Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News October 14, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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October 14 - November 3, 2021

WAM Theatre's Kamloopa is open now - and there is a workshop on Presenting Indigenous Theatre happening on Monday at 12! Register via the link below if you would like to attend - perhaps I'll see you (virtually) there. 

The next issue will include events from October 21 - November 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
Exit Seven Players LTD presents The Who's Tommy
October 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 8PM and Oct 24, 31 at 2PM
WAM Theatre presents Kamloopa by Kim Senklip Harvey, directed by Estefanía Fadul
Presented live in the Berkshires, Oct 7-24, and streaming digitally, Nov 1-7, 2021
Tickets here
$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

Arts Advocacy for Newbies: How to Break All the Rules and Create a New Paradigm
by Brooke Ishibashi

From the article: 

“Calendar Invite: Meeting with Kamala Harris’s Office.”

In June of 2020, I did not imagine I would soon be spending the rest of the calendar year lobbying Congress, while at the same time stumbling into the world of human resources as co-founder of a grassroots arts advocacy organization. I did not imagine a whole lot of things that would come to pass during “the year that must not be spoken of,” but I am not alone in that.

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


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

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 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.
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

Tickets sold through the Fine Arts Center Box Office and  at the door.
Prices: $15 general admission, $5 youth, students, and seniors
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.

Get your tickets today!

Tickets can be purchased through the Fine Arts Center Box Office (click here to go directly to our events) or at the door before each performance.
The Greenfield Players presents Macbeth
10/16 @2:00 and 6:00 / 10/17 @ 6:00 / 10/23 @2:00 and 6:00 / 10/24 @2:00
Greenfield Energy Park

Come out to see Macbeth in Greenfield Energy Park!
Admission is FREE!
Rain location is Greenfield Middle School.
Please bring a blanket or low lawn chair to Greenfield Energy Park for this outdoor performance - and bundle up!
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
October 30 at 7:00 PM and October 31 at 4:00 PM
The Workroom, 33 Hawley St. Northampton, MA 01060

Macbeth is a devised, 90-minute theatre piece performed by an international cast of 8 actors in 7 days with no director.


More general information about the show can be found here. There is a link to our fundraiser on Seed&Spark - currently in its last week - and to our instagram page. There are only two performances: 10/30 at 7pm and 10/31 at 4pm. Admission is FREE!
From the New England New Play Alliance: 

Virtual Theatre and Audio Plays


Powerstories Theatre and Thru-Line present
Voices of Women Theatre Festival
October 13-17

Experience a diverse mixture of shorts and full-length plays, comedies and dramas, family-friendly and adults-only content, all by female playwrights. The festival features plays by two New England playwrights:

No Justice
by Dana Hall and Kenisha Morgan
October 13

Justice (Kenisha Morgan), a Black law school student in Illinois on lockdown during the pandemic, has been referred to a therapist when her mother turns ill back in her small hometown. When there are no Black therapists on the school’s staff, racial borders must be reckoned with as the two struggle to address Justice’s crisis.

Meet You Downstairs
by Katy Copeland
October 14

Kit stumbles through her 20s, attempting to unpack the complexities of love, sex, relationships, “infidelity” and what it means to be queer in a heteronormative world.

Jeannette Rankin Fights Back
by Beth Urech
October 15

The first woman elected to Congress in 1916, Jeannette Rankin fought for women’s suffrage, opposed war and proclaimed the electoral college and two-party system out of date.

Holy Inappropriate
by Allison Fradkin
October 15

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who is bringing up three very lovely girls…in the Christian Patriarchy Movement. What happens when she discovers that the disciples at her disposal are neither disposable nor…dispassionate?

Thru-Line's Elective Amnesia
by Gretchen Suarez-Pena
October 16

Simra has battled a life of clear, plaguing memories. Because she can’t change the past, she sets out to change her mind instead.

L'Artiste, It's French
by Joi Banks
October 17

A comedy that follows Zena King, a sophisticated millennial entrepreneur and her fun-loving friends as their branding agency takes on a client that might be the next Basquiat.

by Jo MacDonald
October 17

A chance encounter finds Spencer and her three Neechies catching the man who almost ruined her life. Now they just need to convince the cops the “smoking gun” was fired in the name of justice. Honest.

Tickets: $15 per show; $99 festival pass.


Painted Porch Audio presents
Painted Porch Audio, Volume 1
by David Mulei

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.


Assistant or Associate Professor of Acting 

The Department of Theatre at Smith College invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, to begin July, 2022. Teaching responsibilities for this position will regularly include beginning acting courses and a range of other acting classes, as well as directing students in one theatre production annually. Other courses may be taught depending upon the candidate’s field of specialization. The course load is 2/2, and directing a student production counts as a course. Candidates should have a strong foundation in Black, Indigenous, or Latinx theatre; college teaching experience; and significant professional acting experience. Candidates should have a demonstrated commitment to developing an inclusive approach to teaching a diverse student body, and to the role of theatre in a liberal arts education. M.F.A. in acting or a relevant field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, is expected by the time of appointment. Candidates from groups underrepresented in theatre are encouraged to apply.

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is the largest women’s college in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars and artists interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. Smith College offers opportunities to foster faculty success at every career stage, such as those listed here: The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges. Details about the Department of Theatre may be found at

Submit application at with a cover letter, curriculum vitae, diversity/inclusion statement, sample syllabus, links to any acting sample and/or reviews of acting work, and three confidential letters of recommendation. Finalists may be asked for additional materials. Review of applications will begin on October 31. 

Diversity and a culture of equity and inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, historically underrepresented minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Presenting Indigenous Theatre:
a practical zoom seminar for theatre professionals

Monday October 18, 12 noon - 1:30pm EST

led by Amanda Nita Luke

What does it take for an American Theater to decolonize their structure enough to produce a Native show? Telling Native stories is a way to honor the people whose land you inhabit. Native Storytelling is the first kind of theater this land saw. In order to tell a Native story you need to hire the right people, understand the history and be ready to listen. Is your organization Native Theater ready? Come ready to discuss best practices, keep an open mind to new ways of approaching the work and bring questions!

Amanda Nita Luke is an Indigenous Stage Manager (Citizen of Choctaw Nation and a descendant of the Cherokee Nation) based in New York City.  She recently wrote her Yale MFA thesis "Decolonizing Theater: An Anti-Racist approach to creating Native Theater at Non-Native Institutions" and she will share some of her findings with us.  Amada's stage management credits include Arbeka at Native Voices, Manahatta at Yale Rep, Up and Down the River at Hartbeat Ensemble, Sense and Sensibility at The Old Globe, The Metromaniacs at Redbull Theatre, and Soledad and Ady with the American Indian Community House.  She is currently stage managing WAM Theatre's production of Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story.

This seminar is free but you must register HERE to receive the zoom link.

This seminar is presented as part of WAM Theatre's Community Engagement programming in connection to our production of Kamloopa. Closed captioning will be provided.
Phantom Sheep Productions Open Improv Jam- Fall Spooktacular edition
Monday, October 18 at 7:00 PM

Unity House Players, 245 Porter Lake Dr. Springfield, MA
Time to get spooky and kooky and laugh together again in-person with specially themed short-form improv games. No experience necessary, all levels are welcome to come play!

Masks will be required per Springfield health guidelines.
Free/Pay what you can ($5 suggested donation)
Recommended for Adults and Teens 16+

Submit your workshop, class, audition, performance, or any other theatre opportunity here!
Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Academy of Music Theatre

Amherst Community Theater

Arena Civic Theatre

A.C.T. Youth Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company


Cold Spring Community Theatre

Completely Ridiculous Productions

Drama Studio

Double Edge Theatre

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

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

Mount Holyoke College Rooke Theatre

No Theater

Northampton Community Arts Trust
Northampton Playwrights Lab

PaintBox Theatre


Pauline Productions

Performance Project

Phantom Sheep Players

Play Incubation Collective

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

Unity House Players

Valley Light Opera

Ware Community Theatre

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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