It's closing weekend for Real Live Theatre's Pussy Sludge at CitySpace and opening weekend for Circle Mirror Transformation at Chester Theatre Company. And if you don't have plans for January yet, consider making an appointment for a September audition slot for Amherst Community Theater's Seussical!
The next issue will include events from August 17 - September 6. 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
Nina Katerli is a famous St. Petersburg writer and human rights activist. She is eighty-eight years old and the mother of Elena Efros, a human rights activist and the creator of the project Tales for Political Prisoners, through which volunteers write letters to people in jail. And Elena Efros is the mother of Zhenya Berkovich, a theatre director and poet. In 2021, Berkovich and her theatre company, Daughters of SOSO, staged the play Finist Yasniy Sokol (Finist the Brave Falcon); and in May of this year law enforcement conducted a search of her grandmother’s and mother’s home and then arrested Berkovich and the play’s author, Svetlana Petriychuk, on suspicion of “justifying terrorism.” By the time this text is published, Berkovich and Petriychuk will have been in pre-trial detention for a month and a half.
Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me! email@example.com
CHESTER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS:
Circle Mirror Transformation
Chester Theatre Company (CTC) is proud to present Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, performed at Chester Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, from August 10-20.
In this work by Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur fellow, and Amherst native Annie Baker, five very different people come together in a Vermont community center for a theatre workshop. Their games and exercises teach them more about themselves and each other than they do about acting.
CTC welcomes back Joel Ripka and newly appointed Co-Producing Artistic Director Tara Franklin alongside newcomers Corinna May, Hero Marguerite, and Alex Draper. Ripka’s previous CTC credits include The Night Alive, The Aliens, and Every Brilliant Thing (for which Ripka was awarded a Berkie). Franklin was last seen in To The Moon and Back, Tiny Beautiful Things, and On The Exhale. May is no stranger to the Berkshires, having worked with Berkshire Theatre Group, WAM, and Shakespeare & Co. Marguerite has previously performed in productions with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Pan Opera, Smith College and UMass Amherst. Alongside extensive experience in stage, film, and television, Draper currently serves as co-Artistic Director for Dogteam Theatre Project at Middlebury College.
We are also delighted to welcome Daniel Elihu Kramer back to Chester as Director. Alongside his long tenure as CTC’s former Producing Artistic Director, audiences will know his directing work, including last year’s Pride@Prejudice, written and directed by Kramer. He is a recent recipient of the Larry Murray Award awarded by the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association for his leadership of the company.
The artistic and design team for the show includes returning artists Lara Dubin (CTC Resident Lighting Designer), Nathan Leigh, and Christina Beam (Costume Designer). We also welcome back Meg Lydon once more this summer as Stage Manager, and Juliana Von Haubrich as Set Designer.
All performances will take place at the Historic Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, Wednesday through Sunday. Check www.chestertheatre.org 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 www.chestertheatre.org, 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 Circle Mirror Transformation will require everyone in the audience to be fully masked: Thursday, August 10th at 2pm, and Saturday, August 19th at 2pm.
For further information, visit www.chestertheatre.org.
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 shakespeare.org, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.
Real Live Theatre presents Pussy Sludge by Gracie Gardner
Directed by Rachel Hall
August 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
Casting has been announced for August Wilson’s Fences at Shakespeare & Company, directed by Christopher V. Edwards and staged through August 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 shakespeare.org, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.
“Off the Shelf” play reading series to take place at The LAVA Center
Saturdays at 1 p.m.: August 12, August 19, August 26 and September 2
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield https://thelavacenter.org/off-the-shelf/
The LAVA Center is proud to present “Off the Shelf,” a play reading series of new classic plays, that will take place on Saturdays afternoons: August 12, 19, 26 and September 2 at 1 p.m.
The plays encompass a range of international, professional plays from the 1960s through the 1990s, and will be read by local actors.
There is an optional, $5–10 suggested donation for each performance, to help The LAVA Center cover royalty and production costs.
Saturday, Aug. 12, 1 p.m.: The Memorandum by Václav Havel
Václav Havel holds several distinctions: last president of Czechoslovakia, first president of The Czech Republic, political prisoner and renowned playwright, memorist and essayist. The Memorandum was first written and produced in 1965 prior to Prague Spring and Havel’s arrest and imprisonment as a political dissident and subsequent leader of the first democratically elected government of his country. In The Memorandum, Havel peels away layers of implacable bureaucracy to poke fun at the absurdity and the venality of Soviet-style communism and the well-founded anxieties of the people who did their best to get along in spite of it. The play centers around the sudden introduction of a new inter-office language, Ptydepe, mandated and lauded as scientific and efficient. Of course, it is anything but. And of course, there will eventually be a new absurd mandated language to replace it.
Saturday, Aug. 19, 1 p.m.: True West by Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard’s plays are known for their bleak, poetic, surrealist elements, black comedy and rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society. True West, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1983, is about the sibling rivalry between two estranged brothers who have reconnected. It is also an exploration of how we live and succeed (or don’t) in a demanding, dehumanizing society: Which brother is more “in touch” with life, the one who’s been living on the desert, essentially off the grid, or the one who watches the news and drives the freeway every day — and which one is more satisfied with his life?
Saturday, Aug. 26, 1 p.m.: Spinning into Butter by Rebecca Gilman
Rebecca Gilman is a playwright from Alabama whose plays deal with contemporary societal issues. She is best known for Spinning into Butter, which was named one of the best plays of 1999 by Time and became the third-most-produced play of the 2000–’01 season in the country. A searing, comic expose of political correctness at a small Vermont college, the play continues to provoke heated conversations about racism in America today.
Saturday, Sept. 2, 1 p.m.: Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! by Dario Fo
Dario Fo’s modern classic, translated variously as We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay!, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay!, and Low Pay, Don’t Pay! was first produced in 1974. A slapstick comedy with unabashed political tones, overtones and undertones, the play features housewives who are caught up in the action when women of their city protesting high grocery prices take what they want from the store shelves. In their efforts to hide their transgressions, they convince their husbands that the groceries being hidden under their clothes are pregnancies. Like a mashup of “The Honeymooners,” “I Love Lucy,” and Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor, the play delivers laughs and serious commentary on the wealth gap. That it is nearly 50 years old and still so relevant should give us all something to contemplate, even as we enjoy the classic antics.
The Harlot Queens Show and Album Release Party!
August 19 at 8:00 PM
CitySpace, Easthampton, MA
It's time for our album release party! Join us on Saturday, August 19, from 8:00 to 11:00, for an evening of performances by The Harlot Queens, games, snacks, a cash bar, party favors, a photo booth, and more! We'll be singing all of the songs from our album, Does a Bawdy Good, plus a whole lot of other Ren Faire faves!
Please be aware that this event is 16+ only. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a caretaker.
We recommend buying tickets in advance so that we make sure to have enough snacks and party favors for all you lovely people!
The Shea Theater and Eggtooth Productions present Charley’s Tropical Bar & Chess Club: a pop-up cocktail bar, chess club & immersive experience on Saturday, August 19th at the Shea Theater from 7-10 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door: https://sheatheater.org/
Said John Bechtold, the creator of the piece, "Welcome to Charley’s - a cozy, one-night-only escape from your present-day cares. Join us as Charley invites you into an evening of tropical cocktails and mocktails, dreamy music, cozy meetings over chess games - and, for the adventurous - an unexpected theatrical journey into the mind of its owner.
With a bar menu crafted by expert mixologist Sam Perry, Charley's has something for everyone - top-shelf drinks, cozy corners, and a vibrant social scene. Charley's exists in a time before cell phones, so enjoy the escape from those objects, too, for the night, as you make new friends, be that over a chess board or a Mai Tai - or both!
If you wish, you may spend your evening around the bar or in a long game of chess (beginners and experts alike are welcome). But for those that are out for a little adventure, a puzzle lies hidden in the space that, when solved, sends you on a special escapade that connects you more closely to Charley."
Historic Northampton presents Pulling at the Roots
Three Plays About Northampton History produced by Plays in Place August 24 - September 3, 2023
Staged in the recently restored historic barn and on the grounds of Historic Northampton
Commissioned by Historic Northampton and produced by Plays In Place, Pulling at the Roots is a series of three site-specific plays that move the audience through three centuries of Northampton history.
Set in the 1670s, Circling Suspicion by playwright Talya Kingston, brings us into the home and mind of Mary Bliss Parsons as she struggles with accusations of witchcraft. The play features Christine Stevens, Bill Stewart and Linda Tardif.
Rose by Jasmine Rochelle Goodspeed, explores a moment in 1750 between famous minister Jonathan Edwards and Rose, who is enslaved by Edwards, as they face being forced to leave Northampton. The play features Tahmie Der and Matt Haas.
Finally, The Optimist's Razor by Patrick Gabridge, shows abolitionists David and Lydia Maria Child in 1842 as they confront a situation that threatens their careers and marriage. The play features Myka Plunkett and Gabriel Levey.
The dramas of Pulling at the Roots examine two important historical themes: the meaning of home and women's search for autonomy. The goal of these plays is to breathe life and humanity into the historic narrative.
The company consists of 15 local professional theatre artists and is led by director Brianna Sloane (The Emily Dickinson Project, The Mill Project, The Water Project). The acting ensemble features Tahmie Der, Matt Haas, Gabriel Levey, Myka Plunkett, Christine Stevens, Bill Stewart, and Linda Tardif. Costume design is by Christina Beam. Sound consultation is by Amy Altadonna and lighting consultation is by John Bechtold. Stage management is by Nikki Beck and Gabriel CiFuentes.
Content Advisory: The plays contain themes of child loss and slavery and are recommended for adult audiences.
All three short plays are included in each performance, followed by a conversation with the playwrights.
A Pilot Program of A.P.E
SPACES ARE MADE BY WHAT HAPPENS IN THEM
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.
This role is a 2-year fixed-term, part-time, benefits eligible role from September 2023-May 2025. Applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
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, supervise and direct 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.
Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment
Box office website, systems and software maintenance (25%)
Building events in the box office system, including setting ticket prices, and setting up seating manifests
Communications including drafting confirmation and automatic emails to customers
Be responsible for checking firstname.lastname@example.org
Review and update box office manual as needed
Troubleshooting software issues, and working with box office software provider on implementation updates, bug fixes, and best practices
Develop, get approval for, and communicate an official comp policy, that can be adapted as needed per show upon consultation with the appropriate department (i.e., House tickets, VIP tickets)
Review current box office hours and ticket costs - adjust as necessary. Work with publicity to update the website accordingly
Work with publicity to supply emails and lists to support marketing/comms efforts
Replenish box office supplies as needed
Potentially implementing new system
Demonstrate excellent customer service skills, respond promptly to customer inquiries and requests, and train all Box Office personnel in customer service standards
Hire, train, schedule and supervise up to 16 students as front of house staff consisting of; House Managers, Box Office Assistants and Ushers. (Note: Currently, 3-4 students will be needed each performance) and 4-6 TH200 students per semester making sure they meet the requirements of the course, in collaboration with Theatre Department
Define the range of student roles needed in box office and on show nights. Consult appropriate departments to see what staffing is currently planned for or is needed
Work closely with House Managers to oversee flow of operations on nights of shows.
Recruit students that are interested in working in a team, with staff, and faculty and with the public, sometimes under high pressure. Maintain a staffed work schedule of various hours including afternoons, performance evenings and weekends
Reporting: Show event reports, ticket counts etc., accurate daily reporting of transactions
Public interface, and dealing with difficult patron situations and accessibility concerns
Money handling, including implementing college policies, use of the credit card machine, cash and checks, troubleshooting under pressure
Electronic ticketing and reservations including accurate data acquisition (i.e., email addresses and sign ups used in publicity reporting)
Crisis and safety measures and policies, such as evacuations in an emergency
House Management including but not limited to leading, organizing and supporting the box office staff and coordinating directly with the stage manager during productions, taking responsibility to make spur of the moment decisions to assure safe and pleasant seating arrangements
Maintaining accessibility during all the box office working hours for questions and situations that may come up which could include being present on performance nights
Regular checks that the financial reporting and transactions are being done correctly and that policies are being adhered too
Making sure that work schedules are fair, consistent and the staff is dependable.
Setting expectations and providing clear communications with students
Oversee box office budget, including cash box, cash deposits, and ensuring that all monies are accounted for as required by Smith policies
Provide end of show budget and monthly budget reports
Track all box office expenses including supplies, student hours, software costs etc.
Creating and/or approving nightly and end of show reports, and making sure all reports are submitted in a timely fashion
Research and Development (15%)
Work with the Director of the Smith Office for the Arts to design new box office model that serves SmithArts beyond Theatre and Dance Department
Conduct research of new box office software systems
Work closely with key stakeholders, departments and partners on campus to assess needs and current best practices, discuss shared goals and priorities
Work through budget and staffing proposals for new box office model
Other Duties 5%
Act as part of the publicity, marketing and communications team, providing necessary data for audience engagement work
Work with Publicity Manager to schedule box office students as needed to help with outreach related work around (calendar entries, postering, etc.)
Assist as needed for RSVP only events (non-ticketed.)
All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.
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 firstnightnorthampton.org. Check out the First Night Northampton 2023 playlist on YouTube.
Amherst Community Theater
September 15 and 15 at 6:00 PM
Bangs Community Center, Amherst
Amherst Community Theater announces auditions for Seussical! Sept. 15-17, 2023, callbacks 9/18, Bangs Community Center, Amherst. Appointments: go to amherstacts.org (contact Producer for alternative dates to Rosh Hashana). Dr. Seuss’s whimsical brilliance comes to life in this musical extravaganza! With lavish sets and costumes and a full orchestra, this show will transport audiences of all ages with its unforgettable characters and heartwarming story of loyalty and acceptance. Nine performances, January 2024 at the 600-seat Bowker Auditorium, UMass. Calling actors, singers, and dancers ages 7-107! More information, including character descriptions and audition music, posted 8/1: www.amherstacts.org/auditions or contact email@example.com
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
YOU CAN EXPECT:
- 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
YOU CAN EXPECT:
- 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.
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, 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 shakespeare.org. For more information, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.