Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 20, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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August 20 - September 9, 2020

Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble has been working on their moving water project for the last few months, and they are now looking for some support - you can donate here. If you walk by the APE window at 126 Main Street, Northampton between August 22 & August 31 you can view the video loop displayed there on the tv screen to share the first two short but fanciful storefront window experiments: Water Window One- Balloons, and Water Window Two-Sergei’s Daydream.

The next issue will include events through September 16. 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

The New Antitheatrical Prejudice
by Seth Wilson

From the article: 

“Oh… so what are you going to do with that?”

When I was an undergrad fifteen years ago, this sentence almost inevitably followed after I told someone I was a theatre major. Sometimes it would be phrased more derisively, like, “What, are you gonna be on Broadway?” Some of this dismissiveness was—and still is—fueled by the relatively modest profile theatre holds in the consciousness of mainstream American culture. As far as theatre goes, Broadway is often the only thing that comes to minds for many, if not most, people. It’s the only possible way many people think a theatre major could ever make any money. Of course, Broadway is a pretty narrow piece of the theatrical pie and not necessarily the goal for most of us who pursue theatrical careers. Can you imagine someone saying to a business major, “Huh, so what are you gonna do, be the CEO of Amazon?”

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
by James McLindon
Thursday, August 20
Launches at 7 pm on Facebook & YouTube

STC’s final Theater Thursday Play Reading series selection is Northampton playwright James McLindon’s Distant Music.  Set in Cambridge in an Irish pub, three people with very different vocations keep company over their pints of stout as they wrestle with major life crises. 
This will be a recording of a live reading of the play.
Following the Thursday viewing, audience members can attend a live Zoom discussion with the playwright, director and cast members.  Links to the YouTube streaming and the live Zoom audience discussion on August 20 will be posted on Silverthorne’s web site –
At once dramatic and comedic, Distant Music involves themes of faith, law, romantic love -- and fish & chips! The full-length play features Silverthorne veterans Frank Aronson and Jarice Hanson, and newcomer Rocco Desgres under the direction of Penney Hulten.
On a snowy night in an Irish pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Connor (Aronson), Maeve (Hanson) and Dev (Desgres) 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.
Playwright McLindon graduated from Harvard Law School summa cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow and twice a Next Voices Playwriting Fellow at the New Repertory Theatre in Boston. He has also had residencies at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, among others.
Links to the evening’s performance on Facebook and YouTube will be available on the Silverthorne website: .

Silverthorne's Theater Thursday Play Reading series was made possible in part by support from the Greenfield, Hadley and Buckland Cultural Councils with funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
In 2018, Silverthorne was thrilled to present the World Premiere of
an original play by Steve Henderson and Will Chalmus. If you missed the performance on Silverthorne's stage, you have an opportunity to catch an online reading of the play on Saturday, August 22. We urge you to do so!!

This play provides a space for audience members to explore many taboo themes, beyond the obvious, in a way that is digestible and engaging. Unfortunately, the themes that we uncover about race relations and how the authority of police manifests in people's lives are constantly recurring. The creation of this play is an attempt to address how we can be agents of change in a problem that is in persistent rotation in the news and has become part of our daily lives.

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:

Virtual Performances & Theatre Discussions

The Silverthorne Theater Company presents
Distant Music
by James McLindon
directed by Penney Hulten
August 20

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. Stream here.

The Asian American Playwright Collective presents
PlayFestival 3
August 20

The 3rd Annual AAPC Play Festival highlights the work of Boston-based Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander playwrights, actors and directors. The theme of this year's free festival is "Food."  Plays include:

A Dish Best Unserved 
by Michael Lin 

Waiting for Kim Lee 
by Vivian Liu-Somers
The Wrong Edamame 
by Quentin Nguyen-Duy
Auspicious Chicken
by Christina R Chan
by Hortense Gerardo
by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
by Michelle M. Aguillon
Lightly Touch Your Heart
by Greg Lam 

 Register in advance here.


Sparkhaven Theatre presents
Tales from Camp Strangewood

August 23, ongoing

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 during 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.

August 23
Conflict Resolution in Cabin Six
by M. Sloth Levine
directed by Jasmine Brooks

As summer draws to a close, Head Counselor Durden must deal with four tweens on the verge of a frightful discovery. Puberty brings along all kinds of horrors. Stream here.


SpeakEasy Stage Company presents 
A Boston Project Podcast of
The Usual Unusual
by MJ Halberstadt
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

This six episode podcast (new episodes released Fridays) centers on The Usual Unusual, a scrappy and quaint bookstore where Boston's LGBTQ+ community has gathered to shop, organize, and flirt since the 70s. When the store's charismatic founder, Penn, announces his retirement, neurotic staff-member Charlie persuades him to pass leadership on, rather than close the store. The staff’s efforts to unite a fractured community under one banner – or simply to coordinate a weekly reading night -- stoke generational disputes about identity, community, and trauma. Stream the first two episodes.


Boston Podcast Players presents 
Ghost Stories
by Rosa Nagle

A woman sorts through the recordings of her thoughts, her life, and her personal history, which she had to disguise behind Shakespeare monologues. The play explores her taking her grandson away from her daughter and the family estrangement that results, as well as her own dark, childhood secrets. Also, there is a recipe for pig's blood pastries. 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. 

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 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.
Dear Friends,

Easthampton City Arts (ECA) is pleased to announce PHASE II of the ECA Artist Grants Initiative. Building upon our first round of grantswhich is currently supporting 16 grantees with $300 grants (totaling $4,800)PHASE II will award 15 artists with $500 grants (totaling $7,500). Our plan is to grant an additional $7,700 to artists in Phase III of the program, once we have reached our fundraising goal (and we're currently just $835 away - please give if you can)!

As a municipal organization within the Planning Department of the City of Easthampton, ECA is committed to serving artists whose work engages and cultivates community. As an established arts institution that has served our city and our greater region for the past 15 years, we are deeply committed to continually growing, expanding, and developing our impact and our reach, through cultivating new and existing collaborative partnerships with artists and community organizations throughout the area.

Priority will be given to BIPOC* artists and artists experiencing financial need in response to the economic impacts of the pandemic. We are also interested in supporting projects that can be experienced outdoors, while keeping health and safety protocols in mind. Examples include but are not limited to: activating storefront windows, light projections, sound installations, outdoor musical and literary presentations, public artworks, workshops, tours, etcand, we of course welcome your thoughts, creativity, and ideas as well! *BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, People of Color

More details and an application to apply can be found on our websitePlease note that the deadline to apply is Monday August 24 at 11:59pm.

CALLING ON COMMUNITY: A total of $20,000 is being granted to local artists through the ECA Artist Grants Initiative. ECA committed the original $10,000, a Go Fund Me page was set up to raise an additional $5,000, and River Valley Coop is generously matching these community-generated funds with an additional $5,000for a total of $20,000. 

We are extremely close to reaching our fundraising goal and we need your help to get there! Between the funds raised through our Go Fund Me page, plus the checks we've received in the mail, we're just $835.00 away from the $20,000 mark. Please give if you can! And please share this link far and wide. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed so farwe appreciate your efforts so much! 

With art + heart,
Pasqualina & the ECA Coordinating Committee

PS. Stay up to date with ECA on Instagram and Facebook <3
Happier Valley Comedy presents Intro To The Happiness Experiment
August 21 at 12:00 PM

In this entertaining and enlightening short lunchtime interactive presentation, Pam Victor explains and invites you to explore several key happiness habits, each scientifically proven to benefit your life. (Did you know that happiness has been shown to significantly correlate to longevity?!! Plus, happiness feels soooo good!) Pam provides each participant with the tools needed to start their very own Happiness Practice. This online event is also a low-impact, high-fun introduction to our all-new "30-Day Happiness Experiment Program."

Grab your lunch and join us for a delightful time that just might change your life for the better!

More Information
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.

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!

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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