Thursday, March 25, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 25, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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March 25 - April 14, 2021

Yesterday was my birthday. As a present to me - please consider sharing this newsletter with a friend, or making a small donation to keep theatre alive in the valley. Choose your favorite theatre company! 

The next issue will include events from April 1 through April 21. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

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Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
from Howlround

The Future Becoming
by Deborah Cullinan

From the article: 

We are years ahead of now and when we look back to make sense of what happened, we understand that infamous years like 2020 and 2021 were years of epic reckoning that had been fomenting for centuries. In this reckoning, the world stood at a dangerously thin precipice between utter breakdown and complete breakthrough. As we look back, it is clear that these were the only choices. Nothing incremental could have been done. A radical evolution had to happen in order to avoid total collapse, in order to avoid the end of it all.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The New Play Reading Series is excited to present Shorts by Six: Scenes and One-Acts by Smith undergrads. These challenging scripts, with surprising empathic turns, are but a sample of the theatrical student talent at Smith this year whose dramatic output has been a virtual tidal wave. The live reading on March 25 at 7:30 will feature works by Lyza Fennell, Georgia Fowler, Paola Michaela, Lyris Milera-Rivera, Diana Rodriguez, and Bridget Snyder.

Register here
From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre
and Audio Plays


The Umbrella Stage Company presents
by Hortense Gerardo
March 25
directed by
Michelle Aguillon

Angela invites Blaine and Chet to a socially-distanced house warming party on zoom to celebrate having moved into her new home. But things are not quite settled in the new environment. Join the three friends as they conjure ways to honor the ghosts from the past to make room for the future.
Tickets: free, RSVP required.

Silverthorne Theater Company presents
The Waiting Room
March 26-April 4
written and directed by Steve Wangh

The Waiting Room invites audiences to enter the Bardo, the liminal space between one earthly life and the next. It’s a fantastical live-on-Zoom play, a comedic, gender-bending, theatrical tour-de-force in which actors and audience can all reflect on the repercussions of the annus horribilis we’ve just endured, and perhaps even alter our personal karma. Creatively testing the limits of the Zoom platform, this dramatic experiment in cyber-rebirth takes us beyond our personal and societal divisions to affirm the very essence of what it means to be a human.  Tickets: $15.

New Hampshire Theatre Project presents
Solo Stage Encore!
March 26-28

Between October 2020 and March 2021 New Hampshire Theatre Project has supported Gemma Soldati, Peter Josephson and Stephanie Lazenby as they create their own one-person plays. For a limited time only these shows will be available to watch on demand.

The Adventures of Sleepyhead
by Gemma Soldati

Sleepyhead is the dreamer of dreams. The walking-talking nap. A snoozer and a muser. Children and adults alike will delight in this adventure to the heart of dreamland as Sleepyhead fends off the primordial urge to zzzz..

Where Do I Begin?
by Stephanie Lazenby

Stephanie’s an only child in search of her place in the world. As she struggles to fit in with friends, her father steadily becomes the person she can depend on.  Through sleepovers and nose breaks her youth disappears into the life she dreamt of in New York City but when her world crashes to a halt, she’s left wondering if this really is the end.

A Tempest Prayer
by Peter Josephson

Themes from the The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, which depict the wielding of power and attempts at forgiveness, will be in conversation with the events of 2020 as Peter examines what it means to be a white male in America today.

Tickets: $10 per show.

TheaterWorks Hartford presents
a reading of
Mr. Parent
by Melinda Lopez
now-March 26
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

In a performance that is both endearing and heartrending, Maurice Parent shares his personal journey as both a teacher and an actor trying to make 'a go of it' in the urban tumble of Boston's public school system. This is a love letter to Boston. Tickets: $20-$25.

The Wilbury Theatre Group presents
God Talks to an Agnostic
written and directed by Don Mays
now-June 6

Pitted against the backdrop of the racial and cultural issues of today, this innovative twelve-part audio play explores the impact of religion on race, Black culture, and a collective need for faith in something larger than ourselves. Episodes premiere each Sunday at 3:00 pm on WNPN 89.3 FM, and are then available the next day on all podcast streaming platforms. Stream here:  free.


Be Well Productions presents
Aunt Hattie’s House: Reconstructed
written and performed by Emma Palzere-Rae
March 27
directed by Albert Cremin

This play looks at what compelled Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” First written in 2000, this live performance will be a premiere of a revised version of the play, including updates to put Stowe’s work in context of current conversations about systemic racism in the United States.  A talkback follows.  Register here:  free.

tiny_Theater presents
March Madness
now-April 3

tiny_Theatre celebrates one year of performing plays from a closet with March Madness: a one-page play performed live on Facebook every day throughout the month of March and into early April. There's no set time for performances (it is March madness, after all). However, if you aren't online when they go live, you can stream each performance after the fact on the tiny_Theatre Facebook page. The New England playwrights featured in this week's performances are:

March 25
This Could Have Been Avoided
by Ben Scranton

March 26
by Ben Scranton

March 28
Making Mom's Mousse
by David Beardsley

Stream here:  free.


The Wilbury Theatre Group presents
The Race
by Mark Binder
now-March 28
directed by Brien Lang

Two job-seekers from vastly different backgrounds vie for the same position in a large, faceless corporation. Each reveals uncomfortable truths from their past while dodging landmines from their competition, and dealing with an increasingly demanding disembodied interviewer. The audience also plays an integral part as they can communicate in a live chat, as the interview happens onscreen, and ultimately decide who is the best man for the job. Tickets: $20.

UMass Theater's Visionary Futures speculates on what it takes to make a more just world

Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements
April 1, 7:30 pm: Gender Experience TM by M. Sloth Levine
March 25 and April 2, 7:30 pm: Unity by Phaedra Scott
March 26 and 31, 7:30 pm: Beyond Reform by Jaymes Sanchez
What kind of future do you envision? The trio of visionary playwrights that have been commissioned by the UMass Theater department offer a glimpse of the futures they envision in Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements series.
Starting March 24, audiences can see one, two, or all three of the works that comprise this series: Unity, by Phaedra Scott; Beyond Reform, by Jaymes Sanchez, and 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. 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 each written a 30-minute play and have been paired with activists (TreaAndrea Russworm, Finn Lefevre, and Eli Plenk, respectively) whose work intersects with the content of the play. These teams met 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 March and April is a fully digital production, with virtual aspects designed by Streaming Producer Leanna Keyes.

Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theater for Social Justice Movements will be livestreamed to YouTube. 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)
Silverthorne Theater is proud to present the World Premiere of the unique, written-for-Zoom play, THE WAITING ROOM, by Steve Wangh.  During each of the six live online performances, audience members will have chances to interact with the actors. The shows are scheduled for March 26, 27, April 2, and 3 at 730 pm and March 28 and April 4 at 3 pm.  Tickets are available now at and on the theater web page at

THE WAITING ROOM is set in two worlds. On one level, it takes place in the Bardo - a liminal reality between one life and the next, where souls gather to await their next earthly assignment. On another level, it occurs on the Zoom platform, in which actors and audience members exist in separate "rooms" but share the fiction of being together. It will be performed by a diverse cast of Western MA actors under playwright Wangh's direction in conjunction with veteran STC director Chris Rohmann.

Silverthorne's production of THE WAITING ROOM continues its mission of engaging with artists bringing new work to the stage. In this case, the piece is ideally suited to current performance conditions. "At the time we started work on the play, live performance venues were still shuttered," said STC producer Lucinda Kidder. "The Waiting Room enables live audience participation in a truly unique theatrical experience from any location!" The Company has launched several successful online performances throughout 2020, and it recognizes that it may be some time before patrons will feel comfortable returning to live productions.

THE WAITING ROOM reflects contemporary society in whimsical but often unsettling ways. Characters speak as the person they were when last on earth, but they may inhabit a body differently gendered or of different ethnicity or race. They enter and exit their Zoom rooms as they are called to be born in a new body. In the course of the play, actors and audience members meet up in Breakout Rooms for conversation and questions.

In its examination of the cycle of life and death, the play proposes a different take on mortality that will spark reflection and discussion among all ages and persuasions of theater lovers. It wipes away all personal and societal divisions to affirm the very essence of what it means to be a human as each new arrival departs to be born once more with a clean slate. Such a premise prompts the most basic of existential questions- as well as humorous reactions to the mixed bag of reassignments.

Residing in Brattleboro, Steve Wangh has been a playwright, director and teacher of acting throughout his highly successful career. He was associate writer for Emmy-nominated The Laramie Project, and penned the influential acting text, An Acrobat of the Heart, detailing the training methods of Jerzy Growtowski. He maintains his connections with New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing as professor emeritus. He is the author of fifteen plays and was dramaturg for Moisés Kaufman’s Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.
The cast includes Kyle Boatwright (Amherst), Jen Campbell (Holyoke), Mark Dean (Northampton), Michael Garcia (Bondsville) and Kevin Tracy (Holyoke). Ethelyn Friend (New York) plays the unseen Stationmaster who oversees the Bardo. The technical director is John Iverson (Bernardston), assisted by Maggie Donovan (Mt Holyoke College).

For ticket sales, questions and further information, please contact us at, call 413-768-7514, or visit . 
UMass Theater presents Women in Theatrical Design:
Anita Yavich, Jane Shaw, Jane Cox and Mimi Lien on Theater Design Today

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.
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:
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.
Restoring Community: Valley Writers Inspiring Theatre

6 - 7 P.M.

Western Massachusetts is home to some of the world’s most esteemed literary figures. Artistic producer and playwright Emily Wiest reintroduces us to some of these writers’ works through new interpretations from actors— Phanésia Pharel, Annelise Lawson, Tony Aidan Vo, and Austin Jones, performed especially for this series. Explore the relationship of the Connecticut River Valley’s history and language through a series of captivating performances. David Foster Wallace, Ocean Vuong, and Charlise Lyles are amongst the esteemed authors whose works are to be performed.

In addition to the main event, enjoy a conversation with Glendale Ridge Vineyard, get in the mood with a carefully crafted playlist in your inbox, and receive delightful diversions in your mailbox. Finally, ticket holders will reap specials to Easthampton businesses to make your event experience complete.

Tickets are $25 per household / $40 for two events (through March 21)
CitySpace offers reparations pricing with reduced or free tickets available for BIPOC.


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

K and E Theater Group
School's In Session: Spring Edition with K and E Theater Group
Mondays, Tuesday & Wednesdays, March 22-April 21, 2021

School’s Back in Session this month with K and E Theater Group! We’re excited to bring back our interactive, fun, online theater classes for all abilities this spring!

Our classes this spring include Writing for the Theater, Musical Theater Dance for Beginners, Physical & Vocal Acting Techniques, and our new addition, Intermediate Musical Theater Dance!

With small class sizes, our professional teaching artists will provide one-on-one attention to allow our participants feel confident in their skills and share their work and achievements with others!

All of our classes take place on Zoom. The class sessions and series offerings are held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning March 22 through April 21, 2021.

For more information and to register for your class sessions, visit!

Email with any questions!
Hampshire Shakespeare Company
Spring Virtual Storytelling Classes

Sundays 10am-12pm, April 4- May 2

Virtual Storytelling Workshop (via zoom)
Build skills in creative writing, public speaking, improvisation, self-confidence, and empathy.
Open class/Family invited to observe final class May 2nd at 11am

The Completely Ridiculous Spring Conservatory!

Monday April 5th to Friday May 14th.

Twelve students. Six weeks. Five days a week. Three and a half hours a day. Over 100 hours of laughter, failure, tears, beauty, triumph, wonder and play!

Applications are accessible via the link below and will be accepted on a rolling basis until 11:59pm EST on March 21st.

Dear friends, we here at Completely Ridiculous Productions are thrilled to share that we’ve expanded our offerings for the spring conservatory program! We have added an Anti-Racist Theatre course; a Wellness Practice, with Annie PiperGuest Speakers and Master Classes led by working actors in tv/film and theatre like Molly Bernard (7 years as Lauren on YoungerTransparentChicago Med; Sully) and Mamoudou Athie (Emmy nominee for Oh, Jerome NoUncorkedBlack Box; Jurassic World: Dominion); and more - all in addition to our continued focus on Scene Study, Movement, Play, and the work of BIMPOC playwrights.

At the end of the 6 weeks, Completely Ridiculous students will walk away with industry contacts, a more enthusiastic and curious body, a larger capacity to dream and dream big, and a greater comfort with spontaneity, freedom and play. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of who they are as unique, individual artists and what they bring to an ensemble, as well as a whole new set of skills to apply to their career and/or ongoing education.

Register for Summer Classes

If you are considering enrolling in Arts Extension Service's Online Summer classes, this your reminder that registration is open

Courses are available either for credit or non-credit, with the option of being taken individually or as a part of of one of AES' online Degree or Certificate programs

This summer's online offerings include:
Session One (May 17 - June 25)

  • Introduction to Arts Management
  • Arts Fundraising​

Session Two (July 6 - August 13)

  • Grantwriting for the Arts

Start planning for Arts Management Core or Professional certificate and register for AES courses for this summer, today! 

Learn More

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
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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