Handbill & Callboard: Theater Studies Through Engagement in Western MA for July

Handbill & Callboard:
July Theater Productions and Call for Auditions in Western MA

Support a love for theater with these featured July theater productions in Western MA! A great way to engage in your community while supporting an interest in theater studies.

Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsfield, Shakespeare Under the Stars with Hampshire Shakespeare Company in Amherst, world premier of contemporary drama with Chester Theatre Company, contemporary drama with Shakespeare & Co. at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, audience participatory youth theater with PaintBox in Easthampton and Turners Falls, children’s theater musical at Majestic Theater in West Springfield, literature in theater at Red Door Theatre in Feeding Hills, comedic opera with Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, and an indoor-outdoor traveling spectacle with Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield!

Now through Saturday, July 9
WORLD PREMIERE/CONTEMPORARY THEATER: American Son. Winner of the prestigious 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for Best Play, American Son examines our nation’s racial divide as seen through the eyes of an estranged biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their missing 18-year old son. This new work is a timely and important play on race in present-day America. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Wednesday, June 29 – Sunday, July 10
OUTDOOR THEATER/SHAKESPEARE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Hampshire Shakespeare Company presents a summer show under the stars with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production will transform the natural environment of our outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance and music. The audience will be guided on a tour from the Gated Community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead their sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Tickets are available online and also at Broadside Books in Northampton and at Amherst Books in Amherst. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Hampshire Shakespeare Company. 650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, June 29 – Sunday, July 10
WORLD PREMIER/CONTEMPORARY DRAMA: My Jane . Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel Jane Eyre is given a contemporary twist in this sweeping drama that tells the story of Jane’s journey from Victorian hardship to independence and happiness. Weaving a tale of survival, romance, and dark secrets, My Jane gives audiences a moving look at how deeply a book can affect readers two centuries later. Audience Talkbacks will follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows our Sunday (7/3) 2pm show. Discounted tickets are available for students and residents of Chester. This production is presented by the Chester Theatre Company and performances will be held in the Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, 413-354-7771, Chester, MA. ($$)

Saturday, July 2 – Sunday, July 31
CONTEMPORARY DRAMA/MILITARY: Ugly Lies the Bone . This timely and humorous new drama, Ugly Lies the Bone, follows the story of Jess, a combat veteran who returns home to Florida after three tours in Afghanistan. Bearing deep physical and emotional scars, Jess embarks on a journey of healing through innovative, experimental video game therapy that offers an escape from her excruciating pain. But can virtual reality help Jess come to terms with the altered reality of her hometown, relationships, and dreams? Winner of the Woodward/Newman Award and the Laurents/Hatcher Citation of Excellence, this play boldly explores the concepts of reality with a perspective that’s both humorous and profoundly moving. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Co. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 10
YOUTH THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE: Raggedy Ann. The 2016 season of PaintBox opens with Linda Tardif as a living doll – Raggedy Ann. Eight stories in one big production. Raggedy Ann is the world’s best-known and most adored rag doll. As a literary character, Raggedy Ann possesses attributes and outlooks reflecting trustworthiness, kindness, and spunk. She is known for starring in whimsical, fanciful tales, based on fantasy and make believe. Come see this timeless childhood doll come to life before your eyes. With costume changes galore and lots of audience participation, this show is sure to delight audiences of all ages! Performances will be held at The Williston Theater at The Williston School. 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, July 10 – Sunday, July 24
REGIONAL PREMIER/RELIGIOUS: Oh God. Produced in partnership with Israeli Stage, this play makes its regional debut right here in Western Massachusetts. It’s no joke when God becomes so depressed he’s ready to end it all – “all” being humankind, his greatest and most disappointing creation. Can Ella, a therapist with doubts about her own faith, talk him out of it in a single session? God only knows…or does he? Featuring three-time IRNE Award-winner Maureen Keiller as Ella and Norton Prize honoree Will Lyman as God, Oh God is full of lines that reflect the way characters, phrases and situations from the Old Testament imbue daily life and culture in Israel in a way that is accessible to audience members who are unfamiliar with the country. Audience Talkbacks follow our Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow our Friday 2pm shows, Panel Discussion follows our Sunday, July 17th 2pm show. Discounted tickets are available for students and residents of Chester. This production is presented by the Chester Theatre Company and performances will be held in the Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, 413-354-7771, Chester, MA. ($$)

Monday, July 11 – Wednesday, August 3
CHILDREN’S THEATER/MUSICAL: The Frog Prince: A Musical . Fred the Frog doesn’t like eating flies. He’d rather sit at a table of real food just like the Royal Family. Why? Because he was once a prince, of course! When his loving Grandma tells Fred that to turn human again he must be kissed by a Princess, he’s in luck when a spoiled little Princess from next door just happens to toss her golden ball into their swamp, knowing poor Grandma on the head! Meanwhile, the unhappy Princess is being pushed by her royal parents to marry Crown, an obnoxious little prince who rides around the house on his make-believe golden Harley. The Princess, of course, doesn’t want either one of them! However, Freddy is determined to show the Princess that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and he needs your help. With seven original, catchy songs and plenty of audience interactions, The Frog Prince offers a building block that will spark and cultivate your child’s love of musical theater. Performances will be held at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($)

Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17
CHILDREN’S THEATER/LITERATURE IN THEATER: The Lost Bookmarker. Kit and Kaboodle is a children’s summer theater series presented by the Red Door Theatre. The show is the culmination of a summer camp program for children ages 8-15. The Lost Bookmarker tells the story of Peter, a boy who hates books and doodles all over them he is punished by having to work at the library. He falls asleep and finds himself called to task for his misdeeds. What follows next is an adventure as he leaps from story to story trying to escape the craziness he has created. From Captain Hook’s ballet-dancing pirates to ogres slurping up the dormouse, Peter and his guide, Scribbles, run through fairy tales, adventures, and history trying to evade the angry inhabitants of the stories as they realize he is the cause of all their troubles. Bedlam ensues wherever they go and it’s unclear if Peter will be stuck forever in these mixed up tales. The show offers an opportunity to introduce young children to the joys of live theater while cultivating their interest in the art. Summer theatre presented by young people for young people! Call 413-789-2026 to reserve your tickets. Performances will take place at the Red Door Theatre. 152 South Westfield Street, Feeding Hills, MA. ($)

Friday, July 15 – Saturday, August 13
CLASSICAL THEATER/COMEDIC OPERA: The Pirates of Penzance. Known as one of the most frequently played Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Pirates of Penzance made it’s debut in 1879 and has been entertaining audiences ever since! With its swashbuckling pirates, bumbling policeman, and a Major-General who sings one of the most famous patter songs in musical theatre history, this show highlights opera as both a classical and a contemporary form of theater art. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Thursday, July 20 – Monday, August 22
CULTURAL THEATER/LATIN AMERICA: Once a Blue Moon – Cada Luna Azul. This stunning show is inspired by magic realism and a plethora of Latin American stories that include Where the Bird Sings by Alejandro Iodorowski, Eva Luna by Isabel Allende, writings by Borges and Marquez, as well as poetry by Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz and many others. Once a Blue Moon – Cada Luna Azul reflects an increasingly universal situation in which “progress” displaces people, in this case causing a flood. In a story of memory, culture, and song, imbued with the excitement of Latin American carnival, audience members will traverse the physical and cultural landscape while mingling with the vibrant townspeople of Agua Santa. Performances will be held rain or shine at the Double Edge Theatre. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Road, Ashfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, August 7
SHAKESPEARE/COMMUNITY THEATER: The Tempest. The third annual Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, in coordination with the Office of Cultural Development, presents Shakespeare’s last known work, The Tempest. The play tells the story of revenge and redemption on a magical, mysterious island. Pittsfield’s mayor explains that Shakespeare in the Park “provides a way, free of barriers, for the entire community to experience and enjoy amazing theatre in the heart of our city.” Performances are held outdoors on the stage at the First Street Common, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, July 22 – Sunday, July 24
YOUTH THEATER/AESOP’S FABLES: The Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare. The 2016 season of PaintBox includes one of Aesop’s age old fables. In The Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare, children will learn the concepts of persistence, the important moral lesson about goals and actions, and how “slow and steady” really can win the race. Welcome to The International Raceway where this competition between the Tortoise and the Hare is taking place. There will surely be lots of cheering and excitement from the audience as they witness one of the greatest races of all time! Performances will be held at The Williston Theater at The Williston School. 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Friday, July 22 – Sunday, July 24
CHILDREN’S THEATER/MAGICAL FANTASY: Merlin’s Mirror. Kit and Kaboodle is a children’s summer theater series presented by the Red Door Theatre. The show is the culmination of a summer camp program for children ages 8-15. In Merlin’s Mirror, the magician Merlin has been grooming young Arthur to be the new King of Britain, unite his country, and bring peace to the land. But as the coronation draws near, Morgan Le Fay has other plans. She places a spell on Merlin’s Mirror which causes him to believe that he is aging backward. As he comes to believe this, it truly begins to happen to both Merlin and Arthur! The would-be king’s odd behavior raises questions among his subjects and Merlin raises many questions for himself. Meanwhile, Morgan has other plans in mind for both of them in her quest to take Camelot for her own. Will she succeed? Can Merlin reverse the spell before it’s too late? Knights, ladies, magicians, goddesses, and woodland friends all band together to help spin this tale of magical, courtly days of yore. Call 413-789-2026 to reserve your tickets. Performances will take place at the Red Door Theatre. 152 South Westfield Street, Feeding Hills, MA. ($)

Friday, July 22 – Sunday, July 31
CONTEMPORARY/HISTORIC EVENTS: Yankee Tavern. This engaging thriller follows Adam, the young owner of a crumbling New York City Bar, as he becomes entrenched in a plot of personal and national significance. While his fiancé is busy counting down the days to their wedding, Adam deals with his dead father’s best friend, an aging barfly who believes that everything is a conspiracy. Among all this chaos, a stranger enters who knows much more than he should, in an instant blurring the lines between conspiracy theory and reality, forever changing the way these characters relate to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Presented by the Arena Civic Theater with special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Performances will be held at the White Church Community Center. 413-233-4368. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, July 29 – Saturday, July 30
YOUTH THEATER/AESOP’S FABLES: The Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare. The 2016 season of PaintBox includes one of Aesop’s age old fables. In The Great Race of the Tortoise and the Hare, children will learn the concepts of persistence, the important moral lesson about goals and actions, and how “slow and steady” really can win the race. Welcome to The International Raceway where this competition between the Tortoise and the Hare is taking place. There will surely be lots of cheering and excitement from the audience as they witness one of the greatest races of all time! Performances will be held at the Shea Theater. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. ($)

Friday, July 29 – Sunday, July 31
CHILDREN’S THEATER/MUSICAL: Frankystein the Monstercal. Kit and Kaboodle is a children’s summer theater series presented by the Red Door Theatre. The show is the culmination of a summer camp program for children ages 8-15. Frankystein the Monstercal has taken the classic Frankenstein and turned it upside down! The village people are all monsters out to destroy the creation of Dr. Frank E. Stein. But Frankystein the monster is actually just a normal, young boy. Join us as we sing wacky songs like “Monster-Maker Shuffle”, “Funkystein Slide” and “Monsters Need To Be Loved.” In addition to being a wonderful introduction to musical theater, the reversal of roles in this performance will offer audiences a unique perspective on what it’s like to be different. Call 413-789-2026 to reserve your tickets. Performances will take place at the Red Door Theatre. 152 South Westfield Street, Feeding Hills, MA. ($)

Find more theater productions across the region on our
Theater Bulletin Board
!


AUDITIONS

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Find more theater productions across the region on our
Theater Bulletin Board
!

 

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