This is the 395th newsletter and the final one for 2022. See you in the new year (next week!)
And speaking of final, this week mark's Chris Rohmann's final StageStruck column. After 36 years and 2000+ reviews, he's stepping away from his role as the valley's primary theatre reviewer. I just want to take a moment to thank Chris personally for all the great reviews over the years - and also for taking the time for so many great previews of shows. We live in an area with a bustling community theatre scene and few local venues, which often adds up to very short runs - both as a theatre maker and theatre attendee, I have often appreciated that Chris will preview a show before it opens so that audiences have a chance to find the show before it closes - often after only one weekend. Chris's reviews have always been generous, thoughtful, and encouraging to the theatre community and I'll miss reading his words about local performances whether or not I've seen them. Maybe not in the same official capacity, but we'll see you at the theatre soon, Chris!
Also in the latest print edition of the Valley Advocate (and available online) an article about Chris Rohmann himself. Congratulations on your long run with the Advocate, Chris.
The next issue will include events from January 5 - 25. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess we should be used to this by now. But 2022 seemed, even more than the previous two years of pandemic and protest, to be a time in which every good thing (like the return to live performance, yay!) had a downside (continuing COVID-related postponement and cancellations). Or maybe you’d prefer to turn the snow globe upside down, and see that for every bit of bad news on Broadway (short runs for KPOP and Ain’t No Mo’), there were also some heartening Broadway success stories (a Tony and a healthy run for A Strange Loop, the well-reviewed Broadway debut of Cost of Living). Even one of the year’s more momentous milestones—the announcement that Long Wharf Theatre would leave its longtime home to become an itinerant regional theatre rooted in the community of the city of New Haven—seemed an equivocal, half-full/half-empty development. Or at least divisive: When longtime Long Wharf observer Frank Rizzo wrote a circumspect piece about where the theatre has been and the legacy its new move will leave behind, theatre leader Todd London penned a response praising the move as a visionary and long overdue counter to the elitism, racism, and toxic masculinity that has dominated the theatre field for too long.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! email@example.com
NATIVE GARDENS IN BLOOM AT MAJESTIC THEATER
JANUARY 5 THROUGH FEBRUARY 12
West Springfield’s Majestic Theater continues its 25th Season with Native Gardens, a contemporary comedy by Karen Zacarias. The play, which runs January 5 through February 12, looks at how next door neighbors in an affluent neighborhood in Washington, DC hash out border disputes and cultural misunderstandings. The timely comedy focuses on Frank and Virginia Butely, residents of a lush home who fill their time with dinner parties and tending to Frank’s prize-winning garden. When lawyer Pablo Del Valle and his pregnant wife Tania move into the fixer-upper next door, they challenge the status quo by cultivating a “native garden,” planting only vegetation indigenous to the area, and threatening Frank’s annual entry to the Potomac Horticultural Society’s neighborhood garden contest.
Danny Eaton is producing director, while James Warwick is directing the play. Associate Producing Director/Stage manager is Sue Dziura, and Stephen Petit is production stage manager. Aurora Ferraro is associate production manager, and Josiah Durham is technical director. The set was designed by Greg Trochlil, Dawn McKay is costume designer, and Daniel Rist is lighting designer.
Cast members include J. T. Waite (Frank), Ellen Barry (Virginia), Peter Evangelista (Pablo) and Sara Linares (Tania). They are joined by Tina Sparkle, Michael Morales and Mikey Perez.
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
Come join the swimming, singing, and sparkling sea creatures in this delightful tale, complete with irresistible songs, stunning sets and costumes, and full live orchestra! Join us “under the sea” in UMass’s beautiful Bowker Auditorium; nine performances run January 19-22 and January 26-29, 2023. For tickets, just visit www.amherstacts.org!
AUDITIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
Wanted: director for new one-man show by critically acclaimed writer-performer of productions at the Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo Festival, One Man Standing Festival, and venues from Washington DC to Vermont. John Feffer’s latest play features Sherlock Holmes’s last case, the suicide of a famous Russian poet in Moscow in 1930. There’s no mystery who killed Vladimir Mayakovsky—but why did he do it? Hope I Die Before I Get Old combines video, music, dance, and puppetry in a multi-media exploration of artistic ambition, political revolution, and unrequited love.
We are planning rehearsals in late spring/early summer 2023 and performances in the Northampton area in summer or early fall, with remounts elsewhere in the Northeast in 2023 and 2024. Please send resume and cover letter to stage manager Nikki Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org. Script available upon request.
the Drama Studio OPEN HOUSE
January 4th and January 5th
41 OAKLAND STREET, SPRINGFIELD, MA, 01108
Join us for our 2023 Open House to learn about our acting classes and Conservatory program! Come visit and try a free sample class at the Drama Studio on Tuesday, January 4th, at 6 pm for ages 6-8 and on Wednesday, January 5th, at 6 pm for ages 9-17.
Smith College Department of Theatre AUDITIONS: LA RUTA
by Isaac Gómez
directed by Monica Lopez Orozco
To the U.S.-owned factories in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, La Ruta is just a bus. But to the hundreds of women who live, work and often disappear along the route, it’s so much more than that. Inspired by real testimonies, and using live music to evoke factory work and protest marches, La Ruta is a visceral unearthing of secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand resiliently in the wake of loss.
Auditions: Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30, 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, January 31, 7:00-9:00 PM
Begin early March. Exact schedule TBD. We typically rehearse 5 days per week (Sunday through Thursday)
April 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30 PM in Theatre 14
All of the characters in this play are Mexican.
YOLI - a mother, 40s
MARISELA - a mother, 40s
IVONNE - a friend, 26
BRENDA - a daughter, 16
ZAIDE - a maquila worker, 40s
DESAMAYA - a singer/musician who is both timeless and ageless
WOMEN OF JUÁREZ - women who fill the world of Juárez, all ages
No appointment necessary. No preparation required, but auditioners are encouraged to be familiar with the text. If you are a strong singer and/or instrument player, please prepare a short, 32 bar cut of a song (roughly 1:15-1:30 minutes ) to bring into your audition. Genres to consider; folk, traditional (and/or regional) songs specific to any Latin American country, and blues. Perusal scripts available at Josten Library.