Thursday, April 29, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News April 29, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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April 29 - May 19, 2021

Looking for something to keep your kids occupied this summer? Take a look at the Drama Studio's summer programs, from July 5 - August 13. They are offering programs on-site and online! Check out the full listing below in the workshops and classes section!

It's also the final weekend to catch The Light presented by WAM Theatre!

The next issue will include events from May 6 through 26. 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
Drama Studio Summer Programs
July 5 2021 - August 13 2021
More information
$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

Speculating Black Queer Futures
by JD Stokely and Nkenna Akunna

From the article: 

Nkenna Akunna: I read the first chapter of Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake yesterday, a book that interrogates how white supremacy and chattel slavery have produced a climate for anti-Black violence and gratuitous Black death. I had to fall asleep. It was too much. I feel like my body was recognizing that everything Black people are doing, all the ways we are existing, is not necessarily living. It’s all in the wake of death, in the space left behind by so many legacies that wanted to, and still want to, kill us.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!

An Online Fresh Takes Play Reading
by Loy A. Webb
Directed by Colette Robert

Elle Borders as Genesis
Brandon G. Green as Rashad

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.

Available for streaming through Sunday, May 2, 2021
Tickets $15, $25, and $50

For more information about the 2021 Season and WAM Theatre’s programs, events, and artists, please visit

UMass Theater creates Monuments of the Future as part of its Festival
Individual Monuments Performances:
Loss — April 29, 12pm
Defiance — April 30, 11:30am
Finale with all Monuments — May 2 at 7:30pm
In-person, outdoors
Free, open to the community 

Visit our Rights of Spring festival website for information or register directly at the Fine Arts Center Box Office
Visitors to campus during our Rights of Spring Festival may come upon enigmatic, expressive figures gliding deliberately through the space, brilliantly displayed in the mid-day sun or merging with the shadows at dusk. These apparations are part of a series of performances known collectively as Monuments of the Future that will be part of both the opening and closing of the festival.

Originally conceived by Professor of Scenic Design Anya Klepikov and now directed by MFA Directing student Rudy Ramirez, this series involves a handful of student and faculty performers, and a cadre of skilled designers and technicians to create an interactive performance collaboration across disciplines. 

Each Monuments performance, which runs about 30 minutes, has a different theme that speaks to what the creators want to memorialize. There's Defiance, which won't give up in the face of tremendous obstacles; Innovation, which expresses hope and curiosity; and the Scribe, which remembers what has been lost; and more, which visitors will see as they visit the campus and our festival.

Theater can happen anywhere, and we hope that as both our invited and surprised audiences encounter our Monuments, they take a moment  to experience, and also to celebrate an artistic offering which has blossomed out of the privations of the pandemic and is available to anyone who has never made it inside of our building.

Details about the Monuments series are shared on our website, which offers direct links to register for the performances.
UMass Theater Rights of Spring Festival opens this Thursday! 
Let's Imagine out loud!
With that rallying cry, the UMass Amherst Department of Theater embarks on its Rights of Spring festival, a mix of virtual and live, outdoor, socially-distanced events scheduled to take place from April 22 to May 2. Both online and in-person events are open to the off-campus community, although capacity is limited for some and registration is required for in-person events.
What better antidote to the isolation and disconnection of this particular winter than to gather to celebrate who we are and what’s important to us — Join UMass Theater for a series of events meant to inspire, amuse, entertain, and spark hope for what’s to come.

The beauty of festivals, says Professor Judyie Al-Bilali, who conceived the idea for the Rights of Spring, is that they serve as a way for a culture to rehearse, renew and if necessary, revise its core myths — to examine its values such as liberation, community, and heroism. All of the events that make up a festival, collectively, tell a story about the people who participate in it. This festival, coming after a hard year of massive social upheaval, serves as a statement from a culture that’s redefining what’s important.

The festival kicks off with an Invocation that includes Earth! an outdoor installation celebrating our planetary home, as well as the first installment of Monuments of the Future, a series of collaborative performances which will also close the festival. In between, you can listen to audio plays that feature contemporary takes on myths, hear from local civil rights leaders, participate in a coven ritual, take in a piece of devised theater that celebrates joy, view graduate student exhibits of gorgeous scenic, lighting, and costume design, and much more. The full listing of event is here.

Collectively, these events and the other pieces on the schedule are focused about creating community by any means available — in Zoom rooms, in conversations, through a unified appreciation of beautiful work. They represent a redefining of what we fit under the definition of theater — those aforementioned Zoom rooms, performances created by teams creating from scratch, scenic installations that spread out across the campus, web-based design presentations that encompass beauty, environmental awareness, and the wonder of old-fashioned story-telling.

Events run April 22 to May 2, and include elements presented live in-person and online, as well as pre-recorded online. All events are open to the community. 
A full listing can be found on our festival website.

In-person events will require advance registration and adherence to UMass COVID protocols for masking and social distancing for attendance.
UMass Theater's COVEN-19 witches return in a new ritual for spring

COVEN-19, Or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times
Free, open to the community
Click the date to register for a performance of this live, online event:
April 29
April 30 
May 1
all at 7:30 p.m.
The springtime signifigance of May Day and Beltane is the creative jumping-off point for a new edition of COVEN-19, Or, Magicks for Unprecedented Times, running April 29, 30 and May 1 live online at UMass Theater as part of our Rights of Spring festival.
COVEN-19, pun very much intended, is a community of artistic witches who are called upon to own their individual and collective power, make meaning out of utter chaos, and manifest tangible, seismic change. 
As in October, the community will fuse witchcraft and theater into an online, immersive format that aims to heal some of the collective hurt and grief of the past year. However, this will be a different performance, as this spring's ritual will be performed in honor of Beltane, or May Day.
"For me personally, magic is a source of healing and introspection," dramaturgy grad student and co-creator Maegan Clearwood says, and she originally proposed this project as a way "to be with other like-minded people and figure out how to make the world a better place."

In keeping with that ethos, this is a devised piece, meaning that rather than working from a script with a single leader, the company built the work by exploring questions and themes together. "It's a really nice opportunity just for us to experiment with ways of making theatre that are egalitarian and collaborative," says fellow grad student and co-creator Percival Hornak.
 The time is ripe for magick-making!

COVEN-19 is part of The Rights of Spring, a theater festival presented by the University of Massachusetts Department of Theater to rebuild connections with each other and celebrate what matters in life. As winter thaws out, there is no better time to safely gather and spark joy together. Events run from April 22nd to May 2nd and are free to the general public with performances in person and online. 

This event is free. Visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office to claim your spot in the audience of this and other Rights of Spring Festival events.
The Renaissance Reborn: In Conversation With Carl Cofield and Ty Jones

Join us as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Classical Theatre of Harlem and the 100th Anniversary of The Harlem Renaissance!

April 29th & 30th, 8pm on Zoom
Registration is FREE!

Register Now!

After a year of theatres shuttered due to COVID-19, join us in conversation with the Classical Theatre of Harlem's Carl Cofield (Associate Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Chair of NYU Grad Acting), and Ty Jones (Producing Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem) for a conversation about the rebirth of the Harlem Renaissance and the past, present, and future of The Classical Theatre of Harlem, followed by a Q&A.

This conversation will be moderated by Yale School of Drama's Anthony Holiday and is produced by Completely Ridiculous Productions.

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre
and Audio Plays

The Wilbury Theatre Group presents
Whose Name Was Writ in Water
by Becci Davis
Apr 30-May 15

Becci Davis' Whose Name Was Writ in Water features dual narratives woven together: the interrogation of history through an imagined conversation with the artist’s enslaved 4th great-grandmother and a rite of passage for her teenage son. Water serves as the device that connects them through time and space. Presented as a 360° Virtual Experience using technology by New York-based virtual event production company Musae, audience members will be able to view the production on their phones, tablets, or computers, or may elect to receive a VR headset with their ticket purchase. Tickets: pay what you can, $5-$100.

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre presents
Boston Theater Marathon XXIII
now-May 28

Boston Theater Marathon XXIII: Special Zoom Edition features readings of 10-minute plays by New England playwrights in collaboration with New England theatres. Audiences are encouraged to lend their support to area theatre companies and to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to theatres and theatre artists in need. The readings begin at noon each day, with the exception of Sundays. A question-and-answer session follows each play. This week's plays:

Albert (a musical)
book by Mark Evan Chimsky
music by Zev Burrows
April 27
sponsored by Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Heart Broker
by Maryanne Truax
April 28
sponsored by the Gamm Theatre

The Conversation We Never Had
by Terrence Kidd
April 29
sponsored by Apollinaire Theatre Company

For Time
by Kevin Cirone
April 30
sponsored by Emerson Stage

My Mother's American Dream
by Adrian RoCale
May 1
sponsored by Our Place Theatre

Backyard Duel
by Mark Linehan
May 3
sponsored by Titanic Theatre

Home for the Holiday
by Karla M. Sorenson
May 4
sponsored by Boston Open Theatre Project

Tickets: free, click "purchase tickets" to join the production.


Silverthorne Theater is proud to present the 2021 iteration of our Theater Thursdays play reading series, beginning on May 13, with When We Get Good Again by Northampton playwright James McLindon, directed by Mark Dean. This free event will be available to watch starting at 7:30 p.m. on the Silverthorne Theater Company YouTube channel. Following the reading, audience members are invited to attend a live Zoom discussion with the playwright, director and cast members. The links to the reading and the post-show discussion will be posted on the Silverthorne website at  

When We Get Good Again Description

“… Tracy can’t wait to graduate and leave the rich kids at her prestigious school in her rear view mirror. In fact, she’s planning on graduating in three years, and only partly because that’s all the college she can afford. But there’s one problem: Tracy needs to keep her 4.0 GPA intact to get into a top law school to have even a chance of getting one of the few public interest jobs available to represent the poor. And the only way she can get all her work done by the end of the semester while holding down two work-study jobs is to take a short vacation from her ethics and buy a term paper from Hire Education. … When We Get Good Again is a play about integrity, excuses, and doing the right thing ... as soon as you can figure out exactly what that is.”

James McLindon is a member of the Nylon Fusion Theater Co. in New York. When We Get Good Again won the Playhouse on the Square’s New Works @ The Works competition and premiered there in Memphis this past January, winning an Ostrander Theatre Award for Best Original Script. His short piece Choices  was one of the top plays in Silverthorne’s Short & Sweet Festival of (tiny) New Plays presented online in mid-February this year. In 2020, his full-length play, Distant Music,  was streamed as the third in STC’s Theater Thursdays series. 

The cast of When We Get Good Again includes Jen Campbell (Holyoke), Michael Garcia (Bondsville), Kevin Tracy (Holyoke) and Alexandra O’Halloran (NYC). Director Mark Dean (Northampton) is well known in Valley theater circles with his work as actor and director at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, New Century Theatre, and lately for Silverthorne Theater. Campbell, Garcia and Tracy were recently seen in STC’s live Zoom production of The Waiting Room. 

Silverthorne’s Theater Thursdays play readings program was launched in 2019 as a series of free rehearsed readings of new (or new to us) plays, followed by audience discussions. The purpose of the readings is to give a platform for new work to be heard, and when possible, to be able to give playwrights direct audience feedback.  It also provides Silverthorne a look at plays that we might consider fully producing in future seasons. This year’s 2021 series is supported in part by a grant from the Greenfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Northfield, and Shelburne Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

For questions and further information, please contact us at

call 413-768-7514, or visit 

I MET GOD (AND THE DEVIL) IN AN UBER by Daniel Rendón ‘21 
Directed by Ron Bashford
Senior Honors Project in Playwriting & Acting for Daniel Rendón
Release date: May 14, 2021

The Amherst College Theater & Dance Department is proud to present I Met God (and the Devil) in an Uber, an original drama by Daniel Rendón ‘21, directed by Ron Bashford, with scenic design by graduate design assistant Lauren Thompson ‘19, costume design by Lorelei Dietz ‘20, lighting design by resident lighting designer Kathy Couch and sound design by Julian Brown ‘23.

How much pain and suffering can we take as human beings before we reach the end of the line? What is the price of being good? What is the price of being bad? In Daniel Rendon’s new play, Santiago, a down-on-his-luck Uber driver, is pushed to find the answers, but will he?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rendón’s play was adapted into a teleplay. “Because of COVD, we decided last summer to re-work Dan’s play script into a teleplay. Seven student actors, working both remotely and in-person in a controlled environment, have been introduced to acting for the camera through this process. It’s been a wonderful adventure transforming our theater stage into a TV studio and learning how to shoot with remote participants. Hats off to the resourcefulness of all of the students involved, especially our wonderful in-person student crew,” said faculty director, Ron Bashford.

I Met God (and the Devil) in an Uber will be released for streaming on May 14, 2021. For more information, visit


Assistant Production Manager, Five College Dance (Post-Baccalaureate)

The Five College Consortium seeks an Assistant Production Manager to provide production management support for Five College Dance (FCD) events on the multiple campuses within the consortium.

This is a non-exempt, benefited, 11-month position (August-June), with a two-year appointment beginning early August 2021 and ending late June 2023, with the possibility of a one-year extension. This position is intended to be an in-person onsite role that may begin as a remote position due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Job Summary

The Post-Baccalaureate Assistant Production Manager provides production management support for Five College Dance (FCD) events on multiple campuses.

More details here.

Happier Valley Comedy
Lunch & Laugh: Intentional Connection Through Laughter
April 30 at 12:00 PM

Interpersonal connection is deeply essential for health and happiness. So let's take some time to play a game or two that will have you connecting together through laughter!

In this entertaining and enlightening series of short free lunchtime online interactive presentations, Head of Happiness Pam Victor guides you in an exploration of key evidence-based positivity practices to support your happiness, resilience, and self-care.

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.

All workshops are improv-enriched, interactive, and super fun!

Grab your lunch and join us for a delightful time that just might change your life for the better.

More info.
Happier Valley Comedy
Lunch & Laugh: Mindsets For Intentional Living
May 7 at 12:00 PM

Happiness Mindsets are intentions that promote mindfulness. Like the sailors use the North Star to steer their ship, Mindsets create intentional guidance for our personal wellness and growth. Come try a few!

In this entertaining and enlightening series of short free lunchtime online interactive presentations, Head of Happiness Pam Victor guides you in an exploration of key evidence-based positivity practices to support your happiness, resilience, and self-care.

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.

All workshops are improv-enriched, interactive, and super fun!

Grab your lunch and join us for a delightful time that just might change your life for the better.

More info
Happier Valley Comedy
Resilience Through Joy: The 30-Day Happiness Experiment
May 8 at 11:00 AM

How's your happiness and resilience going? If you just groaned or sad-chuckled incredulously, Happiness Coach Pam Victor has your back.

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 Resilience & Happiness Habits. Then you pick 1-2 Resilience & 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.

True happiness is more than an escape. It is a practice to bolster (not bury) resilience and grit. But this flavor of mindful happiness doesn’t just magically happen, friends. Together, we can strengthen these well-being muscles to establish a lasting  practice of joy and resilience.

The 30-Day Happiness Experiment is remote and completely customizable, so you choose the Resilience & 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 info
Getting Un-Lost

Just because the theater industry is at a standstill doesn’t mean you have to be. This is the perfect time to reassess your life and career, identify new goals, and design an exciting plan that will help you move forward with confidence and joy. Beginning with a one on one call we will dive into identifying your immediate goal, then over the course of 4 weekly individual coaching sessions you will be guided to take consistent massive action toward your goal, and we will conclude with a final one on one call to be bring closure to our journey together. You will be empowered to take control and go after what you really want, while also being provided with accountability along the way. And, if you have no idea what you want, then we will dig into that! This class is open to all ages and all levels of experience. You just need to be ready to put in the work that is specific to you and your goals. Being lost doesn’t have to be scary. It can be a wonderful opportunity to discover a new place that you’ve never been before, and who knows, that big personal breakthrough may be closer than you think! By the end of the class, you and Kareem will have created a map and built a compass, so that if you ever get lost again you’ll have a strong set of resources and tools to get yourself un-lost.

Sunday nights from 6-9pm, starting May 9th on Zoom.

4 weeks. $290.

Open to 6 Students.

In this class, each student will receive a 30 minute one on one Zoom session each week. They will also receive two 30 minute phone sessions, one before the class starts and one after. All in all, each student will receive a total of 3 hours of one on one coaching over the course of the class.

Sign up!
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

Drama Studio Summer Programs
July 5 2021 - August 13 2021
41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA

The Drama Studio is a unique community where young people come to grow as artists, leaders, and individuals. Now offering a variety of on-site and online acting and theater programs in a safe environment, including Fantastical Scenes, where students will stage scripted and originally written fantasy scenes, build fairy houses, and prepare for a final performance /sharing. In TeenScene: Thinking Outside the Blackbox teens will study Immersive Theater and work together to create ideas and content for a socially distanced, outdoor performance. Other classes include Acting Up: Summer Sun Stories, SummerSlam: Improv Week, and an Online Class: Improv for Actors. No prior acting experience required. Summer enrollment now open! Space is limited.
a meditation and writing workshop with JUANITA ROCKWELL
MAY 15 - 16, 10am - 1pm EST and/or
JULY 10 - 11, 1pm - 4pm EST
Whether we write for our own pleasure or for others, to be read on the page or to be spoken aloud, we want our writing to reflect our experience of the world. But our habitual thinking and the ways we tell these stories become a kind of spell of doing, of busy-ness; a spell that binds us, separates us from others, and limits our authentic expression. If we release this imprint of Doing, what might happen if we can rest in the stillness, silence and spaciousness of our Being?

In this two-day, small group workshop, you will learn practices that will ...

a meditation and writing workshop with JUANITA ROCKWELL
JULY 17 - 18, 1pm - 4pm EST
This workshop provides opportunities to deepen the work begun in Transforming Your Writing by Resting your Mind,

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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