“Carrie: The Musical” Final Weekend at Church Hill Theatre


“Carrie the Musical is getting a bloody good fun production by Chesapeake College’s Peake Players and Church Hill Theatre,” says Maryland Theatre Guide’s Mark Beachy.  It offers supernatural thrills to a classic rock genre score; with blood, fire and her telekinetic powers audiences are gasping as the naïve and innocent Carrie takes on the high school mean girls. Bullied by both her classmates and her fanatically religious mother, Carrie finds some support from her gym teacher and a sympathetic classmate. But in this musical version of Stephen King’s psycho-horror novel, we know Carrie will find her own solution as the torments continue. Prom night will never be the same.

Carrie (Shannon Whitaker) finally gets to go to Prom.

Rob Thompson and William Thomas, both Chesapeake College professors are director and music director, respectively. Shannon Whittaker is an “outstanding” Carrie and Maureen Curtain “gives a strong interpretation” as her mother, according to Pete Heck, writing for the Chestertown Spy.

Carrie’s classmates Sue, Tommy, Chris, and Billy are played by Reilly Claxton, Jacob Wheatley, Olivia Litteral and Brandon Walls. The sympathetic teacher, Miss Gardner, is Samantha Smith. Other featured characters are played by James Kaplanges, Kiya Cohen, Shannon Landers, Catherine Jacobs, Morgan Jung, Sean Priest and Albert Conteh. Students, dancers, telekinetic spirits, police officers and others include Anna Terry, Savannah Bixler, Briana Litteral, Gracie Jordan, Megan Kaley, and Alyson Farnell.

Musical Director William Thomas will conduct from the piano. His musicians are Gary Caffrey, on guitar, Tom Anthony on bass, and Ray Anthony on drums.  The backstage and production team includes a set by Richard Peterson and Carmelo Grasso, with lights by Nic Carter, costumes by Miranda Fister and Jennifer Houghton, Maddie Baynard is acting as stage manager, and Jacob Blades is assistant stage manager.  Shelagh Grasso is producing Carrie with Sylvia Maloney as associate producer.

Carrie’s Mother (Maureen Curtin) warns her daughter (Shannon Whitaker) about the dangers of the outside world

Based on the King novel, Carrie the Musical was adapted by Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music by Michael Gore.  Steve Atkinson of the Chesa Del Crier posits, “I would suggest you see it more than once.  The first time to sit back, enjoy the show…return a second time to see all the detail.”

Carrie the Musical will run through November 12th with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2 pm

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and $15 for members at Church Hill Theatre.  Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org

Dancescape Performances at Washington College


Washington College’s Department of Theatre and Dance, in partnership with SANDBOX, is pleased to present this year’s Dance Minor concert, Dancescape. The concert, on November 17 at 7:30 p.m. and November 18 at 2 p.m., will feature original works in a wide range of dance styles by Washington College students, faculty, and alumni, as well as a special guest performance of Carol Hess’s multimedia LightForest (2017) by the Baltimore Dance Project.

Both events in Decker Theatre at the Gibson Center for the Arts are free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the Saturday matinee on November 18.


LightForest powerfully brings together experiments with dance, music, photography, technology, and the environment. Its five dancers perform amid a “forest” of tall, narrow vertical screens. Video and still images of forests, shot and edited by Hess at different times over a year, map onto the screens and create lush contexts of natural elements in varying perspectives and scales, placing the dancers within the changing seasons of nature. Timothy Nohe’s evocative sound score intertwines bird sounds sampled from the Cornell Ornithology Lab with rhythmic percussion and strong, resonant, digitally composed sections. Sound travels through the space with the dancers, who each wear a specially designed apparatus that contains an iPod touch and small Bluetooth speaker.

LightForest’s choreographer and composer will also teach a series of interdisciplinary workshops leading up to the show. For more information, please email:sandbox@washcoll.edu.

The performances and workshops of LightForest are made possible by SANDBOX, the Departments of Theatre and Dance, Art and Art History, and Music as well as the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


Peter and Will Anderson Quartet at The Mainstay Nov. 4


Peter and Will Anderson bring their quartet featuring Chuck Redd on vibes and their fresh creative take on traditional jazz to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, on Saturday Nov. 4 at p.m.  Admission is $20 if purchased in advance and $23 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website  Reservations can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Peter and Will Anderson are identical twins who are both virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone. Will Anderson also adds flute to the mix. Originally from the DC area, they started touring internationally at 15 and moved to New York City to attend Julliard. Now in their 20s, their fresh, creative, swinging take on traditional jazz has taken them as headliners to major jazz festivals and clubs around the country.

Lauded by the New York Times as “virtuosos” they write original tunes but also have a deep love and respect for the jazz classics. Their abilities have made them saxophonists of choice for Jimmy Heath, Wycliffe Gordon, and the Village Vanguard Orchestra.  They have headlined at The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, New Orleans Jazz Festival, DC’s Blues Alley, have played live on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and were featured on the 2014 Grammy Winning Soundtrack of HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks.

Though they compose their own music, the Andersons have a deep love of jazz standards, noting that “you can’t write something good unless you’ve heard something good,”

In reviewing a 2014 recording, Mike Joyce of the Washington Post said “[their] saxophones and clarinets elegantly converge, converse and engage in delightful counterpoint… the arrangements, imaginatively unfolding in ways that consistently bring a fresh perspective to classic pop and jazz tunes.”

Peter Anderson plays tenor sax and clarinet. Will Anderson plays alto sax, clarinet, and flute. They will be joined by Mainstay favorite and jazz advisor Chuck Redd on vibes and drums and guitarist Felix Lemerle for a fresh, creative swinging take on traditional jazz.

Note the 7 p.m. start time. For the darker, cooler fall and winter months, The Mainstay is experimenting with an earlier start time for their Saturday concerts.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

October 30 Joe Holt welcomes Brad Chaires

November 4 Peter and Will Anderson Quartet featuring Chuck Redd

November 6 Joe Holt welcomes Maria Rusu

November 11 Karen Somerville

November 12 The Mainstay @ The Garfield: Cassie & Maggie

November 13 Joe Holt welcomes Philip Dutton

“A Time to Speak” — Holocaust Memoir at Garfield Center


Joan and Sam McReady

A Time to Speak, the remarkable story of endurance during the Holocaust, comes to the Garfield Center for the Arts Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.  Helen Lewis, a dancer in Prague at the beginning of World War II, was interned in the Terezin ghetto, then deported to Auschwitz, and finally to Stutthof Labor Camp on the edge of the Baltic Sea.  After the war, she settled in Belfast and became active with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.  Later she formed the Belfast Modern Dance Group, the first modern dance company in Ireland.

Her struggle to survive amidst the carnage of Hitler’s Final Solution is told with wit and a controlled anger, which never displays itself in rancor or censure. Helen died in her mid-90s; this presentation acts as a fitting tribute to an extraordinary survivor.

A Time to Speak has been adapted and directed by Northern Ireland native, Sam McCready, internationally respected actor, director, and writer.  The production, which has toured the US and Europe, was named by Baltimore’s City Paper as the outstanding production of the year when it was presented by Performance Workshop Theatre.

Helen’s story is performed by Joan McCready, an experienced actress who has moved audiences in Europe and the US with the extraordinary sensitivity and truthfulness of her portrayal. This incredible story of survival will be at the Garfield Center for one night only.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

“Passions” Opens First Friday at The Artists’ Gallery


Susan Stockman

On First Friday, November 3, The Artists’ Gallery will present “Passion” – a new series of work by Evie Baskin.  The public is invited to attend a reception to meet the artist that evening from 5 to 8 p.m.  The show will hang in The Artists’ Gallery throughout the month of November.

This is Evie’s fifth portrait series since she arrived on the Eastern Shore in 2008.   Each portrait has been painted in recognition of nine people who live on the Shore, who are following their passions and by doing so, provide inspiration to us all.  There will be a statement posted on the wall adjacent to each portrait, describing the passion of each person, providing both a visual and literary element to this show.

Tom Martin

Evie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fla. and has a BA in Visual Arts from Florida State University.  After moving to Alexandria, Va. in 1999, she studied figurative work in oil with Danni Dawson and Robert Liberace at the Torpedo Factory.  After relocating to the Eastern Shore, she began working with pastel, studying at various times with Mary Pritchard, Claudia Post and William Schneider.  She has garnered numerous awards over the years for her work in pastel and oil and is a partner with The Artists’ Gallery, a member of the Maryland Portrait Society, The Working Artists Forum and RiverArts of Chestertown.

The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chesterton, and is open Tuesday– Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sundays from 12:30 to 4:30.  For more information about Evie’s work, please see www.theartistsgalleryctown.com or www.eviebaskin.com.

Philip Dutton


Summer Positions at Church Hill Theatre


CHT’s 2017 Green Room Gang Sr. production

Church Hill Theatre is accepting applications for the following paid staff positions for the 2018 Green Room Gang program. The theater requires a Green Room Gang Sr. director and a Green Room Gang, Jr. director along with two interns to work with the directors during the 5-week summer program.

Green Room Gang is a summer theater workshop that consists of two camps. GRG Sr. is a five-week, full day program of theater instruction for youths entering grades 6—12 that culminates in a fully staged musical for public performance. GRG Jr. is a four and a half week, half day program for youths entering grades 1—5 which also culminates in a fully staged musical production. Both camps are in session Monday through Thursday.  GRG Sr. begins June 18, 2018 and ends with performances July 19, 20 and 21, 2018; GRG Jr. starts June 20 and culminates with the production at the same time.

The directors of Green Room Gang are the instructors and artists who oversee and orchestrate the theatrical education of the Green Room Gang students and the mounting of fully scripted productions by creatively facilitating all aspects of the productions.  The directors have the challenging task of bringing together the many complex pieces of a production—the script, actors, set, costuming, lighting, sound and music—into a unified whole.  They will be responsible for all aspects of the production; however the focus of the position is the instruction of the students and the casting, directing and rehearsing of the show.  Applicants should have extensive formal education and experience in all aspects of theatre, and should be able to work closely with young people.

The interns of the Green Room Gang will have duties that vary with the nature of the script, the director, the designers and the production facilities. An effective intern will adapt to the needs of each production. He or she will always make it his/her priority to see that the director has everything he/she needs to bring the play’s vision to the stage.  They will work closely with the directors of both GRG Jr. and GRG Sr. and will assist in instructional, directing and production aspects of the camp. The two intern positions require a HS diploma as well as college training in a variety of the aspects of theatre.

For more information and applications for any of these positions, please contact the Church Hill Theatre Executive Manager Hester Sachse at 410-556-6003.  The deadline for applications to be received by Church Hill Theatre is November 24, 2017.

Auditions for “Biloxi Blues” at Church Hill Theatre


Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about Army basic training during World War II. The play won multiple Tony Awards and the 1988 movie adaptation is still a fan favorite. Biloxi Blues will lead off Church Hill Theatre’s 2018 season, with performances from January 19 – February 4. The rehearsal schedule will take into account holiday periods.

Biloxi Blues has excellent roles for young men (the draftees), a few older men, and two women (one playing a student, one an experienced woman of the world). There are also a number of non-speaking parts that would be a great introduction for first-time actors.

Auditions, on the Church Hill Theatre main stage, will be held on:

Monday, November 6 at 6:30 pm

Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 11 at 12:30 pm 

Biloxi Blues is directed by Michael Whitehill, who most recently directed Doubt: A Parable.  Auditions will include cold readings from the script and some voice and movement exercises (an a capella piece for the role of Carney and a “special audition surprise” for everyone). As always, CHT invites both experienced and new actors to audition and welcomes volunteers interested in production and back-stage positions.

Michael Whitehill can be reached at 443-988-1947 or kayak@atlanticbb.net for any questions about the play or audition process.



Call for Artists: Adkins Arboretum to Sponsor 2018 Juried Art Show


Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Md., will sponsor its nineteenth annual Juried Art Show, to exhibit in February and March 2018. The theme of the show—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore—celebrates the Arboretum’s mission of conservation. Named in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, the Leon Andrus Awards for first and second places will be awarded.

“Chives” by Paige Billin-Frye was awarded first prize in Adkins Arboretum’s eighteenth annual Juried Art Show.

The juried show is open to original two- and three-dimensional fine arts in all mediums, including outdoor sculpture and installations. It will be juried by Benjamin T. Simons, director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton. Simons previously worked for the Smithsonian American Art Museum/Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and was chief curator of the Nantucket Historical Association. He holds a master’s degree in art history from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, a master’s degree from Yale University and an AB from Harvard University. He also attended the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals in Claremont, Calif. Simons has authored collections and exhibition catalogues, written two books on private art collections and served as editor of the award-winning quarterly Historic Nantucket.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 28, 2017. Digital images of up to three pieces of art by each artist should be sent to art@adkinsarboretum.org. Submissions should include title, medium, dimensions (maximum of 6 feet in any direction, excluding outdoor sculpture) and artist’s name, address and phone number. Works should reflect or interpret broadly the show’s theme of wild nature and landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain region.

Artists whose work is selected will be contacted by Jan. 13 to submit the original work ready to hang by Feb. 3. The exhibit will run from Feb. 5 to March 30, 2018, with a reception on Sat., Feb. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. There is no entry fee, but artists are responsible for all shipping expenses. Selected artists may be considered for future exhibits at the Arboretum.

For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or send e-mail to info@adkinsarboretum.org.

The 2018 Juried Art Show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists.

Wind Ensemble Concert Celebrates Fall



Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble in rehearsal

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble celebrates autumn in its first concert of the season, “Festive Fall.” Music Director Keith Wharton will conduct this free concert, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at Cross and High streets, Chestertown. The church is handicapped-accessible, via the ramp and automatic doors on the courthouse-green side of the building.

Two works on the program were written in memoriam. “Almost Autumn,” by Gary P. Gilroy, is a loving tribute and celebration in memory of a well-loved, respected, and successful colleague. “In These Last Days of Autumn,” by Randall D. Standridge, was written in memory of a young, aspiring rock musician.

On a lighter note, “Dance of the Trolls,” by Mike Forbes, is a fun and colorful work that depicts the mysterious trolls of Mount Horeb, upon which Moses received the Ten Commandments. “Cut to the Chase” has melodic fragments that dart around the band as if every instrument is being chased or is chasing something.

Beautiful melodies are represented by an arrangement of the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” by Joseph Kosma, and by “Highlights from Wicked,” the blockbuster Broadway hit with songs “No One Mourns the Wicked,” “I’m Not That Girl,” “Defying Gravity,” “No Good Deed,” and “For Good.”

“Celebration Overture,” by Darren W. Jenkins, is a musical celebration of life and the wonderful, positive events we experience. At the other end of the spectrum, “Echoes in the Woods” is a piece that reflects the quiet beauty of Wisconsin forest and lakes after the passing of logging camps. In a more dramatic vein, “Music from Carmina Burana,” by Carl Orff, denotes primal forces and the whims of Fortuna, the goddess of luck.

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble is an all-ages community concert band. It was formed in 2001 to offer area wind and percussion musicians the opportunity to continue or return to the pleasures of playing quality music in a large ensemble. New members are always welcome, without audition or fee.

Rehearsals start promptly at 7 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. in the Washington College band room (no. 116) in Gibson Center for the Arts. For further information, call 410-778-2829, send a message to ESWEemail@yahoo.com, or go to facebook.com/EasternShoreWindEnsemble. The ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Kent County Arts Council.