Two local theatre artistic directors are passing the torch: Lucinda Kidder at Silverthorne Theater Company and Priscilla Kane Hellweg at Enchanted Circle Theater. Chris Rohmann chat with them in his latest StageStruck column in the Valley Advocate.
The next issue will include events from March 10 - 30. 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
When professional theatres select their season, it is often a process of balancing the needs and values of the institution with the needs and interests of the audience. Even if the theatre’s goal is to broaden the audience’s palette, global perspective, or deeper community knowledge, there remains at least an awareness of—if not an emphasis on—the audience as stakeholders in the production or, in other words, as ticket buyers. In selecting a theatre season at an academic institution or training program, that emphasis shifts specifically and significantly from the stakeholders in the production to the stakeholders in the process: the students.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Deavere Smith's stunning work of documentary theatre in which she uses, verbatim, the words of people who experienced the 1992 Los Angeles riots to explore the devastating human impact of that event. A work that goes directly to the heart of the issues of race and class, Twilight offers a stark insight into the complex and pressing social, economic, and political issues that fueled the flames in the wake of the Rodney King verdict and ignited a conversation about policing and race that continues today. Free for Smith Students. $5 Students/Seniors, $10 General.
Proof of vaccination and booster dose required. Masks required at all times.
by Jen Silverman
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
March 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 p.m.
In the Rand Theater, located in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts at UMass
Tickets sold through the Fine Arts Center Box Office and at the door.
Prices: $15 general admission, $5 youth, students, and seniors
Content Advisory: Strong language, violence, and blood
Would you dance with the Devil?UMass Theater's Witch examines the cost of our choices and the value of hanging on to hope.
When the Devil strolls into the town of Edmonton to bargain for people's souls, he figures that Elizabeth Sawyer, an accused witch, will be an easy mark. Turns out, he's wrong — while others in town are practically lining up to make bargains galore, she resists.
Find out what happens next when UMass Theater presents Jen Silverman's topical-and-funny play, Witch, directed by directing graduate student Rudy Ramirez in the Rand Theater Feb. 25-March 5.
“Witch captures several of the big existential questions we’ve been grappling with throughout the events of the pandemic with heart and tons of humor, empowering us to face our own devils — and perhaps even to laugh at them,” said dramaturgy graduate student Percy Hornak, who is the play's dramaturg.
Inspired by a Jacobean play that was in turn inspired by real events, UMass Theater's production of Witch filters the story through a funhouse lens — watch for a surreal set complete with working drawbridge and props that accentuate the humor in Silverman's writing — that invites current audiences to see how the themes of the tale overlap with concerns in our own world.
Why do the characters in Witch even consider a dance with the Devil?
As Hornak encapsulates it, there are some big questions being asked: "The notion of 'burn it all down': The play is asking us to think about what that means, and what it would cost for us to do that. What would you give up for things to be better?"
Inextricably linked to these questions are themes of power, agency, and above all, hope. Why think about what it would take to create a better future, without hope? Witch invites audiences to come up with their answer while they watch.
Get your tickets today!
BLITHE SPIRIT REVIVES MAJESTIC THEATER’S 24th SEASON
MARCH 3 THROUGH APRIL 3
Blithe Spirit, a classic comedy by Noel Coward, will be presented at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater February 24 through April 3. The opening of the show follows a brief hiatus in the Majestic’s 24th season of live theater that was caused by an uptick in reported cases of COVID in the region.
The story focuses on Charles, a socialite and successful writer who is researching the occult for his latest novel. He arranges for clairvoyant Madame Arcati to hold a séance in his home, during which she inadvertently summons the ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira, who has been dead for seven years. Only Charles can see or hear Elvira; his current wife Ruth doesn’t believe Elvira exists. The ghostly Elvira makes ongoing efforts to disrupt the marriage, including sabotaging Charles’ car in the hopes that he will join her in the spirit world. Instead, it is Ruth who is killed in the car, and her ghost immediately comes back for revenge on Elvira.
Producing Director Danny Eaton feels certain the play will lift the spirits of its audience. “We’re really glad to be reopening our doors after closing for a few weeks when COVID numbers were climbing in our area,” he stated. “We were very dismayed to reschedule our January play, Betty and the Patch, for June of this year, but it really made sense, given the circumstances, and our mission to help keep attendees, performers and staff in good health. We, along with everyone else, feel weary at times due to the pandemic, but Blithe Spirit will provide great laughs and we think audiences will really enjoy this solid comedy.”
Eaton reported that the down time was put to good use to upgrade amenities at the venue. “We’ve installed all new carpeting, stage lighting and sound equipment. New chairs have been ordered, and new HVAC systems are improving air quality throughout the theater and café. We’ve been very busy during the time we’ve been closed,” he stated.
The cast of Blithe Spirit includes Fleece (Ruth), Russell Garrett (Charles), Jeannine Haas (Madame Arcati), Sara Corbyn Woolf (Elvira), Stuart Gamble (Dr. Bradman), Christine Voytko (Mrs. Bradman) and Caelie Flanagan (Edith). Understudies include Myka Plunkett, Jack Grigoli, and Alexandra O’Halloran.
Sue Dziura, who is the associate producing director, is directing the play, Stephen Petit is production stage manager, and set design is by Greg Trochlil. Costume designer is Dawn McKay, Dan Rist is lighting designer and Aurora Ferraro is the associate production manager.
The Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series presents Cordelia Lear by Leonard Berkman and Nutella by Susan Yankowitz Directed by James Barry, MFA '22.
Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 PM on Zoom
Cordelia Lear: Isn't it about time that Cordelia Lear had her voice heard after King Lear AND Shakespeare have both evicted her from their heralded tragedy's mid-section? Be prepared for liberty's taken with Cordelia's age, marital non-status, etc. and for Shakespeare's mental and physical propensities.
Nutella: What is a woman of 75 doing as the sole female passenger on a container ship headed from the U.S. to France.? How will she deal with strange male attention, a daily diet of nutella served every which way, and a mid-Atlantic tempest?
Exit Seven Players Ltd.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
March 11, 12, 18, 19 @ 8pm and March 12, 20 2pm
Exit Seven Players Theater, 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA
Originally produced in London and on Broadway, the stage version of the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.
“This adaptation by the acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens is intensely, innately theatrical; it is also funny and extremely moving…resonates with quality.” —Telegraph (London). “…just terrific…a profoundly moving play about adolescence, fractured families, mathematics, colours and lights…dazzling.” —Independent (London). “A beautiful, eloquent, dazzlingly inventive show about the wonders of life.” —Evening Standard (London).
Curious Incident follows a critical period in the life of fifteen-year-old Christopher, a young man with an extraordinary brain. He is exceptional at math but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, detests being touched, and distrusts strangers. Now it is seven minutes after midnight, and Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a “garden fork” (British for pitchfork, as the story is set in England.) Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his life.
Through creative lighting and sound, clever staging and a versatile ensemble, Curious Incident invites the audience to embark upon a journey to understand the point of view of its unusual narrator and his completely unique way of interacting with the world. At times both comedic and heart-wrenching, Curious Incident is a timely examination of our assumptions about “normality” and neurodiversity.
Please join us for the Scarlet Sock Foundation’s Fourth Annual Gala!
It's coming soon and space is filling up! Use THIS FORM to RSVP either in person or virtually by Friday March 4th. Our in person event will be Covid friendly--masks and vaccination are required and we are limiting seating.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2022 6:30-8:30 PM ET
The Scarlet Sock Foundation wants to share with you all the great work your support made possible this past year by funding social justice theater programming that lit up minds and stirred souls across the Pioneer Valley.
Come join us in person at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke or virtually to celebrate our 2021 grant recipients: Chester Theatre Company, Eggtooth Productions, The Performance Project, Silverthorne Theater Company, and WAM Theatre. Whether you attend live or via Zoom, you’ll be treated to a presentation showcasing their innovative work and learn why and how it changes young people’s lives for the better.
Scarlet Sock Foundation was founded in memory of Laura DiPillo, who passionately believed that all people deserve to be included and heard; in short, she believed everyone is deserving of love. That is why we support social justice theater, which aims to raise awareness about social issues and create community through the performing arts.
During the program, which is free to attend, you’ll be invited to make a donation to the Scarlet Sock Foundation. Those who join us at Gateway City Arts will be required to present proof of vaccination including booster and must be masked unless enjoying some of the light bites and desserts that will be provided.
Once again, you may RSVP by filling out THIS FORM by March 4 to receive the Zoom link or reserve your seat at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke!
Will you participate? Will you be manipulated? Will you listen? Will you really listen?
Theater Between Addresses, in association with Aurora Nova, presents
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
By Nassim Soleimanpour
Featuring Cat/Milo Bezark
March 13 at 2:00 PM
Barn Studios & Theater, 715 Federal Street, Belchertown, MA 01007
With no rehearsals, no director, a different actor each night, and a script waiting in a sealed envelope on stage, internationally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, is an audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theatre.
While forbidden to leave his native Iran, Soleimanpour wrote a play which travelled the world in his place. The audience joins each different performer on a journey into the unknown; stumbling upon the personal and profound, the limits of liberty and ultimately where theatre can take you. Since its joint premiere in 2011, the play has been translated into over 25 different languages and has been performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film, including actors Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, John Hurt, and Stephen Fry.
Theater Between Addresses' production will feature Cat/Milo Bezark (the first known non-binary actor to ever perform this script!). Tickets are sliding scale/pay-what-you-can, with all proceeds going towards our summer immersive production of Sean French-Byrne's Grail Knight.
The performance will take place on March 13th at 2PM EST. Please bring a coat, as the performance space can get chilly in early spring!
Masks and proof of vaccination required (will check at door). The show will last approximately 60-90 minutes. There is no publicly-accessible restroom available at the space. Feel free to reach out at theaterbetweenaddresses (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or concerns!
Note: This play is NOT overtly political, and should not be portrayed as such. It operates on a deeper, metaphoric level, and very expressly avoids overt political comment. All media and press agents have to keep in mind that the playwright is an Iranian citizen. We therefore ask the press to be judicious in their reportage.
Mamma Mia! Hits the Stage at Northampton High School
Iconic ABBA Extravaganza Bows March 17-19 as Musical Theater Returns to NHS
It's time to dust off those bell bottoms, puffy shirts, and platform shoes! Musical theater makes its long-awaited return to Northampton High School (NHS) with the staging of Mamma Mia!, the jukebox musical romantic comedy based on the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. The student cast, crew, and musicians will stage four performances March 17-19 in the NHS auditorium.
Written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, Mamma Mia! features several iconic songs including "Money, Money, Money," "Super Trouper," "Dancing Queen," and "Take a Chance on Me," all composed by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA. The NHS production is directed by noted actress Myka Plunkett, with musical direction by Beau Flahive and choreography by Eddie Zitka, who is founder, president, and artistic director of the K and E Theater Group.
"Don't miss this show! What's better than a musical to bring us out of what's felt like two and a half years of winter?" said Director Myka Plunkett, who is known for the 2019 film, Time to Go, and the 2011 documentary, The Grandfathers. "These young people will get you singing, make you laugh, and send you home with a new groove in your step."
"More than anything, this production of Mamma Mia! is a celebration, the rebuilding of a community of students and parents who are committed to our city, our school, and each other," said Musical Director Beau Flahive, a member of the NHS faculty. "After the pandemic forced the cancellation of our previous musical, The Sound of Music, a week before opening night, we felt we had lost everything. This group of students is a dedicated bunch, working hard to create an experience for the community that will be
filled with joy and celebration. This is my 17th musical at NHS and I'm proud to say every single show I've worked on has had a student pit. We're back!"
Performances of Mamma Mia! will be staged at the following dates and times:
• Thursday, March 17, 7:00pm
• Friday, March 18, 7:00pm
• Saturday, March 19, 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and children, and $5 for NHS students and staff.
Tickets are available via EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mamma-mia-the-musical-tickets-269978562147. Seating is by general admission. NHS musicals typically sell out, so buy your tickets now!
For more information about the NHS production of Mamma Mia!, contact Karen Adelman at k email@example.com.
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC's Fun Fridays: Storytelling Standup Showcase
March 18 at 5:30 PM
Happier Valley Comedy's Next Door Lounge (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)
Watch Happier Valley Comedy talent try out their latest material, laugh together, raise a glass, and support up-and-coming standup comedians. Doors open at 5:30. Showcase starts at 7pm.
A.P.E.@Hawley and The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought Present:
Bread & Puppet Theater Sunday, March 20, 6pm The Workroom, 33 Hawley Street
Bread & Puppet comes to A.P.E at Hawley Street in Northampton, MA on Sunday, March 20th with Finished Waiting, a new show created this winter by B&P director, Peter Schumann and the storied Vermont troupe of puppeteers, carpenters, bus drivers, musicians, dancers, agitators and bread-bakers—many of whom do all of the above in the process of inventing Bread & Puppet's aesthetically iconic and politically plainspoken shows and bringing them to audiences far and wide.
Finished Waiting is a show for this moment of political, social, ecological, and epidemiological rupture and uncertainty, a moment in which many feel the seduction of a stance of waiting: waiting for the pandemic to be over, for better leaders to be elected, for actions to be taken by the powerful to respond to ecological catastrophe, for families to be reunited or seemingly eternal wars to end.
What do we do and where do we go when we're finished waiting? What transformations might be possible in our lives and in our politics if we stopped waiting for them to change, or for others to change first? How is it possible to recognize the moment in which we can set waiting aside and set out toward something—and, as importantly, how can we recognize the moment in which we can, at last, lay aside cherished innocences or bootless hopes, see what is for what it is, and act accordingly? How can it become possible for us to arise together and promote the arising of new worlds of collective possibility through collective uprising?
Bread & Puppet foments such practices of rising in the provocatively quotidian terms of “Domestic Resurrection”— under the banner of which aesthetic and spiritual sublimity are not at odds with political stridency and the rigors of traditional household chores.
In Finished Waiting, Bread & Puppet invites audiences throughout the Northeast to harken to these practices of uprising, and take heart from them—as we all participate in the satisfaction of another, equally fundamental kind of waiting: the waiting for spring's arrival after a long winter. With this show, Bread & Puppet seems to call on us to recognize how nature itself shows us what is possible and what can arise, when we abandon waiting and embrace transformation.
According to Schumann the show will star “the clock and its customers, skies, cities, mountains, forward dancers, backward dancers, a stop officer, and an eye divinity who teaches seeing to non-suspecting eyes.”
After the performance Bread & Puppet will serve its free sourdough rye bread with aioli, and Bread & Puppet’s “Cheap Art”—books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread & Puppet Press—will be for sale.
CitySpace, is a community-driven arts hub centrally located in downtown Easthampton in the historic Old Town Hall. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CitySpace restores, preserves, and manages Old Town Hall as a center for the arts for the City of Easthampton and Western Massachusetts.
CitySpace is looking for a qualified and enthusiastic events coordinator to plan and produce a series of special private and public events in support of the restoration of the Old Town Hall’s 2nd Floor Performing Arts and Community Space.
Provide overall project planning, coordination, and support to execute virtual and live events from start to finish
Collaborate in the development of event planning with the events committee and delegate tasks
Provide logistical support and organize facilities and manage all event details such as vendor selection, decor, virtual dashboards, catering, entertainment, location, invitee list, special guests, equipment, tickets etc.
Create and implement community outreach plans to build sponsorship for events
Assist in fundraising goal development for events
Establish event budgets
Collaborate on marketing and PR to promote and publicize events
Develop and maintain solid working relationships with all service providers and constituents
Coordinate contracts, releases, invoices, and other key administrative needs
Proactively handle any arising issues and troubleshoot any emerging problems on the event day
Propose ideas to improve provided services and event quality
Excellent time management and interpersonal and communication skills
Must have a at least one year of events management and fundraising experience
Ability to manage multiple projects independently
Experience with Google Workspaces and virtual ticketing services
Experience with a range of event planning and coordination
Familiarity with Western Massachusetts venues and its communities
Have good organizational skills, accuracy and attention to detail
Maintain positive working relationships and demonstrate willingness to support other team members
Hours per week: 10-20 depending on event schedule
Pay: $28 hourly, flexible remote schedule, temporary, 10- month contract with possible renewal
Please email a cover letter, resume and names of three references to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Events Coordinator” in the subject line.
CitySpace is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive, and accessible environment and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
UMass Fine Arts Center hiring a Lighting Director
The Lighting Director (Technical Assistant III) oversees all operations in the lighting department. Supervises lighting and related electrical aspects of all productions with Fine Arts Center including outdoor, hybrid, virtual, rental and on/off campus, assists in general production duties, and supervises student and professional crew members in these activities.
Coordinates lighting and production planning with visiting professional and student production companies; designs, adapts or implements lighting plans for all stage productions; supervises the hanging and focus of stage lights and operation of lighting control consoles.
Repairs and provides preventative maintenance for all stage lighting and related electrical equipment; responds to lighting and electrical problems occurring during productions; makes recommendations on major repair of lighting and on new equipment acquisitions.
Creates and maintains all lighting records including but not limited to detailing current lighting positions, circuit, focus, purpose and rentals. Manages and maintains all lighting inventories. Tracks electrical expenses for events from pre-production through post production.
Trains and supervises student work crews in the performance of lighting and general stage production duties. Works collaboratively with touring technical production personnel. Also supervises professional and union crew members.
Assists in general stage management duties, supervision of load-in, set-up, dismantling, and load-out of touring productions and securing of the performance area before and after production. Works with Production Manager to advance all events. Assists AV Head with technical projection and camera needs.
Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration
Over two (2) years’ experience in theatrical lighting design.
Knowledge of Eos Family Programming (ETC Ion), intelligent lighting systems, and wiring is required.
Software knowledge including Windows, Mac, Vectorworks, Lightwright, Microsoft Office.
Strong written and verbal communication skills, organizational and time management skills, as well as a focused work ethic and professional demeanor.
Bachelor’s degree in theater or technical theater. Over four (4) years’ experience as a Master Electrician for theatrical venues.
Experience with moving lights.
Experience working with student crews and student development.
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
Ability to work at substantial heights.
Ability to lift and carry 50lbs over a distance.
Work requires significant manual skills, physical effort, and an exposure to risks from heights, electricity, and stage rigging.
Occasionally works an irregular schedule, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Possible 18-hour shifts.
Expected to work evening performances related to FAC events.
Viewpoint Theatre is seeking to cast roles for a new musical. Rehearsals will begin in late March with performances at the end of June in Easthampton, MA. All roles will be paid a stipend.
ARABELLA She/Her, early to mid twenties. Mezzo soprano, plays guitar. An artist. Thoughtful, observant, mysterious, kind. Arabella prefers to be pulled into the spotlight rather than stepping into it.
CHORUS A band of players (and a literal band). Talented physical actors to step in and out of many smaller roles. Must play an instrument - ukulele, keyboard, djembe, violin, accordion, etc. We're seeking a diverse ensemble - Any and all gender identities are welcome!
Please self tape a one minute contemporary monologue, and 32 bars of a song (folk, rock, or pop)-- you’re encouraged to accompany yourself! Email a link to your audition (youtube or vimeo), a headshot, and a resume to email@example.com by March 4th 2022 at the latest.
Catalyst 22 presents Devising Project Auditions - Liminal Spaces Project
March 13 at 11:00 AM
Virtual Auditions, Please Email for Zoom Link Catalysttheatercollective@gmail.com
We will be hosting virtual auditions for a devised/co-created theater project, examining the concept of liminal spaces; gaps between the real and the imagined, where things are strange and familiar at the same time.
We encourage all interested folks to audition, even if you have no performance experience. No preparation needed. Auditions will be available from 11-3 and will be approximately 10 minutes.
For those who have not done devising before, this will be a collaborative project where we create a theater piece through group work, improv workshops, and theater games. It is a serious, difficult, silly, and fun experience.
Rehearsals and performances will be in person, and will likely be aiming for a July performance date.
Performers must be vaccinated for COVID-19 to participate.
WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
Happier Valley Comedy presents The Joy & Ease of Improv 1
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)
Would you like to play and laugh in a supportive community every week? Want to get better at thinking on your feet? Could you use some practice in mindfulness? Turning off your judgmental mind? Being brave? Would you like to become more confident speaking in public? Do you want to learn an affirming, judgment-free approach to improvisation?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, The Joy & Ease of Improv 1 would be an ever so lovely way to spend 90-minutes each week. Happier Valley Comedy's Founder and Head of Happiness Pam Victor offers this introduction to her original improv curriculum for adults who want to try something fun, rewarding, and mind-expanding. You'll learn a mindful, easeful approach to improv comedy in an incredibly positive and accepting atmosphere that will get you up on your feet and out of your head. Through improv exercises, games, and simple scenework, you'll practice the vital improvisation skills of paying attention, acceptance, agreement, redefining and disempowering failure, staying in the moment, quieting your critical voice to invite more joy and ease into your work, and much more. Plus, you'll join a community of kind-hearted, happier people!
No experience necessary. Being funny is not required! At Happier Valley Comedy, we believe everyone can improvise. (No joke.)
There are TWO different sessions of Improv 1: Mondays 5:00 - 6:30pm or 7:00 - 8:30pm.
WAM Theatre is thrilled to present two free zoom workshops with two of our favorite Teaching Artists. Each workshop is one off and lasts for two hours (perfect for busy lives and commitment-phobes!) All are welcome & encouraged to sign up!
Writing strong characters with authentic dialogue is a craft, but it begins with being able to listen and observe. Generally, we are our own biggest obstacles—fear of not knowing, fear of being wrong, fear of committing to something. For two hours, award-winning playwright Winter Miller will lead you through a series of writing prompts to spark inspiration.
Improvisation is the art of making up stories in the moment. Impro’s Co-Artistic Director and WAM’s Company Dramaturg Tatiana Godfrey will lead you through theater and improv games to create stories. Participants will practice committing to their ideas, deep listening, sharing space equitably, and having fun.
Spots are going fast (Tatiana's March workshop is already sold out!)