Thursday, July 14, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 14, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 14 - August 3, 2022

It's humid out, so put on your mask and get yourself to an air conditioned theatre. 

Want to know a little bit about what to expect ahead of time - go see something that Chris Rohmann has reviewed. Check out the Valley Advocate reviews of ABCD at Barrington Stage or Birds of North America, at Chester Theatre Company. Or get to Mass MoCA for a wonderful day in a giant museum and check out John Cameron Mitchell & Amber Martin's performance - this Saturday only!

The next issue will include events from July 21 - August 10. 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
The KO FESTIVAL hosts its 31st & final season July 22-31, now on the Hampshire College campus in Amherst. WEEK 1: FLUSHING (Make Room for Somone Else),” a collaboration between 2 artistic leaders, Eric Bass of Sandglass Theater (Putney, VT) & Linda Parris-Bailey of Carpetbag Theatre (Knoxville, TN), who are passing leadership to the next generation. It’s about family, legacies + what it means to retire, bestow & inherit. 7/24 at 8pm the ever-popular KoFest STORY SLAM returns, w/appearance by Sara Felder. WEEK 2 features Clear Creek Creative from Rural KY with “EZELL: Ballad of a Land Man,” an outdoor, daylight, all-ages parable also about family legacy, & environmental extraction (fracking). Dates/times/info/sliding scale tix at
John Cameron Mitchell & Amber Martin: Cassette Roulette
Saturday, July 16, 8pm at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
More Information
$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

Theatre as Laboratory: Exploring and Forging Humanity with Les Inachevés
by Michelle Haner and Moise Toure

From the article: 

Michelle Haner: Moïse, what a pleasure to find you here in Grenoble, France. You’re planning to continue working on the theme of hospitality with Les Inachevés but now frame your work as a Laboratory—a space of experimentation. Can you tell me more about that?

Moïse Touré: In 2020, I wanted to work on the question of hospitality. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic came, crashing into our work on this theme. On the one hand, it was terrible as our company wasn’t able to do what we had originally planned. On the other, it was an opportunity, as the theme of hospitality allowed me to face the pandemic. Sometimes you are up against questions or problems, and you don’t know where to start or what dynamic you need to get started. But in this case, I realized the theme of hospitality was exactly the right one as it allowed me to address the very challenges we were living through.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
The GB Public Theater 2022 mainstage opens with Public Speaking 101 (July 14 - July 24) a fun, turn-the-tables  comedy by the much loved, wonderfully accomplished and always engaging Berkshire-based playwright Mark St. Germain.

When a neurotic, amateur actress leads her community college class of terrified adults to compete in their county’s First Annual Public Speaking Competition, their cross-currents, tongue-tied quirks and foibles become a tight, repartee comedy, brought to life by a brilliant cast, including Peggy Pharr-Wilson, David Smilow, Nathan Hinton, Brendan Powers and Rachel Burttram. Directed by GBPT Artistic Director Jim Frangione, Public Speaking 101 brings the misfit contest and heartfelt laughter to the McConnell Theater for ten performances only.
Audiences know and love Mark St. Germain’s quick, sharp dialogue and knotty situations where characters walk into quicksand of their own making and need to reach out to others for a lifeline. “Mark is a master at comic set-up, timing and real character quirks,” director Jim Frangione says. “He can come up with a very funny storyline, and no one gets out until the hang-ups are resolved. This time, Mark gives us a comedy with great heart. Speaking in public is number one phobia for almost everybody. For these people it’s absolute terror. We all know the moment, when we wish we would have said something but couldn’t find the words.” Frangione works closely with St. Germain and directed and played the title role in GBPT’s 2021 production of Mark’s comedy Dad. “It becomes more than a comic story about a classroom of mixed nuts and lost dogs. It’s about finding that sweet spot in your heart that lets you pump yourself up and show yourself off as the prize-winner we all know we are, no matter what. Mark has given us a feel-good story just when the world really needs one.”
As St. Germain explains it, “We have a pastor terrified of addressing his congregation and sings to them instead, a cop who dissolves on the witness stand, a mortician more comfortable with the dead than the living and a writer whose every word sounds like drying paint, taught by Sunny Strutt, an aspiring community theater actress whose offstage life is falling apart. It takes us into the hearts of a misfit class struggling to find their own voices.”

Mark St. Germain, Jim Frangione and Public Speaking 101 cast members are available for interviews. 

Public Speaking 101 and will be staged ten times only, from July 14-July 24, Thurs.-Sun., 3pm and 7:30pm, in the McConnell Mainstage Theater, Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Tickets can be reserved on the Great Barrington Public Theater website.
The Majestic Theater will present the debut of Betty & The Patch, a new contemporary comedy/drama by Producing Director Danny Eaton June 9 through July 24.
The play is set at The Patch, one of those local destination restaurants with the reputation of good and plentiful food along with a kind of privacy which makes it ideal for intimate get togethers. It’s been run by Betty Borelli for years but a recent kitchen fire has forced a shut down. Determined to reopen, Betty has recruited her daughter Cristina, a successful attorney, to come home and help. But that’s not the only reason — she has had recent health issues and Betty wants Cristina and chef Bobo Henderson to ensure the restaurant’s future. There are family secrets as well that need to be finally revealed, and recent visits from past friends have added to the urgency. Will Cristina stay? Will Bobo finally let Cristina know he’s in love with her? And just who is Cristina’s father?
The cast of Betty & The Patch includes Christine Anthony (Betty), Katie Mack (Cristina), Issa Best (Bobo), Brad Shepard (Joey), Michael Graham Morales (Michael), J. T. Waite (Andy), Linda Storms (Betty understudy), Valerie Vaile (Cristinas understudy), Joel Gladu (Bobo understudy), Rick Malone (Andy/Joey understudy) and Liam Toner (Michael understudy). 
Eaton will direct the play.  Associate Producing Director/Stage Manager is Sue Dziura, and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.  Set design is by Greg Trochlil, and Dawn McKay is costumer designer.  Daniel D. Rist is lighting designer.
In accordance with regulations from the Actors' Equity Association, an American labor union representing those who work in live theatrical performance, the Majestic Theater requires all attendees to wear masks at all times (except when eating and drinking), to be fully vaccinated against COVID, and to present their vaccination card (or a photo or other proof of it, on their cell phone) upon arrival.  At this time, no food or drink may be brought into the theater, and needs to be consumed in the Majestic Café.
Tickets to Betty & The Patch range from $31 - $35 and are available for sale at the Majestic’s box office Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm; or on the phone at (413) 747-7797. 
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC’s Fun Fridays: Storytelling Standup Showcase
July 15 at 7:00pm
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (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.

For more info:
Play Incubation Collective
Reading of "Invitation to the Dance"
July 15 at 7:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley

Join PIC for this premier reading of local writer Nina Dabek's play: "Invitation to the Dance," followed by a facilitated community dialogue.

Box Office is now open for Double Edge’s 40th Anniversary Summer Spectacle
The Hidden Territories of the Bacchae!

The Hidden Territories of the Bacchae, directed by Founding Artistic Director Stacy Klein and created with the Double Edge Ensemble, is a response to Euripides’ Bacchae in which women’s rites are no longer in hidden territories but freely able to express their deeply held desires.

Previews: July 15 - 17 at 8pm
Performances: Wed - Sun, July 20 - July 31 at 8pm, August 3 - 6 at 7:30pm


For questions,
email or call our Box Office at 413-628-0277.

John Cameron Mitchell & Amber Martin: Cassette Roulette
Saturday, July 16, 8pm
MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

Forever known for his punk goddess alter ego, Hedwig—of the cult classic musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch—John Cameron Mitchell teams up with cabaret star Amber Martin and special guests for a world premiere evening of songs, stories and characters, all chosen by the hand of fate and the ‘cassette roulette.’ Backed by Justin Craig and the Hedwig house band Tits of Clay. Whether you're a longtime Hedhead or just want to be swept up in a night of glorious live performance, this one's for you.
Ja'Duke Theater
Crazy For You
7/16 at 7pm, 7/17 @2pm, 7/22 @ 7pm, 7/23 @ 7pm, 7/24 @2pm
Ja'Duke Theater

A zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy, Crazy For You® tells the story of young New York banker Bobby Child, who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. In Deadrock, Bobby falls for spunky Polly Baker, the theatre owner’s daughter. But Polly takes an instant dislike to the city slicker, so Bobby vows – through cunning, razzmatazz, and a hilarious case of mistaken identity – to win Polly’s heart and save the theatre. Memorable Gershwin tunes from the score include “I Got Rhythm,” “Naughty Baby,” “They Can't Take That Away from Me,” “Embraceable You,” “But Not for Me,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Rating: G
Run Time: 2 hours and 15 Minutes (one intermission)
More information
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC Presents: Not In Charge!
July 16 at 7:00pm
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)

Join the talented group Not In Charge for a fast-paced improv show inspired by true stories from the cast! Third Saturday of every month at 7pm at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). Tickets: $13 online and at the door.

For more info:
This July, Passport Theatre Company presents a new take on Willy Russell’s classic comedy, Educating Rita. Starring Stephanie Carlson and Adrian Goldman, the production opens July 21 at 7:30 pm at The Blue Room, Old Town Hall, 43 Main St in Easthampton, with performances on July 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm and July 24 at 2 pm.
Tickets for Educating Rita are on sale now at Eventbrite.  For further information, call (413) 552-6412.
About the Play
Rita is a working-class hairdresser who wants to learn and grow. She sees education as the path to a better way of living her life. Frank is a disillusioned university professor who uses alcohol to mask his feelings of inadequacy. Rita sweeps into his cocoon of an office like a strong gust of wind, ruffling his papers, absorbing his knowledge and challenging his assumptions. Each has a romanticized view of life in the other's social circle. Rita believes that the educated have more culture, and that their lives therefore have more meaning. Frank believes that any problem can be forgotten with a trip to the pub.
Rita and Frank struggle, connect and clash, and do or don't learn. It is a quiet play. Like Rita, it is charming with a serious side as well. Perhaps the moral of Educating Rita is that it doesn't matter so much what song you sing; it's how you sing it. If we value growth, if we want to get "the absolute maximum out of this living lark", the choice is ours to do so, and it is never too late to start.

Visit Passport Theatre online
Theater Between Addresses
Grail Knight: An Immersive Play
7/21/22 at 7pm, 7/22 at 7pm, 7/24 at 4pm, 7/29-7/30 at 7pm, 7/31 at 4pm
Three Sisters Sanctuary, 188 Cape St, Goshen, MA

Grail Knight, written by Sean French-Byrne and directed by Ezekiel Baskin, is an immersive retelling of the story of the Quest for the Holy Grail. Here Sir Galahad, the last knight of the Round Table, is reimagined as a young trans girl struggling under the weight of destiny and the task of fixing her predecessors’ Camelot. Galahad is joined on her quest by Sir Mordred, the king’s bastard, whose fate is to tear down Camelot, and Lancelot, her blood father who has done the unspeakable to ensure Camelot’s survival. To Mordred, Galahad is a mirror of his own experience; to Lancelot, Galahad is an uncomfortable echo of his past. Together, they seek the grail and face their entangled destinies.

Living in a broken world, the knights face questions that haunt us today: How can we fix the mistakes of our predecessors? How do we find agency and identity in a world where we must conform to survive? Is there room to live and love in a dying world? How can we break from the power structures and narratives we are raised with?

The play takes place throughout the Three Sisters Sanctuary, and the audience is free to explore the enclaves and secrets of the sanctuary throughout the play. As an audience member, it is your choice how you follow the grail quest; the threads of the story intertwine and weave, but each character’s path is unique - who will you follow?

This outdoor immersive play runs roughly 90 minutes. We encourage you to bring a picnic and continue your exploration of the sanctuary before or after the performance. Tickets are $15 for students, seniors, and those age 25 and under, and $25 general admission. The first $10 of each ticket will go to the Sanctuary, for their continued upkeep and operations, and the remainder of each ticket will go directly to compensating the artists involved in the production. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds - if you cannot afford the ticket prices but want to see the production, please reach out to us at theaterbetweenaddresses (at) gmail (dot) com and we will connect you with subsidized free or reduced price tickets. If you';re able to donate above the cost of your ticket, we encourage you to do so, to help us compensate our artists fairly while making sure we can provide free and reduced price tickets to everyone who needs them.

Performances will take place on July 21st and 22nd at 7pm, July 24th at 4pm, July 29th and 30th at 7pm, and July 31st at 4pm. Tickets are available at 

If we need to cancel a performance due to extreme weather (heat or heavy rain/thunderstorm), all tickets for that performance will be honored at any future date, including additional rain dates on August 5th and 6th, or refunded upon request

Ko Festival of Performance presents FLUSHING (Make Room for Someone Else)
Eric Bass, co-founder/Sandglass Theater & Linda Parris-Bailey, co-founder/Carpetbag Theatre; directed by Kathie deNobriga
Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 at 8pm, July 24 at 4pm 
Emily Dickinson Hall at Hampshire College
893 West St, Amherst, MA

A puppet show with songs, made for adults, FLUSHING begins at the Brink, where two theater directors are passing the leadership of their ensembles to the next generation. This moment sparks a reflection on what it means to retire and what it might mean to inherit. For those stepping down, what do we leave and who do we become? And for those stepping up, how do we take what is given and make it our own?

Tickets $30 Patron, $22 Standard, $10 Discount  

Buy Tickets
Box Office phone line opens July 18: 413-559-5351.

Happier Valley Comedy
The Happier Valley Championship
July 23 at 7:00pm
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)

In this competitive comedy show, two teams of improvisers face off through scenes and games to see who can win the ultimate prize: your laughter! Fourth Saturday of every month at 7pm at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). Tickets: $13 online and at the door.

For more info:

KoFest Story Slam & Celebration 
Sunday, July 24 at 8pm
Emily Dickinson Hall at Hampshire College
893 West St, Amherst, MA

A celebration of KoFest’s three decades, featuring true stories on the theme of “Stepping Up / Stepping Back.” There will be some ringers, and also some wild-card slots, for these stories about transitions. Special guest appearance by Sara Felder. Email if you are interested in pitching a story. 

Tickets $26 Patron, $16 Standard, $10 Discount 

Purchase Tickets
Box Office phone line opens July 18: 413-559-5351.

No Theater
let go 

a short adult comedy about love, death and piles of paper....

July 28 - August 6 at 8:00 PM 

Thursday, July 28 - sold out
Friday, July 29 - sold out
Saturday, July 30
Wednesday, August 3
Thursday, August 4
Friday, August 5
Saturday, August 6

LIMITED SEATING-- Running Time: 1 hour w/out intermission
(Vaccination and Masks required)


Ko Festival of Performance presents EZELL: Ballad of a Land Man 
Clear Creek Creative 
Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 at 6:15pm, July 31 at 10:15am 
Emily Dickinson Hall / Hampshire College Farm 
893 West St, Amherst, MA

An environmental, cultural and spiritual parable of domination and resilience that explores the complexities of climate change, indigenous erasure and environmental extraction (fracking) - that is based on the artists’ lived experience in their rural Appalachian community in KY. This immersive outdoor experience features a contemplative walk through the woods to the performance site with live music, the play, a return walk and a post-show dialogue with the artists and a panel of local experts. 

Tickets $30 Patron, $22 Standard, $10 Discount 

Purchase Tickets
Box Office phone line opens July 18: 413-559-5351

Ja'Duke Theater
Auditions: Round and Round the Garden
July 19 at 20 at 6:30 PM
Ja'Duke Theater

Auditions for Round and Round the Garden.  Open casting for Adults in their early 30s-50s.  Show dates in September.
Incident at Vichy
Tech Rehearsals - September 24 and 25; Production Week - September 26 thru October 1; Performances - October 2 thru 8
The Institute for the Musical Arts - Goshen

I'm seeking a production team for Incident at Vichy, an Arthur Miller one-act to be produced at the Institute for the Musical Arts in Goshen between October 2 and 8. The production will be a fundraiser for the Pioneer Valley Workers Center in Northampton.

Indiegogo Campaign

I'm looking for a lighting designer, costume designer, stage manager, and assistant director/dramaturg. This is a paid opportunity. Contact Frank Pagliaro at if interested.
WAM Theatre is seeking a part-time (10-20/hrs a week) Company Administrator to support WAM’s daily admin activities and programming. This administrator will provide clerical and administrative oversight in order to optimize workflow procedures for WAM’s arts-activism mission.  Interested candidates should email a resume and cover letter with the subject heading “WAM Company Administrator” to by August 21, 2022.  A detailed job description can be found HERE
Anyone who organizes or attends auditions or is involved in casting for the theatre, is recommended to take 30 minutes to listen to this conversation between casting director Victor Vazquez and dramaturg/performer Tatiana Godfrey.  Part of WAM Theatre's Spotlight Series, they talk about some of the problems that we run into in the traditional casting process, especially in terms of racial or gender stereotyping, and some of the opportunities and suggestions he has for better ways of placing actors in roles.
FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance, 2022
July 18  – 23, 2022

Come with a story. (Or two. Or three.) Leave with a performance. (Or two. Or three.)

Come without a story, and by the end of Day One, you’ll discover more compelling material than you’d ever think possible. “After all,” says theatre artist Gerard Stropnicky, “people are simply wonderful walking story anthologies.”

Why do some stories – some performances – spark your imagination, set fire to your soul, and leave you transformed, while others just sit there? Is it the content, or the telling? The framing, or the style? Can story be employed to bring laughter, or tears, or understanding, or lasting social change, or all of the above?

Gerard Stropnicky has been working in story for twenty years. This award-winning director has helped create compelling work from interview, gathered story, letters to the editor, even advertisements, recipes and children’s games. He’s written, directed and acted in countless styles; he’s coached diverse thousands of performers, professional and not, young and old, from every walk of life, to bring their stories to vivid life.

We’ll play with monologue. We’ll experiment with styles, colors and tones. We’ll make ourselves vulnerable to our stories, and to one another. The workshop will draw on the work of the late playwright and poet Jo Carson, Stropnicky’s long-time creative partner, as well as other practitioners of Story Work, and will culminate with a showing. This on-your-feet writers and performers story intensive is designed to release the enormous potential energy already alive in you and your story.

A repeat of previous summers’ sold out workshops – alums welcome!

Please note that many workshop participants choose to attend or take part in our KoFest Story Slam which will take place Sunday night, July 24, 2022, so you may want to mark  that in your calendars.

More information here or email 

Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents
Educational Theater Workshops
July 21-29, Aug 1-5
Northampton Center for the Arts

Fun and educational week-long theater programs for kids ages 7-15 run by local professionals.
Yoga Sanctuary
Play Practice: Exploring Yoga & Theatre
Summer Program for Kids
8/1–8/5 (Monday–Friday), 9–2 pm
Yoga Sanctuary, Thornes Marketplace (Third Floor)

Join us for a fabulous week of daily yoga practice and theatre-making, as we use our bodies, breath, and voices to develop skills for acting and storytelling. Every day will include yoga techniques, theatre games, and creative exercises designed to unleash each student's unique expression, as well as foster dynamic group creation. Plus, all the summer fun of daily outdoors time and a special day spent walking and swimming in our beautiful local nature! On the last day, we'll host a sharing at 1pm for families to get a peak at what the students have been practicing this week.

Play Practice is open to students ages 10-13 of all experience levels (including no previous experience) and all physical abilities—yoga and theatre are for every body! Reach out to us with any questions.

More information.

Play Practice is led by Ellen Morbyrne, a local teacher and parent with over 20 years of experience as both a theatre-maker and a yoga practitioner. Ellen has been teaching and directing theatre at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens since 2003, has taught theatre locally at high schools and homeschool co-ops and at the Drama Studio, and has been teaching yoga to folks of all ages since 2009. She is the cofounder of Real Live Theatre and teaches weekly yoga classes here at Yoga Sanctuary.

Cost: $325/child (regular price); $400/child (pay-it-forward price; help us offer a scholarship to another child!)
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

Theater Between Addresses


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

World and Eye
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
ArtsBeat TV/Radio and News Column
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