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MIFA Education Program

The goal of the MIFA Education Program is to introduce students to major arts events and disciplines. Students attend and participate in performances, workshops, masterclasses and they interact with major national and international artists and arts companies. The MIFA program utilizes visiting artists as instructors and teachers and devises age-appropriate experiences and lessons for students in conjunction with regional public and private school systems and various recreational and social service organizations.


Vocational Education Program

MIFA Victory Theatre Vocational Education Program is a collaboration of MIFA Victory Theatre with Holyoke Public and other regional schools, Holyoke Community College, and the International Association of Technical and Stage Employees (IATSE Local 53).  Read the full concept paper: Vocational Education Program Concept Paper


Past Education Events

"Because I Could Not Stop, An Encounter with Emily Dickinson" Workshop

January 10, 2024 at 9:40 AM

Holyoke Media, 1 Court Plaza, (23 Suffolk St.) Holyoke, MA

20 Holyoke High School Theatre and Media Students

Lecture from actress Angelica page, Soprano Kristian Bachrach, and actor Stephen Burrell on their history and experience working as professionals in the entertainment industry.  

Music except performed by Kristian Bachrach


MIFA Victory Players Educational Concert & Workshop

January 10, 2024

9:40 AM

John F. Sears Auditorium at Holyoke High School - North Campus

25 students

Jorge Sosa, Musical inspiration going movement by movement talking about the history of Mexican music influences, showing photos and video clips of different popular and traditional music. Each introduction was followed by a movement of Rocola (Jukebox).

Victory Players performed Maravillosas by Leaha María Villarreal and Rocola (Jukebox) by Jorge Sosa, composition from the MIFA Victory Players “Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can)” project.

MIFA Victory Players Education Workshop: "Creation of rhythmic tracks" at Holyoke Media

January 9. 2024

5 Media Students

MIFA Victory Players Mexican composer Jorge Sosa introduces Holyoke High Media students to the creation of rhythmic tracks, with a base of cumbia. This group of students is working and assisting at Holyoke Media while learning the different aspects of media production, through a partnership with MassHire.


MIFA Victory Players Education Workshop at Holyoke High School

June 9, 2023

Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA

25 Students

Music Director Tianhui Ng and the MIFA Victory Players ensemble: Giovanni Pérez (Flute), Eric Schultz (Clarinet), Clare Monfredo (Cello), Nathan Ben-Yehuda (Piano), Robert Rocheteau (Percussion), and Samuel Vargas (Violin) held music education workshops with Holyoke High School students as part of MIFA’s education program and the MIFA Victory Players 2023 Residency in Holyoke. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Holyoke Cultural Council, Chicopee Cultural Council, and Springfield Cultural Council local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School Of Music And The College Of Fine And Applied Arts - A Symposium on Puerto Rican Musical Creativity: Encuentro Puertorriqueño de Creación Musical

Date: March 30, 2023

The MIFA Victory Players members gave masterclasses at the University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School Of Music And The College Of Fine And Applied Arts for students and faculty.


Pro Arte Musical “Música Abierta” program

MIFA Victory Players Open Rehearsal Live Stream

Date: January 12, 2023

Time: 8:30 am EST (9:30am AST)

Venue: Libre de Música San Juan Ernesto Ramos Antonini

The MIFA Victory Players took part in “Música Abierta” a program of Pro Arte Musical at the specialized school of Libre de Música San Juan Ernesto Ramos Antonini, in San Juan, PR. Members of the school symphony orchestra and piano and composition students will enjoy this open rehearsal by the ensemble.

Made possible by Fundación Ángel Ramos


Pregones/ PRTT Student Workshop

October 28, 2022

Thank you to Holyoke Media for their sponsorship and use of their new black box space! MIFA presented a theater workshop by Pregones / PRTT of NYC with Holyoke High SchoolHolyoke High School Theater and Media students. Thank you to Holyoke Local Cultural Council for their continued support.


Bomba De Aquì workshop

Holyoke Residency May 30th - June 12, 2022

Mount Holyoke College,

The MIFA Victory Players ensemble and composers took part in Bomba, Plena, dance and drum workshops with Holyoke's Bomba De Aquì dance and music company.


2021 MIFA Victory Players Virtual Educational Program

New! Full concert for Elementary, Middle, and High School grade levels, individual instrument workshops, composer talks, and bonus material.


2020 MIFA Victory Players Virtual Educational Program

New! Full concert for Elementary, Middle, and High School grade levels, individual instrument workshops, composer talks, and bonus material.


Holyoke High School Performing and Media Arts Academy (PMA) Town Hall

TORCHED! & THE RED ROSE - Virtual Event by Pregones / Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre

Virtual Presentation and Talkback with Writer/Director Rosalba Rolón

Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:00pm


Victory Players Contemporary Music Ensemble School Workshops Conductor Tianhui Ng and the Victory Players ensemble: Giovanni Pérez (Flute), Eric Schultz (Clarinet), Elly Toyoda (Violin), Clare Monfredo (Cello), Nathan Ben-Yehuda (Piano), and Robert Rocheteau (Percussion).

Chicopee Comprehensive High School Workshop Thursday, June 6, 2019

Holyoke High School Workshop Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gateway Regional High School Workshop Monday, June 3, 2019

South Hadley Plains Elementary School Workshop Friday, May 31, 2019


Around the World in 80 Days The Holyoke High School Theater Company, part of the Holyoke High School Performing & Media Arts Academy (PMA Academy) had the opportunity to shadow the National Players in the load-in and setup of the public performance for Around the World in 80 Days. 

A Special School Performance of The Crucible was performed by the National Players at Holyoke High School on May 2, 2019. Students then got to participate in two masterclasses: Movement for Actors and Stage Combat, after the performance.


Open rehearsal of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre in Dancing In My Cockroach Killers 

Holyoke High School Theater and Media Literacy students and teachers at the open rehearsals with Pregones/PRTT, MIFA, and Palante


Victory Players Contemporary Music Ensemble School Workshops with Conductor Tianhui Ng, Cellist Yu Mi Bae,  Pianist Han Chen, Flutist Giovanni Pérez, Percussionist Robert Rocheteau, Clarinetist Eric Schultz, and Violinist Elly Toyoda.

Holyoke High School Workshop Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Chicopee Comprehensive High School Workshop Thursday, June 7, 2018

Plains Elementary School South Hadley Workshop Friday, June 8, 2018


The Great Gatsby School Performance and Workshops National Players with the. Friday, May 4, 2018, Sears Auditorium, Holyoke High School at 9 AM

700 Holyoke High students attended the National Players production of The Great Gatsby. 

10 students participated in the Theater Tech Workshop Led by National Players Dylan Arredondo, Melissa Carter, Amy Desrosiers, and Jared Graham


La Gringa Education Workshop with The UrbanTheater Company of Chicago.

Friday, September 22, 2017, El Mercado, 413 Main Street in South Holyoke.

Students from Kelly Elementary School, Morgan Elementary School, LightHouse Holyoke, and Holyoke High School participated with members of The UrbanTheater Company in an acting workshop.

Photo by of “La Gringa” Education Workshop


Upon touring the Victory Theatre in November of 2016, students of LightHouse Holyoke became interested in coming back and using the Victory in their film projects.

Here is one short film by Crew, a student at LightHouse Holyoke:

“Thanks so much for the access and opportunity.” – Catherine Gobron, Co-Director and Co-Founder of LightHouse

MIFA hopes this will be the start of a great career in film for these students! We look forward to building more connections with local schools to incorporate the Victory Theatre, now and once it’s reopened, as a local learning tool for the Valley.


The Grapes of Wrath School Performance and Acting Workshop Monday, May 8, 2017, Sears Auditorium, Holyoke High School at 9 AM

Cast members Adam Turck and Moira Todd of the 68th Company of the National Players hosted an acting workshop with the Holyoke High School students.

22 students participated in the Acting Workshop.

Photos by Michael Moriarty of OneHolyoke CDC


LightHouse Holyoke added 25 new photos. November 19, 2016 ·


Masterclass with Compagnie des Petits Champs

April 6, 2016, 7:30 PM,  New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall, Mount Holyoke College.

Students are invited to a masterclass with leading French actors!

Members of the Paris-based Compagnie des Petits Champs: Audrey Bonnet Clément Hervieu-Léger Daniel San Pedro Guillaume Ravoire

Share their expertise with area theater and French Language students!

To actively participate, please prepare a scene in French or English. We suggest plays from the French dramatic repertory, i.e. Molière, Duras, Racine, Corneille, Sartre, Anouilh, etc., or other francophone playwrights of your choosing. Limit one scene per organization. The masterclass/workshop will be conducted in both French and English

10 Students from Mount Holyoke College

20 Faculty & community in the audience.

Photos by Dan Overton:

Masterclass with Compagnie des Petits Champs5

(Left to right: Mt.Holyoke Prof of French Catherine Le Gouis, actor Daniel San Pedro, Production Manager Martin Roch, Mt.Holyoke Prof Theatre Arts Chair Vanessa James, actor/director Clément Hervieu-Léger, actress Audrey Bonnet, actor Guillaume Ravoire, Princeton Senior Lecturer in French & Italian Florent Masse, and MIFA Managing Director Kathy McKean.)


Conversation with a Living Legend: Archie Shepp September 16, 2015, Holyoke Senior Center, 3 – 5 PM

Students from the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts (SCotA) with jazz legend Archie Shepp.
Students from SCotA with Archie Shepp

Moderated by Hampshire College Assistant Professor of African American studies, Christopher Tinson, featuring jazz great Archie Shepp, who spoke with music students from Holyoke High School (HHS) and Springfield Conservatory of the Arts (SCotA) about his unique history as a composer and performer. Enchanted Circle Theater and Stephen Burrell created a school workshop to familiarize the students with Shepp’s work and the history behind it, in advance of the conversation.

6 Students from HHS & SCotA

Workshop, Friday, September 11, 2015, 12:00 PM:  Springfield Conservatory of the Arts 32 Students

Workshop, Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 12:15 PM: Holyoke High School 45 Students

From left to right: Stephen Burrell of Even Keel Productions, SCotA principal David Brewster, jazz legend Archie Shepp, MIFA Executive Artistic Director Don Sanders, Professor Christopher Tinson of Hampshire College, and MIFA Managing Director Kathy McKean.

Stephen Burrell, David Brewster, Archie Shepp, Don Sanders, Christopher Tinson, and Kathy McKean

This MIFA Education Program Special Event was made possible by grants from MassHumanities and Springfield Cultural Council


James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket showing & African Drum performance Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Holyoke Community College, Leslie Phillips Theater

8  Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School Students

5  Incarcerated youth program students

1  Student Drummer from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School (PVPA)

Audience members volunteer to play with renowned West African drummer Kabisko before the screening of James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket. Kabisko, formerly a resident teaching artist at New York’s Lincoln Center, now teaches at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School (PVPA) and the Five Colleges.


350 Students attended the  Special School Performance. To Kill a Mockingbird, School Performance and Acting Workshop Monday, May 4, 2015, Sears Auditorium Holyoke High School.

350 Students attended the  Special School Performance.

21 Dram Club students participated in the Acting Workshop.

Cast members Adam Turck and Anthony Golden, Jr., of the 66th Company of the National Players hosted a acting workshop with the Holyoke High School Dram Club students.

The workshop took place at Holyoke High’s Sears Auditorium after the Players special school performance of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.


du Printemps! After School Performance Friday, May 30, 2014, 4:00 pm, The Hub at Gateway City Arts.

100, K-12 students, from the Boys and Girls Club & Girls Inc. of Holyoke.

MIFA Victory Theatre and Vermont Performance Lab bring French choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang to New England for a three-week workshop and residency. Niang selected 24 local participants ages 60-90 (12 from the Holyoke area and 12 from Vermont) to work together to stage a powerful re-imagining of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.


Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra (HVGO) Concert/Workshop  Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.

75 Holyoke High School Students

The HVGO is made up of an unusual combination of twenty world-class guitarists who play a dazzling array of acoustic and electric guitars. The result is a new and beautiful sound that comes from an eclectic mélange of talent and instruments, and a sound that inspires musicians from a variety of traditions to work together. HVGO presents the music of popular and classical composers, whose works musical director Blanchette arranges to showcase the unique tonal characteristics and strengths of the ensemble. Sears Auditorium, Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA


Film & Music Extravaganza Alexander Nevsky

30 Holyoke High School chorus members, 

Mark Todd: Choral Director (choral and musical director at Holyoke High School and Music Department head of the Holyoke Public School)

Edwina Cruise: Language Coach (retired professor of Russian at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA)

at Holyoke High School

at United Congregational Church of Holyoke


Film & Music Extravaganza Alexander Nevsky: School Performance

The Republican | Mark M.Murray

November 15, 2012

 200 Subsidized  Student Tickets (William J. Dean Technical High School & Holyoke High School)

30 Holyoke High School chorus members

Mark Todd: Choral Director (choral and musical director at Holyoek High School and Music Department head of the Holyoke Public School) Edwina Cruise: Language Coach (retired professor of Russian at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA) United Congregational Church of Holyoke, Holyoke, MA read article here: Students enjoy cultural matinee Transportation provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s “Big Yellow School Bus” grant  


Hal Holbrook in his legendary one-man show ‘Mark Twain Tonight’   


November 19, 2011 at 8:00pm,  Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA

132 Subsidized  Student Tickets

6 Student Technical Crew

10 Student Ushers Sears Auditorium


Hal Holbrook Holyoke High School After School Program Special Event 

November 18, 2011 from 3:30pm – 4:30pm

30 Holyoke High School Students

Actor Hal Holbrook talks to students with a Q&A about acting..

Actor Hal Holbrook talks to students with a Q&A about acting..

The program will feature one of the world’s foremost actors Hal Holbrook who will meet and talk with Holyoke High School students about his career as an actor. Edward Shevlin Studio (1st level across from Auditorium) Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA  read Holbrook at HHS here: Republican Article


Sojourner’s Truth “I will shake every place I go to” Special School Performance  

Performed by Enchanted Circle Theatre

Performance by Enchanted Circle Theater Friday, December 3, 2010, at 1:00 p.m.

600 Students

6 Student Production Team.

Subsidized Special School Performance Sears Auditorium Holyoke High School, 500 Beech Street, Holyoke, MA


MIFA Education Outreach: Opera Workshop, June 9, 2010

Program Operator: Haley Anderson MIFA Outreach Intern, University of Virginia

15 Girls Inc. participants

Topics are flexible depending on specific interest and may include a history of opera, a discussion of opera types, opera as an interdisciplinary art form, opera today, Russian language and history, background and discussion of these operas specifically, early music performance theory and practices, and authenticity in music performance.

Girls Inc., Holyoke, MA

(Photos) MIFA Outreach Intern Haley Anderson shows Girls Inc. participants examples of opera in children’s TV shows & movies.


Swan Lake, April 10, 2010

Swan Lake by Idan Cohen

Choreography- Idan Cohen & Dancers: Reut Levi, Rita Komisarchik, Daniel Gal 5 College Student Dancers: perform repertoire piece as production intro. Music: Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky Kirby Theater, Amherst MA


Project-13 Student Short Film Festival – Sponsored By MIFA   March 26, 2010

Victory Award

Films; Categories include; Drama, Action, Comedy, Musical, Animation and Science Fiction with films being 5 minutes or less.

25 Students, ages 10-18

Guest Judges: Alan Pierce, Director of Photography, “Winter’s Bone”, award-winning film at 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, John Mayer in Concert. Joel Stillerman, VP of Program Development, AMC. Scott Kalvert, Film Director, Basketball Diaries, Deuces Wild. Aaron Vega, Film and Video Editor, A Class Apart, Artists of the Bahamas. Films were Shown and winners announced. War Memorial Auditorium, Holyoke, MA Project 13 is a dropout prevention program for at-risk teens approaching the age of 13. Winning film: The Victory by BenFoleyFilms


A Past, Present, and Future of HolyokeA mural unveiling at the Victory Theatre December 17,2009

Video: “Holyoke Youth Mural Unveiled” by Samantha Lyon

Murals on Victory can be seen year-round.


Shakespeare's London Globe Theatre in "Love's, Labour's, Lost" - Friday, December 4, 2009

Shakespeare's London Globe Theatre

Friday, December 4, 2009 at 1:00pm, Holyoke War Memorial Auditorium 

300 Students Subsidized Special School Performance Students meet the actors in costume before the performance for a short Q & A session.


December 4, 2009, 10am, Peck Full Service Community School, Holyoke

Panel Discussion with Shakespeare’s London Globe Theatre Cast

50, K – 8th Grade Students


Conversations with Paul Sorvino  

Acting workshop w/ Paul Sorvino at Holyoke High School

April 6, 2009, 4pm – 5pm

Connections After School Program Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA   

225 Students


Master Class with Paul Sorvino

Acting Master Class w/ Paul Sorvino at Mount Holyoke College

Actor, director, TV and movie star Paul Sorvino gives master class with selected Mount Holyoke and UMass students

April 6, 2009, Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley

81 College Students


Irish Cream, Connections After School Program – Dance Workshop  

Irish Cream, Connections After School Program

Provided through a grant from Culture Ireland

March 19, 2009

32 Middle School Students


Kelly School students perform hip-hop dance for guests followed by Irish Cream dancers performing modern dance excerpts with dance/move lessons. Dr. Marcella R. Kelly 
Full Service Community School, Holyoke, MA


How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry – Poetry Workshop 

edward hirsch at holyoke high

30 High School students

“I think poetry is often taught badly in schools. I like to bring poetry alive for youngsters.” Student read poetry in English and Spanish working out meaning, themes and emotions with renowned poet Edward Hirsch. Holyoke High School, Holyoke, MA read article here: Poet immerses teens in verse


Wasteland –  September 25 & 26, 2007 at 8:00pm 50 Subsidized Tickets to Holyoke Social Service Club Members Hip-hop, pop “n” lock, mime and acrobatics with French, North African and Andalusian influences in this tribute to the creative possibilities of society’s abandoned spaces. War Memorial Auditorium, 310 Appleton St. Holyoke, MA


Èrection – Dance Workshop with dancer/choreographer Pierre Rigal October 18, 2007 at 2:00pm UMass Amherst Dance Studio Professor Bill Bob Brown University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA


Master Class with Avila/Weeks Dance October 21, 2000 Five College Dance Program Provocative and innovative duets and solos exploring the intricacies of human behavior


A Warning for the King – Acting Workshop By The Performance Project 50 Subsidized Tickets


Eddie Palmieri in concert September 30, 2005 45 Subsidized Tickets to the Holyoke Social Service Club Members The War Memorial Auditorium, Holyoke, MA


Macbeth – Acting Workshop Instructor: Max Stafford-Clark October 13, 2005, 12 Five College Students Five College Inc.



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