Thursday, March 5, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 5, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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March 5 - 25, 2020

It's March! This weekend - check out The Big Broadcast at the Chapin Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College on Saturday - there are two performances!

Quite a few other shows that are closing this weekend too - check out the list below. And there are a few auditions and job opportunities listed below as well. 

The next issue will include events through April 1. 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 Big Broadcast at Mount Holyoke College
March 7 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM 
Tickets Here
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround

A Playwright's Guide to Self Producing (Part 1)
by John J King

From the article: 

Hello, and welcome. Silence your phones, and note the nearest exits. Be advised: the following contains practical steps for playwrights who wish to produce a play of their own, offered by a playwright who has done so.

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 Smith College Department of Theatre presents Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice

Music by Wayne Barker, based on the novel by David Barry and Ridley Pearson

March 5 & 6 at 7:30 PM and March 7 at 2:00 PM

Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA

The play, which is adapted from the children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and features music by Wayne Barker, is a prequel to Peter Pan that upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be “The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.”  From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, the play explores the depths of greed and despair... and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.  

Playwright Rick Elice was drawn to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale from an early age. “When I was a boy, I wished I could fly, and the notion of being a boy forever was pure delight,” Elice says. “No homework, no chores, no responsibility, no sorrow. Now that I’m in the middle of my life, I understand what I’d have missed had I never grown up, or fallen in love, or stood my ground, or lost a battle—or written a play.”  Peter and the Starcatcher explores these themes in a fast-paced, irreverent, touching, and funny theatrical experience.  The cast of 10 play a variety of roles—including sailors, naval officers, pirates, orphans, mermaids, a plucky girl—and take the audience on a journey that shows how a nameless boy becomes Peter Pan. Along the way they encounter a secret treasure, a crocodile, mollusks, prawns, and a flying cat.

Director Cathy Kennedy ’20 explains why she chose the Tony Award winning play, “I'm incredibly fascinated with storytelling-- what storytelling is and why we do it and why it's such an intrinsic human instinct.” She adds, “I'm also in a place in my life right now (and I know that most if not all of the people working on this show are as well) where I spend a lot of my time thinking about what it means to be an adult and how I am on the verge of being a Real Adult.” The Smith production frames the play around a group of childhood friends meeting as adults in their local bar to tell each other this story that they've grown up with. The concept is not unlike the design team of seniors—Priscilla Yichen Zhou, sets; Sasha Belcher, lights; and Nancy Gregory, costumes—who have bonded over 4 years of Smith theatre productions and grew up with the Dave Barry and Ridley Scott book Peter and the Starcatchers. “Designing costumes and puppets for this play is literally a dream come true,” says Nancy, echoing the enthusiasm of many on the cast and crew.

Above all, Peter and the Starcatcher is a story of adventure and friendship that thrills audiences of all ages. The play is recommended for children ages 10 and up. And while this is not the same story that Disney made famous, it is appropriate for most children and loved by almost every adult. To accommodate family audiences, the final performance on Saturday, March 7 is a matinee with a 2:00 PM curtain.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students/seniors, and free for Smith students. More information and to purchase tickets online at


$10 General, $5 Students/Seniors, Free for Smith Students

Box Office: 413-585-3220

Email the Box Office:

March 5 & 6 at 6:30pm
Sponsored by Greenfield Savings Bank

Academy Youth Productions presents Roald Dahl’s
 James and the Giant Peach JR., a brand new take on the
 classic Roald Dahl “masterpeach” of a tale.

Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.  When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

Age recommendation: 5+

What makes a theater piece? UMass Theater's The Water Station pushes the definition of the form.
by Ōta Shōgo

Directed by Vishnupad Barve
March 5, 6, 7 at 7:30
March 7 at 2
The Rand Theater

$5 students and seniors, $15 general admission. Call 1-800-999-UMAS or
reserve your tickets through the Fine Arts Center Box Office

A company of performers moving meditatively across a stage. Running water. Live classical piano. No dialogue. A sculptural set that is assembled over the space of 70 minutes.
The UMass Department of Theater's production of The Water Station, by Ōta Shōgo, is a theatrical spectacle that encompasses sound, movement, and art. Running Feb. 27 to March 7, this production will introduce local theater-goers to a theater-maker whose intriguing work is infrequently staged in this country.
Walking through a barren landscape, 18 travelers stop by a dripping water faucet at different times, interact with water and the surroundings, and continue on their separate ways, while a person living in a pile of objects witnesses their actions from above. No words are spoken but much is communicated in the subtle gestures and interactions between the characters as their lives brush up against each other. The travellers' journey prompts the audiences to embark on a parallel journey — a mental and spiritual one into our shared understanding and deeper connection to the living universe. 
Director Vishnupad Barve, a graduate student in the department, likens the play to a piece of abstract visual art, in the sense that the process through which it came to be is as important as the final product that appears onstage.
"How is it made, and what does how it's made tell us about the subject?" is the question he wants audience members to answer for themselves as they watch The Water Station unfold. "The audience is responsible for making meaning out of what they're seeing." 
We invite you to join us in the Rand this winter to craft your own meaning from this unique exploration of time and space.
More about the Department of Theater:
To purchase tickets, call 1-800-999-UMAS or visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office online.

$15 single tickets; $5 single tickets for students/seniors
The Mount Holyoke College Department of Theatre Arts presents Lizzie:  the musical by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt, directed by Michael Ofori.

Performances:  Thurs-Sat, March 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 pm and Sun, March 8 at 2:00 pm in the Rooke Theatre on the MHC campus

Tickets are:  $15 general and $10 for students & senior citizens.
You may buy tickets now at:
Recommended for ages 16 and up

Box Office email:
Box Office phone:  413-538-2406
The Drama Studio presents
Still Life with Iris
Thursday, March 5th and 12th at 6:30pm Friday & Saturday, March 6th, 7th, 13th, & 14th at 7:30pm Sunday, March 8th & 15th at 3:00pm
The Drama Studio, 41 Oakland st.
The cast of Still Life with Iris includes actors ages nine to adult and tells the story of Iris, a young girl from the magical land of Nocturno where everyone holds their pasts in their coats. When the rulers of the land, The Great Goods, decide they want a daughter, they take Iris’s coat, erasing her memory and keeping her for themselves. Iris escapes and finds new friends to help her search for home, like Annabel Lee: a young lady of the sea, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: a boy who plays the piano and prefers to be called Motes. The three friends must join together to escape Great Island through the Tunnel of the Unwanted on their fantastic quest for freedom and for a place to belong.

The cast includes Reagan Phillips, Teagan Allen, Rory Brennan-Staub, Sonja Funk, Luke Guy, Rosalyn Hudson, Regan Kleiner, Isaac MacArthur, and Glenn Yarnell of Springfield, Madeline Choiniere Barr, Sean Fazio, and Nadia Hayles of Longmeadow, Teagan Corthell and Jacob Fisher of Wilbraham, Caroline Matheson of South Hadley, Marcos Nieves of Chicopee, Aidan O’Brien of Belchertown, Ben Richards of Hampden, Miles Santanello of East Longmeadow, and Charlotte Watts of Windsor, CT.

Directed by Dan Morbyrne.
Set and Light design by Craig Milne.
Light design by Craig Milne and Austin Yelinek.
Prop Design by Austin Yelinek.
Costume design by Julia Vincenza Whalen.
Stage Management by Bridget Bushey.  
Written by Steven Dietz.

Tickets will go on sale on February 20th ($20 for adults and $10 for students) and may be purchased online through the Drama Studio website ( or directly from To buy tickets by phone call the Drama Studio Box Office 413-739-1983 during the following hours: M-F 4:30PM-7PM and Sat 10AM to 4:30PM. The Drama Studio is located next to the Forest Park Library on 41 Oakland Street in Springfield.


West Springfield Production to Serve as World Premiere Run of Drama by Pioneer Valley Writer

The Pitch, a contemporary drama by Pioneer Valley-based writer Stan Freeman, will debut at West Springfield's Majestic Theater February 27 for a six-week run concluding April 5, according to the Majestic's Producing Director Danny Eaton.

The play tells the story of retired sportswriter Roger Pennell who reluctantly agrees to collaborate with a young reporter, Mike Resnick, on the biography of a boyhood friend of Roger's. That friend, Vernon Peters, was a pitcher who had been languishing on a farm team for the Yankees, but finally got the call that brought him to the mound at Yankee Stadium. Peters threw only one pitch that day, and his career in the Major Leagues abruptly ended. In digging into the story, the young writer discovers a secret at the heart of it all, a secret the older writer fiercely intends to protect.

The cast includes John Haag (Roger), Julian Findlay (Mike), R. Steve Pierce (Vernon) and Katie Sloan (Pauline). Eaton is directing the play, set design is by Greg Trochlil, Dawn McKay is costume designer and the lighting design is by Dan Rist. Emily Paegle Bloch is stage manager and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.

This is a brand new play, and it certainly falls within our mission of supporting local artists,” said Eaton. “It's a fascinating, although fictional, baseball story that offers the themes of friendship, loyalty and betrayal set against the backdrop of the rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees.”

States Freeman, “You don't need to have a love of, or even much knowledge of, baseball to be interested in this play. You didn't need to have an interest in sales and marketing to find meaning in Death of a Salesman, either. The true focus of The Pitch is generational differences, ethics, as well as life decisions and their consequences, which are all universals.”

Ticket prices range from $24 to $31 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, Saturday 10am – 1pm). 


The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College present the 15th edition of The Big Broadcast! on Saturday, March 7 at 2PM & 7:30PM at Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, MA. Snow date is Sunday, March 8.. Created and directed by Mark Gionfriddo, who is also onstage as “Matt Morgan”, The Big Broadcast!  is a re-creation of a live 1940's radio show featuring the Mount Holyoke College Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles performing well-known tunes from the swing era and the American songbook. WWLP-TV meteorologist Brian Lapis is emcee “Fred Kelley” for his 13th consecutive season. Mount Holyoke alum, bassist and singer Caitlin Jaene Mercer, will join The Big Broadcast! as special guest. 

Mount Holyoke College music faculty member Mark Gionfriddo originally created The Big Broadcast! for a small cabaret group he directed, and incorporated it into the concert season at Mount Holyoke College. It has since been designated as a Signature Event at the college.

Preparation for the show began early in January when my students and I researched live radio broadcasts of the 1940's: big band swing music, those great radio serials, and the commercials of the day," said Gionfriddo. “We incorporate all of those elements into our production to give the audience the feel of an authentic radio variety program on a fictitious station named WJAZ."

According to Gionfriddo, this year’s program will include: Benny Goodman's "All The Cats Join In"; "It's Been A Long, Long Time" by June Christy and Stan Kenton; the Glenn Miller classic “A String of Pearls”; Peggy Lee’s “Black Coffee”, and a rare radio rendition of “On The Atchison, Topeka, and The Santa Fe” by the Andrews Sisters, which was never officially released.

Mark Gionfriddo, creator and director (and “Matt Morgan”) of The Big Broadcast! Is well-known to area concertgoers as a piano soloist, coach/accompanist, composer/arranger, conductor and music director. A versatile musician, Mark is known for his diverse repertoire which includes classical, jazz, rock, and popular music. Mark has been based at Mount Holyoke College since 1986 where he is Coordinator of Piano Studies for the Department of Music as well as Director and Founder of the Jazz Ensembles. In addition, Mark is Catholic Music Director and conducts the Abbey Chapel Singers for the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

In 2000, Mark accompanied Garrison Keillor on the Chapin Auditorium stage in a New England Public Radio benefit show, and he conducted the MHC Big Band in 2006 during two episodes of the popular NPR public radio quiz show "Says You!" During the summers, Mark has been resident music director for Berkshire Theatre Group since 2011for their productions of Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, A Christmas Carol, The Music Man, TarzanShrek the Musical, and the Neil Ellenoff Musical Mondays series. Mark's production of A Class Act also appeared off-Broadway at the Robert Moss Theatre.

Mark has recently reunited with the internationally renowned Young@Heart  chorus as pianist and arranger, a post he held from 1992-1998. He is also co-author of Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, a book about Holyoke's Hart-Lester H. Allen and the Ponzi scandal, on the Epigraph imprint.

Brian Lapis ("Fred Kelley") joined the 22News Storm Team in 1996. He got his start in broadcasting at the age of 15 at radio station WILI, in his hometown of Willimantic, CT. He's worked as a radio on-air talent for stations in Hartford, CT; Philadelphia, PA; Syracuse, NY; and Providence, RI. Brian has a Bachelor's degree in Television Radio Film Management from Syracuse University. In addition, he holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. This is his 12th season as WJAZ announcer and emcee “Fred Kelley”. In 2013, the National Weather Association named Brian “Broadcaster of the Year".

Brian loves performing as “Fred Kelley”. “The combination of the opportunity for me to perform, the creative energy of the students and Mark Gionfriddo, and the great music makes this far and away my favorite event of the year," he said.  "As a 'student of broadcasting’, I am one who appreciates the Golden Age of Radio and just how hugely popular these variety shows were in their day.  I’d like to believe that if I were around back in the 1940s, I would have a gig like Fred Kelley’s."

Caitlin Jaene Mercer, Mount Holyoke Class of 2002, is a self-described chanteuse style singer and a classically trained bassist, who performs original songs, jazz standards, and fronts her alternative rock band Blue Hippopotamus.Her career started when she played bass with the National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. At Mount Holyoke, she was a founding member of the first Jazz Ensemble, and a singer with the a cappella V8s. After seeing Melissa Ferrick perform at Mount Holyoke’s Women in Music Festival, she chose music as a profession. She’s currently based near Philadelphia, where she mostly plays locally, but she performs nationally in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and more. Her website is: and she’s online on
Instagram and YouTube @CaitlinJaene.

Performance sponsors of The Big Broadcast! are: Mount Holyoke College, New England Public Media, a partnership of New England Public Radio and WGBY; PRIME Magazine; WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, The Republican powering MassLive and El Pueblo Latino, and Loomis Communities. 

Tickets (general admission): $25.00 premium front and center seating.$20.00 regular seating. Senior Discounts: $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. Students: $10.00. Tickets are on sale at The Odyssey Book Shop, Village Commons, South Hadley; the UMass Fine Arts Center Box Office; and at the door (subject to availability). For phone orders, call 413-545-2511 or 800-999-UMASS. For online tickets, visit Doors open one hour prior to each performance. Chapin Auditorium is fully accessible.

Academy of Music
March 7 @ 7:30PM

As seen on Netflix and featured on This American Life, Mortified’s All Stars of Angst showcases adults sharing their embarrassing childhood diaries, letters, poems and artwork in front of total strangers. After 15 years of shows worldwide, this special presentation of the hit storytelling event highlights some of the most beloved performances in the project’s history with hilarious and heartbreaking tales of teen angst. Discover why Paste Magazine hailed Mortified as “life-affirming” and Wired proclaimed it “funny, touching.”

Age recommendation: 18+

ARHS presents Spring Awakening
March 12, 13, 14
All evening shows start at 7:30; 3/14 matinee starts at 2:00
Amherst Regional High School

ARHS Theater tackles this electric Best Broadway Musical of 2007 in a rare high school production.  Come support this exciting show while supporting the meaningful work theater can do to promote meaningful social dialogue.   It's going to be thrilling and poignant weekend - join us!

CONTENT ADVISORY: This show is not recommended for those under 14 years of age, and contains potentially-triggering content for some audience members.  Details available at

Mr. Drag and Karl return

to 10 Forward! 

10 Fiske Ave, Greenfield, MA 01301
Friday, March 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm

They're BACK! Don't miss the delight of an old timey variety show filled with song, story, and dance through the blurry lens of Joe Dulude II and Katherine Adler's sparkly vision. Where else on earth can you see performances of a Lizzo song and a Cole Porter song on the same stage? Think of it as Buster Keaton meets Ru Paul with nice refreshing adult beverages in hand. So much fun to be had in a great venue! Tickets are $15 with very limited seating so come a little early for best seats. We can't wait to see you. Also, MERCH will be available including the cutest mugs and tees you ever saw!

Broadway makeup designer, and Emmy nominee Joe Dulude shares,  "We love playing off 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. He expresses himself in dance and through a myriad of facial expressions paying homage to such incredible performers as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton."


The Majestic Theater in West Springfield will present a one-man comedy show, Misgivings, in March.

Tuesday, March 17, the Majestic celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Misgivings, a comedic one-man, interactive show featuring Dave Kane as Father Patrick Aloysius Misgivings. Topics for discussion include blessings, blarney, bingo and one-liners about growing up Catholic. There will be shows at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and tickets are $24 & $26.

To purchase tickets, visit the Majestic box office Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., or Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. They can also be purchased by calling (413) 747-7797 during box office hours.
The Happier FAMILY Comedy Show
March 21st 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, March 21st 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:
HVC Presents: Not In Charge! 
March 21st at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley 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, March 21st 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:

‘Rise Up for Irida: Songs for Sanctuary’ cabaret at Academy of Music to benefit local woman living in sanctuary

Back by popular demand, Rise Up Productions will present “Rise Up for Irida: Songs for Sanctuary,” a benefit cabaret and sing-along on Saturday, March 21, 7:30 at the Academy of Music to support Irida Kakhtiranova, an immigrant fighting deportation while living in sanctuary at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence.

Kakhtiranova, 38, a Russian immigrant and mother of three U.S.-born children, married to a U.S. citizen, entered sanctuary at the Main Street religious institution in April of 2018 in order to fight deportation and family separation. Since then, through countless fundraising events and with the help of hundreds of volunteers and contributors, the Pioneer Valley community has supported the effort to keep Kakhtiranova safe and close to her family.

“Rise Up for Irida: Songs for Sanctuary” at the Academy will feature music from contemporary musicals such as Hamilton, Rent, The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen, Songs for a New World, and much more. Rise Up Productions performed a similar cabaret to a packed house at the Unitarian Society in December 2018 in another benefit for Kakhtiranova.

“We are so happy Rise Up Productions will perform again, helping us continue to support Irida and her family in our quest to keep them together,”  said Joan O’Brien, chair of the USNF Sanctuary Team. “This work has always been a community effort because it’s more than we could ever do alone, and hosting a fundraiser at the Academy is a way to make our big tent even bigger.”

Co-founded by Kyle Boatwright and Nichole Wadleigh in November 2016, Rise Up Productions is a collective of local musicians and theatre professionals that produces cabarets, singalongs, and more to support non-profit social justice organizations. Past Rise Up beneficiaries include the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Tapestry Health, the former AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU of MA, and the Black Lives Matter movement. “We feel very strongly that each and every one of us humans has a duty to ‘love thy neighbor,’ especially in the current political climate,” said Boatwright. “Producing these shows have given us as performers a vehicle to do just that—and our audiences a vehicle to help enact change simply by showing up.” 

“Rise Up for Irida: Songs for Sanctuary” will feature the musical talents of Boatwright and Wadleigh, as well as those of Ben Ashley, Andrew Atkin, Kerrie Bowden, Dylan Castro, Kimaya Diggs, Erin Dugan, Tosh Foerster, Michael Garcia, Brandon Hetherington, Silk Johnson, Ann-Marie Messbauer, Jimmy Robitaille, Syl Simmons, Josh Sitron, Dan Thomas, and Rise Up production manager Kara Wolf. The show is co-sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, which has supported the efforts to keep Kakhtiranova safe since she first moved into the Unitarian Society’s basement. 

Rise Up for Irida: Songs for Sanctuary is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Funding Program. Proceeds will benefit the USNF’s support of Kakhtiranova as well as broader sanctuary and immigrant rights work. Tickets are being sold at a sliding scale of $20 to $50, available at the Academy of Music website,
Playwright and TV scribe Theresa Rebeck to appear at UMass Theater
A writer of plays, novels, television, and film, Theresa Rebeck holds a unique perspective on what it means to be a writer today. 
On March 26 at 5 p.m., we are thrilled to welcome Rebeck to the University of Massachusetts Department of Theater for a conversation about writing — and what it means to be a woman writing about other women in a field where men's voices still dominate. The event is free and open to the community and will be followed by a reception.
Rebeck is the most-produced woman playwright on Broadway. Her recent Off-Broadway offering, Seared, featured UMass Theater alumnus David Mason in one of the main roles. Her play, Omnium Gatherum, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and she created the TV show Smash, as well as writing award-winning episodes of NYPD Blue. In her book, Free Fire Zone, she deftly combines her quick-witted humor with personal anecdotes detailing both the glamourous and ugly sides of life as a playwright and Hollywood writer. She has used her credibility in the industry to advocate for gender parity, founding the Lilly Awards to honor the work of women in American theater. 
Rebeck comes to UMass Theater through the efforts of MFA candidate in dramaturgy Shaila Schmidt, whose thesis focuses on women who write comedy. "In my thesis, I attempt to highlight the ways in which comedy can be utilized as a tool for social change and the ways in which the work of a dramaturg can support that," Schmidt explained. "There is a rich history of how deeply marginality and difference inform the tradition of comedy, especially comedy written and performed by women."  
Although Rebeck's appearance is presented under the auspices of the Rand Lecture, the format will be less lecture and more Q&A, as Schmidt will interview Rebeck and welcome questions from the audience. The event is open to all members of the community, and no ticket reservations are required. The conversation will be followed by a reception with the artist.
About The Play
Abuelita’s spirit guides us through various time periods illuminating intergenerational struggles and experiences of survival.  


The piece is predominantly performed in English accompanied by bits in Spanish. Ticket sales will go towards the ReclaimPR fundraiser that focuses on supporting entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico.

*Mature content - may not be suitable for young children*



3. Holyoke, MA | Wistariahurst Museum | Sat 3.28.20 - 7pm



Pay What You Can. 5 tiers of pricing:

$25 and up - RPR Supporter $25 - Full Ticket Value

$20 - I Can Do $20 

$15 - I Can Do $15 

$10 - Student/Senior Citizen Discount (students must bring valid student ID) 

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
Scarlet Sock Foundation is an exciting new non profit that provides grants to theaters and individuals who are involved in social justice related projects. We are looking for an intern to enhance our social media presence and do administrative upkeep. The position would be up to 10 hours a month. For more info contact Margaret Russo 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.
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)
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
The Completely Ridiculous 
Training Center

Get out of your head and into your body! Rediscover your fun! Reclaim your wonder and willingness to play with abandon! And then pour it all into your Acting!! In this two-part 8-week class Completely Ridiculous students will relentlessly pursue the Fun of Failure and then catapult themselves into text analysis and scene study.

Acting as Play, 1pm-4pm at The Northampton Center for The Arts
March 28th and April 4th, 18th, and 25th
Having completed The Fun of Failure, Completely Ridiculous students will then move on to text, applying the same scale of vulnerability and fun to traditional monologue and scene work. In Acting as Play, students will be asked to get out of their heads and into their bodies; to take big risks before feeling “ready;” to find fun in whatever given circumstances the character has no choice but to endure; and to always lead with hope, regardless of the inevitable disasters laid out in the text.
Enrollment: At the moment, these classes are open exclusively to 16-18 year olds. They are meant to be taken together, but can be taken separately if need be. Enrollment priority will be given to students who sign up for both.
Taken separately, each class is $175. 
Taken together, the total cost is $300.
To ask questions, or sign up, please email

Teacher Bio:
A member of the 3rd graduating class at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA), Gabe grew up in Northampton, received a BFA in Acting from Boston University, an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and now teaches Clown, Physical Acting, and Acting as Play at NYU Tisch School of The Arts. For more information and student testimonials visit:

Improv Storytelling Workshops at The LAVA Center

Improv Storytelling Workshops with Amy Timmins and Marian Kelner
Tuesday, Mar. 31, 7–8:30 p.m.
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield, MA

March 31: 


CONTACT: or (413) 512-3063

Improv Storytelling will introduce participants to the principles and techniques of improv through various prompts and storytelling exercises, exploring both verbal and non-verbal formats. No previous acting or improv experience is necessary; just come with an open mind and desire to jump right in!

Amy Timmins has led dozens of improv workshops at regional and international conferences, in schools, churches, and other community settings. She has developed sessions for college students, human service workers, seniors, chefs, executives, and individuals with disabilities. And she has created several original games of her own, with emphasis on improv storytelling. Amy has her undergraduate degree in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and she’s practiced improv with the Chicago Dream Theatre, Stage 1 Acting Lab in Boston, and the Soho Loco Players in New York City. She earned her MEd from Antioch University, and has worked in the communications and public relations field since the 1980s—now serving as Vice president of Community Relations for ServiceNet.

Co-facilitator Marian Kelner has been improvising her whole life, as all of us living beings do. This includes specifically-themed improv situations, such as classes with Happier Valley Comedy and participation in on-going Greenfield improv groups over the last five years. She brings the thinking on your feet skills and supportive nature developed over a long teaching career.

Come to either or both of the sessions.

FREE (donations welcome)

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

Join Strident Theatre for The Workshop! The Workshop is Strident's weekly drop-in monologue class at Pine Box Studios in the Arts and Industry Building, 221 Pine Street in Florence, MA, 6:30-8:30pm, taught by Artistic Director Susanna Apgar.

This is a casual workshop setting class, designed for ALL skill levels, and it's a wonderful opportunity to network and toss creative ideas around with fellow actors and directors. No need to sign up ahead of time - simply show up with a monologue. Memorization is encouraged! Cost is a sliding scale / suggested donation anywhere between $5-$25+ per class. For more information, follow the event page!
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 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
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