Articles for the ‘NETC Newsletter’ Category

November News

Monday, December 14th, 2015


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Copy of May Newsletter

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
May, 2015
NETC NEWS Ann Marie Shea, editor
The award was created in 1997 to honor the late Aurand Harris (1915-1996) for his lifetime dedication to all aspects of professional theatre for young audiences.
Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award Chair, Jay Di Prima, Steps Down.
Angela Miller-Brown New AH Chair
Dr. Jay DiPrima, guiding light in creating the NETC Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award, has retired from that post.  Many thanks to Jay for his long years of service.  He will be followed by Angela Miller-Brown of Lyndonville, VT, a member of the Youth Division on the NETC Board of Directors.
The award was created in 1997 to honor the late Aurand Harris (1915-1996) for his lifetime dedication to all aspects of professional theatre for young audiences.
When Aurand Harris died in 1996, an NETC Children’s theatre board member contacted Lowell and Nancy Swortzell of New York University, the executors of his estate, to offer a memorial playwriting award in his honor. At the time, Lowell was completing the authorized biography of Harris entitled The Theatre of Aurand Harris: America’s Most Produced Playwright for Young Audiences (©1996 Anchorage Press) and so he readily agreed to help initiate this award. NETC voted to approve this award and at its 1997 Conference in Worcester, both Lowell and Nancy Swortzell addressed the audience in gratitude for this initiative. Numerous breakout sessions were devoted to the memory of the life and works of Harris, including his work with Harwich Junior Theatre. Over many summers, Aurand lived in Harwich, MA on Cape Cod, directing and workshoping his latest plays for young audiences prior to publication.
As the cover notes of Swortzell’s text elucidates, Aurand had three careers – an acclaimed elementary teacher in New York City, a prolific playwright of sixty published plays and a nationally sought lecturer in playwriting. The biography reveals the talent of this dramatist who “prodigiously experimented in forms, themes, subjects, sensitive adaptations as well as originals that are already hailed as new classics.”
Since the initiation of this Award in 1997, twenty-five playwrights for young audiences have been honored. Almost half of these works have been published. This competition is open to all writers with full-length plays for young audiences. The application and its requirements are listed on NETC’s website.  The judging process has been chaired by Jay since its inception and involves both a preliminary evaluation by three readers and a finalist evaluation by three additional readers. Fortunately, many of the finalist readers are editors of established companies for children’s plays. Highly qualified editors from Anchorage Press, New Plays Inc., Dramatists, Dramatic Publishing, Bakers, Jac Publishing have each reviewed and published these award-winning plays. The number of plays submitted each year has ranged from six to thirty-seven.
NETC is seeking volunteers who wish to read and evaluate Harris Competition scripts for this coming year. In the past, volunteers have been chosen from among theatre practitioners throughout New England – directors, producers, actors, writers and publishers of young audience works.
Beginning in mid May through July, preliminary readers will carefully read and prioritize their apportioned scripts for finalist consideration. During the latter part of July through the end of August, finalist readers will provide their critique and ranking of the selected finalist scripts. The Chair will coordinate and assess all of the evaluations and determine first and second place winners (if appropriate). On September 1st, the chair will notify NETC of the winning scripts. Winners will then be contacted and invited to attend the NETC Harris Playwriting Award Ceremony in November. Copies of the script will be disseminated to potential readers selected by the children’s theatre board. Readings of the script may be scheduled as part of the annual conference workshops.
NETC Playwrights Enjoy Minute of Glory at Boston Theatre Marathon

Boston Playwrights Theatre will support the Boston theatre community Sunday, May 10, with its seventeenth annual Boston Theatre Marathon, a day-long celebration featuring 50 ten-minute plays in ten hours.  All proceeds benefit the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which provides financial support to theatre and theatre artists in times of need.
Some NETC playwrights will have their plays read on Saturday, May 9, as part of the Warm-up Laps (reading of one-act plays), and Sprints (reading of one-minute plays).
Among the Warm-up Laps is Hair of the Dog, by Constance Congden, (2004 NETC Special Award recipient), about Shakespeare’s response to the death of Marlowe.
Featured Sprint playwrights enjoying sixty seconds of fame include Eastern Connecticut State University’s Edmond Chibeau ( Impoverished Scholar Sitting by the Side of the Road Meditating on the Transience of All Things Physical) and NETC dean of College of Fellows and NEWS editor, Ann Marie Shea (Celebrity).
To order tickets and for a complete listing of Sprints, Laps, and Marathon events, go to
Save the date:
Convention 2015
October 22nd – October 25, 2015
Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center
Westford, Massachusetts
Register for the hotel by October 1 and get last year’s rates: $120 includes breakfast (up to four per room)
Program proposal form is available on our
We are seeking nominations for the following Board positions:
Executive Vice President
Director of Development
Director of Communications
College Division
One to replace Scott
Secondary Division
One to replace Tom
Youth Division
One open slot
Professional Division
three open slots
Community Theatre Division
One open slot
We encourage self-nomination.  Please send your nominations with a brief statement of qualifications to:  Jamie Taylor:
MMAS Black Box Theatre (Mansfield, MA)—Upcoming Events in May
Come join us on May 16, as we kick-off the first annual Franklin Cultural Festival.  Relax with friends of the arts and enjoy desserts, as well as a cash bar, and music from FPAC’s Acme Jazz Trio.  The night will also highlight some snippets of several of the performances and demonstrations that will be featured during the festival in July. Your $18 ticket will help offset the costs associated with the Cultural Festival and will give you a great evening. Your support of this effort is appreciated.
On May 21, the Black Box launches a Local Artist Series, shining a spotlight on this region’s bright musical talent. Local singers and songwriters share the stage and tell the stories behind their music for this special evening hosted by WMRC’s Ray Auger! The inaugural performance will feature acoustic sets by Ken Barney, Gay Barboza, Chris Ross and Kate Russo, all 2015 WMRC Local Music Award nominees honored among the best area musicians and recognized for their creativity and contribution to the Greater Milford music scene.
May 29 will be a special evening of Black Box Cabaret spotlighting the vocal stylings of talented FPAC alumni performers! Accompanied by the ACME Rhythm Section, entertainment is presented in an intimate night-club atmosphere. Black Box Cabaret is sponsored by Milford National Bank and Trust.
For more information, go to .
OLIVER! Staged by Massasoit Theatre Company—Special Invitation to High School Students
Special HS Drama Reception!
From Massasoit Theatre Company​ (at Buckley Performing Arts Center Large Theatre Brockton, MA)
8 p.m., FRIDAY MAY 15th
To get this special price, use the link at the bottom to get tickets. Once there select ALL student tickets and use the coupon code “HSDRAMA”, even if there are adults in your order. You MAY use this code for parents/guardians and guests!
Full price- $18
Student/Senior- $16
Special HS Drama rate- $14
Reception- 7:00
Showtime- 8:00
Ticket Link:
Boxoffice: (508)427-1234
Jeffrey Potter-Watts (1962-2015), former NETC PresidentJeff Watts
NETC mourns the untimely passing of a former President, Jeffrey Potter-Watts, who after a long struggle with cancer, passed on March 25, in Charleston, SC.  He will be missed by his many friends and students.
Dear Friends, Colleagues & Artistic Associates,
Would you like to:
Stretch your creativity in a supportive environment? Immerse yourself in art? Meet a really interesting group of people?
This year, as part of the KO FESTIVAL OF PERFORMANCE. held each summer on the beautiful Amherst College campus in Amherst, Massachusetts, we are offering 3 unique workshops. Join us for one, or more, of our 6-day intensives with expert teachers who are adept at gearing their classes for all levels of experience. Past participants have come from as far away as Australia and Germany, from across the country, and from right down the road — and have ranged in age from 18 to 80.
Won’t you join us this summer?  Register before May 15 and get our Early-Bird discount!
For a Complete listing of programs and activities of KO Festival of Performance click on the link below:
To submit articles for the NETC NEWS, email to :
Ann Marie Shea at

NEW England Regional Festival a Success Reported by Bevie Lord, Community Theatre Division.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Cast of Arlekin Players The Bear receive their first place NERF award. (L-R) Eduard Snitkovsky (Luka) Unknown Natalia Snitkovsky (Props) Lena Kaleva (Make-up) Joan Fuess (Adjudicator) Mike McTeague (Stage Manager) Gene Ravvin (Grigory) Igor Golyak (Chekhov/Show Director) Alana Kumalagov (Elena) Marsha Amato-Greenspan (AACT Representative) Chuck Emmons (Festival Chair)

The New England Regional Festival took place Sat. March 5, 2011 in the Concord (NH) City Auditorium, an event made possible through support from NETC. NETC treasurer Chuck Emmons managed the event.
The Bear, by Anton Chkhov, produced by the Arlekin Players, Newton, MA was selected by the move on to the finals in Rochester, NY.. Runner up was Six Nights in the Black Belt, by Lowell Wlliams (who also directed) produced by M & M Productions, Hudson, N.H. The original script was based on a true story. Lowell Williams is the New Hampshire liaison to the NETC Community Theatre division..

Other choices by the respondents were:
Best Emerging Playwright – Bob Keniston – The Fag Variations/Conversations of the Straights, Center Theater, Dover-Foxcrot, ME

Best Design & Execution – Wellesley Players, Steel Magnolias, Wellesley, MA

Best Supporting Actresses: Judy Mitchell, Animal Farm, Milford Area Players, Milford, N.H.;
and Maria Mendez Hendricks – “Six Nights in the Black Belt, M & M Productions, Hudson, N.H.; and Tracy Nygard , Steel Magnolias, Wellesley Players, Wellesley, MA

Best Supporting Actors: Larry Pizza – Six Nights in the Black Belt, M and M productions, Hudson, N.H.; and Mark Ferman, Animal Farm, Milford Area Players, Milford, N.H.

Best Stage Manager::Val Verge , Animal Farm, Milford Area Players, Milford, N.H.

Best Actress: Alana Kumalagov – The Bear, Arlekin Players, Newton, MA

Best Actor: Gene Ravvin – The Bear, Arlekin Players, Newton, MA

Best ensemble: The Bear – Arlekin Players, Newton, MA

Outstanding Director: Igor Golyak, The Bear, Arlekin Players, Newton, MA

Outstanding Adaptation: The Bear, Arlekin Players, Newton, MA
The Bear will represent the New England region at the American Association of Community Theatre national festival (ACTFest11) , which will be held in Rochester, NY 11 June 20-26. NETC is providing a modest subsidy to help defray the group’s expenses
AACTFest11 is a national theatre event that will bring the best community theatre productions from across the country and the U.S. Armed Services in Europe to Rochester, NY, June 20-26, 2011. Over 600 people are expected to participate in this American Association of Community Theatre Flagship event. Performances, workshops and exhibitions are open to the public. For more information on AACT and the festival, go to:| .

Call for Community Theatre Memorabilia

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Bevie Lord, representing Community Theatre on the NETC board of directors, has put out a call to all community theatre in the region to share memorabilia as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of AACT this June at the AACTFest11 in Rochester, N.Y. June 20-25, 2011.

Dave Sheppard has asked Bevie to spearhead this delightful idea: CREATE A BASKET OF THEATRE MEMORABILIA FROM EACH REGION. The basket would contain items that represent community theatre from your region to be placed in the silent auction.

Examples of what could be in the basket: a feather from the production of The Bear, an old hat, a special fundraising coffee mug, a small prop, an anniversary program, a commemorative tee shirt. (Bevie has already been able to collect a beer throttle handle from the old ACME Theatre.)
It would be ideal if each group could include a short paragraph or two of their theatre’s history.

Examples of what NOT to include: no sports memorabilia from your area, no can of baked beans from Boston, no lobster from Maine. We would like to have this strictly represent Community Theatre from your region .

Items from Region 1 may be sent to
Bevie Lord
60 Granite St.,
Foxboro, MA, 02035-1709.


Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Vermont Actors’ Repertory Theatre presents two fully staged past one-act play winners that were originally showcased in the company’s annual Nor’eastern event. These two plays will be presented by ART under the title, THE BEST OF THE NOR’EASTERNS, on April 13, 14,15, &16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 at 2:00 p.m. at the Paramount Brick Box Theatre, Center Street, Rutland, VT.
Each year Vermont Actors’ Repertory Theatre conducts a year-long one-act play contest with entries from the six New England states as well as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As part of its sixth season, the Company has selected two former winners.
The first play to be presented is The Best Wine by Michael Nethercott, a Nor’Eastern winner in 2009. It is a study of betrayal, loyalty and accountability set in occupied France during the Second World War. In the wake of a compromised Resistance action, the citizens of a small town are forced to judge one of their own, and, in doing so, make a fateful decision. This play will be directed by Diane Liccardi.
Playwright, Michael Nethercott of Guilford, VT has published his writings in numerous magazines and anthologies including “Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine”; “Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year”; “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction”; “Plays, the Drama Magazine for Young People”; “Thin Ice: Crime Stories by New England Writers” and others. He is a past recipient of the Black Orchid Novella Award for traditional mystery writing. Michael has also taken the stage as a storyteller and actor and is the writer/director of the seasonal theatrical event, “The Forest of Mystery” in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The second play is The Window, a Nor’Eastern winner in 2007, in which inmates on death row find hope and redemption by looking through the window in the only cell that has a window; the cell in which the next inmate to be executed is housed. It will be directed by Thaddeus Lorentz

Playwright, NICK VIGORITO, JR., is a member of The Dramatists Guild. He has written over twenty plays, several screenplays, and several original sitcom pilots. Nearly all of his plays have been produced and two are published. His writing has won various awards and prizes including a recent Scriptapalooza competition for his original sitcom pilot Les Is More. His ‘day job’ is that of a Letter Carrier for the Postal Service, and while not yet disgruntled if he isn’t discovered soon that might all change! He lives in Brooklyn NY with his wife Maria and their two Boxers. And he has never been an inmate on death row.

The Best Wine is stage-managed by Judi Tompkins, and features actors, Laura Steere, Ilene Blackman, John Romeo, Christopher Larson, and Eric Mallette. The Window is stage-managed by Bonny Benson, and features Paul Burroughs, Gary Boyles, Tom Pomfret and Alex Lucci.
Lighting is by David Lane, properties by Tom Brown, costumes by Catherine Loew, sound by Bridget Scott, make-up and hairstyles by Jane Campeau, graphic design by Marna Grove, production by Peter Marsh & Sandra Gartner and technical direction by Doug Yaremchuk .
Reservations are available by calling the Paramount Box Office at 802-775-0903. Tickets will be sold at the door as well, at all performances. There is limited seating. Tickets are $15 for general admission.
Vermont Actors Repertory Theatre Company will produce this year’s three Nor’eastern winners in Showcase on May 6 & 7 at the Paramount’s Brick Box Theatre. For more information about Vermont Actors’ Repertory Theatre visit the Company’s Website at

NETC Award Winning Producer Dies at 77

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Marc Smith, founder/producer/director of the former Foothills Theatre in Worcester, MA, died Wednesday at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. Foothills Theatre was the recipient of the NETC regional award in 1996. A prolific playwright, Marc continued to stage readings of his original works after his retiring from 25 years of managing Foothills. Perlman Funeral Home in Worcester will be the site of services Sunday, March 27 at 11 a.m. A memorial tribute will be held at Tuckerman Hall, corner of Tuckerman and Salisbury Sts. in Worcester at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30

An obituary can be found at :

Also, Richard Duckett, entertainment editor at the Worcester Telegram, has written an article about Marc’s achievements:


Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Harwich Junior Theatre presents THE SEAMIST TRIO

Sunday, March 13 at 2 PM

Celebrate St. Patrick and Your Irish Heritage in style!

Come join us for a delightful concert of Irish music, song and poetry featuring Mairead Doherty on Irish Harp, Rose Clancy on Fiddle, Clayton March on Clarinet and Richard Sullivan – ‘Irish Tenor’. A concert of lively dance music, slow airs and favorite songs (some old, some new) will make for a great afternoon of entertainment for the entire family and benefit Harwich Junior Theatre’s Education Programs. A reception with refreshments will follow the performance. HJT -105 Division St. West Harwich. All tickets $20. Please call the BOX OFFICE at 508-432-2002 or on-line at

Auditions for Improv Soup

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Un-Common Theatre Co announces auditions for Improv Soup, their teen improvisational troupe.

Students currently in 8th – 10th grade may make an appointment to audition on Saturday April 2nd from 2 – 3pm.

Improv Soup is one of the few teen Improv Troupes in Massachusetts and is currently in their thirteenth season. The troupe performs long and short form Improv, based on audience suggestions, rehearses weekly on Sunday evenings and performs one Friday a month in Foxboro, Ma during the school year

Email to make an appointment giving your name, phone #, email address and grade or call (508)698-3098 or check the web site for more information

Theatre Library Association Symposium to Feature New England Artists

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Theatre Library Association announces its third Symposium, Holding Up
the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today, which will be
held at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Bruno Walter
Auditorium on April 22, 2011.

This Symposium consists of a fascinating day of presentations on the
challenging art of staging Shakespeare in our time, offered by leaders
of four of America’s most celebrated theatre organizations:

• Oskar Eustis – Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, Keynote
Speaker. (Eustis is former Artistic Director of Providence’s Trinity Rep, and winner of the Moss Hart Memorial award for his direction of Angels in America.)
• Ralph Alan Cohen, Paul Menzer and Colleen Kelly – American
Shakespeare Center
• \Jeffrey Horowitz and Arin Arbus- Theatre for a New Audience
• Diane Paulus and Marjorie Garber- American Repertory Theater

All of these artists are renowned for the originality of their
approaches to Shakespeare’s works. Their presentations – enlivened with
performance excerpts – will give insight into the ways each company interprets the
Shakespearean tradition and its sources.

The American Shakespeare Center adapts Renaissance theatrical practices
to enable contemporary audiences to experience Shakespeare’s works as
Elizabethan playgoers might have. Theatre for a New Audience seeks to
uncover connections between Shakespeare and the contemporary world.
American Repertory Theater’s recent Shakespeare Exploded festival
encouraged audiences to derive new meanings in Shakespeare through a
series of imaginative adaptations.

For an additional perspective, Dr. Francesca Marini – recently appointed
Archives Director at Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival – will
offer closing remarks.

To register – please consult:

Holding Up the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today
is made possible by the generous support of the Gladys Krieble Delmas
Foundation and the Shubert Foundation.

AEA Membership Candidates Eligible for $1000 Grant

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Actors Equity Association reminds Equity Membership Candidates that applications are still being accepted for the 2011 Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award. You could be the lucky winner of the Award and $1,000 if you are picked by the panel of judges, but just having your work seen by them is a great opportunity.

The application deadline is March 15, 2011.

The award is named in honor of noted casting director Roger Sturtevant, who died in 2003. It is available to current EMCs who have demonstrated outstanding abilities in the musical theatre field and consists of a $1,000 check and a certificate presented to one male and one female applicant.

Selection is based on a videotaped audition, written recommendations and a completed application form. The judging panel, including actor/members of the Equity Foundation and members of the Casting Society of America, choose the winners. The panel adheres strictly to the principles of non-traditional casting and actively encourages actors of all cultural backgrounds to apply.

For a downloadable application form, visit AEA’s Document Library at this link:

For more information about the application or award, contact Anne Fortuno at or 212-869-8530 x 409.