Thursday, July 16, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 16, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 16 - August 5, 2020

What are you watching tonight? May I suggest Soldier Poet by Darcy Parker Bruce - co-presented by Silverthorne Theatre and Chester Theatre Company? The reading will launch on Silverthorne’s Facebook page and on its YouTube channel (search for Silverthorne Theater Co) beginning at 7:00 pm.   A live Zoom audience discussion with the playwright, director, and cast members will follow. Go to and enter the meeting number 868 5785 3018 to join the discussion which begins at 8 PM.

The next issue will include events through August 12. 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

Inequity by Design
by Elsa Hiltner

From the article: 

The theatre industry has long had a liberal facade, one where everyone is treated like they’re valuable and like they belong, where systemic inequity does not thrive. Behind the scenes, though, the theatre industry uses pay secrecy to maintain a power dynamic at the expense of artists. For so long, theatre artists have not been able to know if they are being paid equitably. This has been institutionalized for the betterment of companies and to the great detriment of artists. It’s clear that our industry has been functioning with, and because of, egregious equity issues.

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
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.

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.

West Springfield's Majestic Theater, which closed to the public in March due to COVID-19, is offering weekly online programs that feature popular Majestic entertainers being interviewed, as well as videos of favorite plays from previous seasons of the Majestic Children's Theater program, and an online talkback session about those plays.

Behind the Curtain,” the interview show hosted by the Majestic's Producing Director Danny Eaton, is streamed live on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. To see the show, as well as the children's theater presentations, visit “Behind the Curtain” features performers with a long history with the Majestic who share their experiences as actors, singers, directors and more with Eaton. The guests take questions from the audience during the live show which is one hour long. Past guests have included actor/singer Ben Ashley, musician Mitch Chakour and Elvis tribute artist Ray Guillemette, Jr. Upcoming guests include:
  • Thursday, July 16 – Actor/Singer Sue Dziura (“Home for the Holidays,” “The War and Walt Whipple,” “Next to Normal”)

Stephen Petit, director of the Majestic Children's Theater program, hosts “Majestic Children's Theater Online.” Each Wednesday, a video of a past performance is uploaded to, and the following Sunday, Petit and cast members from that play host a live talkback and Q & A session with viewers online. Here is a listing of upcoming shows:
  • Sunday, July 19 – “Mulan”
  • Sunday, July 26 – “The Velveteen Rabbit”
  • Sunday, August 2 – “Through the Looking Glass...and What Alice Found There”
  • Sunday, August 9 – “Aesop's (Oh So Slightly Updated) Fables”

All “Behind the Curtain” and “Majestic Children's Theater Online” episodes are archived and available for viewing anytime at  There is no cost to view these shows, but donations are encouraged.
Dear Shakespeareans and Friends,

Despite COVID, Community Shakespeare has been going strong and saw its membership increase this past semester, which is terrific. Some of you have asked how you can help me and this program; it is easy, tell your friends, who will in turn, invite their friends. 

COVID is still around us, and UMass is on lockdown for July and August. We will, therefore, continue meeting on Zoom. If it becomes safe to meet in person, I will let you know immediately. We are long overdue for our potluck!

If you do not have Zoom yet and want to participate in the summer program offerings, please email and I can help you.

If you would like to participate sporadically to the classes, or for shorter periods during class time, please do so. I understand that Zoom can be hard on the eyes, etc. Know that you are always welcome to join and be with us.

The following is the (unofficial) Summer Program Community Shakespeare 2020:

The Kinney Center will send the official program soon.

Community Shakespeare's summer program is different from the fall and spring offerings in that it focuses on the theater and its performance i.e., stage direction, actors, audience reception, music, and costumes.

July 2020

1) Shakespeare Aloud
Days: Monday July 20, 27
Time: 5 pm to 6:30 pm
Play: Much Ado About Nothing

Are you ready to take on the Shakespearean role of your dreams?  Join us in Shakespeare Aloud. Each participant will take on a character and read the parts. Readings for each character will rotate amongst the members. Short presentations will be offered on topics related to the play. 

2) Shakespeare in Translation
Days: Wednesday July 22, 29
Time: 5 pm to 6:30 pm
Play: Beaucoup de bruit pour rien 
Are you curious about how Shakespeare sounds in another language? How his puns and wits carry over from English to French? The impact of Shakespeare's text in other countries? Enjoy the Bard in French and explore the beauty of his language in translation. 
Bilingual edition translated by Jean Michel D├ęprats 
Bilingual conversation as needed. 
All levels of French welcome. 

August 2020

New offering: Shakespeare and Films
Days: Monday August 3, 10,17, 24. 
Time: 5pm to 6:30 pm

Play: Othello
Three productions of Othello with special features: 
Orson Welles' Othello (1952)
Laurence Olivier's Othello (1965)
Othello with Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Kenneth Branagh. Director Oliver Parker (1995)
Join us in watching productions of Othello as a whole and in parts. Discussion of the play will focus on the actors and their role in addition to audience reception. There will also be an exploration of specific topics along the way such as politics and race, with short presentations. 
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. 


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.

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts


The Silverthorne and Chester Theatre Companies present 
Soldier Poet 
by Darcy Parker Bruce
directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer
July 16

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. Stream here.


Sparkhaven Theatre presents
Tales from Camp Strangewood:
The Puritans
by Phaedra
Michelle Scott
directed by Hannah Pryfogle 
July 19

Tales from Camp Strangewood  is an anthology, with every episode helmed by a new playwright, director, and team of actors. These chilling tales follow the eclectic inhabitants of Camp Strangewood as they encounter circumstances on the very edge of reality on the same particularly strange night. Over the course of six Sundays, audiences will follow campers and counselors coping with fear and isolation while the rules of the world they once knew fall apart around them.

In episode one, The Puritans, it’s July, there’s a full moon, and it's almost lights out. A coven of young witches must perform their arcane ritual tonight, no matter the cost. Stream here.


The Wilbury Theatre Group and WaterFire Providence present
July 19-August 1

The 2020 Festival will feature performances streamed through the Wilbury Group and FRINGEPVD social media channels: Thirty-nine performances, as well as the first-ever digital Family Fringe Day, hosted by the Providence Community Library, which will feature games, stories, and crafts. Audiences may view the performances for free as they happen live, or purchase a 2020 Fringe Access Pass for $20 to view performances at their convenience on the FRINGEPVD website. Stream or buy a pass.


Boston Podcast Players presents
Ballahoo in the Hair Kitchen
by Mary McCullough
directed by Jackie Davis

Playwright Mary McCullough talks about growing up in the segregated South, a women's theatre tour of Africa and China, and the importance of adequate bookstore density. Then an excerpt from her play, Ballahoo in the Hair Kitchen introduces listeners to a little hoodoo, necrocosmetology and school desegregation. Stream the podcast.

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. 

Western Mass playwright seeks experienced actors for dynamic new, four character, one act play. Audition/meet by zoom. Safe rehearsals, leading to an off book performance safely shot by zoom/iphone video for eventual public broadcast on line or on TV. Non-union. Paid. Immediate.
Dramatic; Female; Age 55+, African-American
Dramatic; Female; Age 50+, African-American
Dramatic; Female; Age 35+, African- American
Fast Talking Comic; Male or Female; 25-45, any ethnicity.
If you’re  interested, would love to connect with you and share details. Thank you!
Contact: 413.320.5553
New Play Cinematographer/Editor Wanted

Western Mass writer/director seeks filmmakers/Iphone cinematographers, and video editors for a three camera, safe, low budget shoot of a dynamic new play for broadcast. Great lighting and sound design skills, and fast editing a must. All ethnicities urged to apply. To be shot in Western Mass. Non-union. Paid. If interested, send me a link to your work and let’s talk! Contact: 4133205553
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.
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.

Phantom Sheep Productions, in partnership with Unity House Players
LaughCrafters: Connections

Meets every Monday online

Join us for our weekly jam to play short form improv games together! Keep your brains in shape, meet new people, laugh, and stay connected!

Recommended for adults and teens 15+  All levels welcome!

Facebook event

The event is free. Donations are accepted.
Registration is required.
KoFest presents
July 23-26 + Aug. 2 & 9, 2020
plus a 30 min one-on-one with the instructor
Contemplative Practice for Writers
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  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.



Saturdays from 1-2pm, starting May 9th

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

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


Because we believe it is important to remind ourselves that it's ok to live in a happy body and laugh uproariously, especially in such crazy and chaotic times.

But seriously, Why?

Because laughter is a necessary survival skill, that's why.  Also, super serious people like Doctors, Ministers and Therapists all around the world say that laughter strengthens the immune system, purges toxins, burns calories, works as a natural anti-depressant and keeps us resilient, happy and healthy! Laughter is the Best Medicine after all - and it's FREE!! 

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

Each session is $15 suggested donation benefitting both the NCFA and Completely Ridiculous Productions. To sign up, please email

What in the what is Completely Ridiculous Productions?

CRP is a performance laboratory/training center dedicated to professional actor training, developing and producing new works of physical comedy, and strengthening each individual’s Empathic Vulnerability - the willingness to fully see and be seen by an other, while staying open to the possibility of being changed. For more information visit the website.

And who the heck is running this thing anyway?

Professional Laugher since birth, Gabe Levey is an actor/theatre maker who recently moved back to Northampton. In addition to running workshops and producing shows in the valley, Gabe teaches Physical Acting, Clown, Clown to Text and Shakespeare Performance at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. Founding Artistic Director, Completely Ridiculous Productions. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Is your theatre company missing? Email me!
Academy of Music Theatre

Arena Civic Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company


Cold Spring Community Theatre

Completely Ridiculous Productions

Drama Studio

Double Edge Theatre

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Franklin County Youth Theater

Ghost Light Theater

Greenfield Community College's Theater Department

Hampshire Shakespeare Company

Happier Valley Comedy

Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center

Ja'Duke Center for the Performing Arts

K and E Theater Group

Ko Theater Works/Ko Festival of Performance

Majestic Theater

New Century Theatre

No Theater
Northampton Community Arts Trust

Northampton Playwrights Lab

PaintBox Theatre


Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Royal Frog Ballet

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Shakespeare Stage

Shea Theater Arts Center

Silverthorne Theater

Smith College Department of Theatre

St. Michael's Players

Starlight's Youth Theatre, Inc.

Strident Theatre


Turbulent Times Theater

UMass Department of Theater

UMass Theatre Guild

Valley Light Opera

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
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