From Above: Hunter Harris Brings Home Five Ribbons for Aerial Photography

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There is no secret that the Spy loves the world of Eastern Shore aviation. And this is particularly true of the adventures of one of the Mid-Shore’s most well-known pilots and aerial photographers, Hunter Harris.  Whether it’s flying Fuji blimps, helping create safety regulation for drones, or his endless documentation of the Chesapeake region from above, the Kent County native, and now Talbot County resident, has had a remarkably diverse career in the exclusive world of flying.

This time around, we caught word that Hunter has just returned from the annual Professional Aerial Photographers’ Association conference in Charleston, and had been rewarded with not one, not two, but five award ribbons for his work in aerial photography.

The Spy chased down Harris in his downtown Easton office to talk about the three photographs that so vividly capture this remarkable region and his extraordinary gift of photography in the skies over the Eastern Shore.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Hunter and aria photography please go here.

 

Delmarva Review: The Man Who had Luck By David Bergman

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The Man Who had Luck
By David Bergman

He wasn’t a survivor, just someone who hadn’t died,
and only then because of his stealth and stubbornness.

And luck. How much luck he’d rather not say
but others, far greedier and more scheming,

did not live to see the end of the war.
On his Atlantic crossing, he took

another chance and wed a fellow prisoner
for the simple reason that he knew

he’d never find words to explain
what he had gone through or live

with any woman who hadn’t herself
done whatever it took not to die.

Theirs was a marriage of many silences
in which they shared without a word

the otherwise unspeakable.
They passed the unsaid between them

like a worm-holed leaf of cabbage,
that would save them from the language-hunger

they feared would be their end.
It was not an unhappy union.

She was as discrete and bold as he was,
Luck stayed with them. It turned out Auschwitz

was better than an MBA from Harvard
for learning how to squeeze a profit

out of the least liquid investment or find
opportunity in the most unpromising place.

They grew fat and rich
and, with difficulty, had a daughter

whose hair was spun from gold, whose laughter
tinkled like silver shekels, and whose skin

was as smooth as an unmarked page of the Torah.
She grew up with a daring that delighted him,

a willingness to try almost anything.
She married several husbands

on the off chance one would be a winner.
Several pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

Still, she kept trying. And when he got the call
from Vegas asking if he would cover her debts,

he did not hesitate a moment to wire
everything the mobster asked for.

Nor did he call in his chips when she failed
at first to learn the intricate quadrille

of the twelve-step programs
meant to curb her appetite for chance.

He figured that his daughter had inherited this addiction
from her parents who had both gambled with death

and won or at least fought it to a temporary draw,
for now his wife was too sick to leave her bed.

Gambling was a recessive trait that in
certain environments gave Darwinian advantage.

What had placed him among the fittest,
condemned his daughter to the mentally ill.

But he too knew the lethal joy of beating the odds,
and the absolute indifference to defeat,

how icy nerves can set your skin on fire,
and how no loss is too great as long

as it leaves you standing. He remained
hopeful even on his last visit

to the quiet sanatorium she liked best
for its high-stakes air of intervention.

Her bone-colored face had been reduced
to a nearly blank cube on which her eyes,

once so bright and challenging, stared out—
two small dots that always came up craps.

Maryland poet David Bergman is the author of four books of poetry, the latest Fortunate Light (Midsummer’s Night, 2015). He won the George Elliston Poetry Prize for Cracking the Code (Ohio State). His latest book is a critical study, The Poetry of Disturbance (Cambridge 2016).

“The Man Who Had Luck” was published in the 2017 edition of Delmarva Review, a literary journal discovering outstanding new poetry, fiction and nonfiction from writers within the region and beyond. In it’s tenth year, the nonprofit Review is supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. For information and copies, please visit: www.delmarvareview.com.

Women Helping Women Concert on March 14

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The theme for 13th Annual Dr. Maria Boria Berna/Women Helping Women concert is SPOTLIGHT – Lighting the Way. The all-star performers who have joyfully entertained the community for the last twelve years invite the public to join us for this year’s celebration on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown, MD.

The annual show is produced under the guidance of Sue Matthews with musical direction by Joe Holt and is hosted by Jen Friedman. As this event always sells out, you are encouraged to purchase tickets now by going online at www.garfieldcenter.org/whw or by calling the Garfield Center at 410-810- 2060.

The WHW concert was originally created to assist in funding a free medical clinic established by Chestertown’s own Dr. Maria Boria for migrant workers in Marydel, MD. After a lifetime dedicated to supporting those in need, Dr. Boria is approaching retirement. She will continue to provide services at the Marydel clinic for the next few months and hopes others in the medical community will step forward to serve the workers. It is Dr. Boria’s fervent wish that the WHW concerts continue. She finds inspiration in the gathering of performers each year at the Garfield Center and thanks our loyal audiences who join with us to support those in need in our communities.

We are pleased to SPOTLIGHT a new direction Women Helping Women will be pursuing. We have been welcomed to shelter under the 501c3 of the Kent County Arts Council. We are particularly pleased with this shift as it will allow donations to be tax deductible and because it highlights the contribution of the gifted artists who are responsible for the concert each year.

Since our first concert, Beth Anne Langrell has been an integral part of the Women Helping Women concerts as a performer. She also serves as the Executive Director, Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center at For All Seasons. Since 1986, For All Seasons, Inc. has provided mental health treatment and crisis services to men, women, children and families in the five counties of the Mid-Shore. Last year she facilitated a grant from WHW to address the opioid and heroin epidemic ravaging our communities. This year, Beth Anne brought to our attention a new program being launched by the organization that seems tailor made to continue Dr. Boria’s original mission.

This spring the Rape Crisis Center staff will expand its services to provide workshops on sexual harassment/sexual assault to the Spanish speaking migrant communities working on farms and in chicken plants in our five county region. The Rape Crisis Center staff will educate women about what constitutes sexual harassment, their rights, how to seek help with the agency and provide them with confidential 24/7 hotline numbers. The staff will also provide workshops for the employers to begin an open dialogue about the working conditions of the women they are employing. The donation from Women Helping Women will provide the agency the money needed to kick-start this new program.

The show is produced by Sue Matthews with musical direction by Joe Holt and is hosted by Jen Friedman. Performers are Kate Bennett, Sydney and Madeleine Berna and Tillie Killam (Dr. Boria’s granddaughters), Nevin Dawson,  Elisabeth Engle,  Barbara Ferris, Jen Friedman, Meredith Davies Hadaway, Rebekah Hardy Hock, Joe Holt, Yvette Hynson, Diane Landskroener, Beth Anne Langrell, Jodie Littleton, Sue Matthews, Beth McDonald, Melissa McGlynn, Bob & Pam Ortiz, Barbara Parker, Caitlin Patton, John Schratwieser, Nina Sharp, Mary Simmons, Karen Somerville and Shannon Whitaker.  We are excited to announce that the River Voices of the Chester River Chorale will also be performing at this year’s Women Helping Women! River Voices Members: Bill Barron, MG Brosius, Helen Clark, Doug Hamilton, Bonnie Keating, Mary McCoy, Jim Moseman, Andrea Neiman, Caitlin Patton, Steffi Ricketts and Tom Schreppler.

As this event always sells out, you are encouraged to purchase tickets now by going online at www.garfieldcenter.org/whw or by calling the Garfield Center at 410-810- 2060. Tickets $25

The concert and the donations you provide are the sole source of funding for the programs Women Helping Women supports.  If you are unable to join us for the show, please consider making a donation by check to:

Kent County Arts Council/WHW 2018
203 High Street Chestertown, MD 21620.

Mid-Shore Arts: Cid Collins Walker

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One of the safest things to say about Cid Collins Walker is the remarkable scope of work in her professional life fitting so well with her passion for the visual arts and film. From her early work at the Whitney Museum, then CBS, and eventually with her tenure at Voice of America, Cid has done a remarkable job infusing these two worlds with her ongoing life as a filmmaker, designer, and artist.

This passion for art continues as she and her husband, journalist Richard Walker, decided to relocate to Oxford a few years ago as she continues with her volunteer support of the Chesapeake Film Festival, teaching art and film classes in both Easton and Chestertown, while at the same time pursuing her new series of artwork from her studio behind the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department building.

The Spy caught up with Sid for a brief chat about her art and photography as she enters into a mature phase of her creativity.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Cid Collins Walker please go here

Green Giants-The Fruit & Vegetable Sculptures of Jan Kirsh by Jennifer Martella

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One of the best ways to escape the winter doldrums is to feast your eyes on Jan Kirsh’s delightful fruits and vegetable sculptures. When I turned onto her studio driveway recently, two sentinels greeted me. One was a tall curvaceous eggplant resplendent in her aubergine gown.

Her admiring companion on the opposite pedestal reminded me at first of one of Henry Moore’s reclining nudes glistening in the sun. The green stalk gave it away as a sunburned chili pepper, without its white blanket of winter snow that was the cover image for Jan’s winter newsletter.

Jan Kirsh with Carrots

Further delights awaited me as I strolled through her garden. Maybe I’ve seem way too many Masterpiece Theater ballroom scenes but as I passed a trio of asparagus they seemed to bow to each other as a prelude to a minuet. Another trio of robust habaneros in different colors and on ascending pedestals spiraled upward to the sky.

Architects have a natural affinity with sculpture since both art forms deal with three dimensional space and light. After my tour of Jan’s garden of earthly delights, I loved visiting her studio and seeing her study models, mock-ups and projects in various stages of completion.

Jan’s interest in making garden sculpture “stemmed” from a childhood interest in hand building three-dimensional objects from clay and she never outgrew her childhood fascination with three-dimensional form.

During my studio visit, Jan also showed me her portfolio of commissioned pieces in their new settings. My favorite photograph was of Jan standing next to two intertwined giant carrots. Another amusing picture that caught my eye was of a giant pear preening over her image reflected in the swimming pool below.

Jan moved to the Eastern Shore in 1978 and quickly made a name for herself as a talented landscape designer. As her garden design practice flourished and evolved, she found that her clients often requested that she help them site existing sculpture and/or art objects in their gardens as part of her landscape design effort.

That facet of her work was fun and challenging and inspired her to begin anew to create her own pieces that could be incorporated into the gardens she designed. The best of both worlds for Jan is to design and then build a garden that includes a custom piece of her sculpture especially suited for the location.

After I reluctantly took one last look at Jan’s garden, I reflected upon my belief that one must have a touch of whimsy in one’s life to make you smile and laugh each day. One of these days I hope to commission Jan to sculpt my favorite vegetable, the artichoke, to enliven my garden.

Known for functional, artful four-season gardens, Jan Kirsh has worked collaboratively with clients for over 30 years to bring her unique hardscape and planting style to homes on the Eastern Shore and beyond. Ever conscious of the existing architecture and surrounding site, Kirsh’s successful garden making experience allows for dramatic results, whether she is providing a quick on site consultation, staging a home for sale or drawing a master plan. She delights in turning her clients dreams into reality.

A portfolio of her landscape work can be seen at her website www.jankirshstudio.com or contact her at 410-745-5252 (o),410-310-1198 (c) or email at.jankirshstudio@gmail.com.


Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

The Little Prince: A Review

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The Aviator (Paul Cambberdella, left) and the Little Prince (Alden Swanson) in the Garfield Center’s production of Antoine de St. Exubery’s beloved tale, The Little Prince     Photo credit: Bryan Betley

The Little Prince, a classic children’s book beloved by both children and adults, has been transformed into “a performance art piece” for the Garfield Theater’s current production.

Directed by theater manager Bryan Betley, The Little Prince is based on the illustrated book by Antoine de St. Exupery, a French aviator, writer and illustrator who wrote the book in 1943 after escaping from Europe during the German occupation of World War II. A pioneering commercial pilot, he had survived a 1935 crash in the Sahara Desert while trying to set a long-distance speed record. Though a pacifist, he joined the French Air Force in the early stages of the fight against the Nazis.  He flew unarmed reconnaissance missions. After France was defeated and occupied by Nazi Germany, the French Air Force was dissolved, leaving St. Exubery without a plane to fly.  He then spent time in America trying to build support for the liberation of Europe. Afterwards, he joined the Free French Air Force based in North Africa, despite being over the maximum age for service. Flying a Lockheed P-38 out of North Africa, he disappeared over the Mediterranean in July 1944 and is believed to have died at that time. The wreckage of a plane later identified as the one he was flying was recovered in 2004.

The book, one of several written during his stay in America, features the author’s own quirky watercolor illustrations. It has been translated into some 300 languages. Selling nearly two million copies annually, it has been adapted many times into stage plays, film and TV scripts,  audio recordings, even ballet and opera. Betley lists it, in his director’s note, as “a household story that’s always been present in my life.”

Famous quotes from the book include the little prince exclaiming that “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” and “now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Little Prince (Alden Swanson, right) shares a tender moment with, the Rose (Zuzu Kusmider).     Photo credit: Bryan Betley

The plot is presented as the recollections of an aviator who, like St. Exupery himself – as told in one of his earlier books — crashes in the Sahara desert. While trying to repair his plane, he encounters a strange young boy who asks him to draw a sheep. After a few attempts, he draws a box and tells the boy there is a sheep in it – which the boy accepts. This begins a relationship that lasts several days during which the boy – the prince, as the aviator thinks of him – tells the story of his life. It turns out he comes from a tiny planet, which is threatened by an overgrowth of baobab trees, which he wants the sheep to eat – while at the same time not eating a sentient rose the prince has come to love.  In further conversation, he tells of his visits to other planets and the people he meets there, all of whom are in some way closed-minded and self-centered. In further adventures on Earth, the prince meets a poisonous snake, several talking roses, and a fox with whom he carries on discussions.

Alden Swanson plays the title character of The Little Prince, playing at the Garfield Center for the Arts     Photo credit: Jeff Weber

The story runs through a surprising range of emotions, and touches on several deep philosophical issues in the course of its telling. The stage version at the Garfield Center is more an impressionistic recreation of the story than a literal landscape for the plot. It has a whimsical, almost fairy-tale feeling at times, with talking animals and flowers. At the same time, it has a degree of social satire one doesn’t usually encounter in a children’s story. The production is visually very striking, with lots of movement and bright costuming and a good use of different levels on the stage.

Betley has recruited a cast that includes many young actors, though this is not in any way just a children’s play. The two main parts, the aviator and the prince, are filled by Paul Camberdella and Alden Swanson, who is a fourth grader at Garnet Elementary School.

Camberdella, who has appeared in several Garfield productions including Mr. Roberts, does a good job as the aviator, projecting a serious and sympathetic persona as he tries to understand the little prince’s fantastic adventures while tending to the practical task of getting his plane to work so he can escape the desert. He adeptly portrays the character’s transition from an initial annoyance and dismissal of the strange young child to a growing appreciation, friendship, and finally love for the little prince.

Swanson, who says she might become an actress when she grows up, is excellent in the play’s central role. She is delightful as the curious young alien, combining a youthful enthusiasm and a sense of philosophical depth that are part of the reason St. Exupery’s book has held its appeal in a way that others of the era have not. A very nice performance.

Aaron Sensening, a fifth grader from Sudlersville, has a substantial role as the fox. With previous stage appearances at the Garfield’s Musicamp and A Christmas Carroll and in Church Hill Theater’s Orlando Rising, he effectively conveys the fox’s character – at first wild and suspicious of humans, later willing to become closer with his new friend, the prince. The scenes in which he appears are some of the best in the play, as he tells the little prince how to “tame” him.  He brought a definitely foxy energy to the role, his red coverall and realistic, bushy tail adding just the right visual touch.

Ben Anthony plays the role of the snake. A veteran of Garfield Playmakers camps, he has also appeared in Miracle on 34th Street. He gives the character the mixture of danger and attraction that is essential to his appeal.

Zuzu Kusmider and Kaya Rickets are cast as flowers – the prince’s beloved rose and a desert flower, respectively. Additional speaking roles are played by Chris Williams as the King, Ray Candella as the conceited lady, Tilly Pelczar as the business woman, Joe Diggs as the lamplighter and Brendan Cooper as the geographer. While their parts are brief, each brings a certain personality to the usually humorous scene they appear in.  And each of those scenes has a lesson, a moral, an insight , something about the soul of that person. The king was kingly, calling out orders to be obeyed by his royal command; the conceited lady was very conceited; the business woman was very efficient and business-like.  The lamplighter noted how the days went faster and faster, evening following morning with seemingly less and less time in between to enjoy the day.

Members of the cast of The Little Prince show a “frightening” drawing by the Aviator of a” elephant being eaten by a boa constrictor.”     Photo credit: Bryan Betley

Filling out the cast and taking multiple roles as flowers, stars, echoes, and “visual narrators” are Alex Raimond, Bella Williams, Ben Rickets, Severin Schut, Haley Pemberton, Delaney McCreary and Aiden Dunlap.  They do a wonderful job of portraying various animals and elements in the desert.  They are especially effective as the birds who carry the little prince away and,  in the very first scene, as the tail and wings of the airplane as it flies, then shakes, plunges, and crashes into the desert.

Joe Diggs as the Lamplighter and alden Swanson as the Little Prince

At times, some of the younger actors were hard to hear; especially when they were not facing directly forward  or when they delivered their lines too quickly. This became less evident in the second act, perhaps after some reminders that they needed to project to the full house or perhaps after  was adjusting to the individual vocal styles. This is the kind of problem that usually gets worked out after the first couple of performances.

The set is a visual delight, with a background of fanciful constellations and a large crashed airplane to one side of the stage. Piano music by Seth Betley adds to the atmosphere.

Play-goers unfamiliar with St. Exupery’s original story may find the plot a bit slow at first, but the pace picks up soon after the beginning and the energy is palpable in the later scenes. Don’t expect a traditional story line. The play is more about various philosophies of life and conflicting emotions. Written during wartime, it asks what are the really important issues in life. So what if you are the most beautiful lady of fashion or the most successful business owner when everything around you is in danger?  Young audiences are likely to unquestioningly immerse themselves in the delightful fantasy aspects of talking animals and flowers while adults are more likely to enjoy and ponder the philosophical aspects.

This is Bryan Betley’s first time as a director and he did an excellent job, especially in the choreography of the plane crash and the flowers as well as the staging of the scenes with the little prince and the fox.  What could have been chaotic scenes with too many young actors running around or static with just two actors talking instead flowed naturally.  We look forward to more from Betley.

The Little Prince will continue through Feb. 25, with performances Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and military personnel, and $10 for students of all ages.  To purchase tickets visit the theater website or call the box office at 410-810-2060.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spy Minute: For the Love of Pippin with WC’s Ernie Green

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For anyone who fondly remembers the Broadway musical Pippin as they were growing up in the 1970s, it is tough to imagine a bad version of that classic. Filled with memorable songs, a relatively simple plot, and lyrics that seemed universal, Pippin was, and is, the kind of theater production that any would succeed anywhere if given the opportunity.

And one such opportunity comes to Chestertown fast and furious this week. As a project of the music department at Washington College, a very limited production of the such will be performed next Thursday and Friday in the Gibson Center for the Arts on campus.

This bit of news made the Spy curious about a few things about this “pop up” production and we tracked down the director and Washington College faculty member Ernie Green about this short-lived student effort.

While Ernie, a Peabody-trained conductor, lecturer in music, and director of Live Arts Maryland, is comfortable in the academic canon of classical music and other diverse, and sometimes very challenging, forms of music, he admits in the Spy interview of his lifelong love for Pippin. The project also connects him back to a former career when he often was a frequent collaborator with the late Marvin Hamlisch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, and Broadway talent.

As his cast of students prepares for their free performance on Thursday and Friday night at the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts we talked to Ernie about the role of student productions, the magic of musical theater, and the endearing and enduring impression it can make on all ages.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Pippin please go here

 

Art Review: Joanne S. Scott at RiverArts by Mary McCoy

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Visiting Joanne Scott’s show, Elements, at RiverArts is almost like visiting her studio. On view through February 25, it’s a chance to see what this accomplished Chestertown artist is working on currently, but you also get a fascinating taste of her work over the past five decades.

Half the show presents recent work, intriguingly mixed with an equal number of works dating back as far as 1965. It’s a teasing glimpse, kind of a half retrospective, of Scott’s fresh and engaging work, and it makes you wish you could see more.

Deeply influenced by her many years of living near the water, both in the Chesapeake region and on Maine’s Monhegan Island, Scott is primarily a landscape painter. She explores both open vistas and intimate views of the living world, always experimenting with color, composition and ways of capturing the mood of each moment. Throughout her work, there’s a sense of awe at the beauty and pure aliveness of the natural world.

“Orme’s Buy Boat,” watercolor 1972

The broad marsh flooded with light in “River Marsh,” an acrylic painting from 2017, hums with vitality as the billowing, heat-hazed trees beyond lean inward as if in conversation with two luminous white clouds. In her close-up paintings of flowers, such as “Eight Poppies” from 1985, each blossom is an individual, full of energy and character. The effect is even more so in her three new poppy watercolors painted in 2017 where each flower is animated with sketchy pencil lines and crisp washes in delicate shades of pink casually but succinctly defining their papery petals.

In work that is all about close observation, Scott explores how shadow sculpts the deck of a buy boat, how leaves spread out to catch sunlight, and how the weightlessness of a luminous moon underscores the quietude of the nocturnal earth below. Her work has always hovered between realism and abstraction. Sheets of ice around a boat dissolve into washy fields of textured color, while the clouds towering over a flat Eastern Shore landscape become a study of color and radiant energy.

Part of the pleasure of Scott’s work is that she celebrates the things we love so much about the outdoors. There’s a warm, familiar feeling about her water-rounded pebbles, graceful boats and rippling water. Without pretension or romanticizing, she paints them in a clear, forthright way.

But while her work may seem effortless, there’s a great deal of skill and planning behind it, and it’s fun to scout out her methods in the underlying sketches and the layers of brushstrokes describing shimmering light and water. Through decades as a working artist and teacher of drawing and painting, Scott has honed her process, and there’s a sense throughout this show that she revels in finding both bold and nuanced ways to convey her experience of each scene. Perhaps that’s why she included “Belfast Series #3 Study and Print” from 1986. It offers a fascinating look at how the study, a confident pencil sketch of light and shadow falling across a gabled house, served as a planning tool for the print, an inviting aquatint etching.

“Heron Point Look Out,” a watercolor from 2011, says a lot about her skill in conveying her deep affection for our watery landscapes. In this snow scene, she captured a grove of slim trees glimpsed in a slow, graceful dance as if mimicking the marshy creek below as it winds out to the river. Masterfully simplifying her forms, a few strokes of gray wash convey a distant riverside house and the merest suggestion of Chestertown bridge beyond.

“Heron Point Look Out,” watercolor, 2011

There’s something about the work of an elder artist that is spare and radiant—look at de Kooning’s late paintings or Matisse’s cut-outs. Scott, too, has found this uncomplicated simplicity, and it’s a pleasure to share in her appreciation as she reveals our familiar world in pencil and paint.

Mary McCoy is an artist and writer who has the good fortune to live beside an old steamboat wharf on the Chester River. She is a former art critic for the Washington Post and several art publications. She enjoys kayaking the river and walking her family farm where she collects ideas and materials for the environmental art she creates, often in collaboration with her husband Howard. They have exhibited their work in the U.S., Ireland, Wales and New Zealand.

 

The Little Prince Set for the Garfield this Weekend by Lanny Parks

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In 1943, Antoine de Saint Exupery published his novella entitled The Little Prince. It’s length – or lack thereof – and the age of its central character pushed it into the realm of ‘children’s literature’, although the subject matter is certainly more serious than was usually considered age-appropriate for children. Loneliness, love, loss, despair, and death are wrapped in a fable about a downed pilot and a mysterious little boy in the middle of the Sahara desert. It has become one of the most translated books in publishing history, and has been adapted for stage, screen, ballet, opera, television, radio, and recordings. On Friday it opens at The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater in Chestertown for two weekends only.

This timeless fable is played out in front of a stage set that is every bit as original as the story itself. Bryan Betley, the newly named Theater Manager of the Garfield, has created a stunning backdrop for his mostly youthful cast, emphasizing the story’s narrative that living in reality pales in comparison to life in the world of the imagination.

The cast features Paul Camberdella, no stranger to the Garfield stage, as the pilot, and Alden Swanson, a novice, as the title character. They are each more than capable of carrying their roles; it is Camberdella’s strongest performance to date, and young Miss Swanson shows a real affinity for the stage. Backed up by a cast that includes seven veterans of the summer Playmakers camp, some familiar more adult actors, as well as a few newcomers, the play makes the book come alive as the author intended.

Despite much directorial imploring and harping during rehearsals, young performers sometimes have difficulty remembering to project their voices and slow their speeches, so be advised that your seat should reflect your ability to hear. However, you should certainly put yourself in the audience for The Little Prince.

Performances are February 16-18 and 23-25. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 senior and military, and $10 for students of all ages. To purchase tickets please visit www.garfieldcenter.org or call the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.