Thursday, August 24, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News August 24, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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August 24 - September 13, 2023

August is coming to and end - have you seen a show this month? If not, there are quite a few you could still choose from! Lots of auditions coming up as well - for the Little Mermaid, or Dance Nation, or Angels in America, or Seussical, or a new show created by Human Agenda Theater. Be in a show this year!

The next issue will include events from August 31 - September 20. 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
Amherst Community Theatre Auditions for Seussical!
September 15-17
Sign Up Here
$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

Reengineering Education in the Adagbabiri Community Through Theatre for Development
by Eseovwe Emakunu and Dennis Obire

From the article: 

The importance of education in the development of a nation cannot be overstated, and the lack of educational access leaves citizens without the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to adequately contribute to their personal development and that of their communities and nation. In Nigeria, there are about twenty million children who do not attend school. They do not have access to quality education. While some of these children are forced into child labor to support their families, some are left roaming the streets because their parents cannot afford school materials, even where primary and post-primary education are free.

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

Tickets and more information. 

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, 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 26 and September 2
The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield 

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.

The schedule:

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.

Frances Perkins: A Woman's Work
A performance by Jarice Hanson

Sunday, September 10th at 2 p.m.
One Armory Square, Springfield, MA
(off State Street, campus of STCC)

A first-person portrayal of Frances Perkins the first U. S. Secretary of Labor. She served all 12 years of the FDR administration helping to craft New Deal social policies including workplace safety, Social Security, 40-hour work week and the "Rosie the Riveter" campaign.

Free and open to the public. Ample free parking. Handicap accessible.
Sponsored by In the Spotlight, Springfield, MA

Funded by grants by the Springfield Cultural Council, an agency of the MA Cultural Council
JaDuke Theater
The Little Mermaid and A Christmas Story Audtions
August 27 and 28 at 6:00 PM
JaDuke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA 01376

Audition for our two upcoming shows at JaDuke Theater; The Little Mermaid or A Christmas Carol.

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.

Smith College Department of Theatre
by Clare Barron
directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer

Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at Nationals in Tampa Bay. A play about ambition, growing up, and how to find our souls in the heat of it all.

Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11, 7:00-9:00 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall CPA
Please let us know if you are interested but unable to make either date.
Callbacks will be on Tuesday, September 12

October 26, 27, 28 at 7:30 PM and October 28 at 2:00 PM
in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Casting Breakdown: 
9 Actors. Actors of all ages and identities are encouraged to audition. No dancing ability is required! (But also it would be cool if some people can dance/move.)
DANCE TEACHER PAT – The head of the dance studio.
AMINA – The star dancer.
ZUZU – Always second best.
CONNIE – A talented dancer who thinks she should play the role of Gandhi.
LUKE – The only male dancer on the competition team.
MAEVE – The oldest and least talented dancer on the team.
SOFIA – Knows what’s up.
ASHLEE – Future president of a post-apocalyptic USA.
VANESSA/THE MOMS – Could’ve been a phenomenon./Means well. Grown-up Wendy.

Audition Prep
No appointment necessary. Sides from the script will be available at the audition for cold reads. No preparation necessary. Perusal scripts available at Josten Library.

Production Manager, Nikki Beck,
Director, Daniel Elihu Kramer,
GCC Theater

Mon, Sept 11 at 4pm-7pm*
Tue, Sept 12 at 4pm-7pm*
Wed, Sept 13 at 4pm*
* Plan on attending either Monday OR Tuesday for Auditions, as well as Wednesday for Callbacks. You can arrive anytime during the 3-hour audition time, but arriving closer to the start is better for pairing you with other actors.

Sloan Theater, GCC Main Campus, 1st Floor South Building

Special Note:
We will be casting for Part One with the actor
having the opportunity to do both, Part One and Two.

Additional Info:
Productions: Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play Angels in America, Part One & Two,
by Tony Kushner, Directed by Tom Geha
Fall 2023 - Part One: Millennium Approaches
Rehearsal Dates: Sep 18 -Nov 9
Performance Dates: Nov 10 -18
Spring 2024 - Part Two: Perestroika
Rehearsal Dates: Feb 5 -Apr 11
Performance Dates: Apr 12 -20
Prep: No audition preparation or production experience required,
though audition sides and character breakdowns are available online at:
Open to all students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community
Questions? Feel free to contact Tom Geha at
Human Agenda Theater
September 11 at 6:00 PM

Human Agenda Theater is casting BIPOC woman/nonbinary actor for the world premiere of the play Gorgons by Megan E. Tripaldi at Hawks and Reed, Greenfield, MA.

Medusa is dead; Stheno and Euryale, her two sisters, remain. As a century passes, they are left behind to process their grief over her demise and their grief over being trapped in the shadows by the gods and to figure out who they are without her.
Actors will receive a $200 stipend to help cover gas over the rehearsal process. We typically rehearse in Turners Falls or Amherst. We will rehearse September- March 2024. Show dates are March 8-10 and March 15-17. Tech week is March 4-7. We want to practice once to a few times a week, gradually increasing the schedule as the performances approach. This is an extended rehearsal process because the show's musical, shadow play, design, and physical elements need to be created.
Auditions will be held on September 11, but we can schedule an alternate day if that day does not work for you. Auditions will consist of reading sides from the script and working with the ensemble. Please let us know if you are interested at
About Us: Human Agenda Theater celebrates the collaborative process of creating and sharing stories of the human experience through ground-breaking, interactive, and weird forms of ensemble-based devised theater. We are committed to uplifting and integrating practices of pay equity/profit-sharing, radical accessibility, and culture-building within our company and surrounding communities.

Instagram: @humanagendatheater
Amherst Community Theater
SEUSSICAL Auditions!
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 (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: or contact

Facebook event

Technical Director
Iolanthe production
Valley Light Opera
Starting Sept. 6, 2023

Technical Director needed to supervise set build for Valley Light Opera's fall production of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, Iolanthe.

Duties include:
Scheduling crew meetings one or twice a week till set is completed.
Working with set designer to design the set.
Instructing volunteers on basic carpentry jobs.
Supervising volunteers as they work on the set.
Supervising the transportation of the set to the Academy of Music for performance.
Supervising set strike on November 12.

Schedule: We rehearse Sunday, Monday and Wednesday eves starting September 6 till dress rehearsal on or about November 1. You do not need to attend rehearsals. You will build the set in a separate rented space during this period. Historically, our tech director scheduled building times on Saturdays, 9:00-3:00 and Tuesday evenings so that cast and crew members could be free to volunteer their building skills.

Performances are November 3, 4, 5, and 10, 11, and 12 at the Academy of Music, Northampton.

Honorarium: There is a modest honorarium of $350 for the period, and of course all materials and rentals are paid by VLO. 

If interested: please apply to Jill Franks, Assistant Director. 
Phone (with texting): 931-920-0368.

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