Thursday, February 8, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre News February 8, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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February 8-28, 2024

This weekend: the Importance of Being Earnest at the Majestic, Every Brilliant Thing at Ethen the Barn, Love Letters at the Montague Library, a fundraiser at JaDuke, and a cabaret fundraiser for Silverthorne this Satuday at CitySpace - including their 2024 season announcement. 

The next issue will include events from February 15 - March 6. 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

That Which We Call a Struggle: A Response to Ife Olujobi’s “$5000”
by Chris Myers

From the article

Every time someone dares speak up about money in the nonprofit professional theatre, folks tend to listen. For the artists among them, I suspect it’s because they’re probably receiving what are more or less subsistence wages for their work. They—we—get by moonlighting secondary careers, going into debt, marrying up, rotating through government services, and/or utilizing family support. Along the way, we simply grit our teeth and smile. Why we’re still smiling at this point, we’re not quite sure. The glow of working in “the biz” wears thin when bills keep piling up and income remains tenuous. So when someone says “this is madness” instead of “this is fine” we all tend to reply: “THIS.” There is collective yearning for something more.

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

Every Brilliant Thing
February 9 at 7pm, February 11 at 2pm

ETHEL the BARN invites you to the performance of the award-winning show EVERY BRILLIANT THING. Described as a "life-affirming gem" and "filled to the brim with joy", this piece details one man's attempt to find hope in the midst of great sorrow.

Along with Joanna Rush's one-woman show NO MALARKEY, this piece marks the beginning of ETHEL the BARN's series of solo performances. ETHEL is a studio space in Southampton which has been showcasing musical performance for over a year. As a member of the Valley theatre community, we are extending an invitation to you to attend, as well as submit proposals for workshops, residencies and performances. All at no charge!!
Friends of the Montague Public Libraries
Love Letters by A. R. Gurney
February 9 at 7:00 PM
Montague Common Hall

The Friends of the Montague Public Libraries present A. R. Gurney's "Love Letters" featuring Marina Goldman and John Bechtold

$20 suggested donation
This is a fundraiser for the library.
JaDuke Theater
Resilience Rising: A Fundraiser for NELCWIT
February 9 at 10 at 6:00 PM

JaDuke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA 01376

Join us for a night of community and live theater! This review show is sure to be a night to remember. We will make our way through Broadway favorites as we raise money for NELCWIT. This event will feature many special guests from our beautiful community and is underwritten by Greenfield Savings Bank. Ticket Prices: General Admission (Adult) - $15 Children (12 and under) - $12 Senior Citizen (65 and over) - $12 All Star (General + Donation) - $25 Rated: G Running time: 90 minutes (one intermission) Note: Strobe and Special Lighting Effects will be used throughout the show.


To become a Show Sponsor or Donate, visit All proceeds will go to NELCWIT.  

Get ready to rebel, rejoice, and revel in love! 

Presenting "Love Revolution Cabaret: Silverthorne's Season Opener Benefit"!

Join us on February 10, 2024, at The Blue Room @Cityspace in Easthampton -- performances at 2:00 and 7:00

Silverthorne's Season Opener Benefit is a celebration of all kinds of love - everything except romantic love that is - our songs challenge norms and celebrate the diverse tapestry of love for our friends, our children, our students, our favorite attorney, even ourselves. 

The singers are Silverthorne favorites Frank Aronson*, Kyle Boatwright, Stephanie Carlson*, Tahmie Der, Michael Garcia, John Iverson, Gina Kaufmann and Sam Samuels*, accompanied by Lauren Bell on piano.

Enjoy refreshments and connect with friends old and new as these artists take you on a musical love odyssey with iconic tunes like "For Good" (from Wicked), “I'm Here” (from The Color Purple) and the heartwarming "Love Changes Everything" (from Aspects of Love). 

Joining us means more than being in the audience; it means actively fostering the success of Silverthorne Theater. Your engagement directly fuels our ability to fully realize not only this season but seasons to come. Your support is the cornerstone of our artistic endeavors, and we deeply appreciate your commitment to us and the arts. 

(And - We'll be announcing our 2024 season at this event!!!)

Don't miss your chance to be part of Love Revolution Cabaret @ The Blue Room in Easthampton – grab your tickets now!

Smith College Department of Theatre
New Play Reading Series: Who’s Fault? by Zoe Koeninger ’24
Thursday, February 15 – 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall CPA, 122 Green Street

Whose Fault? reimagines Leo Tolstoy, one of Russia’s greatest authors, through the eyes of the woman who tirelessly helped him along the way—his wife.

Free and open to all. 



Debut of Producing Director Danny Eaton’s Newest Contemporary Drama

The Ladyslipper, described as a “heartfelt exploration of family, friendship and finding love in the least likely of places, will be presented at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater February 15 through March 24.

Written by the Majestic’s Producing Director Danny Eaton, the play follows the chain of events following the death of a local watering hole proprietor.  Her long-lost daughter is discovered and arrives from England to make decisions about the future of the restaurant.  She is invited into the lives of a cast of local folks who each have their own ties to the place, and to the woman who founded it.  The Ladyslipper focuses on everyday people living ordinary lives, and the joy and simplicity of community that become family.

Eaton is producing director, Sue Dziura is associate producing director, and James Warwick will direct the play.  Cast members include Madeleine Maggio, Jay Sefton, Chelsie Nectow, Mark Dean, Jay Torres, and Linda Storms.  Stephen Petit is production stage manager, and associate production manager is Aurora Ferraro.  Dan Rist is set and lighting designer, and costumer designer is Dawn McKay.

 Tickets are now being sold for The Ladyslipper, as well as The Play that Goes Wrong, which is the final show in the Majestic’s current season, and runs April 18 – June 2.  Tickets range from $31 - $37 and are available either in-person at the box office or by calling (413) 747-7797.  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

Springfield College William Simpson Fine Arts Series
Sara Felder in SIDE SHOW: Juggling from the Margins
February 21 at 7:30 PM
Fuller Arts Center Appleton Auditorium, Springfield College

Sara Felder in SIDE SHOW: Juggling from the Margins
Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 FREE
Fuller Arts Center, Springfield College
Side Show is a funny, theatrical, and moving meditation on the balancing act of being human. In a collage of juggling routines and stories from Jewish Brooklyn and queer San Francisco, Felder confronts issues of fear, gender, parents, economic class, college, and more, while keeping audiences laughing along the way.

A vibrant performer, masterful juggler, and irresistible monologist, Felder brings to her performance a queer sensibility along with rich imagery provided by object-play, compelling text, and visual metaphor. Best known for her solo play, June Bride, about a traditional Jewish lesbian wedding, Felder is excited to bring the radical and witty Side Show to Springfield College.

Her work has been hailed as “hilarious and triumphantly heartwarming” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Feb. 21, 7:30 pm FREE
Smith College Department of Theatre 
You on the Moors Now
by Jaclyn Backhaus
directed by Monica Lopez Orozco
February 28, 29, March 1, 2 at 7:30 PM 
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre 

Four literary heroines of the nineteenth century set conventionalism ablaze when they turn down marriage proposals from their equally famous gentlemen callers. What results is a confluence of love, anger, grief, and bloodshed, as the ensemble struggles to reconcile romantic ideologies of the past with their modern ideas of courtship. Everything you’ve learned about love from the pages of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Little Women is turned upside down in this grand theatrical battle royale.

$10 Adult, $5 Students/Seniors
Arts Programming and Venue Manager

CitySpace, is a community-driven center for the arts centrally located in downtown Easthampton in the historic Old Town Hall. It is a place for creative possibility and meaningful connections across communities in western Massachusetts.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CitySpace, restores, preserves, and manages Old Town Hall as a center for the arts for the City of Easthampton and Western Massachusetts. CitySpace seeks a part-time (25 hours) Arts Programming and Venue Manager. This individual will ensure that all events run smoothly from concerts and private rentals to connecting with a wide range of communities.

This position will be responsible for house management, programming, and volunteer management in CitySpace's Blue Room – a flexible performance and event venue with a capacity of 100 seats, or 230-standing attendees.

The right candidate will be as organized as they are personable, and committed to providing our audiences with as safe and enjoyable an experience as possible. They will help build community with programming and the contributions of volunteers and, ultimately, ensure that CitySpace audiences want to return again and again to a place that feels fun, inspiring, and welcoming to all. Reporting to the President of the Board, this position is ultimately an ambassador for our multidisciplinary nonprofit arts organization.

More details on the CitySpace website. 

The Hartsbrook High School is in the process of preparing to put on a production of Clue! and we are seeking students or community members who are interested in working in the following roles:

Prop Manager:
Need 1 person to:
-Assess props and furniture needed for play
-Meet with students on prop team to help them organize and schedule their work
-Support students as they find, make, and organize props and furniture
-Come to some rehearsals to get a sense of the space, cast, and play
-Stay in communication with Director
*Role could be shared among more than one person
-Should attend a rehearsal early February, start meeting and working with students early February, have props ready to be used by Mid-Late February

Need 1-2 people to:
-Meet with the students on the these teams
-Schedule finding, making, shopping for costumes
-Work with cast and Director to ensure artistic vision, comfort, and fit of costumes
-Come to some rehearsals to get a sense of the space, cast, and play
-Stay in communication with Director
*Role could be shared among more people
-Should attend a rehearsal early February, start meeting and working with students early February, have costumes ready to be used by Late February

Assistant Stage Managers: Rotating Position
- Need 1-3 people at each rehearsal beginning the week of February 26th
- Sign up for any amount of time that you can/would like to come help
- Adults come to rehearsals to support cast and crew as needed
- Support Student Stage Managers, Lighting Crew, Props Department, Costumes, Make-Up as needed
- Responsibilities may include helping students stay on task when not on stage, being extra sets of eyes and ears, helping to   problem solve as things arise, emotional support!
-1-3 adults at each rehearsal joining in on the fun and ensuring everyone is on task, safe, and listening

Base pay for these positions is $16.50/hour but could be higher, depending on experience

Rehearsals are Mondays and Thursdays, 3:30-5:30, and Wednesdays 3:30-7:00.

Interested folks can email

Audition Announcement

Easthampton Theater Company's Production of The Man Who Came to Dinner

Easthampton Theater Company is holding open auditions for the uproariously funny Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman play The Man Who Came to Dinner on Wednesday and Thursday evening, February 7 and 8, 2024 in Easthampton. This classic farce features a large, multi-age cast of two dozen actors with a nice mix of principal, supporting and character roles available. All roles are open, no roles are pre-cast. (Note we are a not-for-profit community theater and all stage roles are uncompensated)

Auditions dates: By appointment only.

Appointments are available Wednesday or Thursday February 7 and 8 between 6-9:30PM.

Audition information, character descriptions and sign-up link are on our detailed audition information document HERE

Location: St. Philips Church, Easthampton, MA

Callbacks: February 15, Thursday

Performance Dates: June 20-23, Easthampton High School Auditorium

Rehearsals begin in April, with a read-through and some individual character work possible in March.

Directed by Eva Husson-Stockhamer

Produced by Michael O. Budnick

Summary and character descriptions, audition forms and sign-up information are available HERE

Please direct any questions to

More information about the company and production announcements are available at our website at

You can also visit our facebook page at the link below:

Brush up on your Shakespeare — audition for Twelfth Night at UMass Theater
Shakespeare returns to the UMass Theater mainstage season this spring, and auditions are happening soon! Director Milan Dragicevich is seeking a cast of performers for our production of Twelfth Night. In adition to Milan, the creative team will include composer/musician Tim Eriksen (Cordelia's Dad, the Cold Mountain soundtrack).
Auditions are open to EVERYONE who wants to participate in the telling of a magical tale.

Auditions are Feb. 12 & 13 in the Rand Theater, Bromery Center for the Arts, and are open to Five College and community performers as well as UMass Theater members.
The show will run in the Rand Theater April 26-May 4.

Audition details:
Please prepare a 1 - 1 1/2 minute Shakespearean monologue (verse or prose), as well as a 1-minute excerpt from a song of any style, period, or genre. The key point for both monologue and song is the opportunity for vivid expression, storytelling, and communication. (Please adhere to time limits for monologue/song.) And...have FUN. Auditions are open to everyone who would like to participate in the telling of this magical tale!

Lovers find one another as mistaken identities abound, lost bonds are magically restored, boisterous passions are exhausted, and the swirling music plays on and on and on. Shakespeare’s comedy is full of whimsy and wordplay, humor both clever and crass, and larger-than-life characters who are complex, human, and intimate. We invite you to join us for the Elizabethan festival of epiphany, when the world is turned upside down in a long night of revelry that takes players and audience alike on a journey through the heights and depths of the human emotional experience. 

Visit SignUp Genius for the signup sheet, character breakdown, and more.
Auditions: What the Constitution Means to Me
February 21 at 6:00 PM

ETHEL the BARN, a studio and performance space is hosting auditions
for WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME. The play addresses themes such as women's rights, immigration, domestic abuse, and the history of the United States. It received a nomination for Best Play in the 73rd Tony Awards and was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. There are roles for 3 actors: one male-identifying and two female-identifying (one in their 30's and the other a teenager.

All actors will share in the money collected at the door in the form of suggested donations with a minimum of $125/actor per performance. The production is scheduled for June with rehearsals in May.
For more info or to schedule an audition slot contact:
Please bring a one-minute comic monologue
It's 1968 in New York City, and Chuck Baxter is finding it difficult to climb the corporate ladder--that is, until he agrees to lend his apartment to his co-workers for their extramarital affairs. As he finds himself in the middle of a scheme he never intended to start, Chuck struggles to find love and connection in a world that grows more impersonal and transactional each day.

Based on the classic film The Apartment from Billy Wilder, Promises, Promises sets this heartfelt romantic comedy to the lively music of Burt Bacharach.
Book by Neil Simon, Music by Burt Bachrach, and Lyrics by Hal David


Saturday, February 24, 2024 - 6-9 PM
Monday, February 26, 2024 - 6-9 PM

Saturday, March 2, 2024 

First Congregational Church of Southampton
212 College Highway
Southampton, MA 01073

SEEKING strong actors, singers and movers to play featured and ensemble roles in our production. Please visit for cast breakdown of available roles.

Please prepare a pop song in the style of the show that shows off your acting and vocal range. Please bring your book in case we need to hear additional material. If you have a headshot and resume please bring it.
To audition and perform, all performers and production team members must be fully vaccinated, and have also received their first booster against COVID-19. Masks are optional during in-person auditions, callbacks, and rehearsals.

If you have a headshot and resume please bring it. A small stipend will be provided at the end of production. If you have any questions, please email


First rehearsal – July 2024, with rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Show run – October 11-13 & 17-19, 2024 (8 Performances) at Northampton Center for the Arts in Northampton
Directed by Eddie Zitka
Music Director by Liz Monte
Please visit and follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and TikTok!

1x1: Solo Performance Development Series

1x1 is a new solo performance development series. For over a year ETHEL the BARN has been holding musical performances and workshops. We are now expanding our offerings to include theatre and other types of performance. We are currently accepting proposals for the workshopping of new solo performance pieces. Pieces chosen will get free use of the barn for rehearsals as well as the guidance of a mentor. If chosen for performance the creator(s) will receive a $500 stipend. For more information please contact:
Holyoke Community College Theater seeks a director for its fall 2024 production. Auditions September 11th and 12th, Closing performance November 23rd. Title will be selected in consultation with the director. Fee $3000. Rehearsals tbd, primarily weekday afternoons. Local applicants only. HCC cannot provide travel or housing. Send resume and cover letter to
You are being invited to participate in a research study titled When Artists Thrive, Communities Thrive: A Cultural Plan Blueprint for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. The purpose of the study is to learn the needs of individual artists in the Pioneer Valley (defined as 43 towns in Hampshire and Hampden counties), and what their towns and region could do to support them. The blueprint will be a set of recommendations on cultural planning centered around the needs of individual artists, and the results of this survey will help set the stage for future projects and initiatives that will work to support the region's creative community.

The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Anyone, over the age of 18, who identifies as an artist and lives in Hampshire or Hampden counties, is eligible to take this survey. If you agree to be in the study and later change your mind, you may drop out at any time.

Survey link:



Producing Director Danny Eaton Presenting 6-Week Program for Beginning Playwrights 

Danny Eaton, Producing Director and Founder of the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, has announced the creation of a six-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 February 12 – March 18. 

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 presentation of each participant’s work by a core group of Majestic Theater actors before a live audience on Tuesday, March 19.  The fee for the workshop is $250. 

To register, contact the Majestic Theater at (413) 747-7797 Mon-Fri 10am-5pm/Sat 10am-1pm.

About Danny Eaton

Eaton is the Founder of The Theater Project, which has been in residence in the Majestic Theater since 1997.  He attended Holyoke Community College in 1970 after more than four years in the Marine Corps, and subsequently transferred to Amherst College.  He earned a Masters Degree in Playwriting from Wesleyan University.  His many plays have been seen locally, as well as in New York and Chicago.  Eaton was Assistant Director at Stage West, and also a faculty member and Artist-in-Residence at Columbia College in Chicago.  He produced and directed the Majestic's inaugural production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.  In addition to producing each season's calendar of shows, he has also directed many of its productions.  Eaton wrote the musicals, The Ride and Anthem, the plays The Island Lily, Iris and The War and Walt Whipple, each of them presented at the Majestic.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of the Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC).  Eaton is the proud winner of 2009's New England Theatre Conference Regional Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre.  His latest work, The Ladyslipper, will be presented during the Majestic’s 2023-2024 season.

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 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 

The Brick House Community Resource Center, sponsored by Mass Cultural Council
Youth Theatre Improv Series at The Brick House

Friday, February 16th- Friday, May 31st, 2024
The Brick House Community Resource Center, 24 3rd St. Turners Falls, MA 01376

The Brick House’s Youth Theatre Improv Series is a 16-week creative exploration for youth ages 11+ in the Franklin County area beginning in February 2024. If you are curious about learning & exploring comedy improv, character-making, puppetry, film-making, social justice, and more as a way to connect and create with peers, this series is for you!

No experience or background in theatre or performance is required. This experience is FREE and includes snacks and tix to local theatre, generously funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Where: The Brick House Community Resource Center @ 24 #3rd St. Turners Falls, MA (1st floor, wheel-chair accessible)

When: Weekly on Fridays, 4-5:30pm, running February 16th-May 31st 2024.

Who: For Youth 11 + are welcome! Co-facilitated by local healing arts facilitator, Kaia Jackson and Happier Valley Comedy Trained Allison Reding!

Registration Link:; contact Kaia at with questions!

Worried about Covid-19? We hear you.
Community health is a priority to us. This group will follow all policies adopted by The Brick House to proactively address COVID concerns. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided. We will be going above and beyond state guidelines to ensure the healthiest space possible for our participants, and sustain ongoing communication with youth and families as policies evolve to meet community needs.
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.

The Montague Shakespeare Festival is proud to announce its inaugural season, from March 18 to April 7, at the Shea Theater Arts Center at 71 Avenue A in Turners Falls, MA. This three-week celebration of Shakespeare's timeless works will feature a series of workshops, professional training sessions, and the staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The festival is under the artistic direction of Nia Lynn, who brings her experience as voice coach and text coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon) to her role leading the Montague Shakespeare Festival.

With more than 18 years of experience, Nia Lynn has honed the talents of professional actors on some of the most renowned stages globally. Her career spans prestigious institutions such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Donmar Warehouse, London's Young Vic, Horace Mann School in New York, Connecticut's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, and the Fonact School of Acting in France. Nia's expertise encompasses a comprehensive approach to performance, combining voice coaching, body and breath work, and accent and dialect training, making her a sought-after mentor in film, theater, and television.

In the debut season of the Montague Shakespeare Festival, Nia Lynn will lead a series of immersive workshops designed to delve into the intricacies of Shakespearean language. Maggie O’Connor Moore is the Associate Artistic Director. 

*Performers and stage craft professionals interested in being part of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are encouraged to join the ZOOM call with Nia and Maggie: Saturday, February 10 at 11am EST. on the website 


Workshop Information:

Space for the following workshops is limited. Discount applies for enrolling in more than one workshop.

Monday, March 18 @ 6:30-8:30pm
Mastering Verse Like A Pro
A 2-hour session to demystify the rhythms and structures of Shakespearean verse. This workshop is designed to help participants find their groove in verse speaking, navigating the complexities of pentameter, trochees, prose, and blank verse. $125 ENROLL

Wednesday, March 20 @ 6:30-9:30pm
Ensemble Building: The Power of Words and Play in Theatre
The art of ensemble theatre through a unique lens. This 3-hour workshop is about the mechanics of collaboration and the profound relationship between language, personal interpretation, and collective creation. $125 ENROLL

Friday, March 22 @ 9:30-3:30pm
Shakespeare in the Classroom: An Educators Retreat!
A dynamic 6-hour workshop tailored for English and drama teachers.
$500. Includes lunch. ENROLL

Workshop Overview:
Innovative Teaching Techniques: Learn creative strategies to introduce Shakespeare’s works in a way that captivates and connects with students of various age groups.

Analyzing Shakespeare with Fun: Discover methods to analyze Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets that are both enjoyable and educational, fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding among students.

Practical Classroom Activities: The workshop includes various hands-on activities that can be directly applied in the classroom, making the learning process interactive and enjoyable.

Workshop Highlights:

Engagement Without Glossaries: Explore how to teach Shakespeare’s language and themes without relying heavily on glossaries, making his works more approachable and relatable for students.

Interactive Learning Approaches: Dive into interactive teaching methods that encourage active student participation, discussion, and exploration.

Building the Perfect Essay: Gain insights into guiding students to write insightful and original essays on Shakespeare’s works derived from their own understanding and enjoyment of the text.

Why Attend?

“Shakespeare in the Classroom” is more than just a professional development session; it’s an opportunity to transform how Shakespeare is taught and perceived in educational settings. This workshop aims to break down the barriers that often make Shakespeare’s works seem daunting to students, replacing them with a sense of excitement and discovery.

Saturday, March 23 @ 9:30-11:30am
Making Shakespeare Your Own: A Personal Approach to the Bard
This workshop is designed to help you understand how to make Shakespeare’s language sound natural and relevant, taking it off the pedestal and into your own voice and experience. $125 ENROLL

Monday, 25 @ 6:30-8:30pm
Character Development: Bringing Shakespeare’s Characters to Life
In theatre, embodying a character is both an art and a science, especially in Shakespeare’s complex and layered characters. $125 ENROLL

Tuesday, March 26 @ 6:30-8:30pm
The Art of Speaking Shakespeare’s Sonnets
In this focused session, participants will be able to immerse themselves in the poetic world of Shakespeare’s sonnets. $125 ENROLL

The Montague Shakespeare Festival is envisioned by Executive Director Kenny Butler. Proceeds will benefit the Shea Theater Arts Center. This vibrant celebration of Shakespeare's work is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Shea Theater, RiverCulture, and the generous support of The Amherst Cultural Council and a Mass Cultural Council Festival Grant.

Registration is now open!

Is your creative kiddo ready for a fun-filled summer of a creating their own fairy tale, channeling their inner wild creature, going on a magical musical adventure, and channeling their inner clown? Does your tween or teen feel that creative spark? Registration is now open for PIC Kids Summer with options to pay in full or a deposit only.

This year we are excited to have offerings for young artists ages 7-11 AND ages 11-15!

For younger artists (ages 7-11) will adventure through the creative process as they explore theater, movement, and music. Each week follows a different theme, and all weeks will culminate in a sharing of the young artists' original work on Fridays at 2:30.

JUL 22-26        Fairy Tale Mash Up!

JUL 29-AUG 2  Growl and Groove

AUG 5-9          Soundscapes and Sorcery

AUG 12-16       Theatrical Clown

9am-3pm each day 


Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity, 130 Pine St, Florence

Older youth artists (ages 11-15) will explore all things ensemble, co-creating a brand new collaborative performance. Using theater games, writing exercises, improvisation, movement, songwriting, and art, participants will draw upon their dreams, original perspectives, and hopes for the future. All of this collaborative fun will culminating in a sharing at 4pm on Friday, August 16th.

AUG 12-16       PIC Kids Ensemble: Our Dreams!​

9:30am-3:30pm each day 


The Workroom at 33 Hawley Street, Northampton

Learn more and register

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

Valley Players

Ware Community Theatre

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players

World and Eye
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