Finishing touches are being put on the new Highland Center for the Arts, and the anticipation for the grand opening of Greensboro’s new theater is building. The Highland Center for the Arts released its opening weekend schedule of events this past week. All events are free and open to the public and include music, theater, the opening of the art gallery, and more. The schedule for the opening, as well as information on additional events planned for this summer, is available here:
Join Hazen Union High School’s drama students — the first actors to set foot on the brand new Highland Center for the Arts Main Stage — for their unique take on Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. The cast and production team for this abbreviated Midsummer is made up of students from Hazen Union High School who are working diligently with Hazen Union’s theater teachers and professional actors and directors from Northern Stage to bring this show to life. This arts education program is underwritten in its entirety by the Highland Center for the Arts.
Seats are limited! Save your place by emailing email@example.com (include your name, contact information, and number of attendees in your email
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Abbreviated!)
By William Shakespeare
April 13, 2017, multiple performance times
At the Highland Center for the Arts
2875 Hardwick Street
Greensboro, Vermont 05841
School Performances at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
Public Tour of Highland Center for the Arts at 6:00 pm
Public Performance of Midsummer at 7:00 pm (runs 1 hour 15 minutes with no intermission)
Free to all; appropriate for ages 4 and up.
Free reception following the show (8:15 pm)
About Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
When run-away couples and a band of hapless actors leave the safety of Athens’ city walls and head to the nearby woods, they are thrown into a magical world of fairies, Kings and Queens, love potions, and a impish sprite who will stop at nothing to create romantic and comic havoc for all. Filled with magic, royal battles, fools in love, and bumbling buffoons, this dream is extremely accessible to the old and young alike
About the Highland Center for the Arts
HCA’s mission is to develop and operate a welcoming venue for assembly, artistic expression, entertainment, education and refreshment. HCA features a state-of-the-art main theater with multiple thrust stage configurations and seating for up to 275 people, a 100-seat small performance space, a full-service café and an art gallery, along with outdoor terraces and support spaces. The campus was designed to provide exceptional opportunities to create, exhibit, view, experience, perform, learn about and talk about art through performances, programs, workshops, festivals, classes and multi-disciplinary events. HCA’s goal is to achieve a balanced, year-round schedule of locally and nationally-sourced performances and events suited to serving the residents and artists living in the Northeast Kingdom. HCA is also committed to developing partnerships with local schools and school districts to enhance arts education and support students’ and families’ participation in the arts.
About Northern Stage
NS, a regional, professional, nonprofit theater company is dedicated to changing lives, one story at a time. Located in White River Junction, Vermont, NS’s intimate 240-seat setting (the new Barrette Center for the Arts), sophisticated productions, and expansive education and outreach programs set the stage for active engagement with all of its community and audience members. Founded in 1997, Northern Stage has offered more than 115 high-quality, professional productions of new works, classics, and musicals. The company celebrates its 20th Anniversary Season this year and annual attendance is now over 30,000.
The Highland Center for the Arts (HCA) in Greensboro, Vermont has engaged Northern Stage (NS), a professional producing theater company based in White River Junction, Vermont to assist with artistic and educational programming and general management consultation services on an interim basis, beginning immediately and extending through September 2017. The partnership will draw on NS’ expertise in the management of rural arts centers to help HCA launch its inaugural summer season. This new collaboration will be headed by NS Managing Director Eric Bunge and supported by the resources and talents of NS’ leadership team of world-class professional arts producers and managers. The HCA and NS partnership will focus on three areas: readying the new HCA facility for opening; working with staff to advance HCA’s artistic and administrative skills; and curating and producing an introductory series of artistic offerings for HCA’s inaugural summer season.
HCA’s board chair Melanie Clarke led the negotiations to enlist NS in this unique partnership. Clarke states, “I am thrilled that HCA will have the opportunity to work with and learn from the artists and producers of Northern Stage during our opening season. Our board chose this route as an ideal way forward to steward the extraordinary gift of the Highland Center for the Arts to Greensboro. What impresses me most about Northern Stage is their history of success serving their audiences and connecting with their community through artistically excellent productions and innovative programming. In addition to their talent, passion and artistry, they utilize superb systems of management and control which have allowed them to realize their artistic goals and achieve financially sound results. This collaboration will empower Highland to be what it aspires to be for our community and will help us incorporate what matters to our community in our ongoing planning and programming.”
NS will shepherd HCA through its opening summer season with two pilot programs designed to lay the groundwork for HCA’s future productions. The first program is a Shakespeare in the Schools partnership with Hazen Union High School in Hardwick, Vermont. NS Director of Education Eric Love will assist classroom teachers in exploring Shakespeare’s text, acting techniques, history and team-building. The project will culminate in a final presentation of scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream slated for public performance on HCA’s mainstage in April, 2017. “We have seen an incredible impact on the students Northern Stage has worked with through this type of program,” Bunge says. “It is thrilling to know that Hazen Union students will be the very first performers on the HCA stage. It’s a perfect fit for HCA’s vison of gathering people together to participate in the arts.”
The second pilot program will be a full production of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to be performed on HCA’s mainstage during the summer. This community/ professional collaboration will be the Highland Center’s first self-produced play and will involve professional actors and professional theater support personnel as well as community members in on-stage and off-stage roles. Bunge states, “HCA’s Midsummer will bring Shakespeare’s most popular comedy to beautiful life while involving members of the Greensboro area community in myriad creative ways.” Audition dates and crew calls for community members will be announced in April.
Additional programming for HCA’s upcoming summer season is in the final planning stages and will be announced in early April, 2017. This includes music performances, film series, educational programming and events produced by several of the area’s arts and civic organizations. Art exhibits and curated shows featuring the region’s visual artists are also planned and will rotate from June 2017 through May 2018. HCA’s official opening weekend is June 2,3 and 4, 2017 and will feature free performances and receptions.
Since last summer, HCA has welcomed local residents and representatives from local and state-wide arts organizations to tour its construction site. When the building is completed, HCA will resume tours of the campus and will host a series of forums for the public to learn about HCA’s programs and to encourage the public to participate and contribute to the development of HCA based on the community’s interest.
In addition to securing a collaboration with Northern Stage, HCA’s Board is actively searching for an Executive Director to lead artistic planning and programming and forge partnerships and collaborations in support of enriching art experiences and engaging the local community. Plans to recruit new members to HCA’s board are ongoing.
The Highland Center for the Arts Trust (HCAT) submitted a permit application to the Agency of Natural Resources for revisions to the theater complex currently under construction at the corner of Hardwick Street and Center Road. The application includes proposed changes to the architectural design, hours of operation, café occupancy, roof line, colors, and sign. Specifically, the application delineates changes in siding material (cement board to shiplap siding that is grey-green in color), roofing colors, and a new sign that will use a native stone unearthed during construction. An amended wastewater permit was issued in April to revise the design flow use allocation for the system and the café now has a waste water permit that will enable it to seat 40. The amended permit will also reduce the number of folding chairs permitted in the theater from 130 to 29 on days when the café is in operation.
The District #7 Commission will evaluate the changes under the ten criteria of Act 250, but it also intends to narrow the scope of the hearing to Criterion #8, which covers aesthetics, unless the Commission decides to expand the scope at or before the hearing.
The public hearing for this application is on September 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Greensboro Town Offices. A site visit will take place before the hearing at 6:15 PM. Participants should meet at the Highland Center for the Arts parking lot. Please be aware that the Act 250 process has established criteria for whom may participate in hearings. Information on this, as well as how to participate if you are not a statutory party or adjoining property owner, is available here:
Details about the application, including PDFs and a narrative explaining the proposed changes, are available for viewing here: https://anrweb.vt.gov/ANR/vtANR/Act250SearchResults.aspx?Num=7R1359-1
Melanie Clarke, a long time summer resident of Greensboro, has been named Chair of the Board of the Highland Center for the Arts, as well as the chair of its Artistic Programming Committee. Melanie joins existing HCAT board members Adelaide Murphy Tyrol, Elizabeth and Andrew Brown, and Greensboro resident MacNeil on the Center’s board. To learn more about Melanie and her long career in the arts and nonprofit management, visit https://highlandartsvt.org/highland-center-for-the-arts-announces-chair-of-the-board-of-directors/
September 2 was the last date for Friday afternoon tours of the arts facility. HCAT will be hosting an end-of-season cookout and tour on Saturday, September 17. They will be serving hamburgers, hots dogs, and drinks. This is a rain or shine event, and there is no fee. The festivities begin at noon, and tours will begin at 1 PM.
Please remember that as the Center is an active construction site, visitors can only come during scheduled tours and must follow safety protocols as outlined by the building’s contractors. Closed toe shoes are mandatory and long pants are encouraged.
If you missed the chance for a tour in August, RSVP to this event by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at 533-9075.
The site visit by the Greensboro Development Review Board for the amended conditional use application for the theater project will take place this Saturday, November 21 at 11:00 AM. The amended application and models of the proposed construction are available for review at the Greensboro Town Hall or on the town website at www.greensborovt.org.
We have been asked to provide the following important information about this Saturday’s visit.
- For safety reasons, no vehicles will be allowed within the project site.
- The fire department has asked that no cars be parked in their lot or on their property. Please park at the ball field or along Hardwick Street.
- There will be no active construction activities on Saturday. Hard hats will not be required. Footwear, however, should be appropriate for a construction site where uneven ground is possible.
- Although the site won’t be active on Saturday, this is an ongoing construction area. Engelberth Construction will mark off a path along the current driveway and back around the theater building for participants to use during the visit. For safety reasons, nobody should stray from the marked pathway.
The Greensboro Development Review Board will review an amended conditional use application by the Greensboro Area Arts Alliance, now known as the Greensboro Performing Arts Center Trust, on November 30, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall of the Greensboro United Church. The amended application is available for review at the Greensboro Town Hall or on the town website at www.greensborovt.org. A site visit will take place on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM.
Please note that participation in the proceeding on November 30, either in person or in writing, is a prerequisite to the right to make any subsequent appeal to these amendments.
Both the hearing and the site visit are open to the public. Interested persons unable to attend the hearing in person may send a letter to the Development Review Board at the Greensboro Town Clerk’s Office or email (email@example.com).
Photos of the architectural models of the current building design are below. These models are available for viewing at the Greensboro Town Hall during business hours.
Construction of The Mirror Theater is on schedule for completion in early 2017. Foundation work, including footings and foundation walls, is under way. Construction of the waste water system remains ongoing. The water line is complete and repairs to Hardwick Street following blasting and excavation have been finished well in advance of the winter driving season.
Below is a photo taken from the Center Road slightly above the construction site.
The Mirror arts center has been proposed by the Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency (GAAR) to be located on the southwest corner of Breezy Avenue and Hardwick Street. The year ‘round arts center would be for a variety of theatrical, arts and musical performances under the aegis of various local arts organizations. The GAAR has a contract with David Allen, the land owner, to purchase the land for the center.
After the acclaimed production of The Sound of Music in summer 2012, The Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency has announced that it will produce The Music Man by Meredith Wilson in July 2013.
The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother overcome his fear of social interactions due to his lisp, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her.
The show features classic show tunes like “Ya’ Got Trouble (right here in River City)”, “Seventy Six Trombones” and “Till there was You”.
The 2013 Season is will also present “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, and a Shakespeare Benefit and Feast at Mountain View Country Club in late August.
Donations are always Welcome and Always Needed. Gifts should be addressed to Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency and mailed to: Treasurer, Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency, Box 304, Greensboro, Vt. 05841. If you wish to sponsor a play, event, scenery, costumes, musicians, or any other helpful gift, please contact Sabra Jones or James Sowles at Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency, 802 533 7487, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us at the Miller’s Thumb Gallery for a weekend of artist demonstrations as part of our “Cutting Edge” exhibition. Featured artist Carolyn Guest will be on hand Saturday, Sept 8 from 11 – 3 to share her her love of the Polish folk art Wycinanki (pronounced vee-chee-non-kee) which is the art of paper cutting. Using sheep-shears in honor of the Polish Women who taught her, Guest cuts intricate designs in paper depicting Vermont farm life and other folk art images. Guest, one of five Vermont artists selected to make an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree in 2002, will also cut silhouettes for visitors to the Miller’s Thumb (cost is $20).
On Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Miller’s Thumb, Carolyn Buttolph will inspire you with her passion and techniques for the traditional New England craft of rug hooking. Her use of of recycled wool fabrics in her expertly crafted rugs is an homage to the deeply ingrained wisdom of “use it up, wear it out.” Just as early Vermont homemakers brought comfort and beauty into their homes with hooked rugs, you can too with one of Buttolph’s rugs or you make your own hooked rug from one of her kits that available at the Miller’s Thumb gallery.
Join the Merchants and Citizens of Hardwick to celebrate First Friday in Hardwick on July 6, 2012 from 5 to 10pm. Extended Merchant Hours & Street Vendors, Sales & Specials, Food & Beverages, Live Music at the art park, Activities for Kids and the Entire Family! For further information, see https://www.facebook.com/FirstFridayInHardwick
Claire’s Restaurant & Bar open to 10 with Beer, Wine, & Cocktail Specials,
Connie’s Kitchen Open to 8 pm,
Galaxy Bookshop Open to 10 pm,
Buffalo Mountain Coop & Cafe Open to 10 with Story Time for Children,
Gagnon’s Video Open to 10 pm,
Hall’s Market Open to 7 pm,
Hardwick Inn Clothing Company Open to 10 for 20-60% off,
Flower Basket’s Big Sale open to 9,
The Lamp/Shade Shop open to 8 for $5 off any lamp or shade,
Old Friends Reuse, Recycle Antiques Open to 9,
Morning Glory Essentials Open to 9,
The French Tart,
Village Restaurant Open to 8,
Street Vendors Include Caledonia Spirits, Kingdom Creamery, Heather Bryant Massage, Aloha Winds Massage and Bubbles Homemade Sodas.
Live Music in the Art Park
As always, Circus Smirkus kicks off their season in Greensboro – this year on July 1, 2012, with a 1:00pm and 6:00pm show – and will end its tour on August 18 and 19 with shows at 1:00pm and 6:00pm both days. All performances are at the Circus Barn on Circus Road (off Craftsbury Road north of Greensboro). Tickets are available online for all shows. Call 1-877-764-7587 for tickets
Circus Smirkus is continuing their tradition of bringing joy and magic to towns all over New England and New York in 2012! The 2012 show theme is “Topsy Turvy Time Travel!” where audiences will hop aboard the circus-powered Time Machine and explore endless eons of fractured fun throughout history and beyond! For information about Smirkus and the Big Top Tour, go to the website.
The Cast of The Sound of Music, presented by The Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency, has been announced. The production will be July 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 in Greensboro at the Performance Tent behind Lakeview Inn.
The Cast is headlined by Marla Schaffel, who played the title role of Jane Eyre on Broadway, garnering a Tony Nomination, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League Awards for Best Actress in a musical.
MARIA: Marla Schaffel*
CAPTAIN Von Trapp: Jamie McIntyre
ABBESS: Cara Hill
NUNS (Also Laudate Dominum Chorus)
Sister Berthe: Judy Breit-Meyer
Sister Margaretta: Krissie Ohlregge
Sister Sophia: Emilie Stuart
Sister Irmgard: Marie Cloutier
Sister Christina: Virginia Lapierre
Sister Clotilde: Sonia Dunbar
Sister Gail: Herself
Sister Bernadette: Herself
Sister Divine: Diana Richardson
Sister Remarque: Paula Ratchford
Sister Innocente: (postulant) Mavis Perrin
Sister Helen/Perrin/Guest Helen Twiss/Alice Perrin/Guest
Sister Vangie Vangie Kelley
Sister Jamesahgurl Jim Sowles
Elsa: Annagret Pollard
Max: Ed Donlon
Franz: Ed Stehle
Frau Schmidt: Sonia Dunbar
Rolf: David Beck*
Ursula: Diane Richardson
Herr Zeller: Marc Considine
Reichmarshall Marloweger: Bob Marlowe
Baron Elberfeld: Bruce Buckley
Baroness Elberfeld: Paula Ratchford
Admiral Von Schraber: John Bradshaw
VON TRAPP CHILDREN
Liesl: CJ Leede
Freiderich Zachary Wright
Kurt Miles McIntyre
Louisa 13 Mariana Considine
Birgitta 9 Abegail Demers
Marta 7 Macy Molleur
Gretle Ruby Lapierre
TALENT SHOW PERFORMERS
Perrin boy and Mavis band
*Members of Actors Equity
The Greensboro Historical Society’s 37th annual Newsletter has been distributed, and the offerings for this summer are varied and interesting. Among the scheduled programs are lectures on The Greensboro Fire Department – the first hundred years (July 9), The very First Vermonters – The Early Abenaki (August 13), and a two part seminar Vermont in the Civil War (July 16 and 23). As always there will be the fun Ice Cream Social and Games (Aug 4) and the Annual Book Sale (September 1). More information on these events can be found on the Greensboro Association Calendar. In addition (and farther afield) the GHS is publicising the Vermont history Expo in Tunbridge, which celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War (June 16 & 17), as well as a fascinating Barn Raising at the Old Stone House in Brownington on June 9.
This year the GHS exhibition has two themes. The first “The Hill Legacy” shows life in early Greensboro through an extensive collection of artefacts and items from the Hill Family. The second “Scenes of Childhood” features a selection of the murals of long time Greensboro summer resident Anne Waterman Mattill which speak to childhood and summers in Greensboro. These murals were drawn from a collection which Anne created over 25 years in the Children’s Library in Concord Massachusetts – a series which was an institution for library goers and generations of parents in Concord. A contest will run during the summer with questionnaires (both adult and children) to be filled in at the Society while viewing the exhibitions. The Historical Society is located at 29 Breezy Avenue, next to The Willey’s Store and across the street from The Miller’s Thumb. Further information on the exhibition and it’s hours may be found on the GHS website at www.greensborohistoricalsociety.org.
For copies of the newsletter, which also features long time Greensboro resident Madeline Gebbie and comments on the Hazen Road Dispatch, become a member of the GHS. Dues per family are $20 and go to support the programs and facilities of this volunteer run organisation.
Looking for something to do with the children this summer in Greensboro? Check out the following organizations, who are all offering programs. There are storyhours, weekly camp programs, golf and tennis lessons, art programs, music, swimming and others.
The Greensboro Association Swimming Lessons
Wonder and Wisdom
The Greensboro Historical Society summer exhibition
“Scenes of Childhood”
Craftsbury Outdoor Center
The Art House
The Greensboro Free Library
Mountain View Country Club
Craftsbury Chamber Players
By Judy Dales
As summer approaches, our small village braces itself for the frenetic pace of the summer months and the ratcheting up of all activities–recreational, communal, social and familial. We look forward to the return of our summer residents, resumption of the many diverse summer events, and the reopening of The Miller’s Thumb Gallery. Having worked in the Thumb for the past two summers, it occurred to me that now might be the opportune moment to shed a little light on the history and current happenings at The Thumb.
As you know, The Miller’s Thumb stood empty for a a while until several of our summer residents bought it. They had no concrete plans for the building, but aimed to save it from crumbling into oblivion and hoped to discover a viable purpose for the revered historic building.
In the spring of 2011, as major renovations to the building’s exterior were reaching completion, a group of local artists and gallery owners (called The Kingdom Craft Alliance or KCA) were searching for exhibition space as they formulated plans for a display of local art that was part of the state-wide initiative, State of Craft. When The Miller’s Thumb was offered as a place for their exhibit, KCA members jumped at it and quickly laid down plans for a cooperative gallery exhibit where artists could display and sell their work.
The show opened on the 4th of July weekend, 2010 and the response was amazing. People flocked to the building, some merely curious and others drawn by the shopping opportunities, but everyone was thrilled that the beautiful old building had found a new purpose in life. KCA decided to continue the show throughout the summer and artist volunteers took turns supervising the gallery. The exhibit was not only an artistic success, but a financial one as well, which highlighted in a unique way the need for such an attraction in the center of the village.
The exhibition also provided a much needed retail outlet for local artists, but when the owners proposed a continuation of the cooperative arrangement for the following summer, KCA declined. An on-going cooperative gallery presented greater challenges than the group’s leadership felt they could handle. Never the less, the building’s owners were so pleased with the successes of the previous summer that brought just the kind of attention and positive vibe that they had wished for, that they sought a way to continue the gallery model. Eve Passeltiner, one of the KCA artists, was hired as the gallery director for the summer of 2011, and crafts and artworks from all over the state of Vermont were offered for sale.
This is where things got confusing! Although KCA members were all invited to participate in the gallery in the summer of 2011, they would no longer run it, which left the organization in a bit of a dilemma: the gallery was their original reason for existence, and without that responsibility, they found themselves rather at loose ends. So during the winter 2010-11, they rolled up their collective sleeves and decided what, if any, purpose they could serve now.
It was agreed that all who had participated in the first-year venture had enjoyed working together and meeting on a regular basis. The name of the organization was changed to Caspian Arts and it was decided that the group would provide networking, educational and marketing opportunities for local artists. In their first year, a brochure listing the location of CA artist’s studios was produced and distributed throughout the area, a website (www.caspianartsvt.com) is in the works, and plans for an ambitious summer event are underway. There will be a Caspian Arts Studio Tour (10-5) and Raffle Party (5:30-7) on Tuesday, July 31. This is an opportunity to visit with artists and see creativity in action. Visitors will collect tickets at each studio visited and the tickets will be entered into a raffle of artworks donated by participating Caspian Arts members. This is a unique opportunity to own art created by local artists!
The Miller’s Thumb Gallery and Caspian Arts are now two separate entities, but their histories are firmly intertwined. Hopefully this little history lesson will help clear up any confusion about who’s doing what and also serve to remind everyone that both entities need support. It is a joy to see The Miller’s Thumb bustling with activity once again, but in order to thrive, it needs not just tourist dollars, but local support as well. Caspian Arts members appreciate the opportunity to educate the community about art in general, and the art they produce, in particular. Buying art from Greensboro artists is not only a way to “buy local” but is also a way to support your friends and neighbors whose creativity enriches us all.
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Selected website images were provided by
Karen Gowen Photography
Karen Gowen Photography