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Event Press

Updated: Jun. 09, 2023, 9:56 a.m. | Published: Jun. 07, 2023, 5:18 p.m.

By Dennis Hohenberger | Special to The Republican


Consul General of France in Boston visits Holyoke

By Dennis Hohenberger | Special to The Republican, Published: May 19, 2023


70th Annual 2023 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade

By Ryan Trowbridge, Published: Mar. 19, 2023 | Updated: Mar. 19, 2023

Sights from the Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade, held on March 19, 2023(Western Mass News)

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WWLP 22News, Live Broadcast of the 70th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade,

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By Keith O'Connor | Special to The Republican, Updated: Mar. 15, 2023, 8:02 a.m. | Published: Mar. 15, 2023, 8:00 a.m.,

“The float is a combination 150th Anniversary Celebration and the efforts of MIFA/ Victory Theatre with a film projector, movie theater seats and various signs on board,” Quesnel said.

Victory Theatre Mural Exhibition at Wistariahurst Museum

Arts Beat with host Donnabelle Casis, on Talk The Talk with Bill Newman & Buz Eisenberg, WHMP radio - 101.5FM/ 1240 & 1400AM, March 10, 2023

Guest Don Sanders of MIFA: Start at 43:00 minute - 53:00 minutes

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This muralist lifted Holyoke’s spirits during World War II; the fight today is to bring his works back to life, By Dennis Hohenberger | Special to The Republican, Updated: Mar. 10, 2023, 11:31 a.m. | Published: Mar. 08, 2023, 6:41 p.m.,

Donald Sanders, executive artistic director of the MIFA Victory Theatre in Holyoke, talks with Gillian Randall, an arts conservator with EverGreene Architectural Arts. They are discussing the restoration progress of murals that used to hang in the theater. A restored panel can be seen at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. (Don Treeger / The Republican) 3/8/2023

By Don Treeger |,, March 8, 2023


Holiday Pub Crawl

By Trent Levakis | Dec. 12, 2022, The Reminder


"Angela Davis, A History of The United States"

Mark G. Auerbach | Special to The Westfield News, Aug. 22, 2022



Grease, Holyoke High School

Holyoke High School to present ‘Grease', By Cori Urban, Published: Apr. 19, 2022, Special to The Republican




A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey Of Penelope And Circe, This Week In New York, September 21, 2021


Doors Open Holyoke aims to highlight local city landmarks, by Carolyn Noel, Sept. 17, 2021, The Reminder.


Victory Players Residency 2021 Holyoke/Boston

Victory Players Return with El Puerto Rico IV | by Zydalis Bauer | Connecting Point | June 4, 2021


"El Puerto Rico 3 - Identity Duets"


"Death By Life"

Death by Life: White Snake Projects Amplifies Incarcerated Artists, by LANA NORRIS, June 1, 2021,


El Perito Rico 3: Identity Duets


Victory Theatre's 100th Birthday Celebration

Victory Theater celebrates birthday as it prepares to reopen, Feb. 15, 2021, by Miasha Lee, The Reminder.


Alice in the Pandemic


A Winter Wonderland Fundraiser ft. dancers Sabi Varga & Emily Entingh

January 17, 2020, The Holyoke Sun


5th Annual Yuletree Jubile

Nov. 12, 2019 | Danielle Eaton -

Dozens of organizations and inviduals each year donate beautifully decorated holiday trees for the annual Yuletide Jubliee in West Springfield. Reminder Publishing submitted photo

West Springfield Channel 15:


DAVID BOWERMAN Paintings, Drawings & Sculptures

Photo of the David Bowerman Paintings, Drawings & Sculptures Exhibition at Wistariahurst Museum by Brendon Holland & Josué Vazquez of Focus Springfield, Springfield Community Access Television.

New exhibit at Wistariahurst Museum, Arts Previews, Daily Hampshire Gazette, November 13, 2019

Holyoke Exhibits/Events: Paintings, Drawings & Sculptures, The Valley Arts Newsletter, November 5, 2019


“NOT FOR SALE” UrbanTheater Company of Chicago

Special offer for PVTN subscribers: Get $5 off your tickets for NOT FOR SALE…, Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter, October 17 – November 6, 2019

Stagestruck: Forced to the Border, Valley Advocate, by Chris Rohmann, Oct 1, 2019


Celebrate Holyoke 2019


El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port 2

El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port 2 Concert Held in Holyoke, El Sol Latino July 2019, Volume 15 No. 8, by Manuel Frau Ramos, page 4 & 5.

Holyoke Cultural Council member Mark Dunlap:

WGBY | Public Television for Western New England, Connecting Point, June 6, 2019


2019 Great Holyoke Brick Race


Around the World in 80 Days

Holyoke students offered free tickets to ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ –, May 2, 2019, By Dennis Hohenberger

Stagestruck: Around the World in 80 Minutes – The Valley Advocate, Apr 29, 2019, By Chris Rohmann

Photos courtesy of National Players

MIFA to presents ‘Around the World in 80 days’ – The Reminder, April 16, 2019, by Sarah Heinonen

Around the World in 80 Days Production Photo


90th Birthday Bash For Holyoke’s Own Legendary Rock Drummer Hal Blaine & Screening of American documentary film “The Wrecking Crew”

Keep In Mind, Hal Blaine, Enfield Press, & Hal Blaine, Arts Beat – The Westfield News, February 20, 2019, By Mark G. Auerbach

Drummer Hal Blaine to be celebrated at Holyoke Community College,, February 8, 2019, By Ray Kelly

Rock drummer, Hal Blaine, celebrates 90th birthday, The Holyoke Sun, February 8, 2019


Jazz Latino on Main Street in Holyoke

Connecting Point | Nov. 29, 2018


“In The Heights”

Stagestruck: Latin Roots, Valley Advocate, November 8, 2019, by Chris Rohmann

Holyoke Community College presents ‘In The Heights’, The Holyoke Sun, October 19, 2018, Arts and Entertainment section, Page 16.

El elenco de la produccion teatral de In The Hieghts en HCC. (Foto suministrada por HCC)


Dancing In My Cockroach Killers

Mass Appeal, WWLP 22News, October 12, 2018 Host Danny New featuring MIFA’s Don Sanders with Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s Founder and Artistic Director, Rosalba Rolón.


El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port

WGBY | Public Television for Western New England, Connecting Point, June 7, 2018 Host Carrie Saldo featuring MIFA’s Don Sanders with Victory Players conductor Tian Hui Ng and flutist Giovanni Perez.

El Sol Latino,, June 2018 | 14.7  


The Great Gatsby Comes to Holyoke

Holyoke High students delve into ‘The Great Gatsby’ in advance of national theater group performance, May 2, 2018, by Carolyn Robbins, Special to The Republican,

The National Players are returning to Holyoke to bring The Great Gatsby to life, old sport, April 2, 2018, by Isabella Courchesne, Holyoke High School Herald.


La Gringa

Off-Broadway hit ‘La Gringa’ coming to Holyoke, Sep 15, 2017,  By Chris Dondoros, Special to The Republican

La Gringa in Holyoke The Urban Theater Company is visiting Holyoke during the weekend of September 22 to 24. As part of the celebration of The 2nd Annual Taste of South Holyoke Festival, they will present ‘La Gringa’ at El Mercado, 413 Main Street in South Holyoke.


Taste of South Holyoke

2nd Annual Taste of South Holyoke Festival set for Sept. 2 By Mike Plaisance, September 5, 2017,


Celebrate Holyoke 2017

Celebrate Holyoke 2017 lineup: FAT, The Sighs and more By Keith O’Connor, Special to The Republican, Aug 21, 2017,


413’s Finest Car Meet

Seen@ 413’s Finest Car Meet in Holyoke, August 06, 2017, photos by Leon’ Nguyen / The Republican


Grapes of Wrath 

Tomorrow @NationalPlayers return to @Holyoke_High to put on “The Grapes of Wrath” – it’s going to be a great show! — Holyoke High Herald (@hhsherald) May 8, 2017


The Wastelands 


Titicut Follies 

Titicut_Program Cover_02

Amherst Cinema to screen ‘Titicut Follies,’ host filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, March 29, 2017, By Cori Urban, Special to The Republican/

Stagestruck: Stage on Screen, April 6, 2017, By Chris Rohmann,


Pioneer Valley Early Music Day – Holyoke Pop-up Concert

What a treat to have MiFA here today. #pioneervalley #earlymusicday #holyokema #bnevents — Barnes & Noble (@BNHolyoke) September 24, 2016


 Kickoff Concert Turlough O’Carolan: A Life in Song

Arts Headliners: ‘Turlough O’Carolan: A Life in Song,’ September 22, 2016, by Dan DeNicola,

MIFA Victory Theatre YouTube channel: Turlough O’Carolan: A Life in Song Kickoff Concert (video 1)


Celebrate Holyoke 2016

by Ellanje Ferguson Seen@ Celebrate Holyoke 2016 in Heritage State Park, By Ellanje Ferguson, August 28, 2016 Slide the City returns to Western Massachusetts for Celebrate Holyoke 2016, By Michelle Williams, August 27, 2016


Brick III  – Third Anniversary Party

Frederick Gore Photo Seen@ Photos from the 3rd Annual Brick Coworkshop Party in Holyoke, By Frederick Gore, August 14, 2016

BUILD A PARTY, BRICK BY BRICK, Take Magazine, August 9, 2016


The 5th Annual Great Holyoke Brick Race 2016

5th Annual Great Holyoke Brick Race, WWLP 22 News, By Ashley Kohl, April 14, 2016


Amor Fati & Motion Focus Opening Reception & Concert

Amor Focus web1

Love it or leave it, June 3, 2016, By Dan DeNicola, Hampshire Life


The Wastelands Opera

Children of The Wild perform walking outdoor opera in Holyoke (photos, video), April 30, 2016, By Mike Plaisance,



An evening of classic French Theatre, March 30, 2016, By Pam Mastriano,

Photos by Dan Overton

actor Daniel San Pedro, actress Audrey Bonnet, actor Guillaume Ravoire

Rehearsal at Mt.Holyoke College w/ actor Daniel San Pedro, actress Audrey Bonnet,  and actor Guillaume Ravoire of Compagnie des Petits Champs

Compagnie des Petits Champs visits Holyoke & Mayor Alex Morse


Celebrate Holyoke Concert & Silent Auction Fundraiser set to help with Celebrate Holyoke 2016 costs,


Balise Toyota Partners with Red Thread Network for the Yuletree Jubilee

Yuletree Jubilee Festival underway in West Springfield, WWLP 22News, By Tashanea Whitlow, November 27, 2015


Celebrate Holyoke Dance Party and Fundraiser! Celebrate Holyoke 2016 planners present dance party fundraiser


Next Stop: Holyoke 2015

Saxophonist Charles Neville performs with the band Boys By the Door at last year’s Next Stop Holyoke festival at the War Memorial, 310 Appleton St. (DAVID MOLNAR / THE REPUBLICAN)



SCotA students w ArchieShepp

SCotA students with Jazz Legend ArchieShepp



Third Victory Theatre Photography Workshop:

Wonderful post by Victoria Hallerman about her visit to the Victory with Abandoned America and After the Final Curtain for the Third Victory Theatre Photography Workshop the was held June 27, 2015:

The Victory Theatre, Holyoke, Massachusetts by Victoria Hallerman “There is so much elegance still left in this place, the “Grand Dame of the Paper City.””


La Noche de San Juan Holyoke:

La Noche de San Juan celebra otro año con artistas locales…Full article here (La Noche de San Juan celebrates another year with local artists)

En la foto a la izquierda, Ahmed Gonzalez, atrás tocando la bateria Idalberto Perdomo, en la guitarra al frente Jose Gonzalez y tocando el bajo Juan Carlos Carpio de la banda Jose Gonzalez y Banda Criolla. (Damaris Perez-Pizarro | El Pueblo Latino) (Foto por Damaris Pérez-Pizarro | El Pueblo Latino)


Screening and Discussion: “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket”:


The award-winning film, “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket,”… Full article here – Michelle Williams,, April 29, 2015

Holyoke Community College will offer two free screenings of a documentary about the life of writer and civil rights activist… Full article here  –  Mike Plaisance,, February 19, 2015


National Players in “To Kill a Mockingbird”:

The National Players from Olney, Maryland, will present "To Kill a Mockingbird," a play inspired by Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, on Monday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. at Holyoke High School.

The National Players from Olney, Maryland, will present “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a play inspired by Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, on Monday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. at Holyoke High School.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to be staged Monday in Holyoke. Full article here – Cori Urban, Special to The Republican, April 28, 2015

Holyoke set for community discussion of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Full article here –  Mike Plaisance,, April 2, 2015

Short Description Of 5/4–“To Kill A Mockingbird. Full article here  –


“Landscapes: The Red Mountain Series”, Paintings by Elizabeth Solley Caine:

cathedral group copy 2

Wistariahurst gallery sees ‘Red’.  Full article here – The Republican PLUS, April 29, 2015


“Cyclonic: Readings from ‘Queen of Vaudeville: The Story of Eva Tanguay”:

EvaTanguay Cyclonic

Before there was Lady Gaga.  Full article here  – Hampshire Life Magazine, April 17-23, 2015

Readings from ‘Queen of Vaudeville.   Full article here  –  The Republican, Entertainment Section, Friday, April 17. 2015


Arts Matter Day:

ArtMatter Coakley visit

“We’re excited to be here at the Victory Theater on Arts Matters Day…  Full article here – Michelle Williams,, October 24, 2014


Next Stop Holyoke:


Holyoke festival – Next Stop: Holyoke – sets citywide events in arts, food, music, sports … Full article here… – Mike Plaisance,, October 10, 2014


ERC’s “Beethoven Love Elegies”:

Beethoven in love, The show is directed by Don Sanders – known locally as artistic director of the Holyoke-based Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts – has worked with the Ensemble for he Romantic Century since 2005… Full article here…  – Dan DeNicola, Hampshire Life, July 25, 2014


“La Noche de San Juan”:

2014 Noche De San Juan Festival held at Holyoke’s Heritage State Park. See photos here…  – David Molnar, The Republican, June 21, 2014

La Noche de San Juan celebrates summer solstice, WWLP-22News,June 21, 2014


Rob Deza Photo

Holyoke celebrates LGBT pride month with parade, rainbow flag raising, and more. Full article here…   – Mary Serreze, Special to The Republican, June 4, 2014


“du Printemps!”:

Elder Rites, This week sees the culmination of an adventurous three-week process led by the French choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang. Full article here…  – Chris Rohmann, Valley Advocate, May 29, 2014

Re-(w)rite of Spring, During VPL residency, choreographer and local dancers use Stravinsky’s piece to challenge what society says about aging. Full article here…   – Jon Potter, Brattleboro Reformer, May 24, 2014

French choreograhper Thierry Thieu Niang and Sara Coffey of Vermont Performance Lab discuss upcoming performances of du Printemps. Listen to interview here…  – Live and Local 100.3/1490 WKVT radio, May 22, 2014

VPL and MIFA partner to present a powerful re-imaging of Le Sacre du Printemps by French choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang. Full article here…  –, May 6, 2014

MIFA Victory Theatre in Holyoke, Vermont Performance Lab to showcase Thierry Thieû Niang’s ‘du Printemps’. Full article here…  – Samantha Noble, Special to the Republican, May 5, 2014


“TOUR” Solo performance by David Wampach:

TOUR SoloPerformanceBy David Wampach

click here: TOUR video clip

Weekend planner – dance: David Wampach’s ‘Tour’. Full article here… – Dan DeNicola, Daily Hampshire Gazette, April 30, 2014.

French choreographer David Wampach performs in #Holyoke. Full article here… – Consulate General of France in Boston, Facebook Page, May 1, 2014


Wine and “Wayfarer” at Wistariahurst:

Dancer Noa Shiloh Awarded ‘IUPA’ for her performance of “Songs of a Wayfarer”

click here: to see Wayfarer film!

Wine and “Wayfarer” at Wistariahurst. Full article here…   – Holyoke Sun, April 18 – 24, 2014

Modern dance film opens Wistariahurst and MIFA’s  spring season. Full article here…  &  here…  –  George Lenker, The Republican, April 22 & 4, 2014


Winter Carnival 2014:

Winter Carnival to bring thematic family fun. Full article here…  –  G. Michael Dobbs, Reminder Publications, February 7, 2014

Holyoke winter carnival to get bolder, colder. Full article here… – Dennis P. Hohenberger, Town Reminder, January 31, 2014


Holyoke Holiday Pop-up Shop:

Holiday Holyoke: Pop Up Shop

Holiday Holyoke pops up for last minute shopping. Full article here… – G. Michael Dobbs, Reminder Publications, December 20, 2013

Holyoke Holiday Pop-up Shop will offer local art, furniture, jewelry at 56 Suffolk St. Full article here… – Mike Plaisance, The Republican, November 28, 2013


“Bomba, Plena & Rock n’ Roll: A Night of Music & Dancing”:

El Pueblo Latino: see more photos here…

Holyoke: Concierto de Johnny Olivo, Jr. con su Herencia de Plena. Full article here… –  El Sol Latino, December  issue, 2013

A night of music and dancing held Nov. 16. Full article here… – Holyoke Sun, November 8 – 14, 2013


“Halloween in Holyoke”:

Holyoke will be spooky headquarters as Halloween events set for children and adults at various sites. Full article here… – Mike Plaisance, The Republican, October 22, 2013


Fifth Annual “Great Holyoke Block Party”:

Taking it to the street in Holyoke: fifth annual Great Holyoke Block Party. Full article and photos here… – Lori Stabile | Special to The Republican, September 01, 2013

Great Holyoke Block Party. See photos here… , Holyoke Sun, September 6 – 12, 2013


Discover Holyoke Day:

Discover Holyoke highlights urban treasures. Full article here…  – Stephanie Barry, The Republican, October, 12, 2013


ERC’s “None but the Lonely Heart”:

“None but the Lonely Heart'” an exquisite blend of music, theater and Shakespeare & Company. “None but the Lonely Heart”  is an extraordinary and moving way to experience Tchaikovsky’s music. Part theater, part chamber concert, the play-with-music… Full review here – Steve Barnes, senior writer, Times Union, Albany, Saturday July 21, 2013

“This play has fire star talent… Simply wonderful, wonderful wonderful.” – Richard DiMaggio,, July 20, 2013 With a strong assist from set and costume designer Vanessa James and lighting designer Beverly Emmons, Director Donald T. Sanders has created a handsome and easily navigable space for all the performers. Full review here…  – Elyse Sommer, A CurtainUp Berkshire Review Full review here… – Lesley Ann Beck, Berkshire Arts Almanac, July 28, 2013 Full review here… – Fred Sokol,, July 20, 2013 Full review here… – Sharon Smullen, The Berkshire Eagle, July 17, 2013


“La Noche de San Juan”:

La Noche de San Juan festival. – Sy Becker, 22 News WWLP, Saturday June 22, 2013


Brick Race 2013:

Third-annual Great Holyoke Brick Race barrels ahead this weekend. Full article here…  – Sara Korash-Schiff, The Republican Intern, June 06, 2013, Photo by Greg Saulmon, The Republican


Holyoke: Points of View: Featuring: Holyoke Stars of the Silent Screen:

‘Holyoke Stars of the Silent Screen’ highlights three silent-film actresses from Paper City as part of Holyoke Points of View art series. Full article here…  – Mike Plaisance, The Republican, April 22, 2013, Photo by Dave Roback, The Republican


Deposit: Pop-up Dining & Art Experience:

‘Pop-up restaurant’ treats Holyoke diners to Boston cooking. Full article here… – Keith O’Connor, The Republican, April 02, 2013, Photo by Dave Roback-Seen


Winter Carnival 2013:

Holyoke gears up for 3-day winter carnival featuring dog show, hockey, cakes, chili, dominos. Full article here… – Mike Plaisance, The Republican, February 20, 2013



Arts Factory. Full article here…  – James Heflin, The Valley Advocate, Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Photo By @ValérieArcheno


Screening of “After the Factory

Art in Paradise: Detroit, Lodz, Holyoke. After the Factory brings a boatload of ideas to post-industrial Holyoke. Full article here…  – James Heflin, The Valley Advocate, Tuesday, January 8, 2013


In the Round” Second Annual Art at the Victory Theatre:

Holyoke’s Victory Theater becomes canvas for local artists. Full article here… – Sandra Dias, The Republican January 02, 2013


Film & Music Extravaganza: “Alexander Nevsky”:

The Republican | Mark M.Murray

Holyoke high school students rave about Russian movie ‘Alexander Nevsky’ accompanied by choir, organist, soprano. Full article here… – Mike Plaisance, The Republican November 15, 2012. Photo by Mark M.Murray


Film & Music Extravaganza: “Alexander Nevsky”:

Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts showing of silent film “Alexander Nevsky” to benefit renovation of Victory Theater in Holyoke. Full article here… – Sandra Dias, The Springfield Republican, November 14, 2012 photo from Corinth Films Inc.


Film & Music Extravaganza: “Alexander Nevsky”:

Sound and Fury. Full article here… – Chris Rohmann, The Valley Advocate Thursday, November 08, 2012. Still from Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky


In the Round” Second Annual Art at the Victory Theatre:

The Pioneers, The Victory, The Spoils. Full article here… – Samuel Rowlett,, Thursday, October 18, 2012


Mark Twain Tonight“:

David Molnar, The Republican file photo. Ralph Levy, of Northampton, center, talks with Tony- and Emmy award-winning actor Hal Holbrook after Holbrook’s performance of his legendary one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight!” at Holyoke High School’s Sears Auditorium in November. Donald T. Sanders, artistic director of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts is at far left. The performance and the back stage “meet and greet” were a benefit for the festival’s efforts to refurbish Holyoke’s Victory Theater. Holbrook, still in his Twain costume, and Levy were members of the Valley Players, a summer stock theater company at the Mountain Park Casino Playhouse.

Actor Hal Holbrook keeps Mark Twain alive for generations. Full article here…  -Barbara Bernard, The Springfield Republican, Friday, April 06, 2012


Hal Holbrook, Holyoke High School After School Program Special Event:

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

Actor Hal Holbrook gives Holyoke students doses of Mark Twain, Robert Redford and the craft of acting. Full article here… – Mike Plaisance, The Springfield Republican, November 18, 2011


Mark Twain Tonight“:

Hal Holbrook to perform ‘Mark Twain Tonight!’ on Saturday in Holyoke. Full article here… – Keith O’Connor, The Springfield Republican, November 13, 2011


Silent Film Night: “The Last Command”:

Silent film showing kicks off Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts 2011 season. Full article here… – Cori Urban, The Springfield Republican, October 12, 2011


ERC’s: “Seduction, Smoke And Music“:

Jeremy Irons

ERC/Ensemble For The Romantic Century’s Production Of “Seduction, Smoke And Music” Starring Jeremy Irons And Sinead Cusack Directed By Erc Director Of Theatrical Productions & Mifa Executive Artistic Director Donald T. Sanders Receives Critical Acclaim At The Tuscan Sun Festival Cortona Italy:

“A triumph.”  – La Repubblica “A brilliant performance…”

A much-awaited event at the star-studded Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, “Seduction, Smoke, and Music” is a production that combines music, dance, and theater to tell the story (with words drawn from letters, deftly selected by James Melo) of the dangerous liaison between Chopin and George Sand. It brings Jeremy Irons and his wife Sinéad Cusack onto an Italian stage for the first time. He is an anguished Chopin, hypersensitive to his torments: only his voice – the burnished voice of a compulsive smoker – and his gripping presence even during the long silences allow him to patch together romantic platitudes with a very British touch of irony, playing things down when necessary and bringing an insolently selfish nuance to Chopin. Cusack is a willful George Sand who, with a cigar always dangling from her lips, observes their tormented relationship from a distance, almost as if she weren’t part of it; she is more the dismissive mother than the passionate lover. The real surprise was the pianist Simon Trpceski, who coolly dominated the virtuosic passages and the pitfalls of Chopin’s sentimentalism. A triumph, also for the cellist Nina Kotova, for the dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, and for the director Donald Sanders. – LA REPUBBLICA, AUGUST 8TH, 2011 (fulvio paloscia translated by Harvey Sachs)


Winter ice Festival:

1206279002_ice fest 2

Canal Winter Ice Festival held next weekend.  Full article here… & Holyoke Sun photos -Dennis P. Hohenberger,  The Holyoke Sun, February 11 – 18, 2011


SOJOURNER’S TRUTH: “I will shake every place I go to””:

Performed by Enchanted Circle Theatre

StageStruck: Indomitable Spirit, This play, like its subject, aims to shake every place it goes to. Full article here… – Chris Rohmann, The Valley Advocate, December 2, 2010





London’s Globe Theatre presented Shakespeare’s “Love’s, Labour’s Lost” Its open space curtained into an intimate arena, Holyoke’s War Memorial auditorium – on loan to the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts – turns out to be a suitably Globe-like setting. – Sandy MacDonald, THE BOSTON GLOBE, December 5, 2009



Out of Joint’s “Macbeth”:

This is not your average production of Shakespeare…The company makes “Macbeth” seem as if it were written yesterday…It also provides a most estimable blueprint for a theater of the future. There are very few audiences these days where blacks and whites, young and old, mesh so well. This is pure theater—you can’t get this kind of excitement anywhere else…Out of Joint is out of this world. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 14, 2005

“Macbeth” came to Holyoke courtesy of England’s fine Out of Joint troupe and the Mass. International Festival of the Arts, which brings great international companies from all artistic disciplines to the Pioneer Valley. Everything I’ve seen there has been worth the trip…The rather amazing thing about MIFA’s “Macbeth” was the diversity of the Holyoke audience white and black, high school and college, intelligentsia and working class. MIFA’s attempts at finding an artistic home in an old mill town is a story in itself. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 23, 2005


 “The Skinner Servants’ Tour”:

A fascinating time capsule – a triumph of logistics. Entertaining, informative and thoroughly delightful. – Chris Rohmann, WFCR


 2003 – 2004

An Evening With Mikhail Baryshnikov and Pianist Pedja Muzijevic:

A thrilling evening of dance and music featuring Baryshnikov accompanied (or not) by pianist Pedja Muzijevic. – Deborah Hornblow, THE HARTFORD COURANT, January 22, 2004

Friday night in Holyoke, dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov gave a program of contemporary solos in the most ordinary of venues…his presence was so commanding and his pieces were danced with such perfection that by the end of the night the humble setting was easily forgotten. – Theodore Bale, THE BOSTON HERALD, January 26, 2004


Omar Sosa in concert:

The bobbing heads, and people dancing in the balcony showed Omar Sosa had infected the audience with the joys and rhythms of his international Jazz. – Elizabeth O’Grady, COLLEGE STREET JOURNAL, September 8, 2003



“The Noise of Time”:

One of the most discussed music-theater events of the London season earlier this year is coming to Massachusetts–but not to Boston. The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts will present four performances of “The Noise of Time,” a collaboration between the Emerson String Quartet and the cutting-edge London theater company Complicite that can also be seen in New York and Berlin. – Richard Dyer, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 19, 2001

Some of the most exciting theatrical work of the past few years in Massachusetts has been imported by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, primarily to the Pioneer Valley. MIFA has pulled off another coup as it brings the groundbreaking collaboration of the Emerson String Quartet and England’s Complicite theater company, “The Noise of Time,” to the Academy of Music in Northampton for three performances this weekend. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 26, 2001


For the past eight years, Sanders and his board have persuaded some of the world’s most innovative artists in theater, dance and music to bring their work to Western Massachusetts. Satisfied patrons of past shows have no doubt come to trust that if Sanders books a piece, it must be special.– Larry Parnass, THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, October 25, 2001


The National Ballet of Cuba:

Alicia Alonso’s dancers have always exuded the joy of performing and here it was enhanced by an artful virtuosity.  – Anna Kisselgoff, THE NEW YORK TIMES, November 13, 2001


Wire Monkey Dance:

This new work (Wire Monkey Dance) is beautifully conceived, vividly imaginative, and superbly performed. It is both visually riveting and viscerally thrilling. – Karen Campbell, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 22, 2001


“The Last Letter”:

From the moment her (Samie’s) hands emerge from backstage, you know you’re in for the kind of acting from which legends are born. It isn’t every day that a company like la Comedie-Francaise comes to the Boston area, and we have two of the more daring and exciting theater organizations in the state to thank for it–the newly christened Market Theater and the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, June 8, 2001

(Samie)…gives a rapturous performance. Every shadow, every fluttering of the hand, every intonation has been planned for its power. This is acting with a capital A. Ms. Samie is so powerful, so commanding… – Sarah Boxer, THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 8, 2001

The lyrical and persuasive Catherine Samie, quietly throbbing with poignancy as she delivered “The Last Letter,” profoundly moved audiences at Springfield’s CityStage. Donald T. Sanders, executive artistic director of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, brought the one-woman piece de resistance to Springfield. – Fred Sokol, THE SPRINGFIELD UNION NEWS, June 18, 2001

The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts has imported another daring and extraordinary work of theater.  – Deborah Hornblow, THE HARTFORD COURANT, JUNE 18, 2001

Samie is startling and extreme. The heroine’s thirst for memory forbids her to linger over her own sadness and sense of waste: they must emerge through an account that is hard, sculptural, and swarming with detail. The Last Letter remains something almost monument-like, pure, dark, and hard. – Chris Fujiwara, THE BOSTON PHOENIX, June 14, 2001

Samie is an actress of extraordinary poise…the performance is one of a kind. – Terry Byrne, THE BOSTON HERALD, June 8, 2001


Kartik Seshadri in concert:

Here was ageless music which all at once could open the ears, close the eyes, fill the mind, and numb the senses…A most giving and unusual and magnetic talent. – THE HERALD TIMES



“Requiem pour Srebrenica”:

By bringing “Requiem pour Srebrenica”… Sanders again demonstrates the seriousness of his group’s commitment to the arts. – Betty Falkenberg, DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, November 2000

French director Olivier Py has created a stark, stylized, brilliant production of his “Requiem pour Srebrenica”… It is an experience to be gotten through, and one you will never forget. – Deborah Hornblow, THE HARTFORD COURANT, November 2000

“Requiem pour Srebrenica” is a visual and acoustic feat… Mr. Py has created a powerful and chilling work of theater that is both an artistic achievement and a valuable political statement. – David Rohde, THE NEW YORK TIMES, November 2000


Dave McKenna in concert:

Living legend status…a virtuoso of keyboard Jazz whose huge hands pursue a rift through seemingly inexhaustible variations over an entire set.  – DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, June 16, 2000


George Tooker:

Many of his familiar public paintings (George Tooker), including “The Subway” and “Government Bureau” are now owned by major museums throughout the country…The artist’s private works, by contrast, are lyrical, romantic and mysterious fantasies often of human interaction. Several of these recent egg tempura works are now on display at the Hart Gallery as part of the spring season of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. – Mary Bagg, THE VALLEY ADVOCATE, June 1, 2000


“Some Explicit Polaroids”:

Max Stafford-Clark’s taut production draws striking performances from its cast all of whom deftly explore the strife-torn no-man’s land that exists between human ideals and human behavior. – Robert Brustein, THE NEW REPUBLIC

That the play is coming to town is a tribute to the tenacity of Donald Sanders, the executive director of MIFA…Founded in 1993, Out of Joint has quickly established itself as one of the most vital theatrical companies in the world, with a tradition of generating new writing for the stage. “Some Explicit Polaroids,” directed by Max Stafford-Clark, made its world debut in London last fall to generally strong reviews and is currently on an international tour. – Amy Kroin, THE VALLEY ADVOCATE, June 1, 2000

Mark Ravenhill, “Polaroids” author, manages to make an uncomfortable and provocative comedy from such material. Uncomfortable because you laugh just when you think, “how could you? how could you make a joke of that?” Provocative because, well, dammit, not only the laughter and its release, but also the discomfort makes you think. – Bronwyn Mills, THE GREENFIELD RECORDER, June 15, 2000

…thanks to those ever engaging folks in the Pioneer Valley, the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, theatergoers in this state can see the energizingly intelligent world premiere production by London’s Out of Joint theater company…Without ever being boring, “Some Explicit Polaroids” is nothing less than a search for meaning in contemporary times…Once again MIFA has delivered a theatrical jewel at our doorstep. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, June 16, 2000

Mark Ravenhill has written a brilliant play. And Max Stafford-Clark has fleshed it out with the help of six extraordinarily gifted and intelligent players. It would be a pity to miss this short run in Northampton. (“Some Explicit Polaroids”) – Betty Falkenberg, DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, June 17, 2000

“Some Explicit Polaroids,” making its American premiere thanks to the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA), is fascinating, intoxicating theater…It runs for 100 minutes, without an intermission, frequently zapping the audience…It is ever pulsating and multi-dimensional. One is afforded the opportunity to react viscerally- or to consider the play’s social implications. With its inter and intra generational implications, “Some Explicit Polaroids” attacks one’s senses and sensibilities throughout. – Fred Sokol, UNION NEWS/SUNDAY REPUBLICAN, June 17, 2000

“Polaroids,” which has already played to rave reviews in Britain, is a jolting, impassioned, savagely witty examination of contemporary life and its illusions. By turns funny and harrowing, it finds what may be peerless expression in the production staged by Britain’s Out of Joint theatre company and director Max Stafford-Clark…Max Stafford-Clark’s cast is uniformly excellent. – Deborah Hornblow, THE HARTFORD COURANT, June 17, 2000

London’s Out of Joint theater company’s brilliantly crafted, cannily performed production of Mark Ravenhill’s lacerating, rueful black comedy “Some Explicit Polaroids,” which finished an all-too-brief engagement over the weekend at Smith College as part of this year’s edition of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.  – Jeffrey Borak, THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE, June 19,2000

You don’t always have to go to London for the best in British theatre, though, you do have to get out of Boston…Last week’s visit to Northampton by the Out of Joint company was…memorable. Brought here by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, which is smaller than New Haven’s but no less important, Out of Joint is edgier than England’s more traditional companies. The Mass. International Festival of the Arts is set up to serve the Pioneer Valley, but it imports some of the best theater anywhere in Massachusetts (both festivals also bring intriguing music, dance, and film events as well.) …splendid performances and cinematically enhanced set design, it’s obvious that there’s much more to Ravenhill than glib nihilism. – Ed Siegel, THE BOSTON GLOBE, June 21, 2000

…”Some Explicit Polaroids” by English playwright Mark Ravenhill which has been given its U.S. premiere by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts in its original production by London’s Out of Joint theater company…comes across as a powerful and universal, if profoundly sad, cry for love, friendship, companionship and fair play in an England (and World) that Ravenhill sees as a terminally unhappy, fearful, angry, violent and tacky. – Markland Taylor, VARIETY, June 28, 2000


“Midnight Sandwich” or “God Smells Like a Roast Pig”:

Lopez is an engaging performer with an infectious grin, a stand-up comic’s sense of timing (she riffs off the ‘Latina spitfire’ stereotype) and a knack for the subtle shift that brings pain out of laughter. Indeed, “Midnight Sandwich” or “God Smells Like a Roast Pig” is, in the end, a poignant reflection on loss, nestled in a celebration of being a native-born American with a strongly rooted ethnic heritage. – Chris Rohmann, THE VALLEY ADVOCATE, February 17, 2000

What Lopez brings to the table is her ability to use humor and intelligence in equal doses to get past the pain and anger; the damning stereotypes and clichés and into the heart of what is both unique and universal about her life.  – Tzivia Gover, DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, February 24, 2000

The play (“Midnight Sandwich” or “God Smells Like a Roast Pig”) is most resonant and moving…As the evening evolves, it becomes apparent that the performer is seasoning a symbolic stew and the resultant ingredients provide rich, evocative glimpses of her childhood and adult years. – Fred Sokol, UNION NEWS, February 25, 2000



“An Evening with Queen Victoria”:

“It isn’t often I get a part that enables me to play someone from the age of 13 up to 81, “   Dame Prunella Scales says about her appearance at the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts presentation of  “An Evening with Queen Victoria”…The program glimpses Victoria through the varied experiences of her remarkable 64-year reign. – Bruce McCabe, THE BOSTON GLOBE, December 10, 1999


So far this year, MIFA has brought tastes of England, France and Russia to the Valley. Cuba arrived just in time last night, bringing music that pulsed in waves of orange and red, from a land that surely knows many hardships… Indeed, if MIFA’s putting it on, whether or not you can pronounce the name of the performing group or the country of its origin, they’ll be top-notch.