Reciprocal influence: How Arts, Manufacturing and Tech Meet in Bennington
May31

Reciprocal influence: How Arts, Manufacturing and Tech Meet in Bennington

By Arlene Distler Museums, as repositories of the old, often struggle for contemporary relevance, and the Bennington Museum — a fine edifice of gray stone known for its collection of Grandma Moses paintings and early American crafts and art — is no exception. But the current exhibit, “Digital 3D: Here and Now,” is very much of the moment, with surprises at every turn. The show celebrates what the museum describes as the “reciprocal influence of artists, designers, and manufacturers” that has made the town a nexus of technology and creativity. “The phenomenon has been driven by a number of factors: the role of Bennington College in training students and initiating projects through its research and curriculum; the long-standing history of manufacturing in the region and the more recent development of small-scaled shops doing highly specialized work; and the strong art community in the area, anchored by the Bennington Museum,” the museum writes in the description of the show on its website (benningtonmuseum.org). Robert Wolterstorff, director, and Jamie Franklin, curator, have partnered with sculptor Jon Isherwood to present an array of objects from airplane parts to sculpture that all have one common quality: a connection to Bennington. But while the show has a strong local bias, it also has a broad reach. Many of the items manufactured in Bennington are used around the world. The multidisciplinary artists in the show have influence far beyond southern Vermont. The show “brings to light the role of the makers and the technology they use who are putting Bennington on the map by expanding the possibilities of 3D design technology on a global stage,” explains the museum’s marketing director, Susan Strano. She notes that the exhibit “includes the uses of tools and techniques like computer-assisted design (CAD) programs, CNC [computer numerical control] milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, and even digital 3D weaving.” These technologies, Strano notes, “give amazing new possibilities for conceiving and making shapes never possible before, for using novel materials, for rapid prototyping, for speed and precision in fabrication, for making relatively small numbers of things without the high cost of creating molds, and for keeping an almost infinite number of designs in a catalog, without having to hold any inventory.” It all started with a visit to Kaman Composites, a cavernous manufacturing plant near downtown. Isherwood, who teaches sculpture at Bennington College, wanted to expose his students to modern manufacturing processes. The visit to the plant — a subsidiary of the giant multinational powerhouse Kaman Corporation — “began the realization for me that there were a group of exceptional companies in the local community using advanced 3D technologies,” Isherwood said. Kaman...

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Earthly Concern: When an artist marries an astronaut
May30

Earthly Concern: When an artist marries an astronaut

By Meg Brazill The night was clear when artist Pat Musick stepped outside her house in upstate New York to see Skylab 4 making one of its 1,214 orbits around the Earth. Musick watched as the craft flew through the starry sky, a beacon connecting humans with the universe. She mused about the people on board, wondering who they were, and then the station slipped below the horizon and out of view. The year was 1973 and Musick, an artist who creates two- and three-dimensional work in a variety of media, was completing her master’s in design and a doctorate in philosophy at Cornell University. Houston, Do You Read Me? Five years later Musick was teaching art and psychology at the University of Houston when she met retired Marine Col. Gerald “Jerry” P. Carr, a former astronaut, at a small church in Webster, Texas. “There was a Presbyterian yenta in the choir and she decided we needed to get together,” Musick says. It turned out that Musick had met her spaceman: Carr, commander of Skylab 4, had been on the space mission sweeping in orbit above Musick’s house that night in 1973. (With him had been science pilot Edward G. Gibson and pilot William R. Pogue, all three on their only space flight and Skylab’s final mission.) Musick and Carr’s serendipitous meeting was just the beginning. Two years later the couple were married. They’ve been together more than 35 years, the most recent 10 of which they’ve been making their home in Manchester Center. In addition to a life they make art together, synthesizing their ideas and philosophies visually. That synthesis takes up Musick’s concern with the tension between man and the natural environment, and Carr’s galactic viewpoint. Their shared insight: Earth is fragile, humans are responsible for it as caretakers, the natural world is immensely beautiful, and peace and harmony are integral to our well-being. Musick says she’s been making art since she was 4. Carr entered military service when he was 17. NASA tapped him as one of 19 astronauts in April 1966. “Because of my space flight I had the chance to see the Earth and it moved me profoundly,” Carr says. “The beauty of the Earth. From a distance you can see a little blue ’fuzz’ surrounding the Earth, which is the atmosphere.” Carr describes that “fuzz” in relative terms as “about as thin and fragile as the skin of an apple. And that’s what protects us from everything. It brings up a lot of concern about the Earth.” When the two met, the combination of science and art didn’t immediately take hold. “Over time,...

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“The Art of Glass” at the Wilson Museum
May30

“The Art of Glass” at the Wilson Museum

The exhibition “Modern Alchemy: The Art of Glass” features glass artists from all over the state who are members of the Vermont Glass Guild, an organization established in 2010 by glass artist Chris Sherwin. The goal of the Vermont Glass Guild is to bring together Vermont artists working in glass for mutual support and professional enrichment. The show , housed in the museum’s soaring galleries, features the variety of techniques used to produce works of art in glass, including the hot technique (blown glass), warm (kiln-formed), lamp (torch-worked) and cold (stained glass). Glass artists are people who have helplessly fallen in love with their medium, and this show is a wonderful expression of that love affair. “I fell in love with glass 26 years ago,” said Brattleboro glass artist and Guild member Randi Solin of Solinglass. Solin’s work is in the permanent collections of the White House and the American embassies in Algeria, Guatemala, Guinea, Mauritania, Paraguay, and Praia (the capital and largest city of Cape Verde). “Glass seduced me with its liquid light, its texture and its heat,” Solin said. “Over time, I continued to remain interested due to the challenge. I always say glass takes advantage of an unfocused mind. I feel the struggle constantly engaging. I guess if I ever reach perfection I will stop — but for now the battle goes on.” Vermont Glass Guild member and glassblower Robert Burch of Brandywine Glassworks describes his love affair with glass: “I walked by a tiny cabin. There was this roar coming out of it. So I wandered in and there was this guy blowing a glass bowl. I had walked in just as he was spinning it out. You use centrifugal force and spin the rod really quickly and the glass opens up. At that moment the glass is really, really liquid. It’s flowing, it’s moving; it looks like a manta ray. It has incredible grace, a natural, fluid movement. It’s magical, it’s glowing, it’s hot, it’s sensual, it’s incredibly beautiful — and it stole my heart.” Artist, sculptor, and designer Robert DuGrenier left New York City in the late 1990s to set up his studio and business in Townshend. His works range from original glass chandeliers and displays for large commercial and private spaces to small delicate pieces that create novel interactions with the natural world of plants and animals. “The process of making glass allows me to communicate with and through the material during the creation of my work,” says DuGrenier. “My understanding of how the material moves, forms, and cools is a culmination of years experimenting with glass. Often the pieces result in...

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Reinventing a celebrated craft-beer brand
May30

Reinventing a celebrated craft-beer brand

Surely you can fit this into your summer plans: Trout River Brewing is opening in the former Fellows Gear Shaper complex. Trout River Brewing Co., founded in July 1996 by Dan and Laura Gates, developed some of finest craft brews in Vermont — including Rainbow Red, Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Hoppin’ Mad, and The Knight Slayer — and earned fans throughout New England. Dan stepped down in 2014, selling the brewery to Vermont Beer Shapers Kelen Beardsley, Trevor Billings, and Gabe Streeter. The partners re-opened Trout River in February and promise to honor what’s come before — and an exciting reinvention of a brand 18 years in the making. “We want to keep the traditions and some of great beers Dan has created, while making Trout River our own. We want to create beer that is refreshing, delicious, and enjoyable,” the partners say. Definitely on the “keep” list: Trout River’s famous Rainbow Red. Judge for yourself. The tasting room is set to open at 100 River St., Springfield, Vt., right next to the Great Hall Public Art Showcase. For more information, visit...

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Food Festivals
May30

Food Festivals

Artists and artisanal food makers, winemakers, brewers, craftsmen, and farmers abound in this small region, bringing to the visitor’s mind — and palate — a taste of Tuscany, an area renowned for its fresh food and old-world charm. Fortunately, travelers in search of such a culinary and cultural experience can find it closer to home, nestled in the southern section of Vermont’s beautiful Green Mountains. Southern Vermont has become increasingly well known as for its fine wines and cuisine, and Vermonters are truly supportive of their local restaurateurs, with many towns boasting a magnificent choice of dining opportunities. Vermonters are keenly aware of what they’re eating and support the local food system, backed by a thriving network of local farmers. The area is dotted with quaint villages that offer both traditional values and cultural surprises. Local festivals take place throughout the season, and numerous small farms and farmhouse artisans provide food establishments with local produce, gourmet cheeses, and naturally raised meats, all adding a special freshness to the cuisine. Chef-owned restaurants, country inns with amazing culinary creations and incredibly good dining values, and farmers’ markets bursting with fresh produce all draw discerning epicures and those who are just looking for a few good tomatoes. Check out these special culinary events and festivals to savor the taste of Southern Vermont. Four Columns Inn and Artisan Restaurant Newfane http://www.fourcolumnsvt.com June 18: Newfane Concours. A car show celebrating enthusiasts of Southern Vermont. Bring your classic car to Newfane for a show on The Green. Old-fashioned Strawberry Supper Evening Star Grange Hall, Dummerston Center June 25: The menu includes ham, baked beans, made-here potato salad, tuna-macaroni salad and coleslaw, with homemade breads, and various beverages. This supper features large, old-fashioned, double-layered shortcakes made with fresh local strawberries and topped with real whipped cream. Grafton Food Festival Grafton Inn, 92 Main St., Grafton www.graftonfoodfestival.com July 9: The Fourth Annual Grafton Food Festival is a food-lover’s event celebrating local food and farms in Southern Vermont. We celebrate our local “taste of place” by featuring local food and beverage vendors with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and farmers’ market tables. This year, celebrity chef and cookbook author Sara Moulton joins the festivities as guest chef. Stay in the heart of the Grafton Food Festival scene and enjoy special perks. Vermont Cheesemakers Festival Coach Barn of Shelburne Farms, Shelburne www.vtcheesefest.com, 212 576-2700 July 17: Vermont is the premium artisanal cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita — more than 50 of them! We invite you to experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local and fresh foods and wines, and meet the artisans who make...

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Farmers Markets
May30

Farmers Markets

Tuesdays Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market Depot Park, 3-6p 802 747-4403 Bennington Walloomsac Farmers’ Market Bennington Station, 10a-1p 802 442-8934 Wednesdays Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market Brattleboro Food Co-op Parking Lot, 10a-2p http://www.brattleborofarmersmarket.com Woodstock Market On The Green, 3-6p http://www.woodstockvt.com Thursdays Manchester Farmers’ Market Adams Park, Manchester, 3-6p http://www.manchestermarket.org Poultney Farmers’ Market Main Street, 9a-2p 802 287-2460 Royalton Farmers’ Market South Royalton Town Green, 3-6:30p 802 763-6630 Fridays Bellows Falls Farmers’ Market Waypoint Center, 4-7p http://www.bffarmersmarket.com Brandon Farmers’ Market Central Park, Brandon, 9a-2p 802 247-8473 Fairhaven Farmers’ Market The Park, 3-7p 802 265-4240 Ludlow Farmers’ Market 4-7p, Main St. 802 734-3829 Hartland Farmers’ Market Hartland Town Library, 4-7p 802 296-2032 Townshend Farmers’ Market West Townshend Country Store, 4-7 802 869-2141 Saturdays Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market Western Avenue (just west of Creamery Covered Bridge), Brattleboro, 9a–2p http://www.brattleborofarmersmarket.org Norwich Farmers’ Market Route 5-S. in Norwich, 9a-1p http://www.morwichfarmersmarket.org Bennington Walloomsac Farmers’ Market Bennington Station, 10a-1p 802 442-8934 Londonderry – West River Farmers’ Market Routes 11 and 100, 9a-1p 802 824-4492 Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market Depot Park, 9a-2p 802 747-4403 Woodstock – Mt. Tom Farmers’ Market Mt. Tom Parking Lot, 9:30a-12:30p 802 457-1980 Springfield Community Market People’s United Bank, 10a-1p http://www.springfieldcommunitymarket.com Sundays Dorset Farmers’ Market HN Williams Store, 10a-2p 802 558-8511 Jamaica Farmers’ Market Main Street, Jamaica, 10a-2p http://www.jamaicavt.com, 802 874-4151 Putney Farmers Market Across from Putney Co-op, 11a-2p http://www.putneyfarmersmarket.org Windsor Farmers’ Market Green St., Windsor, 11:30a- 2p...

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Family affair: Three Vermont couples, three Vermont food services businesses
May30

Family affair: Three Vermont couples, three Vermont food services businesses

By Nicole Colson Vermonters have plenty of reasons to rejoice in living here, including the more relaxed pace, the beautiful, bucolic setting, and the friendliness of people that comes from this charming lifestyle. We met three husband-and-wife teams of restaurateurs who relocated to the Green Mountain State for all those reasons — and one more. They have freshly grown and raised food at their disposal thanks to the bounty of nearby farms. Here’s something else these couples have in common: They all came up in restaurants in more metropolitan areas and then opened their own in Vermont. And why not? Patrons love the high-quality food and dining experience a farm-to-table eatery provides. Our restaurateurs’ shared experience of working in the industry adds ease in their business relationship as they can share ideas in everything from menu planning to running the dining experience — with their offerings rooted in authentic cultural flair. The Silver Fork 4201 Main St., Manchester 802-768-8444; http://www.thesilverforkvt.com Creating an ever-changing international menu is the ultimate challenge for Mark and Melody French, owners of The Silver Fork in Manchester. It’s a culinary muscle Chef Mark is used to flexing; he worked for Hilton International for a decade. “The hotel clients were well-traveled so we cooked international dishes,” says Mark, who, then 27, was Hilton International’s youngest chef. What really has shaped the intimate six-table restaurant’s cuisine is the couple’s experience running their own restaurant in Puerto Rico for 13 years. Their Caribbean influence shows up everywhere on The Silver Fork’s eclectic menu, from offerings such as tamarind mofongo (fried mashed plantain) with barbecued shrimp to pulled pork empanada to tuna ceviche to chicharrón de pollo (fried chicken fritter) — and even in desserts such as bread pudding soufflé with bananas and coconut crème anglaise. Raised in Baltimore, Mark began working for a German chef when he was 16. His dishes, such as Wiener schnitzel and spätzle, have appeared on The Silver Fork’s menu, which also reflects his background working in international hotel kitchens. With Mark, a French entrée such as escargots in pastry might well follow Middle Eastern lamb meatballs with cucumber, mint, and yogurt. The pair were living in St. Louis, where Mark worked as a chef for a professional football player, when Mark’s brother, who lives in Manchester, told them about the space availability in town. Two weeks later, they flew to Vermont to visit it. Within three months they’d relocated and renovated and opened their restaurant in 2012. “We like that Manchester is a ski town and there are good schools here,” Melody says. Melody, who runs the front of the house at The...

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In proud defense of rosés: They set the mood, evoking a sense of leisure and relaxation
May30

In proud defense of rosés: They set the mood, evoking a sense of leisure and relaxation

By Marty Ramsburg After this warmest — and snowless — winter of 2015-16, we are now waiting somewhat impatiently for spring and summer to arrive. We have markers for its imminent arrival: Town Meeting Day, sugaring, mud season, and, from a wine merchant’s perspective, new vintage whites and rosés. When we first opened our shop nearly 10 years ago, offering rosé was perceived as both novel and retro. To our age cohort, rosé meant Lancer’s, Mateus, or white Zinfandel. Any self-respecting baby-boomer-era wine drinker had long eschewed “blush” wines for more serious wine. In the late spring-early summer of 2007, as we eagerly stocked the few dry rosés that were then available to us in Vermont, we were repeatedly rebuffed when we recommended them to our customers. “Jamais!” most exclaimed. “We don’t like sweet wine.” Our well-traveled and wine curious customers knew differently. Rosé is the signature wine of Provence, and is the premier summer sipper along the Mediterranean coast. Every summer, outdoor tables at bistros and osterias from Carcassonne to Genoa are festooned with carafes of dry, refreshing pink wine. In the past five years, the trend has spread inland, with rosé a popular warm weather addition from Paris to Siena and beyond. Windham Wines has continued to champion rosé in the years since we opened. We have offered rosés from throughout France, but especially from the South of France and the Loire; from Argentina, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. As you might surmise given that range, rosé can be made from just about any grape that is red or even “gris” or grey, like Pinot Gris or Grenache Gris, as it is contact with the skins that gives the wine its hue. Over the years, our customers have expressed a preference for rosés from France. And within that domain, no category eclipses the South of France in customer satisfaction.Our most popular rosés year after year come from Provence and Languedoc. What makes these wines such customer favorites? I think perhaps most consistently, they set the mood, evoking a sense of leisure and relaxation. Long summer evenings, whether in the South of France or Southern Vermont, give us the time to savor the good life. It helps that South of France rosés can be delicious. Our tasting team does its job to help select the best value rosés of those available to us. That always means tasting four to five times as many wines as we bring in. The ones that our customers prefer are classically dry, with aromas and flavors of redcurrant, orange or melon; lightly floral, medium-bodied and always finishing with a crisp...

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Rudyard Kipling’s Naulakha: One-on-one with history
May30

Rudyard Kipling’s Naulakha: One-on-one with history

By Katherine P. Cox Rudyard Kipling, the British Nobel-prize winning author, penned The Jungle Book, the Just So Stories, and Captains Courageous in his beloved Dummerston home, which he named Naulakha, Hindi for “priceless jewel.” The house — also called the Rudyard Kipling House — sits high on a hill, with all of the rooms facing east to capture the sweeping views of the Connecticut River Valley and Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. The desk where he wrote is still there. And if you’re feeling inspired, you can sit at his desk and write, too. You can also sleep in his bed, cook in the kitchen, dine at his table, and play billiards in his game room. It’s all still there, just as it was when he lived there in 1892. Painstakingly restored to its original condition with much of the original furnishings, Naulakha can be rented for a vacation stay through Landmark Trust USA. It sleeps eight people, has a fully equipped kitchen, up-to-date bathrooms, and extensive gardens. It even boasts the state’s first tennis court, which guests can still enjoy. Landmark Trust USA, based down the road in Dummerston, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of restoring historic properties, and 25 years since the Kipling home was purchased. The property was restored and opened for guests 100 years after its construction. It had been abandoned for 50 years by the time the non-profit organization purchased the property in 1992. Indeed, this treasure was “sinking into the ground,” says Kelly Carlin, operations manager at Landmark Trust. “But all the furniture was still there, the pictures were still on the walls, and the curtains were on the windows.” All there, but not in good shape, Carlin says. The furniture, much of which was discovered in a nearby barn, also had to be restored. “We not only rescue houses, we rescue furniture,” she adds. The original pocket doors and ash paneling were found in a barn at the neighboring Scott Farm “under a hundred years of bat guano.” Kipling had a hand in the design, directing the architects to create a home that resembled a ship. It’s 90 feet long and 22 feet wide. The kitchen is in the stern – “it’s what moves the ship forward,” Carlin explains – and his study was in the bow, “where he could be the captain.” The folks at Landmark Trust knew exactly what the house was supposed to look like because they had tracked down the architect’s plans in New York City and curated photographs and letters depicting life at Naulakha. Family life famously included nightly stories that Kipling would tell his children;...

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Garden Events
May30

Garden Events

Hildene 1005 Hildene Road, Manchester http://www.hildene.org, 802-362-1788 Mid May to Mid-June: Celebration of Peonies. Traditionally the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June when the formal garden signals the beginning of the season with thousands of peony blooms, many of them from the original 1907 plants. From Our Garden to Yours 170 Main St. and Town Common, Wardsboro www.friendsofwardsborolibrary.org May 28: 9a-1p: Rain or shine. On the library lawn and the Town Common. Shop for annuals, perennials, shrubs, and vegetable seedlings, including Gilfeather turnips. Same-day raffle: Choose to win select garden items. Tickets also available for a handmade Vermont quilt. Drawing Oct. 22 at Gilfeather Turnip Festival. Walker Farm 1190 US Route 5, East Dummerston www.walkerfarm.com Ongoing: Display gardens and the views of the Connecticut River valley provide a splendid backdrop for educational opportunities at the Walker Farm. Check the website for information on classes including “Fruit Trees: Selecting, Growing and Pruning Varieties for a Home Orchard,” “Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries: Creating and Maintaining the Berry Patch of Your Dreams,” and “Pots in the Garden: Designing, Planting, and Placing Seasonal Containers in the Garden.” Boyd Family Farm 125 East Dover Road, Wilmington www.boydfamilyfarm.com, 802-464-5618 Ongoing: The Boyd Family Farm is in the Deerfield Valley, minutes from Wilmington Center. In the summer you can come pick your own flowers and blueberries and find an extensive array of perennials and annuals. You can also take part in one of their many workshops, including such offerings as “Hanging Basket and Planter Workshop” and “Fruit Trees & Berry Bushes for Fathers.” The Gardens of Westminster Westminster www.westminstercares.org July 9-10, 10a-3p: 15th Annual Westminster Garden Tour features the gardens of internationally known landscape architects, garden designers, authors, and lecturers Gordon Hayward and Julie Moir Messervy. Also tour the gardens of David and Vanessa Stern and take a tour with Howie Prussack of the greenhouse and berry fields of High Meadows Farm — the oldest organic farm in Vermont. Attend talks on garden design with Julie Moir Messervy and creating biodiversity and beauty in your gardens using sustainable practices with Cyndy Fine. Private tour of the Hayward Gardens available. Lunch and refreshments available at the Haywards’ garden. Proceeds from the tour benefit Westminster Cares, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving local seniors and adults with disabilities. Tickets: $15 or two for $25; good for entry both days. Spring in Vermont: Painting the Garden from Life with Kathy Anderson Village Arts of Putney 114 Westminster Road, Putney http://www.landgroveinn.com June 1-3, 9a-4p. In this three-day workshop, Kathy Anderson provides brief demos focusing on composition and blocking-in for strong design, which can be...

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Southern Vermont theaters join forces this summer
May30

Southern Vermont theaters join forces this summer

Northern Stage’s Living Together, under the direction of Peter Hackett, the first in Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s comic trilogy. Three theatres in one of the country’s smallest states have a big idea: Vermont’s Dorset Theatre Festival, Northern Stage, and Weston Playhouse Theatre Company are creating an historic partnership to bring British playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s celebrated 1973 comic trilogy, The Norman Conquests, to their stages this summer. More than a year in the works, the collaboration will see three nationally prominent directors work with one cast and creative team on successive productions of the three plays in White River Junction, Dorset, and Weston. Artistic directors Dina Janis (Dorset), Carol Dunne (Northern Stage) and Steve Stettler (Weston) have been sharing artists, goods, and ideas for several years while searching for a way to work together more closely. Now, they say, they’re seizing on a chance to produce three interrelated plays in a deeper partnership. The Norman Conquests trilogy follows the amorous exploits of assistant librarian Norman in and around an English country house on a summer weekend. Northern Stage will produce the first of the three comedies, “Living Together,” under the direction of Peter Hackett at the company’s new Barrette Center for the Arts, April 20-May 8. Dorset follows with “Table Manners,” directed by Evan Yionoulis, June 16-July 2. Weston concludes the series with “Round and Round the Garden,” directed by Michael Berresse, July...

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Theater
May30

Theater

Actors Theatre Playhouse Brook and Main streets, West Chesterfield, N.H. http://www.atplayhouse.org, 877 666-1855 June 9-25: Ten Minute Play Festival. July 7-23: Nick Payne’s Constellations. Aug 6 & 8: Bill Cain’s Equivocation, staged reading. Aug 20 & 27: Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Sept 9-Oct 18: Tom Griffin’s The Boys Next Door. Dorset Theatre Festival 104 Cheney Road, Dorset www.dorsettheatrefestival.org, 802 867-2223 June 16-July 2: Table Manners. Alan Ayckbourn’s jigsaw-puzzle trilogy is produced as part of a historic collaboration with Weston Playhouse and Northern Stages. Wrapped in a sweet coating of delicious comedy, this Tony Award-winning play is a meditation on loneliness, family, and marriage. July 7-23: Dear Elizabeth. Celebrates the 30-year friendship between two of the most celebrated and honored American poets of the 20th century: Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. With postmarks from Maine to Key West, and as far away as London and South America, Dear Elizabeth is a lyrical and moving portrait of two lives that unfold in letters. July 28-Aug 13: Way of the World. A contemporary retelling of the sardonic masterpiece by William Congreve. Set in the demimonde of the hyper-rich Hamptons, it follows the story of a goodhearted heiress who has become prey to the attentions of an amoral party boy. Can love emerge in a world where love means nothing? While embracing a language completely of the moment, the play faithfully revels in Congreve’s gimlet-eyed questions about society. Aug 18-Sept 3: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Witness one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music. Main Street Arts 35 Main St., Saxtons River www.mainstreetarts.org 802-869-2960 July 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10: The Foreigner by Larry Shue. A comedy about the foibles of human nature. Next Stage Arts 15 Kimball Hill Road, Putney www.nextstagearts.org Check website for performances. Northern Stage 76 Gates St., White River Junction www.northernstage.com, 802 291-9009 Thru May 8: Living Together. Hysterical, often poignant romp through one day in the lives of some excruciatingly unhappy 30-somethings in England. July 5-31: Summer Musical Theater Intensive class. July 11-15: Musical Theater 101 class. July 11-15: Fun with Fairy Tales class. July 18-22: Disney Musicals class. July 18-22: Once Upon a Time class. Oldcastle Theater 331 Main St., Bennington www.oldcastletheatre.org, 802 447-0564 June 3-19: 39 Steps. This long-running Broadway comedy mixes a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, adds a dash of Monty Python to create a fast-paced whodunit for everyone who loves the magic of theatre. A two-time Tony- and...

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