Arts & Leisure


Eden Ginsberg and Ethan DeWitt practice one of their songs during rehearsal last week. Ten of the songs in this production are originals from members of this cast. Independent photo/Elsie Lynn Parini
Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” might not be an obvious choice for Town Hall Theater’s Young Company — a troupe of youthful players ages 12-26 — considering our time’s current attention to oppression and equality. But that didn’t scare off the theater’s Education Director Lindsay Pontius; she took this controversial classic and decided to make it a rock concert. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16 and 17, 7 p.m., at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. “Clint Bierman of The Grift agreed to do a class with me back in February,” she said. “The class was primarily scene study of...
This year marks the fifth edition of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (Aug. 22-25).  In film festival years, that makes us a teenager.  Since our ambitious first round in 2015, we’ve played more than 500 short and feature-length films and we’ve hosted more than 300 filmmakers and special guests, among them writers Russell Banks and Dick Lehr; actors Maggie Gylenhaal, Peter Sarsgard, Emmett Walsh, and Michael Murphy; and Academy Award winners Barbara Kopple (documentary filmmaker) and David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco (production designers). Each August, after a year of preparation,...

Ali Ryerson and Joe Carter
Two world-class musicians will be performing and celebrating Brazilian Jazz at Brandon Music on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Ali Ryerson, regarded as one of the best flutists in jazz, and guitarist Joe Carter have joined forces to perform music of Brazil. By using their jazz backgrounds to add improvisation into the tunes, the Ryerson and Carter duo create a sound that blends the best of both worlds. ALI RYERSON Born in 1952 in New York City, Ali Ryerson grew up in a musical family. Her father, Art Ryerson, was a renowned jazz guitarist who got his start with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra...

Han Chen, Aoi Mizuhara, Diana Lin, and Awkwafina star in Lulu Wang’s film “The Farewell” (2019).
“The Farewell” is a grand mixture of cultures, a deeply caring family, and a group of fine actors who are introduced quickly and with clarity. Writer/Director Lulu Wang first sketches the characters who will merge as the family gathers in China for the approaching death of their family’s grandmother. Thirty-one year old Billi (Awkwafina) is a young Chinese woman living in New York with a stalled writing career. In China, her grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has undergone tests for a nagging cough that won’t go away under prescribed medicine. When the family gathers in support in China,...
Will McCallum has been at the front of the antiplastics movement in his role at Greenpeace U.K. He recently spent a month in Antarctica with his team, investigating whether plastic is reaching the most remote region on the planet. It is. Plastic waste and toxic chemicals found in remote parts of the Antarctic this year add to evidence that pollution is spreading to the ends of the Earth, environmental group Greenpeace said in June of last year. McCallum delivers grim news — the statistics are staggering — peppered throughout this accessible guide to eliminating plastic from your life, with...
Two world-class musicians will be performing and celebrating Brazilian Jazz at Brandon Music on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Ali Ryerson, regarded as one of the best flutists in jazz, and Joe Carter playing guitar, have joined forces to celebrate the music of Brazil. By using their jazz backgrounds to add jazz improvisation to the tunes, the Ryerson and Carter Duo create a sound that blends the best of both worlds. In other words: music from “Both Sides of the Equator.” Ryerson and Carter often perform together on flute and guitar, and together they delight audiences wherever they go....

DAWN WAGNER SHOWS off three of the paper hats she’s made for Carnevale. Wagner manages this annual event at the Vergennes Opera House and is hosting a hat-making workshop and tea party at the Sheldon Museum this Sunday. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — What do you get when you take a stage manager from New York City, transplant them in Vergennes and give them chickens, and a knack for making cookies, chocolates and costumes? A messy dining room table. That’s what. Dawn Wagner, a self-described “midnight crafter,” knows all about this. “I put the kids to bed and get crafting,” said the mother of two. “I usually start around 8 p.m.” The work she’s doing depends on the season. Right now she’s preparing for the Mad Hatter Tea Party and Hat Workshop at the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, where kids as young as five can create up-cycled...

LOVE SPOONS? LOVE woodworking? Check out the workshop on crafting wooden spoons with Randall Henson on Aug. 10-11, at the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh.
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum welcomes craftsperson Randall Henson to teach a two-day spoon carving workshop, on Aug. 10 and 11, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Henson has taught classes and demonstrated traditional woodworking in a variety of venues over the last 15 years. In this workshop students will learn how to carve spoons using hand tools, including an axe, a Swedish carving knife, and a bent knife. Students will work with recently harvested birch wood, and will have the opportunity to make two food utensils over the course of the two days. “We will explore the design of a spoon,”...

BUSTER KEATON STARS in “Our Hospitality” (1923), a classic silent comedy film to be screened with live music by Jeff Rapsis on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at Brandon Town Hall. Admission is free; donations are encouraged.
BRANDON — He never smiled on camera, earning him the nickname “the Great Stone Face.” But Buster Keaton’s comedies rocked Hollywood’s silent era with laughter throughout the 1920s, and remain popular crowd-pleasers today. See for yourself with a screening of “Our Hospitality” (1923), one of Keaton’s landmark features at Brandon Town Hall on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. The program, the latest in the Town Hall’s silent film series, will be accompanied by live music performed by silent film composer Jeff Rapsis. Admission is free; donations are encouraged, with all proceeds support ongoing...
MIDDLEBURY — Meet local author Jeremy Holt for an in-person signing of his latest graphic novel “Before Houdini,” on Friday, Aug. 9, from 5-7 p.m., during the Jackson Gallery’s opening reception of Holt’s exhibit “The Making of a Graphic Novel.” This one-of-a-kind exhibit will showcase the creative process behind how a comic book page gets made. Original art and prints will be available for sale. Illustrations by John Lucas. Books provided by The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. Holt is a Vergennes-based author whose most recent works include “Before Houdini,” “After Houdini,” and “Skip to...

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