The Academy of Music Theatre Season Series is a carefully curated grouping of events produced specifically by The Academy of Music Theatre. We believe the arts are an integral part of how we form communities; how we perceive and communicate with the world around us and with each other. We have an ongoing commitment to the arts, to this historic venue, and to the development and sustainability of the Pioneer Valley. We are committed to providing the Pioneer Valley with a place to gather and experience the culture, education and diverse programming we so proudly offer.
The Academy of Music Theatre and New England Public Radio celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Valley Voices Story Slam. Audience members have selected the top three stories from the five Valley Voices Story Slams held during the winter and spring of 2019. These top stories by local storytellers will be shared on the Academy state to compete for the top prize – Best of Valley Voices! Join us as we choose the winner of this competition based on the art of first person narrative storytelling. It puts emphasis on content and performance, encourage storytellers to focus on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. It’s an exercise in crafting stories within a set time limit, without notes or props, and it’s entertainment. Age recommendation: 15+
Part classic standup comedy special, part teen zine vomit confessional, They, Themself and Schmerm is Becca’s disturbingly hilarious personal tale of being adopted into a Midwestern religious family, trained to be a girl, molested, and plagued by the question, “How do I become a man and do I even want that?” Becca engages in loving confrontation with the audience, asking what it truly means to be authentic in these meat carcasses. Becca Blackwell is a NYC based trans actor, performer and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun “they,” Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Erin Markey, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D’Amour. Film/TV includes: Untitled Noah Baumbach Project, Shameless, Deadman’s Barstool, and Jack in the Box. Becca is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award. Age recommendation: 16+
“…bust-a-gut funny, make-you-cry moving, and one of the most compassionate pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen. -Krista Garver, Broadway World Portland
“…despite your strict warning that nothing you said should inform our understanding of the LGBT community, your audience emerged from the theater last night with a greater awareness of a sociocultural transformation underway…” -Amber Power, BOMB Magazine
Nilaja Sun’s highly praised sixth play, vividly brings to life a family on New York’s Lower East Side. As a storm approaches, Evelyn is trying to assure the safety of her teenage daughter, Candi, whose unidentified illness has immobilized her. Caring for Candi has forced Evelyn to quit her job as a subway conductor; still, she helps support both her philandering father and her brother, who has returned to New York from Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD. Just behind the grace and humor with which Evelyn manages to hold together her own life and those of the people who depend on her is the constant threat of both natural and man-made disasters. Nilaja Sun is an actress, playwright, and teaching artist, who has had many roles in television and film. She is best known for No Child . . . (2006), her solo performance piece based on her experience as an arts educator in New York City schools, which won Obie and Lucille Lortel awards. Age recommendation: 16+
“A resonant, highly timely melting-pot tale” – Washington Post
“Full of vivid life” – The New York Times
Jen Kober is originally from Lake Charles, LA, and has energetically bounded onto the national stage bringing crowds to their feet with her original blend of stand-up, storytelling, and improvised rock-n-roll comedy. Her hard-hitting hour is phenomenally funny as Kober commands the stage and dares you not to laugh. Jen was the 2017 Winner of NPR’s Snap Judgement Comedic Performance of the Year for her “Girl Scout Cookie Caper” story which went viral upon its release earlier that year. Kober received the 2018 Comedic Performance of the Year for her latest story titled “How I was Saved By Waffles.” You can see Jen as the Rabbi on Liz Feldman’s Netflix hit “Dead To Me,” a genre-defying, female-led series, and in upcoming roles on The Righteous Gemstones on HBO and The Purge on USA Network. Age recommendation: 18+
Join us for Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s elegant new show, The Rainbow Fish. This original stage adaptation of some of Marcus Pfister’s most wildly-popular stories will enchant even the youngest child with the magical glow-in-the-dark tale of the beautiful fish who learned to share his most prized possession. In a series of tales, children are introduced to the most beautiful fish in the sea, whose scales shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow. He is admired – and resented – by the entire underwater world, until a clever octopus advises him to give each fish one of his scales. Further adventures follow as The Rainbow Fish finds the courage to explore the great unknown deep sea, discovering a new world with wonderful sights and friendly creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors who are eager to make his acquaintance. Stay directly after the show for a Q & A session with the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia performers! Age recommendation: 5+
James and the Giant Peach Jr. (Academy Youth Productions)
Book by Timothy Allen McDonald
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
March 6 & 7, 2020 @ 6:30PM
Click HERE to purchase tickets for Thursday, March 6, 2020.
Click HERE to purchase tickets for Friday, March 7, 2020.
Academy Youth Productions presents Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR., a brand new take on this the classic Roald Dahl “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way. Age recommendation: 5+
As seen on Netflix and featured on This American Life, Mortified’s All Stars of Angst showcases adults sharing their embarrassing childhood diaries, letters, poems and artwork in front of total strangers. After 15 years of shows worldwide, this special presentation of the hit storytelling event highlights some of the most beloved performances in the project’s history with hilarious and heartbreaking tales of teen angst. Discover why Paste Magazine hailed Mortified as “life-affirming” and Wired proclaimed it “funny, touching.” Age recommendation: 18+
“A cultural phenomenon” —Newsweek
“Hilarious” —The Atlantic
Miss You Like Hell
Book and Lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music and Lyrics by Erin McKeown
March 27 & 28, 2020 @ 8:00PM
Click HERE to purchase tickets for Friday, March 27, 2020.
Click HERE to purchase tickets for Saturday, March 28, 2020.
The Academy of Music Theatre proudly presents Miss You Like Hell, the new musical by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water by the Spoonful, In the Heights) and acclaimed, genre-breaking singer/songwriter, and Western Massachusetts local, Erin McKeown on March 27 & 28, 2020. Directed by Sheila Siragusa, it’s a powerful new musical odyssey about a daughter who gets to stay, a mother who might have to leave, and the border wall that could come between them. Age recommendation: 15+
“Powerful and complex. A fresh take on the American road story, filled with people and ideas we rarely get to see onstage.” – The New York Times
“A timely political edge, an ethnically diverse cast, and a score by a singer-songwriter who knows how to rock.” – Variety