Thursday, November 26, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 26, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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November 26 - December 16, 2020

Happy Turkey Day to anyone celebrating, and happy Indigenous Peoples' Day! 

From the New England New Play Alliance:
StageSource has extended the deadline for participating in the New England Theatre Census to November 29. This annual census tracks demographic and job-related information and will help identify structural inequities in hiring and casting practices within New England theatre. The census data could help create a more equitable theatre landscape by informing future hiring practices, season and program planning, grant applications, funding, and more. The current census is capturing data for 2019. If you worked in theatre in any capacity during the 2019 calendar year (on stage, backstage, front of house, or administrative) and have not yet completed the census, please do so here.

The next issue will include events through December 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

Hold on Tightly, Let Go Lightly
by Amelia Parenteau

From the article: 

Pursuing a life in theatre or medicine requires such dedication that it can be hard to imagine a career transition, and yet, as this year has viscerally reminded us, the only constant in life is change. Although the path between theatre and medicine may not be evident at first glance, the specific skill set that both professions require makes the transition more seamless than one might imagine. At a time when many people are considering the best way forward, I spoke with ten individuals who have professional experience in the fields of both theatre and medicine—healing body and soul, mind and spirit—about how they’ve navigated their career transitions and how changing their professional identity has affected their outlook on the world. Given this year’s national discourse around who qualifies as an “essential” worker, let’s examine the essential nature of both artists and medical workers, whose functions in a sick society, as my interviewees testified, have more in common than perhaps meets the eye.

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 Theatre and Podcasts

Northern Stage presents 
The Naked Librarian 
Now-Nov. 29

A world premiere cycle of monologues that weave a tale of love, regret, family, and how things change (or don’t) from generation to generation. When memory is so strong, how can we make sure our best days are ahead of us? Tickets: $15.


New Rep presents
Showstopper Virtual Plays
Now-Dec. 13

Virtual world premieres from two female playwrights of color, Virtual Play Series is live theatre at its pandemic best.

A Very Herrera Holiday
by Alexis Scheer
directed by Sarah Shin

Lifestyle blogger Emma Herrera is live on Zoom to walk you through her favorite seasonal drinks and crafts, and perhaps let some relationship frustrations slip. After all, who isn’t looking for a little space from their spouse these days? But there’s a lot of rum in that coquito, and something’s weird about the homemade wrapping paper. A Very Herrera Holiday is a darkly comedic look at an influencer who may be sharing more than festive fun.

by Miranda Austen ADEkoje
directed by Dawn M. Simmons

Monica Jenae is a freelance commercial producer. In a moment of intense frustration, she does an Instagram live hoping her baby will stay asleep as she waits for her black, male film crew to return from a COVID rapid testing site in the suburbs. As she bleeds her story out and the internet’s comments pour in, the gnarled, twisted strands of racism, privilege, and inequity in the noose of the global pandemic tighten, giving her followers a front row seat to the suffocating effects of white supremacy.

Tickets: $30


Culture*Park Theatre presents
Ghost Light Theatre
Now-Dec. 1

In lieu of the 18th Annual Culture*Park Short Plays Marathon, which has been rescheduled for spring 2021 or beyond, Culture*Park will stream seven short plays for a week at a time. The first weekly series:

Ghost Light
by Diane Brown Couture
November 24

Feeling Plankton
by Barbara Schweitzer
November 25

Wilson's Monologue
by James Celenza
November 26

Every Creeping Thing
by David Beardsley
November 27

by Martha Douglas-Osmundson
November 28

262 Stones
by Gayle Hanrahan
November 29

Masked Fellows
by Larry Houbre
November 30

On the afternoon of each performance, you can find a link to watch each play by clicking here.

Happier Valley Comedy GivingTuesday Fundraiser Virtual Show
December 1 at 8:00 PM

Short form improv games, live auctions, comedy antics, and invitations to donate to HVC's GivingTuesday Fundraiser!
PLUS stick around after the show to play improv games ​in an improv jam lead by Head of Happiness Pam Victor!
Journey down memory lane with us as we share filmed performances of all five past Naked I productions this fall, culminating with the world premiere virtual production of The Naked I: Revitalized!


Screening Details
Register for a ticket for one or all six Naked I productions and you will have access to view the filmed performance on each weekend specified below for the entire weekend - from Friday night through Sunday! You can experience the show on your own schedule, any time you like, pausing as needed to refill the popcorn! We will also provide a link to a PDF playbill so that you can follow along and learn titles of the pieces and the artists involved.

Closed captions have been created by 20% Theatre are available and recommended for all to use. Additionally, our brand new production screening in mid-December, The Naked I: Revitalized, will offer ASL virtually as well.

Registration for each production is pay-what-you-can, and no one will be turned away. Our plays & events have been $5-$25 Sliding Scale for many years, and we ask you to contribute what you can for yourself and any household viewers joining you.

Panel Discussions
Stay tuned for information about live panel discussions with some of the artists involved in these productions over the years - hosted by Artistic Director, Marcela Michelle.

Email us anytime:

The Naked I
2018 Performance on Film
DECEMBER 4-6, 2020
A world premiere production by 20% Theatre Company
Originally produced in February 2018 at Minnsky Theatre, Minneapolis
Filmed by Ben McGinley

The Naked I: Recognize/d is the 5th in a series of Naked I plays produced by 20% Theatre Company. Building community both locally and nationally, this production aims to highlight the voices and experiences of trans/queer/otherwise non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual folks. Written, performed, and directed by LGBTQIAP+ people, this is a show for us, by us, and about us. The Naked I: Recognize/d features 20 brand new staged pieces including monologues, scenes, movement/performance pieces, music performance, and more, and includes the contributions of over 60 LGBTQIAP+ artists.

Original 2018 production postcard artwork by Joy Spika.

The Naked I
2020 World Premiere Production
DECEMBER 11-13, 2020
An original, virtual production by 20% Theatre Company

The Naked I: Revitalized explores queer and trans experience through brand new monologues, scenes, song, dance and movement, featuring the contributions of over a dozen local and national artists on topics including gender identity/ies, relationships, transgender/gender non-conforming experiences and all-around self-defined queerness.

This production was originally intended to be performed live back in April 2020 with many more actors and directors involved. Due to Covid-19, we postponed once, and then again, and then decided to go virtual, which meant shifting gears a bit. Some artists created and filmed their own solo work, and some were able to safely involve other artists. We took what was given to us and edited it all together to create this incredible virtual world premiere performance.

Featured writers/creators include Connie Chang, Sami Pfeffer, Forrest Mainville, Tobias K. Davis, Sea Thomas, Ayesha Adu, Hannah Stein, Rubin Hardin, Kitty Sipple, Nick Malakhow, and Johanna Keller Flores.

The Naked I: Revitalized is the 6th and final Naked I production to be produced by 20% Theatre Company.

Original production postcard artwork by Ethan O'Brien.

The LAVA Center to present climate change-themed short play festival online

WHAT: Facing the Future: Climate Change Theater- an online short play festival

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Online


GREENFIELD, MA — The LAVA Center is proud to present our second online short play festival, “Facing the Future: Climate Change Theater.”

In plays penned by 13 playwrights from 3 continents, characters from cerulean warblers, insects, brown bull catfish, and fire to a wide age range of humans plus a couple of time-traveling aliens confront questions of our collective survival.

The plays are divided into two programs. Program A offers plays of animal perspectives and extreme weather, Program B offers food for thought and action.

Program A can be viewed Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Program B airs Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. Each is followed by a post-performance talk-back session. The entire set of plays can be viewed on demand for three days beginning Sunday morning, Dec. 6. A finale viewing of all plays is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and is followed by a post-performance talk-back. 

The plays are written by Lindsay Adams, Sara Becker, Kay Bullard, Patricia Crosby, Colette Cullen, Stephen Fruchtman, Nina Gross, Jan Maher, Rex McGregor, Michael Nix, Candace Perry, Vanessa Query and Karen Shapiro Miller.

The plays will be directed by Colette Cullen, Ezzell Floranina, Jan Maher, Rex McGregor, Michael Nix, Joshua Platt and Vanessa Query.

Twenty-eight actors from as near as Greenfield and as far as Dublin, Ireland and Auckland, New Zealand bring it all to life via Zoom.

The performers are Anna Baskowski, Sara Becker, Amanda Bowman, Leona Burke, Adelaide Carey, Ken Chisolm, Rachel Cronin-Townsend, Chris Devine, Jacob Frank, Stephen Fruchtman, Derek Good, Tracy Grammer, Thom Griffin, Nina Gross, Mary Chris Kenney, Alain Lamoureux, Gloria Matlock, Bob McNeil, Becky Minard, Leah Rantz, Lesleyann Reilly, Kimberly Salditt-Poulin, Sumaiya Sannah, Ovella Snow, Charlotte Swinburne, Laurel Turk, Nancy Winokoor and Trevor Young.

Many of the production team and performers are available to be interviewed. Biographies and more information will be available soon and posted on our website,

This program is made possible in part by generous support from Greening Greenfield.

Dinos Go Hybrid:
4th Annual Great Greenfield DinoFest Stomps into Living Rooms & Downtown
Just what we need to round out 2020 – a dinosaur attack on downtown Greenfield! Piti Theatre Company & Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association are bringing DinoFest back to town – and to much of the rest of the world online -  on Saturday and Sunday, December 5 & 6. Blending science, arts, and community-building, DinoFest 2020 will feature Piti Youth Troupe's comic meditation on emerging fascism “The Mayor of Greenpants: Dino Disaster" as well as Jurassic Roadshow's renowned paleontologists, artists and passionate fossil collectors via Zoom. Presentations will explore the connections between deep time and the Pioneer Valley and offer a window into cutting-edge dino research. Registration and info: All events and webinars are free to the public.
Schedule for Saturday, December 5th
@ Garden Theater, 361 Main Street, Greenfield
10:15 am – 10:45 am: Film Premiere: "The Mayor of Greenpants: Dino Disaster" an original comedy for all ages created and performed by Piti Theatre's Youth Troupe with music by Northampton singer/songwriter Carrie Ferguson.
11:00 – 11:30: "Critics Pick" Land of the Lost Episode,
Saturday, December 5th on Zoom: Jurassic Roadshow
A day of presentations and live Q & A with some of the most knowledgeable paleontologists specializing in dinosaur footprints and related trace fossils.
10:00 - 11:00: The Great Massachusetts Terrane Wreck
Why is the Connecticut River Valley so full of dinosaur footprints?
Steve Winters, Professor of Earth Science, Dept. of Environmental Science, Holyoke Community College
11:30 - 12:30:  Incredible Feathered Dinosaurs of the Chinese Mesozoic
How were the skin and feathers of these fabulous dinosaurs preserved? 
Dr. Paul Olsen, Storke Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
1:00 - 2:00: Exploring Fossil Footprints with Living Birds
What can experiments with living animals tell us about extinct ones?
Dr. Stephen Gatesy, Professor of Biology, and Morgan Turner, PhD Candidate, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Brown University
2:30 - 3:30: Insects Invade Lakes in the Triassic and Jurassic
Dinosaurs weren't the only ones to leave their traces . . .
Dr. Patrick Getty, Professor of Geology, Collin College
4:00 - 5:00: PaleoArt and the Track Pack
Artist Will Sillin talks about painting the dinosaur murals at Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill CT), the Beneski Museum of Natural History (Amherst College), and Greenfield Community College.
Fossil collectors Ed Gregory, Harry Sharbaugh, and Mark Agostini show fossils from their personal collections.

Sunday, December 6th on Zoom: The Past Meets The Present


2:30 - 3:30 pm: Interview and Q&A with Ed Friedman, Chair of Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, a Maine environmental group. Merrymeeting Bay is home to the Sea Lamprey which has been described as a "living fossil" as well as to the Atlantic Sturgeon - another pre-historic species that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs. Friedman has been involved in the environmental movement for five decades and in 2010 helped obtain the first smart meter opt-out program in the country from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.


4 - 5 pm: Kay Lyons, Children’s Librarian from the Greenfield Public Library will lead dino storytime & songs followed by a dino mask making workshop. If you do live in the area and would like to pick up a "mask kit" from the Greenfield Public Library, you can do that on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 10 - noon or Thursday, Dec. 4 from 4 – 6 in the Children's area. If you don't live in the area a list of suggested materials and the registration links for all programs are available at

7 – 7:30 pm: "The Mayor Greenpants: Dino Disaster" Live Stream

Other resources available online for home viewers include Piti Youth Troupe's performance "Dexter and the Dinosaurs" and videos from Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, The Beneski Museum of Natural History, the Second Congregational Church, and more!

Dawn of DinoFest
Intrigued by Piti Theatre’s New England-wide Bee Week program and the annual BeeFest launched by Greenfield’s Second Congregrational Church, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s long-time Executive Director Tim Neumann and Piti’s Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Mirin discussed how to bring dinosaur history to life for local residents. Neumann states, “I thought that the rich intersection of deep time and local history might merit a new celebration around a great scientific contribution from Greenfield’s history.”
In 2017, the Great Greenfield DinoFest was born. The Festival is particularly indebted to the extraordinary lives of Greenfield’s Dexter Marsh, a day laborer who noticed what looked like bird footprints in the flagstone from Montague he was using to lay sidewalk near Town Hall in 1835 – seven years before the word dinosaur was invented – and James Deane, the first person to treat the strange impressions as objects of scientific interest. Marsh’s keen eye and Deane’s analysis piqued the interest of Amherst College’s Professor Edward Hitchcock, who became the first scientist to study dinosaur tracks and interpret their meaning. Hitchcock died believing the tracks had been made by giant prehistoric birds, but nevertheless, Marsh, Deane, and Hitchcock played important roles in the birth of the new branch of paleontology called ichnology.
DinoFest 2020 is supported in part by grants from the Greenfield and Leyden Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency as well as a variety of local business sponsors. Special thanks to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
About Piti Theatre Co.
Piti Theatre Company is an award-winning touring troupe based in Shelburne Falls and Les Ponts-de-Martel Switzerland, founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Godeliève Richard and Jonathan Mirin. Piti (pronounced "pea-tea") is an ancient Indian (Pali) word translated as "joy" or "rapture." Piti creates original performances and community-building events that accelerate local transformation towards joy, sustainability and justice.
About Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Founded in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1870 as the first historical society in Western Massachusetts, today the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association is a vibrant regional organization, supporting the Memorial Hall Museum and Library, Deerfield Teachers’ Center, Indian House Children’s Museum, and Community Outreach projects.

Northampton Community Making Space

Where:  33 Hawley - Eli’s room

When: Third Saturday’s of the Month from 4-7
Dec 19
Jan 16
Feb 27

Who: Our Community

Cost:  Free - there will be a  voluntary (NOT required) collection jar to help pay for the space rental

What:  Northampton Community Making Space

As we continue to figure out how to be artists in this time, I would like to offer a space for us to make in a community, while still paying attention to the care that we need to take of ourselves and others in the times of COVID 19.  Please join us at 33 Hawley on the third Saturday of the month from 4-7 in Eli’s Room for community making.   All experience levels are welcome. 

Who is a maker?  A maker is a writer, a painter, a mover, a quilter, a weaver, a poet, a photographer, a digital artist, a filmmaker, a woodworker, a stained glass artist, a performer, a musician, a potter, a philosopher, an activist - so many things that it defies definition.  A maker is someone who looks around them and asks of themselves and others, “what can this idea become?” A maker is in continuous evolution. 

We will each have a 6’ space. You will be provided a table, a chair or easy chair, a dedicated power strip, and a drop cloth. You will need to bring your own materials and tools.  Please bring projects that are appropriate for working on in a group setting.  There will be three foot aisles between each space, and masks will be required at all times.  

The space will accommodate 10 people at one time.  You may stay for the full three hours, or just drop in for an hour or so.  In order to organize our safe attendance, please follow this link to sign up for a time.  Please indicate your interest and the time that you would like to attend by following the link and signing up for a slot.

I hope you are able to join us for making in community   See you soon!

2020 has sparked an ever changing new normal. The instructors and staff at Arts Extension Service will wrap up this year grateful to all who stepped up for our field during this trying time. We remain committed to finding and sharing reliable information and place good resources into the hands of artists and our creative communities.

Be the first to apply for artist and organization opportunities listed on the AES Resource List. We update them weekly!

Here are a few new resources & opportunities:
  • Gotham Early Music and Early Music America Relief Fund $250 mini-grants for musicians opens Dec. 2.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest offers $5,000 to $20,000 grants to support NEA Big Read Projects. Deadline is Jan. 27.
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offers their Festivals & Filmmaking Education Grants $5,000- $25,000 for screenings, educational programs in film, and more. Deadlines range from Jan. 15-29 per grant.
  • Call for Dancers from Mark DeGarmo Dance’s virtual Salon Performance Series. Professional and student dance artists are encouraged to apply. Deadline is Dec. 3. 


Playwrights, do you have a monologue you’d like to share? A short play? A scene from a longer play? An idea that is just hatching? The LAVA Center’s First Monday program in December will be a playwrights’ circle, for you to gather with other writers and friends to share your work informally. 

This is not a workshop for critiquing, though you are free to ask for response to your work if you wish. The focus is on sharing with fellow writers and friends your work, whether it is currently in a drawer, has already been produced, or is in-progress.

Plan to present from five to ten minutes of material. 

Non-playwrights are welcome to attend.

Monday, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, December 7

Registration is required for this program. Use the following link to sign up:

 Harry Ransom Center is launching the Theatre 2020 Project, an international effort to document the impact the events of this year have had on the theatre profession -  the pandemic, theatre closures, furloughs, online performances, reckoning with longstanding racial injustices in the industry, national politics and protests, and so much more.

We are inviting theatre artists and organizations to register and submit digital files - journals, emails, performance recordings, interviews, zoom meetings, press releases, photographs, written reflections, canceled contracts, revised mission statements, original works, etc. - that might reflect their experiences of this moment.

Please share this news with anyone you think might be interested in participating.

Registration and further information can be found online:
On September 18, 2020, TCG received a message from a group of production managers that organized around two requests: make ARTSEARCH free for all job-seekers, and require job-posters to include salary ranges. Even before the pandemic, many theatre-workers faced constant economic uncertainty and precarity. And as explained in Vu Le’s essential writing in Nonprofit AF, when organizations aren’t transparent about salary ranges, it perpetuates the gender wage-gap; discriminates against BIPOC theatre-makers, and drives away potential candidates.
Now with the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, we are making ARTSEARCH free for all job-seekers as of today, October 19, 2020, and requiring job-posters to list salary ranges. We know the pandemic’s impact has fallen especially hard on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) theatre-workers, and so making ARTSEARCH freely accessible aligns with TCG’s strategic commitment to center BIPOC in our programs and services.
A Director Prepares: an Introduction to Katie Mitchell
12/10 & 12/17, 6-8:30 PM

Northampton Center for the Arts - Zoom

A Director Prepares: an Introduction to Katie Mitchell

What can a theater director do outside of rehearsal to ensure that her ideas about a play make their way onstage?

Using Samuel Beckett’s "Waiting for Godot" as an example, we will survey British director Katie Mitchell’s systematic and ‘objective’ approach to text work and rehearsal planning. This eminently flexible method emphasizes the importance of character and dramatic world in plays of all styles and from all periods, including new plays.

This Zoom workshop is designed for directors and for those who would like to try directing; for actors, dramaturgs, designers, playwrights and other theater artists; and for theater-goers who are curious about how a play is put together.

The fee is $90. Scholarships of any amount are available upon request with no explanation necessary. Donations to support these scholarships are welcome; any donation in excess of the total cost of the class will be returned. Class materials will be available via email and in a Google folder.

Dec 10 & Dec 17, 6-8:30 PM

To register or for more information:

About the instructor: Josh Platt is a Valley-based writer and theater artist. His Pioneer Valley credits include: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hampshire Shakespeare Company (dir.); Stupid F***ing Bird, Silverthorne Theatre Company (dram.); and The Life & Death of Queen Margaret, Real Live Theatre (dram.). He has an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.
Register for Creative Economy & Placemaking

Winter Session registration is open for the Arts Extension Service's six-week 100% online course, Creative Economy and Placemaking. Ph.D. candidate, tourism expert, and Arts Extension Service instructor, John Delconte, brings insight and innovation into building social capital and reinvigorating our economies through the arts. 

If you are ready to take the next step in understanding the making of vibrant places, sign-up for AES’ Creative Economy and Placemaking course today! 

Creative Economy and Placemaking 
Winter Session begins December 7, 2020
and continues through January 16, 2021.

P.S. To register for a class online, learn more on the Courses page, and click on “class details” below the course’s description to register. For help with registration, contact us 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
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