Thursday, September 7, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre News September 7, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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September 7 - 27, 2023

The Majestic in West Springfield is opening their 26th season this week! And other fall openings coming soon - see below for more details and feel free to submit your theatre's event as well. 

The next issue will include events from September 14 - October 4. 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
Easthampton Theatre Company Auditions for Torch Song 
September 19 and 20, 6-9 PM
More information  / sign up
$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 Keelin Sanz

From the article

Within what Bryan S. Turner calls a Western “ideology of able-ism,” the sick body will continuously fail to adhere to a society that celebrates aestheticization as an essential element in the process of belonging within the greater community. Furthermore, the introduction of chronic medical conditions to the human body can cause a rupture in the mind’s perception of the body and its abilities, therefore damaging one’s sense of “self” and the understanding of the self’s positioning within societal spaces. This certainly held true in my own personal experiences as someone struggling to accept the effects of multiple chronic illnesses on their own life. As a theatre practitioner, my sense of self had always greatly relied on my ability to perform. Yet, as my physical health continued to decline throughout the years, my frustration with my body’s inability to operate in the way it once had began to negatively impact my self-identification as an artist and the way in which I identified with the greater world around me. When these feelings began to emerge during my time as a Master’s student at University College Dublin and the Gaiety School of Acting, I looked to the concept of embodiment to better understand the disconnect I felt with my ailing body and my inability to rectify that body’s changes with my greater sense of identity.

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


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

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)

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

She was dubbed “The Mother of Social Security;” quite a prestigious title. This was Frances Perkins.
Perhaps a relatively famous picture taken in the late 1930’s was that of President FDR waving a pen
above his head as he signed the Social Security Act into law. A woman in the back, wearing a drab dress, black hat, and no smile was Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member in the U.S. as Secretary of Labor for 12 years, and the creator of Social Security.

Perkins tackled social reform on many important topics, i.e. child labor laws, the 40-hour work week,
women’s working conditions, African-American workers, advocacy for immigrants, and labor unions.
In the Spotlight, an arts organization in Springfield, MA, in collaboration with Springfield Armory NHS,
host the hour-long play followed by Q&A, directed to the actress in the character of Perkins.
The site is wheelchair accessible, lots of free parking, no tickets, no reserved seating.

The commission and performance of “Frances Perkins: A Woman’s Work” is paid for, in part, by the
Springfield Cultural Council, through the MA Cultural Council, a state agency.

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 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • 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.

Preview shows on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept 16 are $10 less. Opening performance is Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. 

The Performance Project, a non-profit arts organization based in Springfield MA, is seeking a Booking Agent and/or Tour Coordinator to help plan a local and regional tour of First Generation Ensemble’s Mother Tongue, a 90 minute multilingual physical theater piece. We have funding for a position averaging 20 hours a month. 

We’ve received a grant from the NEA specifically to tour Mother Tongue, and although we have extensive experience performing in our area (Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Massachusetts counties), we need to hire someone with experience who can help to broaden the reach of our tour to other areas in MA and other nearby states.  

We hope to find someone who can jump in ASAP and begin to connect with venues, reach out to new presenting partners, and develop our tour schedule for 2023-2024.  As a starting point, we already have a list of potential venues, some with already existing relationships and connections. 

Contact: Julie Lichtenburg and
Gayle Hudson

The Performance Project’s First Generation is a multilingual physical theater ensemble based in Springfield Massachusetts. Members participate in artistic and leadership training, community building, social justice dialogues, and intergenerational mentoring. First Generation creates multilingual physical theater performances inspired by their own life experiences, and the experiences of their families and communities. Their work touches upon themes such as diaspora, language, culture, xenophobia, transphobia, hypermasculinity, racism, the power of youth voice, liberation, and revolution.
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
Wanted for UMass Theater: Nimble performers who love comedy!
Do you love comedy? More importantly, do you love performing comedy? If the answer to those questions is yes, UMass Theater needs you at the auditions for its upcoming fall shows!
This fall, we present two comedies, and we're auditioning for both Sept. 11 & 12. THE HATMAKER'S WIFE by Lauren Yee, willl be directed by Gina Kaufmann (familiar to audiences locally as a UMass faculty member and director of many works at Silverthorne Theater). It'll be followed by THEY DON'T PAY? WE WON'T PAY! by Dario Fo and Franca Rame in translation by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante, directed by Behnam Alibakhshi, who brought us Aurash last year.
Both The Hatmaker's Wife and They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! require nimble actors with a keen sense of comic timing. Auditions will be held for both shows on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12 from 6:30 - 10:30 in The Curtain Theater. Performers can audition once to be considered for both shows! Please arrive in our Greenroom 15 minutes before your chosen audition time to register and fill out paperwork. Callbacks will be Wednesday, September 13 and Thursday, September 14 from 6:30 - 10:30 pm. Rehearsals are 4 hours per session for 5 sessions per week and are typically 6:30 - 10:30 pm.

The Hatmaker's Wife, by Lauren Yee, is a whimsical, comic fable about finding family. Rehearsals start September 18th and performances run Oct. 27 - Nov. 4 in the Curtain theater. 

Hetchman - Our hero.  Hetchman the hatmaker.  Curmudgeonly.
Hetchman's Wife - Also our hero.  Nondescript.  Does she have a name?  Who knows.
Meckel - Hetchman's neighbor and only friend.  Cheerful, popular and kind.  He is the opposite of Hetchman.
Wall - A wall.  A storyteller.  Guardian of the Hetchmans.
Voice - A young woman.  Does she have a story?
Gabe - Voice's boyfriend.  Easy-going in a way Voice has never been.
Golem - A golem, akin to the Jewish Golem of Prague.  Only makes sounds, but does intuit what is going on. Eats a lot. Made of mud.  
The characters of Hetchman, Meckel and Gabe are male-identifying.  The characters of Hetchman's Wife and Voice are female-identifying.  

They Won't Pay? We Won't Pay! is an Italian comedy about the conflict between working-class people and a capitalistic vision of rules and morality. This battle leads people to change and redefine morality principles in their social life when they are facing a brutal and unfair situation imposed by power holders because they want to survive. Rehearsals start October 2 and performances run Dec. 1-8 in the Rand Theater. 

Antonia - Unemployed Housewife
Giovanni -  Antonia’s Husband; Factory Worker
Margherita -  Antonia’s Younger Friend; Temp-Worker
Luigi - Margherita’s Husband; Factory Worker and Housing Policeman
Federal Agent and Undertaker
Giovanni's Father -  Elderly Man and Assistant Undertaker
Various Police Officers, Agents and Laborers
The roles of Housing Policeman, Federal Agent, Undertaker and Giovanni's Father are played by the same actor.

How to prepare:
Please prepare a one-to-two minute contemporary monologue. Alternatively, you may chose to prepare one of the following monologues from They Don't Pay: 1) P 5,6 Antonia OR 20 P 22,23 Giovani 

All roles are open to actors of any race, ethnicity, gender identity, ability, age or body type. We are seeking a diverse cast. Please prepare a one-to-two minute contemporary monologue. Whimsy is appreciated, though not required. Most importantly — bring your true and open self! We look forward to seeing you.
Community members welcome!

In addition to the monologue, auditioners will also play with a short scene from The Hatmakers Wife — a partner will be randomly assigned at the auditions. The audition scene: Page 16 - 17, Hetchman and Hetchman's Wife, from "Ey. Ey, wife!" through "You look for hat. Yourself."  (No accents, please.)

Visit SignUp Genius for the signup sheet, a link to the scripts and audition scene, and additional details.
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
Easthampton Theater Company
Auditions: Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song
September 19 6-9 PM
September 20 6-9 PM
St. Philip's Church Parish Hall Easthampton, MA

Audition Announcement for Easthampton Theater Company's Production of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song

When: Tuesday Sept.19th and Wednesday Sept.20th from 6pm to 9pm with callbacks Sept. 27th 6-9PM.

Location: St. Philips Church Parish Hall, 126 Main Street, Easthampton, MA

Script/Version: This is the 2-act 2018 Broadway revival titled simply Torch Song (not the Trilogy) and the script is available from Concord Theatricals as well as other on-line sources. The two act version is very faithful to the original. All roles are open, actors must be 18+ prior to first rehearsal.

The life of Arnold Beckoff, a torch song-singing, Jewish drag queen living in New York City, is dramatized over the span of the late 1970s and 1980s. Told with a likable, human voice and considerable humor, Torch Song follows Arnold’s odyssey to find happiness in New York. All he wants is a husband, a child, and a pair of bunny slippers that fit, but a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that he needs one thing more: respect.

Directed by Edward Ryan
Produced by Michael O. Budnick and Jason Rose-Langston

Rehearsals are scheduled to begin in early November in Easthampton with performances in late January and early February, 2024. Please go to to the following link for detailed information and sign-up instructions.

Easthampton Theater Company
Happier Valley Comedy
Open Auditions at Happier Valley Comedy
September 23 at 11:00 AM
Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mille Valley Rd, Hadley

Do you have experience making it all up on the spot? Come play on our stage! We strive to make our auditions full of joy and not tied to results. You'll step onstage with a random group of other players and be given simple prompts for scenes and games. The audience will be a supportive crowd of your fellow auditioners. We're all rooting for each other! Come see how we make the Happy Valley HAPPIER!
Drama Studio Fall Classes
September 7 
41 Oakland St. Springfield MA

Drama Studio acting classes are small in size and are taught by a professional faculty. Most classes include weekly 90-minute sessions over 24 weeks from September to May. Some classes are 60-minutes long and some intensives have fewer weeks per semester.  All classes perform in an informal “sharing” of their work at the end of each session.

Producing Director Danny Eaton Presenting 8-Week Program for Beginning Playwrights

Danny Eaton, Producing Director and Founder of the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, has announced the creation of an eight-week, in-person playwriting workshop that he will be presenting on Monday evenings at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield from 6:30pm – 8:30pm from September 18 to November 6. 

Geared for beginners, “New Words – A Playwriting Workshop” will be open to the first 12 registrants.  The workshop will focus on character creation and storytelling for the stage, and will conclude with a representative presentation of each participant’s work by a core group of Majestic Theater actors before a live audience.  The fee for the workshop is $300. 

To register, contact Danny Eaton at (413) 747-7797 Mon-Fri 10am-5pm/Sat 10am-1pm, or via email at

Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training is offering a six-session, online class  titled Linklater Voice: The Progression II. Beginning Tuesday, Sept.19, classes are held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Tuesdays through October 24.

Using the techniques set forth in Kristin Linklater’s practical approach to voice training, including from her book Freeing the Natural Voice, participants explore the potential of voice as an actor or public speaker by creating connections between thoughts, body, and voice.

This class reinforces the relaxation, and generous vibration, explored in the first half of the Progression, and investigates how the voice can be strengthened by isolating and then blending the different resonators, expanding breath capacity, and finding an easy and efficient articulation. 

The class will be led by actor, teacher, and director Tom Giordano, a designated Linklater Voice teacher and Shakespeare & Company artist. As the class focuses on the second half of the Progression, some experience with Linklater Voice is recommended.

Tuition is $250, and scholarships are available for BIPOC artists. Discounts are also available for training alumni as well as members of acting unions and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.

For more information or to apply, visit or call (413) 637-1199, ext. 114.

WAM Theatre Invites Artists and Community Members to Free “Devised Theater” Workshops

Introduction to Devised Theatre with Priscilla Kane Hellweg
Saturday September 23rd, 1:30-4pm
In-person at the WAM Hub in downtown Lenox

Priscilla will guide the group through devised theatre exercises to share ideas and together imagine a better tomorrow.  We will draw upon our collective ideas, hopes, experiences, and practices to create a distilled performance of theater, dance, and rhythm as a final sharing, just for us!

“Telling stories is the way we all connect with each other; you can fall in love with a fellow human in an instant,” said Teaching Artist Priscilla Miller. “I think teaching is like that; people in a room together get a chance to feel our collective humanity. We're all here to tell some story that's burning a hole in our pocket, and at some point or another, we're all scared or stuck, but we persist. I respect the desire in all of us to create. I'm thrilled to partner with WAM. The work and the mission of this company are aligned with social justice and storytelling.” 

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
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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Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
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