Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News February 25, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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February 25 - March 17, 2021

The Spring New Play Reading Series at Smith kicks off tonight with Emily Wiest's Virtually Neurotic. The series is free and open to all - including a casting call for the next event in the series. Auditions begin tonight and the reading of Kathleen Tolan's Acting School will be March 11. More details below! 

The next issue will include events through March 24. 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.
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
from Howlround

Industry or Community
by Masha Tsimring

From the article: 

“There was an intricate failure in the educational institutions we designers were brought up in, which told us when we started out we were going to work for free, and that was okay. I refuse to pass that on. If that means I have to stay in education institutions forever to hammer that home, I’m doing it.” — Lawrence E. Moten III

Prior to the pandemic, designers, like many theatremakers, existed in a fiscally precarious environment. There seemed to be an unspoken assumption among artistic leadership that we had other sources of income. There must have been, because if theatre institutions actually calculated how much designers are paid, and then how many projects designers would need to take on in a year to survive without outside funding, then the current pay scale would appear to be unconscionable.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents 
Virtually Neurotic by Emily Wiest 
Thursday, February 25 at 7:30 PM 

A young woman and her therapist meet on zoom. While she faces the conundrum of needing assistance and the natural aversion to personal revelations he tries to maintain an intimate professional connection by technological means he has yet to fully understand. This new play by Emily Wiest is about mental health during a viral outbreak and the underlying issues that are exasperated by forced isolation

Register at:

Eggtooth Productions, The Academy of Music Theatre of Northampton, and The Shea Theatre of Turners Falls present a Live Theatrical Video Game called Stagehand, sponsored by Teddy Bear Pools. The show takes place on Zoom on February 25, 26 and 27 at 7 pm and 9 pm each night. Tickets are available at  

Staged as a live performance, audience members join the show from home via Zoom to experience this intimate adventure from home.  

Participants will join the show through the eyes of Charlie, a stagehand helping to run a late-night rehearsal of several ghost scenes from the play Hamlet.  As they’ll quickly learn, audience comments and choices can be “heard” by Charlie - and influence what Charlie opts to do next, making this immersive show similar to a first-person video game in style.  As director John Bechtold offered, “We are exploring how to create interactive theater through the pandemic medium of Zoom.  What stories are possible when you leverage the immediacy of interactive theater and real theater venues with the powers of a virtual connection?  We hope that theater lovers, gamers, and brave adventurers will come on this adventure with us. We've created this work at a time where two jewels of the Valley - The Shea Theater and the Academy of Music - sit mostly dormant. Even in this time, however, these spaces retain the power to inspire their visitors. Stagehand makes these spaces primary characters amidst an ensemble cast of wonderful Valley performers. We look forward to inviting you in."

This is the second iteration of the show, back by popular demand. Said Linda McInerney, producer, “In our first experiment, John and the crew figured out the technology to deliver this immersive experience. That was a herculean task and we feel like we’ve got that part down. Now we get to dig into the story, the characters, and the deepening magic of the whole thing. We are also selling tickets differently. We are selling tickets by ‘pods’ that will be purchased for anywhere from one to six participants per pod.  We encourage friends to purchase a pod ticket so they can attend together and share the magic. In addition, we also will offer a limited number of $10 individual tickets for the “wildcard pod”, where patrons with individual tickets will be placed together, making this show a delightful way to meet new people while social distancing. But do get your pod tickets early as there are only six pods available per show.”

Working in a new and exciting form, Stagehand offers live engagement with characters, explorable spaces, and a building full of questions waiting for answers. As a Valley-based company, Eggtooth Productions is excited to produce a show that is also a love-letter to our local theaters that we love and miss.

Tickets are $40 per pod that may be shared with up to six attendees. Invite your friends, enjoy a cocktail/mocktail and immerse yourself in a magical, mystical, intimate otherworldly experience.

Access to a computer with microphone, camera and speakers, a basic understanding of Zoom, and a good internet connection are required. Audience members should be 14 years and older. 

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre and Podcast


Theatre Rhinoceros presents
a virtual reading of
Emergency Contact
by Nick Malakhow
March 2
directed by Kimberly Ridgeway

Shawn is pretty sure his one-night-stand with the troubled Derrick can't get any worse after Derrick passes out and then pukes on his own bedroom floor. Things get even more interesting, however, when the concerned Shawn reaches out to Derrick's so-called "Emergency Contact" in his cell phone and finds out that it is Derrick's ex-boyfriend, Manny, who still has a key, a nearby apartment, and is all too eager to come over and save the day. Note that the reading is happening on the West Coast; check times carefully. Streaming will be available after the date. Tickets: Free, registration required.


Eggtooth Productions, The Academy of Music Theatre, and The Shea Theatre present
Stagehand, A Live Theatrical Video Game
February 18-27
directed by
John Bechtold

Participants will join the show through the eyes of Charlie, a stagehand helping to run a late-night rehearsal of several ghost scenes from the play Hamlet.  As they’ll quickly learn, audience comments and choices can be “heard” by Charlie - and influence what Charlie opts to do next, making this immersive show similar to a first-person video game in style. Tickets: $40 for up to 6 people.


Hub Theatre Company of Boston presents
Solitaire Suite
by Trent England
February 20-27
directed by
Daniel Bourque

Driving through the suburban countryside in the middle of the night, Celeste, Pete, and their son Tiger encounter an object on the side of the road that will transform their lives forever. Told from the point of view of Celeste, the events of the evening take on an otherworldly implication as the night grows increasingly eerie and unsettling — until it is too late. Tickets: Pay what you can.

UMass Theater presents Women in Theatrical Design:
Anita Yavich, Jane Shaw, Jane Cox and Mimi Lien on Theater Design Today

March 2, 1-2 p.m.: Costume Designer Anita Yavich
March 8, 10:10-11:10: Sound Designer Jane Shaw
March 16, 1-2 p.m.: Lighting Designer Jane Cox
March 30, 1-2 p.m.: Scenic Designer Mimi Lien
Free and open to the community; registration is encouraged but not required through the Fine Arts Center Box Office.

In a series of Zoom conversations that will be free and open to a national audience, UMass Theater presents four brilliant practitioners of theatrical design who will share their thoughts on their work and how they experience their field as women.
Costume Designer Anita Yavich (March 2), Sound Designer Jane Shaw (March 8), Lighting Designer Jane Cox (March 16), and Scenic Designer Mimi Lien (March 30) will talk about their art and practice, how they have found ways to assert their voice in a male-dominated sphere, and how they view the economics of making a career in their field. The conversations will be moderated by the designers' counterpart faculty members in theater, Yao Chen, Amy Altadonna, Penny Remsen, and Anya Klepikov. Registration for the conversations is encouraged but not required through the Fine Arts Center Box Office:
In private meetings, each designer will also conduct portfolio reviews and offer career advice to the department's MFA design students. 

With the exception of costume design, theater design and technical fields are dominated by men — one recent study shows that in Off-Broadway theaters, more than two-thirds of set, lighting, projection, and sound design hires from 2010-2015 were men. This series is made possible with support from Women for UMass Amherst (WFUM), a network of alumni that promotes the advancement of campus programs that provide access, support, and opportunity for UMass Amherst students, with preference to those projects that positively impact UMass Amherst women and their respective communities.

“Our guests will help give our students additional tools and impetus for challenging the sexism and bias out there,” said Theater Chair Harley Erdman. “The message is important for students of all genders who will be working in these male-heavy fields. We are thankful to WFUM for jumpstarting this idea and generously supporting it.”

More about our guests:
Anita Yavich, Costume Designer
Anita Yavich designed costumes for Broadway: Fool for Love, Venus in Fur, Chinglish, and Anna in the Tropics. Her New York design credits include Soft Power, Oedipus El Rey at the Public; The Mother at the Atlantic Theatre Company, Apologia at the Roundabout theatre, The View Upstairs at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre, Nathan the Wise, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Orlando, Venus in Fur, New Jerusalem and Texts for Nothing at Classic Stage; Thom Pain, Big Love, Kung Fu, Golden Child and Iphigenia 2.0 at Signature Theater; The Oldest Boy at Lincoln Center Theater; The Explorer’s Club at Manhattan Theatre Club; The Legend of Georgia McBride, The Submission, Coraline the Musical, The Wooden Breeks at Manhattan Class Company. Her opera credits include Aida at San Francisco Opera; Cyrano De Bergerac at La Scala, Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House (Covent Garden); Les Troyens at Metropolitan Opera. Current projects: Der Ring des Nibelungen at Opera Australia, Brisbane; Lempicka at La Jolla Playhouse. She has received Obie, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Ovation Awards.

Jane Shaw, Sound Designer and Composer
For over twenty years, Ms. Shaw has designed and composed for theater, dance, and audio drama. Theatrical work in New York includes designs at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Mint Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, National Black Theatre, Repertorio Español, New York Theatre Workshop, Cherry Lane, and the COOP. Regional work includes projects with Hartford Stage, A.R.T., Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Two River Theater, Asolo, Williamstown Theatre Festival, ACT, and Northern Stage. Awards: Drama Desk, Connecticut Critics Circle, Henry Award, Bessie Award, Meet the Composer Grant, NEA-TCG Career Development Grant recipient, nominations for Lortel and Elliot Norton awards. Proud Member of USA 829 and TSDCA (Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association, co-Secretary). Training: Harvard University, Yale School of Drama. 

Jane Cox, Lighting Designer
Jane Cox  is a lighting designer for theater, opera, dance and music. Designs in 2019 included The Marriage of Figaro at San Francisco Opera; Fefu and her Friends at Theater for a New Audience in NYC, directed by Princeton alumna Lileana Blain-Cruz; King Lear with Glenda Jackson on Broadway, directed by Sam Gold; a new musical adaptation of Secret Life of Bees (the design was nominated for a Drama Desk Award 2020); The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by fellow faculty member John Doyle; a theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between The World and Me, directed by Kamilah Forbes and a revival of True West on Broadway, directed by British director James McDonald. Jane has been nominated for two Tony awards, for her work on Jitney (2017) and on Machinal (2014), four Drama Desk awards, and three Lortel awards, and in 2013, was awarded the Henry Hewes Design Award for her work on The Flick. Jane has been a company member of the Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company for twenty years is Director of the Princeton University Program in Theater.

Mimi Lien, Scenic Design
Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction. Selected work includes Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, TONY Award, Lortel Award, 2013 Hewes Design Award), John (Signature Theatre, 2016 Hewes Design Award), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum, LA Drama Critics Circle Award), Preludes, The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), Black Mountain Songs (BAM Next Wave). Her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015, and her sculptures were featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Mimi Lien received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University (1997) and an M.F.A. in Stage Design from New York University (2003). She is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre Company and co-founder of the performance space JACK.


South Hadley, MA: The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College present the 16th edition of The Big Broadcast! on Saturday, March 6 at 2PM & 7:30PM, in a free streaming version of what would have appeared on the stage of Chapin Auditorium on the Mount Holyoke College campus in South Hadley, MA. Now titled The (Little) Big Broadcast, it’s a one-hour tribute to the 1940's radio show, created by and directed by Mark Gionfriddo, featuring the Mount Holyoke College Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles performing well-known tunes from the swing era and the American songbook. WWLP-TV meteorologist Brian Lapis is emcee “Fred Kelley” for his 14th consecutive season.

Mount Holyoke College music faculty member Mark Gionfriddo originally created The Big Broadcast! for a small cabaret group he directed, and incorporated it into the concert season at Mount Holyoke College. It has since been designated as a Signature Event at the college.

The (Little) Big Broadcast!, according to Gionfriddo, is reconfigured for challenging times. “We’ve got a series of songs from the golden age of radio, along with some radio commercials of the day. We’re featuring the Glenn Miller version of “Little Brown Jug”, two Cole Porter hits--”You Do Something To Me” and “Night and Day”; Bobby Troup’s “Route 66” as performed by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters; “My Funny Valentine” from Rodgers and Hart’s Babes in Arms, and "Star Eyes", a tune made famous by Helen O’Connell and Jimmy Dorsey.

Mark Gionfriddo, creator and director (and “Matt Morgan”) of The (Little) Big Broadcast! is well-known to area concertgoers as a piano soloist, coach/accompanist, composer/arranger, conductor and music director. A versatile musician, Mark’s knowledge of diverse repertoire includes classical, jazz, rock, and popular music. Mark has been based at Mount Holyoke College since 1986 where he is Coordinator of Piano Studies for the Department of Music as well as Director and Founder of the Jazz Ensembles. In addition, Mark is Catholic Music Director and conducts the Abbey Chapel Singers for the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

In 2000, Mark accompanied Garrison Keillor on the Chapin Auditorium stage in a New England Public Radio benefit show, and he conducted the MHC Big Band in 2006 during two episodes of the popular NPR public radio quiz show "Says You!" During the summer, Mark was resident music director for Berkshire Theatre Group for their productions of Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, A Christmas Carol, The Music Man, Tarzan, Shrek the Musical, and the Neil Ellenoff Musical Mondays series. Mark's production of A Class Act also appeared off-Broadway at the Robert Moss Theatre.

Mark has recently reunited with the internationally renowned Young@Heart Chorus as pianist and arranger, a post he originally held from 1992-1998. He is also co-author of Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, a book about Holyoke's Hart-Lester H. Allen and the Ponzi scandal, on the Epigraph imprint.

Brian Lapis ("Fred Kelley") joined the 22News Storm Team in 1996. He got his start in broadcasting at the age of 15 at radio station WILI, in his hometown of Willimantic, CT. He's worked as a radio on-air talent for stations in Hartford, CT; Philadelphia, PA; Syracuse, NY; and Providence, RI. Brian has a Bachelor's degree in Television Radio Film Management from Syracuse University. In addition, he holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. This is his 14th season as WJAZ announcer and emcee “Fred Kelley”. In 2013, the National Weather Association named Brian “Broadcaster of the Year".

Brian loves performing as “Fred Kelley”. “The combination of the opportunity for me to perform, the creative energy of the students and Mark Gionfriddo, and the great music makes this far and away my favorite event of the year," he said.  "As a 'student of broadcasting’, I am one who appreciates the Golden Age of Radio and just how hugely popular these variety shows were in their day.  I’d like to believe that if I were around back in the 1940s, I would have a gig like Fred Kelley’s."

Performance sponsors confirmed to date of The (Little) Big Broadcast! are: Mount Holyoke College, and WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield. 

Tickets are free for both streamings of The (Little) Big Broadcast!. Advance reservations are required. 

For tickets to the 2PM performance:

For tickets to the 7:30PM performance: 

CitySpace presents
The Writer's Imagination

6 - 7 P.M.

Some of us look at a piece of paper and it is blank; others of us look at the landscape of a blank page and are inspired to create. For close to a year, our individual and collective imaginations have been fed by solitude, by injustice, and by the recognition that our communities of neighbors and friends are both vulnerable and resilient. How do we make sense of it? How do those who are inspired become inspired and use the power of imagination to connect us with ideas, with each other, and with the community to effect change?

“The Writer’s Imagination” features current Poet Laureate of Easthampton, poet/translator María José Giménez, former Poet Laureate of Northampton, poet/author Lesléa Newman, and award-winning author and co-owner of Book Moon, Kelly Link, in conversation with poet/translator Michael Favala Goldman. Join this conversation about identifying sources of personal inspiration, and how these authors have found ways to transform that inspiration into works that don’t just move us but resonate.

Tickets are $25 per household / $60 for three events (through March 7)

CitySpace offers reparations pricing with reduced or free tickets available for BIPOC.

Facebook event.

Save the date
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents
Acting School by Kathleen Tolan
directed by Cate Boram
Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 PM

“Why act? The world is falling apart.” Based on Olympia Dukakis’ acting classes at NYU in the 60s, Acting School follows Olympia and her six students in the East Village against the backdrop of the Black Power Movement and the Vietnam War. Her intense training methods push the students to face the fears of being human and confront masked truths; working through scenes from powerful plays, including Arthur Miller’s View from the Bridge, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, and more.

Free and open to the public. Registration coming soon. 
CitySpace presents
Art and Life in the Making: In Conversation with artists Silas Kopf and Nora Valdez

6 -7 P.M.

Take a (virtual) studio tour with two virtuoso artists. From storytelling to an exploration of finely crafted artistry, these award-winning artists reconnect and discuss their artistic journeys and how their paths coincided in Western Massachusetts. Join this live, online discussion with Nora Valdez, an international award-winning sculptor from Argentina, and Silas Kopf, a masterful and award-winning furniture maker specializing in the art of marquetry, to learn how their perspectives on transforming materials like stone and wood into masterful creations inform insights into nature, change and community engagement. 

Tickets are $25 per household / $60 for three events (through March 7)

CitySpace offers reparations pricing with reduced or free tickets available for BIPOC.

You’re invited to Scarlet Sock Foundation’s Virtual Third Annual Gala!

Sunday March 21 2021; 7:00-8:00 PM EST

We missed being together last year and want to update you on all the great work your support made possible during the last two years. Scarlet Sock Foundation had a banner first year funding social justice theater programming that made a difference across the Pioneer Valley. Then, despite a year that made live, in-person theater impossible, we were still able to foster curiosity, self-confidence and inclusion for students in the performing arts. That's what social justice theater is all about! 

Come join us to celebrate our inaugural grant recipients and see excerpts from some of them including The Performance Project, WAM Theatre and Enchanted Circle Theater. We will also be highlighting 2020’s recipients including Serious Play! and The Drama Studio in Springfield.

Scarlet Sock Foundation was founded in memory of Laura DiPillo who passionately believed that all people deserve to be included and heard. That is why we support social justice theater, which aims to raise awareness about social issues through the performing arts.

During the program, which is free to attend, you’ll be invited to make a donation to Scarlet Sock Foundation. 

Visit our website at to learn more!


The Smith College Theatre department is looking for actors in the upcoming reading of Acting School by Kathleen Tolan as a part of the on-going New Play Readings series, directed by Cate Boram ‘AC. Five College students and community members are welcome to audition. If interested, please email Nikki Beck ( for more information and link to the audition.

Thursday 2/25 7-9pm
Friday 2/26, 7-9pm

Zoom reading on Thursday 3/11, 7:30pm

All cast readthrough & discussion (2-3 hours)
Individual character work (1 hour, TBD)
Select scene work (1-2 sessions @ 1-2 hours each, TBD)
All cast run through & discussion  (2-3 hours)
Tech (3-5 hours)
Zoom performance (2 hours)

“Why act? The world is falling apart.” Based on Olympia Dukakis’ acting classes at NYU in the 60s, Acting School follows Olympia and her six students in the East Village against the backdrop of the Black Power Movement and the Vietnam War. Her intense training methods push the students to face the fears of being human and confront masked truths; working through scenes from powerful plays, including Arthur Miller’s View from the Bridge, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, and more.

8 characters + 1 reader for scene directions

Olympia (40s–60s)
A formidable actress and master acting teacher of Greek descent. Grew up in a working class neighborhood in Massachusetts.

Eddie (26)
A Puerto Rican man from East Harlem. Exuberant, speedy, and optimistic about life. Must be able to sing in Spanish. 

Robert (24)
A Black man from D.C. Private, contained, and guarded. Conflicted about being in the class.

Michael (19)
A Black man from Long Island. Thoughtful, gentle, and talented. Doesn’t quite understand himself yet.

Debby (21)
A White woman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Intellectual, but unsure of herself. 

Gwen (19)
A Black woman from Birmingham, Alabama. Honest, smart, and complex. 

Tim (22)
A blond, white man from Colorado. Eager, impulsive, and has a mustache.

Jane (32)
A white actress. 


Kathleen Tolan’s play Memory House premiered at Playwrights Horizons in Spring ‘05, and has been produced at many theatres, including the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Victory Gardens, Seattle Rep and Trinity Rep. Other plays include Kate’s Diary (Playwrights Horizons and the Public Theatre), A Girl’s Life (Trinity Rep), The Wax (Playwrights Horizons) and A Weekend Near Madison (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Astor Place Theatre). Other plays include The Cottage, I Was Reading a Novel by Javier Marías, and Acting School. She has recently completed a novel called Bicycle Note May to August. She has written for TV and film. Her plays have been published by Samuel French, Dramatist Play Service, Playscripts and various anthologies. Commissions include from the Public Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Classic Stage Company, Trinity Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. She received a McKnight Fellowship, a Calder Fellowship, a Thornton Wilder Fellowship, a NYFA Fellowship, two Sundance Residencies (one at UCross), and was a finalist for the Susan Blackburn Prize. Residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony (multiple times), and Hedgebrook. Plays published by Samuel French, Dramatist Play Service and Playscripts. Associate Professor and Head of MFA Playwriting at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, and teaches a playwriting class at Barnard College.

CASTING NOTICE: Play Incubation Collective, an emerging hub of new play creation based in Western Mass, is developing Darcy Parker Bruce's four-play Piedmont Plays Cycle beginning now through August. The development process will culminate in a COVID-friendly presentation of each of the four plays (either in their entirety or a collection of scenes) in August as well as a community dialogue around some of the themes of the cycle. Developmental rehearsals will be held (virtually) for 4 days each month between March and July for 2.5 hours at a time, with extra rehearsals plus performances in August to take place in person if it is safe to do so at the time. Not all actors will be called for each rehearsal. All artists involved will receive a stipend for their work. Equity and non-Equity actors welcome. Please send a headshot/picture and resume as well as a virtual sample of your work (this can be any existing video footage or even a monologue recorded on a phone) to Rachel F. Hirsch at by February 26th. Feel free to reach out to Rachel with any questions.

Seeking skilled and experienced actors preferably located in Western Massachusetts, though within a 3 hour drive of Northampton would also be acceptable, who ideally have some experience and interest in working on plays in development. This is a long-term development project, and is only one example of the work we do. PIC will continue with shorter term development projects from February-August and beyond, and ideally the actors chosen for these roles would be interested in continuing to work with PIC beyond this cycle.

Thank you!

BEN, 40’s (for 4th play in the cycle, Oh Captain! My Captain!) -a gender non-binary or gender-queer actor. Ben is Emily's child, raised by Emily and Jonah, and named for their best friend Frances Benjamin Franklin. Ben is on a search for Jonah (Ben's adoptive father) after his disappearance. This actor must be comfortable playing characters of any gender, as they will also portray an array of other characters of varying gender identities and expressions besides Ben throughout the play. Oh Captain! My Captain! will be written over the course of our development process. Actors of all races and ethnicities are welcome and encouraged to submit for this role.

SAMIR, 40’s (for 4th play in the cycle Oh Captain! My Captain!) -a male-identifying actor who is of Middle Eastern descent. Samir is from Syria, but has spent nearly his entire life in the small Connecticut town of Piedmont and is Ben's adoptive sibling. As with Ben, this actor will also portray an array of other characters of varying gender identities and expressions, and must be comfortable moving between the variety of characters involved.

**CONNOR, 30’s (for the 1st and 3rd plays in the cycle, Soldier Poet and Kingdom of Ghosts) -a male-identifying BIPOC actor. Connor is a US Army Ranger from Alabama, with a very strong southern accent and a jovial personality. Ideally, the actor portraying this character would have a large build fit for a US Army Ranger, but this is not required.
**There is an actor in consideration for this role already, but we are seeking possible alternates.

*Please note these plays touch on themes of abuse, drug addiction, people experiencing poverty and homelessness, queer youth, war and veterans, refugees, and dealing with loss. Actors involved must be comfortable exploring these themes.

Hiring: Stage Manager, Choreographer, Set Designer, and Costume Designer 

Apply: Designers, please send us your resume and portfolio. Choreographers, please send your resume and choreography reel. Applications must be sent to

Compensation: $200-$300. Email to before applying for more details on budget. 

Show Dates: July 30th- August 1st

Rehearsals Start: June 7th

Description: Scantic River Productions, a brand new theatre company based out of NYC, is looking for designers in Western, MA. We are looking for local designers for a brand new musical, Brothers Wright, opening at an outdoor venue in the Springfield area at the end of July. 

Brothers Wright tells the story of the infamous Wright Brothers, and their journey to flight. Written by the company’s artistic director, Colby Herchel, the story takes us into the lives of not only the geniuses who achieved the impossible, but the humble community of Kitty Hawk, NC who helped the physicists on the way. Through old american folk music, our story is filled with determination, community, and joy. 

This brand new musical is still in development stages. This run will be our second production of Brothers Wright, our first being in 2019 in NYC. The show has undergone more rewrites, and we are looking to develop this production further by including puppetry and more. 

There are some concepts that Colby has decided he would like to keep from our first run, but we are very open to new ideas. We would love to hire designers who bring a new eye and perspective to this production, but can also work with concepts that were already discovered in the first run. 

Covid Regulations: Most rehearsals and meetings will be held via zoom. As of now, the outdoor venue is booked, and we are scheduled to begin working in person July 17th-August 1st. All actors, designers, and personnel apart of the show must be covid tested before going into in person rehearsals, as of now. 

For more information about Brothers Wright and Scantic River productions, you can visit the following below. 

Instagram: @brotherswrightmuscial and @scanticriverproductions

Link to the 2019 Performance



Person hired would ...
be given the specs (your own creativity encouraged)
purchase the wood, nails, etc.
have all expenses paid (appx 3k)
labor/artists paid (only paid outside of box, so paint required)
structure to be situated outdoors, able to withstand all weather (within reason)
sound base, on grass or concrete
3 sided with back door latch
7' high appx x 7' wide
design approval by entity that pays the bills
from Springfield or nearby (must be in MA)
outside would be painted with designs by other artists
no rush, appx year to finish
essentially an attractive box that fits 2 people
rustic, not necessarily attractive, nothing high-end
no electricity
can have a small team of workers, but you would be the lead
kind of like the front of a building in western movies, yet stands on 3 sides 

Example: Ticket booth at the Big E, painted on the outside with some theme, to fit 2 people.
                Tall dog house, decorated (don't laugh), 
Certainly, email me any questions.

Shera Cohen
Self-Care & Happiness Habits: Intro to the Happiness Experiment
February 26th at 12:00 PM
More info.

Explore some simple yet profoundly nourishing self-care daily habits to bring some extra joy and ease into your winter ... and the seasons to follow! This is part of the free Lunch & Laugh series of weekly online workshops, where individual workshops give you a bite-sized taste of one specific Happiness Habit from "The 30-Day Happiness Experiment Program" using playful learning exercises and engaging group connection.

Northampton Community Making Space

Where:  33 Hawley - Eli’s room

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

The Language of the Body.Meditation. Movement. Monologues.

Using the work of Jerzy Grotowski as a launching pad, this class will provide an opportunity to move with and through whatever is going on for you in this ongoing moment of upheaval. Based in mindfulness practice we’ll explore how emotions and experiences live in the body and investigate how they can be released via physical forms and language.

Thursday nights from 6-9pm EST, starting March 4th
6 weeks. $445.
​Open to 8 students.

Ato Blankson-Wood (he/him/his) is an actor, theatre-maker, and educator based in Los Angeles.

​Broadway: Slave Play (Tony Award nomination), Hair and​ Lysistrata Jones. Off-Broadway: The Rolling Stone at Lincoln Center Theater (Drama League Award nomination), Slave Play at NYTW (Lortel Award nomination), The Total Bent at The Public (Drama League and Lortel Award nominations), The Public Works’ Twelfth Night and As You Like ItTransfers at MCC, Antigone in Ferguson at the Harlem Stage, The Foundry Theatre’s O, Earth, and Iphigenia in Aulis at ‪CSC. Film/TV: WorthBlacKkKlansmanThe Kindergarten TeacherDetroitIt’s Kind of a Funny Story, “When They See Us” (Netflix), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon), “She’s Gotta Have It” (Netflix), and “The Good Fight” (CBS).

Ato is on the faculty of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, a member of The Actors Center, and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Yale School of Drama.

Sign up!
Happier Valley Comedy
Self-Care Through Joy: The 30-Day Happiness Experiment

March 6 at 11:00 AM

This online 30-day program provides simple, game-changing self-care and happiness practices and the support to make them a lifelong habit.

First, you attend a fun, engaging interactive presentation where you experience all eleven of the evidence-based Self-Care & Happiness Habits. Then you pick 1-2 Self-Care & Happiness Habits to do every day for 30 days. We're talking a commitment of about 1-10 minutes each day. Just for 30 days.

The 30-Day Happiness Experiment is remote and completely customizable, so you choose the Self-Care & Happiness Habits, time commitment, schedule,
accountability aids, and connection style that works best for you. Safe, easy, self-directed, introvert- and extrovert-friendly. And FUN!

More information. 
Submit your workshop, class, audition, performance, or any other theatre opportunity here!
Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
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
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including reviews, interviews, and previews?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
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