Thursday, November 5, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 5, 2020

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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November 5 - 25, 2020

I hope you are all getting sleep this week. If you need a distraction from politics, try watching a play!

The next issue will include events through December 2. 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

We Need to Invest in Writers
by Ramona Rose King

From the article: 

In this moment (can we even call it a moment, when it’s been more than half a year with no real end in sight?) of collective crisis, many theatre companies are scaling down to bare-bones administrative staff, seemingly hunkering down in hopes of waiting it out and emerging in the same form in the future. Others, though, are using this pandemic pause to investigate the old ways of operating and dismantle the aspects of “business as usual” that no longer serve us in favor of new, more just, and ultimately more sustainable ways of creating theatre.

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


Mass Music and Arts Society presents
Breaking the Shakespeare Code
by John Minigan
November 6-8

Anna, an 18-year-old actress, arrives in a college rehearsal studio to seek out coaching to help land the lead in a production of Romeo and Juliet. She meets an acting instructor, Curt, who provides harsh critique, yet the encounter forms a powerful bond between the two in the psychological drama, Breaking the Shakespeare Code. The pair’s 16-year relationship plays out as they deceive and manipulate one another while exploring human nature in some of Shakespeare’s most intricate works. Tickets: $20

Boston Podcast Players presents 
by Greg Lam 

We talk to the playwright, screenwriter, board game designer, children's book author, and graphic designer Greg Lam about his penchant for mashing up genres, 90's Vertigo comics, bringing sci-fi tropes to the stage, and that one time Chaplin and Keaton worked together.  Then we hear an excerpt from his play Repossessed, a play which imagines a married couple discovering that their ideal marriage is being repossessed by the company that manufactured it and implanted it into their brains. Stream the podcast.

Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements
Performances (live on Zoom):
Play 1, by Phaedra Scott, on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Play 2, by Jaymes Sanchez, on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Play 3, by M. Sloth Levine, on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office to register.

Building a better world: UMass Theater presents Visionary Futures

What kind of future are you hoping to see? Coming to UMass Theater in November, Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements invites you to join us in envisioning the intersection of science fiction and activism. Creator Josh Glenn-Kayden, a third-year MFA directing candidate, encourages his audience's predictions of the future with this new form of collaboration.
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.
“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.
Silverthorne Theater Company
The Tattooed Man Tells All
November 13 at 7:30, and November 14, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.

Silverthorne Theater is honored to once again bring to audiences an important piece of dramatic writing, The Tattooed Man Tells All - a vital voice in the telling of the stories of the Holocaust.  Peter Wortsman's gripping solo piece, was woven from a series of interviews conducted, on a fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, in Vienna in 1975 with witnesses to and survivors of the Holocaust, the scene of Western Civilization's worst excesses. By condensing these accounts into that of a survivor who is committed to a no-holds-barred retelling, Wortsman gives us a fully fleshed out dramatic character, the Old Man, warts and all, for the audience to come to know. 
Silverthorne's filmed version of the play will be broadcast online on November 13-14, 2020 at 7:30 pm. 

Tickets are available at

This production is a fundraiser for Silverthorne Theater Company. There will be a free live Zoom discussion with the playwright immediately following the viewing on Friday, November 13th. The Zoom link will be made available closer to the show.

Silverthorne’s original live world premiere performance of this play in 2018, starring Keith Langsdale, was directed by Ellen Kaplan. The play will be performed in Germany at the Deutsches Theater in Göttingen this coming December.

For questions and further information, please contact us at, call 413-768-7514, or visit .
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
Insides Out
2014 Performance on Film
NOVEMBER 13-15, 2020
A world premiere production by 20% Theatre Company
Originally produced in February 2014 at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis
Filmed by Ben McGinley

The 3rd in a series of Naked I plays, The Naked I: Insides Out explores queer and trans experiences through monologues, short scenes, and spoken word poems. This production features the work of nearly 100 LGBTQ artists and allies - including contributing writers, directors, performers, designers, technicians, and more!

Original 2014 production postcard artwork by Archie Bongiovanni.

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.
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.

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:

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.

The Northampton Arts Council is calling for funding proposals from artists, residents, organizations, and schools. Council grants support arts activities in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds -- including exhibits, festivals, short-term artist residencies, virtual presentations, or performances, workshops, and lectures. Applications will be available online beginning October 1st and are due by November 16th. For local priorities and complete information on Northampton Arts Council grants including information about previously funded projects, visit  

The Northampton Arts Council (NAC) will hold a virtual Grant Writing Workshop to support potential applicants considering submitting proposals for community-oriented arts programs due on November 16th. Anyone interested in learning more about the proposal process and application is invited to attend, including residents supported by other Local Cultural Councils (LCC). The workshop will include information about the Northampton Arts Council’s funding priorities. To help applicants prepare an effective funding proposal, the Council will hold a grant writing workshop on Wednesday October 14th, 7:00PM on the Northampton Arts Council’s Facebook Live Stream. The session is open to artists, schools, non-profit cultural organizations, and residents interested in applying for funding through the Local Cultural Council Program. To RSVP for this workshop please visit our online signup form.


LCC Grant Round & Online Workshop

Keep these details in mind:

  • We begin accepting applications on Thursday, October 1st.
  • Our grant workshop is Wednesday October 14th at 7:00pm. RSVP above.
  • The deadline for applications is Friday, November 16th.
  • A recording of our workshop will be available after the workshop on our Facebook Page.
Find Out More
 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:
Survivors’ Voices: Works of Resilience Written and Read by Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

A live zoom event on January 22, 23, & 24, 2021

Project Description

Survivors’ Voices: Works of Resilience Written and Read by Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse was inspired by the courageous and eloquent, yet often silenced, voice of a Survivor poet whom Jackie is blessed to know. This project offers Survivors an opportunity to share their original writing regarding their experiences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and their paths of healing in a creative, community supported and survivor-led, virtual, weekend event. The audience will be community and family members as well as professionals who work with CSA Survivors. To support Survivors' writing, Donna and Jackie will hold a series of workshops including two for teens. To learn more see below.

The main event will take place over the weekend of January 22nd, 23rd, and 24th 2021, and will consist of one hour, virtual readings on each day.  After each performance there will be a facilitated dialogue between the audience and Survivors. 

Each participant selected will have the option of attending a (virtual) workshop with a coach from Silverthorne Theater, to receive guidance and theatrical support for the performance of their piece/s. 

The submission deadline is November 11, 2020, 8:00 p.m. All submissions will be curated to reflect the above stated goals of Survivors’ Voices---giving voice to the courage and resilience of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This will be a difficult task since every submission is an important voice to be heard! However, given our limited performance time we are not able to choose every submission. Three survivors (Jackie Humphreys, Donna Jenson and Strong Oak Lefebvre) and one ally (Lucinda Kidder) will conduct a blind review of the submissions and curate the final pieces to be read. 

This project is made possible by a generous grant from The Art Angels, a group of donors supporting the arts and social change in Western Massachusetts.

For more information on this project, please visit


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

SCHOOL'S IN SESSION this fall with K and E Theater Group! Sign up for some drop-in classes or for an introduction to stage management class series!

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! We've already had some fun with numbers from "Guys and Dolls", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Footloose", among others. Sign up for every Tuesday class by 2 PM Tuesday day of to ensure entrance and to check out the weekly offering! And... 5, 6, 7, 8!

You can sign up for Carly DellaPenna's Stage Management 101 class that will take place Wednesday nights later this fall, November 4th, 11th and 18th at 7:00 PM! The class series is $45. Hone in and refresh your skills for the important behind the scenes work that our stage managers do for every production!

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!

Direct Links to Class Registration

Musical Theater Dance for Beginners

Stage Management 101

Musical Theater Individual Workshop
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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