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

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

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

Contemporary drama at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, children’s musical at Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Shakeseare at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, youth theater at  The Williston Theater in Easthampton, community theater in the park in Pittsfield, comedic drama at Historic North Hall in Huntington, contemporary musical on the St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, comedic opera  on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, historical drama at the Chester Theatre Company in Chester, children’s theater at Red Door Theatre in Feeding Hills,  indoor-outdoor traveling spectacle at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, musical at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield!

Tuesday, August 2 through Sunday, August 28
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. ($$)

Through 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. ($)

Wednesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 13
SHAKESPEARE/MILITARY: Cry “Havoc!”. In an inspiring and moving performance, Stephan Wolfert recounts his own experience pre- and post-military service. Through the lines of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and his own personal insights, Wolfert explores our societal neurosis of war. Cry “Havoc!” explores how military recruits and trains citizens to kill, but what does the “de-cruit” process look like? How do we re-learn to live together? Audiences will marvel in how Shakespeare’s words transcend time with haunting relevance to the modern realities of war. Each performance will be followed by an engaging discussion between actor, audience, and veterans who dare to explore these questions. Performances will be held at Shakespeare & Co. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, August 3 – Sunday, August 14
REGIONAL PREMIER/COMEDIC DRAMA: Sister Play. Join us for a heartwarming comedy John Kolvenbach as it makes it regional premiere with the Chester Theatre Company. Anna will do anything to make her sister Lilly happy, including destroying all her relationships. When Lilly, Anna, and her husband Malcolm retreat to their late father’s cabin in Cape Cod, they expect to relax, unwind, and take stock. But when a charming but shadowy drifter enters the picture angling for Lilly’s heart, their pilgrimage takes a surprising turn. Sister Play is a whimsical piece that melds playful and dramatic passages with moments of a philosophical nature, highlighting the bonds we create with others and within ourselves. Audience Talkbacks follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows the Sunday, August 7th 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. ($$)

Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7
YOUTH THEATER: Peter Pan. The 2016 season of PaintBox includes Peter Pan, a classic tale about the boy who wanted to stay young forever. Weaving imagination and wonder, come fly with Peter Pan on this magical journey that explores the balance between holding on and letting go. Performances will be held at The Williston Theater at The Williston School. 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Through 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)

Sunday, August 7 at 2pm
STAGED READING/AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY: The Gin Game. Winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize, The Gin Game uses a card game as a metaphor for life. Weller Martin is playing solitaire on the porch of a seedy nursing home when he meets Fonsia Dorsey, prim and self-righteous. They discover they both dislike the home and enjoy gin rummy, so they begin to play and to reveal intimate details of their lives. This award-winning comedic drama invites audiences to explore the thin line between ego and connection, and the ways in which both impact our story. The reading will take place at Historic North Hall. 413-667-5543. 40 Searle Road, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 12 through Sunday, September 4
WORLD PREMIER/CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL: Broadway Bounty Hunter. Inspired by the Blaxploitation movies for the 1970s (think Shaft), this exciting new musical follows a 60-year-old, unemployed actor named Annie as she’s asked to become a bounty hunter and capture a South American warlord. With a score rich with R&B, Funk, and a splash of 80s Rock and Roll, Broadway Bounty Hunter is a musical that follows a woman as she tries to find the inner strength she needs to save theater itself, while realizing her true identity. This world premiere performance gives audiences have the opportunity to experiencing the fresh face of contemporary musical theater! Performances will be held on the St. Germain Stage at the Barrington Stage Company, 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Through 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, August 18 through Sunday, August 28
REGIONAL PREMIER/HISTORICAL DRAMA: The Mountaintop. It’s April 3, 1969 in a drab room at the Lorraine Hotel. An exhausted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wants two things – a cup of coffee and a cigarette. What he gets instead is Camae, a brash, irreverent maid on a mission of her own. Their banter quickly turns into something more mysterious and profound, forcing Dr. King to confront his legacy as a leader and a man. The Mountaintop is the winner of London’s 2010 Olivier Award, and has been deemed “a beautiful and startling piece… magical, spiritual and touching.” This show offers audiences a chance to reflect on Dr. King’s enduring legacy as viewed from a unique and contemporary lens. Audience Talkbacks follow the Thursday 2pm and Saturday 8pm shows, Cast Conversations follow the Friday 2pm shows, and Panel Discussion follows the Sunday, August 21st 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. ($$)

Friday, August 19 through Sunday, August 21
CHILDRENS THEATER/SHAKESPEAREAN: All the World’s a Stage. 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 older children ages 10-15. All the World’s a Stage weaves Shakespearean scenes and early English dialogue to tell the story of women’s entry into the world of theater. After attending a play called R&J at the Globe Theatre, Bet is determined to make theatre her life. There’s only one problem – girls aren’t allowed. This play takes us back to the late 1600s when women’s parts were played by men and the stage in general was looked on by religious leaders as a playground of the devil. But what if the queen wants to have a play performed at court, and have children play the parts of pixies and fairies in Shakespeare’s play? Bet may find her dream comes true! This show offers a beautiful introduction to Shakespearean theater while keeping the tradition of classical theater alive. Call 413-789-2026 to reserve your tickets. Performances will take place at the Red Door Theatre. 152 South Westfield Street, Feeding Hills, MA. ($)

Through 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. ($$$)

Through Sunday, August 14
MUSICAL/YOUTH THEATER: The Wiz. The Barrington Stage Youth Theatre presents this glorious musical retelling of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. An infectious, funky and soulful score, with lyrics by Charlie Smalls, The Wiz brings a renewed relevance to a timeless American classic. Children ages 3 and older are welcome to attend any Saturday performance of The Wiz when accompanied by an adult. No children under the age of 3 will be permitted in the theater for Family Saturday performances. For all other performances, children ages 5 and older are welcome. This show also features an Autism-friendly performance on Thursday, August 4 at 2pm which aims to bring the enjoyment of live theater to all children, regardless of limitations. Performances will be held at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Thursday, August 18 through Saturday, September 3
AWARD WINNING/COMEDIC DRAMA: Tribes. Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a deeply moving yet comical play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. When he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. The play explores the idea of families as “tribes” and highlights how values, beliefs, and language are passed on through generations. Performed on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage at the Barrington Stage Company. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

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