Most of what Smith College (and likely the other colleges) are producing this semester are not open to the general public. But tonight you can see a screening of What the Constitution Means to Me, followed by a discussion with playwright Heidi Schreck. I highly recommend it - free registration links below. If you miss it, you can at least catch the play anytime on Amazon Prime.
The next issue will include events from October 14 - November 3. 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
The role of a creative producer is essentially one of empowerment. It is a role that gives creatives space to do what they do best: create. As a creative producer who used to be solely a theatremaker I found that relying on my own knowledge was too limited to be creating meaningful theatrical experiences. I realized the most successful way for me to grow enough as a person and as an artist was to engage with the mentors in my life who have artistic practices and life experiences that are vastly different than my own. Mentorship is one of many tools that underrepresented groups of culture makers, like me—a cisgender, gay, Latino, 1.5 generation citizen in my late twenties—need to help “legitimize” our skills, and by extension our place, within the ecosystem of the cultural sector.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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
The Smith College Department of Theatre presents What the Constitution Means to Me: A Virtual Screening and Discussion with Tony-award nominated playwright and actor Heidi Schreck on Thursday, October 7 at 7 PM as part of Smith College’s Year on Democracies. Schreck will discuss her journey from teen debate champion to Broadway sensation and how the Constitution can and must adapt to meet the needs of all citizens. People interested in the live virtual event can register at https://bit.ly/HeidiSchreck.
Fifteen-year-old Heidi Schreck earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In her hilarious, hopeful and achingly human show, Heidi resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Called “Uproariously funny, wrenchingly moving, critically challenging and politically inspiring.” by the New York Review of Books, Schreck’s Tony-award nominated play looks at the US Constitution, questioning its foundational principles, its effect on women's rights, its complicated contribution to systemic racism and, in this precarious moment, on our democracy.
In addition to touring theatre productions, What the Constitution Means to Me was produced by Amazon Video, directed by Marielle Heller and features Heidi Schreck, Mike Iveson, and Rosdely Ciprian. The film was released prior to the 2020 election. Following Smith’s online screening of the film, Heidi will be joined in a Zoom conversation by Theatre faculty Ellen Kaplan and Len Berkman at 8:30 PM.
Heidi Schreck is a 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony nominated playwright, actor, and writer living in Brooklyn. In addition to What the Constitution Means to Me, which received Tony nominations for Best Play and Best Leading Actress in a Play (for Schreck herself), her plays include Grand Concourse, which debuted at Playwrights Horizons and Steppenwolf Theatre in 2014, Creature, There Are No More Big Secrets, and The Consultant. In television, as both an actress and a writer, her credits include: Nurse Jackie and Billions. Additionally, in television, she wrote and co-executive produced the Jill Soloway Amazon series I Love Dick. She currently has 3 television projects in development with Hulu/Big Beach, Hulu/Working Title and Amazon/Annapurna. Smith audiences will remember that her play Creature was produced by the Theatre Department in the Fall of 2017.
This year Smith College is hosting an ambitious set of programs and events under the organizing theme “Year on Democracies.” This collegewide initiative is an opportunity to examine democracies around the world. The Heidi Schreck event is co-sponsored by the Lewis Global Center, the Jandon Center, the Kahn Institute, and the Office of the Provost.
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:
In McClintock’s Corn
by Carolyn Gage
Traces a revolutionary quest to understand diversity in nature and reframe “deviance” as an expression of natural variance.
The Pride of Bangor (or What Not to Wear)
by Laura Emack
Recalls a vicious battle between shock jock Donald Imus and Bangor Mayor Patricia Blanchette over whether the Paul Bunyan statue should wear an Imus t-shirt.
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.
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
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: https://www.smith.edu/about-smith/provost/faculty-development. 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 https://www.smith.edu/academics/theatre.
Submit application at https://apply.interfolio.com/95269 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.
WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
Fall Classes from Completely Ridiculous Productions
Starting in September we have a series of classes on offer! Click on any title for more information, teacher bios and students testimonials.
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.