Thursday, March 16, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News March 16, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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March 16 - April 5, 2023

I'm sad to be missing Intimate Apparel this weekend - so if you are in town, go see it for me! And then get yourself to Rock of Ages at Northampton High, or the Drowsy Chaperone at Hampshire Regional High. There are also some opportunities upcoming at UMass - audition for a steampunk opera next weekend and if you play an instrument, maybe you'd like to play in the orchestra for Into the Woods!

The next issue will include events from March 23 - April 12. 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
Turners Falls High School presents Hairspray: The Musical
March 31 at 7pm, April 1 at 2pm and 7pm, April 2 at 2pm
Turners Falls High School / Tickets at the Door
Silverthorne Theater Company present Intimate Apparel
March 16, 17, 18 at 7:30 pm, March 18 at 3 pm
Hawks and Reed in Greenfield - Tickets Available
$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

Digital Theatre Is Here To Stay: Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate
by Jonathan Mandell

From the article: 

Paula Vogel was home in bed, feeling deadly ill and miserable, when she came up with the idea for Bard at the Gate.

It was March 2020, and all theatre had been shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She had been in New York to rehearse her play How I Learned To Drive, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998 but had taken twenty-two years to get to Broadway—except now it wasn’t getting there because everything was abruptly canceled. By the time she returned home to Wellfleet, Massachusetts, she had also gotten sick; it was not COVID, but she didn’t know that until later.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
This joyful drama about Esther, a Black seamstress whose patrons range from wealthy white women to prostitutes, is set in New York in 1905. While receiving beautiful letters from a handsome Caribbean man named George, Esther’s heart is drawn to the Hasidic shopkeeper from whom she buys cloth—and from there, Esther's stable life begins to unravel. Directed by Boston-based guest artist Jasmine Brooks.  Featuring Tahmie Der as Esther, the cast is rounded out by seasoned Valley actors Kyle Boatwright, Colby Chandler, Alika Hope*, Gabriel Levey, and Linda Tardif.

March 16 – 18, 2023

Evening shows 7:30 pm

Matinees 3:00 pm

at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center

289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA

Tickets on sale

Northampton High School
Rock of Ages
3/16 at 8pm, 3/17 at 8pm, 3/18 at 8pm, 3/19 at 2pm
Northampton High School Main Auditorium

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker and in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the 80s!  An arena-rock love story told through the hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on!
A classic American drama takes center stage at the Majestic Theater when The Glass Menagerie is presented February 23 through April 2.  Tennessee Williams’ play about family and the fragility of memory is part of the Majestic’s 25th Anniversary Season of theater and live performances at the West Springfield venue.
The Glass Menagerie tells the tale of Amanda Wingfield, the faded Southern Belle, who is desperate to marry off ailing daughter Laura, and worries about wayward son Tom.  Saddled with the obligations left to him by his absent father, Tom, who also acts as the play’s narrator, arranges for an acquaintance, a gentleman caller, to pay a visit to Laura and sets off not only her own, but her mother’s hopes for a romantic future.  This memorable play is set in St. Louis during the Great Depression and is widely considered to be one of the most significant plays of the 20th century.
Danny Eaton is producing director, while Rand Foerster is directing the play.  Associate Producing Director/Stage Manager is Sue Dziura, and Stephen Petit is production manager.  Aurora Ferraro is associate production manager, and Josiah Durham is technical director/set designer.  Dawn McKay is costume designer, and Daniel Rist is lighting designer.  Scenic Artist is Bev Stevens Browne.
Cast members include Robbie Simpson (Tom), Cate Damon (Amanda), Abigail Milnor-Sweetser (Laura), Tosh Foerster (Jim) and Ann-Marie Messbauer (Musician).  Understudies include Chris Rojas (Tom/Jim), Myka Plunkett (Amanda) and Caelie Scott Flanagan (Laura).
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
Hampshire Regional High School
The Drowsy Chaperone
3/17/2023 at 7:00 PM, 3/18/2023 at 7:00 PM and 3/19/2023 at 2:00 PM
Hampshire Regional High School, 19 Stage Rd., Westhampton, MA 01027

Hampshire Regional High School’s Musical Theatre program is thrilled to present the lavish, flapper-era musical within a comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, complete with tap dancing, glamorous costumes, and music that will lift your spirits. The Drowsy Chaperone was written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.

Myka Plunkett returns to direct her 7th production with HRHS with Lauren Bell returning for her second production as music director. This year they are joined by Loryn Engelbrecht as choreographer. Performances are March 17 & 18 at 7 p.m. and March 19 at 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Hampshire Regional High School auditorium in Westhampton. The talented cast of middle and high school students will be accompanied by our pit band of skilled local musicians.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults/general admission, $10 for Seniors and children under 18, and $5 for HRHS students and staff. Tickets are available by calling (413) 437-5587, emailing, at the door, or through this GoFan link: HRHS Students and staff can get $5 tickets through the code available at HRHS, or by visiting the main office. There is a service fee for all tickets purchased online.

Our musical program is grateful for the support of local businesses and organizations, with special thanks to Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Cultural Councils of Chesterfield, Goshen, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington for their financial support. The Drowsy Chaperone is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
The Drama Studio
Reunion (After the End of the World) by Will Quam

Friday, March 17th at 7:30pm  Saturday, March 18th at 7:30pm Sunday, March 19th at 3:00pm
The Drama Studio, 41 Oakland St, Springfield MA.

After The Event that wiped out civilization as we know it, a group of students walled themselves in their former school to build a new society, free from the past. But when a group of outside kids comes looking for something buried in the school, the past and present reunite in a play about memory, loss, and what it means to be a kid in extraordinary circumstances.

Tickets are on sale February 24th!

Please join us for the Scarlet Sock Foundation’s Fifth Annual Gala!

When: Saturday, March 25, 2023; 6:30-8:30 PM ET
Where: The Blue Room at CitySpace, Easthampton
RSVP:  Complete THIS FORM by March 11th

Not surprisingly, 2022 was our busiest year yet!  As performances returned to the stage, and schools reopened in earnest, the need for arts funding exploded. The Scarlet Sock Foundation wants to share with you all the transformative work your support made possible. 

Thanks to you, we were able to continue to support organizations that rely on the easily accessible grants that we provide in order to survive. Your commitment to the Scarlet Sock Foundation ensured that our growing family of grant recipients continued to give voice to historically silenced communities across Western Massachusetts.

Join us in person at the Blue Room at CitySpace in Easthampton or virtually to celebrate our Scarlet Sock Foundation 2022 grant recipients: The Drama Studio, Play Incubation Collective, The Performance Project, Pittsfield Public Schools and WAM Theatre. Whether you attend live or via Zoom, you’ll be treated to an inspiring evening showcasing the work these innovative organizations created and learn why investing in their work changes communities for the better. 

Scarlet Sock Foundation was founded in memory of Laura DiPillo, who lived her life by her deeply held belief that all people deserve to be included and heard; in short, she believed everyone is deserving of love. That is why we support social justice theater, which aims to raise awareness and create community through the performing arts. 

During the program, which is free to attend, you’ll be invited to make a donation to the Scarlet Sock Foundation. Drinks and appetizers will be served by Blue Door Gatherings.  

Visit our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more! Can't join us but still want to help? Donate here.

RSVP by filling out THIS FORM by March 11th to receive the Zoom link or reserve your seat at the Blue Room/CitySpace in Easthampton!  Space is limited; so, please reply soon.  We ask that those who join us at the Blue Room at CitySpace be vaccinated against Covid. 

Play Incubation Collective is pleased to be working in collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Theater Community, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, Umass, and many Volunteers to bring you A Night Out for Ukraine. The event is part of the Ukrainian Hope Initiative, a global project of play readings that have taken place around the United States and the world, sponsored by the Center for International Theatre Development in Baltimore.


3:30-4: Doors open. Welcome music by Burikes.
4-5:15: Discussion with UMass panel of experts on Russia's War in Ukraine
5:30-6:45: Break for meal and music, provided by Crepes Tea House and Burikes
7-8:30pm: Four short play readings of new works by Ukrainian Playwrights
8:40-9:30: Talkback and community dialogue facilitated by Karuna Center for Peacebuilding

Beneficiaries of all funds raised will include Ukraine TrustChain, Jewish Family Service of Western Mass Refugee Resettlement Program, and the Ukrainian Emergency Performing Arts Fund. The entirety of your $5 ticket will go towards these fundraising efforts, but we do hope that attendees will be inspired to give beyond the price of admission to support this very important cause.

March 26
4:00-9:30 PM EST
Edwards Church
297 Main Street, Northampton
$5 minimum to attend. Dinner included.
A Live Stream Option will also be available
Click here for more info and registration
Department of Film Media Theater at Mount Holyoke College
The Moors
March 30–April 1 at 7:30 pm, and April 2 at 2pm
Rooke Theater at Mount Holyoke College

The Department of Film Media Theater at Mount Holyoke College is delighted to announce our final production of the season, Jen Silverman’s dark comedy, The Moors. Two sisters, Agatha and Huldey live on the bleak and savage English moors. The arrival of a governess in search of their mysteriously absent brother Mr. Branwell sets the household on a path of confusion, jealousy, betrayal, a quest for love, and a quest to be seen.

“However you classify “The Moors” — comedy, drama, thriller, satire, farce all apply at various times — there’s no equivocating on its entertainment value.” - Chicago Suntimes

The Moors is directed by FMT graduating senior Nicole Tripp and will run from March 30–April 2, 2023.

Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 31 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 2 at 2:00 pm

Rooke Theater at Mount Holyoke College
Lower Lake Road, South Hadley, MA 01075

Ticket prices:  
$10 general admission, $8 students
UMass Theater presents Many Patterns, One Cloth
A multi-disciplinary performance project led by Dr. Priscilla Maria Page and Professor Judyie Al-Bilali
March 30, 31, and April 1 at 7:30 p.m.
April 1 at 2 p.m.
In the Curtain Theater
$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). 

Many Patterns, One Cloth is a rich tapestry that draws on inspiration from Afro-diasporic cultural traditions, global perspectives, and contemporary theater-making practices. The rise of the Divine Feminine and the restoration of balance on our planet lie at the center of this devised theater piece.
This performance, originally conceived by two UMass faculty members, Dr. Priscilla Maria Page and Professor Awotunde Judyie Al-Bilali, includes a community of creators who contributed to the research and writing in the last six months. Many Patterns, One Cloth runs March 30-April 1 at the Curtain Theater as part of UMass Amherst Theater's 50th anniversary season.

It's also worth noting that the production's creative team features a host of UMass Theater alumnae. Page, Al-Bilali, lighting designer Lara Dubin, and costume/scenic designer Calypso Michelet all graduated with MFAs from UMass Theater, while co-playwright Rodriguez was a theater major and is currently working in her PhD in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies.
Turners Falls High school
Hairspray: The Musical

March 31 at 7:00 PM, April 1 at 2pm and 7pm, April 2 at 2pm
Turners Falls High school, 222 Turnpike Road, Turners Falls, MA

Hairspray is a fun (and powerful) musical set in 1962 Baltimore. Join us as 16 year old Tracy Turnblad, her family and friends, address themes still relevant in 2023. She is a girl with big dreams and she will have you jamming as she dances and sings her way into our hearts !

Tickets sold at the door
Williston Northampton School's The Grum Project in association with The Williston Theater present La Mona Ilustre's Juan Salvador Tramoya.

The Chilean company La Mona Ilustre enters the imagination of a stagehand whose daily job is cleaning a theater dressing room. This Chaplinesque tinged tragicomedy inquires the subtle and important difference between what others say we should be and what we really are. Juan Salvador Tramoya captures the ordinary routine of a character with the simple task of tidying up things, but whose rich imagination transports us to absurd and unexpected places, and makes us value who he really is: an inimitable human being.

This event is open to the public and tickets are free. Reserve your seat
Westfield Theatre Group
4/14, 4/15, 4/21, 4/22, 4/28, 4/29 at 7:30 PM

Westfield Womans Club ,28 Court Street Westfield  MA

3 Matinee shows also available on the Saturday dates. New ticketing website so seats can be reserved online!
Tony Isham presents Camilla’s Annual Extravaganza for Girls, Inc., “A Night at the Grammys” on Saturday, April 15 at 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on Tiffany Street in Springfield, MA.  This is the 25th year that Isham has presented a drag revue to benefit a nonprofit, and this year’s recipient is Girls, Inc.
The show will feature an array of performers from within and outside of the Pioneer Valley who will showcase music from the 1960s to today. In addition, the ticket price will include dinner, dessert, and, for VIP ticketholders, wine choices.  Non-VIP individual tickets are priced at $50.  A VIP table for eight is $520, and a VIP table for 10 is $650.  Tickets can be purchased by contacting Isham at (413) 222-4763.
 “This event has attracted renowned drag performers from Provincetown and Connecticut in addition to our incredible local talent,” stated Isham, the event’s producer.  “This year’s benefactor is Girls, Inc. in recognition of their support for the inclusion of a variety of pronouns identified by many of our young people.  We want to show our support of inclusion and imagining the drag community in as positive a way as possible. We’re excited to present a dazzling evening of professional entertainment and to extend a hand to communities who deserve to thrive.”
Girls, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, established in 1864, that encourages girls to be “strong, smart and bold” through direct service and advocacy.  The organization prioritizes equipping girls with the skills to navigate through economic, gender, and social barriers and to grow up as independent individuals. It is one of the longest continuously operating organizations offering girls-only programming.
Musicians Needed!
by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Music Direction by David Cavallin
This spring, UMass will take on one of most beloved musicals of all time, INTO THE WOODS. Our production will draw inspiration from American folk art to bring to life the world of Cinderella, Jack, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and all their fellow fairy tale figures. In doing so, we hope to bring forward the idea that "if you know what you want, then you go and you find it and you get it" is exactly how you get giants in your midst, whereas realizing that "people make mistakes" and that you must "fight for their mistakes, honor their mistakes" is a way to make the next journey into the woods a little easier.
Seeking (as of Monday, March 13):
● Bassoon
● Trumpet (in C or B♭)
● Horn I and II
● Violin I and II
● Viola I and II
● (Upright) Bass
● Percussion
● Synthesizer
● Orchestra Rehearsals:
○ Saturday, April 1, morning time TBD (orchestra only)
○ Saturday, April 8, time TBD (orchestra only)
○ Thursday, April 13, 6-10pm (orchestra integration with cast)
○ Saturday, April 15, time TBD (orchestra only)
● Tech/Dress:
○ Sunday, April 23, 6:30-10:30pm
○ Wednesday, April 26, 6:30-10:30pm
○ Thursday, April 27, 6:30-10:30pm: Final Dress Rehearsal
● Performances:
○ Friday, April 28, 6:30-10:30pm (opening)
○ Saturday, April 29, 6:30-10:30pm
○ Wednesday, May 3, 9am-1pm (student matinee)
○ Thursday, May 4, 6:30-10:30pm
○ Friday, May 5, 6:30-10:30pm
○ Saturday, May 6, 1-5pm (matinee) and 6:30-10:30pm (closing)
A modest honorarium would be provided for your work.
Email Madison (Assistant Production Manager) at She will send you info to sign up for a time the week after spring break (March 20-24) so we can chat and hear you play!
Auditions: The Dolls of New Albion: A Steampunk Opera
Music and Book By Paul Shapera
Directed by Michael Donnelly
Rehearsals start Mon. Apr. 3rd
Performances Sat. May 20th & Sun. May 21st in the Curtain Theater

The Dolls of New Albion is a sung-through musical about death, love, obsession and loneliness. A whirlwind of sound that tells the story of lost and fabled New Albion, a place full of steampunk whimsy, airships and sentient plants, alchemists and machines of billowing smoke, and of course Annabel McAlistair who’s raising up the dead into the clockwork bodies of the titular dolls. This hectic journey through New Albion follows four generations of the McAlistair family from the city’s fantastical birth to its authoritarian death, showcasing its wonders and its tragedies, and demonstrating not only the self destructive potential of loneliness and obsession, but the reconstructive power of genuine meaningful human connection. All are encouraged to come join us in bringing this city & this story to life.

When & Where
Auditions: Tues. Mar. 21st 6-9pm & Weds. Mar. 22nd 6-9pm
Callbacks: Thurs. Mar. 23rd 6:30-10pm & Fri. Mar. 24th 4-7pm
Bromery Center for the Arts, rm 206
Please come to the Purple Lobby first for paperwork
Location may be subject to change, please check signup page before heading to your audition

How to Prepare
Please prepare 1-2 minutes of a song of your choice. Your song should ideally showcase both your musical and storytelling capabilities. You may be asked to repeat all or part of your selection. Accompaniment will not be provided. No monologue is required.
Signup for an audition slot at
Please reach out to Michael Donnelly,, with any questions about the show or auditions.
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Capacity Grant for Individual Artists

until April 7th

CALLING ARTISTS NEW TO VALLEYCREATES! Designed with the support of our ValleyCreates Community Advisors, the Capacity Grant (formerly known as the ValleyCreates Working Capital Grant) is a capacity-building and sustainability initiative for artists who currently live or have studio space in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties in Massachusetts.

This program pairs a $2,000 grant with coaching, workshops, and artist community-building. The Capacity Grant program has been designed so that each artist determines what they need from a broad array of opportunities.

Interested? Apply Today!
Interested in performing at a Play Incubation Salon this year?

We are seeking artists who are interested in sharing 10 minutes or less of a work in progress that has the potential to spark civic dialogue, and for which they desire feedback/input from an audience primarily comprised of other artists. Use this link to our salon submission form where, in addition to sharing information about what you’d like to present, you will be prompted to submit the questions they would like to pose to the audience in advance. The audience will be guided through 10 minutes of feedback where they aim to only answer and address the questions that the presenting artists has asked. There is more detailed information about this on the salon registration page. You can access a video with more details about the salon, as well as a link to the registration form for info about feedback, at If you’d like to view a sample salon, you can do so here!

What can you share in 10 minutes? Here are some examples:
2-3 new songs
1-3 poems
A chapter or partial chapter of a novel
A monologue
A 10 minute scene from a play
A 10 minute scene from a video piece
A dance piece or a 10 minute portion of a dance piece

Registration opens on Monday, February 6th for

PIC Kids Summer!

At PIC Kids Summer, young artists (ages 7-11) will go on an adventure through the creative process as they explore theater, movement, and music. Each week follows a different theme, and all weeks will culminate in a sharing of the young artists' original work on Fridays at 2:30.

We are pleased to announce that we've added an additional week! 

JULY 17-21       Make 'Em Laugh

JULY 24-28      Growl and Groove

JULY 31-AUG 4   Soundscapes and Sorcery

AUGUST 7-11     Five Day Play

9am-3pm each day 


Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity, 130 Pine St, Florence​

Registration opens Monday, February 6th!
Learn more.

Online Linklater Voice: The Progression I will be held March 20 – April 24

Shakespeare & Company's Center for Actor Training will offer a six-session, online workshop titled Linklater Voice: The Progression I, beginning Monday, March 20.

Using the techniques set forth in Kristin Linklater's practical approach to voice-training –  including from her book Freeing the Natural Voice –  students will explore the potential of voice as an actor or public speaker by creating connections between thoughts, body, and voice. 

The workshop will be led by actor, teacher, and director Tom Giordano, a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher and Shakespeare & Company Artist who trained extensively with Linklater and Executive Director of The Linklater Center for Voice and Language Andrea Haring. Participants will delve into the Linklater method through various exercises designed to help them develop awareness of the alignment of the body, the natural rhythm of breath in response to the needs of the moment, and methods to explore and reduce the tensions that develop in the jaw, tongue and throat, and other areas of the body.

This workshop is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Monday evenings, March 20 and 27; April 3, 10, 17, and 24.Tuition is $250, and scholarships are available for BIPOC artists. Discounts are also available for Training alumni members of acting unions, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. For more information or to apply, visit, or call 413.637.1199, ext. 114.

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

Easthampton Theater Company

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
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Local Theater Critic Max Hartshorne
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