Thursday, January 11, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre News January 11, 2023

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 January 11 - 31, 2024

The Play Incubation Collective kick off event got postponed due to Sunday's snowstorm - so join us THIS Sunday at 6pm at Progression! 

The next issue will include events from January 18 - February 7. 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
Easthampton Theater Company presents Harvey Fiertein's Torch Song
Jan 26, 27, 28, Feb 2, 3, 4 in the Blue Room, Old Town Hall in Easthampton

Tickets Available Here
Open Call for MICAFEST 2024
Submit your work by January 31
$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

Resisting “Yes, And” Culture and Learning to Say No
by Sara Bozin

From the article

Has a theatre instructor ever preached the importance of saying “yes, and” to you? How about “well, the show must go on!” in response to a problem? Or perhaps someone has urged you to “say yes to everything” as career advice? Although a lot of these fundamental teachings are intended to be helpful to aspiring performers and other theatre practitioners, they tend to combine into two, all-encompassing ideas: that the work is more important than the people involved, and “yes” is the only acceptable answer.

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



Oscar Wilde’s Victorian Masterpiece Described as a “Trivial Comedy for Serious People”

The Majestic Theater will present Oscar Wilde’s Victorian masterpiece about marriage, morality and mistaken identity, The Importance of Being Earnest, from January 4 through February 11 at the West Springfield venue. 

Described as a “trivial comedy for serious people,” the story follows two gentlemen, Jack and Algernon, each with a hidden double life that comically leads to confusion and hijinks.  When Algernon discovers that Jack has been posing as a man named Ernest to escape from his “excessively boring” life in the country, Algernon promptly travels from his London flat to Jack’s country estate to pose as the fictional character himself.  Confusion and hilarity reign as each man meets and falls in love with a proper young lady and along the way must confront the formidable Lady Bracknell all in the name of romance and revelry.

Danny Eaton is producing director, Sue Dziura is associate producing director, and Rand Foerster will direct the play.  Cast members include Rylan Morsbach, Alexandra O’Halloran, Lisa Abend, Peter Evangelista, Caelie Scott Flanagan, Peter Hicks, Krista Lucas, Tom Dahl, Jack Grigoli, Myka Plunkett, and Stephanie Craven.  Stephen Petit is production stage manager, associate production manager is Aurora Ferraro, and Michael Lounsbury is set designer.  Dan Rist is lighting designer, and costumer designer is Dawn McKay.

Tickets are now being sold for The Importance of Being Earnest, and all remaining plays in the Majestic’s current 2023-2024 Season, and 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.

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

MIFA Victory Theatre
Because I Could Not Stop, An Encounter with Emily Dickinson
January 12 at 7:00 PM

Holyoke Media Studio, 1 Court Plaza (23 Suffolk St.), Holyoke, MA
Presented by MIFA Victory Theatre
By James Melo with the music of Amy Beach
With Angelica Page as Emily Dickinson and soprano, Kristina Bachrach
Music Performed by the MIFA Victory Players, Tianhui Ng, music director
Directed by Donald T. Sanders

“Because I Could Not Stop: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson” takes audiences on a journey through Dickinson’s elusive artistic world pairing the chamber music of renowned 19th-century composer Amy Beach with Dickinson’s words, images, emotions, and imagination.

Join us and be the studio audience during a live recording session of the play!

A co-production of
MIFA Victory Theatre
Ensemble for the Romantic Century
The Emily Dickinson Museum


General Admission: $24.00
Seating Limited

Kick off the New Year with PIC's 5 Year Anniversary celebration!

NEW DATE: Sunday, January 14, 2024


Progression Brewery

9 Pearl Street, Northampton, MA

Free to Attend.

Join PIC NEXT weekend for our 2024 kickoff party at Progression Brewery. Get to know PIC community members, hear about our programming for 2024, get a sneak peek into some of the works-in-progress we will be supporting in the year ahead, and contribute your voice to the future of PIC. We look forward to celebrating and gathering with you on Sunday, January 14th!

The Academy of Music Theatre presents, Tony Award-winning playwright Lisa Kron’s poignant, funny, complex, and uplifting play, 2.5 Minute Ride over three weekends: January 19, 20, 26, 27, and February 3 and 4, 2024. The play is directed by Mary Beth Brooker and performed by Allie Wittner.

In 2.5 Minute Ride, Tony Award-winning playwright Lisa Kron invites her audience on a roller coaster ride through the family album. Rising and falling between high hilarity and deep disquiet, Kron demonstrates with disarming simplicity that humor and horror can share the same human moment.

The play switches back and forth between a daughter’s journey to Auschwitz with her septuagenarian father, a Holocaust survivor; her Michigan family’s annual pilgrimage to a Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park; and her brother’s marriage to his internet bride.

By moving seamlessly between these three diverse recounting, Kron creates a complex and at times startling meditation on how human beings make sense of tragedy, grief, and everyday life.

Director Mary Beth Brooker makes and performs work for theater, video and installation, and writes plays and short fiction. Her local work as a director and dramaturg includes spoken word movement works at the APE/Workroom, New Play Readings Series, Smith College, and School for Contemporary Dance and Thought.

Actor Allie Wittner performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston. Past projects include “The Donkey Show” (American Repertory Theatre) and “Charlie Boyd” (SheLosAngeles Theater Festival best ensemble winner). As a playwright, they were awarded a residency through the Play Incubation Collective for their show, “The Consort.”

Seating is limited. Tickets are available at the Academy Box Office, Tuesday – Friday, 3-6pm, at or by phone at 413.584.9032 x105. There will be a talk back on January 27 th in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day with Rabbi Riqi Kosovske of Beit Ahavah Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton, Mary Beth Brooker, and Allie Wittner.
Easthampton Theater Company
Harvey Fiertein's Torch Song

Jan 26, 27, Feb 2, 3 at 7:30PM, Jan 28, Feb 4 at 2PM
Blue Room, Old Town Hall, 43 Main Street, Easthampton, MA 01027

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. ETC's performance of Torch Song also features live music by a torch-song singing drag performer.

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

Arnold: Patric Madden
Ed: Jay Torres
Laurel: Kim Tobin
Alan: David DiRocco
David: Devin Dumas
Ma: Rona Leventhal
The Lady: Pedro Serrazina

Production Team: Eva Husson-Stockhamer, Veronica Klakotskiy, Deb Jacobson, Manny Morales, Matt O'Reilly, Frank Croke, and Jason Hayes

Torch Song Trilogy premiered at La Mama ETC over the course of two years from February 1978 - October 1979. The play transferred to Broadway in June 1982. The three-act trilogy won the 1983 Tony Award for best play. Easthampton Theater Company is presenting Harvey Fierstein's 2017 two act adaptation, which premiered off-Broadway at the Tony Kieser Theatre in a Second Stage Theater Production and transferred to Broadway in November 1, 2018 at the Hayes Theater. The production was nominated for two Tony awards including best revival. This production restores the live, torch-song singing drag performer "Lady Blues" featured in the original production of the Trilogy.
PanOpera Inc
In Our Opera Era
January 27 at 6:00 PM
Northampton Center for the Arts 33 Hawley Street, Flex Room

PanOpera is pleased to announce our first event of 2024, an opera gala: In Our Opera Era. We're thrilled to present iconic scenes from Così fan tutte, Cavalleria rusticana, I Pagliacci, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tosca, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Street Scene. In Our Opera Era will feature sopranos Emily Baker and Evangelia Leonits; mezzo-sopranos Rachel Abrams and Katherine Saik DeLugan; tenors Joshua Collier and George Eisenhauer; and baritones Cailin Marcel Manson and Liam Shannon accompanied on piano by Clifton Noble JR. Join us to celebrate our return to the stage in 2024! We hope to see you there. Free with suggested donation of $20

Holyoke Community College Theater
The Great Gatsby Auditions

Wednesday, January 24 2pm and Thursday Jan 25th 2pm-5pm
Holyoke Community College 303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke MA 01040 [Leslie Phillips Theater, Fine and Performing Arts Building]

HCC Theater will hold auditions for The Great Gatsby, adapted by Simon Levy, directed by Pat Sandoval January 24th and 25th 2-5pm
Auditions will consist of cold readings.
Auditioners do not need to prepare monologues.
Anyone is welcome to audition.
Call backs if necessary will be Friday January 26th at 2:00pm
Performance dates April 10-13, 2024

Fill out an audition form at this link for more information

Smith College Department of Theatre AUDITIONS

EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Tara Franklin

This modern riff on the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from amongst the cast by lottery at each performance) as they journey through life’s greatest mystery—the meaning of living.


Sunday, January 28 and Monday, January 29, 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, January 30.


April 24, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Casting Breakdown:   

This play is written for a company of nine performers of varying generations and gender and ethnic identities. The exact breakdown of roles should vary from performance to performance via lottery or some other element of chance.

USHER/GOD/UNDERSTANDING: played by an actual usher or at least it should initially seem so.

DEATH: played by the oldest actor in the company.

SOMEBODIES: played by five actors until they become something else.

EVERYBODY: played by a Somebody (as determined by chance).


GIRL/TIME: played by a young child stolen from the audience - or at least it should initially seem so.

LOVE: played by an audience member - or at least it should initially seem so. A, B, C, & D: voiced by Somebodies not playing Everybody.

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,

Mothers Institute for Collaboration and Art (MICA)
Call to Artists/ Artist Opportunities

MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View

Deadline January 31, 2024
Submission Fees $15 suggested, sliding scale

MICAfest Art for Change: The M/others’ View is seeking bold and innovative submissions from visual artists, performers, writers, and storytellers exploring the many facets of m/otherhood for the upcoming city-wide, month-long festival in May 2024 throughout Northampton. We invite submissions pushing boundaries, challenging perspectives, and igniting conversations through unique artistic visions. Cracks in the porcelain cradle: art that shatters stereotypes and dares to explore the raw, the real, and the unspoken in m/otherhood. Illuminate the spectrum: single, chosen, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and beyond.

Performance opportunities throughout the month! Venues include: Anchor House of Artists, Northampton Center for the Arts, and First Churches of Northampton.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.
Happier Valley Comedy
Improv for Scaredy Cats
January 13 at 12:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley

Does the idea of performing in front of people scare the dickens out of you?
Have you ever watched improv and thought, "I could never do that!"?
Have you ever watched improv and thought, "Heck, I could definitely do that!"?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, "Improv for Scaredy Cats (and Non-Scaredy Cats Too!)" is the workshop for you. It's designed especially for the improv newbies, improv-curious, and anyone who wants to step outside their comfort zone.

Once you get started, you'll soon see it's not that scary after all. Head of Happiness Pam Victor leads you through a very gentle, easy approach to improv comedy in a positive and accepting atmosphere where failure is disempowered. (At HVC, we believe it's only a mistake if you don't learn from it. We also believe that everyone can improvise!)
Our main focus is to have as much joy and ease as humanly possible in two hours!

No experience necessary. Being funny is NOT required. The only requirement is a willingness to learn something new and have as much fun as possible.
The Drama Studio
Sign up for Intro to Acting 101
January 20, 2024

The Drama Studio is a one-of-a-kind community where young people have the opportunity to grow as artists, leaders, and individuals. We are thrilled to announce that we are now offering a variety of in-person acting classes with a unique conservatory style program for students aged 9-18.

Our Intro to Acting 101 program provides an excellent foundation where our students will learn fundamental acting techniques while building confidence in front of an audience.

LAVA Center to host four-week theater workshop on directing and acting for writers, actors, and directors in February

WHAT: Directing and Acting for Writers, Actors, and Directors: Some Basics — a four-week workshop

WHEN: Wednesdays, 4–6 p.m.: February 7, 14, 21 and 28

WHERE: The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield

Theater is, most often, a highly collaborative art. It is beneficial for actors to have experience directing, for directors to have experience acting, and for playwrights to have experience with everything—this makes for a well-rounded theater artist that can better understand where their co-theater-makers are coming from.

Join seasoned theater artist Jan Maher and The LAVA Center for a four-week workshop for writers, actors, and directors will explore the basics of different aspects of theater artistry. This workshop will, through practice, offer you some experience in other roles in theater.

Registration and commitment to full participation is required. Please do not register if you know you will be unable to attend one or more sessions.

Cost: Free to playwrights who have participated in LAVA’s online programming; $25 for others.

To register: Send statement of interest/commitment (What do you hope to learn/gain from this workshop? Is your calendar cleared so you can attend every session?) to with cc to

For more details, visit 

Actors WorkOut
Scene Studies Class
February 19 at 6:00 PM - 8 Mondays through April 8
Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity, 130 Pine Street, Northampton, MA. 01062

This class is designed to free the actor's creative spirit and to nurture innovation, openness and courage.  It is the arena where the most dynamic growth happens for actors.  While scene study is the focus of this class, it is always with an eye to the growth and development of the individual artist. Participation is limited to 16 students.

Riotous Youth will offer a three-day session in February for students ages seven through 11 

Shakespeare & Company has announced that it will hold a new Winter Session of its Riotous Youth theater program for students ages seven through 11, Tuesday, Feb. 20 through Friday, Feb. 23, coinciding with Massachusetts and New York Public Schools winter breaks.

Riotous Youth introduces students to Shakespeare’s language, stories, characters, and themes using imaginative and playful methods that incorporate voice, movement, and acting. This fast-paced, four-day session will focus on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, culminating with a performance piece shared with family, friends, and Shakespeare & Company staff on the final day of the session.

Winter Session Riotous Youth is held at the Shakespeare & Company campus at 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, Mass. Tuition is $325, and limited financial aid is available. 

Registration is open now; for more information or to apply, visit, or contact Education Residency and Riotous Youth Programs Manager Caitlin Kraft at or (413) 637-1199 ext. 132.

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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