News and Events

The 2015-16 Season at Rooke Theatre 

((please note new start time for evening performances is 7:30 pm))

World Premiere of Waking Sleepy Hollow, adapted by Jonathan Yukich, directed by Noah Tuleja
Family and Friends Weekend, Thurs-Sat, October 22-24 at 7:30 pm and Sat & Sun, October 24 & 25 at 2 pm

No Exit by Jean Paul Satre, directed by Laura Donovan, Thurs-Sat, December 3-5 at 7:30 pm, and Sun, December 6 at 2 pm 

Fefu and Her Friends
by Maria Irene Fornes, Thurs-Sat, Feb. 25-27 at 7:30 pm and Sun, Feb. 28 at 2 pm

, a senior project based on Macbeth, directed by Jenny Daniels, Thurs-Sat, April 14-16 at 7:30 pm and Sun, April 17 at 2 pm 


Current Events -- Spring 2015

In production:  She Stoops To Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, directed by Noah Tuleja.  Thurs-Sat, April 16-18 at 8 pm, Sun, April 19 at 2 pm
Tickets:  $5. general / $3. students & senior citizens.
For reservations:  538-2406 or email:
All reserved tickets must be picked up 1/2 hour prior to the performance

Workshop – Fri, April 17, 2-5 pm, Rooke Theatre 
The Headless Horseman Rides Again!!!

Next fall (2015) we will be presenting a World Premiere of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If you are interested in being part of this production please attend the workshop with playwright, Jonathan Yukich and director, Noah Tuleja.  We will be discussing the plans for the adaptation with Jonathan and you will be taking part in a series of acting and improvisation exercise centered on this new adaptation.  This is a unique opportunity to be part of the genesis of a new work.  Jonathan and I will be using the workshop to assist in casting and the development of the text, but the full casting will not happen until the first week of the fall semester. If you are not available for the whole time, please come to as much of the workshop as possible, and if you cannot make it at all, but are interested in the project, I hope to see you at auditions in the fall.


Crafting a Life in The Arts - Sat, Feb. 7.  A campus wide dialogue with Mount Holyoke Alumnae on creating personal and professional success in the Arts.   Representing Theatre is Anna Driftmier '12.  

Living Out by Lisa Loomer, directed by Sheila Siragusa - Thurs-Sat, Feb. 26-28 at 8:00 pm and Sun, March 1 at 2:00 pm - Rooke Theatre.  Tickets:  $5 and $3.  For reservations:  413-538-2406 or email
For more information, see Theatre season



Fall 2014

Opening this Thursday, November 20 - Aristophanes' Lysistrata.  Performances in Rooke Theatre Thurs-Sat. November 20-22 at 8 pm and Sun, November 23 at 2 pm.  For reservations:  (413) 538-2406 or email    Tickets:  $5 general, $3 students & senior citizens.

Backstage Tour of facilities.  Please join the faculty and staff on Tuesday, September 2, 4:00 pm in the lobby.   Learn about Theatre, what's happening, auditions, performances, meeting other interested students who want to get involved!   

Auditions for fall productions: Three by Ten(nessee) and Lysistrata, Weds, Sept. 3, Thurs & Fri, Sept. 4 & 5


"Bread and Roses, Dresses and Gowns:  Mount Holyoke College Laurel Parade and Graduation Clothin 1871-1989

May 17, 18, 19 and May 23 & 24 
in the Archive and Special Collections, 8 Dwight Hall 

Theatre Arts Open House
Sat, May 17, 2-3:30 pm

Faculty and staff look forward to meeting family, friends, see returning alums, and you! 
Stop by and enjoy an ice cream soda and some popcorn.


Queen Moremi an African folk Opera

Sat. April 26, 8 pm and Sun. April 27, 2pm
Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College

TICKETS: $5 General Admission  $3 Seniors/Students
Available in Mount Holyoke Music Office, 538-2306 and at the door

Directed by Five College Ethnomusicologist, Bode Omojola, the production features student performers and master drummers and choreographer from Nigeria.

The true test of love they say is sacrifice and in times of war sacrifice is an important rudiment of victory. This is well captured in this folk opera. Set in the ancient kingdom of Ile-Ife, the play narrates the brave sacrifice of a young woman’s undying love for her husband and his people. Based on the story of a major figure in Yoruba history in the 12th century, Queen Moremi of Ile-Ife, the opera  portrays the heroic deeds of a woman, who  dared the odds to save her people and who is reputed to have led her city to victory over an enemy kingdom that had mounted a series of attacks on the Yoruba city state of Ile-Ife.  Moremi willingly surrendered to the invaders, got married to the enemy king, and used the opportunity to discover the secrets of the group’s military strategy. After escaping she revealed that secret to the Ile-Ife people which enables them to overcome their enemy. But there is high drama – Come to “Queen Moremi” to discover the queen’s supreme sacrifice  that leads to victory!

Rent, the musical

directed by Noah Tulejah
musical direction by Catherine Kay 

April 3, 4, 5, 11 & 12 at 8 pm and April 6 & 13 at 2 pm -- Rooke Theatre

Lynn Pasquerella, Mount Holyoke College's President will make two special appearances on the Rooke Theatre Stage April 5 & 13!

The critically acclaimed musical that won the Tony Award for Best Musical, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and delighted audiences for 12 years

Based on Puccini's opera LaBoheme, this moving, contemporary rock musical takes place in the East Village of NYC and celebrates the lives of a group of young artists and musicians struggling to survive, create and make sense of an imperfect world.  Don't miss this musical theatre phenomenon about friendship, love and the value of life:  Rent.

Box Office:  (413) 538-2406 or email 
Voicemail reservations will be accepted March 3-7, 10-14, 24-28.   Please speak clearly--spell your last name and leave a phone number as all reservations are confirmed.
Box Office will be staffed beginning Monday, March 31, Monday through Friday 3-6 pm and one hour prior to each performance. 
All reserved tickets must be picked up one half-hour prior to the performance.

"Rent" was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Keving McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner
Original Concept/Additional Lyrics by Billy Aronson
Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil
Dramaturg Lynn Thomson

Movement Theatre - October 5 & 6

The Movement Theatre Company, a young group of artists of color who came out of NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing, are doing a workshop at Mt Holyoke College on Saturday and Sunday October 5 and 6 at the Rooke Theatre. This is part of a Five College residency arranged by the Five College Multi-Cultural theatre committee.

The workshop will involve working with audio tape and transcripts the company used for their productions based on Obama’s 2008 election. On Saturday, students will do some preliminary work with the material and then Movement Theatre will work and reshape this work using self scripting techniques they have developed. On Sunday, the workshop will work with issues and topics that the students will generate. The company will be attending other Five College classes and MHC students are welcome to attend these.

The Five College theatre departments will recommend three students each to be participants in the workshop and other students are welcome to observe.

More information about the company, their work and residency to follow.

The times of the workshop are not formally set but they would roughly be six hours on Saturday (11 am-1pm, and 2-5 pm) and four hours on Sunday (12-4 pm).

If interested in participating or observing, please contact Roger Babb as soon as possible at

Family and Friends Weekend - October 18 & 19

Rooke Theatre tours!  See how the magic happens behind stage and in rehearsal as friends and family get a chance to meet the designers, actors, and director of The Mandrake (adapted from Machiavelli's Mandragola.)
Friday, October 18, 4-5:30 pm and Saturday, October 19, 2-3:30

Halloween Costume Tag Sale - Fri, Oct. 18, 10am to 3pm - Rooke Lobby

Costumes, clothing, and accessories.  Get ready for Halloween.  Nothing over $3.

First Impressions - October 26, 9 am to 3 pm

Professional Portfolio, Resume and Career Preparation for Theatre Students
Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

This day long interactive workshop brings together theatre professional from major graduate programs and agencies to offer career advice and preparations skills to Five College theatre students.  Participants will get a chance to schedule private sessions with experienced designers and directors and gain valuable feedback on her/his own "first impression."  Ideal for theatre students preparing themselves for their next big step to graduate school or for work in the professional theatre.

Meet the Panel

Ilona Somogy:  Lecturer in Design & Costume Design Advisor, Yale Repertory Theatre 

New York productions include Clybourne Park (Broadway, Playwright's Horizons), Jerry Spring:  The Opera (Carnegie Hall), Scarcity (Atlantic Theater Company) as well as productions at The Public Theatre, Signature, Manhattan Theatre Club, and MCC, among others.  Ilona designed Princess Wishes for Disney on Ice, currently on tour.  Her regional credits include Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, andWilliamstown Theatre Festival.  Associate costume designer credits include Spamalot, The Crucible, and Art on Broadway, and The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Ilona is a graduate of Yale School of Drama and a member of its faculty.

 Jack Nardi: Executive Technical Director, Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Jack directs the Technical Direction MFA Program at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.  He teaches undergraduate Sound Design and is the sound supervisor for all Department of Dramatic Arts productions.  Jack also teaches AutoCAD, rigging, scene construction, welding, stage technology and stage automation.  He’ s a member of IATSE Local 84 in Hartford and has toured as the sound op for multiple NationalTours and has worked on the local crew for many rock tours that have played in Hartford and Boston.

Jacques Lamarre: non-profit arts marketing and public relations professional

Jacques has worked in the professional theatre for the past  two decades.  He’s held management positions at Hartford Stage, TheaterWorks, the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre, and The Mark Twain House & Museum.  In addition, he is a produced playwright and comedy writer.

Deborah Levy-Holleran, '79:   Commercial Talent Agent

Deborah has worked for two of the largest agencies in New York; Abrams Artists and Associates; and Jordan, Gill and Dornbaum.   She has helped launch the careers of actors including Melissa Joan Hart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sam Rockwell, Matt Le Blanc and Ashley Tisdale.   Deborah has been on the teaching and directing staff at the Music Theatre of Connecticut, a performing arts school for the past 25 years. She teaches acting, improvisation, musical theatre, and on-camera commercial technique. She continues to scout talent for the three talent agencies she has worked for.

Nikki Beck, AEA Stage Manager - Hartford Stage Company

Sam Rush:  Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director for New Century Theatre

As Producing Artistic Director of NCT, an Equity Theatre Company in Northampton, MA  Sam is responsible for hiring all the directors, designers, actors, interns and apprentices for a four show season each summer.Rush received his M.F.A. in directing from the University of Massachusetts.  His directing credits with NCT include:Good People, Red, Distracted, Arcadia, Spinning into Butter, Morning’s at Seven, and The Drawer Boy.    He is on the board of the Northampton Community Arts Trust – an organization dedicated to preserving affordable arts space in downtown Northampton and is working on developing the first property purchased by the Trust that will feature a 200 seat black box theatre.

Registration required.  Contact Barbara at or (413) 538-2834

Sponsored by Five Colleges, Inc. and Mount Holyoke College

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