Thursday, January 4, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre News January 4, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 January 4 - 24, 2024

This Sunday, join me and the friendly folks of the Play Incubation Collective to kick off the new year with conversation about theatre, a sneak peek into plans for PIC's 2024 programming, and help guide the future of PIC. If you are interest in new play development or just want to meet some like-minded theatre people, this is the event for you! (Sunday, 6pm, Progression Brewery!)

The next issue will include events from January 11 - 31. 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
$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

Perspectives from Two Teatros Doing the Work
by Milta Ortiz and Alberto Justiniano

From the article

Alberto “Al” Justiniano is one of the founders and artistic director of Teatro del Pueblo. He curates Teatro’s Political Theater series and the Latino/Asian Fusion series with Pangea World Theater. He has been active as a director, playwright, screenwriter, and independent producer for both film and theater. Milta Ortiz is a Salvadoran American playwright who moonlights as poet, performer, and writer. She is associate artistic director at Borderlands Theater. She earned an MFA from Northwestern University and a BA from San Francisco State University. Milta and Al produce work that engages their Latine communities and provides them with avenues to reflect on social justice issues. Both artists have worked at finding the balance between leading organizations and prioritizing their art. Their conversation is a testament to the power of community organizing and the importance of broadening our field's definition of professional theatre. 

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 cafĂ© opens.  For more information, visit

Kick off the New Year with PIC’s 5 Year Anniversary celebration! 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 January 7th from 6-8pm at Progression Brewery, 9 Pearl St. Northampton. See you there!
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
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.

Shakespeare & Company’s Theater Program for High School Students Returns in 2024

Applications are being accepted and auditions are being scheduled now for Shakespeare & Company’s Spring Young Company, a 10-week theater program designed for high school students who are looking to begin or continue their actor training.

Auditions for the 2024 session of Spring Young Company will be held Friday, January 5 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday, January 6, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Each interested Spring Young Company participant must submit an application to audition for the program, slated to run from February 27 through May 3, 2024 with performances on May 4 and 5, 2024.

Led by Shakespeare & Company Education Artists, accepted participants actively engage in voice, movement, text, scene work, and more, using Shakespeare’s plays and poetry as the foundation. Classes will meet twice a week, and tuition is $700; limited financial aid is available, and applications for financial aid are due at auditions. 

For more information regarding the audition process, email

For more information regarding tuition, and financial aid, or to set up a payment plan, please email Education Programs Manager Meg Marchione at

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.
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
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews?
Pioneer Valley Theatre Google Calendar
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
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Local Theater Critic Max Hartshorne
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