The Garfield Center Announces 2018 Season of Plays


The Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown is proud to announce its 2018 season of theatrical productions. Presented by the Garfield and directed by a group of talented local directors, this season offers a variety of shows – slapstick comedy, musical drama, a holiday favorite, a children’s classic and the summer theatre camps; MUSICAMP from July 9-13 and Playmakers from July 16-August 12, 2018.

The season opens February 16, 2018, with The Little Prince, written by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar and based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Directed by Bryan Betley, the story focuses on a pilot whose plane crashes in the deserts of Africa. There he encounters The Little Prince, who recounts his journey to Earth from his home on a tiny asteroid. Through their interaction and the prince’s storytelling, the play makes profound and idealistic revelations about human nature. Performances run February 16-25.

In April, director Shelagh Grasso and musical director Julie Lawrence will present Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, by Hugh Wheeler with music by Steven Sondheim. Attend the dark, witty and Tony Award-winning tale of love, murder and revenge set against the backdrop of 19th century London from April 27-May 13.

Short Attention Span Theatre, the Garfield’s own ten-minute play festival, opens its fourteenth year in June. Produced by Mark Sullivan and Diane Landskroener, “SAST” runs from June 22 – July 8. An audience favorite, SAST features the talents of dozens of directors, writers, and actors, and is designed to hold your attention for Just. Long. Enough.

Next director Jennifer Kafka Smith brings the hilarity of the Marx Bros. Animal Crackers to the stage in September. Written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind with music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, this profusion of puns, gags, and hysteria with only an occasional pause (or maybe, gasp) for breath, runs September 14-30.

Closing the 2018 season, director Bonnie Hill will bring a familiar holiday tale, Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol to the Garfield stage from November 30 – December 9. Tiny Tim is determined to have his father home for Christmas day even if it means teaching Ebenezer Scrooge a lesson in Christmas cheer! Adapted from the classic Charles Dickens’ novel, Tony award winner Ken Ludwig writes a heartwarming Christmas tale full of family fun!

The Garfield Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization whose mission is to invigorate the cultural life of our community by nurturing, celebrating and supporting arts and artists through performance and education. For more information, please visit the Garfield web site, or call the box office at 410 810 2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street, Chestertown, MD, 21620.

Live the Dog’s Life! – Audition for “Sylvia” at the Garfield


Open auditions for the play Sylvia by A. R. Gurney will be held at Garfield Center for the Arts on Tuesday and Thursday, July 25 and 27 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, July 29 at 11 a.m. Directed by Bonnie Hill, the play runs two weekends from October 13 to the 22.

Empty nesters Greg and Kate have moved to Manhattan after raising their family in the suburbs.  While at the park, Greg befriends Sylvia, a perky stray dog, and brings her home. A street- smart mixture of lab and poodle, Sylvia becomes a major “bone of contention” between husband and wife. Sylvia is a delightful and delicious comedy that illuminates the complicated relationship between dogs and their human companions.

Casting needs include:

Sylvia – Female playing an active, perky canine – age 18 – 30

Greg – Male, middle-aged businessman

Kate – Female, middle-aged teacher

*Tom, Phyllis, and Leslie – these three characters are played by one actor – age 20- 59

 Tom is a male dog owner, who befriends Greg in the park; Phyllis is a friend of Kate’s, and Leslie is a therapist.

Familiarity with the play is beneficial, but not necessary. Scripts are available at the Garfield. Be prepared to do cold readings from the script. Anyone interested in assisting backstage is also encouraged to come to auditions

If you have any questions about the production, please contact the Garfield (401-810-2060) or the Director by email or phone 410-348-5181. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Johnny Cash Comes to the Garfield!


The Roots at the Garfield concert series continues July 22nd at 8 pm with David Stone: The Johnny Cash Experience.

Stone takes the audience through the late country legend’s career, covering Early Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash & June Carter, and the Folsom Prison Concert Era. Those who see his performance will know what it must have been like to see the real Johnny Cash in concert — his voice, mannerisms, and his band are wholly true to the legend. Come to the concert dressed in black to add to the fun!

David Stone: The Johnny Cash Experience is the only Johnny Cash Tribute ever to be selected by the State of California (even over Johnny’s original band) to play the 40th anniversary commemorative concert at San Quentin State Prison on February 24, 2009, celebrating the historic performance of Johnny Cash at the facility in 1969.

This concert is the fourth in the five-part Roots at the Garfield series, sponsored by Andy and Leslie Price, which brings early blues, bluegrass, folk, r&b and rock music to Chestertown. The final concert will be Hannah Gill and the Hours on September 9th, as part of the Chestertown Jazz Festival weekend. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students. Tickets are available by calling 410-810-2060, online at or at the box office. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

You are Invited to “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever” at the Garfield


Free MUSICAMP Performance on July 14th, 7:00 pm

MUSICAMP returns to the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown for its fifth year, featuring local talent ages 8 to 15. This year the production is, “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever,” written by Denver Casado and Betina Hershey, and directed by Julie Lawrence.  Join us in this family friendly show as we celebrate Skyler’s 12th Birthday…but sometime after the pizza is served, the world goes wacky and every adult vanishes! Watch as the kids figure out how to organize and operate on their own, how Skyler’s brother declares himself King Charlie and how Skyler fights back!

MUSICAMP is a 5-day intensive musical theatre experience where campers sing, dance, act and create scenery for their show. Every camper gets lines in the play and everyone is on stage the entire time. At the end of the week, kids transform into their characters and present an amazing stage production that highlights their varied talents. MUSICAMP is staffed by camp founder and director Julie Lawrence, musical director Helen Clark and art consultant Charlice Culvert.  Jennifer Kafka-Smith will be assisting with costumes and props.

Support our local talent with your attendance and applause! The show on Friday, July 14th at 7 pm is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For reservations and more information call the Garfield Center box office, 410-810-2060 or visit the Garfield’s website. The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. All photos by Jeff Weber.


Garfield Announces Hedgelawn Summer Performance Series for Kids


Each year a portion of the Playmakers experience at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre includes three interactive performances in addition to putting on their own production.  These shows, sponsored by The Hedgelawn Foundation, feature multicultural artists who introduce Playmakers to a variety of theatrical arts. Past performers have included dancers, musicians, storytellers, and puppeteers.

B.I.G. Baltimore Improv Group Wednesday, July 19 at 2:00 pm at the Garfield Center

This year the Playmakers are putting together The Princess Bride and the Hedgelawn series ties loosely into that theme. On Wednesday, July 19th at 2 pm, the Garfield Center will be hosting a presentation by The Baltimore Improv Group. “B.I.G.” is dedicated to advancing the art of improvisational theater through an active program of performance, instruction, and outreach. B.I.G .is celebrating its 11th Season of spreading comedy, communication, and empathy throughout Maryland.

Wednesday, July 26th at 2 pm, the Garfield is hosting a performance by Gabriel Stone, who will be showing the campers a variety of traditional medieval instruments and their uses. Gabe Stone earned his Master of Music Education from the University of South Carolina and his Bachelor of Music and Certificate in Tuba Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory.  He has performed as a low brass specialist throughout the East Coast as a chamber musician on Tuba, Serpent, and Ophicleide.  Mr. Stone is a musician in Colonial Williamsburg, playing a variety of instruments including Serpent, Baroque Guitar, Baroque Flute, and Hurdy-Gurdy. His performances have been a regular treat during the annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival.

Gabriel Stone will demonstrate a variety of traditional medieval instruments on Wednesday, July 26, at 2:00 pm at the Garfield

A showcase of Irish dance by the Hester Academy of Irish Dance concludes the series on Wednesday, August 2nd at 2 pm. Lead by J.J. Hester, a fully certified Irish Dance Adjudicator, the school opened its doors in September 2014 and is fully certified and registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha and the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America. They aim to share the love of Irish dance with both Irish and non-Irish students alike in a family-oriented environment where each student creates goals for themselves and learns how to achieve those goals through discipline and hard work.

Hester Academy of Irish Dance on Wednesday, Aug 2, at 2:00 pm at the Garfield

These shows are family-friendly and open to everyone.  Tickets are $5 and group rates are available (no charge to current Playmakers). Please call the Box Office at 410-810-2060 or email Tess Hogans ( for more information. In addition, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the “The Princess Bride” shows, scheduled for Friday, August 11th at 7 pm, Saturday, August 12th at 7 pm and Sunday, August 13th at 3 pm.

The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street, Chestertown, MD, 21620.  For more information please visit the website.

All are invited to the special kid-friendly Hedgelawn performances on three Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, July 19, July 26, and  August 2.  Tickets $5 –  no charge to current campers in the Playmaker program.


First Friday “One Minute Plays”


On June 2nd, director Tia Glomb presents a sneak peek of the 4th annual Hey, Wait A Minute one-minute play festival at 5 pm in the Kohl Lobby at the Garfield Center for the Arts. The one-minute plays are showcased each year in conjunction with Short Attention Span Theatre, the Garfield’s annual 10-minute play festival. Now in its’ 13th year, Short Attention Span Theatre brings local actors, playwrights, and directors together for an evening of theatre designed to hold your attention for just. long. enough. Admission during Hey, Wait A Minute is free, the bar will be open and the box office will be selling tickets for the 10-minute play festival that runs for three weekends starting on June 23rd. The Hey, Wait A Minute plays will be performed again at 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights and Sundays at 2:00 pm on each weekend of the Short Attention Span Theatre, that is, one hour before the SAST plays begin. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. For more information, call 410-810-2060.

Space Still Available in the Week-Long Garfield Center Musicamp


You are cordially invited to “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever,” this year’s Musicamp performance at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Join us as we celebrate Skyler’s 12th Birthday… but sometime after the pizza is served, the world goes wacky and every adult vanishes! Watch as the kids figure out how to organize and operate on their own, how Skyler’s brother declares himself King Charlie and how Skyler fights back!

Musicamp is open to kids ages 8 to 15. Our goal is to provide a musical theater experience in one intensive week! Camp runs July 10 to 14.
Scholarships are available through support from United Way of Kent County.

Register now by visiting or by emailing Tess Hogans at

Roots Concert Series Brings The Steel Wheels to Chestertown


The Roots at the Garfield concert series continues June 9 at 8 p.m. with a performance by The Steel Wheels.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge .Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are comprised of songwriter  Trent Wagler on guitar and banjo, Eric Brubaker on fiddle, Brian Dickel on upright bass, and Jay Lapp on mandolin.

Their latest album, Wild As We Came Here is a significant leap for the band, which started its journey in 2004. Wagler, Dickel, and Brubaker studied at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, about an hour from Charlottesville. (All four members of the band grew up in Mennonite families.) Wagler and Dickel were in a punk/alternative band until acoustic music lured them in.

Wagler soon started crafting songs and learned flat-picking. Dickel took classes on building guitars. They briefly played as a duo before Brubaker joined on fiddle. Lapp eventually came on board after getting to know the band from the local folk circuit. In 2010, following a variety of EPs and LPs, the ensemble officially branded itself as The Steel Wheels, a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress, and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage.

NPR’s Mountain Stage  says, “Few groups have come as far in such a short period of time as The Steel Wheels…”  Country Standard Time magazine adds, “What sets The Steel Wheels from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia apart from many bands is the combination of their stellar instrumentals, accentuated by the one of a kind lead vocal of [Trent] Wagler, and keenly supported by strong harmonies. Eric Brubaker on fiddle, Jay Lapp on mandolin, and Brian Dickel on bass weave in and out intricately throughout this record, painting vivid imagery which flows effortlessly, just teasing the lyrics enough to allow them to resonate within you.”

Then as now, The Steel Wheels’ style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.

This concert is the third in the five-part Roots at the Garfield series, generously sponsored by Andrew and Leslie Price, which brings early blues, bluegrass, folk, r&b and rock music to Chestertown. Remaining concerts include David Stone: The Johnny Cash Experience on July 22nd and Hannah Gill and the Hours on September.

Tickets are $30 general admission and $20 for students. Tickets are available by calling 410-810-2060, online here or at the box office. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.


Garfield Center Welcomes Two New Board Members


The Staff and Board of Directors at the Garfield Center for the Arts announced on Monday that Karen Ferguson and Elbert Sampson have joined as new board members, effective in April.

“We are so happy to have Karen and Elbert join our Board,” said Jim Landskroener, GCA’s Board President. “Our Board is comprised of members who have a diversity of talent and a strong commitment to the local arts community. Karen and Elbert bring an intelligence and perspective which greatly complements our Board.”

Elbert Sampson is the principal partner of a consulting firm with various

Elbert Sampson

consulting assignments; primarily with non-profit organizations working in education and business development. He has worked for organizations in the arts, business and education and has extensive experience in fundraising and business management. His love of sailing brought him to Rock Hall many years ago, and he became a supporter of the Garfield’s annual Chestertown Jazz Festival.

Karen Ferguson

Karen Ferguson served as the Director of Finance of a bio-tech firm before opening her own interior landscaping design company. As a longtime member of the Chestertown community, she and her family have been strong supporters of the Garfield. Karen has been part of the GCA’s Finance committee and her two young sons, Cole and Reed, have been participants in Playmaker Theater Camp for many years.

The Garfield Center’s Board of Directors includes:

Jim Landskroener; Board President

Judy Kohl; Vice President

Vic Pfeiffer; Treasurer

Morgan Ellis; Secretary

Matt Garfield; Honorary President

Pam Duke

Karen Ferguson

Julie Lawrence

Kristen Owen

Mel Rapelyea, MD

Elbert Sampson

Mark Sullivan