New Executive Manager at Church Hill Theatre

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The Church Hill Theatre Board of Directors proudly announces that Hester Sachse will become the Executive Manager of Church Hill Theatre, a non-profit arts and education organization, on August 18, 2017.  She will replace Nina Sharp, who will be pursuing other theatrical opportunities in the Baltimore area.

Hester Sachse (center), incoming Executive Manager for Church Hill Theatre, stands with outgoing Executive Manager Nina Sharp (right) and current Administrative Assistant Liz Clarke (left).

Hester Sachse holds a BA in Drama from Washington College, where she concentrated on all aspects of stage production. For her senior thesis, Sachse directed William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  After graduation, she was active as a counselor and Assistant Director of the Playmakers’ Camp at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre. This experience will be particularly valuable in organizing and running CHT’s annual Green Room Gang summer program for children and teens. Sachse also served as a programming assistant for the Prince Theatre Foundation, gaining expertise in program development, running workshops, coordination with other institutions and the day to day management of a non-profit arts organization.

Church Hill Theatre’s final productions of the 2017 season will be the drama Doubt: a Parable, running from September 8 – 24 and Carrie the Musical, a collaborative show with Chesapeake College running from October 27 – November 12.  As always, these productions will require actors, musicians, stage crew and front of the house volunteers. Hester invites CHT members and potential volunteers to stop by the office, located across the street from the theatre, meet her, and learn more about CHT’s ongoing activities.  The office is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Please feel free to call the office at 410-556-6003 or visit the website www.churchhilltheatre.org for additional information.

Chainsaw Art at the Kent County Fair

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Josh Miller is a Kent County boy.  Born and raised.  He grew up in Chestertown, attended Kent County High School and graduated from there in 1999.  Then he began his wandering. First, he went to Nashville, Tennessee, to an automotive painting school.  He had always had an artistic side. That led to a career in building and custom-painting motorcycles.  Did I mention that he also had a mechanical side?  A very good one, too. Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon he was custom-painting drones for the military.  They loved his work.  In fact, they loved it so much that one of them was chosen to be hung in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where you can go see it any day.

This weekend, Josh Miller is wandering back to his old stomping grounds.  You can see him in action at the Kent County Fair this weekend, where he will be demonstrating the latest turn in his artistic and mechanical career – chainsaw art – specifically chainsaw wood sculptures.  Josh will be on-site all three days of the fair.  Several of his sculptures will be included in the Saturday evening auction.  Don’t miss your chance to own your own chainsaw sculpture!

For the past two years, Miller has been on the Eastern Sholiving in Felton, Delaware, with his wife and two daughters. Before then the family was in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.  It was there that Miller was first inspired to turn his chainsaw into an artist’s tool.  He had to cut down a tree and thought why not have some fun, turn this into art.  Thus was born Josh Miller’s chainsaw sculpture career.  He’s been making and selling chainsaw sculptures ever since.

Miller’s subjects range from the sacred to the profane, the ridiculous to the sublime, with an emphasis on nature.  His bears are especially popular.  His birds are beautifully detailed.  His humor is home-spun and pun-full, some visual puns, some verbal.  To see more, be sure to stop by his FaceBook page.  After you’ve been to the fair, of course.

Chainsaw sculpture by Kent County native Josh Miller.

 

Rifle-stand with boots. Every cowboy needs one!

Carving a bear

Three-person “butt bench” – we didn’t ask who the model was.

Horse bench – on display this weekend at the Kent County Fair

 

 

 

Get Ready for WC’s Lit House’s Literary Salon

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For the sixth consecutive year, the Rose O’Neill Literary House is hosting its community-centric Summer Literary Salon series. Formerly called the Summer Poetry Salons, these readings have been expanded to include prose writers, as well as poets.

The third salon will be held at 4:30 p.m. July 25, featuring writers Elizabeth Hazen and Janine Joseph and music from local performer Sofia Ortiz. The community is encouraged to attend this free event.

Elizabeth Hazen

Born in Washington, D.C., Elizabeth Hazen studied English literature at Yale, then poetry as a graduate student in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. After graduating with her M.A., she remained in the Baltimore area, where she currently lives with her son. A poet and essayist, Hazen’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and other journals. She teaches seventh- and eighth-grade English at Calvert School in Baltimore. Alan Squire Publishing released her first book, Chaos Theories, in April 2016.

Janine Joseph grew up in the Philippines and Southern California. She is the author of Driving without a License (Alice James Books, 2016), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and finalist for the 2017 Oklahoma Book Award. Her poems and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review OnlineBest New Poets, Best American Experimental Writing, Zócalo Public Square, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and elsewhere. Her commissioned libretti for the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco include What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline, “On This Muddy Water”: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, and From My Mother’s Mother. Joseph is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oklahoma State University.

Sofia Ortiz

Sofia Ortiz is a current senior in the Written Arts department at Bard College. A lifelong resident of Chestertown, she has grown up playing music both informally and in small, intimate settings. She has also been involved with Bard’s a  cappella group, The Orcapelicans, for the last two years. Always a lover of literature and the Lit House, she is excited to perform during July’s Summer Literary Salon.

The event will be followed by a book sale and signing and light refreshments including wine. For more information on the Salons or the Literary House itself, visit www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/.

 

Swing City – “Delmarva’s Big Band” – to Perform in Fountain Park on Saturday, July 22

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Swing City – Delmarva’s Big Band – will perform in Fountain Park on Saturday, July 22 at 7:00 pm.

Swing City, Delmarva’s Big Band, will be back in Chestertown’s Fountain Park this Saturday, July 22, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Admission is free. Note that there is no rain location for this concert. In the event of rain, the concert will be rescheduled.

This thirty-five member group has become a crowd favorite with its arrangements of popular standards and swing tunes in the style of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and other legends of the big band era. The band repertoire also includes big band arrangements of more contemporary tunes. This Saturday’s set list will include tunes such as “In the Mood,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and a six-trumpet arrangement of “Bye Bye Blackbird.”

Swing City is certainly a living testimony to the abiding popularity of swing music. The group plays concerts all over the eastern U.S., with occasional ventures up to Canada.

Elmer Dill, founder and director of Swing City, led his first band while still in high school. He attended the University of Delaware, where he played with the university’s stage band, the Delmodians. After college, he joined the U.S. Navy and played in bands all over the world. Several other Swing City regulars share Dill’s military band background, and nearly a third are current or retired musical directors. Most of them live in the Delmarva area, though a few come from as far afield as western Maryland, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey. Members have ranged in age from students in their teens to musicians in their eighties.

This Saturday, the band will be directed by Jimmy Cara.  Dill will be sitting out this one as he is recuperating from an operation on his leg – the fourth operation since he was in an accident on his motorcycle four years ago.  The doctor said he couldn’t put weight on his leg for another five or six weeks, so Dill said that he would be at the concert – just in a wheelchair. But he will have his trumpet!

Saturday’s program begins at 7 p.m. and will end at approximately 8:30. Admission is free. Audience members should bring something to sit on. Only limited seating is available. Note that there is no rain date.  In case of rain, the concert will be re-scheduled. The next concert in the series will be on Saturday, Aug 5, featuring Annapolis Bluegrass.

The Music in the Park series has brought a variety of musical experiences, including jazz, swing, bluegrass, klezmer, folk, gospel and more, to Kent County audiences since it began in the mid-1990s. The concerts are sponsored by the town of Chestertown with support from the Kent County Arts Council and many community contributors. To help make these free programs possible, send donations payable to the town of Chestertown and designated for “Music in the Park,” to 118 N. Cross St., Chestertown, MD 21620. Donations may also be made at the concert.

 

 

 

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

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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 bonniehill@wildblue.net or phone 410-348-5181. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Academy Art Museum Announces August Events

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Pictured are guests enjoying AAM’s Members’ Exhibition.

EXHIBITIONS

Exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star-Democrat.

Annual Members’ Exhibition July 29–September 4 (Labor Day), 2017
Members’ Reception and Judge’s Awards: Friday, July 28, 5:30–7 p.m.
The Academy Art Museum is pleased to present its Annual Members’ Exhibition. This exceptional tradition represents the best of the region’s artists and offers an opportunity to view the creative talents of colleagues and friends. It should be noted that in the last five years, several members have been offered solo exhibitions after having participated in the Members’ Exhibition. The Annual Member’s Exhibition remains one of the Museum’s most popular offerings, providing a venue for our many talented artist members to showcase and sell their works. While updated guidelines are in place to streamline the process, this year’s Annual Member’s Exhibition continues the honored tradition of making the Museum available to all of our members for the exhibition of their artwork.

The Myth Makers in Maryland: The Mighty Merganser Continuing
Artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein (aka the Myth Makers) built one of their iconic sapling sculptures on the Museum’s grounds. Literally speaking, the bird sculpture is based on the Hooded Merganser, a bird which is common in Maryland. Figuratively, however, the artists’ intent is to create a bird sculpture which represents a proud monument to independent thinking and bravery, referencing Eastern Shore native Frederick Douglass.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Open MIC
2nd Monday of each month including:
August 14 (The Future)
Open MIC is a supportive space for our community to share and cultivate the creativity and talents that thrive here. A variety of performances, demonstrations and presentations are welcome. It is open to all ages. Each month will have a topical (and optional) theme to which contributors are encouraged to relate as directly or abstractly as desired. The Museum will provide a PA system, sound engineer, Steinway grand piano and reasonably-priced refreshments. Email RayRemesch@gmail.com for more information.

ARTS EXPRESS TRIPS

Michael Allen, a participant of Open MIC (Music, Ideas Culture).

HILLWOOD ESTATE, MUSEUM & GARDENS: Spectacular Gems and Jewelry
Date: Wednesday, August 9
Cost: $85 Members, $102 Non-members (includes admission, guided tour and lunch)
Nestled in the hills of northwest Washington, D.C., Hillwood welcomes visitors from around the world with its gracious hospitality. Escape into an oasis only five miles from downtown D.C., explore the Mansion, dine at the Café, and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the formal gardens. Spectacular Gems and Jewelry will display the greatest examples from Hillwood’s collection, left by Marjorie for the benefit of future generations, along with important loans of pieces once owned by Post but currently housed in other museum or private collections. The exhibition will afford the opportunity to examine the great quality and beauty of gems in the collection, their historical significance, and the evolution of twentieth-century jewelry design from the 1900s through the 1960s.

ADULT CLASSES

Workshops

Pastel Summer Workshop: People at the Beach
Instructor: Katie Cassidy
1 Day: Saturday, August 19, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: $75 Members, $90 Non-members
Seeing children and adults on a sunny beach is a wonderful sight. This class will take you through the steps of placing the human figure in the pastel painting with confidence. The class will cover design, perspective, scale and composition – all elements of a successful painting – with the additional challenge of integrating the figure in the environment. Bring your photos or Katie will provide the student with reference photos.

Painting

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry will be on display at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.

Summer Challenge—A Painting a Day for 15 Days!
Instructor: Diane DuBois Mullaly
3 weeks: Saturdays August 5, 12 & 19, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $120 Members, $144 Non-members
All mediums, all levels of experience. Based on the philosophy of the Daily Painting movement; creating one small artwork each day is a great way to improve quickly, loosen up, and develop the discipline to get into the studio every day. Paintings are typically 6”x 6” or 5”x7” and can be any subject, painted from life or from photos. The first session briefly introduces the concept; then the challenge begins with the instructor and enrolled artists all painting together in the Museum’s studio. Over the following two weeks, enrolled artists paint one painting a day in their home studios; then the current week’s work is brought to class for an individual critique and discussion of each artist’s work. The instructor will take on this exciting summer challenge alongside the enrolled artists, and offer her insight and tips along the way. A very popular event, this challenge should fill fast! Don’t miss it! dianeduboismullaly.com

Telling Stories with Small Paintings
Instructor: Matthew Hillier
Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$195 Members, $225 Non-members
Matthew is teaching a workshop on how to paint a small painting (not a miniature) with figures, animals and boats as subject matter. He will show the student how to take a concept and to work out the problems in the initial study. Values, color and composition will be addressed and there will be several demonstrations by the instructor. A small painting can be a short story, a study for a larger piece or a beautiful little gem that stands on its own. This promises to be an exciting workshop so please register early as the class will fill. This workshop is not for beginners.

Pastel

Diane DuBois Mullaly

For the Pastelist: Summer Mentoring Sessions
Mentor: Katie Cassidy 4 Sessions: Wednesdays, August 9, 16, 23 and 30, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: 4 Sessions $110 or $35 per session drop-in fee
Spend the hot August days in a cool studio working with fellow pastel artists on individual projects of your design. Katie will be there working on her own pieces and mentoring other artists as needed. Use the time to try new subject, new techniques or materials while you relax and create in a supportive environment. Each session ends with an informative and lively critique. Open to all levels. Minimum of 6 students, maximum of 16.

Private Lessons in Photography or Photoshop
Instructor: George Holzer
Time and number of weeks: variable
Cost: per hour fee
Private lessons in digital photography, Photoshop (Full Version or Elements), and general digital imaging; Shooting pictures and photography principles, Photoshop enhancements and creative uses, specific individual digital projects. Lessons can be tailored to individual needs and time frame. Contact: George Holzer geo@georgeholzer.com or 410.310.2604 (cell)

CHILDREN’S CLASSES/PROGRAMMING

Sumi-e Painting
Ages 8–14 (Adults welcome)
Instructor: Dawn Malosh
Monday-Friday, July 31–August 4, 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Cost: $115 Museum members; $125 non-members
Students in this workshop will learn a unique method to meditate and relax, while painting the “chi” of the nature around them, as Buddhist monks called the Chan did 1000 years ago. This class will teach a simplified version of the traditional meditative Eastern approach and style to nature painting. Participants will learn about traditional Eastern painting media, such as the bamboo brush, sumi-e ink, rice paper and suzuri inkwell. All materials provided. If the weather is nice, we may be able to go outside to do some ink paintings in the Talbot Historical Society Gardens. Signed permission slips will be necessary for this option. Please bring a hat and sunscreen.

A student having fun at AAM’s Summer Camps.

Kaleidoscope Summer Arts Camp
Ages 6+
Week # 2 Monday–Friday, July 31–August 4
Instructors: Maria Sage and Theresa Schram
12:30–3:30 p.m. daily each week
Cost: $105 Museum members; $115 non-members per week

This signature multi-media camp will feature opportunities each week to explore and develop projects from observation and imagination. Drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and printmaking may be included. Each week is different. All materials provided. Grand viewing of the week’s projects and party on the last day. Parents are invited!

Fun with Photoshop
Grades 5-9
Instructor: Garnette Hines
Monday-Friday, July 31-August 4, 1 – 3 p.m.
Cost: $140 Museum members; $150 non-members
Easton High School’s digital media specialist, Garnette Hines, teaches students the basics of digital storytelling using the industry-standard Adobe Photoshop. In this class, students will try their hand at Photoshop painting, create mythological creatures, learn how to create animated gifs, and transform photos of themselves to create surreal special effects, such as flying and other superpowers.

Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
Grades: 7–12
Instructor: Katy Trice
Monday–Friday, August 7–11, 10 a.m.–12:00 noon
Cost: $110 Museum members; $120 non-members

Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction and Short Stories
Grades: 7–12
Instructor: Katy Trice
Monday-Friday, August 7–11, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Cost: $110 Museum members; $120 non-members
These are the perfect classes for students who find themselves constantly writing down phrases, stories, stanzas, or narratives. Each day students will start with a free-write prompt, move into reading and reviewing each other’s work, and then play some creative writing games. The morning session is Poetry, and the afternoon session is Fiction and Short Stories. Students are encouraged to sign up for the one they are most interested in, or both if they can’t decide!

The Art Studio
Ages 7–10
Instructor: Susan Horsey
Monday–Friday, August 14–18, 10 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Cost: $130 Museum members; $140 non-members
A week full of imaginative activities! The Art Studio is a complete art experience that blends fun and creativity. Each day will bring a new project, including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, memory jars and more. If you’ve taken one of Ms. Horsey’s camps in the past, you’ll be happy to know that this summer’s Art Studio will feature all new projects. All materials provided.

Dive into the World of Math and Art!
Grades 6–8
Instructor: Deborah Scales
Monday – Friday, August 14-18, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Cost: $125 Museum members; $135 non-members
This fun and challenging five-day workshop is for any middle school math student who wants to discover an exciting way to learn math through art-making. If you like art, you may find that you also find a new love for math. We will explore art-making through mathematical strategies, skills and problem solving. We will use basic operations of arithmetic, algebraic formulas, scientific notation, geometric figures, precision measuring, ratios and proportions, linear-point perspective, transformations, and platonic solids. You will begin this school year with a kaleidoscope of math knowledge! In fact, one of our projects is to make M.C. Escher kaleidocycles. M.C. Escher is a famous artist who said, “I was a particularly poor student in math.” Yet, the funny thing is, mathematicians love his art! The instructor, Deborah Scales is a certified K-12 art teacher and teaches middle school math at Lighthouse Christian Academy on Kent Island.

Sketch it! A Sketchbook Journey
Ages 8–13
Instructor: Susan Horsey
Monday–Friday, August 21–25,10 a.m.–12:00 noon
Cost: $130 Museum members; $140 non-members
The ability to quickly sketch an idea or image is a fundamental skill. This camp is for children who love to draw, paint and create, while developing their skills and techniques. A variety of media will be explored, including pencil, pens, watercolors, and colored pencils–all in students’ sketchbooks. Together we’ll make art a daily event, drawing inspiration from nature and our surroundings. All materials provided.

Architecture Camp
Ages 10-13
Instructor: Andrea Milito
Monday–Friday August 7–11 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Cost: $125 Members; $135 Non-members
Calling all builders and designers! In this camp, students will explore the world of architecture in a hands-on environment. They will learn about the structural differences of various types of buildings and interiors they see every day, work to design a building, and create their own cityscapes! This is a chance for students to learn new skills and see the world around them in a new light.

Band Camps
Instructor: Ray Remesch
Ages: 7-10 years: Dates: July 31-Aug 4
Ages: 10+ Dates: August 7-11, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. each day
Fee: $155 Members, $186 Non-members per week
Band Camp is an opportunity for young musicians to practice effective teamwork and creative expression. The daily schedule will include musicianship masterclasses, group improvisation games and rehearsals for a short Friday afternoon concert. This camp is open to singers and all types of instruments including, but not limited to, the guitar, piano/keyboard, violin, percussion, clarinet, sitar and kazoo. Ray Remesch (410) 829-0335 or rayremesch@gmail.com.

Recording Arts Camp
Instructor: Ray Remesch Ages: 9+ Dates: August 14-18, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. each day
Fee: $155 Members, $186 Non-members per week
The Recording Arts Camp is designed for kids who have an interest in DIY music production and want to professionalize their sound. Campers will learn practical strategies they can use whether they’re recording with a phone, a home computer or in a professional studio. The week’s itinerary includes creative group and individual projects, focused workshops and fun challenges/games. Ray Remesch (410) 829-0335 or rayremesch@gmail.com.

Mini Masters Summer Camps (For Ages Three through Four)

Building and Construction!
August 14 through 17
9 a.m. to noon
Participants will spend the week building and constructing things out of recycled and other materials. Vehicles, buildings, robots, and child-created designs will be some of the items created.

PIANO & GUITAR LESSONS

Piano & Guitar Lessons
Instructor: Raymond Remesh (410) 829-0335
Whether your goal is to audition for a conservatory, lead your family in song during holidays or learn to play the music you love, a personalized music education is one of the most rewarding and enduring investments a person can make for themselves or their child. Contact the instructor directly for lesson schedule and cost.

DANCE

Adult Ballroom & Latin Dance
Amanda Showell (302)-377-3088. www.dancingontheshore.com.

For additional information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Johnny Cash Comes to the Garfield!

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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 www.GarfieldCenter.org or at the box office. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

See the Magic of Willy Wonka and Dr. Seuss at Church Hill Theatre

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Talented local youngsters will entertain audiences of all ages in performances of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS and Seussical JR. at Church Hill Theatre from Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23. For almost 20 years, Green Room Gang campers have honed their acting, singing and dancing skills to produce fully staged musical productions.

Mischievous Oompa Loompas put naughty children in sticky situations in CHT’s Green Room Gang Junior production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS is a colorful musical adapted for children from Roald Dahl’s unforgettable book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” as well as the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” starring Gene Wilder.

Looks like somebody found a Golden Ticket! Join Green Room Gang Junior as they journey into Willy Wonka’s magical factory in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS.

The cast of CHT’s Green Room Gang Senior production of Seussical JR. welcomes audiences to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss.

Seussical JR. is a fantastical musical adventure co-conceived by Eric Idle (of “Monty Python” fame) that transports audiences to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss and includes such memorable characters as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the tiny Whos of Whoville.

The colorful characters of Dr. Seuss come to life in the CHT’s Green Room Gang Senior production of Seussical JR.

Becca Van Aken served as director to younger performers in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS and Shannon Whitaker directed the middle and high schoolers in Seussical JR. Interns Georgia Rickloff and Iz Clemens ably assisted the directors with instruction and production. Shelagh Grasso and Sylvia Maloney, retired educators and avid CHT volunteers, served as producers for the camp. A small staff provided overall technical support for the productions, including Carmen Grasso and Brian Whitaker who designed and built the set, Tina and Erma Johnson who created the costumes, and Nic Carter who was responsible for the light design.  S.G. Atkinson was the photographer. Several past GRG students volunteered as camp helpers, and many parents and other volunteers helped with costumes, sets, props, and backstage responsibilities, making this annual production a true community effort. 

Horton the Elephant searches frantically for a very special clover in the CHT’s Green Room Gang Senior production of Seussical JR.

Shows will be on the evenings of Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21 at 7 pm and there will be matinee performances on Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 at 2 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students; only cash or check will be accepted for this production. At these shows, audiences will also have the opportunity to participate in Church Hill Theatre’s “Sweets for Stucco” fundraiser to support their historic exterior stucco restoration, which is a $19,000 project.

The theatre is located at 103 Walnut St. in Church Hill, MD, 21623

Reservations for CHT’s Green Room Gang 2017 performances can be made by calling the Church Hill Theatre office at (410) 556-6003.

For more information, visit the theatre website, contact theatre manager Nina Sharp by email at execmanager@churchhilltheatre.org or call the Church Hill Theatre Office 410-556-6003

Lewin’s “Orlando Rising” Debuts at Church Hill Theatre

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BC Productions proudly announces the premiere of Orlando Rising, the latest script by Chestertown playwright Earl Lewin. Set in November 1963 on the heels of the Kennedy assassination, this drama in two acts will have its premiere at Church Hill Theatre Friday, July 28.

Wally (Chris Rogers) and Ruth Kristine Kinlock ruminate over Wally’s grandmother’s visit and the memories created by Orlando Rising. (Photo by Jane Jewell)

The script conveys the contorted journey of Wally, a college professor, and his wife Ruth as they play temporary host to the family matriarch, Nana. This high tension drama unravels when events surrounding the Kennedy assassination open a festering family secret that has lurked in Wally’s subconscious since childhood.

Wally teaches literature with a current focus on the plays of Henrick Ibsen. As he prepares his lectures through study of Ibsen’s dark and disturbing themes, something unspoken begins tugging at his childhood memories and his image of his Uncle Orlando. Can Wally find a way to confront Nana and to obtain the truth about Orlando? Is Orlando really secure in the mental hospital that he walked away from so many times in the past, or is he going to suddenly appear and cause havoc in their lives?

Nana, a product of the Victorian Age, has hidden these events for three generations. Why is Orlando kept in a mental hospital? Why does no one ever discuss it or visit him? Wally remembers visits to the hospital with his mother and Nana when he was very little. He remembers Orlando’s uncontrollable rage about the government and his anger with Nana; his threats to kill her.

Wally harbors a disquieting memory of Orlando rising like a specter in the darkened living room of his childhood home following an escape from the hospital. Wally lives with the suppressed fear that one day Orlando will once again appear to threaten their lives.

The cast includes Chris Rogers as Wally. Rogers is a well-known, local actor and cofounder of the Shore Shakespeare Company. He recently made his directorial debut with the Company’s summer production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Portraying his wife Ruth is Christine Kinlock who was recently seen in Shore Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Church Hill Theatre’s Jake’s Women. Nana, Wally’s grandmother, is played by Kathy Jones who is a familiar talent on stages at Chesapeake College, Church Hill Theatre, and Colonial Players in Annapolis.

Howard Mesick portrays Wally’s father Jack. Mesick is both a playwright and a familiar face on local stages playing lead roles at both the Garfield Center for the Arts and Church Hill Theatre.

Jean Leverage, who plays Alyson, Wally’s mother, has appeared in several musical productions atChurch Hill Theater. Childhood Wally is played by Aaron Sensnsig, and his childhood friend Dick is portrayed by John Crook. Orlando is portrayed by local actor Tom Dorman who has played a wide range of roles at Church Hill Theatre. Eddie Dorman and Jan Eliassen round out the cast playing police officers.

Assisting Lewin with the production is an equally experienced and accomplished crew: Eliasson (Stage Manager and Copper); Eddie Dorman (Stage Crew); Lewin (Set Design/Construction); Patrick Fee (Sound Design); Doug Kaufmann (Lighting Design/Operation); and Barbi Bedell (Costumes).

Most recently, BC Productions collaborated with Church Hill Theatre to present Lewin’s dramatic comedy, Saint Georges Blues in 2016, the dark comedy Accidentally Wealthy in 2015, and the romantic comedy, Visiting Sam in 2014. Orlando Rising marks Lewin’s fourth production to be staged at Church Hill Theatre in as many years.

Lewin, a published playwright, having had two one act plays published by Baker’s Plays, brings his extensive experience to directing his own script. Church Hill Theatre has a collaborative history with Lewin having provided a venue for original scripts including two musicals She Stoops to Conquer, The Musical and Celluloid, both featuring musical scores by Dick Durham. Celluloid played Off Broadway in 2010. His murder-musical The Burgundy Wine Mob also debuted at CHT to go on to an Off-Off Broadway production in 2012. Lewin’s short script entitled Not Responsible was also featured in the Short Play Lab’s MidTown Festival in New York City in 2013.

Please plan to join Lewin and his accomplished cast and crew as they unveil the layers of Wally’s memory to reveal Orlando Rising. Performances of Orlando Rising will be held at Church Hill Theatre from  Friday, July 28 to Sunday, August 6. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

All tickets are $15 (cash or check only) and may be picked up prior to performance at the box office. Reservations are suggested. Call Church Hill Theatre at 410.556.6003.