Thanksgiving week is always a welcome break in an extremely busy fall. The newsletter is short this week as theatres in the valley take a pause before continuing on building their winter and spring productions. There are still a few things going on if you are craving a chance to see a show: check out the list below. And I hope you can come to the Play Incubation Collective's presentation of Return to Abya Yala by Aria Acevedo - the script has been in development since this March and we're thrilled to have a first draft to share with a kind audience.
In the meantime, for some theatrical reading about thigns further afield, the StageStruck column this week features performances in London! We can all dream about places we might go next, right?
The next issue will include events from December 1- December 21. 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
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC), a grassroots arts and social justice organization, recently published an illustrated workbook to guide artists, activists, educators, and facilitators through forum theatre and other creative community-led change processes. The Wildcard Workbook: A Practical Guide for Jokering Forum Theatre poses questions towards an ethical, joyful, and radical practice of Theatre of the Oppressed. Available for anyone to download for free or by donation, this book can accompany other Theatre of the Oppressed training or stand alone as a resource for anyone leading a group through a devised theatre process. It can also guide facilitators leading embodied diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism trainings or moderating complex dialogue in any public event.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Up: One Man's Journey to Feminism - An Autobiographical Play in Support of Gender Equality
Sunday Nov. 27, 2:45pm
Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, MA.
What does it take for a man to become a feminist—and why does it matter? In seven diverse and poignant vignettes from his own life, Peter Pruyn (“prine”), a trauma therapist who works with female survivors, takes us on his journey, including the experiences of attending an all-boys primary school, being the only man in a Women’s Studies class, flying as a pilot in Alaska, interviewing at the trauma unit of a psych hospital, and working in a methadone clinic—culminating in a personal reflection on male privilege as a fundamental barrier to social change. Along the way, Peter accompanies himself with improvised piano. Each performance is followed by a period of audience reflections.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to I Have The Right To, a non-profit organization that supports assault survivors and their families.
LOVE, MILLY & MURRAY AT MAJESTIC THEATER
THROUGH DECEMBER 4
West Springfield’s Majestic Theater continues its 25th Season with the premiere production of Love, Milly & Murray, a new comedy about old love, written by T. Emerson. The play, which runs October 27 through December 4, features Milly and Murray, who have been married for 57 years. Their well-practiced routines, revolving around constant medical appointments, banter and barbs, are the stuff of true love, especially as the pair are shown celebrating their anniversary. While anxiously awaiting a doctor’s telephone call, they replay their lives, telling stories from the past, and revealing a perfectly imperfect love story.
Danny Eaton is producing director, while Sheila Siragusa is directing the play. Associate Producing Director/Stage Manager is Sue Dziura, and Stephen Petit is production stage manager. The set was designed by Greg Trochlil, Dawn McKay is costume designer, and Daniel Rist is lighting designer. Cast members are J. T. Waite (Murray) and Julie Nelson (Milly). Understudies are Frank Aronson (Murray) and Linda Storms (Milly).
Ticket prices range from $29 - $35 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 www.majestictheater.com
Happier Valley Comedy
The Happier Valley Championship November 26 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.
Play Incubation Collective
Return to Abya Yala Culminating Presentation
Registration is now open for our final Reading and Reception for this year's Residency: Return to Abya Yala by Aria "Lune" Acevedo. We hope you will join us for this powerful new play.
Focusing on identity within the Indigenous community, Return to Abya Yala takes place in Santos, an imagined San Antonio of the future. It follows the journey of Xo- a detribalized young woman. Xo seeks reconnection to roots lost from centuries of colonization and generational trauma. To the settler’s eye, this future may look like an apocalyptic dystopia, but for Xo and her Indigenous community, could it be the time to finally regain stewardship of the land and heal?
“Mother Tongue” is an original multilingual physical theater performance created by Springfield-based First Generation Ensemble.“Mother Tongue” is inspired by events and stories from Congo/Tanzania, Bhutan/Nepal, South Sudan, Holyoke, and Springfield. The performance weaves together movement, music, dance, and stories in Arabic, Swahili, Nepali, and English. The 90 minute piece incorporates the themes of culture, language, diaspora, identity, and the school to prison pipeline, among others. Appropriate for ages 12 and up.
Silverthorne Theater Company, Inc.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley December 17, 3:00 PM
Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley offers an imaginative and playful sequel to the action of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Silverthorne Theater actors will portray the familiar characters in a special fundraiser reading of the play at The Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield, on Saturday, December 17, at 3:00 pm.
Tickets for this staged, costumed reading are available at Eventbrite.com. Full details are available at Silverthorne’s website under Special Events. STC co-founder Lucinda Kidder directs this special presentation. Proceeds go to support Silverthorne’s 2022-23 season.
The event is sponsored by Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern. Patrons are encouraged to make reservations for lunch or dinner before or after the reading at 413-774-5587. Holiday beverages will be available before the reading and during intermission.
Now in its 3rd decade of promoting performing arts in the Pioneer Valley, In the Spotlight seeks 3 additional writers with backgrounds in theatre, musical theatre, classical music, and contemporary/ethnic music. In the Spotlight began as a free monthly newspaper in 50 cities in MA running 15 years, onto Bravo-on-the-Air weekly radio interview program, then to the Web. The following are basic rules for reviews, previews, feature stories, and interviews.
Qualifications: Know your subject matter, strict attention to deadlines, represent In the Spotlight in a professional manner, write well although getting out the word in a timely manner may have to supersede placing of a comma correctly.
Unfortunately, none of us are paid. Your compensation includes your byline, 2 free tix to each show that you review/preview, and the good feeling that you are helping the arts and patrons of the arts in our community.
1) As editor, I assign plays/music/dance/etc. to writers who know these particular genres. 2) If you have interest in an upcoming production and wish to review, let me know. However, avoid any conflict of interest. 3) DEADLINES: crucial! If you review an event that runs one weekend only, the review must be sent to me by the next morning/early afternoon so it can be posted immediately. 4) If the run of the show is two or more days, please send the review to me within 2 days. 5) In addition to myself, reviews will be checked by our website manager. 6) VERY IMPORTANT: spell the names of people correctly and consistency. 7) Once the review is sent to me, barring something that is unforgivable, the piece will not be returned to the writer and/or the venue covered in the review. This has been standard newswriting for decades. 8) Note the heading format on past reviews and use that as your guide. 9) If at all possible, provide a photo and cutline. 10) You have the right to refuse to write about something/someone. I only ask that tell me up front so I can assign someone else. 11) Never take it upon yourself to give the tix to a person who you know and ask them to write for you.
1) If you are sick, broke a leg, bad weather, call me. Can't reach me? Call the venue to sell your tix.
2) NEVER tell the reader the end or climax of the show. Writers do this! What are they thinking?
3) NEVER say anything negative about children. If the kid performers aren't good, simply omit them.
4) YOU CAN be critical, not brutally honest about community productions. Never attach any one person.
5) ONLY one space after each form of punctuation ending a sentence; this is correct newspaper format.
6) No plagiarism allowed. If you use a quote, then give proper credit where credit is due.
Contact me with questions or send 2 writing samples. We seek diversity in age, race, color; we want a variety of perspectives.
Shera Cohen, In the Spotlight, Inc. email@example.com