Thursday, July 27, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News June 27, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 27 - August 17, 2023

Closing weekend for a few things: Hope I Die Before I Get Old, Let Go, and Macbeth, along with the Fresh Takes Play Reading Festival. But more things are opening, including The Light at Chester Theatre - and you can get discounted tickets with the code RING. 

The next issue will include events from August 3- 23. 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 Light
July 27-August 6
Tickets and More Information
WAM Theatre's 2023 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series
Sunday, July 30 @ 2pm at The Mount, Lenox
Tickets and More Information
Hope I Die Before I Get Old 
July 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 8:00 PM, July 23 at 3:00 PM
Tickets and More Information
Real Live Theatre presents Pussy Sludge
August 4-13 at CitySpace in Easthampton
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 Producing an International Tour During a Global Pandemic
by Amelia Parenteau

From the article: 

I met Eva Doumbia in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 2019 (as documented in my HowlRound essay “New to New Orleans”), and over a glass of wine, she shared plans for her upcoming creation, Autophagies, which would tell the story of various foods’ interconnected histories of dominance and oppression spanning back to colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. The performance would feature a chef cooking a meal on stage, live music, dance, documentary video, and spoken “testimony” from actors posing as participants in the ceremony. The cast would feature six performers: Eva as “mistress of ceremonies,” the chef, one musician, one dancer, and two actors. Formally, it would be somewhere between documentary theatre and ritual, with bifrontal seating and a shared communal meal at the end of the performance. Eva was conducting research and gathering inspiration for the show while in New Orleans, and she asked if I would be interested in translating the eventual text from French into English and producing the American tour. I was intrigued and accepted her offer.

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

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. Performances are at 8 pm on July 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.

Available Potential Enterprises, Ltd.
by No Theater
July 27-29, 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:

Casting has been announced for August Wilson’s Fences at Shakespeare & Company, directed by Christopher V. Edwards and staged July 22 through August 27, with Opening Night on Thursday, July 27 at the Tina Packer Playhouse.

A moving study of emotional depth and the human condition, August Wilson’s Fences follows the story of Troy Maxson – a working-class Black man struggling to provide for his family. His past includes the low of a prison sentence and the high of a promising career with the Negro Baseball League, but it’s Troy’s unrealized dream to play for Major League Baseball that fills his days with resentment and regret.

August Wilson’s Fences, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 1987, is set in the 1950s and is part of the playwright’s acclaimed American Century Cycle.

Generously sponsored by Natalie and Howard Shawn, August Wilson’s Fences will be shown at the Tina Packer Playhouse with tickets ranging from $22 to $72; preview performances are $10 less and student tickets are $22. To purchase tickets, via, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.


Chester Theatre Company (CTC) is delighted to bring The Light by Loy A. Webb, to the Chester Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, from July 27th to August 6th, with performances Wednesday at 2pm, Thursday at 2pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.

Rashad and Genesis have just gotten engaged. To celebrate, he wants to take her to a show by a local musician who’s made it big. When she refuses, secrets are revealed, and the past threatens to overshadow their future. Stage Left calls The Light, “A story of revelation, redress, and hopeful reconciliation cued at the intersection of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.”

Kala Ross makes her CTC debut as Genesis. Ross recently made her Broadway Debut in the Tony nominated production of For Colored Girls...directed by Camille A. Brown. She recently performed in the National Black Theatre production of The Gospel Woman. Kayodé Soyemi returns to Chester, as Rashad. Soyemi was last seen on the CTC stage in 2022’s Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu. He is a recent graduate from the MFA Acting Program at Yale School of Drama and currently serves as the Producing Artistic Director at Yale Cabaret.

CTC is also delighted to welcome Director Christina Franklin back to Chester, who previously directed The Niceties (2021) and Pass Over (2022). Franklin recently served as the Associate Director for For Colored Girls... on Broadway and Assistant Director for X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at The Detroit Opera House.  

Franklin is also taking on the role of Costume Designer. Along with her, the artistic and design team includes Lara Dubin (CTC Resident Lighting Designer) and James McNamara (CTC Resident Sound Designer). We also welcome Mark Johnson as Stage Manager, Suzu Sakai as Set Designer, and Kelsey Rainwater as Intimacy Coordinator.  

Performance Information
All performances will take place at the Historic Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, Wednesday through Sunday. Check for specific dates and times.

Individual ticket prices are $52.50. Chester and Middlefield residents, members of the military and their families, ConnectorCare enrollees, and those holding EBT/SNAP cards may purchase discounted tickets by calling the box office. Student Rush $10 tickets are available day of show. Single tickets and subscriptions are available at the door, online at, or by calling the box office at (413).354.7771. Box office phone hours are 11am-3pm, Tuesday through Friday.

Most performances will be mask optional but encouraged. Two matinee performances of The Light will require everyone in the audience to be fully masked: Thursday, July 27th at 2pm, and Saturday, August 5th at 2pm. For more information, please visit the website.
Hampshire Shakespeare Company
July 28, 29, 30 at 8:00 PM
Renaissance Studies Mass Center at 650 E Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

This dark, atmospheric production will be performed at the UMass Renaissance Studies Center and promises to be an immersive experience in the way that only outdoor theater can be.

Content Warning:
This show includes implications of pregnancy and miscarriage, violence against children, (off-stage) suicide, blood, gore, and depictions of violence and war. This show may not be suitable for some children, so parental discretion is advised.
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.

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
Real Live Theatre presents 
Pussy Sludge by Gracie Gardner
Directed by Rachel Hall
August 4, 5, 6 & 11, 12, 13
Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 7:30pm
Saturday matinees at 2pm
For audiences age 18+ only
This award-winning script follows a young woman who comes to call herself Pussy Sludge. Crude oil is coming out of her vagina, so she moves to a state park to deal with it out there, alone. During her time in the forest, many passersby come to offer their advice and possibly comfort. There is something (alive maybe) inside the sludge, and it is dangerous.

Pussy Sludge is a fever-dream Queer love story/adventure about how we deal with trauma; how we heal and how we do not. It’s about bodily autonomy and bodily functions. It’s about the power of the erotic, pleasure, and shame. The purpose of Pussy Sludge is not to normalize bodies and what they can do, yet it does.

Featuring: Julia de Avilez Rocha, Madeline Choiniere Barr, Cynthia Claudio, Matt Crawford, Dan Morbyrne, Tom Reynolds, Lena Vani, Anne Zager

Stage Management by Liz Diamond, Costume & Scenic Design by Julia Vincenza Whalen, Sound Design by Rachel Hall, Assistant Sound Design by Tyler DiBenedetto & Gabe CiFuentes, Intimacy Choreography by Kayleigh Kane, Lighting Design by Rachel Hall & Ellen Morbyrne, Produced by Ellen Morbyrne for RLT

Elliot Norton Award-winning actor Annette Miller returns to Shakespeare & Company August 5 through August 20, reprising the role of Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony alongside the original director, Daniel Gidron.

Golda’s Balcony, the inspiring true story of Golda Meir – Russian immigrant, American school teacher, and fourth Prime Minister of Israel – will be staged at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. Additional performances have recently been added on Thursday, August 10, and Thursday, August 17, for a total of 10 performances.

The world premiere of Golda’s Balcony was produced 20 years ago at Shakespeare & Company, featuring Miller, and went on to become the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history. Miller earned the Elliot Norton Award and IRNE Award for Outstanding Actress in a Solo Performance for her performance.

Miller and Gidron are joined by Shakespeare & Company Set Designer Patrick Brennan and Costume Designer Govane Lohbauer.

Generously sponsored by Jerry and Honie Berko, Golda’s Balcony will be shown at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre with tickets ranging from $22 to $72; preview performances are $10 less and student tickets are $22. To purchase tickets, visit, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Starlight's Youth Theatre, Inc.
Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Disney Musical
August 5 at 11:00 AM
Amherst Middle School auditorium 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA

Over 50 students will come together for one week to put up the classic ‘tale as old as time’. Tickets are $5 available at the door.

While the summer program is full, Starlight Youth Theatre classes begin September 9th and space is limited. Online registration  Next year's spring musical performances will be “Lion King Jr.” for grades 1-6 and “Fiddler on the Roof” grades 7-12. Registration will begin in October  and auditions will be in December. Questions can be sent to or call 413-531-4235
A Pilot Program of A.P.E

In 2024, A.P.E is piloting a space and curation cooperative model as a means of stewarding access to the Workroom at 33 Hawley. Artists, creators, and artist groups are invited to ‘buy-in’ to this time-based share structure, through which the responsibility for tending to, enlivening, and activating the Workroom will be distributed amongst the shareholders.

In creating the Workroom Cooperative, we are led by a commitment to artistic inquiry and the creation of new work, as well as by A.P.E.’s mission to steward space for artists in ways that reduce economic pressures which can encumber the creative process. 

The Workroom Cooperative creates a space where a diverse group of artists:

  • engage with a range of creative endeavors within all stages of the creative process (rehearsals, residencies, performances, festivals, etc)

  • explore curatorial ideas

  • share responsibility for care and upkeep of the space

  • can teach classes and workshops 

  • cultivate rich dialogue, exchange, and reciprocal support of artists’ work

  • honor time and space for process, including fallow periods 

With multiple artists/companies designing what occurs in the Workroom, this model can expand the scope and reach of the artistic practices that happen there and ground the Workroom’s identity in the community as a space for process, performance, and inquiry. Co-ops have been shown to help arts thrive. We are excited to join this growing movement.

Please visit A.P.E.'s website HERE for more details.
Accepting applications now thru August 14th.

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.
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.

July 27’s workshop topic will be making puppets with found objects.

We Just Want to Dance with You!
Join the K and E Theater Group Summer Drop-In Dance Studio
Join Eddie Zitka, Artistic Director of K and E Theater Group, two times a week this summer learning musical dance choreography and feel more confident in your movement at your next audition! Studio begins July 18 through September 7!

Classes available for beginners and intermediate/advanced people!

In the BEGINNER session on Tuesdays

- Isolation warm-ups
- Acting-based dancing exercises across the floor
- A musical theater combination that will change weekly 

In the INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED session on Thursdays

- Warm-up across the floor
- A more complicated and technical musical theater combination that will change weekly
- Combinations will be taught similar to an audition setting

Classes available for beginners on Tuesdays and intermediate/advanced people on Thursdays from 7-8 PM in Southampton, MA at the First Congregational Church of Southampton, 212 College Highway. All class sessions are $10 and must be paid for at the door with cash or check.

Check out for more information and to sign up for your session! Each week's sign up will open the Monday prior.

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. 

  • 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,
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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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