The Mystery of Irma Vep opens this weekend at Silverthorne Theatre Company, and there is a Climate Change Play reading at LAVA Center - make a Greenfield weekend of it! Or if you are closer to West Springfield, there's still time to catch The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Majestic.
The next issue will include events from October 7-27. 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
As the founder of a trauma-informed arts organization who creates original work on social emotional well-being, I’m constantly thinking about how stress, trauma, and burnout may show up in individuals, the creative process, the organization, and myself throughout a production period. Over the past several years, I’ve focused my research on understanding how trauma, nervous-system responses, and creativity intersect. In response to the pandemic, I’ve noticed an increase in conversations about trauma and a desire to create performances as a way to process lived experiences.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
MAJESTIC THEATER LAUNCHES 24TH SEASONS WITH THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES: DREAM ON SEPTEMBER 9 – OCTOBER 17
The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On will kick off the Majestic Theater’s 24th season of plays on September 9 at the West Springfield venue. The musical, written and created by Roger Bean, will run through October 17.
A sequel to The Marvelous Wonderettes, which the Majestic staged just over two years ago, the first act focuses on the Wonderettes, a female singing quartet, who have returned to Rockville High School to throw a retirement party for a favorite teacher in 1969. The second act, set in 1978, celebrates the 20-year reunion of the ladies’ graduating class, and their performance for that event. Some of the 60’s and 70’s most famous pop songs like “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Downtown,” “Build Me Up, Buttercup,” “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “I’ve Got the Music in Me” are featured.
The Wonderettes are played by Kaytlyn Vandeloecht (Cindy Lou), Kait Rankins (Missy), Mollie Posnick (Suzy) and Tina Sparkle (Betty Jean). Danny Eaton is the producing director, music director is Mitch Chakour, and the set design is by Greg Trochlil. Costume designer is Dawn McKay and lighting designer is Dan Rist. Stephen Petit is production manager, and Aurora Ferraro is associate production manager.
Irma Vep Haunts the House – Hilariously Silverthorne Theater Announces Its First Season Show
Silverthorne Theater Company’s first production for the 2021-22 Season will be Charles Ludlum’s uproarious two-hander The Mystery of Irma Vep, opening October 1 and running through October 16 in The Perch at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, Greenfield.
Veteran actors Sam Samuels and Noah Tuleja star in this spoof of Gothic melodramas and vintage horror movies. It’s a madcap quick-change marathon in which the two actors play all the roles: the lord and lady of the manor, the starchy maid with a bloody secret, the groundskeeper with an even bloodier one – plus a werewolf, a vampire, an ancient mummy and a lingering ghost. Chris Rohmann directs this non-stop delight.
Tickets for The Mystery of Irma Vep are on sale now through Eventbrite. The Silverthorne web site has full details. For more information, write to email@example.com or call 413-768-7514. Group rates are available. This play is suitable for children age 10 and up.
Patrons should note our venue requires that they must be able to show proof (a card or photo of card) that they are fully vaccinated against Covid. Masks are required for all patrons, regardless of vaccination status.
Set in the dismal halls of Mandacrest Manor in the English moors, Lord Edgar and his new bride Lady Enid try in vain to overcome the violent past and lurking terrors that haunt the house and its unhinged inhabitants. As the director points out, “Ludlam produced his masterpiece during the AIDS epidemic, when its mockery of creeping horror served as both escape and defiance. In our own fearful time, Irma Vep offers laughter and release with a welcome return to live theater.”
Valley theatergoers will remember Sam’s appearance as Orgon in Silverthorne’s premiere of the musical Tar2f! in 2018, also directed by Chris Rohmann. Locally he has performed often with New Century Theatre and with PanOpera, and has a number of film, commercial and off-Broadway credits. Noah has appeared locally in productions at the Majestic and New Century Theatre, and in Gloucester Stage and Boston’s Actors’ Shakespeare Project and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company productions. Christina Beam costumes this show; her creations were a high point in Silverthorne’s 2019 production of The Revolutionists. The show’s Stage Manager, Cate Boram, was Sound Engineer for this summer’s radio drama production of Foxfinder. Silverthorne’s Technical Director, John Iverson will design the sets, lighting and sound for the production.
Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 launches Saturday, Oct. 2 at The LAVA Center
The first Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 short play reading and discussion
The LAVA Center’s series of short climate change plays, collectively titled “A Global Green New Deal,” opens this Saturday, Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m., at 324 Main St. in downtown Greenfield with a program of five plays bringing the voices of playwrights from Canada, Chile, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States to LAVA audiences.
Each session will be moderated by a local playwright who has participated in previous Climate Change Theater Action readings and productions. Moderators share a bit of their own work in addition to leading the reading and discussion.
Saturday, Oct. 2, JuPong Lin will moderate. Topics identified by the playwrights in the first set include economic inequality, uprising, environmental justice, noise pollution, clean air, clean water, connecting to nature, Antarctica, climate deniers, Mumbai and Chile.
Volunteers from the audience are encouraged to participate in reading the lines. No previous acting experience is required: the focus is on sharing the points of view of writers from around the globe on how climate change impacts where they live, and what “A Global Green New Deal” might look like from their standpoint.
The readings will be followed by discussion of the issues addressed in the plays, of how those same issues play out in our local community, and what we can do to participate in meeting the challenge of climate change.
“A Global Green New Deal” is funded in part by Greening Greenfield, concerned citizens building a more resilient Greenfield by advancing sustainable practices.
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR WAM THEATRE’S KAMLOOPA
Presented live in the Berkshires October 7-24, 2021
Streaming digitally November 1-7, 2021
WAM Theatre is excited to present the US premiere of KAMLOOPA: AN INDIGENOUS MATRIARCH STORY by Kim Senklip Harvey, winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama, directed by Estefanía Fadul (WAM’s Native Gardens, The Oregon Trail). COVID safe live performances of this new comedy, will be presented at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, MA, from October 7-24. A digital streaming version of the production will also be available in the United States only from November 1-7. Tickets are on sale now.
“When I read KAMLOOPA, I got goosebumps and knew immediately that it was a play our WAMily would love,” exclaimed WAM Producing Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. ”With its magical realism, its heart, its activism and its ceremony, KAMLOOPA is the perfect play to close out our 2021 season.”
Come along for the ride to KAMLOOPA, the largest powwow on the West Coast. This high energy comedy follows two urban Indigenous sisters and their encounter with a lawless trickster, as they explore what it means to honor who they are and where they come from. Follow their journey in this captivating, contemporary new play, as the courageous sisters turn to the ancestors for help to reclaim their power.
The play opens on Indigenous People’s Weekend, and in line with WAM’s philanthropic mission and accountability work, a portion of proceeds from KAMLOOPA will be donated to women and girls initiatives of the Cultural Affairs office of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Tribe, upon whose lands WAM lives and works.
Harvey is Syilx and Tsilhqot'in with Ancestral ties to the Dakelh, Secwepemc, and Ktunaxa communities. In May 2021, she became the first Indigenous playwright to win Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama. The judges said: “The brilliance, the irreverence, the fire of KAMLOOPA sweeps us into the world of three Indigenous women on a mind-bending quest. The audience is seduced by the love, humour and depth of these matriarchs as they embrace and celebrate who they are in the world and with each other.”
Playwright Kim Senklip Harvey explains: “I created KAMLOOPA to ignite the power that lives within Indigenous femmes and peoples. This transformation story is an offer for all of us to be bold and passionate about having the courage to fully become ourselves.”
Director Estefanía Fadul agrees, stating that: “WAM’s mission of combining arts and activism and creating theatre that centers women could not align more with my own work. I am grateful to call WAM one of my artistic homes and am excited to return to direct Kim’s beautifully visceral play. From the moment I read it, the journey of the three women at the heart of the story, as they struggle to define their identities within a diaspora, resonated deeply with me. It's a story of sisters, of coming into one's own power, and finding one's place within a larger community. It is told with so much joy, heart, and imagination, and I cannot wait to share it with audiences.”
Three Indigenous actors are making their WAM Theatre debuts in KAMLOOPA. Sarah B. Dennison (Soledad at the American Indian Community House in partnership with Carnegie Hall; The Assasination of J Kaaisar at Theatre for the New City), a New York-based actor, writer, and director, originally from the Spokane Reservation, will be playing the role of Kilawna. Jasmine Rochelle Godspeed (Leonora’s World and the touring production of Leonora and Aljehandro in collaboration with Double Edge Theatre) a Massachusetts based Native American actor and playwright from the Nipmuc Nation will be playing Indian Friend #1 (Edith), and Ria Nez (Mother Courage and Her Children and The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot both at the Frederick Loewe Theater), an Indigenous (Nahautl) actress, director and artist based in New York, will play Mikaya.
Returning artists include company dramaturg Tatiana Godfrey; Stage Manager Amanda Nita Luke, who served in the same capacity this season for WAM’s online reading of The Light; and costume designer Calypso Michelet, who was the Assistant Costume Designer for WAM’s 2020 streaming production of ROE. Making their WAM debuts on this production are lighting designer Emma Deane, sound designer Caroline Eng, and costume designer Lux Haac, whose work was last seen in the Berkshires in Barrington Stage Company’s 2018 production of Well Intentioned White People.
For tickets to the live performance or digital stream of KAMLOOPA please call (413) 637-3353 or visit WAM online here. For more information about the 2021 Season and WAM Theatre’s programs, events, and artists, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.
What will you take with you?UMass Theater's Everybody tackles big questions about death with humor.
by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Oct 15, 16, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.
The Rand Theater, Bromery Center for the Arts (formerly the Fine Arts Center), UMass
A mysterious figure tells you that you will have to die today. What do you do? Well, we hope you'll laugh, for starters.
Running Oct. 15-23, UMass Theater's production of Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins follows an unfortunate soul grappling with their imminent death, while also confronting the important parts of their life…in a comedy?
Yep. As Death personified says, “figure it out? What does it mean when God just leaves you to figure it out?”
Figuring it out is a laugh-out-loud funny journey with these characters, who aren't always their best — or smartest — selves in the moment.
So, why a comedy about Death during a global pandemic?
“We have entered a time in our history when we are reestablishing our relationship with death,” director Rudy Ramirez says. “Jacobs-Jenkins play asks us to see how death plays over different kinds of bodies so we can experience our profound differences with one another over a shared connection: we will come to an end.”
Family, friends, money — what will matter the most to everybody in the end? What will become of Everybody in the end? What can we do in the meantime?
“The fact that this play asks these questions with such a great sense of humor and a vivid theatricality makes it all the richer.” Actor Percy Hornak believes that the most important takeaway from the show is “you have so little control in the grand scheme of things. You have to be intentional about what you do have control over.”
In this show, our actors are also presented with a unique challenge to their own control: Their character will be chosen randomly, giving us a different show: Every. Single. Night.
Come see this production (maybe more than once) to see what becomes of Everybody.
Exit Seven Players LTD presents The Who's Tommy
October 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 8PM and Oct 24, 31 at 2PM
Exit Seven Theater, 37 Chestnut Street Ludlow, MA 01056
Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who's Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing and the human spirit. The pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences for more than 50 years. The story is so compelling that it was produced as a world-touring ballet, a campy, over-the-top 1970's movie, then finally brought to Broadway as a brilliant, dramatic reimagination. This five-time Tony Award-winning musical version was translated to the stage by theatrical wizard Des McAnuff into a high-energy, one-of-a-kind theatrical event. With a live rock band on stage, outstanding regional talent, inventive staging, costuming and choreography driving the non-stop action, Exit 7's performance of The Who's Tommy is not to be missed.
Directed by Michael O. Budnick
Music and Sound Supervised by George Garber Jr.
Choreography by Stephanie Gilbert
Instrumental Accompaniment by Cadre Prime
From the New England New Play Alliance:
Virtual Theatre and Audio Plays
The North Shore Reader’s Collaborative presents
a Zoom reading of Queen for a Day
by Cynthia Arsenault
October 2, 10:00 AM
directed by Kathleen Miller
An elderly woman finds romance in her first foray onto the Internet, but her elder affairs social worker fears it’s a scam. Tickets: free, donation appreciated, register here.
Seven scripted audio tracks merge vocal performances of Ovid, Eliot, Tolstoy and others with original contemporary field recordings. An immersive listening experience designed to invite interpretation. Listen here.
October 3, 2021, 2:00 PM
directed by Anne Flammang
In Best Beware My Sting, laughter ensues when taming shrews! But what of the troublesome tropes Shakespeare mansplained? Alpha Petruchio is determined to keep his good lady wife Kate dicknotized and submissive. His servant Grumio, who moonlights as a sales rep for Fantasia Tickle Toys, cheers him on. Kate is a former ferocious shrew who caught feelings for Petruchio. She’s very nearly tamed, well on her way to a new identity as a sweet and docile housewife. It’s time to renounce shrewish ways—until O’Felia from the block seizes the moment. Who the hell wants to be tamed? What’s up with this gaslighting? It’s more than a disruption of the intestinal humors….
Crock of finds Kat, the cool kid, nursing a hangover and heartbreak in the cafeteria’s walk-in refrigerator at summer camp. Lily stumbles in to refill the crocks for the salad bar. What follows delivers a harsh lesson in teenaged public relations. Tickets: free.
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
Smith College Department of Theatre
AUDITIONS: The Thanksgiving Play
by Larissa FastHorse, directed by Jen Olivares
Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.
Auditions will be by video submission. Get instructional video and sides by emailing Nikki Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org). All submissions due by October 4.
Casting Note: All ages are open and actors that “look white” may be played by POC passing as white.
Female, Caucasian looking, the high school drama teacher that's always pushing the envelope in potentially inappropriate ways. Earnest about theater and proving herself.
Male, Caucasian looking, yoga practitioner/actor. Politically correct to a fault, a big one. He’s that guy everyone loves, but his logical PC thinking takes weird turns.
Female, brunette, Caucasian but has looks that would have been cast as ethnic in 1950’s movies. Without guile. Sexy and hot, but not bright.
Male, Caucasian looking, the academic. Awkward elementary school history teacher with dramatic aspirations but no experience.
WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
Sourcing Self, with Chalia La Tour
Saturday afternoons from 1-4pm EST, starting October 2nd on Zoom.
6 weeks. $445. Open to 12 students. Sign up below!
Sourcing Self is a 6 week intensive on honoring the wealth that is the actor’s unique lived experience as a foundation for empathetic exchange and a basis for infinite imagination. Through monologue and scene work exploration participants will gain tools in personalization, explore the concept of experiential text analysis, and strengthen their ability to use their own humanity to give life to text. The goal is to empower the actor to embrace the fullness of their lived experience paired with their imagination as their greatest asset.
Actors AT Practice Group, with Tracy Einstein Tuesdays from 11-12pm EST, starting October 5th on Zoom. Ongoing. $18/Class. $60/Month. Sign up below. The Actor's AT Practice Group is a weekly drop-in class designed to support the unique psychophysical needs of actors. We’ll start by settling and organizing the body, letting go of excess tension from the week (or month. or year.) Then, we’ll move through a unique flow of fundamental movement patterns, breath work, & vocal practice in service of opening ourselves to greater flexibility, vulnerability, spontaneity and PLAY. Classes are rooted in the Alexander Technique, and draw on Dart Procedures, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Gyrotonics, Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing, Energetics, Polyvagal Theory, Somatic Experiencing®, and Theatrical Clowning.
Resilience Habits for Busy Parents: The Happiness Experiment
"Resilience Habits for Busy Parents" refills your energy and positivity tank in just minutes each day. Experience 11 evidence-based micro-habits to give you the resilience, mindfulness, and happiness necessary to keep getting shit done without losing your shit.
If you have two minutes a day, you have enough time to do this program.
If you don't have two minutes a day, you really need to do this program!
Best of all, it's fun, engaging, and interactive! Learn wellness and wellbeing practices from professional improv comedian and happiness coach Pam Victor. Based in science. Powered by play.
September 26th at 10:00 AM for the Day 1 Intensive, then spend the next 30 days working on the Happiness Experiment, with a closing event on October 24th at 11 AM!
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)
Pricing: $125 (or $99 before September 2nd)
For more info: https://www.happiervalley.com/happiness_tips.html#busyparents
Double Edge Theatre
Fall Intensive: October 8-11 We’ll work daily from morning until night, both in Double Edge’s indoor training spaces and outside in the fields, hills, pond and pastures of the Farm. Layering our physical training practice with music, design, dramaturgy, large object work and individual and group research, intensives are a full-body experience of our multidisciplinary creative process.
The intensives are open to participants of all levels of experience and are ideal for pushing the boundaries of your physicality, creativity, and imagination!
We are continuing to follow MA State Guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and safety. Please contact us if you have any questions about our protocols and procedures.