Thursday, September 24, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 24, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 24 - October 14, 2020

A few interesting shows coming up - plus a few more opportunities to get involved in a show, a workshop, or a pandemic podcast. Join me and the Smith Theatre Department tonight for a reading of Andrea Hairston's new book! More details and a registration link below. 

The next issue will include events through October 21. 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

Year of the Stage Manager
by Amanda Spooner

From the article: 

Stage managers typically operate in the shadows, committed first and foremost to what is happening onstage. An occupation people used to fall into, stage managers are now setting their sights on the field as early as grade school. For many of us, we cannot imagine doing anything else. The work is often thrilling. We are the first ones in and the last ones out. The personalities, the wants, the needs, the cues, the pressure, the conflict, the resolution, the spike tape, the half-hour call—if it was not worth it, we would not do it. But the truth is: we can hardly agree on what it is we actually all do.

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
Smith College Department of Theatre presents Master of Poisons reading
Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 PM

The Smith College Department of Theatre and the New Play Reading Series present an evening of readings to celebrate the release of Master of Poisons a new novel by Andrea Hairston, Louise Wolff Kahn Professor of Theatre and Professor of Africana Studies. Joining Andrea in conversation about Master of Poisons, theatre, afro-futurism, and black women writers are award-winning playwrights and authors Pearl Cleage and Sheree R. Thomas who will also read from their own work.

There will be time for questions.
Signed books are available through

Register here.
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts

The Bechdel Group presents
a reading of
The First Sister Trip
by Shoshannah Boray
September 29

Three sisters are stuck on a long flight with their mother's ashes in an urn. They've been changing alliances, keeping secrets, and trading insults among the three of them for more than 50 years. The First Sister Trip is about the ways we love and understand one another. It asks if it is possible to put aside assumptions and differences  to care for one another. Register here.


Huntington Theatre Company presents
Dream Boston
now-October 28

Dream Boston is a series of short audio plays that asks local playwrights to imagine favorite locations, landmarks, and their friends in a future Boston, when we can once again meet and connect in our city. New performances are released each Wednesday.

by Elle Borders
directed by Melinda Lopez
A couple and their sleeping baby rush to the festivities in Franklin Park on Juneteenth 2025. Streaming now.

The Rainman
by John Oluwole ADEkoje
directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
A former policeman meets a man from his past at a dreamscape 2024 bus stop on Malcolm X Boulevard. Streaming September 23.

The View from MemChurch
by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
directed by Caley Chase
Friends reunite in Harvard Yard on Commencement Day, May 25, 2025. Streaming September 30.

Virtual Attendance
by Miranda ADEkoje
directed by Pascale Florestal
Two white women in their 20s are on their way to an exercise class in a gentrified Nubian Square. Streaming October 7.

feeling now
by J. Sebastián Alberdi
directed by Caley Chase
Friends decide whether to part for the night after dancing at Machine, right outside Fenway Park on August 23, 2023. Streaming October 14.

by Patrick Gabridge
directed by Rosalind Bevan
Friends make a late-night visit to the Old State House on the anniversary of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 2025. Streaming October 21.

The Moment Before the Lights Went Out on the Rothkos
by John Kuntz
directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
Museum visitors encounter two Rothko paintings and discover the mystery of each other at the Harvard Art Museums on January 22, 2022. Streaming October 28.

Boston Podcast Players presents
Mox Nox
by Patrick Gabridge

In a slowly drowning world, everyone is searching for higher ground and two sisters are battling to the end, one unable to forget, the other unable to remember. Stream the podcast.

Creative Women Leading Climate Action Keynote Lecture by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m.
Free. Online. Open to All.

See Keynote Website for Details and Registration

Live and Recorded on Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. Q/A to follow. 

Co-presented by Arts Extension Service, the Creative Women Leading Climate Action Symposium, 2020-2021 History Department Feinberg Series "Planet on a Precipice," and Partners. Spanish interpretation and closed captioning available. Audiorecording on SoundCloud.

We are showered every day with the gifts of the Earth and yet we are tied to institutions which relentlessly ask, what more can we take? Drawing upon both scientific and Indigenous knowledges, this talk explores the covenant of reciprocity. How might we use the gifts and the responsibilities of human people in support of mutual thriving in a time of ecological crisis?

Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York and the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a student of the plant nations. Her writings include Gathering Moss which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing and the bestselling Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. As a writer and a scientist, her interests include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land.

Signed copies of Gathering Moss and Braiding Sweetgrass available at Amherst Books.  

Academy of Music Theatre and NEPM
Valley Voices Story Slam - Nailed It!
October 8 at 7:30 PM
Online - Virtual Performance

Valley Voices Story Slam-Nailed it! taking place on October 8th will now be fully virtual. Storytellers will be live-streamed from our beloved stage at The Academy directly to your favorite nook at home. Get ready to sit back, enjoy the show and vote in real time for your favorite storyteller!

A live-streaming link and voting info will be sent the ahead of the event.
UMass Theater announces a slate of digital projects for Fall 2020
Launches Oct. 9 
When The Soul Looks Out: Selections from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s Creative Writing

Oct. 29 &31 at 7:30, Oct. 30 at Midnight: 
COVEN-19, Or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Nov. 12, 15, & 19 at 7:30 p.m.:
Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theatre for Social Justice Movements
Dec. 1, 2, & 3 at 7:30 p.m.:
Café Subterrain

Launch date this winter:
Pandemic Podcast
All events free, check our 2020-2021 Season page for registration information as each production nears!
This semester, our venue is a space online instead of a stage. We invite you to join us as we fuse theatrical creativity with modern technology to safely reach the farthest corners of our community.

We look forward to bringing theater to you in new ways, whether it's the lesser-known literary side of a jazz giant, using science fiction conventions to dream a better future into existence, telling stories about current issues, or visiting the coolest Zoom rooms ever as artists evoke magic to incite change or empower us all to perform acts of resistance.

All events are free of charge (although we gratefully accept donations from those who are able to give).

When The Soul Looks Out: Selections from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s Creative Writing 
Curated and directed by Priscilla María Page
Dr. Yusuf Lateef is a towering figure in jazz, a deeply spiritual and philosophical man whose recordings and teachings have left a lasting imprint in the world of music. We are proud to be a part of the Centennial Celebration of Yusef Lateef, coordinated by Glenn Siegel as part of the Magic Triangle Series out of the UMass Fine Arts Center. To honor Dr. Lateef’s legacy, Dr. Page has curated a filmed presentation of his writings, Midnight in the Garden of Love, Spheres, and Another Avenue, performed by Five College and UMass Theater alumni, faculty, and students with guest artists Miles Griffith, Mary LaRose, and Fay Victor.
Presented by the UMass Fine Arts Center’s Magic Triangle Series and UMass Theater.
When the Soul Looks Out will premiere online on Oct. 9 and will remain accessible to viewers afterward. Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office for information on this curated reading, as well as the other presentations that are part of Dr. Lateef's Centennial Celebration.

COVEN-19, or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Produced by Maegan Clearwood, Percival Hornak, and Helen Rahman
2020 is on fire, and more than ever, we are being called upon to own our individual and collective powers, make meaning out of utter chaos, and manifest tangible, seismic change. In late October, when the veil between our world and the other is at its very thinnest, our Coven will perform a live, remote ritual for the community that addresses the grief and pain we are all experiencing — but also the potential for transformation in these strange times. The time is ripe for magick-making: join us.
Presented live online Oct. 29 and 31 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 30 at Midnight.
Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theatre for Social Justice Movements
Conceived and directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
This project takes its inspiration from the Octavia’s Brood anthology, which explores the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. We are commissioning three professional playwrights to each write a 30-minute play of visionary fiction that confronts urgent issues of our time. Each writer will be paired with an activist whose work intersects with the play's subject matter. These writer/activist teams will collaborate to create work that is visionary in its approach while also grounded in contemporary activist thought.
The plays, written to be performed digitally, will be in conversation with each other and will present three different visions of future worlds. Join us for staged readings of excerpts in the fall, with full productions during the spring semester. 
Presented live online: Play 1 on Nov. 12 at 7:30; Play 2 on Nov. 15 at 7:30, Play 3 on Nov. 19 at 7:30 pm, play titles to be announced

Café Subterrain
Devised and directed by Rudy Ramirez, with coordinator Yao Chen
Immersive theater works by placing its audience amid the action; we’re taking this concept remote. Café Subterrain invites audience members to gather in a digital café where they’ll journey through virtual rooms to meet resistance agents from across time and space who will share their stories and empower audience members to commit small acts of change in their home communities. The idea: to give comfort and hope that the world can emerge from hardship to a better place, and that the struggle can feel like celebration.
Presented live online: Dec. 1, 2 & 3 at 7:30 p.m. A second iteration of this production is planned for spring, dates to be announced.
Pandemic Podcast
Conceived and produced by Bianca Dillard
What are the stories behind the staggering numbers? Theater is about storytelling, and this podcast will draw on theater to tell the story of this pandemic from a multiplicity of perspectives, interviewing experts and folks with first-hand experience of the disease, whom we might not otherwise encounter in our isolation. Together, a team of interviewers, writers and sound design students and faculty mentors will look at topics such as how the pandemic is disproportionately adversely affecting populations of color; how mask wearing has become a polarizing political issue; and what healthcare workers are experiencing.
Look for this series to be posted online this winter.

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

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. 

Dear Friends,

Easthampton City Arts (ECA) is pleased to announce Art Workspace Easthampton (AWE): A Residency Program for Visual, Literary & Performing Artists

Since COVID-19 reached our area in March 2020, ECA began a thoughtful and reflective internal dialogue about how our organization could utilize and leverage our existing resources in new and meaningful ways, so as to offer support to our longstandingand growingcommunity of artists during this vulnerable and unprecedented time. 

With our galleries being closed to the public and our monthly Art Walks and annual festivals either taking place virtually or being cancelled altogether, we found ourselves called into a profound moment of simultaneous introspection, recalibration, and action. As a community organization that has been deeply committed to serving our artists and our greater local and regional public for the past 15 years, ECA also understood early on that the economic impacts of COVID-19 would necessarily take a financial toll on the working artists in our community, both in the immediate term and also for considerable time to come. 

In this spirit of reflection, recalibration, and action, Easthampton City Arts launched the ECA Artist Grants Initiative in May 2020. And, as this unprecedented time of pandemic continuesand as our beloved community of artists continues to transform itself through new methods and platforms for making and sharing work across all genresECA also continues to thoughtfully and strategically explore how we can utilize and share our resources so as to continue to support local and regional artists in ways that are valuable, meaningful, and effective. 

This trajectory of internal questioning and external exploration led to discussions about two of our gallery spaces as potential resources to share with artists in new and meaningful ways. Since mid-March 2020, ECA Gallery (located in Old Town Hall, in Easthampton’s Historic District) and MAP Space (located in Eastworks, in Easthampton’s Mills District) have remained empty and inactive, while the buildings they are located in have since been re-opened for public use. And, as we continue to strictly follow municipal protocols with regard to public health, wellness, and safety, it is currently projected that all ECA art exhibitions and festivals will continue to be on hold until at least through winter 2021.

With all of this in mindand with support from Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, the City of Easthampton’s Department of Health, and our colleagues at CitySpace and Eastworkswe are pleased to introduce and launch Easthampton’s inaugural artist-in-residency program, Art Workspace Easthampton (AWE): A Residency Program for Visual, Literary & Performing Artists.

OVERVIEW & SCOPE // Art Workspace Easthampton (AWE) will offer workspacefree of chargeto visual, literary, and performing artists. Its first iteration will consist of two consecutive residency sessions at each of our galleries: ECA Gallery in Old Town Hall and at MAP Space in Eastworks. 

Because ECA is an organization that supports artists whose work engages and cultivates community, we require that the participating resident artists offer both an 'Artist Talk' and 'Public Sharing' of the work generated during the residency program. ECA will work closely with the selected artists to bring these two community engagement components to life.

With care and consideration for the health and safety of our resident artists during this time of pandemic, each workspace will accommodate one artist per gallery, per session.

The sessions will take place as follows:
Art Workspace Easthampton / SESSION ONE
  • @ ECA Gallery: November 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021
  • @ MAP Space: November 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021
Art Workspace Easthampton / SESSION TWO
  • @ ECA Gallery: January 25 – March 25, 2021
  • @ MAP Space: January 25 – March 25, 2021

* THURSDAY OCTOBER 8 @ 11:59pm

Please visit our website for a full program overview, including further details, a timeline, eligibility requirements, and a link to apply. 
UMass Theater seeks performers and collaborators for Fall 2020 projects
Fall 2020 Auditions 

Online projects are auditioning and seeking collaborators via online meetings and auditions.
When The Soul Looks Out

Instead of a traditional season, UMass Theater's fall projects season this year consist of small, nimble, low-tech, short pieces rehearsed and presented remotely. We look forward to bringing art to our community in new ways, and we are excited to invite performers and collaborators of all kinds to join us in exploring new ways of making theater that respond to the times in which we're living.

We are currently looking for collaborators, and students from UMass and the Five Colleges, as well as members of the community, are invited to be part of our work. Please read below for our projects; full details, including SignUp Genius links, are at our audition page:

On-Going Call for Participants: Performers and Project Coordinator for When The Soul Looks Out: Selections from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s Creative Writing 
This project is a 20-minute edited recording of excerpts from Dr. Yusef Lateef's creative writing: Midnight in the Garden of Love, Spheres, and Another Avenue.  Dr. Lateef is a towering figure in jazz whose recordings and teachings have left a lasting imprint in the world of music. He was also deeply spiritual and philosophical. His ideas about creativity and the natural world can be found in his short stories and novellas. Dr. Page has selected excerpts to be performed as part of the Yusef Lateef Centenary Celebration, coordinated by Glenn Siegel as part of the Magic Triangle Series in the Fine Arts Center. 
There are four slots available for undergrad or grad students who would like to be involved as performers. The online celebration and website will be launched on October 9, 2020;  
Dr. Page is seeking performers who are interested in Black theater and aesthetics as well as experimentation in dramatic forms, as well as a project coordinator who can assist with digital material. If you are interested in performing, please email

The founders of Time to Tell have joined with Silverthorne Theater Company to create an important virtual community event, Survivors’ Voices: Works of Resilience Written and Read by Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), scheduled for the weekend of January 22, 23, and 24, 2021.
Created by Jackie Humphreys, LICSW with Donna Jenson from Time To Tell, and Lucinda Kidder from Silverthorne Theater, the presentation offers Survivors, based in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, an opportunity to share their original writing regarding their experiences of CSA and their paths of healing  in a creative, community-supported, and survivor-led, virtual weekend. The audience will be community and family members as well as professionals who work with CSA Survivors. This project is made possible in part by a grant from Art Angels, a funding organization associated with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Participants in the event will be chosen from people from the Pioneer Valley who submit their original work at  To support Survivors' writing, and to encourage the voices of youth, all genders, BIPOC, LGBTQI, elders, and people with disabilities, Donna and Jackie will hold a series of free virtual workshops. The workshop for adult survivors is scheduled for October 3, 2020, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m; workshops for teens (14-17 years old) will be held October 2nd and 9th, 2020, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Workshop members will discover what each has to say as they express, write and share within a supportive group of childhood sexual abuse survivors. In addition to writing and reading writing to each other and instruction in trauma- informed mindfulness practices, participants will work with on the performance-related aspects of the event with Silverthorne Theater professionals.  Registration for the workshops is at
About Donna Jenson: In 2009 Donna founded Time To Tell with a mission to spark stories from lives affected by incest and sexual abuse to be told and heard.  She wrote and performs her one-woman play, What She Knows: One Woman’s Way Through Incest to Joy, which is based on her own experience of surviving incest and what she did to make her life worth living.  She has  performed her play at correctional facilities, colleges, police departments, conferences for mental health professionals and sexual assault advocates and for communities and facilities with people in need of healing.  She leads Time To Tell What We Know writing and mindfulness workshops for those who have survived sexual violence as well as survivors working in the field of sexual exploitation. Donna is a leadership trainer and organizer who built grassroots women’s centers in New York City during the 1970’s and 1980’s and maintains a leadership development practice.  Her book, Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, a memoir of the choices she made and experiences she had that helped her heal from her childhood trauma, will be released by Levellers Press in 2017. 
About Jacqueline Humphreys: Present at all performances, Jackie is available to audience members needing support.  She also co-leads Time To Tell What We Know workshops with Donna. Jackie has over 20 years of experience in the field of child trauma including 10 years as a Victim Advocate and Coordinator of the Child Abuse Unit for a District Attorney’s office.  She served on the clinical team at a Children’s Advocacy Center for over six years providing treatment to children and families impacted by trauma. She is now the Mental Health Consultant to a CAC.  Jackie has a private practice providing individual and group therapy for all ages.  She incorporates yoga and mindfulness practices into her treatment to address the physiological aspects of trauma.  She has led over 100 trainings, locally and nationally, on many aspects of child trauma, including secondary traumatic stress.  Jackie’s passion and commitment to healing and preventing child abuse is rooted in her own recovery from incest.
K and E Theater Group

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

You can still sign up for your theater classes with K and E Theater Group for this fall, as SCHOOL'S IN SESSION!

You can drop in to Melissa Dupont's Musical Theater Dance for Beginners starting at 7 PM on Tuesday for $10 to learn some fun choreography to your favorite musical numbers! Sign up for every Tuesday class by 2 PM the day of to ensure entrance. And... 5, 6, 7, 8!

You can still sign up for Autumn Tustin's Introduction to Stagework class and Carly DellaPenna's Stage Management 101 class that will take place Wednesday nights later this fall starting September 30th! Hone in and refresh your skills for the stage, both onstage and off!

Every Thursday evening Eddie will provide his Musical Theater Individual Workshops for $30. Get one-on-one time with K and E Theater Group Artistic Director Eddie Zitka to work on your audition material and your book getting prepared for that next audition!

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 other participants who register for each individual class session or series. All of our classes take place on Zoom and are held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays this fall 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

Introduction to Stagework

Stage Management 101

Musical Theater Individual Workshop


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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