Arts & Leisure

Whatever your feelings about felines, chances are you probably don’t want them digging up your garden. So, what do you do? Cats really aren’t out to destroy your beloved perennials or garden vegetables. What they really like is the dirt. Most cats think the outdoors is their litter box, and a patch of dirt is an invitation to come do their business.  In an out-of-the-way corner of the yard, plant a patch of catnip. Spread some sand for sleeping nearby. Or, if your feline companions prefer to keep you company in the garden, leave a cat-sized play area in one part of the garden. Make sure you...

“The Price of Safety,” filmed, directed and produced by Vergennes residents Chris Spencer and Erin Wolcott, will screen during the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival on Saturday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m., at the Middlebury Marquis. This feature-length documentary explores national conversations of over-policing and racial bias as they unfold in the quaint community of Vergennes. Photo by Chris Spencer
Sometimes you need to step back to see something clearly; or if your Vergennes filmmaker and photographer Chris Spencer, you use a drone. Flying high over the Little City, Spencer’s footage captures the picturesque falls, homes nestled snuggly on their quiet neighborhood streets, and traffic gliding through the city on Route 22A. The videography is perfect; too perfect. When Spencer and his soon-to-be wife Erin Wolcott, an assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College, bought their house in Vergennes last year in April, Spencer was immediately interested in participating in City...

SUSAN JEFTS
Late August   There is this; the evening falls sooner in late August. In late August there is a chill once the sun has lowered. The scent of the grasses is burnished, the pleas of the cicadas, plaintive. The cycle, always the cycle; don’t despair, wear what manifests.   Decorate yourself with dried field flowers. Fill your bowls with fruit harvest. Celebrate the steamed corn. Face the afternoon sun, its warmth not yet sparse.   Kiss me, August. — Ed Burke   Ed Burke lives in Brattleboro, Vt., where he has raised a family and practices law. He was born in Philadelphia, and has lived and worked...
RIPTON / LINCOLN — Patti Casey and the Wicked Fine Players will perform a live concert booked by the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m.  Take note, the concert has been moved to Burnham Hall in Lincoln for Sept. 4! RCCH officials said Burnham Hall is well ventilated with plenty of room to socially distance. COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Patti Casey has reunited with longtime musical collaborator Colin McCaffrey and former Bluegrass Gospel Project bandmates Steve Light and Kirk Lord. Count on hearing the music you know and love and some new songs, too, as...
(Scribner) Be prepared to fall hard, fast and deep for the people who inhabit this debut novel by Ash Davidson as they navigate changing livelihoods, a changing climate, and changing families. Rich Gundersen, his wife Colleen, and their son Chub, make their home beneath a swath of ancient Redwoods — Damnation Grove and the 24-7 Ridge, a logger’s dream — in a Pacific Northwest logging town in California. Rich takes the biggest risk of his life to secure a future for his family, as generations of his family and the families of their town, did so before him. Colleen, unaware of Rich’s wager,...

FROM LEFT: HEATHER Jones and Quinn Bernegger sing in the film-encore of the Opera Company of Middlebury’s performance of “Candide.”
MIDDLEBURY — The production that Opera News called “Extraordinary…eye-popping…delightful” is back for an encore. Opera Company of Middlebury is proud to announce a new screening of their revolutionary filmed production of “Candide” at Town Hall Theater on Sept. 1 and 2, at 7 p.m.  Those who missed it the first time have another chance to see OCM’s break-through film of Leonard Bernstein’s classic comedy. Audience members who streamed it at home will have a whole new experience seeing it in high-definition on Town Hall Theater’s big screen accompanied by a soundscape that fills the room....

RORY JACKSON Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Eight established painters brought brushes, paints, canvases and palettes out of their studios and into the great outdoors of downtown Middlebury this past Friday and Saturday for Plein Air 2021. It was Edgewater Gallery’s second annual celebration of artists immersing themselves in the landscape and creating paintings that reflect the immediacy of each artist’s emotional response to, and interpretation of, their chosen composition. Visitors saw Rory Jackson of Lincoln by the footbridge; Philip Frey of Sullivan, Maine, in the Marble Works overlooking falls; and Scott Addis of...

BREAD AND PUPPET Theater will return to the Middlebury Marble Works for its second performance this summer. On Sept. 3 the troupe will perform “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus” — a classic that’s been around for 51 years. Independent photo/Hanna Laga Abram
“Morning happens when enough birds loudly declare the sun.” These words sang from a hand-painted banner at Bread and Puppet’s July performance in Middlebury’s Marble Works. That’s precisely what the 58-year-old, Glover-based performance troupe attempts to do with their summer show “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus” — now in its 51st year — but it looks different after COVID. “This summer’s circus feels less bright, it feels heavier — which is apropos — it reflects the hard year,” Maryann Incoronata said. Incoronata would know. She has been with the circus for 15 years, living, creating and...

CATCH THE YOUNG Company’s performance of “Servant of Two Masters” this weekend, Aug. 20-21, at 7 p.m., at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. This performance marks the 10th anniversary of THT’s education program.
The Town Hall Theater Young Company will take the stage a second time this summer with a production of “Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20-21, at 7 p.m. The Young Company is part of THT’s education program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The cast ranges in age from 13 to 22. The production features fast-paced physical comedy as well as an eight-piece band. The actors are also the musicians. “This is a perfect culmination of a decade of summer programming as this cast draws from the best of our many summer offerings such as Rock-It...
(G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers) In this hair-raising novel by Vermont author and Middlebury College alum, Brian, Ollie and Coco, still banded closely together for safety, make a chilling discovery about the “incident” last October when their school field trip to a local farm went horribly awry, with scarecrows come-to-life and their first encounter with the smiling man — they weren’t the only kids who remembered what happened. Months later, after narrowly surviving being trapped at a haunted ski resort, a sailboat outing on Lake Champlain to enjoy Champ Tours — a chance to spot...

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