Arts & Leisure


SCOTT COOK WILL perform for the Ripton Community Coffee House on Oct. 2. Photo by Steven Teeuwsen
Summer COVID-style has been — shall we say it? — almost bearable. Masks have gotten cuter and more comfortable, vaccinations are widely available and six feet feels just fine. Yes, we’ve adapted and have enjoyed outdoor events, gatherings, live music and a restorative sense of community. However, what happens when sounds of crunching leaves and chilly gusts start to fill our ears? Does a slow dread seep in? Will the winter months be frozen in isolation again? Say it ain’t so! Time will tell, but prospects for live music in the Addison County area this fall look great. The Ripton Community...

'OUTSIDE MULLINGAR' RUNS Sept. 23-26, at 7:30 p.m., under the tent at the Swift House Inn in Middlebury. In order to provide a safe and secure experience, Middlebury Acting Company is requiring all patrons to show proof of vaccination and to be masked while under the tent. Tickets are available at 802-388-1436 or at townhalltheatre.org.
After a wonderful production of “Constellations” under the tent at the Swift House Inn, Middlebury Acting Company returns with its second selection of the season with Irish American playwright, John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar.” Shanley, who wrote the screenplay for the beloved film “Moonstruck,” among other things, gives us a quirky, passionate and funny love story set in the Irish countryside. Two adjacent farms, a long-time squabble over the right of way between the farmers (was it a loan? was it a sale?) and two adult children, looking middle age straight in the face set up this...

François Clemmons will read from his memoir on Sept. 22 at the Mahaney Arts Center.
Hear Middlebury singer, author, and celebrity François Clemmons read from his debut memoir “Officer Clemmons,” now out in paperback, on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m., at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall. Clemmons will offer remarks, readings and song, followed by a book signing in the lobby. The event is free and open to the public. Masks and vaccinations (or valid medical or religious exemptions) are required. Known to the world from his role on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Clemmons has long been known locally as the Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence and director of the Martin...

INDIE-ROOTS SINGER-songwriter Chelsea Berry will perform at Brandon Music on Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand, Chelsea Berry returns to Brandon Music on Sept. 18. Berry is a singer-songwriter with the edge, power and finesse of legends. Her music transcends its indie rock roots and touches listeners with its poetic lyric, bold melodies, and pure, clear, powerful vocals. Berry’s voice and commanding stage presence has brought her across the U.S. She has played Boston’s House of Blues, Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Shalin Liu in Rockport, Mass., Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and more. She has opened for many artists such as Chris Isaak, Mavis...
(Milkweed Editions) Hopeful, tender, honest and vulnerable — the essays written by Margaret Renkl (Late Migrations) and published in her op-ed column in the New York Times — that is what they are and more. I love her substance and style. It’s personal without being sentimental; it’s moving without being maudlin. Her writing has a metaphysical feel to it, to me, I see revealed connections where once I thought none existed, and often I am left to ponder, sometimes long after I have finished reading a piece, and I am moved to examine my natural surroundings anew. This book is neatly arranged in...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE PROFESSOR of history Louisa Burnham will provide background on the Opera Company of Middlebury’s upcoming production of “The Maid of Orleans” on Friday, Sept. 17 at the Congregational Church in Middlebury. Photo courtesy of Louisa Burnham
The Opera Company of Middlebury will host a conversation with Middlebury College history professor Louisa Burnham on Friday, Sept. 17, from 4-5 p.m., in Unity Hall, at the Congregational Church, 30 North Pleasant Street in Middlebury. Burnham has explored the life and times of Joan of Arc who was born in the northeast of France and rallied French soldiers to drive English troops from her country. She was captured in 1430 and burned at the stake a year later on May 30, 1431, at what is estimated to have been 19 years of age. This discussion will provide background to the Opera Company of...
Dear Homeward Bound, I’m confused! I always thought that cats were cats but the other day I saw a documentary about colony of “community cats” in San Francisco and in the show they were talking about feral cats, working cats, community cats, house cats, and even warehouse cats. What are they talking about? — Curious   Dear Curious, Ah . . . cats! They are mysterious in so many ways and I think that’s part of why we humans love them. Historically the relationship between cats and humans did not start out as intentionally as the relationship between dogs and humans and to this day cats retain...
Steve Gross is the Middlebury Classic Film Club Convener. Maybe it’s because we live in Middlebury, but the first thing that hit me when I thought about this film series was Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” Frost’s neighbor insists, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Yet this seems hardly self evident to Frost who asks, “Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it where there are cows? But here there are no cows.” He wonders whom he is walling out and whom he is walling in. He further asks who he might be offending by building a wall in the first place. Speaking about walls in our current...

Photo by Paul Dahm
Tiny books fit well into the hands of small children, they are easy to carry in your pocket (or even around your neck), and they feel special by virtue of their size. Depending on who you ask, not everyone agrees on which books qualify as “miniature.” While many serious collectors maintain a strict 7.6 cm height rule, the curators at Middlebury College’s Davis Library (and the Library of Congress) consider all books 10 cm in height or less to be miniature books.  To show off some of these magnificent minis, Kaitlin Buerge (2013 Middlebury College grad) and director and curator of Special...

EUAN BEAR WAS the editor of “Out in the Mountains” from 2002 to 2006. She was born in New Hampshire and graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she co-founded (in 1974) Maine’s second gay and lesbian student organization. Euan moved to Vermont in 1977. She was a member of the editorial committee of CommonWomon and wrote and edited for the Vermont Vanguard Press. She is an activist for all women, lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender persons, plus queer and questioning and nonbinary people. This portrait is part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s current exhibit “Pride 1983,” now on view in the Middlebury gallery and online. Photo courtesy of Vermont Folklife Center
The Vermont Folklife Center on Main Street in Middlebury reopened on Sep. 8 for in-person visitors. Come and see the current exhibit “Pride 1983” that explores the origins and lasting legacy of Burlington’s first LGBTQ2+ Pride celebration on June 25, 1983. Curated by Meg Tamulonis of the Vermont Queer Archives — a program of the Pride Center of Vermont — “Pride 1983” draws on archival materials from that collection as well as from UVM Special Collections, the Out in the Open Andrews Inn Oral History Project, and the personal collections of those featured in the exhibition. In addition,...

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Addison County Independent