, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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March 19 - April 8, 2020

Hey there, friends. I hope you are all reading this from the quiet safety of your own homes. I've removed all the performance listings from the newsletter, since, as far as I can tell, everything is cancelled. Currently, I'm leaving the audition section active, since many are not time sensitive, are ongoing, or will likely be rescheduled. Over the next few weeks, I'll try to keep you up-to-date as more pop-up online performances are featured, and please let me know if your theatre is still hosting anything.

If you know about any open jobs or opportunities for those of us that are freelance artists or displaced students, please submit those to me as well. I'll continue posting a weekly newsletter and will share up to the minute information on the Facebook page. Please feel free to add that page as a host for any online events you may be hosting. 

The next issue will include events through April 15. 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

Ways of Gathering in the Age of COVID-19
by Howlround

From the article: 

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we know many theatre organizations are thinking carefully about their planned gatherings and events. Many colleges and universities across the world are choosing to move their classes online, and we here at HowlRound want to remind you that going digital may be an option for your theatre and performance events as well. We can help with that!

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
Text below from this Facebook event - see below for links to donation page.

Greetings Friends,

Emma Ayres here--First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge that this fund is NOT FOR ME PERSONALLY--I will NOT be taking ANY of the proceeds raised. This relief fund is for people in the community that don't have the familial support or any additional infrastructure and are struggling because of the unprecedented loss of work and gigs. I also want to acknowledge that the suffering that has been illuminated by this pandemic existed prior to this pandemic. Many of us are teetering on a tight rope every day of our existence.

I implore those who are salaried, independently wealthy and otherwise financially secure individuals to consider contributing to this fund that has the potential to provide direct relief to the artists and other freelancers (i.e. sound engineers, lighting directors, tour managers, independently employed people that rely on public consumption of product, artists who work food service jobs to keep their art afloat) who have now lost 2 jobs overnight. Independent businesses and artists make our community rich in culture and experience. Please consider doing your part and supporting these individuals.

A group of us are currently working to raise money to support low-income artists and other freelancers who are taking financial hits as a result of cancellations, closures, and lost income due to Covid-19. The intention of this fundraiser is to provide emergency and preventative resources for those at financial risk. Our government is doing little to protect our well-being and we must address this on a local level.

This fund aims to provide support to low-income, People of Color, Trans, Non-Binary, Queer, single parent artists and freelancers whose livelihoods are being effected by this pandemic. If you don't identify with anything listed above but are in need PLEASE APPLY. Whether it’s from cancelled gigs, lost jobs, or overall lack of business due to coronavirus scares, we aim to offer a grassroots approach to crowdsourcing, resources, and money.

Those that apply for funding will be awarded money ASAP.

We've created a short survey to help us prioritize those in our community most at-risk and in need. All information shared remains confidential.

Please consider donating or SHARING this fundraiser if you are unable to give at this time. It takes a village.

For full transparency, Emma Ayres and team will review the surveys and withdraw and disperse the funds. Emma is building a team of consultants from within Hamden, Hampshire, and Franklin County to ensure the funds are dispersed ethically and directly.

(This fund was molded after Shawn Escarciga and Nadia Tykulsker’s NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund. Much of the language was repeated as the needs are synonymous. We thank them for their inspiration and initiative.)



Solidarity & Love,

Emma Ayres
Artist/Program Coordinator of Shea Theater Arts Center

Cait Simpson & Mara Penatzer
Artists/ Dwellings, a women-led non-profit working to promote equitable and intentional booking practices and work to make performing arts spaces safer for artists, audiences, and entertainment workers.
Here's the Howlround link to the livestream of Monday nights: Artists in a Time of Global Pandemic conversation.

More excellent resources for freelance artists

This article has links to great free online trainings for theatre technology

LAVA Center to host Online Open Mic

WHAT: Online Open Mic

WHEN: event will go live Wednesday, March 25, 2 p.m. — submission deadline is Monday, March 23

WHERE: on our YouTube channel: – event will be announced to Facebook event followers:

CONTACT: or (413) 512-3063

Join us for our first Online Open Mic!

To participate, take a video of yourself performing a song, reading, or whatever you’d like. You can also send creative short video projects. Send it to us via Dropbox or Google Drive (details below). Please keep the video to 5 minutes or less, and be sure it’s family-friendly. In the filename, please include your name and any other information you wish to share with the public (short bio, link, etc.).


The Online Open Mic will go live on Wednesday, March 25. It will be a public YouTube playlist that we will share that day via email and on social media. Get updated when the open mic is live by following the Facebook event or our YouTube channel.

You are encouraged to participate in the open mic by liking and positively commenting on each performer’s video!

• To send via Dropbox, share the file with Alternately, you can upload directly to our Dropbox account. Please email for login info.

• To send via Google Drive, share the file with

• Alternatively, you can send us a YouTube link, if you’ve uploaded the video publicly on your own YouTube account. Email the link to

• If you have trouble sending the file, please email and we’ll help you out.

FREE to participate and to watch (donations for the organization are welcome)

For more details, visit our website, or our Facebook page,

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are happy to announce the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. With local businesses partnering to help raise over $1 million, this fund will provide flexible resources to organizations that are working with communities at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the virus and most impacted by inequity.
To help keep our community connected during this time of great change and uncertainty, we the Chamber are partnering with Cascade Consulting and All Out Adventures to host a Zoom session for leaders of our area non-profits on Tuesday, March 24 at 11:30 AM. This is a time to connect and discuss best practices and resources for navigating the COVID-19 crisis. We are stronger as a connected community, so please join us.

Register here.

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Beginning with our March 24 issue, New Play Newsletter will shift its focus to highlighting scripts by New England playwrights and providing access to those scripts via New Play Exchange (NPX). NPX is a membership organization with a modest annual fee. We realize that not all of you are members. If you would like to consider joining, click here for information

If there is a New England playwright that you’d like us to consider profiling, please send their name and email address to:

We will also highlight podcast episodes that feature New England playwrights and their work.

Finally, we encourage you to consider supporting local theatre companies and theatre artists financially. Here are several ways you can do so:

  • If you have a ticket to a show that has been cancelled, you may be able to donate the value of that ticket to the affected theatre company by not claiming your refund.

  • If there is a non-profit theatre company that you especially value, visit their web site and make a donation.

  • Donate to the Dramatists Guild Foundation, where the Emergency Grants program provides assistance to writers in financial distress.

  • Donate to the Boston Artist Relief Fund.

If you are aware of other funds or resources available to theatres and theatre artists in need, please let us know at We will do our best to make others aware.

QLab is also offering free Pro licenses through June 1 to anyone with a .edu email address!
Metropolitan Opera Live streaming

Thursday, March 19 – Verdi’s La Traviata

Conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, starring Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez, and Quinn Kelsey. Transmitted live on December 15, 2018.

Friday, March 20 – Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment

Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez. Transmitted live on April 26, 2008.

Saturday, March 21 – Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Conducted by Marco Armiliato, starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, and Mariusz Kwiecien. Transmitted live on February 7, 2009.

Sunday, March 22 – Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin

Conducted by Valery Gergiev, starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Transmitted live on February 24, 2007.

More Digital Arts and Culture Resources
Academy of Music is hiring a Producer / Community Outreach Coordinator

The Producer/Community Outreach Coordinator has the responsibility of producing the Academy of Music Theatre’s Valley Voices Story Slam, coordinating its workshops and managing communications. As Community Outreach Coordinator, the responsibilities include building relationships and working with the Latinx community through storytelling and our Valley Voices Story Slam.

Duties and responsibilities include:

• Produce show series, coordinating with Academy of Music Theatre’s partner New England Public Radio
• Prepare timelines, manage logistics, and host shows
• Market series and workshops through radio ads, website, and social media
• Develop strategies to reach underserved populations
• Plan and host workshop events
• Build and maintain community partnerships
• Collaborate with WGBY/WGBH to produce nationally televised Stories from the Stage

• BA in English, Theater Arts or related field or experience
• 2 years experience in community outreach and/or event planning
• Experience working directly with people of diverse racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
• Ability to flex communication style to multiple cultural environments, Spanish speaking preferred
• Ability to present to diverse audiences, specifically racially, ethnically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse communities.

Full Job Posting
Auditions for the first production of Ilan Stavans' one-person play Kaddish for My Father; or Why We Lie.

Latino/Hispanic actor, 40s - 50s

Full Length, One-Person Drama

1 hr. 10 minutes

Total Cast: 1,  Latino male, 50s

Flexible Set

Email for more information or to schedule an audition.

The Play

After Abraham Stavans, a famous Mexican stage and telenovela actor, dies, his son, Ilan, tries to come to terms with the tension between the public figure and the private man. How can a son grieve when his father’s life seems based on make-believe?  And how can he face his own struggle for Jewish/Mexican identity?

The Playwright

From Mexican-born, Internationally renowned essayist, playwright, and cultural commentator Ilan Stavans. His previous play, The Oven, has toured the country for three years. The script was published in book form by UMass Press. Stavans’ work has been on PBS, NPR, BBC, the New York Times, and many other outlets. Kaddish for My Father or Why We Lie will published by Duke University Press in the fall of 2020.
Ghost Light Theater announces auditions for Cloud 9, by Caryl Churchill. Directed by Janine Corman.

Gateway City Arts
Sunday March 22nd, 6:00-9:00 PM.
Tuesday March 24th, 7:00-9:00 PM.

Callbacks (by invite only) Sunday March 29th, 6:00-9:00 PM.


Caryl Churchill’s wickedly comic and compassionate study of sexual politics glimpses the relationships of a family and their lovers, with an interval of twenty-five years of their lives, and around a hundred years of history. Cloud 9 is about relationships - between women and men, men and men, women and women. It is about sex, work, mothers, Africa, power, children, grandmothers, politics, money, Queen Victoria and Sex. Cloud 9 premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 1979 and has since been staged all over the world

In colonial Africa, a Victorian English patrician represses the natives, his wife, his children, homosexuals—and still finds time for an affair with a widowed neighbor. The same family appears in Act Two 25 years older and back in London, only now it’s 1979.

Highlighting the parallels of sexual and colonial oppression, the first act is set in a British colony in South Africa at the height of the Victorian era. Clive is the traditional colonial patriarch, proud of his perfectly domesticated wife, Betty (played by a male actor) and his native servant, Joshua (played by a male actor), and striving conscientiously to ensure his son, Edward (played by a female actor) and daughter, Victoria (played by a doll)  play with gender appropriate toys. Adultery, secret homosexuality, and unrest among the natives, threaten to subvert the “moral order” of the household.

The second act finds some of the same characters (Betty, Edward, and Victoria)  living in 1979, twenty-five years older (and played by different actors), finding new liberations in bisexuality and polyamory, but finding new anxieties about gender and fulfilment. The intricacies of these relationships and the play’s doubling create a complex and moving account of the multiplicity of individual sexualities.


Character Breakdown

Clive/Cathy: Male, 30-50
Clive is a colonial administrator in Africa in the Victorian period, a strong patriarchal figure who is becoming overwhelmed by the pressures of his job and family. Cathy is a five-year-old girl in 1970s London.

Betty/Edward: Male, 25-40
Betty is a traditional Victorian wife and mother figure. Edward is a sexually-confused young man in 1970s London.

Joshua/Gerry: Male, 30-40
Joshua is Clive's African manservant who is torn between his racial identity and the needs of serving his English bosses. Gerry is a working-class gay Londoner in 1970s London.

Edward/Betty: Female, 40-60
Edward is Clive and Betty's nine-year-old son whose innocence is challenged by the sexual politics of his family. Also plays Betty: the Act One character 25 years older in late 1970s London--who struggles with her children's sexuality.

Maud/Victoria: Female, 25-40
Clive's mother-in-law, a battle-axe of a woman who is blunt with her opinions. Victoria is Edward's sister who is stifled by an overbearing husband in an unhappy marriage in 1970s London.

Ellen/Mrs. Saunders/Lin: Female, 25-40
Ellen is a repressed family governess in colonial Africa. Mrs. Saunders is an independent and confident woman who runs an African farm on her own. Lin is a working-class lesbian woman raising a child alone in 1970s London.

Harry Bagley/Martin: Male, 30-40
Harry is a handsome, intrepid, repressed homosexual Victorian explorer. Martin is Victoria's husband struggling with a crisis of masculinity in 1970s London.
For an in depth summary and detailed character list.


Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. British accents are encouraged and will ultimately be required for the production. Also, please prepare approximately 16 bars of a patriotic anthem of your choice to be sung a cappella.. Cloud 9 is not a musical, but some singing is required.

If you are asked to attend callbacks, you will receive sides and/or monologues to prepare in advance.

If you have any questions, please contact the director at

Facebook Event Link.
The Laramie Project Auditions at Exit 7 Theater

Written by Moises Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project

June 12-14 and 19-21, 2020

Audition Dates:
Monday, March 23 at 7pm
Wednesday, March 25 at 7pm

Callbacks (if needed):
Monday, March 30

Auditions will be held at the Exit 7 Theater, located at 37 Chestnut Street in Ludlow, MA. Parking is available on Chestnut Street, or in the lot at the corner of Winsor and Chestnut Street.

All those wishing to audition must be 16 years or older at the time of the first rehearsal, Monday, April 6, 2020 due to the graphic nature of the show. Those between the ages of 16-18 must have parent/guardian consent to participate.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare a 1-2 minute dramatic monologue, this does not need to be memorized. Please NO monologues from The Laramie Project. Consider a monologue to PERFORM, it should allow for the actor to emote and be similar to the nature of this show. Cold readings will also be used.

Casting size: 8+ (will vary based on those auditioning, meaning 8 may be cast but more may be considered) - actors will be playing multiple roles of varying ages/races/genders/sexualities.

ALL ROLES are open and gender neutral casting will be in place.


In October 1998 in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a fence post, severely beaten, robbed, tortured and left, alone, to die. His body -- battered, bloody, barely clinging to life -- was discovered eighteen hours later. He was rushed to the hospital and put on life support. He died five days later. The reason for this brutal crime? Matthew Shepard was gay. The hate crime attracted vast attention worldwide, bringing sexual discrimination and violence to the forefront of public discourse. The Tectonic Theater Project, led by their founder Moisés Kaufman, traveled to Laramie in the aftermath of the murder with the intent of creating a theatrical portrait of a town coming to grips with horrible, hate-fueled violence. Over the course of a year and a half, the group interviewed over 200 subjects, some directly related to the case and some regular citizens of Laramie. Out of these interviews, journal entries, and found texts, The Laramie Project was born. Hailed as one of the most captivating and encompassing pieces of contemporary theatre, the play shocks, challenges, and moves all who watch it as it reveals the lowest depths of hatred and greatest heights of compassion that lies within all human beings in any seemingly average community.

Director: Chris Climo
Producers: Megan Hoy and Jami Wilson
Stage Manager: Bruce Torrey
Assistant Producers: Leon Jerfita and Chris Torrey

Rehearsals will start April 6, and will be on Sundays (1-4pm), Mondays and Wednesdays (7-10pm) until the last performance. Tech week will be June 7-11, 2020 (Time TBD) and is mandatory.

This production will be performed to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Ludlow High School GSA. All profits will be donated to these organizations.

If you should have any questions regarding the production or auditions, please contact the director Chris Climo at A copy of the audition form is available on
Auditions for Hampshire Shakespeare Company’s 2020 season of Shakespeare Under The Stars!

The Tempest, directed by Peg Duffy
Performances: June 24th-28th, July 1st-5th
Macbeth, directed by Kit Thomas & Luke Dowling
Performances: July 15th-19th, July 22nd-26th

Sign up for an audition slot.

Auditions will take place at the following dates and locations:
Wednesday, March 25th - 6:30-9:30 PM - location: The Workroom (downstairs level), Northampton Arts Trust, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, MA 01060
Thursday, March 26th - 6:30-9:30 PM - location: Mainstage Theatre, Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002

Preparation: We’re looking for a 1-2 minute monologue, ideally Shakespeare or other heightened text, but please don't let a lack of prepared monologue keep you from auditioning! We are happy to see you come and read even if you don't have a monologue prepared! Video auditions will be accepted if you can't make the in-person dates - please be in touch with our Production Manager, Ezekiel Baskin (ezekiel.baskin (at) if you're interested in submitting a video audition.

Callbacks: If needed, callbacks will take place on Sunday, March 29th, from 2:00-6:00 PM, at Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002. Invitations to callbacks will be sent out following the second day of auditions.

Questions? Please be in touch with our Production Manager, Ezekiel Baskin, at ezekiel.baskin (at)
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.
Seeking actors and actresses for the spring production of SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES by Michael and Susan Parker, and directed by Joey Grabowski.

Auditions, open to actors 18 and up, will be held on Monday April 6th and Thursday April 9 at 6pm in the Library at South Hadley High School, 153 Newton Street, South Hadley. The cast consists of 3 men and 4 women. Actors should
bring a resume or be prepared to list experience; however, actors of all experience levels are encouraged to audition. Actors with questions about auditions can email
the director at

Rehearsals will begin on Monday, April 20 th and will continue on Monday and Thursday evenings. The show is scheduled to be produced at South Hadley High School June 11 th -14 th

If unavailable to be seen in person, please email
For synopsis and character breakdown please see
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

Completely Ridiculous Productions

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 Department of 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
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Berkshire on Stage
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