Thursday, May 7, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News May 7, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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May 7 - 27, 2020

Looking for something to laugh about? Join the Pioneer Valley Laughing Club! More details in the workshops section below. 

Perhaps YOU have written something in quarantine? Or you have something you are dusting off to work on again? Consider submitting it to the Play Reading Co-op. Details in the listings below!

The next issue will include events through June 3. 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

Willing Change in a World of Many Crises
by Ragnhild Freng Dale

From the article: 

What does it mean to talk about theatre, politics, and activism at a time when we all isolate our bodies from those of others? As I’m writing this, the rain is hammering on the window outside my house in southwestern Norway, all my travel plans to meetings and conventions cancelled for the forthcoming months. My mind, which I had thought would vibrate with energy and burning questions about activism and the performing arts, feels terrifyingly blank.

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

West Springfield's Majestic Theater, which was temporarily closed on March 14 in response to COVID-19 safety guidelines, will present a series of programs online. Subscribers and single ticket patrons that did not see “The Pitch,” the play that was in mid-run at the time of the shutdown, will have the opportunity to watch an archival video of the production between May 3-17. Information about the video's availability can be found at

The first Majestic Theater online program is a weekly series called “Behind the Curtain at the Majestic,” which will be broadcast live online beginning Sunday, May 3 at 2:00 p.m. on Producing Director Danny Eaton will interview different guests who have been involved in iconic productions at the theater over the past 23 years, taking viewers behind the scenes to learn what goes into creating their favorite plays. The first guest is actor Ben Ashley who played the title role in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” in all four of the Majestic's presentations of the musical that opened the theater, under Eaton's direction, in March 1997. Ashley's other credits include “Blood Brothers,” “Brimstone,” “La Cage Aux Folles” and “Miss Saigon.” All subsequent “Behind the Curtain at the Majestic” shows will be live online on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. For the upcoming schedule of planned guests and the plays that will be discussed, please visit

Also in the works is “Majestic Children's Theater Online,” a weekly opportunity to watch videos online of past shows from the Majestic Children's Theater (MCT) lineup. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will be the first past production available for viewing online anytime from April 29 – May 10. Then on Sunday, May 10 at 4:00 p.m., Director Stephen Petit and cast members will be live online to discuss “Sleepy Hollow” and answer questions submitted by viewers. For a list of available videos and scheduled discussions, please visit

Of course we don't know at this point when we'll re-open, but we embrace optimism in the face of this,” Eaton stated. “The audience is just as important to a play as the story and the performers, and we can't wait to welcome them back to the Majestic. In the meantime, we're looking forward to bringing some terrific new programming to them in the safety of their homes, and we extend our wishes for their good health.”
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
A group of 20 Silverthorne actors and community members performed Rich Orloff's play, DAYS OF POSSIBILITES on Zoom! We were thrilled to see the large number of people who watched the show as it was live-streamed to our Facebook page. 

If you missed the performance, you can watch it on YouTube - it will be up until June 4 at the following link.

On Monday, May 11 at 7 pm, we invite you to attend an open ZOOM Forum, where the play,  the issues it raised, and the experiences from which the dialogue was drawn will be discussed. 

To receive the link for the Forum, please call 423-768-7514 or write to to request an invitation. 

We appreciate your support and enthusiasm and are working on ways to continue to safely bring you thought-provoking and entertaining theater. Watch for announcements of upcoming Silverthorne special productions! And as always, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!
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.
About the Movie:
Chickago is a feature-length, dark comedy motion picture written by Nora Kaye and Whitney Uland. It follows the journey of three twenty-somethings who attempt to cope with tragedy and disappointment by staging a local production of Chicago, the musical, in their hometown. It fails hilariously, forcing them to face their demons head on.

About me/ the creative team: 
Nora Kaye, who began her theatrical career doing plays at Northampton High School and New Century Theater, recently became an award-winning filmmaker and actor in the Entertainment industry with her writing partner Whitney Uland. Their original TV pilot, Hysterical Women, won awards and accolades at major film festivals around the nation, including Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival and Shonda Rhimes’ Seriesfest. Her work has screened internationally at the Cannes Film Festival.

In the last push for their fundraiser, any and all donations or support helps!

To learn more about the project and our production company (Changito Perrito Productions LLC is a development and production company that creates stories by women, for women. Dedicated to inclusion and diversity, we strive to make films and commercials that are as complex, honest, weird, funny, dark and intricate as the women who make them.):

If anyone has other questions Nora can also be reached at

The creative team is also interested in partnering with a local theater company for possible shooting location, co-production, and premiering the movie when it is done. Reach out to Nora for more information.

National Theatre Live YouTube Channel

Streaming will begin at 2 PM EST. 

May 7 ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ by William Shakespeare, starring Ralph Fiennes.

New musicals available streaming on YouTube every Friday for 48 hours!
From Chris Rohmann:

Meanwhile, here are some current and upcoming local screen-and-stream opportunities that have caught my eye:

Eggtooth Productions has given eight mini-grants to area artists in diverse genres to develop new work, which will be rolled out over the course of this month. They include a Zoom performance of James McLindon's short play "This Is Your Captain" with actors from the Eggtooth Unstaged Companymovement artists Katherine Adler and Lori Holmes Clark; and mime/clown/vaudevillian Jack Golden, whose upcoming live performance will be featured in next week's column.

The Majestic Theater has launched a weekly online chat with producing director Danny Eaton and favorite Majestic performers, Sundays at 2pm. The first one featured Ben Ashley reminiscing about his title role in the theater's oft-revived musical The Buddy Holly Story. Next Sunday the focus is on another Majestic classic, Blood Brothers, with veteran performer/director Cate Damon. The theater is also streaming past productions of its summertime children's theater, and for ticketholders left out when this spring's production of The Pitch was forced to close early, an archive video is available online.

The Northampton Center for the Arts and 
Gabe Levey's Completely Ridiculous Productions host The Pioneer Valley Laughing Club, Saturdays 1-2pm on Zoom beginning May 9th. Why? "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." Open to all, suggested donation $15.

Real Live Theatre will offer a Zoom-staged reading of The Lion & The Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty & the Beast in early June, and later this summer an episodic radio-play version of Ellen Morbyrne's Far Reaches, originally scheduled for live performance this year, now coming in 2021.

The Shea Theater, observing that "because the show must go on, the show must go on-line," is offering a raft of streaming concerts, plus a "liquid-ation drive-by" sale tomorrow (5/5, 2-5pm) when board member Monte Belmonte, clad in full protective gear - an astronaut costume - will deliver wine and/or beer, plus a bag of popcorn, to your car outside the Shea for a zero-touch donation to the theater.

Silverthorne Theater Company hosts a Zoomed community reading of Days of Possibilities, by Rich Orloff, live tonight (Monday) at 7 (access from 6:45) and subsequently YouTubed. It's a docudrama recalling the Vietnam-era antiwar movement on American campuses, with Oberlin College as the case in point. It coincides, not coincidentally, with the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. (Full disclosure: I'm in it.)

Happy and safe viewing, all!

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts


Vintage Soul Productions presents
Quick Quarantined Play Festival
streaming now

Tune in on Saturdays to catch new rounds of the festival. Videos of the performances will be posted on Vintage Soul's Facebook page and website for any-time viewing. Stream now.


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

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. Use the links below to watch each performance. Click the "purchase tickets" button. The readings are free.

The Stakeout 
by K. Alexa Mavromatis
sponsored by Emerson Stage
May 7, 12:00 noon

Are You One of Those Robots?
by Deirdre Girard
sponsored by Open Theatre Project
May 8, 12:00 noon

Number 794
by Jayne Hannah
sponsored by The Wilbury Theatre Group
May 9, 12:00 noon

by James McLindon
sponsored by Pilgrim Theatre
May 10, 12:00 noon

Just Listen
by Ken Green
sponsored by New Repertory Theatre
May 11, 12:00 noon

The Dobler Effect
by John Minigan
sponsored by Centastage
May 12, 12:00 noon

Dream Realm Showcase presents
The Dickens Effect
by Patti Cassidy

When Wall Street Mogul Jesse Lambert is contacted by the Ghost of Christmas Future, he isn't impressed. In fact, he's had enough at this point. Determined not to change his wicked ways, he must explain his disinterest and alternate point of view to the spirit now haunting him. Stream the podcast.

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.

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!

Updated list of Resources from the Valley Arts Newsletter:

Here is the most recent resources list:

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.
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.
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



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
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Berkshire on Stage
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