Christmas Joy! Open Auditions for Miracle on 34th Street


Miracle on 34th Street – scene form the movie

Auditions for the beloved holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street, will be held at Garfield Center for the Arts on Tuesday and Thursday, September 19 and 21 at 6 pm, and Saturday, September 23 at 11 am. Directed by Jim Landskroener, the play runs three weekends from December 1-17.

By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa. In a dramatic decision, the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, allowing countless children to experience the joy of childhood fantasy.

All ages are needed for this show, and all levels of acting experience are welcome! Familiarity with the play is beneficial, but not necessary. Scripts will be 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 by emailing or by calling 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Cast Set for Sylvia at Garfield Center


The cast of Sylvia — Bryan Betley, Christine Kinlock, Will Robinson and Jennifer Kafka Smith

Director Bonnie Hill has assembled a talented cast for the upcoming A.R. Gurney show, Sylvia, playing at the Garfield Center for the Arts for two weekends this October.

Greg, played by Will Robinson, is a man of middle age, a restless empty-nester, tired of his job in finance, looking for meaning in his life. Christine Kinlock plays Sylvia, an exuberant and beautiful lab/poodle mix, astray in Central Park, looking for a new home. When they meet, it is love at first sight.

But Greg’s wife Kate, played by Jennifer Kafka Smith, a busy rising star in the public school system, is looking forward to some independence now that the couple no longer has children to care for, and is less than thrilled by the clever and coquettish canine who jumps, slobbers, sits on her couch, and takes Greg’s attention away from his marriage. Bryan Betley completes the cast, playing Kate’s friend Phyllis, marriage councelor Leslie and dog park visitor Tom.

Sylvia is a smart, silly, sophisticated, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older. The show runs October 13-22, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for members of the US military and seniors aged 65+, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.



Folk Duo at the Garfield August 26th


Start with two compelling voices, an uncanny sense of harmony and a deep grounding in traditional American music. Add in stunning guitar work and a warm, intimate performance style, and what do you get? Martin Grosswendt and Susanne Salem-Schatz. This dynamic duo will be appearing at the Garfield Center for the Arts on August 26th for a 7 p.m. concert, and you don’t want to miss it. As Andy Wallace, the former program director of the National Folk Festival says, “Martin and Susanne make beautiful music together.”

Martin is internationally known as an interpreter of pre-war blues and other roots music. He started his career recording with and accompanying legendary folk musicians such as U. Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, and Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin. Susanne is a veteran of the Boston roots music scene.  A life-long singer, she slips seamlessly into any genre, making it her own; soulful blues singer one minute, sassy honky-tonk gal the next. Together they embrace a deep love and respect for the roots of classic blues, old time, early country, and honky tonk. At the same time, they make the music their own, presenting it with style, grace and wit.

Martin and Susanne played and sang together for three years in Honky Tonk Masquerade, a honky tonk/western swing band, before striking out as an acoustic duo. Their performances have delighted audiences from Maine to Georgia.  Their first CD together, Old Songs, New Hats, was released late in 2015.

Tickets are $15 general admission and 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.


The Princess Bride Opens this Weekend at the Garfield



Rehearsing a duel for “The Princess Bride”

This weekend, the kids and counselors of the 2017 Playmakers Summer Theatre Camp invite you to join them for their final performances of the cult classic, “The Princess Bride.”

For the last four weeks, the 31 campers and 10 staff members have been in rehearsal at the Garfield Center for the Arts. These last 3 shows are a culmination of their hard work. The camp is directed by Tess Hogans, Catherine Bushby and Bryan Betley; with Paul Cambardella and Bridget Copp as counselors, Annie Herron as a junior counselor, Tia Glomb as a script editor and Brad Chaires, Ariane Colson and Paulina Panas as volunteers.

The cast of “The Princess Bride:”

Grandmother – Nicole Reed                                                   

Kid 1 – Mariner Schut

Kid 2 – Anna Jayne Murphy

Mother / Queen Bella / Dancer – Cyanea Sloan

King Lotharon – Devin Merton

Buttercup – Merritt Connor

Westley – Shane Saunders

Prince Humperdink – Severin Schut

Ralph – Tessa Schut

Count Rugen – Claire O’Brien

Fezzik – Joe Diggs                               

Vizzini – Ben Anthony                                                                                  

Inigo Montoya – Thomas Martinez

Yellin / Original Dread Pirate Roberts – Quentin Bergenholtz

The Albino – Alex Raimond

Minion 1 (Albino Assistant) – Fantaye Kehm

Minion 2 (Albino Assistant) / Dancer – Erin Baldwin

Miracle Max – Sarah Herron

Valerie – Kayce Titus

Boo Lady / Dancer – Josie Merton

Clergy – Delaney McCreary     

Pirates:  Elizabeth Pupke, Jamie Baldwin, Yeabi Kehm, Lily Babylon, Savannah Quinn

Townsfolk: Lily Babylon, Lia Schut, Jamie Baldwin, Savannah Quinn, Kendall McCreary

Shrieking Eels:  Penn Sleightholm, Zuzu Kusmider, Malorie Reed, Lia Schut, Kendall McCreary

Soldiers: Yeabi Kehm, Penn Sleightholm, Malorie Reed, Zuzu Kusmider, Elizabeth Pupke

Fire Demons: Penn Sleightholm, Lia Schut, Elizabeth Pupke, Savannah Quinn, Jamie Baldwin

Rodents of Unusual Size: Zuzu Kusmider, Malorie Reed, Kendall McCreary, Yeabi Kehm, Lily Babylon        

Playmakers campers relax between rehearsals


The final performances are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. All shows are free, but donations to the Playmakers are encouraged. Theatre doors will open 90 minutes before each performance. Call the box office for more information – 410-810-2060 or visit

Playmakers Summer Theatre Camp is supported in part by The United Way of Kent County, The Kent County Arts Council and The Hedgelawn Foundation. The campers were also grateful to receive donated pastries each day of camp from Evergrain Bread Company and Just Right Treats. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

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.