Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 28, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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May 28 - June 17, 2020

This is the 260th issue of the Pioneer Valley Theatre News - which means I've been at this for FIVE YEARS! 

When I started this newsletter, I certainly didn't think we would be wondering and worrying about the future of the performing arts. I wanted to create a central place for artists and audiences to see how vibrant the performance community in the Pioneer Valley is, and to help people network and share with one another. Thank you so much to those of you who have been here since the beginning. I'm going to keep this going for awhile longer, so please share it with someone who might like to know what is going on in the local performing arts. I hope this resource is still helpful in this time and all the time - please reach out if you have suggestions for things you would like to see. 

The next issue will include events through June 24. 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
Friday, June 5th, 7pm for all the info
Email with any questions
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround

This is Not a Rhetorical Question
by Carmen Aguirre

From the article: 

It’s probably accurate to say that one of the reasons we actors follow our calling is to inhabit all kinds of characters (or have them inhabit us), especially ones who are as different as possible from who we are in our real lives, characters who do things we would never do. For example, I am currently in online rehearsals of Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderon’s piece B. In it, I play a man (I’m a woman) called Jose Miguel, who is a terrorist (I am not). I am Chilean, though. And I was in the Chilean resistance against the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1980s, so I am able to provide some political, social, historical, and cultural context. That’s where the similarities end. And yet, in our current hyper-fragmented identity politics climate, it is very important that this role was given to a Chilean.

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
In response to the many high school students who lost their opportunity for final performances, recitals, and art offerings due to Covid 19 Eggtooth shares an opportunity for their creative work to be celebrated widely.

Request for Proposals from Eggtooth Productions


Eggtooth Productions is committed to supporting the next generation of artists.  Whenever possible, Eggtooth will look to fund well-developed proposals from artists 18 years old and younger. In these uncertain times where opportunities have been taken away, we offer Valley-area youth artists in all mediums an invitation to share their work.  Eggtooth will offer 10 selected young artists $50 to support their work. Deadline for Proposals is June 5, 2020 at 5 pm with submissions to: .


All submitted proposals should include the following:

a title for the project
artist contact info (email, phone, website, etc)
a clear description of the work to be made/conducted
your goals for this new work as it pertains to the COVID-19 crisis

Special consideration will be given to work that does any of the following:

is innovative in its approach
has potential to impact a wide audience
supports the recovery or replacement of artistic events/projects lost due to the crisis


selected work will be shared, whenever possible, online and on social media via Eggtooth Productions
artists may work in any medium or combination of media
grant funds may be used in any way selected artists see fit


Digital images: submit high-quality jpgs of 300 DPI or greater

Video: 10 minutes max.  Work should be shared via Vimeo or YouTube

Written word (performed or read online): 1000 words max.

Live performances should consider all social distancing and other health guidelines

Sound artists and musicians no longer than 5 minutes. Format: MP3, YouTube, or Vimeo.
K and E Theater Group Presents Local Spotlight Series this Summer!

K and E Theater Group is excited to present its LOCAL SPOTLIGHT SERIES on Facebook, IGTV and YouTube celebrating Pioneer Valley’s theater artists. KETG Artistic Director Eddie Zitka hosts the summer series streaming online every Tuesday and Friday starting on May 26th and through the rest of the summer!

Stay tuned and check out our lineup by liking us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribing to our YouTube channel! See you in the spotlight!
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
Real Live Theatre presents a "Zoom-staged" reading of their beloved original piece The Lion & The Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty & the Beast. A play filled with magic, beauty, obscenity, grief, and deep abiding love. As audiences said after its premiere in 2014 and again during its tour in 2015: "I really needed that." Come feel the hope with us.

Featuring a reunion of original cast members: Kate Hare, Dan Morbyrne, Mike Pray, Trenda Loftin, Alberto Carlos Peart, Rachel Hall, Toby Vera Bercovici, Lucy Gouvin, and Syl Simmons. Written & directed by Ellen Morbyrne. Original music by Cynthia Zaitz, PhD.

Mature content, not intended for children.
Friday, June 5th, 7pm. for all the info.
Email with any questions.
Arts events, concerts, and productions have been cancelled in cities across the nation due to the effects of COVID-19. Artists, musicians, and performers whose livelihoods are dependent on these events  are facing insurmountable loses.

Now is the time to give back to the artists and performers who contribute so much to the quality, vibrancy, and enjoyability of our lives and culture.

We are collecting donations to support artists in our community who have been directly impacted by this global heath crisis. The funds raised here will be distributed as relief grants to eligible artists and arts organizations.

We invite members of the community to donate to our artist relief fund via GoFundMe.

National Theatre Live YouTube Channel

Streaming will begin at 2 PM EST. 

May 28 ‘This House’ by James Graham. 

June 4 ‘Coriolanus’ by William Shakespeare, starring Tom Hiddleston.

New musicals available streaming on YouTube every Friday for 48 hours!
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts

Open Theatre Project presents
Community Write: Week 4
Streaming now

Playwright Kristen Palmer chose this week's themes: "cracking our windows" and "turning inwards." To stream some of the creative writing this theme inspired, or to watch performances of writing from previous weeks, click here.


South Shore Playwright Showcase presents

2020 Showcase of Short Plays, Online Edition

May 31 and after
directed by Deen Rawlins

Readings of short plays by six acclaimed South Shore playwrights, back after the inaugural reading in 2019.

The Test by Fabiola R. Decius
The Fallout by Greg Lam and Dylan Charles
The Bus Stop by Eve Lyons
The Banishment Room by Jackie Martin
Jeremy’s Box by Thato Mwosa
Ode on a Donut Shop by Ethan Warren

Originally planned to be performed at the Milton Library, we are moving this to a recorded online production. Get to know some of the talented writers who live and work South of Boston. The stream will continue to be available after the May 31 debut. Stream here.


Silverthorne Theater Company presents
Days of

by Rich Orloff
streaming now-June 4

Rich Orloff adapted Days of Possibilities from letters and interviews with students who attended Oberlin College in Ohio. The play explores the journey of one college's response to the Vietnam War, from small and polite demonstrations in 1964 to the  campus-wide response in 1970 when National Guardsmen killed our unarmed students during a demonstration at Kent State University. Along the way, we meet the full spectrum of students, including the radical, the cautious, the conservative, and the chronically undecided. Stream now.

Boston Podcast Players presents
Queen of Sad Mischance
by John Minigan

An O'Neill Award finalist, Queen of Sad Mischance brings us a renowned feminist academic with a decaying mind and the student of color who comes to help her finish her book before it's too late. The podcast includes an interview with the playwright. Listen to the podcast.

Eastampton City Arts

We also launched a Go Fund Me page to raise additional funds toward this effort, beyond the $10,000 that ECA has contributed. And because River Valley Coop is generously matching all donations through this platform, up to $5,000, we have a tremendous opportunity to -- all together -- distribute a total of $20,000 to our community of artists in the months to come. We've raised $1,600+ so far through our Go Fund Me page -- and we still have a ways to go. Any assistance with sharing this link through your channels would be a wonderful help. There is also additional info in this Gazette article as well.  

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Playwrights’ Center is taking action to connect people with their communities and create income streams for theater artists who are out of work. We're pleased to announce an entirely new, online Spring 2020 Season.

This spring, Playwrights' Center will feature regular weekly programming of new play readings; seminars, classes, and workshops taught by playwrights; two weekly feature articles written by playwrights; open conversations and panels with playwrights and theater practitioners; Member Open Play events, where writers read each other's plays aloud and respond with constructive feedback; New Plays On Campus sessions for educators and students interested in playwriting; Writing Room Lunch Breaks where playwrights can come together to work; and open office hours with Playwrights’ Center Artistic and Membership staff, giving people a chance to connect, ask questions, and discuss best practices.

The schedule and links to events

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!

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

So many free online theatre streaming listings here.

As part of "How We Are Responding" to the current health pandemic and the impact it's having on our beloved theatre community, we at TCG are extending complimentary postings of temporary / flexible / tele-commuting positions (artistic AND non-artistic) on ARTSEARCH®. 

This opportunity is open to ALL, in support of theatre-makers looking for immediate temporary work to alleviate the financial crisis that has resulted from the spread of the virus.
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.
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.
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

Being Self
with Joe Dulude II - email  to register
Being self is a unique online camp experience for LGBTQ+ kids ages 15-18 that runs from August 10-14, 2020 from 1:00-4:00 pm at a cost of $100.
Each day will be a 2-3 hour session involving theatre, self-discovery and artistic activities.  The goal of the camp is to help young people discover who they are in this moment and who they would like to become.
All activities lead to a final video project where campers will record a documentary of who they are.  These videos will be edited together into a short film which will be shown on Eggtooth Productions website.
The camp will be led by Joe Dulude II, himself a member of the LGBTQ+ community.  Joe has worked the last 8 years as a Program Director for Camp Highlight and has developed several workshops on identity.
Joe Dulude II is probably best known for his Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End makeup designs on such productions as Wicked, Beetlejuice, Spongebob Squarepants the Musical, Torch Song, Sunday in the Park with George, Anastasia, Sweet Charity, Holiday Inn, Allegiance, Dr. Zhivago, On the Town, If/Then, Beautiful, The Wedding Singer, Grease!, Follies, Jekyll & Hyde and many more.
Joe is also a fine artist, showing work in NYC and his current home in western MA, performing artist  and drag queen, having created the  character of Mr Drag with his good friend Kat playing his associate, Karl.

The Story of a Space:
Immersive Theater Design

A Designer’s Workshop with John Bechtold
email to register


In this three-hour workshop, participants will explore a space of their choosing to develop it as a theatrical landscape.  Using methods culled from leaders in the immersive theater movement and his own creative process, John’s workshop will give you some engaging tools to re-lens the world around you in the spirit of site-sensitive design while working with a cohort of fellow participants.  

Date/Time: Saturday, June 13, 10am-1pm.  Rain date: Saturday, June 20
Cost: $40 per participant

This workshop is intended for actors and theater designers with an interest in immersive and site-specific theater.  The tools we will be using are accessible to anyone interested in this kind of work, regardless of experience.

Using Zoom as our primary means of connection, participants should plan to meet on location in a personally-engaging outdoor space you can play around in.  It doesn’t need to be vast, but ideally has some variation.  For many, this could simply be your backyard or similar.  A nearby common or park might do nicely, too!  Reliable internet for Zoom is a must.  

We will spend much of our time meeting on-screen as a group at the beginning before breaking off into our spaces to conduct exercises that will set up each participant to develop a project of their own.  We will convene at the end of this session to share and discover what we’ve found - and where to go next.

Materials you’ll want: a favorite notebook and writing utensil, your phone, and a pair of headphones.  

About John

John has been making immersive theater since 2010, most frequently with Eggtooth Productions.  Having built his skills with immersive giants Punchdrunk on their award-winning Sleep No More in Boston and New York, John’s productions across the region have taken myriad forms.  The core of his approach comes from the relationships he makes with the spaces his work inhabits.  

Recent productions include work at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, The Emily Dickinson Museum, the Shea Theater, and Chester Theatre Company, among others.  John is the head of the Performing Arts program at the Amherst Regional Schools and DASAC, a progressive summer arts program at Deerfield Academy.  In 2020, he was named the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Robertson Award winner, a national honor given to a high school theater teacher once every two years.  Website:


Saturdays from 1-2pm, starting May 9th

Completely Ridiculous Productions and The Northampton Center for the Arts would like to welcome you to the Pioneer Valley’s one and only Laughing Club!

In this weekly meetup we will gather together for an hour on zoom, introduce ourselves, warm up our bodies, have some fun and laugh ‘til it hurts.


Because we 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 skill, that'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!! 

The PVLC is open to any and everyone, and just like going to the gym or taking a yoga class, there is nothing performative about it. However, a sense of humor will most certainly help - so be sure to bring yours along!

Each session is $15 suggested donation benefitting both the NCFA and Completely Ridiculous Productions. 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 the website.

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.

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

Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center

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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