Arts & Entertainment

Gilleóghan Dancer & Instructor Wins “Most Dedicated” Man of the Year

NOV 9, 2012

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Gilleóghan Dancer & Instructor Wins “Most Dedicated” Man of the Year

Editor’s note: Bethel resident Matt Mulvey is not your typical college student. Juggling school, work and already living on his own at the age of 21, this young dancer is focused and driven to reach his goals- no matter how big. He was recently bestowed with a huge honor, being named “Most Dedicated Man of the Year 2012″ by The Irish Dancing Magazine

Here is his story in his own words–

In the year 2000, my parents won a set of tickets to Riverdance on Broadway where I was instantly fascinated by the rhythm produced by the dancers’ feet. The following Monday I can remember my heart dropping in the middle of our 3rd grade’s morning rosary prayer as the opening act of Riverdance began blasting from my Walk-Man inside my closet.

After recovering from the embarrassment of disturbing morning prayer, my parents had me signed up for classes with the Gray School of Irish Dance in Edmond Town Hall of Newtown, Connecticut. By the spring of our first year, I was ready for my first feis in Southbury, Connecticut. I still remember how nervous I was showing up to a high school full of girls and boys far talented than I was. An advanced student from my class reminded me before I went on “Remember, after 8 bars you start your step!” The judges must’ve been shocked that an overweight 10-year-old could lift his heels off the group and I ended up with a third and first place. I was hooked.

It was that following summer that I was introduced to my current mentor, Philip Owens. To this day I try to ease frustrated students with the story of how Philip beat trebles into me and despite some blood, sweat and tears, I grew to respect him with unsurpassed admiration.

Throughout the next few years (2003-2006) I went from the chunky boy in the advanced students mixed ceili team to a World Qualifier. My first year three years competing at the New England Oireachtas were  leaving me  discouraged that my hard work was not resulting in medals or placements. Finally, the 2005 Oireachtas in Stamford, Connecticut changed that rough entrance into the competitive dance world with a World Qualifying spot as 4th place Boys 14-15. I can remember waiting at the back of the hall preparing myself for disappointment when my number was called as a World Qualifier and the feeling of joy that ran through me as I weaved to the side of the stage.

In 2006, I placed 19th at the North American Nationals and followed a steady streak of 3rd and 4th place for the following years at my regional Oireachtas’. After unsuccessfully competing overseas in the 2007 and 2008 All Irelands and Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne, my troubles with injuries came to a climax. What began with a proposed case of tendonitis began to drastically impair my dancing all together. Despite my injury, I qualified for the 2009 World Championships with my placement of 13th at the 2008 North American Nationals. I was determined to recall in the 2009 World Championships in Philadelphia but danced three out of the overall recall. The following week of the competition I was sitting in the waiting room of Danbury Hospital for what I thought would be the solution to my knee problems. I underwent major knee surgery and finished the dancing semester watching on the bench with my knee stapled and reconstructed.

Though unable to dance, I was presented with a generous scholarship from the Adeline Gray Memorial Fund for my “Commitment and Dedication to Irish Dancing”. After four years of consistent placements at the regional level, I was determined to bring on the new chapter of my life at the University of Delaware with the title of Regional Champion. Stubborn as I was, I jumped right back into training and by the Fall of 2009 I was following a consistent schedule of practicing on campus and catching a late Amtrak from Newark, Delaware to New York City where one of my parents would pick me up to bring me to dancing class the following morning. As challenging and expensive as that routine was, it paid off in November when I finally received the cup for the Mens 18-20 New England Regional Champion.

As my knee began to show signs of injury again, my judging conflict that forbade me from dancing in the 2010 Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne proved to be a sign that it was time for a change of heart. I took a year off of dancing and fully applied myself to my academic and social life at the University of Delaware, however I ended my sophomore year with something missing– dancing.

With the opening of my prior dancing instructors’ new dancing school, Gilleóghan Irish Dance, I immediately sought the opportunity of coming back to dancing. With my knee still holding a grueling problem for me, I sucked up the pain and managed to get myself back into shape to win the Senior Mens 2011 Regional Oireachtas Champion title. Along with the title came my realization that dancing would be the underlying factor in my future career.  I transferred from the University of Delaware to Western Connecticut State University, a 10-minute ride from the dancing studio and began assistant teaching with my instructors and mentors, Terry Gillan and Philip Owens.

Now I student-teach full-time with Gilleóghan Irish Dance and plan to pass my  T.C.R.G in time, graduating as a business major with the dream of running my own dancing studio one day.

 

Gilleóghan Irish Dance  is located at 170 Greenwood Ave., Bethel. Classes are held in Bethel and Danbury. For more information please call or email the studio at: info@gilleoghan.com  or 201.952.1679.

Bethel Youth Theater Students From Ultra Violet Productions to Perform “The Grinch” to Benefit Social Services

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Bethel Youth Theater Students From Ultra Violet Productions to Perform “The Grinch” to Benefit Social Services

Ultra Violet Productions students perform their Christmas show, Dec. 2011.

Young thespians from Bethel’s own Ultra Violet Productions (UVP- also known as “Studio 10″) will perform “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” to benefit Bethel Social Services’ food pantry. Last year UVP students’ collected 300+ cans of non-perishable food items to help stock the shelves of the emergency food pantry. Get into the holiday spirit by seeing Ultra Violet Productions Christmas shows and help those less fortunate this holiday season.

Students from UVP theatre troupe range in age from 5-15 and practice just 3 miles from Bethel at Dance Dimensions in Brookfield where there is plenty of parking and  a bright, clean open space with lots of mirrors. Ultra Violet Productions is a children’s entertainment company based out of Bethel that performs children’s theatre shows, puppet shows and provides educational entertainment for preschools, daycares, churches, parks & recs, farmers markets and more. Formed in January of 2010, the company has seen tremendous growth over the past 2 years and was set to move into its new studio in Bethel on Nashville Road, however the deal fell through. Ultra Violet Productions will  relocate permanently to Brookfield next fall.

Students from Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, , Danbury, Redding and Ridgefield participate in many of the productions throughout the year that UVP presents. Their last performance, “Snow White & the 7 Dwarves” brought joy to the seniors of a nursing home in Brookfield and plans are underway to do the same this year. Students will perform “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” on Sat. Nov. 17 at 7pm at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Bring canned food items to benefit the Bethel Social Services Food Pantry.

On Sat. Dec. 15th Ultra Violet Puppets will perform a special Christmas black light puppet show, “Krampus & the Swan Princess,” at the Wilton Playhshop, Wilton, CT. This is an original production about an ogre who tries to sabotage Christmas. Come see how the Swan Princess gets Krampus to see the true meaning of Christmas in this magical fairy tale, complete with glowing puppets and an awesome black light show! There will be 2 shows, at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Come one hour early to the pre-show for face painting, glow sticks & more! Tickets are $15 each and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit a new Brookfield Youth Arts Center (formerly “Studio 10 Center for the Arts”).

Ultra Violet Puppets is also pleased to announce they will be performing a black light puppet show at both First Night Danbury and First Night Hartford this year!

For tickets to “The Grinch Who Stile Christmas”  or “Krampus  and the Swan Princess” email UVProductions@yahoo.com or call 203-826-7194. Check out www.ultravioletpuppets.com for more information about children’s theater classes, birthday parties & more!

Like Ultra Violet Productions on Facebook, click here

Like Ultra Violet Puppets on Facebook, click here.

Bethel Musician Releases EP “The Canyon”

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Bethel Musician Releases EP “The Canyon”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 1st, 2012

GRIFFIN ANTHONY RELEASES GRIFFIN ANTHONY – THE CANYON THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED 4 SONG EP

New York, New York – Nationally renowned singer-songwriter Griffin Anthony has released his latest project, The Canyon, a four song EP. Following the success of his Live @ 305 EP release last year, Griffin headed back to the studio to record The Canyon. This EP marks Griffin’s fourth album in the past five years.

Drawing from the wealth of inspirational singer-songwriters from the 1960s and 70s, Griffin produced four distinct songs that walk the Americana/Pop line. Recorded at George Noriega’s (Robi “Draco” Rosa, Timbaland, Gloria Estefan) Cutting Cane Studios in Miami, Florida, and 251 Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, The Canyon elevates Griffin’s catalog to a higher level of songwriting, simultaneously demonstrating sophistication and simplicity. The result is substantial: each instrument finds its voice, whether it be the syrupy wail of the pedal steel or the anchored pocket of the electric bass.

The final tracks were mixed by Josip Serrano at Cutting Cane Studios and mastered by Mike Fuller of FullerSound, Inc. (James Brown, Rod Steward, Kenny Loggins). Griffin tackles vocals, acoustic guitar, keys and percussion and is joined by Johnny Shortridge (electric guitar), Brian Lang (drums), Adam Oldendorff (pedal steel/lap steel) and Kyle Stallons and Dave Cohen (additional keys). Returning from the Live @ 305 recording is Brian Tate (bass).

Griffin is currently on tour in the northeast promoting the release of The Canyon. In September, he will be supporting Michael McDonald at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT. Xavier Persad, of RadioIndy credits Griffin’s “stunningly persuasive, soulful voice and melodic arrangements” as the linchpin of his success.

For more information and upcoming shows please visit www.griffinanthony.com

Editor’s note: Griffin Anthony will be playing at the Municipal Center Farmer’s Market, 1 School Street, Bethel, on Thursday, August 9, 2012.

Bethel Summer Concert Series Kicks Off Sunday July 8 With J&B Band

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Bethel Summer Concert Series Kicks Off Sunday July 8 With J&B Band

Billy Michael of the J&B Band  performing with Erin Volpintesta, summer of 2010, under the Gazebo in downtown Bethel. Photo credit: Wendy Mitchell

The Bethel outdoor Sunday concert series will begin on Sunday, July 8 with Billy Michael and the J&B Band. Bands play in the Gazebo at the Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel, and start at 6:00p.m. In case of rain, the concert will be held inside of the Municipal Center. The concerts are free and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic dinners.

Sunday Concert Schedule:

July 8: Billy Michael’s J & B Band

July 15: Highway Robbery- Classic/Southern rock, blues, country

July 22: Easton Banjo Society

July 29: Hot Cat Jazz Band

Aug. 5: The Kerry Boys: Traditional Irish music

Aug. 12: Mental Health: Bluesy rock from the 1950s and ’60s

Aug. 19: The Big Beat Oldies Band: Music from the 1950s and ’60s

Aug. 26: Phil LoPresti Jr. and the Clark Eno Orchestra

Studio 10 Announces Fall Art, Music & Theater Classes for Kids & Teens

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Studio 10 Announces Fall Art, Music & Theater Classes for Kids & Teens

Studio 10 Center for the Arts is pleased to announce their fall schedule of classes. The fall 10-week session begins on Monday, September 17th and runs through Friday, November 30th. Registration is done by mail only. Please send your check made payable to “Ultra Violet Productions” (d/b/a “Studio 10″), along with a $25 annual registration fee per student, to Ultra Violet Productions, P.O. Box 255, Bethel, CT 06801. Siblings receive a 10% discount. Questions? Call 203-826-7194 or email studio10bethel@gmail.com.

ART CLASSES:

Mondays:

~Children’s “Art Around the World” with Miss Lindsey, 9:30-10:30am. Kids will take a trip to China, Africa, France and other exotic lands and learn about their culture. Children will explore the customs of other countries while their creativity flourishes under the direction of Miss Lindsey.  Family and friends are invited to a showing at the end of the 10-week session to see their little artist’s work on display. The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 5th and is $195/student which includes a supply fee.

Tuesdays:

~Preschoolers, Kindergartners and elementary-aged home-schooled students are invited to “Kat’s Craft Club” where they will create works of art with everyday, recycled items. Children will make ornaments, frames and other useful items while learning about sustainability. Miss Kat’s class runs from 10-11am. The 10-week session runs from Tues. Sept. 18th through Tues. Nov. 20th and is $15o/student.

~Folk Couture for Adults. Miss Grace invites Moms and adults to her 4-week session beginning on Sept 18th and running through Oct 9th. Class is from 9:30-10:30am. Bring your old clothing and create beautiful new fashions. $120/session, 5 student minimum.

~Découpage with Miss Jen for students of all ages. Découpage is the art of decorating objects by gluing paper and textured fabrics onto it in combination with special paint effects, glue and other materials. Each layer is sealed with varnish until the surface resembles painting or inlay work. Items students will découpage include frames, vases, boxes and ornaments. The 4-week session runs from 4:30-5:30pm Tues. Sept. 18th through Nov. Oct. 20th and is $100/student.

~Calling all elementary students, tweens and teens who love “Trashy Fashion!” You will love this class with Miss Grace, a master duct tape and “up-cycled” fashion designer. Students will make handbags, dresses, skirts and other works of wearable art out of duct tape, newspaper and other recycled materials. Class runs from 4:30-6pm. The 4-week session is Sept. 18th – Oct. 9th, $125/session with a 5 student minimum.

Wednesdays:

~Children’s “Mastering the Masters” class with Miss Lindsey, 9:30-10:30am. Each week students will learn about a different artist and create mini masterpieces in their style. Children will paint like Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Chagall and more while listening to classical music which helps stimulate creativity. At the end of the 10-week session there will be a student art exhibit with a reception for family and friends. the 10-week session class is from 9:30-10:30am and runs Wednesday, September 19th through Wednesday, November 21st. Cost is  $195/student which includes a supply fee.

~Recycled Crafts for Moms/adults. Miss Grace shows you how to create beautiful works of art to display around your house and home by re-using everyday materials and adding some extra flair. The 4-week session begins on Sept 15th through Oct 10th. Class is from 9:30-10:30am. $120/session, 5 student minimum.

Thursdays: 

~”Craftopia,” Moms/adult class with Miss Grace. Create usable crafts for yourself or for gift-giving. The 4-week session runs from 9:30-10:30am Sept 20th through Oct 11th and is $120/session, 5 student minimum.

~Kids Knitting & Crochet Club.  Miss Kat will instruct students on knitting and crochet techniques and students will learn how to make scarves, hat and other hand-made items.  Class runs from 5-6pm from Thurs. Sept. 21st through Thurs. Oct. 22nd and is $175/student which includes a supply fee.

Friday:

~Kid’s Sculpture Class with Miss Lindsey. Each week students will explore various mediums and create sculptures out of paper, clay, fabrics and more. At the end of the 10-week session there will be a student art exhibit with a reception for family and friends. Class is from 9:30-10:30am and runs Friday, September 17th through Friday, November 19th. Cost is  $195/student which includes a supply fee. This is a 9-week session.

Saturday: 

~Puppet Making with Miss Wendy, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Each week students will work on drawing, sewing, gluing and creating their own unique felt hand puppet. At the end of the session students will put on a mini puppet show for parents and friends. The 8-week session runs Saturday, September 22nd and runs through Saturday, November 10th and is $175/student which includes a supply fee.

Sunday:

~Recycled Art with Miss Kat, 1-2:00p.m., The 10-week session runs Sunday, September 23rd and runs through Sunday, November 11th and is $150/student which includes a supply fee.

THEATER CLASSES:

Mondays:

~Broadway Babes & Boys, a fun introduction to theater for older toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners taught by Miss Wendy, 10:45-11:45am. Children will learn how to use their faces, voice and bodies to express their feelings, learn simple lines and put on a mini performance at the end of the session. The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th, runs through Monday, November 19th and is $150/student.

~Preschool-1st Grade Students, “Frosty the Snowman,” 4-5:00pm, The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 19th- last class on 11/19 of Improv & Crafts is optional. Performance date is Saturday, Nov. 17th, $150/session.

~Elementary School (2nd-5th) Students, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 5:15-6:15pm, The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 19th- last class on 11/19 of Improv & Crafts is optional. Performance date is Saturday, Nov. 17th, $150/session.

~Middle/High School Students (6th-12th), Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” 6:30-7:00pm, The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 19th- last class on 11/19 of Improv & Crafts is optional. Performance date is Saturday, Nov. 17th, $150/session.

Tuesdays:

~Elementary School Students Improv with Mr. Darren Farrington, Executive Director of New Britain Youth Theater. Introduction to Improv is designed to give school-aged students a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts such as story building, environmental awareness, saying “yes,” and making and accepting offers. The group will be introduced to many short-form improv games designed to build teamwork and reinforce the basic concepts. No prior experience in theater or improv is necessary, and participants will be able to take what they learn and use it to not only become better actors, but also better listeners and public speakers. Class runs from 6-7pm beginning on Tuesday, September 18th and running through Nov. 20th. The 10-week session is $150/student. A 10% sibling discount applies for all families.

~Middle/High School  Improv with Mr. Darren Farrington, Executive Director of New Britain Youth Theater.  Introduction to Improv is designed to give school-aged students a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts such as story building, environmental awareness, saying “yes,” and making and accepting offers. The group will be introduced to many short-form improv games designed to build teamwork and reinforce the basic concepts. No prior experience in theater or improv is necessary, and participants will be able to take what they learn and use it to not only become better actors, but also better listeners and public speakers. Class runs from 7:15-8:15pm beginning on Tuesday, September 18th and running through Nov. 20th. The 10-week session is $150/student. A 10% sibling discount applies for all families.

Wednesdays:

~Young Thespians Theater Class for Preschoolers, Kindergartners and elementary-aged home-schooled students, 10:45-11:45am, $150/session.

~Elementary Kids Musical Theater, “Willy Wonka.” Each week students will learn lines from the popular play about a boy who wins a golden ticket for the chance to inherit a chocolate factory. Students will learn blocking, technique, set design, costume design and explore all aspects of theater arts through this interactive class. At the end of the session students will put on a presentation for parents and families. Class runs from 5:00-6:00pm, Wednesday, September 15th through Wednesday, November 21st. Cost is  $15o/student. Performance date TBA.

~Middle/High School Musical Theater, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Each week students will learn lines from the classic drama/comedy that revolves around the adventures of four young lovers, a group of amateur actors and their interactions with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. The story takes place in Midsummer and is a complex farce featuring Hermia & Lysander and Helena & Demetrius. Their romantic intrigues are confused and complicated still further by entering the forest where Oberon, the King of the Fairies and his Queen, Titania, preside. Puck (or Robin Goodfellow) is a major character who is full of mischief and tricks. Other visitors to the enchanted forest include Bottom the weaver and his friends Snug, Snout, Quince and Flute the amateur dramatists who want to rehearse their terrible but hilarious version of the play Pyramus and Thisbe. Class runs from 6:15-7:30pm, Wednesday, September 15th through Wednesday, November 21st. Cost is  $15o/student. Performance date TBA.

Thursdays:

~FREE community theater for middle/high school students, 6-7:30pm. This is a workshop-style theater session where students will work together with the instructor to write a reality-based musical drama dealing on topics teens face every day including drug/alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and others. This live drama includes music, video and theatrical dramas geared towards high school students. Students must sign a pledge, fill out an application and audition to be considered for this theater troupe. Email Wendy at studio10bethel@gmail.com for more information and an application. Performances will be in local schools, community centers and churches.

Fridays:

~Flash Mob! A 4-week session combining improv, theater, music and dance for teens & tweens, $60/session.

Saturdays:

~Preschool-1st Grade Students, “Frosty the Snowman,” 10-11:00am, The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 19th- last class on 11/19 of Improv & Crafts is optional. Performance date is Saturday, Nov. 17th, $150/session.

~Elementary School (2nd-5th) Students, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 11:15-12:15pm, The 10-week session runs Monday, September 17th and runs through Monday, November 19th- last class on 11/19 of Improv & Crafts is optional. Performance date is Saturday, Nov. 17th, $150/session.

MUSIC CLASSES:

Mondays:

~Private lessons

Tuesdays:

~Cultural Music and Movement with Miss Wendy for toddlers and preschoolers, 9:30-10:30am. The 10-week session runs from Tues. Sept. 18th through Tues. Nov. 20th and is $15o/student. Students who sign up for both of the Tuesday & Thursday Cultural Music and Movement class receive a 10% discount off the 2nd class.

~Private lessons

Wednesdays:

~Sing & Sign with Miss Janine! Join local moms, dads, caregivers as they sing along to favorite songs while Miss Janine plays her guitar and teaches American Sign Language in this lively music class. Children under 5 years old must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Class runs from 4-5:00pm beginning on Weds. Sept. 12th & running through Weds. Oct. 3rd. The 4-week session is $120/student with a 6 child minimum. Siblings receive a 10% discount.

~Private lessons

Thursdays:

~Cultural Music and Movement with Miss Wendy for toddlers and preschoolers, 9:30-10:30am. The 10-week session runs from Thurs. Sept. 20th through Tues. Nov. 15th and is $125/student. This is a 9-week session. Students who sign up for both of the Tuesday & Thursday Cultural Music and Movement class receive a 10% discount off the 2nd class.

~Private lessons

Fridays:

~Private lessons

Saturdays:

~Private lessons

For more information about Studio 10 Center for the Arts please visit their website or like them on Facebook.

Sundays:

~Family Drum Circle, 5-6:30p.m., $5 per person or $10 per family.

Studio 10 Announces Summer Theater Camp Registration

Studio 10 Center for the Arts, a new community youth arts center, is currently accepting registration for our summer youth theater programs. Sessions run as follows:

Session #1  Monday August 13 – Friday August 10

  • 9am-12pm Elementary Kids – “The Lion King”
  •  A lion prince, Simba, is born in Africa and the animals of the Pride Lands pay tribute. Later Simba is told by his father, King Mufasa, that when he dies, Simba will become King of the Pride Lands. Simba’s Uncle Scar would have been king had Mufasa not had a child. Scar plots to kill Mufasa and Simba to take over the throne. Simba survives so Scar implies the stampede he planned was Simba’s fault. Simba flees and is later found by Timone the Meerkat, and Pummba the Warthog, and the trio become fast friends. Simba stays with them into adulthood until his friend, Nala stumbles upon Simba’s new home. Astonished to find him alive, she begs him to return to the Pride Lands, where Scar has reigned as King and ruined everything. All of the animals will starve if Simba does not return. Simba agrees to fight for his kingdom, battles Scar, and learns his father’s death was Scar’s fault, not his. Simba prevails, has his own son, mirroring “The Circle of Life.”
  • 12:30-3:30pm Middle/High School Students – “Once On This Island.”
  • This colorful, cultural musical play takes place on a Caribbean island in the Antilles. Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and based on the book My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy, is a musical which is the home to two entirely different societies: the poor peasants and the aristocratic Grand Hommes. A group of storytellers tell the tale of the young girl Ti Moune, who was saved from a flood by the gods as a child and raised by a pair of kindly old peasants. As she grows up, Ti Moune longs for a grander life than the one she faces and, inspired by the sight of a young and handsome grand homme driving past in a white car, prays to the gods to grant her wish.

Performance Dates:

Elementary Students “The Lion King” Saturday, 8/11, 2:00pm

Middle/High School Students “Once On This Island” 8/11, 4:00pm

Session #2 Monday August 20 – Friday August 24

  • 9am-12pm Elementary Kids – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
  • A beautiful girl, Snow White, takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as “the fairest in the land,” and Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own. The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs, warned by the forest animals, rush home to chase the witch away, but they are too late to save Snow White from the poisoned apple. They place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen’s deathlike spell with “love’s first kiss.”
  • 12:30-3:30pm Middle/High School Students – “Into the Woods.”
  • An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood?  A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A Witch … who raps? They’re all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairy tale. When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed  with childlessness by the Witch next door, they embark on a quest for the special objects ( a cow as white as milk… a cape as red as blood… hair as yellow as corn… a slipper as pure as gold… ) required to break the spell, swindling,  lying to and stealing from Cinderella (with the slipper as pure as gold) Little Red Ridinghood (with a cape as red as  blood) Rapunzel (with the hair as yellow as corn) and Jack (the one who climbed the beanstalk – with the cow as
    white as milk). Everyone’s wish is granted at the end of Act One but the consequences of their actions return to haunt
    them later, with disastrous results. A Giant (A female Giant, that is) steps down from the heavens and straight upon
    some beloved characters. It takes a few lives before the survivors realize that they have to act altogether in order to
    succeed. Thus, what begins a lively irreverent fantasy becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility
    and the stories we tell our children.

Performance Dates:

Elementary Students “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” Saturday, 8/25, 2:00pm

Middle/High School Students “Into the Woods” 8/25, 4:00pm

Classes are taught by Studio 10 Director and Owner, Wendy Ann Mitchell, an experienced, professional instructor with CPR/First Aid certification. Studio 10′s philosophy focuses on building the child’s self-esteem and encouraging their unique individuality. Our no-pressure approach allows children and teens to have FUN while learning performance skills that will benefit them throughout their lifetime!

Each week students will learn lines, blocking, technique, set design, costumes and explore all aspects of theatre arts through this interactive class. At the end of the session students will put on a presentation for family & friends.  With plenty of safe, fenced-in parking, parents will find it easy to get in and out to drop off their kids and teens on camp days. For more information and a registration form please contact us at studio10bethel@gmail.com or call the studio at 203-826-7194.

LIKE STUDIO 10 ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/studio10bethel

For more info please visit http://studio10bethel.com/

Bethel Photographer Nicole Cudzilo Seeks Votes to Have Work Shown in Times Square

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Bethel Photographer Nicole Cudzilo Seeks Votes to Have Work Shown in Times Square

Twenty year old photographer Nicole Cudzilo, a Bethel artist, recently entered a competition to have her work shown on the digital billboards in Times Square in New York City. Cudzilo was mentored by the world-renowned Brookfield photographer Laurie Klein who studied under Ansel Adams. During her time studying with Klein, Cudzilo was introduced to a wide variety of techniques including infrared red photography. Participating in Klein’s mentor group allowed Cudzilo to discover her own voice in her work.

Cudzilo said her inspiration comes from nature. “I like finding the balance in nature. My favorite part is creating interesting contrasts between two things. I like fantasy and etherealness, black-and-white and fairy tales – it is always about story telling.”

Cudzilo has displayed her work in many local galleries and shows such as the Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance show at the Danbury Fair Mall, City Center Danbury and Shakespeare on the Sound.

To vote for Cudzilo’s work, please click here and then click the ‘Collect Me’ button at the top of the page. The judges will be looking at the portfolios that have been “collected” the most, so if you like her work please support her by voting.

For more information about her photography please click—>Nicole Cudzilo Photography

To read Cudzilo’s blog and see more of her work go to her WordPress site by clicking here.

Local Artist Jim Felice Hosts Open Studio

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Local Artist Jim Felice Hosts Open Studio

You may have noticed the cheerful suns adorning the lawn of the Bethel Post office a few months ago. The outdoor art exhibit was created by local artist Jim Felice who recently announced he is hosting an open studio for local artists at his studio, just over the Bethel line in Danbury. Open studio will be held every first Saturday (or by appointment) from  10:-00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The artists participating are Jim Felice, Katie Bassett, Kenny Hess, KVEAZY, & Various Guest Graffiti Artists.The following are the dates Open Studio will be held for 2012: Feb. 4, Mar. 3, Apr. 7,  May 5, June 2, Sept. 8, Oct. 6, Nov.3, Dec. 1. for more information call 203-797-0230.

JIM FELICE STUDIOS is located at 15 Great Pasture Rd., Unit 15, Danbury, CT.

Artist Bio (courtesy of www.jimfelice.com )

Jim Felice is a painter and sculptor who explores the relationship between natural phenomena and manufactured environments. He has exhibited in over 35 solo and group exhibitions including: The Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Stamford, CT), Zoe & Floyd Gallery (Seymour, CT), The Sculpture Barn (New Fairfield, CT), Silvermine Guild Gallery, (New Canaan, Ct),Hiram Halle Memorial Library (Pound Ridge, NY), The Gallery at Onatru (South Salem, NY), Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (Mt. Kisco, NY), and Colby College (Waterville, ME).

Jim is the recipient of numerous awards including “Award of Excellence in Sculpture” at the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (2000). He also won “Best in Sculpture” (1991), “2nd Prize in Sculpture” (1993) and “2nd Prize in Painting” (1994) all from juried exhibitions at the Stamford Art Association. He has been a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists since 1999.

 Jim’s craftsmanship and specialization in paint application has won him many restoration commissions by galleries, estates and collectors. He has restored sculpture by Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Liberman, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg and Joel Shapiro among others.

CT Film Festival Kicks Off The New 2012 Season At The Bethel Cinema!

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CT Film Festival Kicks Off The New 2012 Season At The Bethel Cinema!

The following information was sent by the CT Film Festival–

BethelCinema          The Connecticut Film Festival
  

“The Vintner’s Luck”  Encore Screening

Starring- Vera Farmiga, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Jérémie Renier & Gaspard Ulliel

CTFF Kicks Off The New 2012 Season At The Bethel Cinema!

Start of with some Tapas and a vintage wine at Cádiz. Then join us for CTFF’s 2011 International Film Award Winner: “Vintner’s Luck”!

7:00pm – Wednesday, January 18th

Vintners_Luck4

Vintners_Luck2

Based On The Novel By Elizabeth Knox.  Adapted For The Screen By Niki Caro ( The Whale Rider) & Joan Scheckel (Beginners)

Join The Connecticut Film Festival when we proudly presents an Encore Screening of  ”The Vintner’s Luck” this Wednesday night.

Vintners_Luck_PosterSet in early 19th century France The Vintner’s Luck tells the compelling tale of Sobran Jodeau (Belgian actor Jérémie Renier), an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life; his beautiful and passionate wife Celeste (Oscar nominee: Keisha Castle-Hughes), the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday (American actor Vera Farmiga) and Xas (Hannibal Rising star Gaspard Ulliel), a fallen angel, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Sobran which endures for many years. A fantastical creature with wings that smell of snow, Xas turns out to be an unconventional mentor. Under his guidance Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love and belief and in the process grapples with the sensual, the sacred and the profane – in pursuit of the perfect vintage.

The Vintner’s Luck was shot on location in France and New Zealand. The story is set in Burgundy and the production moved between Beaune and Fleurie to take advantage of a range of magnificent settings and period locations. The region boasts more medieval castles,

Vintners_Luck3chateaux and strongholds than any other part of France. Those included in the movie are the medieval fortress town of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, Chateau Commarin and the 13th Century Chateau de Berzé-le-Chatel with its 13 towers in the Sa6ne-et-Loire. Also featured are the Bout du Monde and the chapel at Nolay, the wine village of Meursault and the ruined Abbey Sainte- Marguerite de Bouilland.

The film had its international première at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film marks the second time Caro has worked with New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for an Academy Award at age 13 for her role in Caro’s international breakthrough “Whale Rider” in 2002. The Vintner’s Luck marks one of the first credits as scriptwriter for actor and script doctor Joan Scheckel.

The Bethel Cinema is located at 268 Greenwood Ave. Bethel CT 06801.For tickets: call cinema Box Office at 203-778-3100 or you can purchase online:  www.bethelcinema.com

Crafters Take the Crap Out of Christmas!

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Crafters Take the Crap Out of Christmas!

Crap plate by Vintage Silver

The following is a press release from Jen Matlack of Milly Gilly House & Garden–

On Sunday, December 4, from 12 to 4pm at Molten Java, 102 Greenwood Ave., in Bethel, four crafters plan to take THE CRAP OUT OF CHRISTMAS by offering their thoughtfully handmade wares in HOT CUP O’ HANDMADE, an event that will feature everything from one-of-a-kind clothes made out of clothes, cleverly recycled jewelry, and verdant terrariums made from twice-loved glass and silver.

According to Lys Guillorn, owner of Little Cowgirl, who will have a table at the event, “It’s much cooler to make stuff, or buy it from folks who made it, grew it, baked it, sewed it, upcycled it, painted it, wrote it, or micro-manufactured it.”

We couldn’t agree more! And we’d love for you to let readers know about the show.

In addition to Little Cowgirl, which features handmade buttons, jewelry and other fun and funky stuff, there will be three other artists:

Folk Couture. A fabulous clothing line designed by Danbury resident, Grace Napoleon, who creates clothes out of well, clothes! Completely recycled, hand-stitched, and wonderful, these pieces range from sweaters to ballgowns each with its own personality. Grace sells her threads in New York, Boston, Brooklyn, and Providence. This will be her only “appearance” in Connecticut before the holidays!
Twitch and Whiskers. Owner and elementary school teacher, Mei-Ling Uliasz, designs jewelry out of cast away vintage gems and inspiring items from the recycling bin. She loves giving new life to old objects with a twist of whimsy and humor. She offers upcycled one-of-a-kind pieces, thimbilism necklaces, and REcap bracelets. Everything is lovingly made by hand.

Milly Gilly House & Garden. Jen Matlack repurposes vintage silverware into garden markers, garlands, and ornaments, all embellished by hand with original illustrations. A nature lover at heart (and passionate gardener) Matlack also designs terrariums using second-hand glass and silver. Additionally, she makes ribbon that you won’t feel guilty using: it’s biodegradable–food for worms! Two years ago, Matlack was featured as a seller on ETSY — too exciting!

Bethel Youth Arts Center to Hold First Fundraiser This Wednesday at Greenwood’s

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Bethel Youth Arts Center to Hold First Fundraiser This Wednesday at Greenwood’s

The soon-to-be Bethel Youth Arts Center called “Mosaic Arts Center,” is holding their first fundraiser this Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House, 186 Greenwood Ave., Bethel.  The purpose of the fundraiser is to collect donations to cover part of the cost the first year’s operating expenses for the new youth non-profit which will be located in downtown Bethel. Mosaic Arts Center is in the process of attaining their 501(c)3 non-profit status and in the meantime is operating under Ultra Violet Productions, a Bethel-based children and youth theater company.

Life-long Bethel resident and former Selectman Kevin Cleary donated $2,000 to cover filing expenses and will be serving on the Board of Directors. Cleary said:  “I am so excited about getting involved in the youth arts center.  The ability to offer our children and young adults a venue where they can express their artistic abilities in a learning environment can only be a positive for this community.”

Also serving on the Board of Directors is Aurora Olmstead, a photographer who grew up in Bethel and feels the arts center is something the local teens desperately need. “I have agreed to serve on the board for this organization because I believe in the mission. I may not have made it out of High School alive without the arts,” she said.

Suzan Black will also be on the Board of Directors, and is very well-known in the community for the many classes she teaches at The Toy Room and Bethel Parks & Rec.

Wendy Mitchell (yes, also editor of Bethel Buzz and writing this article) will serve as Executive Director/President of the non-profit and said:

“I wanted to start this mainly as a way to reach those teens who feel like they don’t fit in, who are not into sports and who feel like they don’t belong. There are many activities through the teen center for social activities and of course sports but for the artsy kids our town doesn’t offer much. The center will focus on visual and performing arts but also offer workshops on drug and alcohol awareness.

I used to do a traveling theater outreach show for teens in inner cities dealing with issues they face every day: drugs, alcohol, bullying, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, self-mutilation, etc. The show consisted of rock music, 2 or 3 skits and dramas and a special speaker, usually a teenager, who went through those challenges and survived. At the end of the show teens would come up to us afterwards, hugging us and crying, saying they were going to change their life and make better choices. Whether we reached just 1 teen or 100, it was worth it to know that we can make a positive change in the life of a teenager. The youth who performed the shows as actors and musicians also felt like they were making a difference in reaching their peers. The show was very interactive and geared totally toward youth and reached them on their level–much different from a boring lecture.

Now that the D.A.R.E. program has been cut, we fell this center will fill a void in Bethel and give our youth and children something they desperately need– education, awareness, a creative outlet and a sense of belonging.”

The fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov. 23 is at Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House, 186 Greenwood Ave. and begins at 7:00 p.m. It is open to the public and the suggested donation is $10 per person. There will also be raffle tickets sold for $3 each for prizes from local businesses. Mosaic Arts Center would like to thank Greenwood’s Grille & Ale House for hosting the event and WXCI DJ Jeff McKay for DJ-ing the event, free of charge. They would also like to thank the following local businesses who donated raffle prizes: Molten JavaPrivate Studio FitnessFamous PizzaCupcakes & Milkshakes, Send a Smile Cards, Salz PizzaSilver TouchPeachwave, Gayle’s Family Haircutters, Vroom Service Now, Gotham AutoTrue Value and Aurora Photography.

For more information about the arts center, or to make a donation, please contact Wendy Mitchell at: 203-501-7424 or email wendyannmitchell@live.com. 

Check out Mosaic Arts Center Facebook page for more information and to stay updated on the progress.

Kevin Cleary Donates $2,000 “Seed Money” To New Bethel Non-Profit Youth Arts Center

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Kevin Cleary Donates $2,000 “Seed Money” To New Bethel Non-Profit Youth Arts Center

Republican candidate for First Selectman Kevin Cleary has “put his money where his mouth is.”  A life-long resident of Bethel with deep roots to the community, Cleary felt the town needs to reach the “forgotten youth” buy offering them a creative outlet to express themselves. “With the D.A.R.E. program being cut, we need to do more to raise awareness and educate our youth through creative means such as this,” Cleary said.

Plans for the Bethel non-profit youth arts center have been underway since last December, but have recently been jump-started with the very generous $2,000 seed money donation from Cleary. After seeing a lack of places for Bethel youth and children to express themselves artistically, local theater instructor Wendy Mitchell decided to take on the challenge of  creating a space that Bethel kids and teens can call their own.

Kevin Cleary and Wendy Mitchell both felt that after the D.A.R.E. program was cut that Bethel needs to do more to reach out to the youth to educate them in a way they can relate to through drama. Last summer Cleary committed to work with Mitchell to create a space that offers performing arts classes and workshops that are both fun and educational. Sunday he presented her with a check for $2,000 to cover the non-profit start-up costs.

“I am so excited about getting involved in the youth arts center.  The ability to offer our children and young adults a venue where they can express their artistic abilities in a learning environment can only be a positive for this community,” Cleary said.

“With so much drug and alcohol abuse we need to do more for the youth of our town. This type of venue will do just that. It will reach the forgotten youth who maybe are not involved with sports or other after-school activities,” Cleary said.

“In today’s world we need to challenge all aspects of creativity,  expression can come in many forms and as parent and mentors we need to foster these hidden gifts and talents.”

Under the mentorship of Sharon Kaufman, owner of Village Center for the Arts in New Milford, Mitchell decided to put her dream to reality and has begun the process of filing paperwork to receive the 501©3 status needed to become a non-profit organization. The center will offer creative and affordable music, visual and performing art programs taught by well-known local artists.

The idea came to her after creating and producing a traveling theater show aimed toward inner-city teens to help combat drugs and alcohol, among other vices.  Here’s her story:

———————–

My dream for the past few years has been to open up an educational venue where local youth can express themselves with visual, musical and performance arts. It will be a safe haven where teens can hang out after school, take a class, and display and perform their art. In addition to after-school programs and offerings, I hope to make it an all-ages club of sorts on the weekends and have bands, poetry readings and performance art shows geared toward children, youth and young adults.

As a teenager growing up in Bethel in the mid to late 80’s I had nowhere to go. I had no mentor, no D.A.R.E.program, no teen center and definitely no safe haven. I got into drugs and alcohol as an escape. There were many times I should have died but somehow didn’t. But some of my very dear friends did due to drug and alcohol abuse. Call it karma or destiny, I feel that because I am still here that it is my obligation to help other teens at such a critical point in their lives. I want to tell the story of my friends and help the legacy live on through art and music.

For the past 12 years I have served as a youth mentor and have helped a number of teens who had no hope but through mentoring decided not to keep doing what they were doing. One told me she was going to kill herself but after talking to me and getting involved in our youth theater program she realized she did have a purpose in life and a reason to live.

As a youth mentor, I wrote and directed a traveling show that my youth drama troupe put on for inner-city teens to help them make better choices and use their artistic talents in a creative way. Through music, theater and arts, the performances helped the teens feel like they had a purpose and that their art could help others.

I have been teaching youth theater since the spring and my program has been growing each session. While much of what we do now is regular Musical Theater, our non-profit arts center drama program will dig deeper and hit on topics relevant to today’s youth. The teens can write their own plays and perform what is important to them and show their hearts through their art.

It is also my goal to help charities and other youth organizations to raise awareness about drug and alcohol issues and teach parents and educators the signs to look for.

—————-

Mitchell’s vision and mission line up with Cleary’s mission to provide educational programs for kids and youth to help combat drug and alcohol abuse in the community. Cleary said he wants to provide opportunities and workshops for parents and caregivers with the signs to look for.

Mitchell has been teaching community theater through her company Ultra Violet Productions since last spring and is excited to be able to offer affordable programs to the youth of Bethel. After the non-profit status is established, the pair will work on raising funds to cover rent and expenses on the building where they plan to open up the center. The youth arts center will be located downtown and plans are in the works for exactly which location will house the new program.

Cleary is excited to be working alongside Mitchell to make her dream a reality.

“Win our lose this election, this is something I have wanted to do for Bethel for a long time. We can make a difference in our community and help our youth,” Cleary said.

For more information about the arts center, or to make a donation, please contact Wendy Mitchell at: 203-501-7424 or email wendyannmitchell@live.com. 

Check out Mosaic Arts Center Facebook page for more information and to stay updated on the progress.

HVCA Arts Breakfast Brings Out Hundreds Who Support the Arts

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HVCA Arts Breakfast Brings Out Hundreds Who Support the Arts

Last week at The Matrix conference center in Danbury more than 250 businesses, local politicians and artists came out to the Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance’s “Business Supports the Arts” breakfast. Bethel resident Lisa Scalis is the Executive Director of HVCA, whose mission is to “connect with the arts to enrich our community.”

Former First Selectwoman Alice Hutchinson, Chair of External Affairs of HVCA, hosted a table of Bethel residents and business owners who support the arts in Bethel. Wendy Cahill, owner of Molten Java and also an artist and musician, was honored with the HVCA “Heart of Art” award two years ago for her role in keeping the arts alive in her community. This year’s recipient was Mary Daniel, President of the Brookfield Arts Commission. Daniel’s work on the Brookfield Film Festival, as well as many other arts events she helps with, is one of the many reasons HVCA chose to honor her this year.

Also at Bethel’s table was First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker, who said he is currently exploring ways to create an Arts Commission in Bethel, similar to the Brookfield Arts Commission, to enable local artists to be supported in what they do. Michael Bick, owner of Some Thing’s Fishy Catering, is actively involved with promoting the arts in our community with his charitable donations to many local events and shows. Working closely with Ray Flanigan, owner of Bethel Photoworks, Bick frequently serves up his specialties at events held at Flanigan’s neighboring studio on Depot Street.

Bethel resident Wendy Mitchell, children’s theater instructor, musician and owner/editor of Bethel Buzz, was also in attendance. Mitchell has been working closely with the Republican First Selectman candidate Kevin Cleary, as well as local artists and business owners, to create a non-profit youth arts center in Bethel. Currently in the planning phase, the new Mosaic Arts Center will be a safe haven where kids and youth can come after school to express themselves creatively.

For more information about HVCA, please click here.

For more information about Mosaic Arts Center, please click here.

Bethel Artist Alec Jordan Shows Work at Art & Frame Gallery Show

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Bethel Artist Alec Jordan Shows Work at Art & Frame Gallery Show

Furniture maker and outdoor enthusiast Alec Jordan will display his work at Art & Frame of Danbury’s newest exhibit, “Local Color” which opens Friday, Sept. 30 and runs through Nov. 14. The opening reception is Saturday, Oct. 1 from 5-7:00 p.m. at the shop, 60 Newtown Rd., Danbury.

Alec, a life-long Bethel resident, is the owner of Jordan Woodwork & Design. His work includes restored classic New England furniture, as well original new, contemporary pieces.

Alec studied sculpture and woodworking at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York and is an avid tree climber.

According to his website, “He haunts local land clearing companies in search of unique woods, creating one-of-a-kind hand-crafted pieces from beautiful woods that might otherwise be wasted on firewood or – worse – wood chips.”

In addition to Alec’s work, two other local artist’s paintings will be displayed at the exhibit, Antonio Carvalho and James Mazza. Local musician Amanda Bloom will perform during the opening reception on Saturday.

Art & Frame of Danbury, LLC opened in June by John O’Sullivan, Bethel High School class of 1988 graduate. For more information about Art & Frame of Danbury, LLC and  displaying work in the gallery, please visit their website by clicking here.

Local Artist Shares Hawaii in Photography Exhibit

POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

“Mahalo Hawaii”

Join Local Artist Elisabeth J. Levy as she celebrates the official launch of her website www.ejLphoto.com with the Presentation of “Mahalo Hawaii ~ A Photographic Tribute to the Natural Beauty of Hawaii’s Big Island.” Featured in the exhibition is a Digital slide presentation set to an eclectic blend of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music as well as a collection of matted and framed Images and Greeting Cards from the “Mahalo Hawaii” Collection.

The one –day exhibition will take place on Sunday October 30 between 3-7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury (UUCD), 24 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury CT. Refreshments will be served. Admission to the exhibit is by a suggested donation of $2.00 to UUCD.

For more information email Elisabeth at info@ejLphoto.com

Gilleoghan Dancers Will Kick Up Their Heels At This Weekend’s Irish Fest
POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Gilleoghan Dancers Will Kick Up Their Heels At This Weekend’s Irish Fest ~ By Wendy Mitchell

The newly opened Bethel dance studio, Gilleoghan Irish Dance, will be performing at this weekend’s Greater Danbury Irish Festival.

Gilleoghan Irish Dance officially opened in early June at 170 Greenwood Ave. Owners Philip Owens and Terry Gillan, award winning champion Irish Dancers, offer a well-rounded program that includes Irish dance, Irish music and language and much more.

This weekend the troupe will kick up their heels for The Greater Danbury Area’s Irish Festival. The festival is held each year at the Charles Ives Center in Danbury. The Hibernians began the festival in 1995 as a way to raise funds to purchase a cultural center. According to their website, in 1995 Jerry Curran came up with the idea for the festival, Sharon Higgins got the backing of the membership and Mayor Gene Eriquez offered a baseball field in Rogers Park to host the event.

The first year two years it rained and the field flooded. In 1999 the festival was moved to the the Ives Center at the west-side campus of WCSU. The Hibernians have been running the food tent themselves since 1998. Visitors can see many historic displays covering Irish topics, purchase items from irish vendors and of course enjoy the many talented musicians, dancers and entertainers under the cultural tent.

This year is the 17th annual event and will host the popular band the Mighty Ploughboys, as well as the internationally acclaimed all-girl rock/pop band, the Screaming Orphans. Gilleoghan dancers will perform Friday evening, followed by traditional Irish music and local band Chicks-n-Synch, featuring Immaculate High School music teacher Julie Sorcek. Eileen Ivers, who the New York TImes calls “The Jimi Hendrix of the violin,” will perform on Sunday with her band Immigrant Soul.

Attendees can enjoy traditional Irish foods form Corned Beef & Cabbage to Irish Soda Bread and of course lots of Irish beer.

To follow is a schedule of events for the weekend:

Friday, September 23

6-7 PM               Gilleoghan Irish Dance – Step Dancing & Céilí

7-8 PM               Eisteach – Traditional Irish music

8-9 PM               Chicks-n-Sync – Celtic music

Saturday, September 24

1-2 PM               Uillean Piper – Jerry O’Sullivan

2-3:00 PM          Harper –Regina DeLaney

3-3:30 PM          Harp Workshop – Regina DeLaney (Harps Available)

3:30-4 PM          Learn a little bit of Irish – John Feeney

4-4:30 PM          Storyteller (Adults) – Leslie Keogh

4:30-5 PM          Tin Whistle – Rita MacAuliffe

5-5:30 PM          Gray School of Irish Dance-Dance Workshop

6-10 PM             Céilí – Green Gates Céilí Band

Sunday, September 25

11-1 PM             Fiddle, Whistle, Flute, Singing, Singing (Irish) and Speaking(Irish) Competition*

1-2 PM               Uilleann Piper-Matt Connelly

2-3 PM               Harper – Regina DeLaney

3-4 PM               Accordion – John Whelan

4-5 PM               Irish Ballads – Singer/Guitarist Fiona Molloy

4:30-5:30 PM      Traditional music – Shamrogues

*Register anytime Friday & Saturday or before 11:00 am on Sunday in the Cultural Tent.

Seisiún tent will be open all day Saturday and Sunday for any musicians andaudience.  A Seisiún leader will be there between 2-5 PM both days.

Displays on: Book of Kells, Irish Crochet, Irish Language and Classes, Irish Family Histories, Danbury Dancers (céilí), Dance Costumes & History, Irish Blessings, Literary Displays; Cultural Quiz Display; Mary Garden, Potato Famine, Irish Traditional Music History and Classes and many more.

For more information and to purchase discounted advance tickets, click here.

Local Businesses Donate To Support The Arts

POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 5, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from the Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance Lisa Scails. Lisa is a Bethel resident.

Danbury, CT – The Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance is proud to announce the Western Connecticut Getaway ~ real culture, really close! marketing campaign fall 2011.  This promotional brochure features premiere venues throughout the region and include a full listing of arts, history, & cultural events from August through November.  This is made possible in part through the sponsorship of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, the New Milford Chamber of Commerce.

“We are very happy to support this important marketing initiative and look forward to seeing it drive business to members in the Greater Danbury region,” says Steve Bull, President of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce.

The project involved the collaboration of the Brookfield Arts Commission, Danbury Cultural Commission, New Milford Commission on the Arts, Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, Ridgefield Arts Council, and the support from members of HVCA’s Executive Director’s Roundtable.  Other business partners include the Danbury Plaza Hotel, Ethan Allen Hotel, the Maron Hotel, and AAA. “The Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce is proud to embrace and support initiatives that encourage and promote tourism destinations of our towns,” said Bob Hanna, President of the GNMCC.

The marketing brochure includes a full color 11”x17” full color, 6-fold brochure with a 10,000 distribution to target markets in NY, NJ, and CT.  The brochure highlights affordable, enriching, and nearby cultural activities for fall 2011 including live performances, gallery exhibits, festivals, theater, concerts, history, and more.  The brochure is now available at various locations.  The goal is to significantly leverage arts, heritage, and cultural assets in Western Connecticut to encourage visitors from outside the region.  An online edition of the brochure is available at www.hvculturalarts.org and includes additional information.

To augment the marketing campaign, HVCA also received a $3,846 grant from the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCT) through their CO-OP marketing grant program.  The program launches in September and provides support services specifically focused on online advertisement and search engine optimization to attract new visitors.  HVCA is one of six partners for the fall/winter to be featured in two newsletters, a search/PPC campaign and in a display advertising campaign.  HVCA will receive 350,000 email impressions, at least 12,500 qualified visitors to the co-op landing page and a minimum of 200,000 online banner impressions from the program

“Branding our region for the diverse cultural offerings we have is long overdue,” says Lisa Scails, Executive Director of HVCA. “As the state consolidates CCT into the Department of Economic and Community Development, the movement is to attract not only visitors, but also people looking to relocate, small businesses, and jobs.  Clearly the arts sector is an important part of that.  We’re only getting started and there’s a lot to do, but we have a compelling story to tell in Western Connecticut.”

Based in Danbury, Conn., the Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance (HVCA) works to connect and strengthen the region’s cultural economy and enrich communities for the ten-town region it serves, including Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, New Milford, Ridgefield, Redding, and Sherman, Conn. HVCA is a critical arts and cultural resource for those in creative professions, for business and community leaders and for the general public.

HVCA advocates for networking, collaboration, and conversation within the arts, historical, and cultural community as well as among business and other interest groups to increase awareness of and access to arts programs. HVCA’s constituents include independent artists of various disciplines, arts, history, and cultural organizations small and large. For more information contact: 203.798.0760  or visit www.hvculturalarts.org

Bethel Youth Theater Program Is “Wicked!”

POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 2, 2011

Bethel Youth Theater Program Is “Wicked!”

Last Friday evening was literally the calm before the storm, or hurricane in Bethel’s case, for young thespians from Bethel and surrounding towns. Theater students ranging in age from 6-15 participated in Ultra Violet Productions’ original presentation of “Wicked Meets the Wizard,” an unique adaptation of the two popular musicals.

The two pact play was a combination of the Wizard of Oz and Wicked, the hugely popular Broadway play. The play began with a silent drama depicting the tornado that carried Dorothy off into Munchkinland.

The theater troupe practiced for 2 weeks, for about 2 hours per day at the last summer theater camp of the summer for Ultra Violet Productions, a Bethel-based children’s and teen’s theater troupe. Classes were taught at the Bethel United Methodist Church by Wendy Mitchell.

Twenty-five students from Bethel, Danbury, Newtown, Ridgefield, Redding and Easton all showed off their acting prowess and vocal talents as they sang many popular songs from the play. Bethel residents Ruby Mitchell, Mason Baliko, Max DiMeglio and yle Carbone starred as Dorothy, Toto and the Scarecrow and the Wizard of Oz. Joseph Iorfino, also from Bethel, played the doorman and Uncle Henry. Hannah Tucci of Danbury played Glinda. Redding actress Ellen Thome played the Tin Man and Boq (Wicked). The Cowardly Lion was played by Newtowner Charles Romano and the Wicked Witch of the West was played by Madison Iommazzo of Danbury. Sophia Carnicelli and Grace Cumming, both of Ridgefield, narrated.

The Wicked part of the play included Bethel student Jillian Ramey as Nessarose, Jordan Gray as Fiyero, Valerie Ferrante as Madame Morrible, Marketa Hlouskova as Shen Shen and Brittany Taylor as Galinda, all of Danbury, and Janna Sturges of Easton as Elphaba.

Janna and Brittany wowed the crowd with their rendition of “Defying Gravity,” which was also the Grand Finale song. ( video coming soon! ) Parents got quite a kick out of the little munchkins who sang “The Lollipop Guild;” Christy Robertson (Bethel), Gracie & Faith Lange (Danbury), Becca Filiato (Newtown), Katie Stan (Newtown), and Anna Romano (Newtown) and Maddie Baliko (Bethel).

Anna also played Dorothy in the first scene which was a silent drama that Jordan narrated. Munchkins doubled as winged monkeys and each student got many chances to sing and act in the 90 -minute production.

A fog machine and a bubble machine added to the special effects as the students played very convincing parts. Bethel student Paul Rodgers managed the stage and all of the props and Wendy Mitchell wrote and directed the play.

All of the students performed extremely well and learned a full-length play in just 2 weeks! Parents and friends were very impressed.

Students are gearing up for their next two productions: a Halloween flash mob for teens and pre-teens and a HUGE Christmas spectacular that will be presented at Capellero’s Grove in Bethel. Classes begin on Tuesday September 6th and run in 8-week sessions as follows:

Session #1

The first session is preparation for a Halloween flash mob for 1st-12th graders and a mini Halloween musical for Pre-K & KG.

Tuesdays

8-week session, Sept. 6 through Oct. 25, $175

Location: Bethel United Methodist Church, 141 Greenwood Ave., Bethel

1st-4th from 4-5pm

5th-8th from 5-6pm

9th-12th from 6-7pm

**Performance is Saturday Oct. 29, Bethel location to be determined

Saturdays

8-week session, Sept. 10 through Oct. 29, $175

Location: Karate America, 213 Greenwood Ave, Bethel

Pre-K & kindergarten from 11:30-12:30pm

**Performance is Saturday Oct. 29, Bethel location to be determined

Session #2

The second session is preparation for the Christmas spectacular and runs for 6 weeks on Tuesdays, Nov. 1 through Dec. 10 and Saturdays Nov. 5 through Dec. 3, same times & locations as above. Price is $125 per student for the 6-week session.

**Performances are Sat. 12/10 &12/17 at 11:30am and Fri. 12-23 at 2pm all at Capellero’s Grove in Bethel.

To register your child or for more information, email UVProductions@yahoo.com or call 203-826-7194.

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