Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 17, 2022

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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November 17 - December 7, 2022

Coming this weekend: GCC's Antigone, UMass presents Orlando, Love, Milly, and Murray at the Majestic, Anne of Green Gables in East Longmeadow, Rainbow Exodus at Double Edge, and A Wrinkle in Time at the Drama Studio. And more! Get some theatre in before Thanksgiving. 

Max Hartshorne's Review of Antigone at Hawks and Reed can be found at that link. And a reminder that In the Spotlight is currently looking for more theatre reviewers to join their team if you would like to try your hand at writing a review. 

The next issue will include events from November 24 - December 14. 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
Up: One Man's Journey to Feminism 
Sunday Nov. 13, 20, 27, 2:45pm at Happier Valley Comedy, Hadley, MA
Tickets and 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

Worldmaking 101: Imagination and Reparation at Double Edge Theatre and Ohketeau Cultural Center
by Jonathan Eburne

From the article: 

I first learned about Double Edge Theatre on account of the ensemble’s commitment to thorough dramaturgical research. What I mean by this is that they found me. I still have a record of the email I received from Double Edge’s producing executive director and ensemble member Adam Bright back in 2018. He wrote to invite me to the world premiere of their performance Leonora: La Maga y la Maestra at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances series. “It would be an honor to have you in the audience,” the email read. “After the opening night performance, we shall also hold a party with the artists, friends, and Carrington enthusiasts.”

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

Nov 17, 18, & 19 at 7:30pm
Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main St. Greenfield, MA 01301

Mark your calendars! GCC Theater presents Jean Anouilh's ANTIGONE for two weeks starting November 11th at 7:30pm at Hawks & Reed, Downtown Greenfield. Directed by Tom Geha, with a cast and crew of over 25 students and community members, the story of Antigone, the second daughter of King Oedipus, is brought to life. Creon, her uncle, issues an edict that no one shall bury Antigone's brother Polynices because of his attempt to destroy the state. The punishment for breaking the law is death. Antigone's defiance of this law is due to her great devotion to religious law and her allegiance to the dead. In her calm defiance of Creon, she is the symbol of rebellion. The conflict between human law and divine law causes the tragedy. Creon bears the burden of age, wisdom, and public responsibility, while Antigone is young, idealistic, rebellious and non-conformist.   $10 General Admission/$5 Students and Seniors

The ultimate coming-of-age story: UMass Theater presents Orlando, a play about knowing where you belong in the world

by Sarah Ruhl, adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf
Directed by Iris Sowlat
Nov. 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

The Rand Theater, Bromery Center for the Arts
$15 general admission, $5 students and seniors 
Tickets sold through the Fine Arts Center Box Office (call 1-800-999-UMAS or visit the website). 

When we first meet Orlando in the play of the same name, they're a charismatic British noble, sumptuously costumed and part of glittering Renaissance society. They soon become Queen Elizabeth I's lover. Commanded by the monarch to stay forever young, Orlando travels around the world and through five centuries on a journey to understand who they really are, encountering fascinating people in gorgeous locales in a UMass Theater production described by its director Iris Sowlat as a "visual feast."

Originally written by Virginia Woolf as a playful, magical-realist tribute to her lover Vita Sackville-West, Orlando was adapted for the stage by Sarah Ruhl. UMass Theater's production runs Nov. 11-19 in the Rand Theater, with tickets on sale now through the Fine Arts Center Box Office. It's the third entry in a season that marks the 50th anniversary since the department's founding.

Orlando's journey, through relationships and exploring their own gender, is an expression of "queer joy," said Sowlat, who, along with many members of the cast and production team, identifies as queer, bringing an authentic perspective to the material. 

"It's an optimistic story that's about people who happen to be queer, being joyful and being exceptional," Sowlat added. "I also see it as the ultimate coming of age story."
Dramaturg Percival Hornak agreed. "This is a story about self-actualization. It's a story about feeling like you are finally able to live in the world because you understand who you are and where you belong in it."

It's also a story told with great visual verve. Costume designer Emily Peck has created a wardrobe of vibrant, glorious looks for Orlando and the rest of the cast. Scenic designer Drishti Chauhan's monumental set is based around the oak tree that Orlando comes back to time and time again during their life, transformed magnificently by the skillful lighting of Hyejung Kang. Undergrad Darrow Sherman rounds out the team with a beautiful sound design.

Purchase your tickets now and to be part of Orlando's journey of self-discovery!

Tickets are available through the Fine Arts Center box office
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
St. MIchael's Players
"Anne of Green Gables the Musical"
Nov. 17, 18, and 19 @ 7 p.m. and Nov. 20 @ 2 p.m.

St. MIchael's Community Center 53 Somers Road East Longmeadow, MA 01028

Join us for a musical for the whole family! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be so glad you came!

Rainbow Exodus Nov 18-20


We are so excited to share these new works with you!
For more information or if you have questions, please call our Box Office at:
(413) 628-0277 x 502

the Drama Studio
A Wrinkle in Time by Morgan Gould, adapted from the novel by Madeleine L'Engle

November 18th-20th at 7:30 PM

One of literature's most enduring young heroines, Meg Murry, joins forces with Mrs Whatsit, Charles Wallace, Calvin O'Keefe, and more to battle the forces of evil so she can rescue her father, save humanity and find herself. In the end, we know two things for sure: 1. Love CAN overcome evil, and 2. There IS such a thing as a tesseract.

Wilbraham United Players

November 18 & 19 at 7:30pm; November 20 at 2:30pm
Fellowship Hall Stage at Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main St, Wilbraham, MA 01095

Loveable curmudgeon Norman Thayer is as tart tongued as ever. His spirited wife, Ethel, delights in all the small things that have enriched their lives. Together, they are returning to their summer home on the lake for the forty eighth year and are soon visited by their adult daughter, her uptight fiance and his rebellious teenage son. ON GOLDEN POND 
Join the Wilbraham United Players as they take the stage in Ernest Thompson’s heartwarming drama ON GOLDEN POND November 11,12,13 and 18,19,20.

The production is being performed on the Fellowship Hall Stage at the Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main Street Wilbraham MA 01095
Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Players website -

Premium seats are $27 and General seating is $22. There is a discount for Seniors and a heartwarming story about revisiting the past and forging new bonds across generations. This story remains an inspiring celebration of the challenges that we all face and the ultimate triumphs of love, life and family.
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC’s Fun Fridays: Storytelling Standup Showcase

November 18 at 5:30 PM
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.

More info. 
Happier Valley Comedy
Happier Family Comedy Show

November 19 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W. Bay Rd, Amherst, MA)

A high-energy interactive improv comedy show, perfect for 5-13 year olds and their adults. Third Saturday of every month at 3pm at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W. Bay Rd. Amherst). Tickets: $5/child, $10/adult, 4 and under/free.

More info.
Happier Valley Comedy
HVC Presents: Not In Charge!

November 19 at 7:00 PM
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.

More info.
Up: One Man's Journey to Feminism - An Autobiographical Play in Support of Gender Equality

Sunday Nov. 20, 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.

To learn more about the play and tickets

Play Incubation Collective Fall Salon

First up, our Fall Salon, this time at 10 Forward in Greenfield

from 8-10 pm on November 22! The salon will feature works-in-progress in theater, music, poetry, and more. As always, we will hold space for an open mic at the end, so bring your own work to share.


The Salons are always free to attend, but donations are welcome and reserving your ticket in advance is encouraged! We will be sticking around after to enjoy craft cocktails and each other's company.


Click the button below to learn more about our presenters and their work, and to reserve your free ticket.

Click to Learn More and Sign Up to Attend
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.

More information.
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?

November 30th and December 1st at 7pm

El Mercado Hall in Holyoke, Nueva Esperanza

413 Main St. Holyoke

$10 suggested donation.

Learn More and Reserve Your Ticket


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.

The Process
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. 

Dear Edwina Jr

Audition Registration

is now open!

Register Now

What is the show?

The performance is for "Dear Edwina Jr." and more information can be found at:

When are auditions?

The auditions will be held on January 5th, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

When are the performances?

There will be two performances. They will be on Thursday, March 9th and Friday, March 10th at 6:30 PM.

What's the rehearsal schedule?

Rehearsals will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at The Academy of Music from 5:00 to 7:00 PM starting January 10th.

Who can participate?

All children ages 9 to 16 years old are welcome! No experience required!

What if I have more questions?

Please contact Education Director Kyle Lawrence with any questions. He can be reached at

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
Local Theater Critic Max Hartshorne
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