Thursday, June 29, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 29, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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June 29 - July 19, 2023

Theatre people: there's a show at Chester this weekend I think you'll enjoy! The Making of a Great Moment is about a Canadian bicycle theatre duo - and their misadventures touring and making theatre. Read Max Hartshorne's review of Great Moment here.

The next issue will include events from July 6-26. 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
Chester Theatre Company presents The Making of a Great Moment
June 22-July 2
Tickets and More Information
Chester Theatre Company presents Guards at the Taj
July 6-16
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

On Wolves, Queer and Trans Life, and American Fascism
by Katherine Gwynn

From the article: 

I started writing An American Animal because I missed my queer and trans theatre students. I had recently moved to Chicago, Illinois from Kansas City, Missouri, where I was co-director of Project Pride, a free program that seeks to provide queer, trans, and allied teens with an opportunity to learn different methods of devising theatre and create and perform their own show. My first week with the program was the week Donald Trump was elected president, which catalyzed an urgency to protect that space for those children, but also to remain clear-seeing in spite of my anxieties and fear. I wanted them to create with joy at the forefront, not fear.

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

Great Barrington Public Theater set to stage the American premiere of The Stones, a mind-twisting gothic mystery, with Ryan Winkles in a solo performance as the haunted school teacher Nick, directed by Michelle Joyner.

An audience favorite at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Stones is a present-day, provocative gothic mystery by award-winning, London-based playwright/director Kit Brookman. Great Barrington Public Theater opens the company’s ten-week summer season with the American premiere of the riveting new play.

After a strange epiphany, Nick leaves his job as a school teacher and breaks up with his long-term boyfriend. A reconnection with an old flame-- from whom he's kept a long-buried secret--leads to a job at a countryside estate as tutor to two beguiling young children. In his uprooted situation, the job, setting and family seem too good to be true... until ordinary stones begin to materialize around him. A fascinating, ominous mystery unfolds. Reality splinters into historical illusions with the stones as witnesses of the human record, leaving Nick and his audience to riddle: Who among us is deluded and anesthetized by modern contentment? Who is crippled by guilt and revenge--both personal and collective? And finally: How do we navigate and survive our murky, threatened future?

Brookman is a daring, gifted writer making a name in British theater circles. The GB Public’s production of The Stones pairs Ryan Winkles, one of the Berkshires’ finest actors, with consummate storytelling director Michelle Joyner, who saw The Stones at the 2022 Edinburgh festival. She was taken by the story’s contemporary voice, sensibilities and moody atmosphere and describes it as, “A very of-the-moment tale that makes you want to pull your chair closer to the fire and listen. The pacing is tense, the mood darkly comic and spellbinding.”

The Stones plays June 15-July 2, Thurs.- Sat., 7:30pm, Sat. and Sun., 3pm, in the Liebowitz black box theater, Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230. More information can be found on the GBPT website and on Facebook. Tickets to performances are affordable to all, between $25 and $50, and are available on the website and by phone 413-372-1980, or

Chester Theatre Company presents The Making of a Great Moment
Written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by James Barry
June 29-July 2

Actors Mona and Terry are on tour with an epic work called “Great Moments in Human Achievement.” In New Hampshire. On bicycles. While camping. The Making of a Great Moment features a play-within-a-play, and it is an uproariously funny love letter to the theatre. Or is it?

Bill Bowers stars as Terry and Esther Williamson as Mona. Lara Dubin, CTC Resident Designer, will design lights. Charles Schoonmaker returns to design costumes. Tom Shread returns to design sound. Meg Lydon will stage manage the production.

“Likely to resonate with anyone who’s ever had doubts about personal life choices…a nonstop delight.” (San Francisco Examiner)

Off Book Antics presents The Bald Soprano
June 30 at 7:00 PM
July 2 at 2:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley St

A one-act absurdist comedy put together by a teen-led theatre ensemble!

Staged play reading of “Every Moment of Every Day” by Lindy Whiton to take place at The LAVA Center
Saturday, July 8, 7 p.m.
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield
$5 suggested donation 

Come to a reading of the updated version of Lindy Whiton’s play reading, Every Moment of Every Day. First read at The LAVA Center in April 2022, Every Moment of Every Day tells the story of women who gave their babies up for adoption. The play explores the story of adoption from the rarely seen side of the original mother. This year’s adaptation includes Whiton’s story.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council provided Whiton with funds to create a video of the reading to be used to take to conferences and other events. This will provide a way to increase the public’s understanding of original mothers’ stories and bring this perspective or lens to the adoption triad narrative.

Every Moment of Every Day will be performed Penney Hulten, Patricia Williams, Rebecca Hicks, Jovonna Van Pelt, Christy Grecsek, Trouble Mandeson, Rebecca Mandel and Candace Curran; directed by Lindy Whiton; with videography by Elias Neijens. Illustration by EJ Worth.

Available Potential Enterprises, Ltd.
by No Theater
July 6-22, 2023, 8:00pm
A.P.E., 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

No Theater celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer with performances of its most recent production LET GO.  Based in Northampton MA, No Theater performs its original works around the world, and locally alongside productions of plays by such diverse writers as Shakespeare, Chekhov, Čapek, Gogol, Williams, Kroetz, Albee, and Martin McDonagh.

“The best-kept secret in experimental theater”  (National Public Radio)

LET GO, a short, adult comedy about love, death and a pile of papers, is performed by No Theater veterans Roy Faudree and Jane Karakula with video by Nick Verdi. No Theater presented 6 workshop showings of LET GO last summer.

On-Line Ticket Reservations for No Theater’s LET GO are available on Eventbrite:
Chester Theatre Company presents Guards at the Taj
Written by Rajiv Joseph

July 6-16

Two friends stand guard at the site of one of the most stunning buildings the world has ever seen, the Taj Mahal. They protect it with their lives, yet they are forbidden from looking upon its beauty. But there is an ugly side to nearly everything. Perfection comes at a price, and those in power decide who pays and at what cost.

Reena Dutt makes her CTC directing debut. The production will star Ruchir Khazanchi and Abuzar Farrukh. Scenery will be designed by Travis GeorgeJames McNamara is slated to design lights. Costumes will be designed by Oona Natesun, and Sound will be designed by Naveen BhatiaKerry Schultz Kent returns to stage manage.

“An enlightening evening of theatre, sucking the audience in at every turn.” (Broadway World)

If you have questions or concerns about the content of this production, please visit this page for details.

JH Theater Matters Productions
Frances Perkins: A Woman's Work
July 13 at 6:00 PM
Laurel Park Tabernacle, Northampton, MA.  

A one woman Chautauqua presentation of Frances Perkins, first woman Secretary of Labor, and author of New Deal Politics, including Social Security, 40 hour work week, child labor laws, and more.  First 50 minutes are a presentation of her life, followed by audience Q and A with Ms. Perkins (portrayed by Jarice Hanson).

Free - Donations accepted.
WAM Theatre's 2023 Fresh Takes Play Reading Festival is in residence at The Mount (Edith Wharton's Home) in Lenox MA.
The readings on three consecutive Sundays in July all begin at 2pm are followed by a conversation with the artists.

hollow roots by Christina Anderson and directed by Trenda Loftin (Real Live Theatre) is a poetic story of one Black woman's racialized identity in America.  Written at the beginning of the Obama administration by a playwright that Pulitzer-Prize winner Paul Vogel lauded as: "without a doubt, one of our most significant and prescient writers... Christina Anderson's plays grab me by the throat, wound my memory, and change the way I walk through the world." Presented on Sunday July 16 at 2pm at The Mount, Lenox.

Port of Entry by Pioneer Valley based playwright Talya Kingston and directed by Amy Brentano is a dramatic look into the back offices of HomeLand Security on the day that the "Muslim Ban" came into effect at the beginning of the Trump Administration. The reading of this new draft will feature Lama El Homaïssi (The Piedmont Plays), Veronica Cooper and Pioneer Valley actor/director Julian Findlay. Presented on Sunday July 23 at 2pm at The Mount, Lenox.

In Her Bones by Jessica Kahkoska and directed by Estefania Fadul is an ensemble play set in a gas station in the middle of a snow storm in rural Colorado. A multi-generational Latinx family explores their hidden Jewish roots.  The ensemble includes: Lori Vega, Jorge Luna, Christine Anthony, Ross Griffin and UMass Amherst Theater grad Sandra Seoane-Seri. Presented on Sunday July 30 at 2pm at The Mount, Lenox.

More information and tickets can be found

The Poet & the Sleuth:
Vladimir Mayakovsky, meet Sherlock Holmes  

The world premiere of Hope I Die Before I Get Old: The Last Case of Sherlock Holmes will take place at the Blue Room in Easthampton’s CitySpace on Friday, July 21. It will run for six performances at 8 pm (July 21, 22, 23 (3 pm matinee), 27, 28, 29). 

Hope I Die Before I Get Old finds Sherlock Holmes in Moscow to investigate the puzzling death in April 1930 of the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. The bard of the Russian revolution has just shot himself through the heart. It’s not a question of whodunnit, but why? Although the Soviet authorities are counting on Holmes to answer that question, only Mayakovsky himself can really solve the mystery. Resurrected and forced to relive his life backwards, the poet delves into his past—aided by two mysterious women—to figure out why he ultimately pulled the trigger. 

Written and performed by John Feffer, Hope I Die Before I Get Old juxtaposes the famous detective and infamous poet in a historical thriller that probes the mysteries of creativity and political collaboration. At a time when so many eyes are focused on Russia and its war in Ukraine, this new one-man show captures the dilemmas facing Russian artists today. The show also features Jarice Hanson and Hero Marguerite in video cameos. It’s directed by Chris Rohmann and stage-managed by Nikki Beck. 

Buy tickets here.

Job Description and Details

Job Summary
Oversee the overall day to day operations of the box office from the daily sales and office hours to scheduling student staff for daytime and evening operations. The Box Office Manager will ensure a hospitable, smooth and efficient operation. Responsible for programming and monitoring the ticketing system, tracking daily sales and deposits, ticket account management and fulfillment, supervising and directing student staff and volunteers, and troubleshooting in difficult situations. Work closely with Theatre and Dance department staff, SmithArts Publicity Manager, and the Director of the Smith Office for the Arts. Leads by example at all times and provides the highest level of customer service to all guests, vendors and clients. Provide box office expertise and conduct research to help build a more expansive box office model for future years, serving diverse departments and partners across the Arts at Smith.

This role would be a 2-year fixed-term part-time benefits eligible role from September 2023-May 2025.

UMass FAC hiring Technical Assistant III
Job Summary

The Technical Assistant III oversees all operations in the lighting department, supervises lighting and related electrical aspects of productions with Fine Arts Center including outdoor, hybrid, virtual, rental and on/off campus events, assists in general production duties and supervises student and professional crew members in these activities. 


Essential Functions 

  • Coordinates lighting and production planning with visiting professional and student production companies, designs, adapts or implements lighting plans for all stage productions and supervises the hanging and focus of stage lights and operation of lighting control consoles. 
  • Repairs and provides preventative maintenance for stage lighting and related electrical equipment, responds to lighting and electrical problems occurring during productions and makes recommendations on major repair of lighting and on new equipment acquisitions. 
  • Creates and maintains all lighting records including but not limited to detailing current lighting positions, circuit, focus, purpose and rentals. Manages and maintains all lighting inventories. Tracks electrical expenses for events from pre-production through post-production. 
  • Trains and supervises student work crews in the performance of lighting and general stage production duties. Works collaboratively with touring technical production personnel and also supervises professional and union crew members. 
  • Assists in general stage management duties, supervision of load-in, set-up, dismantling, and load-out of touring productions and securing of the performance area before and after production.  Works with Production Manager to advance all events. Assists AV Head with technical projection and camera needs.

Majestic Theater Scenic Carpenter & Buildings Maintenance

This new entry-level position at the Majestic Theater is our attempt to combine two part-time jobs into one full-time job with the following responsibilities:

  1. Assist the Majestic’s Technical Director with the construction and installation of five season productions' sets and various other theatrical projects.   Basic carpentry skills required, tools will be provided, and building techniques unique to the theater will be taught.  
  2. Provide basic maintenance, cleaning and snow shoveling of the Majestic Theater’s three buildings (theater, shop/rehearsal, and actor house).  Coordinate sub-contractors providing any maintenance services related to electrical, plumbing or HVAC.   Help to support and supply the Majestic Café’s operation.

The time spent on these two tasks will be determined by the Majestic’s production schedule.  Candidates for this position should be upbeat, and willing to join a team that will work together to get the job done!   There will be the opportunity to learn about many aspects of the theater.

Compensation will be hourly with an average week being 40 hours.   During weeks that season production sets are being installed at the Majestic Theater the work hours will increase.   The pay rate will be $16 to $19 per hour depending upon past experience and skills, with benefits to be reviewed.   Valid driver’s license required.  The Majestic Theater is an inclusive employer.

To apply for this position, please email:

Ghost Light Theater
Auditions for Ghost Light Theater's LIZZIE!!
July 9 and 10 at 6:00 PM
Gateway City Arts - 92 Race St. in Holyoke

Ghost Light Theater announces auditions for LIZZIE!!!
Music by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt, Lyrics by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Tim Maner & Book by Tim Maner

Directed by Kevin Tracy
Music Direction by Sarah Puckett
Choreography by Sarah Devine

On a sweltering summer morning in 1892, in a small New England city, a prominent businessman and his wife were brutally axed to death in their home. Their daughter Lizzie Borden was the prime suspect. Lizzie’s trial was a coast-to-coast media sensation, and her story has become an American legend.
LIZZIE is four women fronting a six-piece rock band. LIZZIE is rage, sex, betrayal, and bloody murder. LIZZIE is American mythology set to a blistering rock score.
Please be advised that this production contains adult subject matter - some of a violent and sexual nature.

Auditions will take place July 9 & 10th at 6:00 PM at Gateway  City Arts - 92 Race St. in Holyoke.
Call backs are by invitation only.

Please prepare 32 bars of a rock song - you can bring sheet music for accompaniment or bring a backing track to play over Bluetooth. You will be asked to read from the script and participate in a short dance call.

Please fill out this audition form and submit it back to producer Megan Healey via email (  by noon on your audition day.

Rehearsals begin once weekly or bi-weekly starting in mid-July with a regular rehearsal schedule starting in September.
Performances are November 3, 4**, 9, 10 & 11 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke.
**2 show day


LIZZIE BORDEN: Lead, Female identifying, 20-30
The younger daughter of the Borden household, accused of her father and stepmother’s murders; transforms from broken, fragile, meek, and obedient to strong, self assured, conniving, and terrifying.
Rock mezzo with strong high belt and head voice (High belt: F#3-F#5, Belt to A5)
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

ALICE RUSSELL: Supporting, Female identifying, 20-30
She lives next door to the Bordens and visits Lizzie often; secret, sweet, and sensuous, with a slightly maternal tenderness in her affections for Lizzie.
Pop/rock soprano with strong mix. (High mezzo lyric/mix/belt: G3 with F#3 pick-up – A5 legit soprano)
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

BRIDGET SULLIVAN/MAGGIE: Supporting, Female identifying, 20-35
Speaks and sings with an Irish dialect, traditional Irish lilting to hard rock-n-roll; housemaid to the Borden family; sly, with a dark, dry sense of humor; quick on the uptake. Rock mezzo. (Contralto/low alto: F3 with E3 pick-up)
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities
EMMA BORDEN: Supporting, Female Identifying, 30-35
Older sister to Lizzie; resents her father’s second wife and his financial support of her family; commanding, angry, outspoken, and possessive, but also desperately sad. Rock alto/mezzo belt. (Alto/mezzo belt: F#3-D5)
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities

Ghost Light Theater encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities to audition.
LIZZIE is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC. (

Facebook event

The Northampton Arts Council is now accepting performer applications for First Night Northampton 2024

On Sunday, December 31, 2023, the Northampton Arts Council will present the 38th annual community New Year’s Eve celebration and festival of performing arts. Since 1985, First Night Northampton has filled our Paradise City with a 12-hour family-friendly festival of the arts, culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Proceeds from First Night Northampton will benefit local artists and community arts activities.

We look forward to receiving many proposals and creating a diverse, exciting, family-friendly event. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2023. Proposals are reviewed as they are received, so early applications are recommended. Please submit separate applications for each proposal. Proposals without support materials will not be reviewed. We will be notifying applicants at the end of October. To apply to perform at First Night Northampton 2024, please complete the online application, which can be found at Check out the First Night Northampton 2023 playlist on YouTube.


Monthly “Puppetry Percolator” workshop series to begin at The LAVA Center
every 4th Thursday, 5–8 p.m.; begins Thursday, June 22, 5–8 p.m
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield
More information

The LAVA Center’s Puppetry Percolator, on the 4th Thursday of each month, is an informal exploration of the worldwide art of puppetry. Drop in to examine puppetry’s history and evolution as an art, play with different forms, and workshop simple puppets and performance.

This event series is appropriate for teens and adults. Let’s have some fun! Facilitated by Jovonna Van Pelt, former director of Puppet Showplace Theatre. Donations are welcome.

Laughing Club

Thursday, June 29th from 530-630

$10-$20 suggested donation

Sign up for free ahead of time:

Or just show up! All are welcome.

Taking inspiration from Laughing Yoga and the work of Christopher Bayes, Laughing Club is an hourlong wellness practice centering the power of vulnerability and the experience of joy in the body, in community with others. Over the course of the hour we'll move around, sing a little, laugh a lot, scream and cry as needed, and then laugh a whole lot more - all while releasing toxins from the body, easing anxiety and boosting the immune system in a fun, safe and supportive space.

The Hidden Temple
Suite 320

Arts and Industry Building
221 Pine St, in Florence.

Love Your Voice
Sundays, 12:00-1:30 PM, July 9th-30th
Sanctuary, Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor, 150 Main St., Northampton, MA, 01060

Your voice is a powerful tool for connection, yet many of us are disconnected in some way from our vocal power. All of our voices deserve love and care, which in turn helps us to deepen our capacity to be heard, and also to listen. This special series will guide you through gentle and restorative movements and stillnesses, exploring breath and sound using techniques from yoga, speaking, and singing; you will expand your lung capacity, unlock vocal resonance, and connect/reconnect powerfully with your voice. No special skills or previous experience required! Your voice deserves to be loved, exactly as it is.

4-week series. Sundays, 12:00-1:30 PM, July 9th-30th (in-studio only)

Sliding-scale series pricing: $80-130. Suggested price: $90.

*A note regarding accessibility to all Sanctuary offerings:

We have a range of scholarship options available. If the cost of participating is prohibitive, please email us at to learn more.

More information.

Shakespeare & Company has announced its series of Merry Wanderers’ Guided Tours, hosted in July and August at Shakespeare & Company. 

General Manager Steve Ball (with dog Willie) leads a two-hour walk through the Company’s stages, artists’ rehearsal studios, costume and prop shops, weapons armory, and more. meeting with some of the artisans involved in creating theater at Shakespeare & Company along the way.

The Summer Season’s Merry Wanderers’ Guided Tours will meet in the lobby of the Tina Packer Playhouse. The first Merry Wanderers’ Guided Tour will be held Thursday, July 6, at 10:30 a.m., followed by:

  • Thursday, July 13, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, July 20, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, July 27, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, August 8, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, August 10, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, August 17, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m. 

  • Thursday, August 31, at 10:30 a.m. 

Each Merry Wanderers’ Guided Tour will admit a maximum of 30 patrons, with tickets costing $15 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets can be reserved at For more information, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353, or email

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
ArtsBeat TV/Radio and News Column
Local Theater Critic Max Hartshorne
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