This week, in the Valley Advocate, you can read Chris Rohmann's preview of Letters to Kamala, the latest from WAM Theatre. Check out the article here and see the listing below for more details about the reading.
If you missed the premiere on Monday, it's not too late to check out Smith College Theatre's production of Julius Caesar. And you can read Chris Rohmann's review in the Advocate here.
The next issue will include events from March 25 through April 14. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at email@example.com
There is a particular feeling I get when I’m about to consume media centered around autism. One might think that, as an Autistic person, those feelings would be joy and excitement. The reality is different. I feel an anxious pit in my stomach. I wonder, Is it going to be the same tired tropes? Is it going to be another super-genius with no emotions? Are they going to paint us as dangerous, violent, or out of control?
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Play Reading of LETTERS TO KAMALA Opens WAM 2021 Season
Available for Streaming March 14-21
WAM Theatre begins its 12th season with an Online Fresh Takes Play Reading of LETTERS TO KAMALA by Rachel Lynett, directed by Nicole Brewer, which will be available to stream from Sunday, March 14 to Sunday, March 21. Tickets are on sale now.
In the tense lead up to the 2020 presidential election, playwright Rachel Lynett conjures three female American political leaders of the past to share their wisdom, perspective, and wry humor with VP candidate Kamala Harris.
Playwright Rachel Lynett explained that following Harris’s nomination for Vice President: “I wanted to write a play that explored pride mixed in with caution, a play that questioned our cultural obsession with firsts but also made room for understanding the weight that being "first'' carries. Who were the other firsts? What sacrifices did they have to make to get there and what can we ultimately never compromise on?"
Director Nicole Brewer echoed this sentiment saying: “"VP Harris has an impressive record filled with many firsts and what I appreciate about Lynett's play is the central question of success at what cost and where does she go from here?”
Missing from our history books, our current Vice President is challenged and cheered on by three powerful women on whose shoulders she stands: Charlotta Bass (Shannon Lamb), the first Black woman candidate for vice president, Charlene Mitchell (Torie Wiggins), the first Black woman to run for president, and Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink (Lilli Hokama), the first woman of color to be elected to the House of Representatives, first Asian-American woman to run in Congress and the first Asian-American to run for president.
All three actors are making their WAM debut. Lilli Hokama, who Berkshire audiences may remember from I and You at Chester Theatre, will be playing Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink. Lilli has appeared in The Wolves at Lincoln Center Theatre, Little Women at the Dallas Theatre Center, and Amadeus at the Folger Theatre, where she will be returning post-pandemic to appear in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shannon Lamb, who will be playing Charlotta Bass, has performed as an actor and singer on stages across the country, from Arkansas Repertory Theatre to the Huntington Theatre in Boston. She sang the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden and played various roles in The Dave Chappelle Show on Comedy Central. And Torie Wiggins, who is playing Charlene Mitchell, is an actor, director, voiceover artist, playwright and professor. In addition to performing on many regional theatre stages, she has co-adapted and performed a one-woman show, Your Negro Tour Guide, at various venues across the country.
The next Online Fresh Takes Play Reading of THE LIGHT by Loy A. Webb, directed by Colette Robert, will be available for streaming April 25-May 2. A surprise proposal gift puts the future of Genesis and Rashad's relationship at risk when they are forced to confront a devastating secret from the past. The Light is a 70-minute, real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance, and despair that uncovers how the power of radical love can be a healing beacon of light.
Tickets for LETTERS TO KAMALA and THE LIGHT are on sale now. Audiences can book a ticket to the virtual readings and view anytime during the week. WAM aims to make both readings as accessible as possible, while maintaining our commitment to providing artists opportunities that are equitable. Therefore, we invite patrons to pick their own ticket price, ranging from $15-$50. For more information or to reserve your tickets today, visit WAM online at wamtheatre.com or call 413.274.8122.
For tickets and more information about the 2021 Season and WAM Theatre’s programs, events, and artists, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.
The Smith College Theatre Department presents a digital production of Julius Caesar premiering live on YouTube on the Ides of March, Monday, March 15 at 7:30PM. Ellen W. Kaplan directs William Shakespeare’s tragedy about the early days of the collapse of the Roman Empire through the lens of America’s current political moment. Actors were filmed over Zoom and edited into digital scenescapes with animation and original music to create a multi-layered, fully designed production featuring the work of over 50 students.
TheaterWorks Hartford presents
a reading of Mr. Parent
by Melinda Lopez
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.
Hibernian Hall, Onwards Productions, and Seven Generations Video present The Draft
by Peter Snoad
TheDraft interweaves the real-life experiences of 10 young Americans whose lives were shaped and forever changed by the military draft during the Vietnam War. Their stories give voice to the passion, the anguish, the fear, the joy, the inspiration, and the intense personal and collective struggles of a generation. Access to these performances is free. Stream here.
Be Well Productions presents The Woodhull Project
written and performed by Emma Palzere-Rae
March 20 and 27
directed by Albert Cremin
The Woodhull Project is a one-woman play that explores the life of Victoria Woodhull, 1872 presidential candidate, through a contemporary lens. Woodhull appears today wondering if she has left any legacy. Flashbacks of her life, coupled with her commentary, explore how we can make a better world. The March 20th presentation will be a rebroadcast of a performance that was live-streamed in September 2020 for the Centennial of the 19th Amendment. Register here.
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. 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:
by John Minigan
Irish Guys in Their Mid-40's Who Aren't That Good at Tech
by Erica Furgiuele
The Wilbury Theatre Group presents The Race
by Mark Binder
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.
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. TICKETS
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.
The Living Presence of Our History: Part III Healing and Reparations Through the Land Back Movement:
A Conversation on Indigenous Land Tenure, Stewardship, and Access
March 21 at 1 pm
In 2020, Ohketeau, a recently established Ashfield-based Center for Indigenous Culture, and Double Edge Theatre co-produced The Living Presence of Our History on August 2 and September 13. On March 21 at 1 pm, we willbroadcast Part III on HowlRound TV, Double Edge's Facebook as well as Ohketeau's Facebook page. Prior broadcasts can be viewed here:
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
March 24 and 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.
SILVERTHORNE THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS "THE WAITING ROOM": AN INTERACTIVE ONLINE PLAY IN TWO WORLDS
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 Eventbrite.com and on the theater web page at https://silverthornetheater.org/special-events.
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).
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: https://fac.umass.edu/Online/article/TheaterDepartment
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. TICKETS
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
*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 Scanticriverproductions@gmail.com
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
Special note about Double Edge's Residency Mentorship:You may now choose to apply for the whole program or in one of the two sections. In the first section of this program from March 15-April 26, you will focus on your own creative path of artistic inquiry and work creation. In the program's second half from April 28-June 13, you will engage in a Double Edge performance process for Howling at the Moon.
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 ketg.ticketleap.com!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 thrilledto 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 Piper; Guest Speakers and Master Classes led by working actors in tv/film and theatre like Molly Bernard(7 years as Lauren on Younger; Transparent; Chicago Med; Sully) and Mamoudou Athie (Emmy nominee for Oh, Jerome No; Uncorked; Black 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.