Thursday, September 8, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre September 8, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 8 - 28, 2022

Fall Acting Classes at the Drama Studio begin this week and next week! And it's also audition weekend for Amherst Community Theater's production of The Little Mermaid! 

Read the Valley Advocate review of Straight Line Crazy, at Amherst Cinema via National Theatre Live.

The next issue will include events from September 15 - October 5. 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
Join our theatre conservatory this fall for in-person classes. We offer acting programs for ages 6-18, where young people come to grow as artists, leaders, and individuals.
For more information, visit
Amherst Community Theater Auditions for The Little Mermaid
September 9-11 Sign up here.
Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents
A Very Special Writing Workshop with Claire Titelman
September 24-25 Email for 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

Celebrating the Spirit in Intimacy Work
by Ann James and Cha Ramos

From the article: 

Ann James: It gives me so much joy to be sitting here with you and talking about your intimacy practice and what excites you about the industry. So, let's begin! I do have questions that are benchmarks and guidelines, but feel free to share whatever riff or rant your mind wants to take you on in this process.

Cha Ramos: That's dangerous permission… I can riff!

Ann: Oh, goody. I consider myself warned! Let's start at a basic level. How were you drawn to intimacy work?

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

New play reading series at The LAVA Center, featuring local playwrights and friends of LAVA
Some Thursdays and Saturdays in August and September; see schedule below
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield

In August and September, The LAVA Center is presenting a series of new play readings by local playwrights and friends of LAVA.

For many of these readings, actors are invited to perform in an unpaid cold reading of the play in a casual atmosphere.

The schedule for the playwrights is as follows:
Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:30 p.m.: Alfonso Neal

Actors are invited to jump in on cold readings on Thursday, Sept. 8.

For more information, visit our website at

West Springfield’s Majestic Theater will kick off its 25th Season with Mamma Mia! which runs September 8 – October 16.  The beloved jukebox musical, with music and lyrics by Benny Anderson & Bjorn Ulvaeus, and book by Catherine Johnson, incorporates the music of pop group Abba in telling the story of Donna, a woman living a quiet life on a Greek island whose life is upended when her daughter Sophie becomes engaged.  Never knowing the identity of her father, Sophie invites the three men who may be her dad to the wedding.
Producing Director Danny Eaton is directing the play.  Associate Producing Director is Sue Dziura, Mitch Chakor is music director, and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.  The set was designed by Greg Trochlil, and Dawn McKay is costume designer.  Daniel Rist is lighting designer and Doug Wallace is sound designer.
Cast members include Cate Damon (Donna), Vivienne Damon (Sophie), Marty Bongfeldt (Tanya), Lori Efford (Rosie), Ben Ashley (Sam), Russell Garrett (Harry), Gene Choquette (Bill) and Sam Snyder (Sky).  Others cast members include Caelie Scott Flanagan, Natasha Ellis, Den Hernandez, Steven Sands and Michael Garcia.
Ticket prices range from $31 - $37 and can be obtained by visiting or calling the box office at (413) 747-7797 during hours of operation (Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Audience members are required to wear a mask while in the building unless actively eating or drinking in the café.  Doors to the theater will open one hour before the start of a show, which is also when the café opens.  For more information, visit
Ja'Duke Theater
Fancy Nancy
9/10/22 @ 10am and 2pm, 9/11/22 @ 11am
Ja'Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA 01376

Fancy Nancy is so excited to audition for the school play. But her fancy world crumbles when she learns she's not cast as a mermaid but she'll be playing a tree! With the help of her friends Nancy rallies and the play is a huge success, with the fanciest tree dance ever. Fancy Nancy is based on Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, part of the popular Fancy Nancy book series by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.

Join us after the show for a FREE tea party with Fancy Nancy and her friends!

Rating: G Run Time: 60 min

Text Copyright ©2009 by Jane O’Connor. Illustrations Copyright ©2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 by Robin Preiss Glasser. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Children’s Books

Happier Valley Comedy
2nd Saturdays Presents: Longform Improvisation
September 10 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)

A cast of experienced improvisers dive into a variety of formats based on audience suggestions. Second 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:

Happier Valley Comedy
HVC's Fun Fridays: Storytelling Standup Showcase
September 16 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. Free!

UMass Theater: Celebrating 50 YearsAn adventurous and joyful 2022-2023 season marks the anniversary of the department's founding

An outdoor performance piece created by designer Anya Klepikov
Directed & choreographed by Rudy Ramirez
Production coordinator Fleur Kuhta
September 17 at 2:00 pm, with rain dates Sept. 24 or Oct. 1
ILC/Blue Wall lawn (pond side of the Campus Center)
Free, no reservations necessary
Inspired by starling murmuration, this piece is a witty and much pinker version of the celestial phenomenon where a flock of starlings moves as one in response to environmental perturbations. There’s whimsy and delight to be found in dozens of participants, all sporting flamingo pool floats, performing coordinated movements, but there’s a thoughtful enquiry for audiences to ponder as they watch: are we humans capable of acting in concert for our evolutionary benefit?
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC Presents: Not In Charge!
September 17 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA)

A cast of experienced improvisers dive into a variety of formats based on audience suggestions. Second 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:

Happier Valley Comedy
The Happier Valley Championship
September 24 at 7:00 PM
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:

MIFA Victory Theatre
Angela Davis, A History of the United States

9/30 at 7:30 PM, 10/1/22 at 7:30PM & 10/2/22 Matinee at 2PM
Rooke Theater, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075

MIFA Victory Theatre presents French theater company Compagnie L'Héliotrope in "Angela Davis, A History of the United States"

The play, mixing narration, speeches, video, and rap music, tells the story of Angela Davis, American Black activist, professor and author, who faced a turbulent life during the civil rights movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Actress Astrid Bayiha alone on stage exudes rage at injustice and discrimination through the power of words and music with the help of musician-composer Balde AliMbaye. Don't miss Astrid Bayiha in Angela Davis' fierce journey!

Face Masks Required
Free parking at Gorse Lot, 27 Morgan St., South Hadley, MA.

Show Dates/Times:

Friday, September 30, 2022, at 7:30 pm - In French with English supertitles, FREE Student Performance (Student I.D. Required unless under age 13), Non-Student General Admission $20

Saturday, October 1, 2022, at  7:30 pm  - In English with French supertitles
General Admission $20, Students $15

Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 2:00 pm Matinee - In English with French supertitles
General Admission $20, Students $15
Amherst Community Theater
Auditions for The Little Mermaid

9/9 beginning at 6 PM, 9/10 beginning at 10 AM, 9/11 beginning at 10 AM
Bangs Community Center, Amherst

AUDITIONS are almost here for Amherst Community Theater’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid! 9 performances in the 600-seat UMass Bowker Auditorium, January, 2023. Irresistible songs, lavish sets and costumes, and a full live orchestra. Actors, singers, and dancers ages 7-107 are encouraged to audition! For more info, including character descriptions, audition music, and readings, visit or contact

Facebook event

AUDITIONS: Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
by Alexis Scheer, directed by Daniel Kramer

A gang of teenage girls gathers in an abandoned treehouse to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or are they really just messing with each other? A roller coaster ride through the danger and damage of girlhood – the teenage wasteland – has never been so much twisted fun.

Sunday, September 11 and Monday, September 12,
7:00-9:00 PM

Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall CPA
Please let us know if you are interested but unable to make either date.
Callbacks will be on Tuesday, September 13, 6:00-8:00 PM

October 26, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30 PM and October 29 at 2:00 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Casting Breakdown: 
PIPE – President of the Dead Leaders Club. Brilliant, sophisticated, intense. Makes the rules. Will run a Fortune 500 company one day. Cuban American. Just turned 18.
ZOOM – Pipe’s next door neighbor. Impulsive, hilarious, excitable. Wears glasses. Will go through many phases of “finding herself.” Jewish American. 15.
SQUEEZE – Pipe’s best friend. Practical, grounded, creative. Allergic to cats. Will run for congress the second she is old enough. Puerto Rican on mom’s side. Haitian on dad’s side. 16.
KIT – New girl in town. Sensual, mysterious, restrained. The kind of impossibly cool that is both intimidating and seductive. Not so much thinking about the future, only how to get by in the moment. Colombian American. 17.
PABLO ESCOBAR – Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist who was the founder and sole leader of the Medellín Cartel. 44.
PIPE’S LITTLE SISTER – 9 years old. The paragon of girlhood.

Audition Prep:
No appointment necessary. Sides from the script will be available at the audition for cold reads. No preparation necessary. Perusal scripts available at Josten Library.

Production Manager, Nikki Beck,

Sign Up Now for Your Flamingo!
UMass Theater seeks participants from on-campus and the community for FLAMINGO MURMURATION, an outdoor performance piece created by designer Anya Klepikov. Participants will wear a flamingo pool float and perform simple choreography. The event is scheduled for Sept. 17 from 2-4:30, with rain dates Sept. 24 or Oct. 1.
No theater or dance experience is required!!

Email Anya Klepikov at to reserve your flamingo float for this kick-off event for the 2022-2023 season.
Interested in being a group leader for the performance?
Open Call for the “Alpha Flamingos” (the AFs)
Would commit to going to a 90 minute workshop on Saturday September 10th and serve as group leaders at the performance on Saturday, September 17th (in the event of rain the performance will be rescheduled to September 24th or October 1st). Be willing to participate in Flamingo Foto-ops throughout the week that will be scheduled at that first workshop based on performer availability.
Email Rudy Ramirez at to sign up.
Performers: Be in one of our fall productions!
UMass Theater celebrates 50 years since its founding this year, and we're looking for performers of all backgrounds to help us mark the occasion by being in our shows!
Coming up Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 12 & 13, we'll hold auditions for both the BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS: 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EVENT and ORLANDO. Both auditions are open to community and Five College members as well as theater majors and minors, and we hope to see a diverse group of performers in the audition rooms in the Bromery Center for the Arts!
Please read on for details about how to prepared for both shows, or visit our website Audition page.
And if you want to brush up on your audition skills, make plans to attend our free audition workshop on Friday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 in the Curtain Theater with Prof. Milan Dragicevich.

Directed by Behnam Alibakhshi, Curated by Dr. Priscilla María Page  
Rehearsals start Sept. 19, performances run Oct. 27 & 28 in the Curtain Theater
The Celebration of Black Playwrights is an evening-length piece that brings together extraordinary works by Black theater artists that have been presented on our stages in the past fifty years. These plays vary widely in content and form as they demonstrate the vast creativity inherent in Black expression.  
When & Where
Audition: Sept. 12 & 13 (Monday & Tuesday) 6-10 p.m.
Callbacks: Sept. 14 & 15 (Wednesday & Thursday) 6-10 p.m.
Bromery Center for the Arts, Curtain Theater 
How to Prepare
We are seeking Black actors and a multiracial/multicultural ensemble for this piece that will be a collage of scenes and monologues from the Black Theater canon. The text will be supported with movement, music, and song. Members of this ensemble will have skills in the following areas:  improvisation, physical theater, music, movement/dance, and singing. An understanding of devised theater and an openness to collaborative process are welcome. It is also important for actors in this piece to have a serious interest in Black theater, history, and culture. 
Please come prepared with a 1 or 2-minute monologue, poem, and/or song that comes from the Black Theater canon. Examples can be found in the writings of Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Aishah Rahman, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, and Michael R. Jackson. Actors will also work with sides in pairs or trios during the audition.  

Directed by Iris Sowlat
Rehearsals start Sept. 19, performances run Nov. 11-19 in the Rand Theater
When & Where
Audition: Sept. 12 & 13 (Monday & Tuesday) 6-10 p.m.
Callbacks: Sept. 14 & 15 (Wednesday & Thursday) 6-10 p.m.
Fine Arts Center, Rand Theater
Orlando is the story of a charismatic genderfluid English noble and poet who journeys from Queen Elizabeth I’s court to Shakespeare’s London, from Constantinople to Victorian England, and finally to the bustle of the 20th century. As they fall in and out of love, create poetry, and explore their gender, their world expands and time leaps forward. Orlando is a joyous romp through the universal quest to discover one's true self, one's place in the world, and one’s happiness. Content advisory: Discussions of death 

How to Prepare
For general auditions, please prepare a 1-2- minute classical or contemporary monologue with heightened language. Actors will do a brief group exercise offered at 6:00pm and 8:00pm each night (please sign up for one of these time slots) and then individually present monologues. 
Callbacks will involve more group activities and sides from the play.

Note About Gender and Casting
We want to celebrate the resonances this play has with contemporary queer and trans identities and invite performers of any gender to audition for any roles they feel comfortable playing.  

More information about auditions, including sign up details, is on our website Audition page:
Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals

Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals offers unrestricted grants of $5,000 to creatives and gig workers to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and set a path for growth.

Application Process
UMass Fine Arts Center
Job Opening: Performing Arts Programming Office Support

Since its founding in 1975, the UMass Fine Arts Center has been a central force in the cultural, social, and academic life of the University, the Five College campuses, and the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. The Fine Arts Center's combination of educational, visual, and performing arts programs not only makes us unique, but it also secures a very vital and necessary position for us to meet the diverse needs of scholars, faculty, students, alumni, and the broader community.

Job Summary
The Clerical Assistant provides administrative and coordination support to the performing arts department in the areas of contracting, purchasing, timekeeping, budgeting, artist services, funding, and marketing.
UMass Fine Arts Center
Job Opening: Performing Arts Asst. Curator

Since its founding in 1975, the UMass Fine Arts Center has been a central force in the cultural, social, and academic life of the University, the Five College campuses, and the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. The Fine Arts Center's combination of educational, visual, and performing arts programs not only makes us unique, but it also secures a very vital and necessary position for us to meet the diverse needs of scholars, faculty, students, alumni, and the broader community.

Job Summary
The Performing Arts Assistant Curator works with the Performing Arts Curator to manage the performing arts department during the 2022-2023 season and devise a 2023-2024 season that reinforces the identity and goals of the Fine Arts Center (FAC). The position supports a coherent, innovative, and socially relevant performing arts and culture season featuring artists, projects, and outreach and engagement activities from across disciplines, genres, and cultures, including music, dance, theatre, family shows, international, and more. This is a temporary position.
The Academy of Music Theatre, an 816-seat historic performing arts venue in the lovely New England college town of Northampton, Massachusetts, seeks a full-time Technical Director. Responsibilities include organizing all technical aspects of performances and supervision of union stage crews. Knowledge of sound, lighting, set installations and rigging systems plus excellent communication and organizational skills required. A qualified candidate will have a minimum of a BA or BFA in technical theatre or equivalent with professional experience. Applications must be received by August 29th.  Send résumé to: For a full job description, please email
The Academy of Music Theatre provides live performing arts year-round: dance, theater, music, spoken word and multimedia. In addition, we provide educational programs year-round with one fully staged musical theater youth production. We serve over 62,000 patrons and are a destination site for visitors from the Connecticut Valley and New York City areas. We offer on average 130 performances annually.
The salary is $56-58K.
Scenic Artist/Painter – MAJESTIC THEATER
131 Elm St West Springfield, MA 01089
About the Company
The Majestic Theater has been bringing locally-produced live, professional theater to the Pioneer Valley since 1997. Every season at the Majestic consists of five productions, including at least one musical, which typically run for six weeks. In addition to the subscription season, the summer includes children's theater, concerts, plays, improvisational comedy shows, and more.
Job Description
The Scenic Artist works closely with the Scenic Designer in accomplishing all texture and painted effects of a production.  The scenic artist will oversee painting crews as needed.  Candidate should have a working knowledge of painting techniques such as marbling, wood grain, etc., and understand paint mixing and stenciling.   Experience in a professional or collegiate theatrical shop would be helpful.
Work schedule based upon productions: five season productions (August – April), children’s theater (May – June), additional productions as scheduled.

Hourly compensation based upon experience.  
Hourly range $20 to $25.  Benefits to be determined.

Interested applicants should email with cover letter and current professional resume.
Grant Application Opens: August 1st, 2022
Grant Application Closes: September 16th, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts 

Flexible Funding

We are excited to announce 2022’s round of Flexible Funding, which will provide general operating support to nonprofits that benefit our region.

As part of the Foundation’s strategic vision, preference will be given to organizations, who missions are in the following areas:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion in workplaces and institutions, prioritizing racial equity.
  • A strong start for all children though high-quality early education and care.
  • Accessible and more affordable post-secondary education and training, providing pathways to completion and employment.
  • A vibrant and local arts and creativity ecosystem to support self-expression, economic vitality and connection.

Preference will also be given to organizations where leadership is racially diverse.

Learn More 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.

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents A Very Special Writing Workshop with Claire Titelman


Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th


Blue Barn at Bramble Hill Farm, 593 South Pleasant St, Amherst MA


11am-4pm each day, which includes an hour long lunch break on the farm; (bring your own lunch & cold drink) water bottles available.

Price: $175

More info: 

Email Claire Titeman at to see if there's a spot left and she will give you info on payment, etc. Limited enrollment. 

Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Covid protocol: 

The class will be masked and you must be able to show proof of vaccination.

About the class:

This is a playful and challenging class with exercises and writing prompts that run the gamut from surreal to straightforward, from very deep to very dumb. They will encourage you to get out of your head, delve into your unconscious, and develop your authentic voice, leading to vulnerable, funny, fierce, strange, and surprising work. We will subvert elements of memoir, theater, fiction, and other genres to help inspire creativity-- all with a curriculum that’s designed for artists of all kinds: writers, comedians, performers, filmmakers, visual artists, and non-artists interested in exploring creative expression. Dropouts, shut-ins and people picked last in gym class are welcome!*

*Jocks, geniuses and the well-adjusted also welcome. This is an inclusive class. 

SEPT 28 – 7:00 pm ET

A free informational webinar for playwrights, actors, directors, and theater educators with little or no experience in virtual theater.

Presenter/Moderator Dr. Jack Tierney (aka Jack McT) defines and describes the current state of the art of virtual theater and introduces a pair of sequential follow-up events: a "How-To" WEBINAR “How to Produce Your Play for Virtual (ZOOM) Theater;” and a "Hands-On" WORKSHOP "Producing Your Play for Virtual (ZOOM) Theater. Because the outcome goal of the workshop is that each participant will produce a “virtual staged-reading” of their own original play, this event will also involve a viewing of out-takes and highlights of a “virtual staged-reading” of a work-in-progress, and a viewing of a new new musical as a model and example for participants. The session include opportunities for Q & A.




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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