Thursday, July 2, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 2, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 2 - 22, 2020

I don't know about you, but I sure am grateful for the rain we've had the last few days. I hope you are all staying safe and dry and the thunder isn't terrifying anyone's dogs. 

It still feels like reopening to safely see live theatre is a long way off. This video features a few theatres reopening soon - including Barrington Stage's plans for social distancing for their upcoming season. 

The next issue will include events through July 29. 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

Lifting Up What We're Throwing Down
by Kirsten Greenidge

From the article: 

I began my tenure as Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence in 2016 with Boston, Massachusetts’ Company One Theatre (C1)—an organization that had been an artistic home to me long before I was part of the Mellon cohort. In a way, I grew up professionally with Company One, finding my footing as an emerging playwright both locally and nationally as C1 also grew in professionalism and reputation. One of the most fascinating elements of my work on staff here during the residency has been participating in C1’s revision of its mission to more transparently work for social justice and the subsequent programmatic adjustments in support of that mission. I’ve been part of department meetings, staff meetings, company retreats, production meetings, rehearsal processes, and community events where the coalescing questions are always: Are we being honest? Are we dreaming big enough? Is what we’re doing contributing positively to a healthier, more just, and more equitable Boston?

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
Piti Theatre Releases Four Digital Pieces with the Toronto Fringe Collective:
Local Teen Podcasts Up First, July 1 - 3
Piti Theatre Company, an international touring troupe based in Shelburne Falls, has been busy re-inventing their theatre work in a digital format given COVID-19. One example of this new approach will be on offer through the Toronto Fringe Collective, an online festival that grew out of the cancellation of the Toronto Fringe Festival where Piti had planned to offer their pro-pollinator production "To Bee or Not to Bee" as part of the Fringe's KidsFest. Piti's pieces are part of a collection of digital work made by 50+ theatre companies from around the world and premiering from July 1 – 12 at The Festival is operating on a "pay what you can" model where patrons can "tip" the artists.
The Fringe Collective is divided into Four Acts.
July 1 – 3: Piti's Valley Playwright Mentoring program for local teens wound up creating a series of podcasts based on stories from the teens lives. A selection of six of these scenes addressing themes like COVID-19, opioid abuse, mental health will be included in the Fringe Collective.
July 4 – 6: To Bee or Not to Bee: The Waggle Dance is a new podcast featuring characters and songs from Piti's live show teaching the young and young at heart how to do the "waggle dance" – the dance honeybees use to tell each other where to find nectar.
July 7 – 9: Sammy and "Le Grand Buffet": Making up Problems is a video from the world of Piti's solo clown performance which encourages all ages to create (and solve!) their own physical comedy "problems" using common objects found around the house.
July 10 – 12: Hawaii 5G: This is the first episode of a new Piti podcast series geared for ages 16+ inspired by the television series Hawaii Five-0 and the nationwide roll-out of 5G wireless infrastructure with no safety testing. The solo show culminating a year's worth of podcasts will premiere at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst next summer.
More about all of these performances at Teens interested in registering for Valley Playwright Mentoring can go to
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.

Box office opens June 15.
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. 

Les Blancs

YaĆ«l 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.

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.
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts


Arlekin Players presents
State vs Natasha Banina
based on Natasha’s Dream
by Yaroslava Pulinovich
directed by Igor Golyak
July 5

In State vs Natasha Banina, a girl tells the story of her life in a small-town orphanage, and her desire to be free; to fly away and break from her vicious existence. From the inside of a "ZOOM" court room, she will make twists and turns through her unique appeal to audience 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 decide her fate. RSVP here.


Theatre@First presents
a Firstworks reading:
Changing Lanes
by Maggie Kearnan and Taylor Buehler
directed by Elizabeth Ross 
streaming until July 31

Sam, a young drama teacher at a Catholic high school, is grappling with student-teacher boundaries in his new position. When personal tragedy brings his world to a halt, he turns to his students and mentors to reassess and recover. Stream the play.


Boston Podcast Players presentsLiana_Asim_Art.png
Brother Nat
by Liana and Jabari Asim

In this sung-through, epic opera inspired by Nat Turner's historic slave insurrection, the hero toils and dreams of freedom until an angel appears and issues a divine directive: Rise and revolt! The sign that Nat has been waiting for arrives: a solar eclipse. In the darkness, he gathers his warriors and seizes the plantation. Against all odds, Nat dares to rise above injustice, revolt against slavery and believe in the redemption of humanity. 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. 

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.
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


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.
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 and we’ll help you design your course of study.


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.

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.

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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