Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News April 16, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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April 16 - May 6, 2020

Hi, everyone! This week I watched the National Theatre Live performance of Jan Eyre. Then I watched Red Line Productions performance of Orphans. Then I watched a performance on PBS of John Logan's Red. Followed by some of 42nd Street, because that was there too. I'm looking forward to more streamed theatre this week. Some of which is listed below. Check it out. Or maybe just bingewatch something you've already seen for comfort. Take care of yourselves!

The next issue will include events through May 13. 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

How to Produce a Livestream Event
by Vijay Mathew

From the article: 

At HowlRound, we have been receiving many inquiries about how organizations and artists can adapt their cancelled in-person conferences, panel discussions, and talks to an online format during this moment of physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past few weeks, HowlRound TV has supported and peer-produced several examples of physical distancing conversations and performances. Each one is different in what it requires but there are some basic things to know before beginning. I am going to describe how one of them was done from the technical producing perspective.

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
Valley Voices Story Slam, a collaboration  between
Academy of Music Theatre and New England Public Radio,  presents Around the Dinner Table, a new digital storytelling series!

How it Works?
Pioneer Valley storytellers will share six stories
over six nights in video format, beginning Monday, April 20th, and we will wrap it all up with a digital voting poll.

Where to Watch and Vote?
Starting on Monday, April 20, storyteller videos will be posted on BOTH the Academy of Music Theatre and New England Public Radio Facebook Pages at 6PM (EST) for six nights.

On Sunday, April 26 the digital voting poll will be posted on the Facebook pages (AOM & NEPR) and sent out via email to our list.

Come, sit, listen and connect!
Happier Valley Comedy LIVE!
Every night except Sundays at 8pm until we can open our theater again!
Safety of your own home! (YouTube Live Stream)

Come to our virtual theater! Each night, Pam and Scott will check in about their day, share how they're staying healthy and happy through all this social isolation, and then improvise for you, sometimes joined by surprise guests! We can also talk with you through the chat box, so come hang out, give suggestions, and join the fun! It's our way of opening our theater each night to bring people together through laughter and community.

YouTube Channel


From April 2, under the banner of National Theatre at Home, every Thursday (7pm) will see a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.

The initial programme is:

April 16 ‘Treasure Island’, adapted by Bryony Lavery. Read our review.

April 23 ‘Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare, starring Tamsin Greig. Read our review.

For more information on National Theatre at Home, click here.

Western-Mass Low Income Freelancer Relief


New musicals available streaming on YouTube every Friday for 48 hours!

The IOTF: The International Online Theatre Festival is back! Join us from 15 April to 15 May in celebrating theatre-making from across the world.

Wherever you are, you will be able to see a range of work from global artists and companies, as well renowned filmmakers who have turned to theatre as a mode through which to explore process, craftsmanship and performativity.

This year’s festival features 25 productions from leading international companies including Reckless SleepersTR WarszawaStanislavsky Electrotheatre and the Schaub├╝hne.

Details here.

via the New England New Play Alliance newsletter (see the whole thing here)
Virtual Theatre and Podcasts

WGBH presents
by Melinda Lopez

Set during a winter of epic snowfall, Mala is inspired by the notes Melinda frantically typed to herself on an iPhone while she cared for her increasingly frail and consistently fierce mother. These short missives ultimately create a moving and generous portrait of the way taking care of family tests, deepens, and changes our bonds to the ones we love. Stream the play.


Vintage Soul Productions presents
24 Hour Quarantined Play Festival
posted Saturdays

Every weekend during the US mandate to stay home, we will upload monologues about the beginning, middle, and end of the Coronavirus pandemic. Stream the monologues.

Quarantine Lunchbreak Theatre presents

Hopeful One-Minute Plays in the Time of COVID-19
posted regularly

New, hopeful one-minute plays about life in the time of Covid-19 posted regularly to Instagram, each by a different playwright. Stream the plays.

Catalyze presents
Genie in the Machine
April 18 and April 25

Join your friendly neighborhood science and science fiction playwriting group at 8:00 pm on April 18 and April 25 for virtual readings of plays about artificial intelligence!

The Canteen
by Carl Danielson
April 18

The Orphidy Smorlack Variety Hour
by Nathan Comstock
April 18

Deaths of Despair
by Anna Waldman-Brown
April 25

by Zach Barryte and Drache Bowens-Ruben
April 25

Boston Theatre Marathon presents
Marathon XXII Special Zoom Edition
now-May 17

Special readings of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights presented in collaboration with New England theaters via Zoom. Audiences are encouraged to lend their support to area theatre companies and to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to theaters and theatre artists in need. You need the free Zoom app to join. This week's readings:

by Lisa Deily
sponsored by The Front Porch Arts Collective
April 14, 12:00 noon.

Glenda Jackson in a Bodega (I am Not)
by R. D. Murphy
sponsored by Actors Shakespeare Project
April 15, 12:00 noon.

The Unbearable Lightness of Greening
by Nina Mansfield
sponsored by Titanic Theatre Co.
April 16, 12:00 noon.

The Rental
by Tim Lehnert
sponsored by Forge Theater Company
April 17, 12:00 noon.

The Handle
by Scott Sullivan
sponsored by The Actors Studio of Newburyport
April 18, 12:00 noon.

The Bull
by Greg Hovanesian
sponsored by Target Stage/Stonehill Theatre Company
April 19, 12:00 noon.

by Greg Lam
sponsored by Liars and Believers
April 20, 12:00 noon.

The Vampyr
by James Wilkinson
sponsored by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
April 21, 12:00 noon.

Boston Podcast Players presents
Fathers and Sons
by Michael Bradford

A young African-American couple struggles to cope with the loss of their missing child. Hear an excerpt from the play and an interview with the playwright.  Listen to the podcast.

from UMass Arts Extension Services
New Funding Resources Available

Remember weeks ago when events hadn’t been canceled or postponed worldwide? Your arts program may have been at the top of your to-do list however today, we are all searching for new ways to keep our arts organizations afloat during this time of uncertainty. We are here for you!  Arts Extension Service has put together a list of resources that includes funding and grant opportunities for artists and arts organizations. In this rapidly changing landscape, check in often, as we update this list daily. 

If you are delving into the grant writing process for the first time or feel you need to refresh your skills, check out the Arts Extension Service's online Grantwriting for the Arts course offered this summer!  Class starts July 6, and registration is now open!

from A.P.E. (full newsletter)

Stay Engaged: Links to news and arts
The Forgotten Art of Assembly by Nicholas Berger
ON AIR: Dramatists Play Service
12 Places to Watch Dance Online   by Siobhan Burke
Open Streaming during Lockdown:  Watch RAIN by Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker
Dear Diary, The World is Burning New Yorker
Five thinkers weigh moral choices in a crisis. New York Times Magazine
Why COVID-19 Might Be Our Chance to Reimagine the Arts Frieze

Links from last few weeks:
More excellent resources for freelance artists

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

More Digital Arts and Culture Resources

List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Stay At Home Fest: Online Entertainment Calendar

Join the New Performing Artists Network, created by Seth Lepore

UMass Arts Extension Services List of Resources

Live Puppet Theatre Online - from the Jim Henson Foundation

Even More Things to Stream While Broadway Is Shut Down


I am writing to share a new, quarantine-inspired idea and invite you to participate. The Center for the Arts will be producing four episodes of what we are calling “Hawley Street,” a cross between Sesame Street and an online variety show. We want to keep our artists and other community members connected, and are excited to give this a try for the next two months!

Each 20-minutes episode (geared towards children and families but hopefully entertaining for all ages!) will incorporate performances, tutorials, dance parties, and more, and we hope you will join us by submitting content!

Please email a high quality 2-5 minute video (smartphones are fine) filmed in landscape/horizontal mode of your original, arts-related content. The content must belong to you or not be copyrighted, but doesn’t have to be new. Some suggestions include:

--performances (music, dance, spoken word, skits, puppets, etc)
--tutorials/instructional videos
--magic tricks
--animated shorts
--stop motion
--dance party (you/your family dancing to fun music in your house or yard - this will be edited together into a collective dance party sequence)
--videos of you/your family laughing!
--cute videos of your pets!

Please send any contextual information (for explanation and credits) via email. We are accepting submissions throughout the month of April, but hope to get our first episode out by mid-month so please send videos soon!

We are also welcoming music (mp3s or links to downloadable original music) to use for the crowd-sourced dance parties, background music, and transitional moments.

"Hawley Street" will be available for free, but we hope people will consider making a donation to the Center. As a small nonprofit committed to serving our community, the Northampton Center for the Arts needs help so that we can continue to provide affordable space for artists, performers, and educators after this crisis is over. We will be inviting people to make a donation of any amount through our website or Venmo @Northampton-CenterForTheArts at the end of each episode.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we can’t wait to see and share your art!

All the best,

Virtual Pride Video Campaign - Call to Participate
While the in-person annual Northampton Pride Parade and Festival has been canceled—Noho Pride will go on—virtually!

Be part of Northampton Radio Group and Noho Pride’s Virtual Pride Parade—an exciting video project capturing the energy, artistry and enthusiasm of Noho Pride, and celebrating the only way we can this year—online, but together! The video will be streamed on Facebook on May 2nd, 2020.

Be a part of it!
A message from Amy Rist:

Good afternoon my friends from area non-profit arts facilities (dance/music/acting is etc.).

I am an experienced grant writer, primary investigator and researcher. I have helped non-profits successfully obtain grants up to 500K federal and state and can help anyone interested in obtaining a grant at this site below or many other funding opportunities. This includes other funding available for nonprofit arts organizations etc. Please message me if interested. I’m happy to forward you proof and examples of my work. I am also a political consultant and able to obtain local political support is wherever necessary. Grant and Political references available upon request. 


Please contact me at
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.
Go to 
Click on the link when it goes live tomorrow and enjoy! Or go to the Silverthorne or LAVA Center Facebook pages for the link.

Get in touch with LAVA to reserve your spot for the next
ONLINE OPEN MICs -- Tuesday nights: April 28


COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals

The COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals provides $1,000 grants to people who have lost income derived from their work as individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures in Massachusetts. Application deadline: April 22, 2020 at 11:59pm (ET).

More Info:

Application Process:
Events of all types have been cancelled across Massachusetts to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, individuals who earn income partially or entirely through their work within the cultural sector are losing critical opportunities to support their well-being in the Commonwealth.

In response, Mass Cultural Council established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists living in Massachusetts whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Through Mass Cultural Council’s COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals, grants of $1,000 are available to individuals who are independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and self-employed or sole proprietors who have lost income derived from their work as individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures in Massachusetts.​

How to Apply:
Read the program guidelines (below) and FAQs. Preview a sample application (PDF).

Create a username and password to complete your individual profile (Please note: Usernames/Passwords previously created in Mass Cultural Council’s online application system to apply for Artist Fellowships and META Fellowships can be used.)

Complete the online application beginning at 10am (ET) on April 8, 2020. Submit it before the application deadline on April 22, 2020, at 11:59pm (ET).

Artists: Contact Dan Blask, Program Officer, Artist Fellowships.
Teaching Artists/Scientists/Humanists: Contact Diane Daily, Program Manager, Education.
Program Guidelines

You may apply for Mass Cultural Council COVID-19 Relief funding if you are:
An individual artist working in any artistic discipline. Artist here is defined broadly to include, but is not limited to artists such as musicians, theater artists (including those that work on sound, lighting, and costume design), photographers, puppeteers, crafts artists, painters, poets and authors, vocalists, folk and traditional artists, dancers, etc.

An individual teaching artist, humanist, or scientist who promotes education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences to people of any age, who typically works in schools or other educational settings.

AND you meet all five of the following requirements:
You are 18 years or older.
You are a legal resident of Massachusetts. We define “legal resident” as someone who meets the definition of a “full-year resident” in the Massachusetts tax code. Visit the Mass Department of Revenue web site to learn more.
You have reported taxable income related to earnings working as an individual artist and/or as an individual teaching artist, humanist, scientist in your most recent tax return.
The income you reported earning as an individual artist and/or as an individual teaching artist, humanist, scientist in your most recent tax return represented more than 25% of your total income from all sources.

You can demonstrate at least $1,000 of lost income directly related to COVID-19 that is not eligible to be recouped through Massachusetts unemployment benefits. This could include lost revenue due to:

Canceled jobs/gigs, classes, performances, exhibitions, shows, residencies, etc.
Organizational closures and/or suspended operations
Lost sales, commissions, vendor fees from cancelled markets, events, exhibitions, etc.Federal CARES Act unemployment benefits do not affect eligibility to this program.

Applicants may submit one application and may receive no more than one grant during this FY20 grant opportunity

Use of Funds: 
The use of grant funds is unrestricted. The grant is meant to recoup financial losses demonstrated in the application.

Grant Awards, Distribution, and Review:
The Mass Cultural Council will award at least 225 $1,000 grants. If outside funding available becomes available, we will increase the number of grants awarded.

To ensure geographic diversity, grants will be awarded by region in proportion to the region’s application demand. The regions are as follows:
Greater Boston

For example, if applications from the Southeast region make up 15% of the total applications received, the Southeast region will be allocated roughly 15% of the grants made.

Within each region, awards will be made to eligible applicants using a randomized selection process.

Grant Payment:
In order to receive the funds awarded through this program, grantees must complete the following documentation, and print, sign, and return originals by mail to Mass Cultural Council:
One-page State Contract
Electronic Funds Transfer Form

All the necessary documents will be emailed directly to grantees to complete. Grantees who do not have a bank account that the funds can be transferred to, can notify the Contract Officer at the time of award notification in order to request a mailed check.

Please be aware, grants may be considered taxable income and individuals should seek guidance from their tax professionals/accountants about tax and reporting requirements.

Electronic deposits will be made to the grantee’s account (or a check will be mailed) 20 – 45 days after the grantee returns their contract. Mass Cultural Council will make every effort to expedite payments as quickly as possible.

Grantees do not have any formal reporting requirements. To continue our advocacy efforts, we will send optional surveys to grantees over time to help tell the story of impact that COVID-19 has had on the cultural sector.

April 7: Council votes to approve program
April 8: Guidelines posted and application opens
April 15: Staff review regional distribution of applications and do additional outreach if necessary
April 22: Deadline to apply
April 27: Awards finalized; email notifications sent
May 4: Contracts sent out

Proceed to the Online Application

The Northampton Arts Council is now accepting performer applications for First Night Northampton 2021.

On Thursday December 31, 2020 the Northampton Arts Council will present the 36th annual community New Year’s Eve celebration and festival of performing arts. Since 1985, First Night Northampton has filled the Paradise City with a 12-hour family-friendly festival of the arts, culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Proceeds from First Night Northampton will benefit local artists and community arts activities. 

We look forward to receiving many proposals and to creating a diverse, exciting, family-friendly event. Complete and submit the application no later than August 31, 2020. Proposals are reviewed as they are received, so early applications are recommended. Please submit separate applications for each proposal. Proposals without support materials will not be reviewed. We will be notifying applicants at the end of September. To apply to perform at First Night Northampton please complete the online application which can be found here.

Contact: Steve Sanderson, Events Producer, 413-587-1247,

Photo Credit: Steven E Nanton

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.

Starting next Monday, April 6, USITT will be launching two all-new FREE webinar series for anyone to attend called New@Noon and Forum@Four! These new offerings are a way to provide those in the technical theatre and live entertainment industries with online education.

The New@Noon series will be similar to our New Products Showcase that takes place every year at the annual Conference and Stage Expo. Companies who were set to exhibit their latest tech will now take the virtual stage to explain what the product is and to answer questions that participants may have.

The Forum@Four series is essentially taking a selection of curated sessions and translating them to a virtual environment. These webinars are brought to you by the various USITT commissions and other industry experts, and presenters will be available during the sessions to answer questions that participants may have.

Visit to learn all about next week's slate of webinars and to register in advance.

Happier Valley Comedy presents Improvise Into the Unknown

April 17 at 3:30 PM

Improvisers are trained to eat the unknown for breakfast.
As a professional improviser, Pam Victor's job is to jump into the unknown and instantly create content out of thin air with her colleagues. And now, Pam would like to share easy-to-learn techniques to support you in improvising opportunities in this unexpected new reality. Because that's what improv is all about:
The acceptance of the reality of the moment and the agreement to move forward together with positivity.

In this insightful interactive presentation, Pam uses wise-cracking stories and the wisdom of improv tenets to provide immediately-applicable, game-changing tools to help you reframe challenges, redefine failure, reduce anxiety, and quiet the internal voices of fear and self-judgment that may be getting in the way of your progress and forward momentum in these uncertain times. Using the wonders of Zoom, Pam leads the small group through solo and group interactive exercises to deepen and individualize learning through laughter. This professional development presentation is designed to support the resilience, flexibility, and creativity of members of work and leadership teams, entrepreneurs, and anyone whose business has been shaken up by the current health situation.
Ask yourself this: Given the reality of this moment, could you use more ease and joy?
A Completely Ridiculous Laughing Club, Saturday April 18th from 1-2pm
Completely Ridiculous Productions would like to welcome you to the Pioneer Valley’s one and only Laughing Club!
In this ongoing practice, beginning April 18th, we will gather together for an hour on zoom - introduce ourselves, warm up our bodies, and then laugh, and laugh so hard that we begin to cry a little, and then a little more until we we can’t help but laugh even harder than we were before.. 
Because I believe it is important to remind ourselves that it's ok to live in a happy body and laugh uproariously, especially in such crazy and chaotic times.
But seriously, Why?
Because laughter is a necessary survival skillthat's why.  Also, super serious people like Doctors, Ministers and Therapists all around the world say that laughter strengthens the immune system, purges toxins, burns calories, works as a natural anti-depressant and keeps us resilient, happy and healthy! Laughter is the Best Medicine after all - and it's FREE!! 
This practice is open to any and everyone – just like going to the gym or taking a yoga class. However, a sense of humor will certainly help - So be sure to bring yours along!
Each session is $15 suggested donation/pay what you can. 
To sign up, please email
What in the what is Completely Ridiculous Productions?
CRP is a performance laboratory/training center dedicated to professional actor training, developing and producing new works of physical comedy, and strengthening each individual’s Empathic Vulnerability - the willingness to fully see and be seen by an other, while staying open to the possibility of being changed. For more information visit: 
And who the heck is running this thing anyway?
Professional Laugher since birth, Gabe Levey is an actor/theatre maker who recently moved back to Northampton. In addition to running workshops and producing shows in the valley, Gabe teaches Physical Acting, Clown, Clown to Text and Shakespeare Performance at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. Founding Artistic Director, Completely Ridiculous Productions. MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Happier Valley Comedy presents Let's Get Happier!

April 25 at 7:00 PM

As the Head of Happiness of Happier Valley Comedy, happiness is literally Pam Victor's title and business. It's also her life practice. Yes, happiness is more than something that just magically lands on us. Happiness is a muscle we can build and develop. In this fun and informative personal empowerment remote interactive presentation, Pam shares immediately-applicable techniques and tips to make happiness a habit in your life. Using improv-based exercises and amusing stories, we actively experience, explore, and expand on the
practices of happiness, gratitude, and play. By the end of our time together, you’ll create your own personalized happiness plan, get practice with a bunch of happiness-enhancing techniques, and make connections with like-minded folks through remote interactive activities and discussions.
Join us to harness the power of happiness in this laughter- and skills-building interactive remote presentation.
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
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
ArtsBeat Radio and News Column
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