Thursday, July 11, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre News July 11, 2024

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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July 11 - 31, 2024

This week: Bulrusher opens and closes at Silverthorne - get your tickets soon! There is a staged reading at the LAVA Center over the weekend, plus shows at Happier Valley Comedy, and the opening of The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare & Company. 

Unreconciled closes this weekend at Chester - you can read Max Hartshorne's review here. 

The next issue will include events from July 18 - August 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
Silverthorne Theater Company presents Bulrusher 
July 10-14 at Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College
K & E Theater Group presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch
July 25-27 at CitySpace, Easthampton
Tickets and More Information
Real Live Theatre presents When The Mind's Free
July 26-August 4 at the Shea Theater / July 30 at Northampton Senior Center
Tickets for Shea Shows and More Information
$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
Silverthorne Theater Company

Opening Wednesday, July 10th, and running through Sunday, July 14th, with 7:30 PM performances on Wednesday, July 10th through Saturday, July 13th, and 3:00 PM performances on Saturday, July 13th and Sunday, July 14th.

Mainstage Theater, Emily Dickinson Hall, Hampshire College; 893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002

Silverthorne Theater Company presents the second production of our 2024 season, the Northeast premiere of Eisa Davis' Bulrusher. Directed by Michelle Ong-Hendrick, performances will take place at the Mainstage Theater at Hampshire College in Amherst, from July 10-14. Starring Liz Almonte, Aracelli Sierra, Jasmine Rochelle Goodspeed, Godfrey Simmons*, Frank Aronson*, and Aaron Mancaniello.

Chester Theatre Company presents Unreconciled (World Premiere)

July 11–14 

Written by Jay Sefton and Mark Basquill

Directed by James Barry

Unreconciled is the true story of an adolescent actor cast as Jesus in a play directed by a pedophile priest. The play chronicles a survivor’s journey as he confronts his past and discovers the courage to use his voice and redefine what reconciliation means. Jay Sefton’s virtuosic solo performance is an unflinching quest for justice, brimming with heart, humor, and compassion.

Tickets and more information

New play fest at The LAVA Center continues with staged readings of new plays by Beth Filson and Steve Poulin on Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13

WHAT: On the Boards ’24: a festival of new play readings by (mostly) local playwrights: The Moon Over Us by Beth Filson and Cancer Mom by Steve Poulin

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, 7 p.m.

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



The LAVA Center is proud to present our second annual festival of new play readings by (mostly) local playwrights, “On the Boards ’24,” which continues Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, 7 p.m. with staged readings by Beth Filson and Steve Poulin.

The Moon Over Us was written and directed by Beth Filson and performed by Katie Gobreski, Kim Salditt-Poulin, Will Quale, Chip Roughton, Jane Barish, Peter Ludwig and Elizabeth LaPrade

This is a play about traumatic memory: how the past is ever present, and how the present can’t help but change the remembered past. What if the you from your past, and the you you are right now carried on a conversation about experienced events. Is there one truth about what happened—or does an entirely new truth emerge?

Trigger Warning: sexual assault. Scenes from this play may be difficult for some audience members. As this is a work in progress, audience members may not get to see resolution of these events.

Beth Filson is an award winning poet and writer, as well as a self-taught artist. Her solo performance, Telling the Story/Untelling the Diagnosis, was produced last year by Pauline Productions. Beth uses autobiographical material to explore the healing power of connection through the listener-storyteller relationship. Beth also works in the field of trauma-informed care; she has published extensively in her field. She is truly grateful for the opportunities The LAVA Center has created for new and emerging playwrights.

Cancer Mom was written by Steve Poulin, directed by Tracy Grammer and performed by Phoebe Hazzard, Chip Roughton, Katie Grobeski, Alison Blakeslee, Clara Witty, Kimberly Salditt-Poulin and Aria Killough-Miller.

Cancer Mom asks a difficult but elemental question: Can you lie your way to the truth? Jen, the protagonist, becomes obsessed with the secret life her husband Brian leads as he carries on an affair. She constructs her own secret life in response. Becoming a cancer patient, and then a survivor, results in the end of her husband’s affair, and Jen becomes a hero in her daughter Isabelle’s eyes. Her life complete and whole again, Jen is ready to move on, until Isabelle and her college roommate Jade arrive home for a Thanksgiving feast like no other.

Steve Poulin (Playwright), a western Mass native, journeyed from Boston to Seattle to San Francisco before finding his way home again. He’s picked up a few college degrees and taught English along the way, and now finds himself married to an actor. Through this relationship (and the running of countless lines) he has discovered the magic of the stage, writing a series of one-act plays during the pandemic that were produced at Greenfield Community College. “Cancer Mom” is his first full-length production and he is thrilled to bring it to LAVA and the community under the guidance of Tracy Grammer and an amazing cast. None of this would have even been close to possible without the generosity and support of Jan and Vanessa at LAVA.

Tracy Grammer (Director) is a theater artist, writer, and musician based in Greenfield, Mass. A lifelong performer, she has studied theater arts at Shakespeare & Co., HB Studios NY, and GCC, and has served in numerous theater and film productions around the Commonwealth, either as an actor or assistant director. Grammer brings a spirit of possibility, expansion, and play to her work, as well as rigorous attention to uncovering the nuances of the text. She is honored to be partnering with Steve Poulin and this sensitive, insightful cast to bring “Cancer Mom” to the LAVA stage.

Admission is on a sliding scale of $5–20 ($1–2 for Card to Culture participants). July plays will also be viewable online for one month each, with closed captioning. Tickets for both in person and online are available at

The schedule for the rest of the festival:

Friday–Saturday, July 19–20, 7 p.m. — staged readings:

Man and his Shadow, written and directed by Silvia

Modern Times, written and directed by P.H. Crosby

American Stink Bug, written by Jean Minuchin and directed by Bri Boehm

Friday–Saturday, July 26–27, 7 p.m. — staged reading:

Inheritance, written and directed by Nina Gross

On the Boards ’24 is made possible by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the local cultural councils of Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Leyden, Northfield and Shelburne.

Happier Valley Comedy
2nd Saturdays Presents Theater on the Spot

Jul 13, 2024 at 7:00 PM
The 2nd Saturday of every month

Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley

Theater On The Spot! It's our opening night AND our closing night! We start by "building" the set using audience suggestions, then we create a two-act play in that location, exploring the themes and relationships we discover. The result is a unique performance full of comedy, drama, and the joy of the unexpected! 2nd Saturdays Presents... a dive into theatrical improv formats you'll love, from classics like Armando and Shrink to new creations like Theater On The Spot and Location, Location, Location! Featuring experienced improvisers Mandy Anderson, Maddy Benjamin, Scott Braidman, Moe McElligott, Laura Patrick, Pam Victor, and Kate Zak, with frequent special guests joining the fun! NEXT SHOW: Saturday, July 13th at 7pm Happier Valley Comedy Theater 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley Tickets are available online and at the door for $15

More Info

William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors takes over Shakespeare & Company’s outdoor mainstage this summer, directed by Kate Kohler Amory July 13 through August 18 at the Arthur S. Waldstein Amphitheatre.

The Bard’s fast-paced and farcical story of mistaken identities begins with two sets of twins separated by a storm at sea and culminates in a raucous series of misunderstandings and mishaps. Amory’s production is set in the seaside Vaudeville of New York City, 1912 – a mystical and sometimes strange place filled with as much magic and mischief as sailors and sea captains.

“Coney Island vaudeville was an escape and a destination, where the turmoil of American culture at the turn of the century could be seen through frivolity, farce, and play,” said Amory.

“Setting this turn of the 16th Century comedic gem at the turn of the 20th Century, I hope to highlight many of the play’s resonances for our own turn of the 21st Century. It is a fitting setting for Aegeon, and us, to encounter both the farce and the tragedy of his situation.”

Actor, educator, and emerging director Lauren Davis, the inaugural Tina Packer Women of Will Directing Fellow, serves as Assistant Director. The Fellowship was established by actor John Douglas Thompson in 2023, to honor Packer and her groundbreaking career as a Shakespearean, theater artist, and theater leader. It is awarded to a female-identifying emerging theater director with a passion for Shakespeare. In addition to serving as Assistant Director to Amory on The Comedy of Errors, Davis will observe as Packer directs an enhanced staged reading of The Winter’s Tale in August.

Sponsored by Scott and Roxanne Bok, The Comedy of Errors will be outdoors at the Arthur S. Waldstein Amphitheatre with tickets ranging from $22 to $72; preview performances are 10% off and student tickets are $22. On select evenings, food trucks will be on-site for pre-show purchases from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Card-to-Culture tickets are available for $5 for WIC, EBT, and ConnectorCare families.

To purchase tickets, visit, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Happier Valley Comedy Presents Not In Charge
Jul 20, 2024 at 7:00 PM

The 3rd Saturday of every month at 7pm
Happier Valley Comedy, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley

Improv Comedy Inspired by True Stories Don't miss this talented group of friends in an improvised show inspired by true stories from the cast! Not In Charge is Mandy Anderson, Maddy Benjamin, Sally Ekus, Julie Waggoner, Jim Young, and Kate Zak. NEXT SHOW: ​Saturday, July 20th at 7pm Happier Valley Comedy Theater 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT THE DOOR FOR $15

Tickets and more information.

First it was Northampton in 2022, and now in 2024... it's time for Easthampton to get Hedwig's Angry Inch!

K and E Theater Group Presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch at

CitySpace Easthampton Blue Room

July 25-27, 2024, for 3 Performances Only!

Innovative, heartbreaking, and savagely funny, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the landmark rock’n’roll musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that broke the mold and captured Broadway. This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of Hedwig Schmidt, an East German punk rock goddess whose botched sex change operation left her with just “an angry inch.” Now, she and her band are out to right many wrongs. This landmark musical won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2016.

K and E Theater Group's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch features Eddie Zitka as Hedwig, Kelly Gagner as Yitzhak, and David Webber as The Angry Inch. The band is led by musical director Devi Badea, and features Justin Rodzen, Charlotte Ross, and Mitch Tilghman. K and E Theater Group Artistic Director Eddie Zitka directs the production.

Performances are:

Thursday, July 25, 2024 at 7:30 PM

Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 7:30 PM

All performances are at the CitySpace Easthampton Blue Room, located at 43 Main Street in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Tickets are $25 with applicable fees and are general admission.

* This production contains mature themes, explicit language, and sexual content. Recommended age is 14+. Stage effects include strobes and bright moving lights. Runtime is 105 minutes with no intermission.

Tickets and performance information for Hedwig and the Angry Inch are available at

Real Live Theatre
When The Mind's Free world premiere

Friday & Saturday, July 26-27 and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 1-3 at 7:30pm; Sundays, July 28 & August 4 at 2:00pm; ALSO Tuesday July 30 1pm (Northampton Senior Center)

The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Montague, MA 01376

RLT premieres our original piece of devised dance-theatre When The Mind’s Free, which follows a contemporary lesbian couple and their adult daughters as they navigate Alzheimer’s disease and addiction, and seek light in their darkest times. 

Each performance concludes with a facilitated community conversation calling forth the lived experiences of audience members impacted by the themes of the play, providing a safe space where people can feel grief, hope, recovery, and a sense of belonging and community. 

Friday & Saturday, July 26-27 and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 1-3 at 7:30pm Sundays, July 28 & August 4 at 2:00pm 

When The Mind's Free has been developed over a five-year period of improvisation and in conversation with Shakespeare’s King Lear, as well as in consultation with memory care organizations, caretakers, families, and individuals dealing with memory loss. 

Masks will be required for audiences Sunday, July 28 & Saturday, August 3; masking is optional at all other shows. This play includes Mature Content (simulated sexual intimacy, strong language, allusions to drug use). 

Respite Room available for older adults with cognitive challenges or dementia to allow caregivers the opportunity to attend the play. The Respite Room will be staffed by professionals from Cooley Dickinson’s Pioneer Valley Memory Care Initiative. Space in the Respite Room is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. 

Directed by: Toby Vera Bercovici 
Featuring: Carolyn Goelzer*, Myka Plunkett, Annelise Nielsen, Liz Stanton*, Linda Tardif *Member Actors' Equity Association 
Design & Production Team: Choreography by Annelise Nielsen, Lighting Design by Ezekiel Baskin, Sound Design & Composition by Samuel V. Perry, Costume Design by Mikayla Reid, Stage Management by Nat Solomon, Produced by Ellen Morbyrne for RLT 
Photos by Ellen Augarten and Katie Gay

TICKETS for Shea shows 
PRICES: $25-$50, with a Pay-What-You-Can option for anyone 

Special Note for Audiences: If you or the person you're caring for has Alzheimer's/dementia, and you worry if you/your loved one will be welcome at our Shea Theater performances, please know that EVERYONE IS WELCOME, EXACTLY AS THEY ARE. Crying, sounding, laughing, getting up and leaving partway through, re-entering after a break in the lobby - this is all welcome. This story is about a family going through painful times, but it is also about their beautiful and joyful moments as well. All experiences and feelings are welcome in our audiences.

Keep Your Heart Open: A Performed Staged Reading of a Musical Memoir

by Marcia Gomes

Venue: A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060

July 27, 2024, 7PM & July 28, 2024, 3PM 

with talk back after performances

$10-$20 suggested donation

Keep Your Heart Open: An Urgent, Healing Family Conversation

Four generations of Black single mothers in one family join forces to free the youngest generation of children from a cycle of intergenerational trauma and pain. Through compelling storytelling, moving original songs, and dance, the path to healing becomes more clear, and the wisdom of the ancestors guides the way to joy. Featuring music and story by Marcia Gomes, composer, singer, actor, playwright and performances by:

Angélica Canlas Castro, singer, actor

Michelle Dowd, singer, actor

Evelyn Harris, singer, actor

Olivia Ilano Davis, choreographer

Hala Lord, singer, actor

Angie Shyr, pianist

For tickets: click here (limited seating)

Available Potential Enterprises, Ltd. (A.P.E.) is an artist-led, artist-centered 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting contemporary artists working in all disciplines by stewarding the spaces in which they create, perform and exhibit their work. A.P.E is dedicated to fostering relationships, encounters, and exchanges that nourish the capacity for imagination.; 413.586.5553 

This event is made possible in part through support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
January 6 Productions
“January 6: the Sex Strike”

January 6 Productions is seeking actress 35-55 to portray “Liz Cheney” in “January 6: the Sex Strike”, a wild satirical comedy. 

In Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata”, written 2,500 years ago, the women of Athens begin a sex strike against their warrior-men demanding the end of the 27 year war against Sparta. The Peloponnesian War ended shortly thereafter. What would happen if the Women of America started their own sex strike to end our War on Democracy? Will the unlikely alliance of Liz Cheney, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ruth Bader Ginsburg prevail against the likes of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani? This show is risqué. 

Auditions now by appointment in Northampton, rehearsals in August in Southampton and performances in September in Greenfield. Stipend: $200  

To schedule an audition, obtain sides or for more details please contact Rick Malone at
Auditions for
What the Constitution Means to Me

July 11 and 12 at
7:00 PM

Ethel the Barn, 60 High Street, Southampton

Open auditions for WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME. Looking for middle-aged male to play Legionnaire in this Tony-nominated play. The production will be in September. Actors will receive 100% of the door or $300 which ever is greater. For more info:

Shakespeare & Company's free Behind the Curtain lecture series resumes on Saturday, April 6, led by Shakespeare scholar Ann Berman.

Featuring directors, cast, and design team members as guests, Berman examines various themes surrounding both the Shakespeare and contemporary productions slated for Season 2024 through talks designed to be accessible, engaging, and interactive.

Berman holds a Master of Arts in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College, London, and explores topics ranging from historical parallels in Shakespeare’s plays to the effect costumes, scenic design, lighting, and more can have on audience response to a performance.

This season will include seven Behind the Curtain lectures held from April through August; Spring talks will be held in the Jane Iredale Lobby at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, while Summer sessions will be held outdoors at the tented Rose Footprint Theatre in the Rose Meadow.

Behind the Curtain lectures for the 2024 Season include:

Saturday, July 13 – The Comedy of Errors with Director Kate Kohler Amory

Saturday, July 27– Flight of the MonarchPenning New Plays with playwright Jim Frangione

Saturday, August 10 – The Winter's Tale with Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer

Saturday, August 24 – Three Tall Persian Women; guest to be announced

All Behind the Curtain lectures are free, but tickets are required. For more information, visit or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Spend your summer Saturdays at LAVA with new free art, music and theater!

WHAT: summer@lava: free visual and performing arts and workshops all summer long

WHEN: every Saturday midday, June 22–September 28

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

Join The LAVA Center in downtown Greenfield every Saturday this summer for art, music and theater! Our “summer@lava” series features new visual and performing arts and workshops, and happens every Saturday midday, so you can come after your weekly trip to the farmers market, and then hit up the rest of downtown’s cafes, restaurants, library, bookstores and shops afterwards! And best of all — all summer@lava programming is all FREE, funded by the Crossroads Cultural District and the Mass Cultural Council.

Improv workshops

Join local improv veteran Henry Balzarini every 2nd and 4th Saturday, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., all summer through September for free improv workshops! Using improv games, we will become a fast thinking, in the moment, loose goose brigade.

July 13, August 10 and September 14: 2nd Saturdays are for experienced improvisers to join in, share games, and brainstorm.

July 27, August 24 and September 28: 4th Saturdays are for everyone! — all are welcome, from brand-newbies to the most seasoned veteran, for a series of new improv games every time.

Our summer@lava programming is FREE, funded by the Crossroads Cultural District and the Mass Cultural Council. Donations are always welcome!

WAM Theatre is bringing back their free devised theatre workshops this summer:

Devised Ensemble-Building for Women over 65 with Michael Kennedy, Tuesday July 16, 3-5pm, at the WAM Theatre Creative Hub, 55 Main Street, Lenox

Ideado Teatro en Español con Maizy Broderick Scarpa y Gabriel CiFuentes, Sábado 20 de julio, 4:30-6:30pm, Centro creativo WAM, 55 Main Street, Lenox. Ofrecido en asociación con Latinas 413 y con el apoyo de Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

More information &

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

Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training will host its 9-Day Intensive at its Lenox campus from Thursday, August 22 through Saturday, August 31. 

Designed for mid-career actors, educators, directors, and others seeking professional and artistic development, the 9-Day Intensive is inspired by Shakespeare & Company’s Month-long Intensive. Director of Training Sheila Bandyopadhyay said the workshop offers participants an opportunity to immerse themselves in Shakespeare training and make connections with like-minded artists in a robust, accessible format. 

“We regularly hear from artists in the mid-stages of their career that they wish they could attend our renowned Month-long Intensive in the winter, but their schedules simply do not permit them to do so,” said Bandyopadhyay. “For those out there who are juggling teaching, acting, directing, parenting responsibilities, and the like, the 9-Day Intensive is ideal.”

The daily schedule includes classes in Linklater Voice, Movement, monologue and scene work, and the format and tuition include admission to three Shakespeare & Company shows staged at the height of its 2024 performance season. 

Tuition is $1,495 with partial scholarships available for BIPOC artists. Early payment, alumni, and union member discounts are also available. Limited on-campus housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information or to apply, visit or call 413.637.1199, ext. 114.

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

Human Agenda Theater

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

South Hadley Players

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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