Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 28, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 28 - October 18, 2023

Two more weekends to catch Bright Star at the Majestic. You can read Max Hartshorne's review here. It's going to be another busy fall!

The next issue will include events from October 5 - 25. 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
$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
by Carla Della Gatta

From the article

Amid the news of theatre closures, mid-season pauses, financial campaigns to save robust regional theatres, and the Supreme Court’s revocation of affirmative action, the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Designer and Director Colaboratorio held this summer felt like a stolen weekend, a protected space away from the realities of the world. Before graduate school, I had a decade-long career in finance and strategic planning, in which I attended corporate weekend retreats that pulled together top executives to create an action plan to solve the company’s problems. Colaboratorio did the opposite; it pulled together theatremakers from across the country at various levels of experience to disrupt their own artistic practice from the hegemonic systems that inform it to re-envision what it means to create, collaborate, and play. Instead of trying to fix the broken system, Colaboratorio invited its participants to strategize about process through meeting and working with new people.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
New Play Reading Series
Ziona by Katie Wilson ’26
Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall CPS, Smith College
122 Green Street, Northampton

Emma Ziona Taylor's sense of self and identity faces a crossroads during her final semester of high school, as she grapples with a pivotal choice that will shape her path. The situation becomes even more complicated as her close relationships with both her friends and her mother become intertwined in the unfolding events.
MIFA Victory Theatre
Portrait of Ludmilla as Nina Simone
9/28 @ 7PM, 9/29 @ 7PM, 9/30 @ 2PM & 7PM
Holyoke Media Studio

Actress/Singer Ludmilla Dabo accompanied by playwright/guitarist David Lescot presents an intimate musical portrait of the iconic ‘High Priestess of Soul’, Nina Simone. Dabo charts Simone’s journey from young musical prodigy to her role as a major figure in the civil rights movement.

More information


Season-Opener Features Music by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

West Springfield’s Majestic Theater will launch its 26th season this Thursday, September 7 with the opening night of Bright Star, a musical featuring a bluegrass score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.  The play will run through October 15.

Directed by the Majestic’s Associate Producing Director Sue Dziura, Bright Star is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a tale of love, loss and redemption set in the 1920s and 1940s American South.  Literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, and he awakens her longing for the child she once lost.  Haunted by their connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past.  What she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. 

The cast includes Chelsie Nectow, Michael Graham Morales, Emery Henderson, Michael Devito, Megan Mistretta, Parker Fisher, Christine Voytko, Gene Choquette, Ramsey Kurdi, Rob Clark and Max Weinberg.  Production stage manager is Stephen Petit, Aurora Ferraro is associate producing manager, and Josiah Durham is technical director. 

Subscriptions to the five-play 2023-2024 season will be accepted through October 15, but single tickets are now being sold to all five plays over the phone or in person at the box office.  Prices for single tickets for the plays range from $31 - $37.  Box office hours are Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, and Saturday 10am-1pm.

The wearing of face masks in the theater is optional, but any patron feeling symptoms that may be related to COVID are requested not to attend their scheduled performance.  They may contact the box office at the Majestic Theater at (413) 747-7797 to reschedule their performance date or a full ticket refund will be provided.

Doors to the theater will open one hour before the start of a show, which is also when the café opens.  For more information, visit

New work by Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies features

Karen Allen and Reed Birney

New dates have been announced for Shakespeare & Company’s World Premiere  of Lunar Eclipse by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, starring Karen Allen and Reed Birney, and directed by James Warwick. Staged September 15 through October 22 at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, five, new Thursday evening performances have been added through the course of the run:

  • Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.

On a summer night, in the middle of a field on their midwest farm, a long-married couple sits on folding chairs to observe the seven stages of a lunar eclipse. While watching the celestial phenomenon unfold, the two sip bourbon and reflect on land and legacy, on children and dogs, and the accelerating passage of time. Lunar Eclipse is a new work by Margulies (Dinner With Friends, Time Stands Still, Collected Stories).

Generously sponsored by Deb and Bill Ryan, Lunar Eclipse will be staged indoors at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company grounds. Tickets range from $22 for students to $62, and are available at or by calling the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Registration Now Open for PIC Kids Fall Fest

We are pleased to share that registration is now officially open for PIC Kids Fall Fest- an all-ages weekend empowering creativity!

Saturday September 30th, 2-3pm Park Hill Orchard

All Ages Salon: a sharing of new original works created and performed by youth and adult artists in an iconic outdoor setting. Free to attend.

Rain date: October 1st, 10-11am

Sunday October 1st, 2-5pm Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity

Build Your World: a sneak peek of new inclusive kids’ TV show, All Together Now! by Sunny Allis, followed by hands-on arts workshops. Presented in collaboration with High Five Books and Sunny Allis. $10/person

Learn more about our artists, collaborators, and the awesome workshops offered, and REGISTER TO ATTEND by clicking here

Learn More and Register
Happier Valley Comedy Presents Scripted/ Unscripted
September 30 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley

A thrilling mashup of theater and improv!
One scripted actor sticking to their lines. One improviser with no idea what scene they're in. One unique, messy, beautifully wild ride! Come see one of our all-time audience favorite shows, be surprised and delighted by the artful chaos, and support a local nonprofit at the same time! Inspired by the original show Gravid Water.
Tickets: $15 online or at the door.

More information
The HCC Alumni Players
Phillips Festival 2023 - From Concept to Curtain … in ONE day
September 30 at 7:30 PM
Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA 01040

The Phillips Festival 2023, an evening of short plays – written, directed, and staged by Holyoke Community College alumni, students, staff, and surrounding community in just 24 HOURS  – will be held on September 30, 2023, at 7:30 PM. The Festival, now in its sixth year, raises money for the Leslie Phillips Fund for Arts and Arts Education at HCC. This fund, this fund named after the founder of the HCC theater department, allows them to make capital improvements, hire guest artists, hold master classes – anything to enable, enrich, and expand the educational experience for their arts students. We hope you can join us for a celebration of collaboration, creativity, and community and help us invest in future generations of HCC Theater students.
MIFA Victory Theatre
October 3 at 7:00 PM
Leslie Phillips Theater Holyoke Community College 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040

Pays tribute to the young Black men who have been victims of gun violence in New York, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, who will never reach the age of 21. Three powerful dancers, torsos inscribed with testimonials from the victims’ families, recount the stories through movement.

More Information

Play Incubation Collective

What's missing from our upcoming public reading of Old Stupid Village by Elizabeth Irwin? You! Be a part of the development of this brand new play by joining us for the final Mini Residency reading of the year and sticking around for a dialogue with the playwright. We are thrilled to be in collaboration with UMass Amherst Department of Theater for this project, and we hope you will join us on their campus for this thought-provoking and supremely funny piece.

Thursday, October 5th
Bromery Center for the Arts
Umass Department of Theater
Room 413
FREE FOR STUDENTS, $10 for General Admission

Learn more and register

Ja'Duke Theater
God of Carnage

10/13 at 7pm, 10/15 at 2pm, 10/20 and 10/21 at 7pm, 10/22 at 2pm
Ja'Duke Performing Arts Center, Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls MA

God of Carnage was a Tony Award winner for best play in 2009. Two eleven-year-olds get into a skirmish on the playground. One hits the other with a stick and knocks out two teeth. Our play begins as the parents of the boys meet for the first time to discuss the incident and come up with some sort of resolution. What could possibly go wrong? Except everything.

(No hamsters were harmed in the production of this play. We think.)

The FAC is Hiring: 

Business Manager
Contract and Purchasing Manager
Website Manager
Director of Education and Engagement
Visual Arts Director
Associate Director of the Augusta Savage Gallery 
Production Manager Assistant

See the full listings at:
Holyoke Community College seeks a Videographer and a Costume Designer for its fall production of A Bright New Boise

Costume Designer will be responsible for procuring all costume pieces and conducting fittings prior to the start of tech. Designer will be responsible for cleaning sorting and returning any rental items at the conclusion of the run. Performance dates November 16-19. Flat fee $800 Email Resume / portfolio to

Videographer: will be responsible for filming original content, as well as procuring stock footage, and programing video cues in Qlab during tech process. Flat fee $1200. Email resume / portfolio to
The Performance Project, based in Springfield MA, is seeking a Lighting Designer/Board OP, Sound Op and Stage Manager for a local and regional tour of First Generation Ensemble’s Mother Tongue, a 90 minute multilingual physical theater piece. We’ve received a grant from the NEA specifically to tour Mother Tongue, and although we have experience performing in our area (Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Massachusetts counties), this will be our first time touring to other areas in MA and nearby states.  

We currently have two professionals (lights/sound) who know the show and have been running lights and sound, however they will not be available for all  performance dates, so we are looking for people to learn the show and take some of the performances. We do not have a stage manager and are looking to full that position. 
Contact: Julie Lichtenberg and
Fig Lefevre

Mother Tongue is a devised multilingual physical theater piece created by the Performance Project’s First Generation Ensemble. The piece is inspired by the experiences of First Generation ensemble members, their families and communities who are from Congo/Tanzania, Bhutan/Nepal, South Sudan/Darfur, Holyoke, and Springfield, Massachusetts. The 90 minute performance weaves together movement, music, dance, and stories in Arabic, Swahili, Nepali, and English. The piece incorporates themes of language, culture, identity, diaspora, hypermasculinity, xenophobia, transphobia, racism, the school to prison pipeline and revolution.  

The Majestic Theater
Searching for a Tech. Director

The Theater Project, inc., dba Majestic Theater, located in West Springfield, Massachusetts is seeking an immediate hire for a Theater Carpenter / Technical Director.

The Majestic is a year-round 229 seat professional theater operating under and SPT6 contract with Actors Equity Association. We produce a five play subscription season September to June, in July and August a three production Children’s Theater, and musical concerts over the Summer. More at:

This is a full time position which requires a number of years of hands-on experience in live theater and a skill set that includes carpentry, welding, and rigging. The Technical Director should also be versed in both stage lighting and sound design.

They are responsible for maintaining the scene shop in good working order with a focus always on safety. Additionally, from time to time, there may be repair and/or maintenance projects at the theater itself for which the TD is responsible.

Interested candidates should send an email to Business Manager, Regina Diemand with cover letter and current professional resume.

Real Live Theatre seeks a grant writer and/or co-producer for our Summer 2024 premier of When The Mind’s Free, an original dance-theatre piece which lifts language, ideas, and story from Shakespeare’s King Lear and places them in a contemporary context, that of a lesbian family dealing with the early onset Alzheimer’s of their matriarch and the opioid addiction of their  youngest daughter.  

We are looking for someone with grant-writing/producing experience who has a particular interest in supporting projects relating to one or more of the following: theatre, dance, LGBTQ  issues, community engagement, Alzheimer’s education, and opioid addiction education. 

The ideal candidate:
-is connected to a variety of funding sources
-is willing to think both in and out of the box about creative funding and presenting opportunities
-has excellent communication skills
-enjoys being part of a team, while also working independently
-will find personal fulfillment in being actively involved in bringing this project to life

The language in the piece is mainly contemporary and has emerged out of improvisations  outlined and shaped by the director and performed by the ensemble, as well as in consultation  with memory care organizations, caretakers, families, and individuals dealing with memory loss. In When The Mind’s Free, the epic arc of King Lear is condensed into one day in the life of this  family. Scenes of caregiving, some of which blossom into imaginative play, others of which devolve into frustration and tears, are interspersed with dances which take the audience outside of that repetitive reality, into the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters. 

We are guided in our work not only by our study of the text of King Lear, but also by these big questions: What does it mean to have accurate memories, and why do we need them? Separated from our memories, who are we? Can we maintain intimate relationships without shared memories? How can the Buddhist principle of non-attachment help us in caring for those with memory loss and those who struggle with addiction? And finally, how do we bring levity and  light into our darkest hours?

A core component of this project is direct community engagement; each performance of the  piece will be accompanied by a facilitated space for discussion. We hope to give audience members time to reflect on their experiences of caregiving and being cared for, to share stories  and resonances, and to connect with local resources and with one another. From our own experiences, we know how lonely caregiving can be, and we hope to provide space to foster community connectedness. 

Part-time; contract terms negotiable. Salary $30-$50 per hour commensurate with experience. Please send a letter of interest and resume to
WAM Theatre Invites Artists and Community Members to Free “Devised Theater” Workshops

Devising Theatre Online with Nicole Orabona
Saturday, September 30, 2023, 2-4pm
On-line over zoom

Curious about expanding your artistic practice and connecting digitally with a greater sphere of collaborators? Using improvisation and collaboration, participants in this workshop will explore the process of creating art and connecting using digital platforms. While this workshop will be taught through the lens of theater, creative artists of other disciplines––as well as anyone ready to discover their creativity––are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

“As a theatre maker and activist, I am such a huge fan of WAMs mission and absolutely chuffed to present this workshop!” says Teaching Artist Nicole Orabona. “My theatre practice thrives in a collaborative environment. During the early isolating days of the pandemic, I was lucky enough to find ways to make art virtually that could fill me with the same satisfaction of rolling around on the floor in a studio. I'm excited to share these practices with the WAMily!”

Community Story Circle with Maizy Scarpa
Saturday October 7, 2023, 2-4pm
In-person at the WAM Hub in downtown Lenox

This third workshop (not currently open for public enrollment) invites participants to give voice to challenges, dreams, fears and desires present in their communities today. Through a story exchange facilitated by WAM Director of Community Engagement Maizy Scarpa, Community Story Circle aims to create a space where we imagine—and begin to build—a future where WAM more fully meets the needs and aspirations of our neighbors, in an ever-changing world. What do you need to feel welcomed? And what do you hope to find once you’re here? 

“As long as humans have had fire to gather around, we’ve met in circles to unpack our fears and dreams through storytelling. This is a powerful act; in the process we combat isolation, understand ourselves and our neighbors better, and build community. Sharing stories, real or imagined, is also a crucial step towards creating intentional and positive change.”

Free to all participants. Donations to WAM Theatre’s Community Engagement programs welcome. Visit asap to reserve your spot or to learn more
K and E Theater Group’s Dance Studio Continues this Fall!
Join Eddie Zitka, Artistic Director of K and E Theater Group, two times a week learning musical dance choreography and feel more confident in your movement at your next audition! Studio lasts through November 16 – every session is different!
Classes available for beginners and intermediate/advanced dancers!
In the BEGINNER session
- Isolation warm-ups
- Acting-based dancing exercises across the floor
- A musical theater combination that will change weekly 
- 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 dancers on Thursdays from 7-8 PM in Southampton, MA at the First Congregational Church of Southampton, 212 College Highway.
We’ve introduced new prices this fall with the new Dance Studio Punchcard – session pricing varies on the amount of times you come!
New pricing is below:
Cash or check payment accepted at the door!
Check out for more information and to sign up for your session! Each week's sign up will open the Monday prior.

Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training has announced a new workshop, The Art of the Audition, to be held Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8, led by the Company’s Artistic Director Allyn Burrows.

Designed to better prepare actors for Shakespeare auditions, this two-day workshop will be held at Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox, Mass., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Burrows will work with participants to craft their next Shakespeare audition, offer practical feedback, and add valuable insight into the business of acting. 

Burrows said the workshop will be an opportunity for actors to “tune-up” audition pieces and to examine them with fresh eyes in a changing environment.

“Working on these pieces can be a lot of fun, and enlightening," he said. “Your audition pieces are not only your calling card in an ever-shifting industry, but also a chance to take a moment to share insight into material that you can call your own.”

The workshop is appropriate for actors looking to improve or revisit audition pieces as well as those new to the audition process. Tuition is $385, and single-occupancy dorm rooms are available for an additional $50 per night. Scholarships available for People of the Global Majority/BIPOC artists; alumni and union discounts are also available.

For more information or to apply, visit

Sulis Studio
Invisibility and Presence
November 4 at 9:00 AM
Sulis Studio, 221 Pine St., Florence, MA

Clown drops us into the here & now, where doors of imagination open & all is possible, guiding us to meet ourselves, each other & the world in fresh, often unexpected ways. The results can be affirming & liberating! The only requirement for workshops is a pinch of willingness to show up, let go, & open to the music of our attention. We do this together, through dynamic improvisation & reflection. Whether you are new to Clown, or already a seasoned performer, this work is sure to enliven your path. Improvisation, presence & listening are at the heart of our approach. Silence, stillness, & the spaces between us light our way. This is an invitation to playfully explore the poetry of being human. All are welcome!

Sarah’s approach to teaching is inspired by her adventures as a psychotherapist, language teacher, actor, musician, & more. In 2008, Sarah encountered Clown, to her surprise & delight. Enlivened by the world of Clown, she has dedicated herself to personal & shared experiences of spontaneous play through the recovery of lost stories, invisible worlds, real dreams, the body’s imagination & other creative origins that empower us. She has discovered that Clown connects us to the poetry of being human. She weaves traditions in the expressive & healing arts, the gifts of present-moment experience & a legacy of Clown that is refreshed when it is shared. In 2021, Sarah founded a center for the playful arts in Columbia County, NY, where she facilitates Clown workshops & community events & gives private sessions to support individuals on their pathways to wholeness. Sarah lives in Ghent, NY.

The Center for Actor Training at Shakespeare & Company will hold its 43rd session of its Month-long Intensive for mid-career actors at its Lenox campus from January 3 through 29.

For six days a week, morning to night, participants immerse themselves in voice, movement, text analysis, exploration of the actor/audience relationship, sonnet work, scene work, clown, stage fight, and in-depth discussions about the function of theater and the role of the actor in today’s world.

Director of the Center for Actor Training Sheila Bandyopadhyay said the Intensive offers training in classical text that can easily be applied to all forms of acting. 

“The Month-long is a unique opportunity for actors to concentrate on their craft in a supportive and courageous community of artists,” she said. “Alumni of the Month-long routinely find that our training is transformative for their work and is applicable to contemporary as well as classical acting.”

Complete applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the Intensive is filled, however an  early payment discount of $500 is offered until Saturday, Sept. 30. 

A limited number of scholarships are available for People of the Global Majority/BIPOC artists through the Dennis Krausnick Fellowship Fund; scholarship applications are due Sunday, Oct. 1.

Tuition costs include double-occupancy housing and all meals. Housing is located on the Shakespeare & Company campus; a limited number of single rooms may be available for an additional fee of $750. The campus is fully, COVID-19 vaccinated, including full-time employees, seasonal staff, artists, volunteers, and program participants. To ensure the health of the Shakespeare & Company community, all Center for Actor Training participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19 including the latest booster shot. Masks may be required for certain classes and events. As conditions of the global pandemic are ever-evolving, these guidelines are subject to change and will be updated accordingly. 

For more information, including regarding the topics covered during the Intensive, contact

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
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