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.

Sunday, May 1. 2pm
Spring Awakening. Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion. Presented by the Arena Civic Theater and performances will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, May 4 – Sunday, May 22
Breaking Up is Hard to Do. It’s Labor Day Weekend in 1960. Marge and her stagestruck best friend Lois arrive at Esther’s Paradise Resort in the Catskills on a vacation that was intended to be Marge’s honeymoon — but the groom has left her at the altar. Lois does her best to console Marge and comes up with a plan to set her up with Del Delmonaco, the resort’s handsome but self-obsessed singer who mistakenly assumes that Marge’s father can get him on American Bandstand and make him the next teen heartthrob. Then there’s Gabe, the geekish handyman and aspiring songwriter, always looking forlornly on — and of course Harvey, the Borscht Belt comic who for years has secretly carried a torch for the widowed Esther. Breaking Up is Hard to Do engages audiences with the tunes of Neil Sedaka while bringing to life a heartwarming throwback to a simpler time. Performances will be held at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, May 5. 7:30pm; Friday, May 6. 7:30pm; Saturday, May 7. 7:30pm
In The Heights. With its musical roots in hip-hop and salsa, In The Heights took audiences by storm when it hit Broadway in 2008. This play tells the story of residents in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, as they struggle to make lives for themselves despite poverty, oppression, and gentrification. To help the student cast better understand the origin of this production, Williston theater director Emily Ditkovski took her students to New York City in January to learn about the play’s development first hand, while having lunch with members of the original Broadway cast! The students then toured the real-life setting of the play, Washington Heights. Preparing for this play has been a journey of discovery for these students, as they immersed themselves in new cultures to better understand the context of the musical. The performances are the result of extensive study and cultural immersion, giving this show a unique and vibrant authenticity. In The Heights is said to be a beautiful celebration of family, love, and the resilience of the human spirit. Performances will be held at The Williston Northampton Theater. 413-529-3000. 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Friday, May 6. 8pm; Saturday, May 7. 8pm; Sunday, May 8. 2pm
Seven Devils and a French Nun. This historical piece is based on the true story of Jeanne des Anges, a 17th-century hunchback nun who accused a renegade priest of possessing her with seven devils. Multiple exorcisms, a burning, and a major miracle later, Jeanne became a living saint, captivating all of France during her lifetime. Performing in the tradition of a bouffon clown, a technique made famous by Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” character, Carine Montbertrand portrays Jeanne and each of the devils who possessed her in a one-woman bravura performance. Seven Devils and a French Nun is the culmination of a two-year process of improvisation and research, resulting in a brilliantly intricate and humorous story of historical proportions! Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended by calling 413-542-2277. Performances will be held in Studio 3, Webster Hall (Room G19) at Amherst College, 200 South Pleasant Street Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 12 – Saturday, May 14
Into The Woods. Starlight’s Youth Theater presents the Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical version of Disney’s Into The Woods right here in our own backyard! This musical brings favorite fairy tale characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk to life; they set off to make their wishes come true but soon learn to be careful what they wish for as witches, giants and wolves loom. Come watch as a talented cast of 70 youths, ages 10-18, come from all over the Pioneer Valley. Starlight’s Youth Theater is dedicated to the development of the child, using theater as a tool to build self-esteem, communication skills and confidence. Performances will be held at The Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

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



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


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