Thursday, August 27, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 27, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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August 27 - September 16, 2020

The first listing this week is for an important survey for arts organizations and artists to collect data on the need for a cultural and event space in Greenfield. If your ears perked up, take a look.

The New York Times is looking forward to some more live theatre, but they also posted a list to more streamable theatre. Check it out. 

The next issue will include events through September 23. 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

Crowdsourcing Theatre Practice in a Time of COVID
by Elena Araoz and Barbara Fuchs

From the article: 

Despite the enormous challenges of the pandemic and its associated closures, theatremakers across the globe continue to do what they do best: create, perform, and otherwise demonstrate their remarkable resilience. Some of the new forms and modes of access are clearly born of necessity—Zoom fatigue abounds, and many find it inconceivable that theatre has moved to virtual modes.

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
Dear Cultural Space User:

I am writing to ask you to respond to an important survey.

The City of Greenfield is considering redeveloping the First National Bank building as a multi-function cultural arts facility including a performance flex space that could accommodate up to 150 – 250 seats.

The purpose of this survey is to collect data that will help in evaluating the need for cultural performance and event space in Greenfield and also aid in the assessment of the suitability of the First National Bank building.
Who should answer this survey? -- creative/cultural organizations, individual artists and art curators that use performance or event space. (A separate survey will be available to residents later.)

We are interested in your space needs for performances (theatre, music, dance, media, etc.) and other educational and cultural events.  Only one representative from each organization/entity should answer the survey.

This survey is part of a feasibility study sponsored by MassDevelopment and is being conducted in collaboration with the City of Greenfield Redevelopment Authority and the Friends of First National Bank.  It is being conducted by FinePoint Associates, an independent economic development research and consulting firm. 
Please take a few minutes to respond using  the link below.   Your input is very important!
Chester Theatre Company presents THE STORY OF KING LEAR
August 27 at 7:00 PM available to watch through August 30

The Story of King Lear is a 50-minute telling of the Shakespeare classic adapted and directed by CTC Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer.

Stage, film and television veteran Michael Potts takes on the title role as Lear. Known to TV audiences for his arc as Brother Mouzone in the celebrated series The Wire, Potts is also in the upcoming film version of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis. Broadway audiences will know him from August Wilson’s Jitney, and musicals The Prom, Book of Mormon, and Grey Gardens. Shelley Fort, who starred in CTC’s 2016 production of The Mountaintop, returns to the CTC “stage” for her second appearance with the company. Fort has also appeared in productions at Trinity Repertory Theatre, La Mama, The Bushwick Starr and others. Most recently, she was in the Broadway National Tour of The Play That Goes Wrong. She’s a graduate of Kenyon College and Brown/Trinity Rep.  Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Award-winners Tara Franklin (CTC’s Associate Artistic Director and star of last season’s On the Exhale), and James Barry (CTC’s The Aliens, The Night Alive, and Sister Play) also star.

This event is a virtual benefit for Chester Theatre Company.

Watch here.
From the New England New Play Alliance:

& Theatre Discussions

Erin Lerch and Josh Glenn-Kayden present
The Legion Tapes
by Erin Lerch
directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
now-September 3

The Legion Tapes are selections from an archive chronicling the world after the end. The alien Legion takes over worlds and absorbs the sentients of those worlds. They've assimilated eleven species so far, and humanity is next on their list. But even after the nations of the world fall, and even after being reduced to communicating solely by radio, humanity's fighting back. New episodes every Thursday until September 3. Stream recent episodesStream here.


Short Play Podcast presents 
by Patti Cassidy

A short play about an old woman meeting a young man in her family's section of a graveyard. Performed by Sanjay Singh, and Courtney Danielle Westman. Stream the episode.

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 Show Must Go Online: Pioneer Valley Arts Mentorship Program Launches
Valley Arts Mentors (VAM), a new collaboration between Piti Theatre Company, Holyoke Media and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Franklin County, is launching a remote mentorship program pairing artists with 15+ years of professional experience with younger artists ages 18+ or those considering a career change. Mentor/mentee pairs will meet once every two weeks for a six month period remotely as long as COVID-19 remains a safety issue.
The primary goal of the program is to provide early career artists with the support and encouragement crucial to launching a successful career in the arts. Related objectives include broadening the mentee's base of contacts, providing guidance about next steps in their training and connecting early career artists with financial and marketing tools helpful for arts entrepreneurship. The pairs will be provided support throughout the program by VAM staff. Registrations are being accepted at Anyone with questions can call (508) 439-2069 or email Mentors and mentees will be matched on a rolling basis until all slots are filled.
Piti Theatre's Jonathan Mirin states, "Of course, we had initially imagined this as an in-person program, but we have looked at examples of other mentorship cohorts that are remote by design and are excited to launch this program at a moment where there is a lot reflection going on about next steps, individually and culturally. Mentorship, particularly in the arts, has a long track record of being a critical factor in how careers and lives evolve."
Scott Macpherson from Holyoke Media adds: "It’s a challenging time to start a program that is focused on bringing people together," says Scott MacPherson, Executive Director of Holyoke Media, "But we have a lot of experience using technology to connect people and build community."
Jennifer Webster, Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Franklin County concludes, "While Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County matches youth with older mentors for friendship and connection, the concept is really the same as this initiative- folks offering support and guidance to someone with similar interests and goals as they help them reach a greater potential. We are honored to lend our mentoring expertise and experience to this collaboration and help the arts community rise together." 
Valley Arts Mentors is supported by a grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ ValleyCreates Program, with funding from the Barr Foundation.
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.

September 6 - November 25

Double Edge Theatre's 100-acre rural Farm Center is the perfect setting to take a gap semester from virtual University.

Our Fall Artist Immersion program is for anyone looking for an in-depth experience of our training as the springboard for developing their own creative path of artistic inquiry and work creation. During a three-month residency at Double Edge's International Center of Art, Living Culture and Art Justice, participants identify their research and develop the first stages of original material. The program fosters an intimate and experiential connection to the larger fabric of the ensemble through work on our Farm.

Learn more about our Fall Immersion

Amidst the deeply painful issues of our time, we at Double Edge believe that our mission and values of Art plus Living Culture plus Art Justice are even more vital to creating the future in which we want to live. We offer a sanctuary of the imagination for all. In 2016, in a spirit of support and solidarity and to take action to more directly impact Black
and Native Lives, and particularly Black and Native Artists, Double Edge established the Supporting Black & Native Lives scholarship to provide tuition-free and partial tuition scholarships, which in some cases will include housing and food, depending on the program, in each one of our Intensive and Immersion programs.

For our upcoming Fall Immersion program, we will be providing 2 tuition-free scholarships to Black and Native Artists.

Very limited space due to COVID-19, so apply soon!

K and E Theater Group presents School's In Session
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, September 8 - November 19, 2020

As we say goodbye to the summer and our Local Spotlight Series, we are looking forward to the fall… with School’s In Session!

K and E Theater Group is excited to offer a variety of interactive, fun online theater classes for all abilities this fall: Musical Theater Dance for Beginners, Writing for the Theater, Introduction to Stagework, Stage Management 101, and Musical Theater Individual Workshop!

With small class sizes, our professional teaching artists will not only strive to provide one-on-one attention, there will be opportunities to share work and achievements with the community of participants who will register for each individual class session or series. All of our classes take place on Zoom.

The class session and series offerings are held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays this fall beginning on September 8 through November 19, 2020.  For more information and to register for your class sessions, visit!

See you in the (Zoom) room where it happens!

Musical Theater Dance for Beginners

Writing for the Theater

Introduction to Stagework

Stage Management 101

Musical Theater Individual Workshop
Make A Change with Arts Management

Sally Bayes, an online AES student who works with The Walt Disney Company and who is passionate about theatre said, "The subjects that I have tackled in my (AES) classes, from cultural diversity in the arts to arts programming, have allowed me to look at my current work as a theatre director with new eyes. It has given me the gift of information and the gift of perspective."

Interested in Arts Management but don’t know where to start? Learn about the ten top reasons why taking Arts Extension Service’s courses will not only add to your professional capabilities, but deepen and strengthen the love you have for your own art form. Grow your artistic voice and learn about how you can make change as an artist and arts manager by enrolling in our Introduction to Arts Management course this fall.

Playwriting Classes with Darcy Parker Bruce

Playwriting 101: An Introduction to Playwriting

The basics you need surrounded by conversation tailored specifically to your goals. Enter a novice, exit with a first draft.

Number of Sessions: at least 5

Playwriting 201: A More Advanced Exploration
In this course we will discuss what to do once you're a little more comfortable with the world of theater and playwriting. For this course, you should have written at least one play with a beginning, middle, and end. Goals and outcomes of this course include learning how to rewrite and redraft, scene breakdown and examination, and contextually relevant information on the theater industry as it exists currently.

Sessions may be tailored to an individual's needs.

Number of Sessions: Recommended minimum of 3.

Staging the Impossible: Theater as a Tool for Social Engagement
How can theatricality push social boundaries? How do fantastical moments onstage translate to moments of action offstage? How can we continue to imagine theater in a way that speaks to all communities, and responds with urgency to the world within which we live?

Session length: tailored to individual needs.

Liminal Spaces and Rites of Passage: World-Building and Guiding Characters Through the Unknown
What makes a play distinctly a play? How do the characters that populate plays differ from the characters that populate films or books? In this class we will discuss how to break with traditional realism and imagine spaces that exist between the known and the unknown.

Session length tailored to individual needs.

If you are interested in any of these classes, please contact Darcy directly at

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.
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
ArtsBeat Radio and News Column
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