Valley Advocate Gives a Shout Out to 33 Hawley's New Flex Space!

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“The most encouraging development in a stage-starved Valley has been the flowering of new venues along with more shows at established ones. Performances have begun at 33 Hawley, the Northampton Center for the Arts’ new home. A new-work showcase from the Northampton Playwrights Lab, the 24-Hour Theater Project, Shakespeare Stage’s Twelfth Night and Real Live Theatre’s When Last We Flew all took flight there this fall.” Link to article

The Center for the Arts Presents:

The Lisa Leizman Dance Company’s
“Long way home”

Friday, December 14th, 2018, 7:30 PM . SOLD OUT. Will-call tickets purchased in advance will be available from 6:30 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm for general seating. Performance starts promptly at 7:30 pm.

Please join us for a winter concert celebrating the debut of the Center's resident dance company in the newly-opened Flex theater space at 33 Hawley Street. The performance is followed by a trademark festive dinner reception prepared by members of the troupe. Advance tickets are recommended.

About Long Way Home: After five years of wandering throughout the greater Pioneer Valley, awaiting a new home for the Center, this long-time resident company finally has a new residence. Grateful and joyful, the dancers will present audience favorites Spiegel im Spiegel, set to music by Arvo Pärt and Derek Walcott’s the amen of calm waters, with music by Ludovico Einaudi. The concert will also include the secret that bamboo guards with music by composer-in-residence Andrea Kwapien.

“There are no shortcuts in art. Do the work. Be tenacious. Be resilient. Keep going. Applaud the beautiful, elegant destination. Celebrate the journey, no matter how far. Take the long way home”—Lisa Leizman

Image by Bob Richard

Twelfth Night a Hit!

Malvolio reads the letter with his deceivers hiding in the hedges.

Malvolio reads the letter with his deceivers hiding in the hedges.

Shakespeare Stage’s Twelfth Night (Or What You Will), was a resounding success November 31-December 2. The show even sold out on Saturday night. The staging was riotous, the music, led by Feste, the fool, played by Chris Devine. Devine played a different instrument in every scene. Sir Andrew was played by the director Julian Findlay, as a florid, red-headed wildman. Jasmine Caamaño played the dual gender Violo, with hilarious expressivity; while Malvolio played by Jimmy Murphy, burst from the background as his wild passions emerged.

More Herold images. Click to move to the next.

The Arrival of the Grand Piano

Penny Burke, the Center’s former executive director, oversees installation of the piano in the Flex space. Dick Damon, tuner and piano mover, is in the background to Penny’s right.

Penny Burke, the Center’s former executive director, oversees installation of the piano in the Flex space. Dick Damon, tuner and piano mover, is in the background to Penny’s right.

33 Hawley St. - October 29

“It’s a miracle,” Penny said, after seeing the grand for the first time in five years. For all that time it has been in the Sullivan Building, the Center’s former home. “We stored it in 2013 expecting to leave it there for only two years. It’s been five years. It’s a miracle we’re all still alive to see it back where it belongs.”

The 6’-1” piano “is the equal of the greatest pianos in the world,” said Dick Damon, who orchestrated the move and then spent two hours tuning it. “Steinway is better known, but Mason & Hamlin is just as good.”

THIS WEEKEND! Jaunito Pascual Trio with Special Guest Flamenco Dancer Neli Tirado


November 11, 2018 4:00 PM

Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 students, $10 children under 12.  They are available in advance at  until noon on Sunday. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door from 3 pm. Please note that door sales are cash or check only.

A versatile virtuoso guitarist/composer/improviser, Juanito Pascual has been called "one of the hottest flamenco guitarists in recent years" by National Public Radio, a major accolade that is just the jumping off point for the Minneapolis native's masterful musical style. His sound is an organic blend of traditional and contemporary flamenco with influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead to Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. 

The Juanito Pascual Trio features two highly versatile and dynamic musicians, New York-based percussionist Guillermo Barrón and stunning bassist Brad Barrett. By combining their distinct musical backgrounds with a powerful personal chemistry, the Trio has created a fresh, exhilarating and constantly evolving sound, performing to enthralled audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad. The 2014 release Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio was included in NPR critic Milo Miles Best World Music Albums for that year. 

The Trio will be joined for this performance by special guest, highly acclaimed flamenco dancer Neli Tirado. 

Pascual's international touring schedule has brought him to venues that include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, New York's Lincoln Center and Blue Note Jazz Club, and Madrid's renowned Casa Patas. He has performed with a lengthy 'who's who' of top flamenco artists including Jorge Pardo in addition to collaborations with a diverse range of musicians: Grammy-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw; bassist John Patitucci; pianist Danilo Perez; percussionist Jamey Haddad; virtuoso guitarist Grisha Goryachev.

Please use the main street entrance to the Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free in the lot directly adjacent.

The Northampton 24 Hour Theater Project...countdown begins....


Let the countdown begin to the 24 Hour Theater Project, a dramatic race against time to bring five short plays to life. The Center for the Arts is proud to revive its role as host for this beloved and highly anticipated event founded in 2002 by playwright Tanyss Rhea Martula.

While the premise is simple, the execution is anything but: within 24 hours, five ten-minute plays will be written, rehearsed, directed, produced, and staged. The culmination of this day-long burst of creativity are two public performances, often standing-room-only, showcasing local writers, actors, and directors.


Halloween at the Center

Tony Lechner as Darth Vader conducts a rehearsal of Rock Voices at its weekly rehearsal in the Flex. Tony is the founder and creative director of  Rock Voices , Inc.

Tony Lechner as Darth Vader conducts a rehearsal of Rock Voices at its weekly rehearsal in the Flex. Tony is the founder and creative director of Rock Voices, Inc.

Playing the Museum Director game during Kelly Silliman’s Youth Modern Jazz class on Halloween Night. The Fisher kids showed up to the class in costume: Julian as Bruno Mars, Kaiulani as Dorothy (sans Toto), and Kalea as Cleopatra.

Playing the Museum Director game during Kelly Silliman’s Youth Modern Jazz class on Halloween Night. The Fisher kids showed up to the class in costume: Julian as Bruno Mars, Kaiulani as Dorothy (sans Toto), and Kalea as Cleopatra.

Join us at our Festive Open House!

Please join us for an Open House on Saturday, October 13 from 11—3 PM!

Free and open to the public, the Open House presents over fifteen brilliant artists and teachers working at the new downtown space at 33 Hawley Street. Arts lovers of all ages can join in the fun! Strut the tango, get hip with hip-hop, experiment with modern dance, learn the secret arts of theatre, enlighten your body with Alexander Technique. Or kick back and watch previews for plays by two different theatre companies, an open dance rehearsal, and dance classes.

Kids and families will especially enjoy Kelly Silliman’s participatory class and presentation of the Center’s ArtPlay vacation program, Danielle Smith’s hip-hop sample class, and a Valley Performance Playground mini-class of theatre games, improvisation, and movement.

Come explore the new space at Hawley Street. Discover the Center’s offerings. Learn how you can take or teach a class, or produce the performance or event you’ve been dreaming of.

The Day’s Schedule

11:00—Join Valley Performance Playground for mini-classes of theatre games, improvisation, and movement for families with kids. 11–11:30: Movers & Shakers(ages 1-1/2 to 5); Creative Drama (ages 6–12),  DOWNSTAIRS STUDIO.

 11:00–12:00—See the dance studio in use while the Center’s Program Director Kelly Silliman teaches her Adult Modern Dance class in the DANCE STUDIO.

12:00—Enjoy a preview of Real Live Theatre’s When Last We Flew, in production at the Center in December, followed by a theatre training workshop, THE FLEX.

12:30—Join Fritha Pengelly for a sample Advanced Adult Danceclass, DANCE STUDIO.

12:30—Bring your kids to Danielle Smith’s Youth Hip Hop Class, DOWNSTAIRS STUDIO

1:00–1:30—Kelly Silliman and Jayme Winell will introduce the ArtPlay Vacation Program, a multi-disciplinary arts program for youth, DOWNSTAIRS STUDIO.

1:00–1:30—Enjoy an introduction to Tango Dancing with Western Mass Tango, THE FLEX.

1:30–2:00—Have your kids try out Kelly Silliman’s Creative Dance Class, DANCE STUDIO.

1:30—Abbie Steiner will discuss and demonstrate the Alexander Technique with time for attendees to ask questions and if desired, have a brief hands-on experience, DOWNSTAIRS STUDIO.

1:30—Shakespeare Stage presents an excerpt from The Complete History of America (abridged). The full performance shows tonight at 7:30 and Sunday at 6:30, THE FLEX.

2:30–3:00—Lisa Leizman Dance gives you an insider’s view with an open rehearsal for their December 14 dance concert at the Center, THE FLEX.

Forms and Figures, an exhibition of David Andrews’ artwork, may be seen in the DOWNSTAIRS GALLERY.

The Center Hosts Forms & Figures, Exhibition of David Andrews’ Artwork

David is a Chicago born artist currently living and working locally. He calls his work a fluid elegance turning 2D drawings into 3D pieces of sculpture on paper. Please join us for an opening reception Downstairs at 33 Hawley on Friday, October 12, 5-8 PM. Here’s his Facebook page, and here’s a great 2016 interview with him by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Introducing Christian Herold, New Managing Director

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The Center for the Arts is pleased to introduce Christian Herold as its new Managing Director. As long-time Executive Director Penny Burke is retiring from her position, the Center is transitioning to a new management structure. Herold will work with Program Director Kelly Silliman, who has been with the organization since September 2017. 

Christian Herold moves here from Cambridge MA, where he directed People’s Sculpture Racing, a group that stages races of wheeled, artistic sculptures and produces educational family workshops. He served as Executive Director of the Munroe Center for the Arts in Lexington MA, where he spearheaded the town’s first open studios and organized multicultural performances. He created news and art videos as a Citizen Journalist with Cambridge Community TV. At an earlier time in Cambridge, he taught creative drama, ran a theater company, and sang with the MIT Chorus and B.U.‘s Inner Strength Gospel Choir.

Prior to working in Lexington, Christian led the life of an artist, academic, and activist in New York City. As an academic, he taught for many years at New York University’s Undergraduate Theater Program and sat for ten years on the editorial board of Women and Performance, a Journal of Feminist Theory. He published academic papers and lectured internationally on performance and politics. His verse drama was produced in Manhattan, and his sound art has been published by MIT Press. Born and raised in Washington DC, he received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and a Master’s in Performance Studies from NYU.

"I look forward to living in Northampton and to contributing to the creative community by developing arts-supporting infrastructure and organizing projects and events, “ says Herold. “I am proud of my success in building projects that serve both the broad community and advanced artistic practice. I am especially excited to play a part in launching the Center in its new role at 33 Hawley Street.”

Christian is no stranger to Western Mass. His brother, Nat Herold, is a lifelong resident of Pioneer Valley and owns Amherst Books

Penny, Must you go?

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Staff Writer
Thursday, August 02, 2018

“Some have called her a community treasure — one who’s “hidden in plain sight.” Indeed, for years she has been largely behind the scenes, whether producing First Night Northampton or any number of arts events around the city, from dance performances to concerts to art exhibitions….” READ MORE.