Thursday, September 3, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 3, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 3 - 23, 2020

We're a little sparse on virtual performances this week, which gives you a really great excuse to make sure you read all the way to the end of the newsletter. There are some exceptional workshop and class opportunities - an excellent use for your quarantine time.  And if you know of a performance that isn't listed, make sure to send it to me for next week. This entire newsletter is composed of reader-submitted events.  

The next issue will include events through September 30. 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

Interrogating the Shakespeare System
by Madeline Sayet

From the article: 

I want to talk about Shakespeare. Not Shakespeare the playwright or Shakespeare the poet, but, rather, Shakespeare the system—and what it means for all of us artists, educators, and administrators to be upholding that system. For clarification, the Shakespeare system is not simply Shakespeare’s written work, but the complex and oppressive role his work, legacy, and positionality hold in our contemporary society.

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!
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Performances & Theatre Discussions


Gloucester Stage and Punctuate4 present
The Battle Not Begun: Munich 1938
by Jack Beatty
directed by Miriam Cyr
September 3-6

On the brink of another world war, Adolf Hitler and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met in Munich to find a path to peace. The agreement between these two world leaders, The 1938 Munich Pact, under which Germany was allowed to extend its territory into parts of Czechoslovakia, was initially proclaimed by Chamberlain as the solution to bring “peace for our time.” That promise of peace never materialized. Tickets: free (donation encouraged).

Theatre Three Productions presents
Are you One of Those Robots?
by Deirdre Girard
streaming now

Tele-Nurse Ruth is worn out by life, responding by rote to the sometimes desperate callers who need her medical advice, until one call pushes her out of her indifference and into a world she never thought she’d embrace. Stream here.

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.


Boston Podcast Players presents
The Travellers
by Colleen M. Hughes

In this episode, we talk with featured playwright and Somerville native Colleen M. Hughes about Doctor Who, time travel, unintentional resemblances to Back to the Future, why The Beast is the best Disney prince, and inserting pterodactyls into your play's stage directions. Then we listen to an excerpt of her time travel romp The Travellers, in which a high school aged girl named Bri comes across a portal in time and space, like you do, and meets with a traveller who comes from the other side of the portal who is there to stop her. 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.

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
Hot on the heels of our truly remarkable inaugural summer conservatory program, we here at Completely Ridiculous Productions have put together a part-time fall conservatory program that we are excited and proud to release! 
Six weeks. Five days a week. Three and a half hours a day. Over 100 hours of laughter, failure, tears, beauty, triumph, wonder and play! 
Our team has worked hard to create an online program that focuses on the Completely Ridiculous fundamentals: the power of play, empathy, vulnerability and the joy of creation - all while taking active steps towards dismantling white supremacy in the American theatre.
Based on student feedback, we made some changes to the structure of our summer program. The conservatory program this fall will include: Scene Study, Script Analysis, Movement, Play, Alexander Technique, Improv, Chekhov, Devising, and Monologue work, (focusing on the work of BIPOC playwrights). I am also thrilled to welcome two new faculty members, and fellow Yale School of Drama alums, the fabulous Zenzi Williams and Ato Blankson-Wood!
Given the world we now live in, the arts – and more specifically, having access to the arts – feels more important than ever. This summer we found that through Zoom we were able to welcome students from all over the world and all over the country, who would not otherwise have access to the high level of actor training we are offering. It was both incredibly humbling and inspiring, and in order to keep that going and welcome as many people as possible, we will be offering an unprecedented amount of need-based full and partial scholarships.
In (almost) closing, here are some words from our first email in June that bear repeating: “To play and make art have always been inherent acts of revolution. As actors, we are trained to tune into our own feelings, connect with others, see and be seen, open our hearts, lean into our wonder, listen, and use our voices to speak the truth. The theatre is a place of action and of justice, and theatre makers will always be agents of change.”
To that end, we hope you will join us this fall. Our goal is to provide a haven in the storm, a brave space where big risks can be taken, epic triumphs and disasters can be celebrated, light and love can flourish. We will have fun, we will play and play hard, we will find power in our vulnerability and strengthen our voices as vital agents of change – all with a full awareness of where we are as a country, world and people. 
Please visit our website to learn more about our facultycurriculumscholarships and application process. And if you feel so moved, COME PLAY! Everything kicks off on September 21st. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis between now and September 10th at midnight. 
Hope to see you soon!
Gabriel, Devin, Ato, Tracy, Ralf, Annelise, Lucy and Zenzi
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
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