Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 19, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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November 19 - December 9, 2020

I hope you are all staying inside, staying safe, and cancelling your plans to see extended family this holiday season. See a play from home and support your theatre family instead! 

My heart goes out to Jacob's Pillow this week, with the devastating loss of the Doris Duke Theatre to fire. I hope they are able to quickly bounce back and rebuild. 

The next issue will include events through December 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
November 19-22
Tickets and More Information
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
from Howlround

The Necessity of Pivoting
by Janice Rabian

From the article: 

As a soon-to-be graduate with an MFA in costume design, I thought I would be riding high this year—hustling and making moves to launch myself into a decades-long lucrative career in design. Lofty, yes, but that’s truly how I felt things were going to go—I had been kicking butt. It all came to a screeching halt in the short span of four days in the middle of March. All at once my prospects were cancelled. My summer plans were gone, and my upcoming production was eliminated the same day I was let go from my assistant job at a regional theatre. I found myself at a bar on a Friday evening trying not to cry while Celine Dion blasted over the speakers.

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
New Play Reading Series: THE TREACLE OF LIFE by James Barry MFA
Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 PM
Registration Link.

The Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents, The Treacle of Life (A Western Lila in One Actby James Barry. Set in a dive bar outside time where the jukebox plays itself, Charlie and Chip examine the dynamics of their relationship over a bottomless bottle of whiskey. Then Chuck shows up. A woo-woo rock 'n' roll romp in which the temporal and the infinite dance together until the crows come home. Or is it cows? Hallelujah!

Free and open to all. Registration required. 

WAM Theatre presents a digital production of:

by Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation)
Directed by Talya Kingston
November 19-22, (online)

In this fast-paced satire, good intentions collide with absurd assumptions, as a troupe of white Liberal teaching artists scramble to devise a grade school theatre performance that somehow manages to celebrate Turkey Day, while also honoring Native American Heritage Month.  Playwright Larissa FastHorse underlines the importance of comedy in self realization and activism saying: “Laughter gives us energy. Laughter gives us more time. It actually adds time to your life, so I’m giving you information AND I’m giving you more time to change the world.”

Tickets & information:

Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements 

Remaining Performances (live on Zoom):
Beyond Reform, by Jaymes Sanchez, on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Gender Experience TM, by M. Sloth Levine, on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office to register.
UMass Theater's Visionary Futures presented the first of three plays last night, but two more plays remain! Register now to catch one or both in this series of science fiction works imagining a better future.
On Sunday at 7:30, we present Beyond Reform, by Jaymes Sanchez, and next Thursday, we conclude with Gender Experience TM, by M. Sloth Levine. 
Creator Josh Glenn-Kayden, a third-year MFA directing candidate, encourages you to join us in envisioning the intersection of science fiction and activism. Audience members are also welcomed to a post-show discussion with the creative team about the process.
Inspired by “Octavia’s Brood,” a short story anthology named for writer Octavia Butler that explores the connection between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change, this project sits at the intersection of theater and activism. Three professional playwrights — Phaedra Scott (Good Hair), M. Sloth Levine (whose Interrobangers was a popular Play Lab entry last spring), and Jaymes Sanchez (The Cucuy Will Find You), — have been commissioned to write a 30-minute play and will each be paired with activists (TreaAndrea Russworm, Finn Lefevre, and a third to be announced) whose work intersects with the content of the play. These teams will meet regularly throughout the writing process to create plays that speculate on how societies may reimagine concepts like gender, justice, and identity in the future. (Visit our website to read bios of the artists as well as updates about our activtists, cast, and play titles.)
“I think there's something inherently hopeful about Visionary Futures,” says Tatiana Godfrey, dramaturg for the project. “Both the activist and the playwright are asking the same question, 'What does a more just world look like?'” 
Glenn-Kayden and Godfrey are also asking these questions, building a new, inclusive process of play creation. This integrative experience allows the activists to be involved in the writing process and trajectory of the play, rather than being brought in to consult afterward. 

“We're creating a new model of collaboration that includes more voices in the generative process and are excited to develop plays that are imaginative and forward thinking while still having roots in the activism work of our present moment,” says Glenn-Kayden.
Each performance in November will consist of a virtual reading of an in-process draft of the play, along with a post-show discussion where the playwright and activist will talk about their collaborative process. Full digital productions of each play are planned for the spring.
Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements will be performed over Zoom. Join us as we embark on this imaginative journey into envisioning a new world.
This event is free. Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office to claim your spot in the virtual audience now.
Support our productions with a donation.

(Image by Tatiana Godfrey)
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcasts

New Rep presents
Showstopper Virtual Plays
Nov. 21-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


Ralph Tufo and Samantha Bestvina present
Beyond the Blues
Book, music and lyrics by Ralph Tufo

It's 1982 in the Brickyard section of Lynn, MA. The gritty Urban Legend Bar & Grill is hosting its annual Singer/Songwriter Blues Competition. Four finalists are vying for the coveted award. They each sing 2 original songs accompanied by dramatic monologues which describe the inspiration behind their songs, the hardships they've gotten beyond, and their unique connection to Lynn's history. To participate in a November 18 talk back with the creative team, sign up here. Streaming now. Tickets: free, donation requested.


Culture*Park Theatre presents
Ghost Light Theatre
Nov. 23-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:

Trialogue for Masked Players
by Ray Veary

Ghost Light
by Diane Brown Couture

Feeling Plankton
by Barbara Schweitzer

Wilson's Monologue
by James Celenza

Every Creeping Thing
by David Beardsley

by Martha Osmundson

262 Stones
by Gayle Hanrahan

Masked Fellows
by Larry Houbre

For more information, click here.


The Forge Theater Lab presents
an online reading of
Perfect Fifths
by Bret Bucci
November 7-22
directed by Rachael Miles

The moment young violinist Nicholas has been working for his whole life has arrived: his debut concert at Aviezar Hall. But when a woman arrives from Wyoming claiming to be his long-lost sister, a web of manipulation threatens to silence every truth he knows about himself. Tickets: Free, donations accepted.

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
2016 Performance on Film
NOVEMBER 20-22, 2020
A world premiere production by 20% Theatre Company
Originally produced in February 2016 at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis
Filmed by Ben McGinley

Building community both locally and nationally, The Naked I: Self-Defined aims to highlight the voices and experiences of trans/queer/otherwise non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual people through the production of brand new, never before seen monologues, short scenes, movement pieces, spoken word poems, short film, and more - featuring the contributions of over 50 artists.

Original 2016 production postcard artwork designed by an amazing artist in the Mpls trans community who wishes to remain anonymous.

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.
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!

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.


Northampton Community Making Space

Where:  33 Hawley - Eli’s room

When: Third Saturday’s of the Month from 4-7

Nov 21
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!

 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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Berkshire on Stage
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