Living History Sundays At Pottsgrove Manor August 7, 14, 21, And 28, 2016 From 1:00pm To 4:00pm

stictching

Needlework

Pottstown, PA – On August 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Pottsgrove Manor’s living history volunteers, dressed in colonial period clothing, will be living life the 18th century way.

Come spend a casual summer Sunday afternoon at historic Pottsgrove Manor and enjoy the 18th century surroundings as volunteers demonstrate colonial trades and pastimes. Activities may include needlework, tape weaving, hornsmithing, cooking, and more. Visitors can watch, learn, and even join in! Activities will vary from week to week, so call ahead or check the site’s webpage at http://www.montcopa.org/PottsgroveManor to find out what will be offered each day.

A donation of $2.00 per person is suggested for this program. Guests can also tour the manor house, see the museum’s current exhibit, “Potts & Family: Colonial Consumers,” and shop in the museum store during their visit.

The “Colonial Consumers” exhibit can also be viewed during a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor during regular museum hours now through November 6th. Regular museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should preregister by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route

100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery

County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at http://www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

SOME POTTSTOWN 2016 SUMMER HAPPENINGS

The attached PDF file is a wealth of information about summer events for the whole family that are going on in Pottstown this summer.

http://tcnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/POTTSTOWN-SUMMER-HAPPENINGS-2016x.pdf

‘In The Heights’ Brings Latin Rhythms, Stories To Muhlenberg Summer Stage

Allentown, PA — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights” — the precursor to his blockbuster Broadway hit “Hamilton” — runs July 13-31 as the second production of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre season.  The show tells a story that many of its cast hold close to their hearts: the story of families and cultures that have been transplanted from far away.

Many of the show’s 20 actors and dancers can tell you a story about their families coming to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico, or Cuba, or the Dominican Republic. For some, that story is not so long in the past. Wilma Rivera, for example, is a professional actress, a Muhlenberg College alumna, and a first-generation American. She says “In the Heights” is the story of her family.

“When I saw ‘In the Heights’ on Broadway, there was this moment when the music of the first number started, and it captured so beautifully the experience of what it’s like to be a Latino,” says Rivera, who plays Camila. “It’s that struggle to maintain an identity and also to assimilate — especially in New York City.”

“In the Heights” was a hit when it opened in 2008, running more than a thousand performances and bringing its composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to the attention of theatergoers. Miranda’s innovative score melded the rhymes and rhythms of hip-hop with the Latin-style music of salsa and merengue, and, together with Quiara Alegría Hudes’ book, captured the sights, sounds and stories of the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was short-listed for a Pulitzer Prize the following year. Miranda also won the Tony for Best Score. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director Alex Lacamoire also won Tony Awards for their Latin- and hip-hop-inflected choreography and orchestrations. The three would reunite with director Thomas Kail to create “Hamilton.”

“Miranda is deeply versed in ’90s hip-hop,” says James Peck, who directs the production for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. “He picks up beats and rhythm structures and song structures from hip-hop, and he incorporates salsa, merengue, and other Latin styles — but he’s also a musical theatre fanboy from the age of five. The results are really a musical tour-de-force.”

MSMT’s production features choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara. John Raley designed the set, Lex Gurst designed costumes, John McKernon designed lights, and Patrick Moren designed sound.

Peck credits choreographer Reyes as a driving force behind bringing the show to the MSMT stage.

“Sammy is a hip-hop dancer, a theater artist, and a Puerto Rican. He has a deep understanding of the cultural dynamics at work in this piece,” Peck says. “I wouldn’t have had the temerity to the play without him. It was Sammy saying, ‘I’ve got to do “In the Heights”‘ that made it come together.”

 “In the Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood — a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

Miranda himself was born in Washington Heights, and grew up in Linwood, one neighborhood over. His parents had moved to New York from Puerto Rico, and every summer, he visited his grandparents back on the island.

Wilma Rivera’s classmate at Muhlenberg, Gabe Martínez, also remembers feeling like he was watching his own family’s history on stage when he first saw “In the Heights.” Martínez saw the show for the first time a year to the day after his grandmother passed away.

“The actress who played Abuela Claudia was the spitting image of my abuela,” says Martínez, who stars as Usnavi, the role that Miranda played on Broadway. “As soon as she walked out on stage, my father and I started weeping. We were at the matinee; I bought the cast recording on the way home and had it memorized by the time I went to bed.”

Martínez’s grandparents moved from Puerto Rico to New York in the 1940s, shortly after his grandfather returned from service in World War II.

“They wrote to each other every day, planning their move to New York, the American dream,” Martínez says. “When the war was over, he hadn’t been home a week when they bought a plane ticket and headed to the Bronx.”

Rivera has a similar connection to the material. Her father immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1970s. Her mother was born in East Harlem, but moved to Puerto Rico as a small child. Both came from poverty, she says. Her mother was the only one in her family to go to college. When Rivera went off to Muhlenberg to study acting, she was the first in her family to attend college on the mainland — and, like Nina in “In the Heights,” she almost gave it up after her freshman year. Department chair Charles Richter talked her into staying.

“‘We need you here,’ he told me.”

Rivera and Martínez were the only two Latino students in the theater program at the time. Neither of them ever had the chance before now to play a Latino character on the Muhlenberg stage — and the opportunity is what drew them back. Both of them have worked steadily as actors since graduating — Rivera in 2009, and Martínez in 2010 — but they have had to be flexible in order to do it.

“I’ve spent my entire professional career praying to see a casting call saying ‘ethnically ambiguous — slash — Latino,'” Martínez says. “We were the only two Latino kids in our class, and now there are lots of kids, and this is their first professional gig, and we’re just so happy for them to start out this way, that these kids are having this opportunity.”

Rivera echoes his enthusiasm.

“This department has really embraced students of color and encouraged their talents, and really raised them up,” she says. “I’m very proud of this college and to be an alumna of this college, and I just hope it continues to grow.”

Martínez and Rivera’s deep connection to “In the Heights” is a common thread through the entire cast, Peck says.

“When people have a chance to be part of a show that speaks to their own experience, they make a significant personal investment in that show,” he says. “It’s rare that these stories get told, and when people have the chance to be a part of these stories, they grab onto that chance.”

In fact, Rivera’s connection to the show runs so deep that she got a tattoo of one of its lyrics, “Paciencia y fe,” a song sung by Abuela Claudia. The lyric reminds her of her own abuela, who died in January.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose that matriarch of a Latin family,” Rivera says. “She’s the stone and we’re all the ripples of what she leaves behind. It holds weight, I think, in this world, that we remember who we are and where we’re from. Gabe and I are very lucky that we have that image of our parents and remember the struggle.”

The actor who plays Abuela Claudia in the production — jazz vocalist, scholar and activist Roberta Meek — agrees. Meek had only one grandparent growing up, and ike Abuela Claudia — and like Rivera and Martínez’s abuelas — she was the keeper of the family’s stories.

“My grandmother was literally the historian of the family,” Meek says. “Her father was born into slavery, and he had been searching for his mother ever since. My grandmother was the griot,” the person who maintains the oral history tradition in many West African cultures. “You came to her for school.”

“In the Heights” is Meek’s first musical theater performance, although she has been performing as a jazz vocalist in the Lehigh Valley for more than 20 years. She also contributed stories and songs to the Touchstone Theatre project “Another River Flows: a Celebration of the Lehigh Valley Black Experience.”

One of the things that “In the Heights” gets right, Rivera says, is the sabor — the flavor of Latin culture and of the Washington Heights community.

“This show is packed full of sabor,” she says.

Some of that flavor is visual; much of it comes from the rhythm and choreographic energy that choreographer Samuel Reyes has brought to the project.

“The blend of salsa, hip-hop and contemporary movement is very exciting for me as a choreographer — and we have found such a dynamic, crazy talented cast,” Reyes says. “This show is going to punch a hole in the wall, both visually and emotionally. I’m just so damn proud to be part of it.”

“In the Heights” plays July 13-31 at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. Performances take place in the Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre, in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices for the first four performances are $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. Prices for the rest of the run are $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20.

Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/smt or 484-664-3333.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council Releases 2016-2017 ARTix‏

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council announces to the community the release of the new ARTix Passport to the Arts, a buy-one, get-one-free ticket to eighteen arts and cultural venues through June 30, 2017. Dance, musical, theatrical, and historical offerings are just some of the travel destinations offered by the passport.

“This year marks the 18th anniversary of this successful arts marketing promotion,” says Randall Forte, Arts Council Executive Director. “The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to provide regional leadership that advances the arts in this growing community.”

Over the years, the Arts Council has increased the circulation of ARTix and opened the door wider for all people to enjoy the arts. Real estate and corporate relocation offices give passports to new residents relocating to the Valley. Local health networks encourage volunteers to enjoy the arts as part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the social service sector offers ARTix to their clients with disabilities, allowing them affordable access to disability-friendly events. There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy—from symphonic to folk music, fine arts to vintage cars, Shakespeare to Broadway musicals—fun and entertainment for the entire family.

The most direct way to receive your very own ARTix Passport to the Arts is simply join the Arts Council. An Individual Membership is reasonably priced at $40 annually. With passport in hand, start planning your itinerary today and build your circle of arts friends. Members also receive discounts to workshops and conferences, subscriptions to the bimonthly Inside the Arts, / Arts Calendar and Lehigh Valley Style, and free admission to the annual spring and fall membership receptions.

ARTix Passport is made possible through the support of Christmas City Printing, The County of Lehigh, and The Harry C. Trexler Trust.

Lehigh Valley Arts

The 25th Annual Pottstown Rumble June 23-26, 2016

Center Court action

Center Court action

LET’S GET READY TO RUUUMBLE!!!!!

Thousands will descend on Memorial Park in Pottstown this weekend for the Annual Pottstown Rumble Grass Volleyball Tournament.  One of the largest such events in the country.

Memorial Park is located off King Street, along the Manatawny Creek, and can be easily reached from Routes 422 and 100.  Spectators are welcome and there are food vendors for your convenience.

More information: https://pottstownrumble.com/index.php

‘GROWL!’ At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre‏

Allentown, PA —For the past two seasons, the theatre company Doppelskope has created world-premiere musicals for young audiences at the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. In 2014, they presented “Gruff!” a troll’s eye view of the story of the three billy goats Gruff, and last season it was “Grimm!” a tale of the storytelling Brothers Grimm and their quest to chase down their escaped stories with the help of a rambunctious little girl.

This season, MSMT and Doppelskope will complete the “Grilogy” with another new show, “Growl!” — playing June 29 through July 30. “Growl!” brings Doppelskope’s energetic, innovative puppetry, lively music, and interactive theatrical spirit to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Co-authors Ora Fruchter and Christopher Scheer describe “Growl!” as a “zany reinvention” of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which a group of woodland creatures has come together to solve a series of break-ins by a certain mysterious blonde figure. They are led by an imaginative young bear who likes to be known as Danger Bear, and who has no time for breakfast while the world needs a hero to make freedom sing in the hearts of all animal-kind.

“Our inspiration always comes from a lot of different sources,” Scheer says. “For ‘Growl!’ we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what made us laugh as children, and what still makes our inner-children laugh now. So as we got ready to write the show, we spent some time researching the cartoons we grew up watching — Chip and Dale, Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny, and lots of other classic cartoons. We like to create comedy that works on at least two levels, so that we can engage adults just as much as we engage kids.”

The eight-member cast of “Growl!” plays an ensemble of woodland animals, who in turn present the story of Goldilocks and the Bear family through puppetry. The cast members also play all the music themselves, on instruments ranging from washboard and stand-up bass to banjo and accordion — all while selling the audience a variety of woodland merchandise such as Hats, Buckets, Porridge, and Four-Month Energy Drink (the alternative to hibernating).

“We want our audiences to laugh in a deep, satisfying way,” Fruchter says. “And we want them to walk away amazed by the possibilities of live theater, puppetry and imagination.”

“Growl!” features a script by Fruchter and Scheer, with music composed by Tony Singer, who also serves as musical director. Fruchter, Scheer and Singer also made up the core creative team for both “Gruff!” and “Grimm!” The team’s show has evolved from recorded musical accompaniment, the first year, to live piano accompaniment last year, to this year’s approach of letting the actors accompany themselves.

“Toby has created this super-catchy, playful score for us,” Scheer says. “And because of our actor-musicians, we’re able to have fantastic live music throughout the show.”

Scheer says that the group’s puppetry has also evolved, both in the design and in performance. The show uses both tabletop puppets, created by Fruchter, and detailed shadow puppetry, projected on giant screens to create “surprisingly cinematic moments” throughout the show.

“We’re really exploring and innovating what’s possible with puppetry on stage,” he says. “We’re learning quite a lot as we experiment, with some really exciting results. Ora’s puppets are beautiful and hilarious. They’re like cartoon characters come to life, and they create this fantastic connection with the audience.”

Young audiences members can participate in a free 45-minute Imagination Workshop, following every performance of “Growl!” Participants will join members of the cast to explore the themes of the show through movement, storytelling, and creative play. Participants can register in advance through the box office or on the MSMT website.

Cast members are available after the show to meet the audience and sign autographs.

A Sensory-Friendly Performance of “Growl!” will be presented on Saturday, July 23 at 1 p.m. The performance will be followed by an interactive Imagination Workshop. Sensory-friendly performances are designed for children with autism and other sensory challenges. At these performances, sound levels are reduced, and startling sounds are avoided; lights remain on at a low level during performance, and strobes and other flashy lights are omitted; patrons are free to talk or leave their seats during the show; and attendance is limited. Social stories will be available in advance from the MSMT website, and the theater staff and cast will receive special training in meeting the needs of patrons with autism and sensory issues.

American Sign Language interpreters will interpret the 10 a.m. performance on Saturday, July 23. The interpreters will be available prior to the show and following the show at the meet-the-cast session and Imagination Workshop. All patrons are welcome to attend.

“Growl!” runs June 29 through July 30 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. All tickets to “Growl!” are $10 for June performances and $12 for July performances.

Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/SMT or 484-664-3333.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – June 2016‏

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

On Tuesday, June 14, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community, in cooperation with the Williams Center for the Arts, present Red, White & Blue, an evening of laughter and fellowship with comedian Josh Blue. The event marks the culmination of the yearlong commemoration through the arts of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Arts & Access has been a remarkable journey-expanding cultural accessibility through community collaboration. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and foundations for their time, expertise and financial support.

The Lehigh Valley has a rich and diverse arts culture, but too often those experiences were closed to people with disabilities. Thankfully, that has begun to change. During this inaugural year, the attendance and the number of disability-friendly events exceeded goals by 25% –demonstrating both a strong need to expand services and a willingness to participate. Thirty cultural organizations teamed up with social service agencies to present sensory-friendly performances for children with autism; dance classes for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers; audio-described and open-captioned theatrical performances; lectures; exhibitions; poetry readings; film screenings; and public meetings. (589 people with disabilities attended fifty disability-friendly events, accompanied by 705 family members and friends.)

There is really so much to be proud of! The scope of the initiative and the breadth of support speak to the power of the arts to bring people together. And I am pleased to announce that the Arts Council Board of Directors voted at their March meeting to make the program a permanent one, Arts & Access Always.
Randall Forte, Executive Director

WORKSHOP ADDED: Last Call for a Free PPA Grant Workshop!

Calling all artists, community groups and arts organizations of the Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties!

Applications are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania Partners of the Arts(PPA) Project Stream Grant, which awards up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects which have a significant public component.

The deadline for all applications is June 20, 2016!


FINAL GRANT WORKSHOP
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
800 Hamilton Street, Suite 201, Allentown, PA 18101

Registration for the final Project Stream grant writing workshops is recommended but not required. To register, please email the Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s new PPA Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at PPA@LVArtsCouncil.org.


A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION! Red, White & Blue

Tuesday, June 14th will certainly be a night to remember! Our Red, White & Blue event, welcoming comedian Josh Blue to the Lehigh Valley, will celebrate the community and reflect on the successes of Arts & Access.

Tickets are now being mailed to those people who have submitted RSVPs for the event. These tickets are necessary for entry!

Some things to note for our guests:

  • The event will take place at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College at 7:00 p.m. (317 Hamilton Street, Easton, PA 18042).
  • If you require any accommodations, please arrive at least 40 minutes before the event (6:20 p.m.) so we may seat you comfortably. Your driver may drop you off in front of the theatre, and a greeter will usher you to your seat.
  • Please bring your tickets; they are necessary for entry!
  • Directions to Lafayette College
  • Campus Map

    PARKING:

  • Please park in the Markel Parking Deck, Lafayette’s primary parking deck, located behind Markel Hall on North Campus Lane. This parking deck is only a short walk to the Williams Center.
  • Accessible parking will be available along Hamilton & High Streets in front of the Williams Center. If you’ve replied that you require an accessible parking space, this will be reserved for you.

We are looking forward to those of you who can join us for this evening of laughter and fellowship!

ARTS ALIVE: A Personality of a Collection

The final 2016 Arts Alive event is proving to be most popular, but there are still a few seats available!

Join us at the home of art enthusiasts Bruce and Pamela Loch, as they lead a private tour of their fine art collection and share stories about a few favorites.

Read about the Lochs’ modern home in Lehigh Valley Style’s featured article, ‘Home is Where the Art Is.’


Date: June 25, 2016
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Location: Home of Bruce & Pamela Loch
Fees: $15 for Members of the Arts Council; $25 for Nonmembers

PURCHASE TICKETS


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

VALLEY VIVALDI SERIES

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

MCCC To Host Tri-County Concerts Association 74th Annual Youth Festival Concert‏

Blue Bell, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will host the Tri-County Concerts Association’s 74th Annual Youth Festival Concert on Saturday, June 11, at 7 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.  Tickets cost $10 and will be available at the door; students and children are admitted free of charge.

The Tri-County Concerts Youth Festival is one of the area’s most prestigious competitions for aspiring young classical musicians living in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Since 1943, the festival has been a stepping-stone to achievement for many emerging young artists, several of whom are now current and retired members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. This year, Festival participants will perform works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Ravel and Tchaikovsky, among others.

Many Montgomery County students won top prizes in this year’s Tri-County Youth Festival and will perform at the concert.

Alto saxophonist Jeremy Wang of Collegeville, in 10th grade at Methacton High School, won first place in the Senior Winds Division.  Another alto saxophonist, Patrick Li of Audubon, in 7th grade at Arcola Middle School, won first place in the Junior Winds Division. Sisters Kara and Sophia Yoo of Souderton, who are home-schooled, both won second place in the Senior Ensemble Division as a flute and violin duo.

Many other Montgomery County students won honorable mention at the auditions. They include:

·      Junior String Division: Cellist Aidan Bolding of Telford, in 7th grade at Indian Crest Middle School;

·      Junior Ensemble Division: The Con Brio Trio with pianist Allison Fu of Fort Washington, in 8th grade at Sandy Run Middle School;

·      Junior Voice Division: Lloyd Yoo of Souderton, who is an 8th grade home-schooled student;

·      Senior Ensemble Division: The Quiller Quartet with violinist Catelyn Huang and cellist Jason Shu of Blue Bell, who attend Wissahickon High School;

·      Senior Piano Division: Caleb Watt of Audubon, a 10th grader at Methacton High School; and

·      Senior Winds Division: Clarinetist Allison Yang of Lansdale, a 9th grader at Pennfield Middle School.

For information about the concert, contact Eleanor James at 610-986-3555, email tricountyyouthfestival@gmail.com or visit http://www.tricountyconcerts.org. For more information about Montgomery County Community College’s Lively Arts Series, visit http://www.mc3.edu/livelyarts.

‘Gypsy’ Kicks Off Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Season, June 15 – July 3‏

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s 2016 season will feature some familiar faces for fans of last summer’s “Hello, Dolly!” Mia Scarpa and Jarrod Yuskauskas return this summer for “Gypsy,” the beloved musical the New York Times calls “the greatest of all American musicals.” The show runs June 15 through July 3.

“Gypsy” kicks off a summer season that will also feature the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “In the Heights,” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of the current Broadway smash “Hamilton,” playing July 13-31. The season also features the world premiere family musical “Growl!” an irreverent adaptation of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, created by the theatre company Doppelskope. “Growl!” plays June 29 through July 30.

Arguably one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, “Gypsy” adapts burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee’s sensational autobiography into a sultry, campy tour-de-force about show business, ambition, and motherhood. The score, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, features such classics as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Together Wherever We Go.”

Mia Scarpa returns to the MSMT stage to play Mama Rose, the most notorious of all stage moms, after an acclaimed run in the title role of last summer’s “Hello, Dolly!” She plays opposite Jarrod Yuskauskas in the role of Herbie. Last summer, The Press Newspapers noted that “the repartee between Scarpa and Yuskauskas is priceless.”

In the starring role of Louise — based on Gypsy Rose Lee herself — recent Muhlenberg graduate Lillian Pritchard takes the stage following a turn as Roxie Hart in this season’s sold-out run of “Chicago” on the Muhlenberg stage.

The production also features MSMT mainstay Neil Hever, returning to the role of Pop that he first played in the 1993 MSMT production of the show.

Also featured in the cast are six young actors from the Lehigh Valley Community: Jenna Seasholtz as Baby June; Anna Edwards as Baby Louise: and ensemble members Elijah Albert-Stein, Aaron Finkle, Robert Pierno, and Robert Stinner.

“Gypsy” also reunites the production team from “Hello, Dolly!” — director Charles Richter, choreographer Karen Dearborn, and musical director Michael Schnack. Richter, the founding artistic director of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, is in his 36th season with the festival.

Audio Description and Open Captioning will be available at the Sunday, June 19 performance of “Gypsy.” Call 484-664-3087 for tickets in the accessible section of this performance. Open Captioning displays lyrics and dialogue via electronic text display visible to the side of the stage, for the benefit of patrons with hearing loss. Audio Description uses the natural pauses in the play to provide a narrative that translates the visual image into an audible form for patrons who are blind or low-vision. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

“Gypsy” runs June 15 – July 3; “In the Heights” runs July 13-31. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Both productions are in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance.

Ticket prices for both “Gypsy” and “In the Heights” are as follows. For the first four performances: $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. For the remaining 11 performances: $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20. Subscriptions to both shows are available.

“Growl!” runs June 29 through July 30 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Performances are Wednesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, and Saturday at 10 a.m. only. All tickets to “Growl!” are $10 for June performances and $12 for July performances.

Tickets and information are available at www.muhlenberg.edu/SMT or 484-664-3333.

Steel River Playhouse Offering Discount Tickets And Happy Hour

Picture 577

Thursday, May 19th

5:30-7 PM

Steel River Playhouse

245 E High St.

Pottstown, PA

 

Hors D’Oeuvres Provided

Cash Bar Available

Steel River Playhouse Offering Discount Tickets to Show After Happy Hour: $26.00 for adult, $21.00 for Seniors over 65, and $14.00 for students

RSVP Required.

Please call 610.850.0181 ext. 0 to RSVP.

Pottsgrove Manor Annual Colonial May Fair – May 7, 2016‏

Pottsgrove Manor MaypolePottstown, PA – Celebrate spring at the Annual Colonial May Fair held at historic Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This yearly event is a fun-filled day with activities for all ages including games, music, dancing, and crafts. Tucker’s Tales Puppet Theatre will present interactive puppet shows and will also provide festive historic music around the grounds during the event. Signora Bella will delight audiences with her acrobatic feats. Colonial conjurer Levram the Great will perform historically-themed magic shows and entertain visitors with pocket magic tricks throughout the day. Members of the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble will demonstrate authentic English country dances. As always, visitors will be invited to join in and dance around the maypole to help open and close the fair!

In addition to the entertainment, a variety of early American crafters and demonstrators will be on hand to display historic skills and trades and sell their wares. Young visitors will have the chance to meet colonial farm animals, watch a blacksmith at work, see how candles were made, play with colonial toys, try an 18th-century bat-and-ball game, dance around a child-size maypole, help churn butter, and more! New this year, the site will also be offering free make-and-take crafts for kids.

The first floor of colonial ironmaster John Potts’ 1752 manor house will be open for self-guided tours during the fair. Visitors will also be able to shop at the manor’s museum shop for colonial games, books, and unique gifts. MMG Concessions will offer a variety of refreshments for sale, including burgers, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, sausages, sandwiches, fries, hand-rolled pretzels, and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The fair coincides with the third annual “Pow-Wow on Manatawny Creek,” celebrating the culture and traditions of the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans. The pow-wow will be taking place during the hours of May Fair and will be held at Memorial Park, less than a block from Pottsgrove Manor. The public is encouraged to visit both events for an experience that spans time periods and cultures!

For a schedule of the day’s activities and a list of vendors and craftspeople that will be at the fair, please visit http://www.montcopa.org/1421/Annual-Colonial-May-Fair.

A donation of $2.00 per person is suggested for this event. Visitors can park for free at the Carousel at Pottstown building, 30 West King Street. Limited overflow parking is available at the Pottstown Quality Inn across the street from the Manor. Paid parking is also available in the “shop & park” lot at High and Hanover Streets in downtown Pottstown. There will be free trolley rides during the fair between the carousel parking lot, the pow-wow at Memorial Park, downtown Pottstown, and Pottsgrove Manor.

Handicapped parking is available in the museum’s parking lot.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery

County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Are You Interested In Becoming A Volunteer?

We are the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing The Secret Valley Line and restoring its services to offer the greatest turn-of-the-century railroading experience in the nation.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Colebrookdale Railroad. Quite literally, the train doesn’t roll down the tracks without them.

Our volunteers are:
 the source of all accomplishments of our programs
 the most critical and unique resource we have
 the leaders in our organization
 committed long-term with frequent participation
 committed to a safe, productive, and cohesive workplace
 responsible for our future

Our dedicated family of volunteers does everything from track work, to passenger car restoration, to operations.

If you have what it takes to work on the railroad, contact us today at info@colebrookdalerailroad.com! Be sure to include the words, “I Want to Volunteer” in the subject line.
Mission
o To serve as a catalyst for economic development in Southeastern Pennsylvania through the preservation and interpretation of the historic, cultural, and natural heritage of the middle Schuylkill Region, birthplace of the American iron industry.
Vision Statement
o To establish national-caliber heritage and recreational anchor attraction around an authentic Edwardian-era experience of the sort offered on the grand limited trains of the 1900-1920 era by developing the Colebrookdale Railroad, its infrastructure, equipment, and real estate, and by building local and regional partnerships.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council To Present Comedian Josh Blue At Williams Center For The Arts, Lafayette College, June 14

Josh Blue, the celebrated comedian who uses his own affliction with cerebral palsy as part of his routine, will perform in Easton at 7 p.m. June 14 at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. The event is sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in cooperation with the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette, to celebrate LVAC’s yearlong Arts & Access program, a call for Valley arts organizations to be more inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Blue was the grand prize winner at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and is a favorite on the college comedy circuit. He is known for his ability to improvise and encourage his audience to overcome preconceived notions about people who are labeled as “disabled.”

A recent L.V. Research Consortium survey revealed that more than 13 percent of the Valley’s population has a disability and that this population grows by about three percent per year.

“Josh Blue is the ideal ambassador for greater inclusion of the disabled,” says LVAC Executive Director Randall Forte. “We are overwhelmed at the success of the first year of Arts & Access, particularly with the enthusiasm of our participating arts organizations.”

Since June 14 is also Flag Day, the program has been tagged “Red, White and Blue.” Invitations are in the mail to Arts Council members and the clients of Lehigh Valley non-profit agencies serving clients with challenges such as blindness, deafness, autism and other disabilities. A limited number of tickets will also be available to the public, particularly for individuals with disabilities, by calling LVAC at 610-437-5915.

The event marks the culmination of the Arts Council’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The LVAC program was a response to a request by the L.V. Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community to encourage local arts organizations to reconsider how their offerings can better serve disabled individuals.

For example, the Josh Blue event will be interpreted by an American Sign Language practitioner, will be audio-described, and the hand-out program will be available in Braille and large print versions. LVAC offers arts groups assistance and lends the special equipment needed for audio description.

As a result of Arts & Access, 30 cultural organizations have teamed with social service agencies over the past year to provide greater accommodation at more than 50 disability-friendly events, including sensory-friendly performances for children with autism, movement classes for Parkinson’s patients, audio-described and open-captioned theatrical performances, lectures, exhibitions, poetry readings, film screenings, and public meetings. LVAC reports that as a result of Arts & Access 2015-16, 589 people with disabilities attended those events, accompanied by 705 family members and friends.

For supporting documents and materials, please click here: http://www.lvartscouncil.org/red-white-and-blue/

Muhlenberg Circus Workshop Presents ‘VOD,’ Opening April 21‏

Allentown, PA — Now in its third year, the student-directed Muhlenberg Circus Workshop will take the stage again this spring with another original contemporary circus performance. Running April 21-24, “VOD” takes up the story of Pandora’s Box, in the setting of a post-World War II traveling circus.

Written and directed by two of the Circus Workshop cofounders, seniors Noah S. Dach and Henry Evans, “VOD” will showcase the talents of 14 aerialists, acrobats, dancers, jugglers, actors, tappers, and acrobats. New in this year’s production is a performance featuring Chinese pole dancing. Another senior, Tyler Holoboski, choreographs the production.

This year’s production will be presented in Muhlenberg’s 120-seat Studio Theatre, a blackbox style space with flexible seating. Dach says the audience will enter to an empty space, and then witness its dramatic transformation into a 1940s circus tent.

“‘VOD’ is the story of humanity’s modern Pandora’s Box,” he says. “It’s set in the period when mankind developed and atomic bomb — the moment when we acquired the ability to extinguish ourselves and our world.”

The production follows the success of last season’s sold out circus production “Atlas,” a contemporary circus adaptation of the Alice in Wonderland story. The group operates under the artistic supervision of Muhlenberg’s Dance Program chair, Karen Dearborn.

“Karen has gone above and beyond for her students and has given everyone that has been a part of the Circus Workshop an unforgettable and truly life altering opportunity,” Dach says. “Without her inspiring vision, care, and dedication, this program would not be where it is today.”

Dach, Evans, and other graduating members of the Workshop have plans to go pro after graduating this spring. They spent spring break this year scouting locations and laying the groundwork for the Atlas Circus Company. The company seeks to create a new kind of narrative circus performance, catalyze circus education around the country, and build a home for circus artists in America. They further describe their plans at http://www.atlascircus.com

“VOD” runs April 21-24 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

Performances are Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 3 and 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundy at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for patrons 17 and under, and $8 for students, faculty and staff of all LVAIC colleges. Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/dance.  

‘Ulysses In Nighttown’ At Muhlenberg, April 27-30‏

Allentown, PA — “Ulysses,” James Joyce’s 1922 epic widely regarded as one of the most important works of modernist literature, takes the stage at Muhlenberg College, in an adaptation that director James Peck describes as “weird, sexy, and a little dangerous.” “Ulysses in Nighttown” plays April 27-30 to conclude the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department’s mainstage season.

Peck says the production employs vivid imagery, unconventional storytelling techniques, and Joyce’s own spectacularly vivid language to capture “a journey into the unconscious.” The play excerpts one lengthy episode of the novel (known to Joyce aficionados as the Circe episode), taking place mostly in the red-light district of Dublin, Ireland.

“The play gives shape to the desires of the three characters at the heart of ‘Ulysses,’” says Peck, a professor of theater at Muhlenberg. “It is surreal, stream-of-consciousness — we go inside the minds of the characters, experience their hallucinations and their faltering sanity. The play is coherent, but it’s coherent in the way that dreams are coherent.”

Aching for fellowship, middle-aged ad salesman Leopold Bloom pursues the alienated young novelist Stephen Dedalus on a late-night bender through Dublin’s red light district. There they find themselves confronting their feverish fears and passions, haunted by their transgressions and fetishes. Full of portent and hallucination, Joyce’s sprawling text takes a dark turn in this episode, which playwright Marjorie Barkentin has adapted as a stand-alone narrative, with context derived from the rest of the novel.

At a fundamental level, Peck says, “Ulysses in Nighttown” is the story of a friendship between two men dealing with loss — Stephen with the loss of his mother, and Bloom with the death of his child and the disintegration of his marriage to Molly, who he knows has taken to pursuing affairs with other men. But the play, like the novel, hardly lends itself to simple synopsis.

The production will feature an original musical score by percussionist Douglas Ovens, a professor and former department chair of music at Muhlenberg, who has previously provided music for “Orlando,” “The Other Shore,” “The Possibilities,” and other plays at Muhlenberg. Ovens will play the score himself in performance.

Peck says he was moved to direct the play by its storytelling challenges and by Joyce’s linguistic virtuosity — but also for more personal reasons.

“I hadn’t done anything strange for a while, and I wanted to do something strange,” he says. “I also think this is some of the most evocative English language that has ever been written. I wanted to delve into that language in the way that creating a production for the stage forces you to do.”

He continues: “I think when I was in my 20s, when I first read ‘Ulysses,’ I identified with the character of Stephen. Now in my 50s, I feel like I identify more with Bloom. When you’re younger, you feel like the world of possibilities is wide open. Then as you get older you find that as many doors are closed to you as are open. I think the play delves very deeply into that maturation, that sense of gain and simultaneous loss that comes with maturity.”

“Ulysses in Nighttown” plays April 27-30. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8. The production is recommended for mature audiences.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre or by phone at 484-664-3333. Performances are in the Empire Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.