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

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

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

Comic Drama and Contemporary Musical at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield; Children’s Musical at Ruth B. Smith Auditorium in Orange; Play Festival at A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton; Outdoor Traveling Spectacle with Double Edge Theatre in Springfield.

Read the rest of this entry »

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! Read the rest of this entry »

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! Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Performances include world premier musical at St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, Shakespeare and contemporary drama at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, radio theater at Theatre 14 in Northampton, adult comedy at East Meadow School in Granby, theater festival at Art Block in Greenfield, and world premiere contemporary theater at Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield! Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Performances include rock musical at Arena Civic Theater in Orange, high school broadway musical at Williston Northampton Theater in Easthampton, historical comedy in Studio 3 at Amherst College, and youth musical at Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Performances include slapstick comedy at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, contemporary mystery & existential performances  in the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts at Smith College in Northampton, musical at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, staged reading at The Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge, and a rock musical at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall!  Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Performances include contemporary theater on the Curtain Theater stage at UMass Fine Arts Center, youth musical in the  Herbert M. Goldstein Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center in Springfield, musical theater on the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre stage at Smith College in Northampton, children’s theater on the Mills Theatre stage at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, and a performing arts festival on the stage at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls! Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Performances include community theater at the the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, improve at 121 Club at Eastworks in Easthampton, youth theater at the Drama Studio in Springfield, a new play festival at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, and a new playreading series at Smith College Department of Theatre in Northampton!  Read the rest of this entry »

Bee Weeks in Western MA

Western Massachusetts will be Buzzing During Bee Weeks!

During the spring and early summer, Piti Theater Company’s Bee Weeks will take place in four different communities in Western MA. Find out where and join them for a buzzing good time!

For humans, to bee or not to bee isn’t truly a question – we must always bee! Bees and other pollinators help to ensure that our crops produce food, and they are a critical part of ecosystems all over the world. Despite their importance, however, pollinator populations are declining worldwide and many native species of bees have already gone extinct. How is it that a species so important to our survival is disappearing? Lack of proper habitat is one of the major factors contributing to bees’ recent struggles, and lack of awareness isn’t helping them either! However, thanks to Piti Theater Company, western Massachusetts will be enjoying a spring filled with bee-related events and learning opportunities – helping to increase pollinator habitat, raise awareness about conserving local pollinator populations, and teaching families about the role of pollinators in our food systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Theatrical Playground at the Williamstown Theatre Festival for Families this Summer

Williamstown Theatre Festival Offers Free Family Entertainment & Educational Opportunities this Summer

Kids can enjoy free theater workshops and performances all summer long this year!  The Williamstown Theater Festival’s summer line-up includes some wonderful family-friendly shows, and each Friday evening performance will be preceded by a special workshop focused on some aspect of acting and/or theater production.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first Main Stage show of the summer, Animal Crackers, opens on Thursday, June 27th and runs through July 14th.  The show, a hilarious creation by the Marx Brothers, is sure to please anyone with a sense of humor. This family-friendly musical is best for ages 8yo and older.  The Main Stage will also host Pygmalion, a witty and engaging production for all ages, as well as the world premiere of the musical version of The Bridges of Madison County (not appropriate for all ages).  Tickets for kids are normally discounted with the purchase of an adult ticket, but on Friday nights kids can see these theater productions for free!

In conjunction with the theater’s free Friday evening children’s tickets is the festival’s workshop series, featuring a new theatrical topic each week.  Families can take part in a slapstick comedy activity, explore the theater’s props department, examine special effects production for a Main Stage show, and maybe even create their very own performance!  Bring the family to any of these workshops in this series and help to unlock the many creative possibilities that theater offers – kids who aren’t interested in acting may make the happy discovery that they love the behind-the-scenes aspects of theater production…

Read the rest of this entry »

Lord of the Flies Jumps Out of the Pages & Onto the Stage this October!

Lord of the Flies Takes to the Stage
Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield
October 3-21, 2012

One of the greatest books of the 20th century comes to life on stage this fall in Pittsfield. Lord of the Flies is a must-see adventure story that begins with a group of English schoolboys stranded on an island and ends with a group of savages playing life and death games.

William Golding’s classic book, Lord of the Flies, is jumping out of its pages and onto the stage!  The Barrington Stage Company’s production of the story will run October 3rd-21st, 2012 – and the show is educational and thought provoking for students and adults alike.

The story chronicles the events following a plane crash that leaves young British schoolboys stranded – unsupervised – on a remote island.  Eventually, the boys begin living a sort of savage life, and battle with each other for power and control.  The story serves as a metaphor for many historic events and time periods, and can provide a segue into discussions about the psychology and sociology of power, as well as the forming of groups and allegiances.

Is your school or homeschool group interested in attending a student matinee of Lord of the Flies? Call to make your reservation sfor a Friday or Tuesday in October. 413-236-8888.

The show is a great supplement to studies of history of any kind, as well as in-depth studies of literature.  Performances will take place Wednesdays-Sundays from October 3rd-21st at the Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA.

Student matinee performances are now being booked for interested schools and homeschool groups for Tuesday and Friday 10am screenings.

Call the theater at 413-499-5446 or visit www.barringtonstageco.org for information on showtimes and ticket pricing.

Community Service and Theater Highlights for this Weekend

Community Service and Theater Highlights: April 28th & 29th, 2012

Help to tidy the East Branch Trail at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield! Trails always need a little care after the winter, even a winter as mild as this year’s. Donate some time to the preservation of an amazing community resource! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Participate in community service this weekend with your family, then head out to one of the many theater opportunities!

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Families can spend a day volunteering with Mass Audubon! The organization’s annual Statewide Volunteer Day will take place from 9am-12noon at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary (Easthampton), Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary (Pittsfield) & Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary (Hampden)! Volunteers can help to clean up trails, gardens, and nature centers – there are activities for all ages and abilities, everything from preparing garden beds for planting to restoring trails. Must sign up as volunteer slots are limited.

Other morning opportunities families can participate in include clean ups of our parks and community spaces include a Spring Clean Up Day in Lenox at the library and town train station, sprucing up the outdoor spaces at the Springfield Museum in Springfield, a work bee at the Cushman Library in Bernardson, or tidying up the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield.

In the afternoon, there will be a Sew-In at the Longmeadow Library in  Longmeadow open to sewers from beginner to advanced – if you don’t know how to sew, you can learn!  The bags are simple.  Kids welcome, but use your own discretion – they must be able to independently operate a machine.

Then on Sunday, get moving and help to raise funds for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hampshire County by participating in the  Daffodil Fun Run in Amherst!

THEATER

While you’re out and about volunteering in your community, end the day with  one of the many theater performances. The Starlight Youth Theater will present Seussical at South Hadley High School, Westfield State University presents Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Westfield, Williston Northampton School presents Fiddler on the Roof in Easthampton, Westfield Theatre Group will perform a musical adaptation of the story Robin Hood at the Westfield Woman’s Club, and families can see the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Engelbert Hunperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel on the big screen at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsAll of this and more can be found on our list of Weekly Suggested Events!

Giveaway: 5 Family Tickets to 5 Family Performances @ the Academy of Music Theatre

The Gift of the Arts in Northampton
Musical, Ballet, Puppets & Chinese Acrobatics
5 Performances at the Academy of Music Theatre

For February we’re continuing our five year celebration with another fabulous 5 giveaway… this time we’re partnering with the Academy of Music Theatre (Northampton, MA) and offering 5 family 4-packs of tickets to 5 different performances this late winter/early spring!

Let’s recap our five year celebration to date: We started off the festivities in November with 5 Gifts Locally Handmade by Hilltown Mompreneurs, and in December we partnered with 5 Western MA Museums offering 5 Annual Family Memberships. We began the new year with 5 Gift Baskets from 5 Local Food Businesses in Western MA, which we did a drawing for at the debut opening celebration of Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit Featuring Life and Landscape in Western MA (see photos).

Now, for the shortest month of the year, we have a long list of five family performances you can enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see in Northampton, MA at the historic Academy of Music Theatre. Read about these terrific family performances and enter to win below. Deadline to enter to win: February 28th, 2011 by 7pm (EST).

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
Friday, March 4th @ 7pm

It sounds so simple, just a quick trip to the laundromat with Daddy, Trixie, and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. But, before you know it, things go horribly… hilariously wrong. Chock-full of adventure, song, and gigantic dancing laundry, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical tells a tale of family, best friends, baby steps, and memories that last a lifetime. Based on his beloved Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, six-time Emmy Award winner Mo Willems joins Grammy Award–winning composer Michael Silversher to lovingly celebrate the heart and heartache that can only come from a family visit to the local laundromat. A Kennedy Center production. Mo Willems will be available to answer questions following this one hour Kennedy Center production. The Kennedy Center has a video that takes a look behind the scenes of the making of this musical. (Ticket Value: $44)

New Shanghai Circus
Sunday, March 13th @ 2pm

In 1999, the New Shanghai Circus realized the dream of all acrobatic troupes from China: they were the first Chinese acrobatic company to be invited to perform on Broadway in New York City. The record-breaking 28 sold-out shows at the New Victory Theater won them the title “Best Foreign Production on Broadway” that year. Today, the New Shanghai Circus is in residence at its own theater in Branson, Missouri where it is among the five most popular events in this mid-west theater mecca. – The Chinese acrobatic tradition dates back to 700 B.C.; The art of Chinese acrobatics developed out of Lunar New Year harvest celebrations, where a village’s peasants and craftsmen would hold a kind of Chinese Thanksgiving. Acrobats used household tools and common items found around the farm and workshop as part of their exciting feats. Performers passed their skills down from generation to generation and great acrobatic families of China entertained everyone from city rulers to village people, performing at ceremonial carnivals and public theaters across the country. Get a sneak preview of their performance in this video. (Ticket Value: $74)

Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird
Saturday, April 2nd @ 1pm

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents a ballet double feature: Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird. Set to Tchaikovsky’s lush score, Sleeping Beauty is an action packed one-hour production that has a fresh take on a classic ballet. Audiences of all ages will be enchanted by the story of a bewitched princess asleep for 100 years, the spiteful Carabosse, and the prince who battles dragons and evil forces to awaken the kingdom. – The full version of the exotic ballet, The Firebird, is a 40 minute performance that celebrates the centennial anniversary of Stravinsky’s musical composition. Based on a Russian folk tale of the magical glowing bird that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor, audiences will be thrilled as Prince Ivan and the Firebird battle “Kaschei the Immortal” for the freedom of the lovely Princess. Come be transported by Stravinsky’s incomparable score and the high quality dancing you have come to expect from the Pioneer Valley Ballet! (Ticket Value: $90)

The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
Monday, April 18th @ 10am

As part of the Puppet Festival at the Academy of Music Theatre during the school vacation week, Behind the Mask Studio performs The Woman Who Outshone the Sun. In this story, a beautiful and mysterious woman with magical powers is exiled from a mountain village and she takes away its water source, a vital river. Through their suffering for what they have lost, the villagers learn important lessons of tolerance, forgiveness, and the frailty of the ecosystem. The show is performed as a bilingual story ( Spanish & English), and based on a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez. (Ticket Value: $20)

Pinocchio
Thursday, April 21st @ 10am

The Puppet Festival continues with a production of Pinocchio by David Syrotiak’s National Marionette Theatre. Carlo Collodi’s epic about a puppet who wants to become a real boy is a classic example of storytelling at its best. This adaptation is a faithful re-telling of a childhood classic. Follow Pinocchio as he goes on a series of adventures and realizes that only by being truthful, selfless and kind to others will he realize his dream of becoming a real live boy. (Ticket Value: $20)

HOW TO WIN:

Your chance to win a free family 4-pack of tickets to one of these fabulous family productions at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA is  super easy. To enter to win simply:

1.) Check the dates of the shows and tell us WHICH SHOWS YOU COULD ATTEND. Select all that apply then continue below.

(↑↑↑ be sure to hit the “submit” button) Must continue below ↓↓↓ to be eligible to win:

2.) Next, SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
3.) TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HAS CONNECTED YOUR FAMILY WITH THE ARTS IN WESTERN MA THESE PAST FIVE YEARS in the comment box below, and be sure to tell us your
4.) FULL NAME (again) and where you
5.) LIVE (TOWN/STATE) Must include your town and state to be eligible. We’ll randomly draw a winner from those who participate and contact the winner via email.  So be sure to leave an
6.) ACCURATE EMAIL in the email field of the comment box (we never share your email address).

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! —  Deadline to enter to win: February 28th, 2011 by 7pm (EST). If you have any questions, please contact us before entering to win at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Ticket Giveaway: Family Season Pass to PaintBox Theater Summer Series

WIN A FAMILY SEASON PASS FOR FOUR
PaintBox Theater Summer Series
July 7-10, July 21-24 & August 4-7
At Theater 14 in Northampton, MA

Hilltown Families and PaintBox Theater have partnered up to offer one lucky family a Family Season Pass for 4 to the PaintBox Theater Summer Series. Three shows this summer will be presented by PaintBox Theater in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Deadline to enter to win is 06/30/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT PAINTBOX THEATRE

PaintBox Theatre is in residence at New Century Theatre at Smith College for it’s 7th great year! Northampton’s own innovative theatre of imagination and improvisation for the young and young at heart, PaintBox Theatre tells classic tales with a twist. Three actors tell a story in a unique style, including projected children’s art, interactive games and songs, wacky props, puppets, fun costumes, and lots and lots of audience participation. Join founder and well-known Massachusetts storyteller Tom McCabe along with the cast for a show that parents will enjoy as much as their children!

ABOUT THE SUMMER SERIES

Theater is all about really good stories, playing pretend, bright colors, music, laughter, and performers filling a space with fun. PaintBox Theater starts with stories we all know and love – this year, Peter Rabbit, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Musketeers. Kids get the opportunity to see stories play out in real life, adventuring along with the heroes, rooting against the bad guys, and even sometimes joining the fun onstage with singing and improvisation!

PETER RABBIT

Starting with Peter Rabbit, running from July 7-10 at 10:30 A.M, based on Beatrix Potter’s classic collection of 5 children’s tales. Get the book out of the library and read it through and then watch as the details come to life on stage. Along with Peter, you’ll meet Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Benjamin Bunny, Two Bad Mice, the Flopsy Bunnies, and that nasty but loveable Farmer McGregor. There will be songs to sing and lots of audience participation. – Peter’s world is the garden, the perfect setting for summer adventure. This is one kid who loves to eat his vegetables! He sneaks into Farmer McGregor’s garden because he loves lettuces, green beans, carrots, and all things fresh and green. Your little bunnies will want a trip to the Farmer’s Market after seeing Peter’s passion for produce!

THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, running from July 21-24 at 10:30 A.M., might seem like it’s about a scary troll, taunting poor goats trying to cross his bridge, but don’t be so sure! Director Tom McCabe is going to place a very special spin on this classic. His take – a tale about bullying. The twist? The troll is the one who is bullied, teased and, at the beginning of the story, alone. With the help of the audience and lots of suggestions from fairy tale characters crossing the bridge overhead, the troll will make friends and work things out. – Making friends is tough, especially if you feel different. We always hear about the main characters in fairy tales, but what about the person whose story isn’t told? Everybody deserves a chance to speak, and to be themselves, no matter what they look like or where they come from. We are all different, and that makes us special. Every day a new audience will make the show a little different, joining the actors onstage, and every kid can bring their own special talents to shine!

THREE MUSKATEERS

The Three Musketeers runs August 4-7 at 10:30 A.M. The title tells it all. There’s enough adventure for even the heartiest swashbuckler. You don’t have to bring your sword; our imaginations will provide all that we need. Capes will be flying as performers deal with the bad guys and save the day. – This final PaintBox show is about action and intrigue, but also about friendship. All for one and one for all! No journey is complete without a couple of good friends, and no obstacle is too great to face when you’re together. And the Musketeers can’t do it without friends in the audience! Everybody gets a chance to be a Musketeer at our show.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a Family Season Pass for 4 to the PaintBox Theater Summer Series to see and participate in three different shows at Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 06/30/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $7, and a season pass is $18. – For information and reservations call (413) 587-3220.

HFVS Weekly Giveaway: Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre DVD Collection

Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre (DVD: 7-Disc Collection)

Shelly Duvalls Faerie Tale Theatre 7-Disc (DVD) Collection

Shelly Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre 7-Disc (DVD) Collection

THIS WEEKS CONTEST

My family has always enjoyed Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre videos. The award-winning series originally broadcast on Showtime with twenty-six classic fairy tales (from the Brothers Grimm to Hans Christian Andersen) that featured Oscar, Tony and Emmy-winning talent. This star-powered, critically acclaimed series is an unparalleled treasury of every child’s best-loved tales of enchantment, adventure and wonder, and a video collection that I always feel comfortable sharing with my daughter.

We loved seeing Robin William as the Frog Prince, Billy Crystal as one of the Three Little Pigs; Bernadette Peters and Christopher Reeve as Sleeping Beauty and the Prince Charming; Carrie Fisher as Thumbelina; and a host of additional talent and classic stories.

Until now we’ve only been able to watch these performances on video and there are many we have missed, including the long lost “Grimm Party” episode. This month the complete collection will be release as a 7-disc-collection by Koch Vision. When I heard this I was THRILLED! They sent us a copy to review and offer as part of our weekly giveaway . We were delighted to find that the set also includes a lavish 112-page illustrated storybook and 3-in-1 card game.

I could gush on and on about this series. I just think it is great, wholesome entertainment for the entire family via classic fairy tales and talented directors and actors. It’s an excellent way to introduce your children to quality theatre, acting and traditional stories.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win this complete 7-disc collection is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW and be sure to tell us your
  2. NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible. We’ll randomly draw a winner from those who leave a comment (along with their name and town/state) and contact the winner via email, so be sure to leave an
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 09/17/08 @ 7pm (EST).

CONGRATULATIONS TO

  • Cheryl Free of Fort Wayne, IN
  • Deb O. of Whately, MA
  • Carla Pullum of Palmdale, CA
  • Suzanne Vachet of Indianapolis, IN
  • on winning a copy of Bill Harley’s new DVD (click here to read more). They will receive a copy of Yes to Running.  Thanks for participating and please email us your mailing address (hilltownfamilies@gmail.com).

%d bloggers like this: