If you've been missing it, StageStruck is back! This is Chris Rohmann's theatre column in the Valley Advocate. Check it out here.
The next issue will include events through July 15. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m a young, Black, queer director and a proud graduate of a liberal arts college where I studied theatre, among other subjects. Like many young artists, I intentionally attended a non-conservatory program because I had several interests surrounding theatre and wanted my academic studies to influence and complement my directing craft. I loved time spent outside of my core classes and the conversations I had with students with completely alternate courses of study. I formed close relationships with fellow theatre students, artists in other mediums, and people who didn’t interact with the arts or humanities. The topics that came up while developing my aesthetic were so varied and diverse, but the same could not be said about the department demographics—there were only a handful of theatre professors and majors of color.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! email@example.com
We're delighted to welcome
back to Ko (online) to present excerpts from
THE MAGIC CITY MASSACRE
June 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Situated in the fictional Museum of Conveniently Forgotten History, "The Magic City Massacre" tells the story of one of the most prosperous black communities in the history of the United States, how Tulsa came to be the site of the worst incidence of civil unrest second only to the Civil War, and why almost one-hundred years later, most Americans still don’t know about it. A mashup of travelogue, game shows, classic children’s games, and Americana and roots music, this play ensures that a trip to the museum will never again be the same!
SAVE THE DATE! We're still determining the best online streaming platform for this event but, as is our KoFest practice, we'll be offering a post-show discussion with the artists. Stay tuned to kofest.com, Facebook & Twitter for info on how to access this event.
Pride@Prejudice, by Daniel Elihu Kramer, is an online reimagining of the classic Jane Austen novel. This free online reading is directed by Chris Rohmann.
Cast members include: Carissa Dagenais, Abuzar Farrukh, Christopher Rojas, Teva Skovronek and Linda Tardif.
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.
by Daniel Elihu Kramer
Airs Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 pm
and on YouTube
Followed by a LIVE ZOOM* conversation at 9 pm with Playwright Daniel Elihu Kramer, Director Chris Rohmann and cast members.
*Link to Zoom conversation will be posted on Silverthorne's Facebook page and on the home page of our webpage
The LAVA Center to present COVID-19-themed online short play festival
WHAT: “From A Distance: 2020 (corona)vision(s),” an online short play festival
The LAVA Center is proud to present “From A Distance: 2020 (corona)vision(s)”—an online short play festival. The festival will feature 18 short views of COVID-19 by local and regional artists Nina Gross, Karen Miller, Vanessa Query, Marlon Carey and Jan Maher.
The program will be produced by Jan Maher and directed by Jan Maher, Marlon Carey, and Vanessa Query.
The plays will be performed by local and regional performers Kyra Anderson, Jane Barish, Anna Baskowski, Sara Becker, Amanda Bowman, Adelaide Carey, Marlon Carey, Shannon Chabot, Rocco Tyler Desgres, Sarah Gruber, Kate and Ken Hebert, Ann and Ray Horn, Torie Jock, Rick Malone and Kimberly Salditt-Poulin.
The program will be followed by a Q&A with the playwrights and directors.
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!
Double Edge is dreaming and planning 6 FEET APART, ALL TOGETHER, a Summer Spectacle for the time of COVID-19. The spectacle is inspired by and drawing from the rich history and favorite moments of our past performances, as well as looking toward a future including an ode to nature and our living culture. The entire main site of DE’s Farm would allow for limited audiences to spread out on a reflective and invigorating walk through scenes in the air, in the labyrinth, by the stream, in the arbor, and in the garden. Visitors will interact with the land, visual installation, and small scenes from the past, as well as a look toward what we are creating together for the future. 6 FEET APART, ALL TOGETHER will be performed in rounds to allow for less than ten people per group, and will take place at the end of July and a few weeks in August.
The National Theatre’s epic, sold-out production of Andrea Levy’s novel traces the history between Jamaica and the UK through WWII to 1948.
Streaming from 7pm on 18 June, until 7pm on 25 June.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Bridge Theatre's immersive production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy features Gwendoline Christie and Hammed Animashaun.
Streaming from 7pm Thursday 25 June until 2 July.
Yaël Farber directs the final play by Lorraine Hansberry: a brave, illuminating and powerful work that confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution.
Streaming from 7pm on 2 July, until 7pm on 9 July.
The Deep Blue Sea
Terence Rattigan’s devastating masterpiece contains one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama, played by Helen McCrory.
Streaming from 7pm on 9 July, until 7pm on 16 July.
Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, directed by Michael Longhurst with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.
Streaming from 7pm Thursday 16 July until 23 July.
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 pmEDT. 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 Poetis 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!”
Apollinaire@Home celebrates Juneteenth with playwright Terrence Kidd, who writes for underrepresented characters and audiences, reflecting the hubris, hilarity and hypocrisy of life's rich pageant. We'll read his hits from the Boston Theater Marathon and a new screenplay, with Special Guests playwright Terrence Kidd and Boston Playwrights' Theatre Artistic Director, Kate Snodgrass. Log in here.
The Wilbury Theatre Group in Providence presents Conversations with Heshie
by Lawrence Goodman
June 19 and streaming after. Part 1 streaming now available.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 Gazettearticle 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
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: email@example.com .
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.
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.
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.
The event is free. Donations are accepted.
Registration is required.
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
Not sure which class to take, or which certificate to pursue? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you design your course of study.
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.
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.
July 23-26 + Aug. 2 & 9, 2020
plus a 30 min one-on-one with the instructor
WRITING FROM STILLNESS, SPEAKING FROM SILENCE:
Contemplative Practice for Writers
with JUANITA ROCKWELL
This world is begging us to find new ways of being together, being in the world, being creative, being with ourselves, and deep introspection. In this online workshop, you will learn contemplative practices of body, energy and mind, and how to integrate them with writing prompts structured to undo restrictive habits of writing and thinking. Together, these new habits can become a daily practice of access to the stillness and silence that is home to your wild and...
Being Self with Joe Dulude II - email email@example.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.