Thursday, September 10, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 10, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 10 - 30, 2020

We have some auditions and workshops listed this week! Get involved! And if you don't see something you like, create something! 

The next issue will include events through October 7. 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

Revolutionary Costume Pedagogy
by Michelle Souza

From the article: 

As the movement for systemic change in the theatre industry gains force, all theatre artists must examine their roles and responsibilities in the fight for equity. Costume practitioners and educators, like myself, are digging deep and asking a revolutionary question: How can we dismantle the status quo of Western-focused, chronological teaching of historical garments and move toward a pedagogy that acknowledges and honors diversity, intersectionality, and globalism?

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
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Performances & Theatre Discussions


Vermont Actors Repertory Theatre presents
Zoom Play Fest
September 11-13

A virtual short play festival via Zoom on Friday, September 11 at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 12, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, September 13 at 2 p.m.  The festival is free of charge and open to the public. Talk backs with playwrights, performers and directors will follow the Saturday and Sunday performances. The festival theme is “A new fabric for our American quilt” and features pieces from Vermont playwrights Jeanne Beckwith, MaryBeth McNulty, Pamela Formica, Marisa Valent, and Erica Furgiuele. Donations encouraged.

Boston Podcast Players presents
Jade Bracelet
by Audrey Pillsbury

Audrey Pillsbury is a recent graduate of MIT, that well-known theatre school. In college she wrote and produced Jade Bracelet, a musical about two daughters growing up with their Chinese mom. Along with co-host Howard Zilber of the Open Theatre Project, we talk to Audrey about representation, musicals, webseries, and the minimum science requirements for technology schools. 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

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. 

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

Sept. 8 & 9: 
COVEN-19, Or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Pandemic Podcast

Sept. 14 & 15:
Café Subterrain
Full details on our Auditions page
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


Sept. 8&9: COVEN-19, Or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Produced by Maegan Clearwood, Percival Hornak, and Helen Rahman
If you are a witch, witch-curious, magickally inclined, or somewhere in-between, you are warmly invited to audition for COVEN-19, or Magicks for Unprecedented Times. 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. This Samhain, when the veil between our world and the next 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.

Who we’re looking for:
Witches of all practices, experience levels, skill-sets, and genders!

What to expect in auditions:
Auditions are Tuesday, Sept 8 and Wednesday, Sept 9 from 6pm to 10pm.
Be prepared to PLAY! The group auditions will consist of group spell-casting/play time, so come ready to be creative and collaborative.
Please prepare a performance that shows off your brand of magick for your individual audition. This can take any form, as long as it’s witchy (whatever than means to you). We ask that you keep your performance under 2 minutes.

How to sign up:
Please select an audition time at SignUp Genius and submit the Google Form on the site once you have registered for your audition. 


Sept. 8 & 9: Pandemic Podcast
Created by Bianca Dillard
Behind the statistics and rhetoric there are stories, stories that illuminate the social and cultural complexities of this moment. 
Created by a team of student and faculty collaborators this podcast will bring together experts and folks with first hand experience to document and investigate the pandemic from a multiplicity of perspectives. We will work to humanize the experiences of those that, in our isolation, we might not have access to.  
This project is well suited for students in sound design, playwriting, dramaturgy, and any student or community member who is interested in theatre making, social justice, and storytelling. This project values and will rely on many collaborators with different types of skills, experiences and curiosities. You needn't have any formal experience with making this sort of content. All experience levels welcome!
If you are interested in participating, or learning more about whether this project is a good fit for you this semester please join us for a group information session on either night and get to know the project and the team so far, and sign up for for an individual meeting time as well. 


Sept. 14 & 15: Café Subterrain
Devised and directed by Rudy Ramirez
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.
The goal is to launch the first performance late in the fall semester.

How to audition:
Rather than having individual auditions, interested artistic collaborators will meet as a group with the director to talk about the piece, share ideas and interests, and then work together on creating short performances to showcase their passion, versatility and ability to work as a team. If needed, callbacks will happen later in the week. 
Please visit SignUp Genius to select an open audition slot.
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
Happier Valley Comedy presents
Resilience Training Through Joy: HVC's 30-Day Happiness Experiment

October 17 at 11:00 AM

Many of us feel called today to do the important work of creating a more just, healthier world. But just like the flight attendants say, "Please put on your own oxygen mask before helping others." When we take care of ourselves, we grow the strength and adaptability necessary to take care of others, our country, and our planet.

This 30-day, self-care online program provides easy-to-use tools to establish your personal happiness practice to support you and those around you through challenging times.

The entire 30-Day Happiness Experiment is remote and completely customizable, so you choose the Happiness Habits, time commitment, schedule, accountability aids, and connection style that works best for you. If you have five minutes a day, you have time to do this program.

More info.
More about our BIPOC Reparations Pricing
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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