Thursday, October 21, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre News October 21, 2021

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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October 21 - November 10, 2021

Well, I'm coming out of a long week of tech! Feels good to be back in theatre. It's not listed here, since it's only open to Smith and Five College COVID testing program participants only, but if that's you come see Stoop Pigeons by Christin Eve Cato at Smith College - October 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 PM.

Read previews of many of the shows in this week's newsletter in Chris Rohmann's recent Halloween treats column. He also writes about WAM's Kamloopa in a recent article - read it here. 

The next issue will include events from October 28 - November 17. 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
October 30 at 7pm and October 31 at 4pm The Workroom @ 33 Hawley St.
*Free Admission* Ticket Reservations
$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

Gender Casting: Theatre Educators in the United States Need to Pay Attention to Title IX Developments
by Kimberly Messer

From the article: 

As a theatre educator who has spent the last few years working with high school students, I find some of this year’s headlines troubling. This summer, Laurel Hubbard made news as the first transgender woman to compete in the Olympics. Many celebrated this highly publicized, international victory for transgender people. However, just a few months before, on a much smaller, more local stage, the rights of transgender students were being threatened. In March, Tennessee governor Bill Lee joined like-minded officials to pass a law that requires students participating on a girls’ or boys’ sports team to show a birth certificate to prove their assigned sex.

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

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 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.

"A Happening" is an immersive, interactive, living art installation occuring at the Shea Theater Arts Center, 71 Avenue A, Turner Falls MA on October 22nd from 7pm to 10pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. The night of Festivities will include live painting and music, craft vendors, immersive theater and sound installations. Tickets $20.00 available at
This festival styled event brings together artists from across mediums and across the pioneer valley. Artists include: Michelangelo Wescott - Shelburne Falls MA ,  MA, Lori Holmes-Clark - Deerfield  MA, Hannah Rosenbaum -  Holyoke MA, Rosa Beryl -Northampton MA, Justin Monet - Holyoke MA, Breanna King - Chicopee MA, Chad Browne-Springer - East Hartford CT,  Kat Adler- Greenfield MA, Josh Ruder -Greenfield MA,  Marina Goldman -Montague MA, Samuel Perry -Turners Falls MA, Linda Tardif- Turners Falls MA, Jack Golden Leyden  MA and  Lindel Hart Greenfield MA.

Vendors include: Blu Angel Flame Co, Arcana Leather, Esther Clark Ceramics, Sage Green Botanicals, Katie Shaw, Crvftswomxn clothing and Kaleidoscope District. 

"During the shutdown last year, I created SVIP,  an ambient musical endeavor with no genre boundaries, whose aim is to create an arresting atmosphere, transmute energy in a given space  and transport listeners to another world. As vaccines rolled out and shows became a reality again, I had an interesting dilemma: How could I best represent my music from SVIP in a live setting? 
I realized that in order to allow listeners to truly be transported in the way I wanted them to be, a simple concert would not suffice. Thus, "A Happening" was born! "A Happening" is an intersection of music, visual art,  installation art, festival energy, immersive theater and multimedia experimentation. I've gathered artists from across mediums and across the pioneer valley to create an unforgettable, immersive Art experience unlike anything audiences have ever experienced before. Don't miss it!" - Samuel Perry -producer/director. 

A Happening is made possible with support from Cohn and Company, Deans Beans, Eggtooth Productions and  a working capital grant from Valley Creates and the Community Foundation of  Western Mass  with additional support from Assets for  Artists and Mass MOCA

** Per Shea Theater regulation and to ensure performer and guest safety, all audience members must be vaccinated and will be asked to show their vaccination card upon entry to the theater. All performers and guests will also be required to wear masks**
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
Pauline Productions presents WHISPERING BONES

An evening of ghost stories

SATURDAY OCT 23 7:00 pm

Featuring storytellers from upstate New York, Vermont, and Ashfield! The show is now in its 11th incarnation and second time at Pauline Productions in Ashfield. Each year, Kelvin Karaga puts together a fun evening of ghost stories—classic, creepy and comic--and a cast of tellers. As the character Erastus Betterov-Underhill, he guides us through 6 stories by 6 different performers. Local storytellers this year are Jeannine Haas and Delta Carney. The show is touring to Ashfield MA, Bennington VT, Cambrige NY and Schenectady NY.

WHERE: First Congregational Church of Ashfield,

TICKETS: or Ashfield Hardware or At the Door-- However we strongly suggest you buy in advance.

Adults $15, Kids (10+) $7 or what you can

COVID PROTOCOLS: Masks and Vaccine required for Adults (honor system).

More info:
Halloween Weekend
October 30 at 7pm and October 31 at 4pm
The Workroom @ 33 Hawley St.
Northampton, MA 01060
*Free Admission*
Ticket Reservations + Proof of Vaccination against Covid-19 required

When an ambitious military captain is prophesied to become King of Scotland by three witches, his desire for instant gratification becomes a treasonous, bloody unraveling. Shakespeare's classic thriller is devised by an international cast of 8 actors in 7 days with no director.

Vaughn Pole*
Justin Viz
Jelena Djukic
Jane MacLaughlin
Kristen Moriarty
Joseph Cardozo
Mary Potts Dennis
Hilary Dennis

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and STage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Agreement.
Valley Light Opera
Pirates of Penzance

11/06/2021 at 8pm, 11/07/2021 at 2pm, 11/12/2021 at 8 pm,11/13/2021 at 8pm,11/14/2021 at 2 pm

Academy of Music  Northampton
Gilbert and Sullivan beloved operetta Pirates of Penzance .Fully costumed, staged and performed with orchestra.
Two powerful plays by playwright Ellen W. Kaplan round out the 2021 Theater Thursday play reading series: Someone Is Sure to Come (November 11) and Testimonies (November 18). Both readings begin at 7:30 pm and are free to the public. The live readings take place in The LAVA Center at 324 Main Street, Greenfield and will also be filmed for viewing on YouTube following the reading. Hilary Dennis directs both readings.
Because seating is limited, reservations are requested and may be made through Eventbrite. The link for reservations may be found on our website at  Attendees will need to bring their 
vaccination card, or a photo of it, along with a corresponding state or federal ID for entry.
As described by the playwright: Someone Is Sure to Come “ is a play by Kaplan and incarcerated men and women across the U.S.  Monologues and poetry written by people currently on Death Row or serving Life Without Parole, many of whom have been in solitary confinement for decades.  Their words are woven into a lyrical play that looks at life ‘inside’ and ‘out.’  Fantasy, humor and poetry combine to create a kaleidoscopic vision of serving hard time, and to question the responsibility we have when society imprisons people and ‘throws away the key.’” Someone Is Sure to Come was presented in NYC at La Mama Annex and published in the Tacenda Literary Magazine.
Testimonies is based on interviews with Ezidi (Yezidi) women in camps in Northern Iraq, in 2019. The Ezidi are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority who trace their roots back to ancient Mesopotamia. They practice a pre-Islamic religion, that draws inspiration from Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Traditionally, Ezidi are farmers and shepherds, but in the mid-seventies Saddam Husain had Ezidi villages destroyed and their inhabitants transferred to collective settlements. In August 2014, the Ezidi (Yezidi) people were subjected to genocide: thousands were massacred, kidnapped, enslaved, raped and tortured by the Islamic State (ISIS). 
Following each reading, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to the playwright. Instructions for online viewing will be posted on the Silverthorne website:

Kaplan is Professor of Theatre at Smith College. She previously directed Silverthorne’s premiere production of Peter Wortsman’s solo show, The Tattooed Man Tells All in 2018, which was filmed and streamed in 2020. In July 2021, she directed a radio adaptation of Dawn King’s Foxfinder for the Company.
She has been a Fulbright Scholar in Costa Rica, Fulbright Senior Specialist in Romania and Hong Kong, an actress, director and playwright. She performs and directs internationally, having worked in China, Israel, Costa Rica, Argentina, Puerto Rico and across the United States, and has been guest professor at Tel Aviv University; Hong Kong University, where she was a distinguished writer-in-residence in 2016; the Chinese University of Hong Kong; University of Costa Rica; Heredia University (Costa Rica); and the University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest, Romania. During the pandemic, she taught virtual classes at Rojava University in Syria.
Kaplan’s book, Theatre Responds to Social Trauma comes out in 2022.
About Silverthorne Theater
Silverthorne Theater Company, resident professional theater at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization founded in 2014. Our mission is to present adventurous, thought-provoking theatrical experiences, including productions of new and classic work for traditional audiences and diverse populations. Contact us at or 413-768-7514.
From the New England New Play Alliance: 

Virtual Theatre and Audio Plays


Depot for New Play Readings presents
by Nayna Agrawal

October 24
directed by Anne Flammang

Three first-generation South Asian American siblings in their 30s ask their immigrant parents to get a divorce so that they can fulfill their cosmic duty: to house their parents during their sunset years. None of the siblings wants to take both parents for fear that the dysfunctional marriage that informed their formative years will disrupt their adult lives. When the request is made, invective flies, secrets spill forth, and each family member must come to terms with a new reality. Tickets: Free.

Portland Stage Company presents
by Callie Kimball

now-October 31
directed by Jade King Carroll

Perseverance illuminates the complexities at the heart of the suffrage movement and highlights the contributions of African American women who were sidelined by white suffragists. It follows the parallel stories of the two fictional characters: Perseverance Turner, a Black suffragist and teacher in 1920, and Dawn Davis, a white woman running for office in 2020. By juxtaposing past and present, Kimball reveals both the bravery and the profound divisions that still shape the course of social movements. Tickets: $25; contact the box office for pay-what-you-can ticket pricing.

Local Teens Address Universal Issues with "Podcasts 2.0" Premiere
Online Premiere via Zoom set for Sunday, October 24 at 6 pm at
Valley Playwright Mentoring (VPM) is a Piti Theatre program for teenagers where participants develop podcasts based on stories from their lives.
On Sunday, October 24 at 6 pm, the teens will present their 2nd batch of "radio plays" via Zoom followed by Q&A. Scenes address topics like COVID-19, family conflict, aging, Taylor Swift, identity and graduating from high school. The recordings will be available at after the event.
VPM is also accepting registrations from new participants for Year Three which starts in November. The program, which offers stipends to teens who complete the six month mentorship, is made possible through the generous support of the Community Foundation of Western MA, Mass Humanities, The Art Angels of Western MA, Mass Cultural Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, the Markham-Nathan Foundation and the Horace Moses Charitable Trust. VPM was inspired by Barrington Stage Company's Playwright Mentoring Project.

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. 

UMass Department of Theater presents
Witch Audition
Room 413, Bromery Center for the Arts (formerly the Fine Arts Center)

Monday, October 25 from 6:30 - 10:30 pm
Tuesday, October 26 from 6:30 - 10:30 pm
Wednesday, October 27 from 5:00  -  8:00 pm

Callbacks: Friday, October 29 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm

First Rehearsal: Wednesday, November 10 at 6:30 pm

by Jen Silverman
Directed by Rudy Ramirez

"What if there is something amazing ahead of us, and all we have to do is burn down everything we know to get to it?"

Based on a Jacobean play written when witches were still being burned across Europe, WITCH follows a devil named Scratch as he plays with the desires, grievances and ambitions of two young men, only to see him shocked and intrigued when an outcast woman becomes the first to refuse his offer. Jen Silverman's play offers a collection of richly drawn characters all forced to confront how their desires are shaped by, and may even be able to do undo, the systems of power that limit them.

Auditioners should prepare one of 5 monologues from WITCH available below. Women should prepare monologues for ELIZABETH or WINIFRED. Men should prepare monologues for SIR ARTHUR, FRANK or SCRATCH. Nonbinary actors should feel free to prepare any of the above. These monologues do NOT have to be memorized.

Character Descriptions:
Elizabeth Sawyer.          An outcast.
Scratch.                          The devil.
Sir Arthur Banks.           A wealthy and powerful man.
Cuddy Banks.                 Sir Arthur's son, painfully shy, a morris-dancer. He is secretly in
                                        love with Frank (and also in hate.)
Frank Thorney.              A confident and successful young man, charming and ruthless.
                                       His ambition knows no bounds.
Winnifred                      Sir Arthur's servant, resigned and pragmatic, secretly married to

These characters can be played by actors of any ethnicity. Sir Arthur and his son Cuddy do not have to be played by actors of the same ethnicity.

Monologues and sign up information:
None for this week! Click the link below to submit yours!
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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