Thursday, July 15, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 15, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 15 - August 4, 2021

This week, I'm updating the Pioneer Valley Theatre News list of theatres - take a look at this list below and let me know if you know of any theatre organizations that should be added - or any links that need to be updated. I've moved this list to the top of the newsletter for this week only - it's typically at the end, but you can find this list in every newsletter!

Chris Rohmann's latest review (about Shakespeare & Company's King Lear) can be read here.

The next issue will include events from July 22 through August 11. 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
Ko Festival of Performance & Serious Play Theatre Ensemble present
LIVE July 22-25, VIRTUAL July 30-August 1 Tickets Available
$5 per week for your poster and ticket link in top billing!
Email me to reserve your dates.
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

No Theater
Northampton Community Arts Trust

Northampton Playwrights Lab

PaintBox Theatre


Pauline Productions

Performance Project

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

“Layers of Distance”: On Loop as a Pandemic Play
by Kate Purdum

From the article: 

Charly Evon Simpson’s new play On Loop, which premiered at the end of February 2021 at Barnard College, marked the fourth and latest installment in the New Plays at Barnard initiative, founded and led by the play’s director, Alice Reagan. On Loop was drastically different from any work Barnard has produced in the past: it marked the theatre department’s return to in-person production and required a range of special precautions and innovations.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Local playwright and long-time Silverthorne Theater company member Steve Henderson has penned a truly unique play, Fourteen Wedding Dresses, for the third second of STC’s Theater Thursday new play reading series on Thursday, July 15. Under the direction of Keith Langsdale, the reading will be performed live at 7:30 pm in the LAVA Center at 324 Main Street, Greenfield.
The reading is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion with the playwright. It will be streamed live on Silverthorne’s YouTube channel as well, and remote viewers will be able to join a Zoom session following the reading to give feedback. Full details are available at
Jimmy and Vivian are frightened teenagers running away from their small town home in Kentucky to get married.  They fear not only for themselves but for their younger siblings Missy and Henry. They offer the best advice they can on how to stay safe and promise to return in a few years. But nothing goes as planned. Decades pass. Henry and Missy narrow their lives into a strange and heartbreaking cycle until the arrival of a young visitor exposes secrets and lies that rip their desperate routine to rags and tatters.
A strong cast will read the varied roles: Missy will be played by Cate Damon; Rand Foerster will read the role of Henry. Samantha Choquette will play Young Vivian, with Jimmy Murphy reading Jimmy.    Kimberly Salditt-Poulin will play the adult Vivian, and Linda Tardif reads the role of Gracie, grand-niece to Henry and Missy. Director Keith Langsdale most recently filmed his solo performance in The Tattooed Man Tells All for Silverthorne during 2020, and directed our 2019 production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Henderson is well-known in the Valley and beyond as an actor and playwright, and as author of Senior Theater, a comprehensive approach to producing theater by, for and with seniors. He co-wrote Silverthorne’s 2018 production of White, Black & Blue, and has had  another play in the Theater Thursday series, Sandwich, in 2019. Silverthorne produced his Jerry and Ed in 2015. The Kentucky setting for Fourteen Wedding Dresses is influenced by visits to his brother who has lived there since the seventies.   

Complete information for each reading may be found at
Chester Theatre Company
Beginning July 14. Wednesdays at 3, Thursdays at 3 & 7:30, Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 7:30, Sunday at 3. Thru July 25.
Hancock Shaker Village, 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA

A barnburner of a play written by Eleanor Burgess, THE NICETIES explores issues of race, power, and history on an elite college campus.

Due to COVID, Chester Theatre Company is presenting its 2021 season in a large marquee tent on the grounds of Hancock Shaker Village.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble and Ko Festival of Performance present
In the face of rising sea levels, a new devised theatre piece about climate change, & how water fragility shapes our human interactions…

LIVE: July 22-25, Thurs.– Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 4pm with a talkback  
Workroom Theatre | APE@Hawley | Arts Trust | 33 Hawley St., Northampton  

WEB: July 30–Aug 1, Fri. & Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 4pm with talkbacks
via online through Ko Festival of Performance
Multi-camera recording by Northampton Open Media 


a 2-year collaboration by Serious Play Theatre Ensemble
 written by Eric Henry Sanders
 direction: Sheryl Stoodley
 original music: Jonny Rodgers
 set & video design: Robin Doty
 lighting design Sabrina Hamilton
 with actors: Kermit Dunkelberg, Ximena Salmerón, Will Swyers

Questions: or 413-588-7439
And check out the new Serious Play website:

Ko Festival of Performance streams last summer’s Zoom presentation of "The Magic City Massacre” on demand through July 18th.

With a cast of 14, Deletta Gillespie’s play tells the story of one of the most prosperous black communities in the history of the United States, how Tulsa came to be the site of the worst incidence of civil unrest second only to the Civil War, and why almost one-hundred years later, most Americans still don’t know about it. Post show panel discussion features Darly Davis, an African-American man known for his efforts to convince Klu Klux Klansment to leave and denounce the KKK.

Information and sliding scale tickets are available at

From the New England New Play Alliance:

Virtual Theatre
and Audio Plays


Cape Cod Theatre Project presents
Roadkill, or
The Cottage on Mountain Lane

by Amy Evans

July 15 and 17
directed by Reginald L. Douglas

Thirty-somethings Tequi and Cedric move to the Hudson River Valley to fulfill their dreams of a life in the country, following in the footsteps of generations of Black farmers before them. They close the deal on a small cottage with the perfect patch of land for planting and settle into their new home, but their dreams are tested when they discover that their one and only neighbor has an unsettling past— and a taste for fresh roadkill. Tequi and Cedric must confront their deepest fears to hold on to their dreams and to each other. Tickets: $25.

The Depot for New Play Readings presents
a Zoom reading of
Morir Soñando
by Manuel Lopez

July 18, 2:00 PM
directed by Anne Flammang

Everyone has the right to their own dreams, some however don’t. For those that do, just remember that dreams don’t die. Rafi, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic lives in Washington Heights, New York City. He navigates his experience in the Big Apple alongside his mother, La Doña, and his best friends. Doing what they all can to lead the lives they desire for themselves, Rafi encounters life’s hurdles that he needs to cope with and navigate. Life is happening right in front of him and he must manage the forces working around him as he chases his American Dream. Tickets: free.


Silverthorne Theater brings back the days of radio drama with its production of Dawn King’s haunting play, Foxfinder. A fundraiser for the theater, the show will be broadcast one time only at 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 24, on the Company’s YouTube channel. Listeners will be sent the link to the special broadcast with their donation of any size. Details can be found on the Silverthorne website at
Veteran director Ellen Kaplan directs an all-star cast of actors, including Frank Aronson, Jarice Hanson, Stephanie Carlson and Kevin Tracy as they bring the futurist tale to life. Cate Boram is sound designer, and Sophia Pichanick stage manages the production. All are donating their services in the interest of assisting Silverthorne as the theater recovers from the past year of shuttered venues.
Foxfinder is a play of suspense, a thriller, a story of power, zealotry and self-denial, that puts a sinister shadow on our very near future.  It is a study in power, in suppressed sexuality, in a fascist mindset manifested in a young boy sent on a mission to force compliance, deny feelings, and – to eradicate foxes, which we cannot see but which are everywhere. 
Originally set in rural England, Kaplan has moved the action to the equally appropriate American farm country where at some future time, climate change has severely impacted the profitability of the farmers. Government regulations and a carefully orchestrated fear-mongering campaign stretch their already taut emotions to the breaking point.
Though Silverthorne Theater managed to continue working during the COVID-19 shutdown with several well-received virtual productions, the normal sources of revenue to cover the expense of maintaining personnel and office space was drastically reduced. The proceeds from this fundraiser will go directly to ensuring the start-up of our 2021-22 season can proceed as planned.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble and Ko Festival of Performance present
In the face of rising sea levels, a new devised theatre piece about climate change, & how water fragility shapes our human interactions…

WEB: July 30–Aug 1, Fri. & Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 4pm with talkbacks
via online through Ko Festival of Performance
Multi-camera recording by Northampton Open Media 


a 2-year collaboration by Serious Play Theatre Ensemble
 written by Eric Henry Sanders
 direction: Sheryl Stoodley
 original music: Jonny Rodgers
 set & video design: Robin Doty
 lighting design Sabrina Hamilton
 with actors: Kermit Dunkelberg, Ximena Salmerón, Will Swyers

Questions: or 413-588-7439
And check out the new Serious Play website:
Auditions for both Equity and non-Equity performers for roles in the upcoming 2021-2022 Season will be held in July according to Producing Director Danny Eaton.  This will be the 24th Season of performances since the Majestic was re-opened for live theater in March 1997.
Auditions will be held on the following dates:
Wednesday, July 21 – 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 22 – 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Friday, July 23 – 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Non-Equity performers will need to schedule their in-person auditions at the Majestic during those times.  To book an audition time, performers must call the theater at (413) 747-7797.
Equity performers are required to audition via video submission to be sent to by July 15.  For more information about the video submission, please visit  Callbacks will be conducted in-person at the theater.
Actors will be auditioned for parts in the following productions: “Don’t Dress for Dinner” (comedy) which runs October 28 – December 5, 2021, “Betty & The Patch” (contemporary comedy/drama) which runs January 6 – February 13, 2022, and “Blithe Spirit” (comedy) which runs February 24 – April 3, 2022.
Non-Equity performers new to the Majestic should prepare a brief monologue of their choice, and bring a picture and resume.  They will also be asked to read from prepared script selections. 
People auditioning and performing at the Majestic must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  
The Majestic endured a temporary closing beginning in March 2020 in response to the pandemic.  The theater will re-open on August 7 and present the remaining dates of “The Pitch,” the drama that was mid-run when the theater closed. 
Silverthorne Theater Company, Greenfield, MA, is seeking a stage manager for their fall 2021 production, Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep - the classic quick-change parody of Gothic horror and monster movies, directed by Chris Rohmann.
  • Rehearsals begin the last week of August - mostly three rehearsals per week until late September - opening on October 1st for three weekends at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. 
  • Responsibilities include facilitating rehearsals and production meetings; keeping book; maintaining schedules, contact lists & other materials; maintaining communications among cast and crew; and overseeing tech rehearsals and performances.
  • There is a stipend of $750 for the position.
Contact Chris with interest and/or or 413-532-5321.
Phantom Sheep Productions
LaughCrafters: Connections
July 19 at 7:00 PM

Come play short-form improv games with us in a fun casual online environment! All levels welcome! Keep your brains in shape, meet awesome people, laugh, and stay connected!
Although this is not a class, we will take a moment to go over the basics of each game so everyone can participate.

Fee: Free/Pay what you can.
(Suggested donation: $5)

Facebook event

Phantom Sheep Productions is also hosting a teen improv workshop on July 21st, and an in person Jam at Unity House Players on July 26th
West Springfield Public Library
Teen improv workshop
July 21 at 3pm

Enjoy a free online workshop with the Phantom Sheep Players, as they lead a series of hilarious games!
You’ll be part of the action creating comedy yourself learning industry secrets in Improvisation!
Provided by the West Springfield Library
Sponsored by Friends of the Library
Register online at
to reserve your spot today!

Phantom Sheep Productions is also hosting an online Improv Jam for adults on July 19th, and an in-person jam At Unity House Players on July 26th.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company
Summer Theater Workshop
August 2-6 starting at 9am
Online & Williston

In this half day program students will learn age-appropriate storytelling and performance skills from home for the first few days, and work together to present on Friday. Come practice acting, public speaking, empathy, creative writing, prop making, costume designing, resiliency, and play (just to name a few!) with us.

More information
Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents
Young Company Two Day Workshop

August 12 and 13, 10 am - 4pm
Williston Northampton School

Two day theater lab exploring Shakespeare's Macbeth led by Hannah Simms and Adam Lee Secor.
Ages 13-18, no experience needed.
Performance for invited audience at end.
This is an outdoor event.
Submit your workshop, class, audition, performance, or any other theatre opportunity here!
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
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