April 20, 2015

Creative Workshop to Repurpose a Cigar Box at The Hammered Edge, Sunday

Local artist Lisa Fatone hosts a creative workshop titled, ‘Repurpose that Cigar Box into an Embellished Treasure Chest,’ on Sunday, April 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery in Ivoryton.

Cigar boxes are available for $2 each, or bring your own. Fatone will have materials on hand, but bring anything sentimental you would like to incorporate into your creation. Suggested items are fabric, crystals, ribbons, feathers, photos, etc., and also bring your own glue gun, if possible.

Fatone, a graduate of the Paier College of Art and Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT., holds a Bachelor in Fine Art degree and  has worked as a graphic designer and studio artist since 1982.

She shares with her interpretations of what she sees in nature in several  different media including watercolor, collage, assemblage, hand-lettering, jewelry design and repurposed materials.

Admission per person is $40; prepaid by reservation only. Contact Kathryne Wright at 860-581-8058 or KathryneLWright@comcast.net to make a reservation

The Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery is located at 108 Main Street Ivoryton, CT

Tidy the Town! Old Saybrook Hosts 3rd Annual ‘Green Up Day’, Saturday

April 25 is Old Saybrook's 3rd Annual Green Up Day!

April 25 is Old Saybrook’s 3rd Annual Green Up Day!

OLD SAYBROOK – In 2013, Old Saybrook resident and runner, Bill Casertano, noticed the mounting litter along the roadside. He decided to do something about it by starting the annual event, Old Saybrook Green Up Day.

Join Castertano in this effort this coming Saturday, April 25, for the 3rd annual Green Up Day, kicking off at 8 a.m. The rain date is Sunday, April 26.

Community members will once again head-out to all parts of town, anytime throughout the day, to clean up the abundant litter found everywhere from school grounds and parking lots to marshes and parks.

Playground trashBusy day? Take a bag to the park, Little League Opening Day, the Park and Recreation’s fishing derby, or wherever your day takes you, fill it up, and throw it away. It’s a great example for kids to see everyone working together to keep their favorite places, and the roads to get to them, clean.

Collect trash individually in your own neighborhood, or meet up with others at the Green Up Meet Up on the green, 8 a.m. before heading out.

Free garbage bags are available at the Town Hall Parking Lot, Town Park on Schoolhouse Road and the Town Beach Parking Lot. Full bags may be returned to these locations as well.

Join us as we take this critical step in preventing roadside litter from becoming not only a blight on our town, but a threat to our inland waterways and Long Island Sound.  By simply walking your neighborhood, you could have a significant impact on the litter around town, which eventually finds its way to our beaches, rivers, and estuaries.

To volunteer, or for more information about how and where you can help “green up”, visit the Old Saybrook Green Up Day website, www.osgreenup.weebly.com, www.facebook.com/OldSaybrookGreenUpDay, or email bcasertano@comcast.net.

Auditions for “Little Shop of Horrors” at Ivoryton Playhouse, May 13

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for union and non-union actors for the musical Little Shop of Horrors on Wednesday, May 13, from noon to 8pm in the Rehearsal Studio, in their new office space at 22 Main Street, Centerbrook. Rehearsals begin on Sept. 8, 2015 and the show runs from Sept. 23 – Oct. 11, 2015.

Prepare a song from the show or in the style of.  Bring a picture and resume, stapled together. Call 860-767-9520 ext 203 for appointment

Looking for: Men and women over 25 – including 3 African-American female singers. All roles require singing and acting.

See web site for details and sides.

Red Dog Project Hosts Prison-based Foster Program Adoption Event, April 25

rdpSLADEThe Red Dog Project will host an Adoption Event Saturday, April 25, from 12 to 3 p.m. at PetValue (in the Kohl’s plaza), 28 Spencer Plains Road, Old Saybrook, Conn.

The dogs offered for adoption will be shelter dogs lovingly rehabilitated by the women inmates at York Correctional Facility in Niantic, Conn.

For more information or to apply online, visit www.godogdays.org

Deep River Rotary Auction Set for Saturday, April 25

The Auction at the Academy will be a major benefit fundraiser of the Deep River Rotary Club, to be held Saturday, April 25, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Academy at Mt. St. John.    The school is located at the foot of Kirtland Street in Deep River,  on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Connecticut River.
An outstanding assortment of country furnishings, folk art, pottery, china and glass, rugs and lamps, toys, prints and frames, brass and iron beds, and so much more and will be up for bid.  Items to be auctioned will be on display for preview beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Academy
Proceeds from this annual event benefit the outreach projects of the Rotary Club, including an annual Scholarship Fund, an ongoing “student of the month” award, an elementary school Dictionary Project, and international efforts like our Sister Cities Haiti Library project and a sanitation project in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The club will be accepting quality antiques and collectible items for this sale.   Those wishing to consign items for auction will receive 75% of the selling price.     Quality Collectibles of Deep River is in charge of the auction, and consigned or donated objects may be brought to their store at 156 Main St. in Deep River prior to the auction.   Or you may call for pick-up.  
At the auction there will be a 10% buyer’s fee.    All items must be taken the night of the auction, but trucking will be available.  Photos and listing of items already committed for auction can be viewed at auctionzip.com .
Food and drinks will be available during the auction, catered by the culinary department of the Academy.  For details please call Chuck at 860.227.5125 or Quality Collectibles at 860.526.8343

Madhatters Present “Seussical” at Chester, May 15-17

Madhatters Theatre Company presents ‘Seussical’ at Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., in Chester Conn,.  Performances are Friday, May 15, at 7pmSaturday, May 16, 2pm and 6pm and Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 adults and $15 children 12 and under.  To reserve tickets please call (860) 395-1861 or e-mail madhattersctc@aol.com.  This production is a fundraiser for ‘Willys friends’.
Further information available at: www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

Playing with (Terracotta) Pots at TTYS, May 9

Make the perfect Mother’s Day gift!  On May 9, at 10:30 a.m., come to Tri-Town Youth Services with a terracotta pot and learn four different ways to decorate it. TTYS will provide materials.

Add a pretty plant and you are ready for Mother’s Day!

This FREE workshop will be geared towards families.  Call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600 to register by May 1.  Space is limited, so early reservations are advised.

“Getting Ready for Change” at John Winthrop MS, May 5

Patricia Cournoyer runs her “Getting Ready for Change” program for fourth and fifth grade girls and their female caregivers on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School library.

This program costs $25 and admission is limited to 12 families.  Call Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 to register.

Ivoryton Library Hosts Mother’s Day Sale, May 9

The Ivoryton Library’s annual Mother’s Day Sale will be held this year on Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Along with the popular Plant Sale out front, there will be tables of baked goods. The Used Book Sale will be downstairs.

Come early for the best selection.

There will be a Preview Sale of children’s books only downstairs in the Children’s Room on Friday, May 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Donations of books, DVDs, audiobooks as well as plants will be gratefully accepted anytime.  Donations of baked goods will be received, Friday, May 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturday morning.

For more information, call the library at 860-767-1252 or visit www.ivoryton.com

The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, Sponsors Breakfast in Essex, May 9

CAUTION! MEN COOKING. The men of The First Congregational Church in Essex will do all the cooking for the church's annual May Breakfast on May 9. Chefs hard at work at last year's breakfast are (l to r) Pat Callahan of Essex, Mark Foster of Ivoryton, and John Bogaert and Alan Macgregor, both of Essex.

CAUTION! MEN COOKING. The men of The First Congregational Church in Essex will do all the cooking for the church’s annual May Breakfast on May 9. Chefs hard at work at last year’s breakfast are (l to r) Pat Callahan of Essex, Mark Foster of Ivoryton, and John Bogaert and Alan Macgregor, both of Essex.

(Essex, CT)— On the day of the May Market in Essex Village, The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, is sponsoring a May Breakfast on Saturday, May 9 from 6:30 a.m.. to 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall of the Church, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex. The breakfast is a tradition that dates back nearly one hundred years at the church. Proceeds benefit the Essex Community Fund, as well as the missions of the church

A complete breakfast will be prepared and served by members and friends of the Church. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, coffee, tea, juice and homemade muffins.

There will be a selection of “May Baskets” up for bid or outright purchase, including a Mother’s Day Basket, Italian Dinner Basket, Breakfast/Kitchen Basket and Gardener’s Basket, among others.

The cost is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the door.

For more information, call the Church Office at 767-8097.

Photographer Tony Donovan Exhibits at Essex Library During May

tony 4.tif
ESSEX — A photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970s. As he puts it, “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, Conn., sawmill, see photo above. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He comments, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”

The exhibit will be open Saturday, May 2, and run through Saturday, May 30: it is free and open to all. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.

Second Session of ‘Beowulf’ Seminar in Essex Library, April 28

beowulf-coverESSEX – Who was the first superhero in the English language?

Whose epic adventures greatly influenced J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?

It was Beowulf, of course.

Follow the Old English story of Scandinavian warrior Beowulf who, armed with only a magic sword and a heroic code, vanquishes the monster Grendel –and Grendel’s mother too. After becoming a wise and noble King of the Danes, he battles a mighty, fire-breathing dragon with tragic consequences.

Using the Northern Ireland Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney’s magnificent translation, University of New Haven faculty member Chuck Timlin will lead a seminar looking at the great 3182 line poem that stands as the beginning of English Literature.

This seminar will also look at several passages of the poem in the original Old English.

The five-seminar sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings April 14 & 28 and May 5, 12 and 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Essex Library. This seminar is free and open to the public. Register in advance by calling 860-767-1560.

The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT.

Recycle for Diapers! OSHS Hosts Electronics, Computer Drive, April 25;

OLD SAYBROOK – For three years now, the Old Saybrook High School has been hosting an electronics and computer recycling drive to help raise material support and awareness for single shoreline parents in need.

By donating to this “recycle for diapers and other baby needs program,” your unwanted, broken, or obsolete electronics, computers and cell phones can be recycled and redeemed into tangible baby products that can be locally dispersed.

The drive will be held Sat. April 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School parking lot and hosted by the Old Saybrook HS Ecology Club. The project recycles the electronics through AFA Electronic Recyclers. (www.afaelectronicrecyclers.com)

Donations of the following will be accepted

Electronics of any kind.

Computers laptops cell phones any computer related gear

Wire of any kind

Games / systems / telecommunications

Motors of any kind – lawn mower, snow blowers

Lead battery – car, truck , boat

AFA Electronic Recyclers process is established through the guidelines set forth by the State of CT. for secure computer disposal. Please visit our web-site for more specifics regarding our data security protocol. “AFA is the safest way”.

AFA Electronic Recyclers of CT offers free pick-up of larger items or items in bulk.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Karen Carlone, Old Saybrook High School  – kcarlone@oldsaybrookschools.org

Paula Bartone, AFA Electronic Recyclers – 203 421 4187, pbartone@comcast.net  – www. afaelectronicrecyclers.com

‘Closer Look at Birds’ on Show at Maple and Main Through April 30

'Spring Please' by Claudia van Nes

‘Spring Please’ by Claudia van Nes

CHESTER – Natural Influences: A Closer Look at Birds is on show in the Stone Galleryin the Stone Gallery at Maple and Main, One Maple Street. through April 30.  Bird, nest, feather and birdhouse paintings and sculptures by the gallery artists will be on display.

The show offers the opportunity to experience the natural world and the deep transformative experiences that humans can have in nature expressed in the drawings, paintings and sculptures of the gallery artists.

The Spring Exhibition of all new paintings by 37 artists is also on display in the Main, Joslow and Small Works Galleries.

The galleries are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit www.mapleandmain gallery.com, call 860-526-6065 or email mapleandmain@att.net. for more information and to purchase art not in the gallery.

Community Music School Hosts Free Concert by Multi-Generational Orchestra


Close to 50 string musicians of all ages will fill the Valley Regional High School stage for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30. The concert is free and open to the public.

CENTERBROOK – On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., nearly 50 string musicians will take the stage at Valley Regional High School in Deep River for the Community Music School’s Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert.  Ranging in age from nine to eighty-four, members of the two multi-generational performance groups will play a variety of classical pieces, including works by Vivaldi, Bach, and Dvorak, all under the direction of Martha Herrle.  The free concert is open to the public and sponsored by the Essex Winter Series.

Both Sinfonia, a group of 10 beginning violin, viola, and cello musicians, and String Ensemble, a group of 35 intermediate to advanced players, are a rare breed of orchestra and quite possibly the only of its kind in Connecticut.   “There are many youth orchestras and many adult orchestras around the state but I am not aware of any ensembles where all ages are allowed and encouraged to participate,” stated Martha Herrle, conductor and founder of both orchestra groups.

Herle continued, “As a musician and a teacher, it is a joy to work with various ages and backgrounds, to have school-age musicians playing alongside adult members.  The String Ensemble is a very mixed bag of some very talented people  –  students, several teachers, an inventor, a physician, a veterinarian, an attorney, a pastor, even two professional opera singers – all who share the same passion for music.”

String Ensemble members come from several shoreline towns (and beyond) to rehearse together at Old Saybrook High School for 26 weeks beginning in September and ending just prior to the annual concert performance.  Compared to its modest start in 2002, with just four children and one senior adult, the orchestra’s growth is a testament to its all inclusive policy of being open to all intermediate to advanced string musicians, regardless of age and with no audition requirement.

The orchestra also serves as a great opportunity for family members to share in their musical interests and spend time together.  In fact, the current ensemble boasts three sets of mother and child musicians.  East Haddam resident Irene Haines and her 16-year old daughter Bridget is one.

“Martha has a special gift. She is able to teach, nurture and direct young, old and everyone in between with varied abilities into an amazing performance,” commented Irene Haines. “I am the luckiest mom in the world as I get to share a stand with my daughter in the viola section – what a great way to spend quality time together!”

Herle received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Hartt College of Music, studying both violin and viola. She spent the following year studying string quartet literature at the University of Connecticut with the Laurel String Quartet. She is the founder of Goodwin Strings, a before-school group violin instructional program for 2nd and 3rd graders at Goodwin Elementary School in Old Saybrook.

She also presents the Community Music School’s weekly music program for the collaborative preschool students at Essex Elementary School and is a teaching artist for Kate’s Camp for Kids. Martha is the founder and conductor of CMS Sinfonia and CMS String Ensemble orchestras, and the Chamber Connections program.

For more information on the Sinfonia and String Ensemble Concert taking place at Valley Regional High School, located at 256 Kelsey Hill Road in Deep River, or other Community Music School events, visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

The Community Music School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building community through music since 1983.

‘New Artists & Artwork’ on Show at Artisans’ Harbor Through May 30

Artwork by Mary Green LaForge.

Artwork by Mary Green LaForge.

OLD SAYBROOK – Artisans’ Harbor at 188 Main St., Old Saybrook announce their ‘Welcome Spring New Artists & Artwork Show’ which will be on view from April 15 to May 30.

The Gallery is showing paintings and artwork by 42 award winning and nationally recognized artists while also showcasing three new artists this spring.

Award- winning artists include acrylic painter Linda McCarthy, watercolorist and instructor Mary Green LaForge, photographer Sharon Monroe, and jewelry designer Leslee Kachadoorian, will all be all showing their newest collections.

In addition to new artists Artisans Harbor is excited to exhibit the new arrivals of artworks of our veteran artists, which depict beautiful sea and landscapes, river and pasture scenes, florals, wildlife, rendered in oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor. A collection of hand thrown pottery, jewelry, stained glass, framed photography, handpainted stools, and tables offer the art enthusiast and home decorator a variety of original and very affordable creations to choose from.

For information on artist display space, art classes for adults, teens, and children, Harbor Nights painting pARTies, and events, visit www.artisansharbor.com or email artisansharbor@att.net or call: 860-388-9070.

Free Weekend of “Soul Strengthening” at CBSRZ, May 1-3

Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis

CHESTER – The public is invited on the weekend of May 1 to 3 to learn what may seem like (and is) an obscure Jewish teaching – called Mussar – but requires no knowledge of Judaism, only a desire to strengthen one’s soul.

Alan Morinis is the director and founder of the Mussar Institute, dedicated to the idea of “improving or remedying the traits of the soul, to bring the soul to wholeness and holiness.” He explains this in a free program over a three-day span as the Sheldon Kutnick Scholar in Residence at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.

As the cover of one of his books says, “Jewish by birth, though from a secular family, Alan Morinis, explored Hinduism and Buddhim as a young man. But in the face of a personal crisis he turned to his Jewish heritage and happened upon a spiritual tradition called Mussar. He soon realized that it is an insightful discipline for self-development, complete with contemplative and transformative practices designed to penetrate the deepest roots of the inner life…. He decided to seek out a Mussar teacher. This was not an easy task, since almost the entire world of Mussar had been swept away in the Holocaust.”

Specifically, Morinis addresses 18 soul traits: humility, patience, gratitude, compassion, order, equanimity, honor, simplicity, enthusiasm, silence, generosity, truth, moderation, loving kindness, responsibility, trust, faith and yirah (a combination of fear and awe, without a true English counterpart).

Of his most recent book, “Everyday Holiness,” the author Daniel Goleman sais, “Morinis chronicles the archetypal odyssey of the spiritual pilgrim in a warm, witty and insightful manner,” and the book has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and other commentaries.

Bruce Josephy, a former congregational president who arranged for Morinis’s visit, says, “At our core we are spiritual beings on a material journey, not material beings on a spiritual journey. As physical exercise strengthens one’s body, Mussar practice strengthens one’s soul.”

According to CBSRZ’s rabbi, Rachel Goldenberg, “The Mussar tradition is a beautiful example of how spiritual work can and must transform our most mundane, everyday interactions and experiences.

There is no requirement to sign up for the program. Schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 1, 6 p.m., A Dairy/Vegetarian Shabbat potluck dinner, followed at 7 p.m. by a Shabbat Evening service with an introductory sermon by Morinis, “What is Mussar and Why Should I Care?”

Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. Shabbat morning service with a sermon by Morinis, “Torah Through a Mussar Lens., followed by a dairy potluck luncheon and, at 1 p.m., a text study entitled, “Why You Are, How You Are and What’s Your Potential?

Sunday, May 3, 11:10 a.m., Experiential workshop for parents and interested adults.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.  For more information, visit www.cbsrz.org or call 860-526-8920.

‘First Mondays:  Get Plugged in’ Course for Seniors at Saybrook Library Starts May 4

Join Acton Public Library for First Mondays: Get Plugged In from 1 to 2 p.m. starting May 4.  The library is offering beginner’s workshops on computer literacy.
Spring topics will include email and internet security as well as Facebook (June  1).

These free sessions are targeted primarily at seniors, but all are welcome.

CT Author Jacqueline Masumian To Discuss Memoir Writing at Essex Library, April 23

NobodyHomeCoverJacqueline Masumian will discuss her book, Nobody Home, a portrait of her troubled mother and their relationship, as well as the art and joys of writing memoir at the Essex Library on Thursday, April 23, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Masumian will also talk about what memoir is, how it is different from other literary forms and why it is important for everyone, not just professional writers, to practice this art form and reap the benefits of doing so.

Masumian, a Connecticut resident, has enjoyed careers as an actress, performing arts manager, and landscape designer, and now writes short stories.

Admission is free; call the Essex Library to register at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Spring Book Discussion at Chester Library, April 21 & May 5

American Pastoral, Philip Roth’s 1997 novel, a runner-up for the New York Times Best Novel of the Past 25 Years, might also be called a modern Book of Job.

It will be the subject of a two-part book discussion series at Chester Library this spring.

The deeply ironic book title makes reference to the life of Swede Levov, who appears to have fulfilled the American Dream and to live an American idyll. Roth examines the enigmatic figure through the character of Nathan Zukerman, Swede’s younger admirer.

The revelations unfold a historical perspective through first generation immigration, assimilation, WW II, and then the radical ’60s.  Career and life appear to be at an apogee, but . . . and there hangs a tale.

The discussion series will be on Tuesdays, April 21 and May 5, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Edward Wheeler, retired Dean of Faculty of the Williams School, will lead the discussion.

Books are available at the library  Call to register (860-526-0018) or visit the library website at http://chesterct.org/?page_id=286 to register online (look under Upcoming Programs and Events).

‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ Opens in Chester April 24

CHESTER – The Meeting House Players Present Five Women Wearing The Same Dress, a comedy written by Alan Ball (American Beauty, HBO’s True Blood).    The production opens on Friday, April 24 and continues on Saturday, April 25.

The play will be performed twice more on May 1 and 2, at the Meeting House located on 4 Liberty St. in Chester, Conn.  The curtain rises each evening at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. for a matinee performance on Saturday, May 2.

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is set in 1992 during an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tenn., estate. During the reception, five reluctant, identically-clad bridesmaids take refuge in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. As the afternoon – and alcohol – wears on, these very different women discover a common bond in this wickedly funny and touching celebration of female friendship.

The play’s six member ensemble spotlights a gifted troupe of area actors that features Beth Nischan, Abby Roccapriore, Jessica Davis, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Kristine Donahue and Daniel Nischan.  The play is being directed by Missy Burmeister.

Tickets for Five Women Wearing The Same Dress are on sale now.  Tickets prices are $20 for Preferred Seating tickets and $15 for Open Seating tickets.  Reservation requests for both Preferred and Open seating are available by calling 860-526-3684 or by e-mail at TheMeetingHousePlayers@gmail.com.  Unreserved tickets will be available at the door.

Payment is accepted by cash or check only — no credit cards.  Please note that this play contains adult language and themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.

For additional information please contact Debbie Alldredge at 860-526-3684. The Meeting House Players is a not-for-profit community theatre organization.  We pursue the theatre arts with the talents and interests of people throughout Connecticut.

Essex Art Association Hosts Two Shows in April

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

Artwork by Jill Beecher Matthew.

The Essex Art Association (EAA) has announced the start of the 2015 exhibition season.  Two exciting events are being held this month at the EAA Gallery.

Ron and His Shadow

“Ron and his shadow”

The Essex Rotary Club is hosting an exhibition on Saturday, April 18, (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, April 19, (12 to 4 p.m.) The exhibition’s opening reception is scheduled for Friday, April 17,  from 5 to 8 p.m.  EAA artist members will also have works on display that weekend.

The following week the traditional Valley Regional High School Student Show will be held. Visitors to the gallery will be able to view student work between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23, with the show opening Tuesday, April 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The EAA is looking forward to this new season and hopes readers will join them at these two exhibitions. The Association is located at 10 North Main St. in Essex.

For further information, call 860-767-8996 or email essexartct@gmail.com

Community Music School Presents New Horizons Band in Concert, April 23 & 26

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons band of the Community Music School gather for a photo.

The New Horizons Band of Community Music School (CMS) is performing two concerts on April 23 and April 26. The band will present a joint concert with Groton New Horizons at the Groton Senior Center, 102 Newtown Rd. in Groton at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. Both bands will perform separately, and then collaborate on several pieces in a variety of styles.

The CMS New Horizons Band will also play on Sunday, April 26at 3 p.m. at the Acton Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook.

The band is a beginning adult band of 17 members, many of whom had never played an instrument before joining, and is part of a national network. Under the direction of Patricia Hurley, the CMS New Horizons Band will perform marches, jazz selections, and music from the stage and screen. Hurley has provided guidance to the musicians who have started the Groton chapter.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Readers are invited to come and meet Hurley and the members of the band to find out more about the program. Prospective new members are invited to attend a rehearsal any time. The band rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 a.m. to noon at the Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook. No previous experience necessary.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026 for program information.

‘New Deal’ Art Exhibition on View at CT River Museum

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, will open April 2nd. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, opens April 2. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

During the depths of the Great Depression, the federal government created work relief programs to put unemployed Americans back to work. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs provided all types of jobs – including opportunities for out-of-work artists. The Federal Art Project (1935 – 1943) paid artists to paint murals and easel art, sculpt, and teach art classes. Their art was always located in a public place such as a school, library, or government building so that all Americans had access to it for inspiration and enjoyment.

The subject matter for much of this artwork is known as the “American Scene” – showcasing regional history, landscapes, and people. The Connecticut River Museum’s new exhibit has selected artwork that represents artists from the Connecticut River Valley, or that depicts views of regional or maritime traditions of the Connecticut River and coastline.

“These paintings offer us a glimpse at Connecticut from sixty years ago,” says Museum Curator Amy Trout. “We think of that time as being dark and depressing, but these paintings show us a vibrant time and place.”

The exhibit contains 20 works of art ranging from pastels, etchings, watercolors, and oils. There are also examples of bas relief work from Essex sculptor Henry Kreis who designed the state’s Tercentenary medal and coin in 1935 under the Civil Works Authority (CWA) funding. The paintings come from area museums such as the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Arts Center, Connecticut Historical Society, and the Portland Historical Society, among others.

Even though these paintings were originally intended for public viewing, many have found their way into museum storerooms and are rarely seen. “It’s important to get them out on display and remind people of the wonderful legacy that was left to us. It gives us a chance to talk about Connecticut during the 1930s and appreciate the art that gives us greater insight into that period,” says Trout. The artists are also relatively unknown. Many continued in the field of art after the Depression, but few achieved great fame. “They needed to make a living, so many became commercial artists, illustrators, or teachers.”

The exhibition will open Thursday, April 2, with a preview reception at 5:30 p.m. featuring a short lecture by curator Amy Trout.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

LVVS Features the Classics in April Book Promotion

WESTBROOK – Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is celebrating spring, Easter, and all things new during their April book promotion.

This month they are featuring the classics.  Any classic novel, such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and more, is on sale for $1. All other hardcover books are $2 and paperbacks are $1.  Stock up now on some of the best loved novels of all time.

Also on sale this month –  all puzzles are half price.  Stop in to the LVVS book sale Monday-Thursday 8 am -2 pm and Friday 8 am -Noon.  The LVVS is located on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Dr. 860-399-0280.

The organization is always accepting gently used books 2004 and newer.

‘Paws and Read’ at Acton Public Library, Saturdays

OLD SAYBROOK – Calling all kids! Bring your favorite book or use one of the library’s to read to Hazel, a sweet Border Collie mix who will be at the Acton Public Library on select Saturdays waiting for you to read to her.

Hazel is a certified therapy dog who is trained and fully insured and will be accompanied by her handler. She is an Allan’s Angels Therapy Dog (AATD), which is a chapter of  The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Call and register for a 15-minute reading session on Saturday, April 18 beginning at 10 a.m., first come, first served. Free and open to all ages.

For more information, call 860-395-3184 during service hours: Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

CT River Museum Hosts Tavern Night with Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Good Food; April 25

The Connecticut River Museum’s 1814 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s 1814 Tavern Night features an evening of food, drink, music and games in the Museum’s historic Samuel Lay House. Photo: Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night for a double hitter. These spirited 19th-century evenings transform the historic Samuel Lay House into a seaside tavern from the War of 1812. The nights include a wine or beer tasting, food pairings of early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene, tavern games and raucous drinking songs and ballads. The event is being made possible through the generous support of Guilford Savings Bank.

ELH1814Tavern.winebarOn Saturday, April 25, a variety of fine wines will be enjoyed with Angelini Wines & Estate Wines. This night, Craig Edwards will saw out popular fiddle tunes that get people stomping their feet and singing.

Executive Director Christopher Dobbs states, “Last year’s programs sold out and were a huge hit.” He described the programs as “enchanting evenings that take you back in time – giving visitors a great taste of the food, drink, music and games of early 19th century America.”

Space is extremely limited and advance reservations are required. Tastings take place each night at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 for museum members or $27 for general public (must be 21 or older and show an ID). Tickets include wine or beer tasting, light bites, and entertainment. Additional wine and beer is available each night for purchase. You must be 21 or over to attend the event and show a valid ID.

Due to limited space, reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased by going online to www.ctrivermuseum.org or over the phone at 860-767-8269.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Acton Public Library Hosts Ceramic and Stuffed Rabbit Collection During April

For the last weeks of March and the month of April, the Acton Public Library will be hosting Library employee Barbara Peterson’s collection of ceramic and stuffed rabbits. Peterson raised Netherland Dwarf rabbits in her house for many years, after receiving her first rabbit at age 9 from a magician.

The Acton Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books, May 9

Join Master Knitter Lee Gant at Essex Books at Gather on Saturday, May 9, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Gant is one of the top knitters in the United States and has been featured on PBS, NPR, and in many magazines. She has knitted pieces for world renowned designer Melissa Leapman and can be seen in Vogue, Knitter’s, and Knit ‘N Style.

Gant’s designs have been featured in many books, including 60 Quick Baby Knits, Knitting 2013 Day-to-Day Calendar, Jamieson’s Shetland Knitting Book 2, and Garter Stitch Baby.

She is part of a very active knitting community on social media: her Facebook page has reached 92,000 people in one week. Gant travels internationally on the knitting circuit and is a well-known authority who is also writing knitting pattern books.

In her inspiring book, Love in Every Stitch: Stories of Knitting and Healing, master knitter, teacher, and widely published knitwear designer Gant shares real-life stories about the power of knitting.

As an employee of three different yarn stores, a teacher of countless knitting classes, and a volunteer with at-risk youth, Gant has had the opportunity to gather diverse stories.

The stories Gant shares about herself and fellow knitters from around the world illustrate how each stitch and purl can comfort and calm, heal and renew. A suicidal teenager crochets through pregnancy. A dying woman finds comfort in the company of knitters. A woman finds the courage to face her estranged parents. A woman going blind realizes she can still knit — and experience life. And Gant’s life, riddled with more than just anxiety, has at last become stable and productive. This book includes stories of women, men, and teens who have experienced profound change and enlightenment through knitting and crochet.

“Another lovely story of hope and inspiration. The benefits of knitting and crocheting are seen every day. More and more people turn to these skills to help them deal with so many upheavals in life. Thank goodness we have those to fall back on when everything else seems to go against us.”
—Bouncing Back

A renowned designer and sought-after teacher, Gant is a household name among knitting enthusiasts. Holding the rank of ‘master knitter,’ she enjoys working with adults and children, as young as age eight, teaching self-empowerment through knitting. Some of her designs can be found in 60 Quick Baby Knits, in Knit Picks and Patternfish online, and at Strings and Things in Kauai. Gant’s knitting has won many first place and best-in-show awards at county fairs in northern California. Her new pattern collection for children’s knitwear will publish in the spring of 2016. She now lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., and formerly lived in Guilford, Conn.

To RSVP, call or text Susan McCann at 914-310-5824.

Enjoy ‘Discovery Sundays’ at Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Sunday, April 12, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

To celebrate the start of the season, the Co-Co Beaux, an all male a cappella group from Connecticut College, performs in the art gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.. In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center open for the season. And with any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission. Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

The Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.


Friends of Essex Library Host Annual Spring Sale, May 16 & 17


Pictured above are Dee Grover, Nancy Gould, Peggy Tuttle, and Joan Weingardt preparing for the Friends of Essex Library Spring Sale to be held at Essex Library, May 16 and 17.

The Friends of Essex Library will hold a Spring Book Sale at the library at 33 West Avenue in Essex.  The annual sale will provide funds for numerous special library programs and activities. Proceeds from previous sales recently enabled the Friends to purchase new sliding doors at the main entrance to the library.

Dates for the Sale are Saturday, May 16, from 10 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. when all items will be half-priced.

The sale will include current and classical books of fiction, as well as large selections of non-fiction featuring books on gardening, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, sports, self-help and foreign languages.  Always popular is the selection of books on CD’s.

Diligent volunteers spend hours carefully sorting through stacks of books, CD’s, and DVD’s to ensure that only good quality items are placed in the sale. 

The annual sale will provide funds to support the library’s special programs and activities.  Proceeds from previous sales made possible the installation of new sliding doors at the main entrance.

Specific information about the sale, including signed books and titles offered in the various categories, will be on the Essex Library website: www.youressexlibrary.org.  Click on “Friends” and the “Book Sale” page.

On book-sale Saturday, library materials can be checked in and out from 10am to 4pm, but computers in the adult section will not be available for use.  There will be no library services on Sunday, when all book-sale items will be half price.

Acton Public Library’s ‘Oscar Movie Series’ Continues with ‘Good Will Hunting,’ April 20

Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting an Oscars “then and now” movie series featuring a variety of movies with Oscar awards on third Mondays from March through May at 1 p.m.

The program for the series is as follows:

April 20: Good Will Hunting

May 18: The Theory of Everything

For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:30pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm, and Oct – May on Sundays 1pm – 5pm or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org .

Also, visit www.commonsensemedia.org for movie ratings and recommendations.