Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 11, 2020

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Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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June 11 - July 1, 2020


You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom (or better yet, click to view the whole email on a website) but there are a bunch of great workshops and classes available online that are coming up soon. 

If you haven't yet, read this powerful testimonial and sign the petition here - We See You, White American Theatre.


The next issue will include events through July 8. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at pioneervalleytheatre@gmail.com

Submit Your Theatre Event
YOUR EVENT HERE
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
THIS WEEK IN THEATRE NEWS:
from Howlround

A Mortal Theatre
by Caridad Svitch

From the article: 

Theatre has been “dying” for centuries. Yet, it somehow still manages to be with us. Even now, when theatre buildings have been shut down due to COVID-19. In the last ten weeks or so, for example, there has been a plethora of work presented in the online theatre environment—plays written for Zoom (Richard Nelson’s What Do We Need to Talk About? at the Public Theater), streamed on Zoom, re-conceived for Zoom (Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer and Cellar presented by Broadway.com as a Living Room Livestream); plays to be downloaded and read and/or played at home; and more, as well as the streaming of recently recorded or archival recordings of productions from, among others, theatres in Europe, the UK, Russia, France, Italy, Canada, Poland, China, and the United States. The Theatre Times’ second edition of the International Online Theatre Festival has curated more than twenty-five streamed productions but also accompanying live conversations and artist talks.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! pioneervalleytheatre@gmail.com
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
PERFORMANCES and COVID-19 RESOURCES
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!

National Theatre Live YouTube Channel

Streaming will begin at 2 PM EST. 

The Madness of George III

Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough and Debra Gillet feature in the acclaimed Nottingham Playhouse production of Alan Bennett's award-winning drama.

Streaming from 7pm UK time on 11 June, until 7pm UK time on 18 June.

SILVERTHORNE THEATER ANNOUNCES
2020 THEATER THURSDAY PLAY READING SERIES
 
Following up on its highly successful Theater Thursday play reading series last year, Silverthorne Theater Company will take advantage of the use of online streaming to bring three new plays to the Valley and beyond this summer through the 2020 Theater Thursday Play Reading Series. All three plays in this year’s series will be streamed free to Silverthorne’s Facebook page and will feature live discussions with the playwrights following the readings. The series is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council through the generous support of the Greenfield, Hadley and Buckland Cultural Councils.
 
The first in the series is Daniel Elihu Kramer's Pride@Prejudice, an online reimagining of the classic Jane Austen novel, directed by Chris Rohmann. The reading will be streamed on on Silverthorne’s Facebook page and YouTube channel on Thursday, June 18 beginning at 7 pm EDT. There is no charge to view the reading. Viewers can visit https://www.facebook.com/silverthornetheater/ to access the performance.
 
Following the reading, playwright Kramer will join the cast and director to talk about the play.  Kramer says, "I'm excited to see Pride@Prejudice in this online setting. The internet combined with Jane Austen's brilliance inspired this script in the first place, so it feels like Chris Rohmann and Silverthorne are bringing the play full circle."
 
About the play:  Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love all over again -- this time filtered through the world of the internet. Modern students in a FaceTime group discuss and build on this classic love story while acting it out, interjecting questions and opinions, quotes from movie versions, and even letters from Ms. Austen herself, to create a delightfully postmodern view of 19th century England. With five actors playing 22 roles, Pride@Prejudice is a unique and hilarious homage to Austen's most beloved novel, and to our love affair with reading. Available online only on STC's Facebook page or YouTube channel.
 
Daniel Elihu Kramer became Producing Artistic Director of Chester Theatre Company in fall of 2015, after four years as Associate Artistic Director, and produced his first season in 2016.. In 2011, CTC produced Pride@Prejudice which transferred to Capital Rep in 2012. He works nationally as a theatre director and playwright, and as a film director. He is Professor of Theatre and a member of the Film and Media Studies program at Smith College.

On Thursday, July 16, the second Theater Thursday play will be read as a co-production with the Chester Theatre Company and will be directed by CTC’s Danial Elihu Kramer. Northampton playwright Darcy Bruce’s Soldier Poet is a prize-winning piece that was premiered by Theatre Prometheus in 2017 at the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington D.C.  The play centers on a gripping and timely story. In Aleppo two American Army Rangers rescue an injured Syrian woman about to give birth. At a nearby hospital, a neonatal nurse with an unwavering sense of duty struggles to save the lives of infants as her hospital is bombed.

The final 2020 Theater Thursday play, which streams on Thursday, August 20, is written by Northampton playwright, James McLindon – Distant Music.  Penney Hulten directs this complex piece set in January 2000. On a snowy night in an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Connor, Maeve and Dev meet, each agonizing over an irrevocably life-changing decision. The three fight over religion and beer, whether truth exists at all, the differences between the Irish and Irish-Americans, the many failings (according to Dev) of the latter, and, finally, the capacity of stout to explain, metaphorically and metaphysically, most of life. The play, winner of numerous awards, has been produced across the country and is published by Dramatic Publishing. The playwright will join in for a live post-show talk about the play.
SILVERTHORNE THEATER PRESENTS COMEDY LIVE (ALMOST!): An Evening with Ruth Draper Monologues
 
Silverthorne Theater Company will present a virtual live performance of comedy with An Evening with Ruth Draper via the LAVA Center in Greenfield on Friday, June 26, at 7:00 pm.
 
An inspired social satirist of the 1920s and beyond, Ruth Draper captivated audiences around the world with her one-woman monologues, often poking fun at the foibles of the bon vivant. Draper created whole casts of characters who would join her on stage, yet only in her – and the audience’s – imagination.
 
Actor Penney Hulten of Northfield will inhabit the world of Draper in two of her most delightful comedic monologues, The Italian Lesson and Doctors and Diets. The virtual fundraiser for Silverthorne Theater was an inspiration by Hulten, a 2009 graduate of the Ada Comstock Program at Smith College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Theater. Coincidentally, Ruth Draper earned an honorary degree of doctor of humanities at Smith College in 1947.
 
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Hulten has been involved with Silverthorne Theater since 2017 in myriad capacities including gala planning, admin support, and even modeling for a recent costume fashion show. Her most enjoyable assignment, she says, was assisting backstage with quick costume changes for GREATER TUNA in 2018.
 
“They say drama is easy and comedy is hard,” says Hulten. “For me it is the other way around. I’m always at my happiest when I can make people laugh. During the Great Depression film makers such as Busby Berkeley created films to bring spectacle and distraction from everyday life to audiences suffering from the aftershocks of the stock market crash. I hope to bring some comic relief to those of us struggling with the current pandemic and other concerns.”
 
Hulten’s early influences include Lucille Ball, Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett, Katherine Hepburn and Gilda Radner. “I learned from these women that it was alright to be an attractive, independent, intelligent woman and yet do comedy that pokes fun at oneself. As a matter of fact, I found them more appealing for having done so. To be able to laugh at ourselves – and the human condition – is a gift to others letting them know it’s okay to be our own totally human selves: flawed, silly, hypocritical, klutzy, fearful, hilarious – all of it!”
 
Draper had her own sense of the absurd, yet never made fun with her characters. “Everybody is rather ridiculous, rather pitiful,” she said. Yet there isn’t any malice or acerbity in her portrayals. She is sympathetic to people while at the same time sublimely pointing out their inherent shortcomings. Audiences can see themselves – their neighbors, family members – in her characters. Draper’s alternating comedy and pathos in her tales evokes a knowing solace and understanding that comforts as well as entertains.
 
An internationally acclaimed diseuse (a woman who is a skilled and usually professional reciter), Ruth Draper was born in 1884 in New York City. She began displaying her talents early, delighting her siblings by imitating the adults in their lives. Later, she began giving monologues at private parties and schools. In 1920 she made her professional debut at London’s Aeolian Hall. Her skits, as she called them, and her proclivities expanded as she extended her cast of characters.
 
Creating her own original material while keeping it all in her head, she entertained audiences around the country and around the world; most notably to King George V and Queen Mary of Britain, as well as the royal families of Spain and Belgium. World renowned artist John Singer Sargent created charcoal portraits of her, and she was a favorite among actors such as Katherine Hepburn, Helen Hays, Sarah Burnhardt, and Laurence Olivier. Shunning interviews, she disliked publicity yet filled theaters for runs on Broadway, in the West End and the like. Draper continued acting into her 70’s and died in her sleep after a performance in 1956 during the run of a Broadway engagement. 
 
Henry James was a friend of the Draper Family, and Ruth asked him if she should pursue a career as a professional actress. He said to her, “No, my dear child. You have woven your own beautiful little Persian carpet. Stand on it.
 
Draper brought humor and magic to her patrons, and Hulten hopes to bring some of that same enchantment to local audiences via Facebook Live. Hulten says, “Laughter is the best medicine, so I invite you for a spoonful. Broadway character Auntie Mame said, ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.’ I say – come to the table and feast!”
 
As well as the live broadcast, the evening’s performance will be filmed and available on the Silverthorne website: https://silverthornetheater.org/.
 
For more information about Silverthorne Theater or this performance, please call Lucinda Kidder at (413) 768-7514 or email silverthornetheater@gmail.com.
 
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts
 

Playwrights Platform presents

48th Annual Festival of New Plays

Welcome to week two of the Playwrights' Platform virtual festival, which is also serving as a fundraiser for organizations that support the BlackLivesMatter Movement:  NAACP Boston BranchBlack Lives Matter BostonMassachusetts Bail FundBlack and PinkViolence in Boston Inc. The festival will present one play each evening at 7:00 pm, followed by a Q&A with the playwright. Festival lineup for Week Two:

Is It Me?
by Lawrence "Nick" Hennessey
directed by Mark Davis
June 11

Jenny Must Die
by Bill Lattanzi
directed by Alexandra Smith
June 12

Vendetta
by Andrea Aptecker
directed by John Minigan
June 13

Heart Broker
by Maryanne Truax
directed by Francis Norton
June 14

 

The Wilbury Theatre Group in Providence presents
Conversations with Heshie
by Nick Malakhow
June 11 and streaming after

Meet Heshie Cantankorwitz. His nursing home is in lockdown. His neighbor Gloria is keeping him up all night with her coughing. His neurotic grandson Asher says it's the end of the world. They've even closed off-track betting.  Who can figure it out? All Heshie knows is that he's got a few things he'd like to get off his chest.  Over the course of three Zoom calls, the not-so-wise old man schools his grandson on the meaning of life and love, making a fast buck in the garment industry and the importance of a high-fiber diet. Conversations with Heshie is "The 2,000 Year Old Man" for the age of COVID-19 — chicken soup for the soul in our crazy, dark times. RSVP here.
 

Metropolitan Area Planning Council presents
The Medfield Anthology
by Hortense Gerardo
June 11

First created as an immersive walking play through the Medfield State Hospital grounds, The Medfield Anthology portrays the hospital in its many facets - not only a place where patients went for psychiatric care, but also where community members attended an annual Harvest Ball, young lovers went to movie screenings in the chapel, and youngsters competed in Little League games. This online presentation features a new scene about the 1918 flu pandemic, and a movement piece adapted for viewing on computer screens. RSVP here.


Cue Zero Theatre presents
A workshop reading of
A Series of Inelastic Collisions
by Eugenie Carabatsos
June 12

After the death of her husband, Rain moves in with her estranged son, whose recent religious conversion has brought on major life changes, including fostering two teenagers. Isolated from her family, Rain finds connection and intimacy with the strangers she encounters while phone-banking for her preferred presidential candidate.  RSVP here.
 

Arlekin Players Theatre presents
State vs Natasha Banina
by Yaroslava Pulinovich
June 14

In State vs Natasha Banina, based on Natasha’s Dream by Yaroslava Pulinovich, a girl tells the story of her life in a small-town orphanage, and of her desire to be free. From the inside of a “ZOOM” court room, she will make twists and turns through her unique appeal to audiences as the jurors, letting them into her world where she dreams about love, family, acceptance, adjusting, and her future. Ultimately the two worlds collide and you get to decide her fate. RSVP here.
 

Open Theatre Project presents
Community Write: Week 6
Streaming now

Playwright Andrew SiaƱez-De La O has chosen "Seedlings & Sidwalk Chalk" as the themes for week six. To stream some of the creative writing that this theme inspired, or to watch performances of writing from previous weeks, click here.
 

Liars and Believers presents
Entitled and
The Greening of Bridget Kelley
by Peter Snoad
Streaming now

Craving silence, a successful entrepreneur buys a remote Pacific island as the ultimate sound-proof getaway in Entitled.  How far would you go to stop global warming? A teenage environmental activist explains her choices to her priest in The Greening of Bridget Kelley.  stream now.
 

The Hear Now National Audio Theater Festival for 2020 presents
The Mooncusser's Tale,
a radio play

by Lee Roscoe

A lyrical maritime tale of 19th century Welfleet, Cape Cod, about mooncussers and the conflicts between those who live within nature and those who use her forces against man. Listen to the podcast.

MAJESTIC THEATER ANNOUNCES REOPENING PLANS
West Springfield Venue Plans to Resume Performances in January, 2021

West Springfield's Majestic Theater, which was temporarily closed on March 14 in response to COVID-19 safety guidelines, has announced its reopening plan.

According to Producing Director Danny Eaton, the theater will resume performances in January 2021. “There are so many unknowns at this time, but listening to our local and state leaders we have planned out a schedule we think is reasonable and hopefully achievable. We want to make sure our subscribers and patrons will feel safe coming back to the Majestic Theater,” he said.

The first production will be a three-week run of The Pitch, the drama that was in mid-run when the theater was closed in March. The closing occurred when the play had three weeks left on its schedule. Eaton noted that “All current ticket-holders for The Pitch, even those who generously donated their tickets to the Majestic, will be able to see this show when it returns in January.”

Following The Pitch, Eaton will produce an abbreviated season before the Majestic's summer 2021 lineup takes place. The rest of the season will include:
  • Murder for Two (February 11 – March 21); a musical comedy whodunit
  • Betty & The Patch (April 1 – May 9); a new original play by Danny Eaton
  • 9 to 5 (May 20 – June 27); the musical comedy originally scheduled for May 2020 (ticket-holders for this show will also see their tickets honored for new dates in 2021)


In addition, the St. Patrick's Day-themed productions that were canceled in the wake of the pandemic have been rescheduled for 2021. They are:
  • Craig Eastman (March 9); live music
  • Bo Fitzgerald & The Yank Celt Band (March 15); live music
  • Misgivings (March 16); one-man comedy


Eaton noted that people who were current ticket-holders for the St. Patrick's shows would also be able to have them honored for the rescheduled dates in 2021.

Following the close of 9 to 5 in June 2021, the Majestic will present summer concerts and the Majestic Children's Theater lineup as well.

Eaton announced that the Majestic Theater box office is scheduled to reopen on August 3, 2020. Staff will be able to sell tickets over the phone, but the box office will not be open for walk-in customers at that time. Transactions will not be possible before August 3, as business machines required for selling tickets are located on-site.

In the interim, the Majestic has been presenting online programming at majestictheater.comBehind the Curtain at the Majestic is an hour-long live program in which Eaton interviews a Majestic veteran performer about their onstage experiences. The show had previously run on Sundays at 2:00 p.m., but will switch to its new time slot of Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. effective June 4. On Sundays, at 7:00 p.m., Majestic Children's Theater Director Stephen Petit gathers the cast of a previous Children's Theater show to discuss that particular play and take questions from the online audience. The play in question is posted online a week prior to the show for free viewing. Both Behind the Curtain and the Majestic Children's Theater Show are archived and available for free viewing at majestictheater.com, where visitors will also see the upcoming show topics and interviewees.

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.

Playwrights' Center offering classes and online events. 

AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
The Play Reading Co-op is looking for help in finding some cast members for an upcoming reading. On June 20th we will be reading the first draft of Darcy Parker Bruce's Kingdom of Ghosts- the final play in Darcy's trilogy The Piedmont Plays. We are still looking to cast the following:

JONAH- (M(trans)/30s) Specifically seeking a trans-identified AFAB (assigned female at birth) actor to play this role. Pronouns in script can be adjusted to read he/him or they/them accordingly.

QAMAR ALABED- (F/30s) From Syria. A nurse. A ghost. We are looking for an actor of Middle Eastern descent  for this role.

FATEMAH ALABED– (F/30s) From Syria. Qamar’s sister. We are looking for an actor of Middle Eastern descent for this role

Please note that the actors' skills and fit for these roles are more important than their proximity to the listed ages. If you or someone you know might be a good fit, please feel free to send them to pioneervalleytheatre@gmail.com

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. 

http://www.rachelfhirsch.com/play-reading-co-op

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 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

YOUTH AWARDS

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: lmciner@gmail.com .

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

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

NOTES

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

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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.
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.
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. 

http://artsearch.tcg.org/home
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, arts@northamptonma.gov

Photo Credit: Steven E Nanton

WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
MAJESTIC THEATER OFFERING ONLINE PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP
Producing Director Danny Eaton Presenting 6-Week Program

Danny Eaton, Producing Director and Founder of the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, has announced the creation of a six-week playwriting workshop that he will be presenting on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. The first session will begin on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.

Eight participants will be welcomed into the workshop, which is open to people who are new to playwriting, as well as those with some experience. Registration for the six-week session is $120 and is available online at majestictheater.com. Eaton will schedule additional workshops when the first session is full.

The workshop will be a participatory program, focusing on character creation, dialogue and dramatic storytelling. At the end of the six weeks, each participant will have developed several monologues as well as a short play. Eaton will recruit an ensemble of veteran actors from Majestic Theater plays for an online reading of each script.

About Danny Eaton

Eaton is the Founder of The Theater Project, which has been in residence in the Majestic Theater since 1997. He attended Holyoke Community College in 1970 after more than four years in the Marine Corps, and subsequently transferred to Amherst College. He earned a Masters Degree in Playwriting from Wesleyan University. His many plays have been seen locally, as well as in New York and Chicago. Eaton was Assistant Director at Stage West, and also a faculty member and Artist-in-Residence at Columbia College in Chicago. He produced and directed the Majestic's inaugural production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. In addition to producing each season's calendar of shows, he has also directed many of its productions. Eaton wrote the musicals, The Ride and Anthem, the plays The Island Lily, Iris and The War and Walt Whipple. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of the Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC). Eaton is the proud winner of 2009's New England Theatre Conference Regional Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre.
Great News!  I received a NEF grant to offer an 8 week summer session of Zoom Improv! Since the 1 month pilot was successful with the 1st-5th graders in Northampton, we are expanding it to include the JFK students. I have hired 4 experienced NHS alum to help with the teaching. They were all in the high school improv troupe I coach and all assisted me in my classes.

Since the pandemic, I have been witnessing and listening to my young clients talk about their increased anxiety, sadness and sense of feeling ungrounded. Improv is one way to help children with their stress and angst about the world right now. I have found that children thrive on seeing their peers, using their imaginations, and having a fun break from the world. I strongly recommend it for our young clients during this unprecedented scary and uncertain time.

Now is the time to register and spread the word to other families/students you know. The deadline is Thursday June 11th so we can let people know what day/time their class is next week.

Please remind other parents and students that no previous experience is necessary!

Kate Cardoso is helping me with this project. She has set up the registration through survey monkey to make it easy for parents/guardians to sign their children up. We have also had it translated into Spanish. The classes are 45-50 minutes long on Zoom once a week from the week of June 15th through the week of August 10th.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out with any questions.

 Heidi Haas
 413-626-5840
We at Completely Ridiculous Productions have been working on a curriculum for a summer conservatory program that we are very excited and proud to release! Our team has worked hard to create an online actor training program that focuses on the powers of play, empathy, vulnerability and the joy of creation. 
 
In light of the recent events in our world we have been confronted with the question, how can we be of greater service? How, in our own way, can we actually help. Inaction is no longer an option, and holding our summer program as planned, without recognition of the revolution that is happening in our country, feels as if it would be in the spirit of regression, rather than progress. 
 
So, we have made some changes to our original plans, in order to stand actively in solidarity with the black community. Our offering is in the spirit of equality, justice, inclusivity and accessibility - it is surely not enough, but a small step towards effecting change.  
 
In addition to keeping the cost of the program as low as possible for everyone, we are now offering a full diversity scholarship, a work study scholarship, and several partial scholarships. Payment plans will be available on a case by case basis; all faculty members have agreed to teach in this inaugural run of the program for much less than their usual rates; AND we will also be donating 10% of all tuition fees to organizations that work toward racial justice and systemic change in America. 
 
To play and make art have always been inherent acts of revolution. As actors, we are trained to tune into our own feelings, connect with others, see and be seen, open our hearts, lean into our wonder, listen, and use our voices to speak the truth.  The theatre is a place of action and of justice, and theatre makers will always be agents of change. To that end, we hope you will join us this summer. We plan to have fun, to play, to find power in our vulnerability, to strengthen our voices, and we plan to join the revolution.
 

Please visit our website to learn more about our faculty, our curriculumscholarships and application process. And if you feel so moved, COME PLAY! Everything kicks off on June 29th. We've got room for 12, and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis between now and June 15th.
A Practical Yet Transformative Plan
 
If you are delving into the strategic planning process for the first time or feel you need to refresh your skills, check out the Arts Extension Service's online Strategic Planning course offered this summer.

Lisa Barnwell Williams, Instructor of the AES Strategic Planning course says,“After building a custom-tailored "plan-to-plan", each student (and their case organization) will be well on the road to a strategic plan that is a practical roadmap, not a document on a shelf.”

Staying relevant to what’s happening, all AES classes will address  cultural inequities and the COVID-19 crisis and how it is affecting our field. If you work for a cultural organization or plan to open a new organization, you can use it as your case study.

Summer Courses -  July 6 - August 14

Grantwriting for the Arts
Strategic Planning

Not sure which class to take, or which certificate to pursue? Connect with us at aes@acad.umass.edu and we’ll help you design your course of study.
The Story of a Space:
Immersive Theater Design


A Designer’s Workshop with John Bechtold
email jbechs@gmail.com to register

Overview

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

Details
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: bit.ly/johnbechtold
Being Self
with Joe Dulude II - email joe@joedulude2.com  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 PIONEER VALLEY LAUGHING CLUB

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.

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.

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

CitySpace

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

Panopera

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

TheatreTruck

Turbulent Times Theater

UMass Department of Theater

UMass Theatre Guild

Valley Light Opera

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
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