Braley off Broadway: I chatted recently with Lincoln Academy Director of Communications and Community Engagement Jenny Mayher about the arts scene at Lincoln Academy, and she eagerly told me about the success of LA drama teacher Griff Braley’s three-week-long Eagle Term class called “Just Off Broadway,” which wraps up Friday, June 9.
I reached out to Braley, and here is what he had to say about the 16-member class, which he co-teaches with LA choral teacher Beth Preston: “We’ve used the class to cover basic actor training, and to prepare group performance numbers from ‘West Side Story.’ We were able to host Michelle Bruckner, a New York City choreographer and teacher for two days as a visiting artist. Michelle choreographed two numbers with the kids and they have continued to work on the movement pieces. In addition, each student has prepared an audition solo or a full number from the Broadway catalog. We’ve done training in how to audition, improvisation, a series of movement training for actors called Viewpoints, and lots more!”
Braley didn’t miss the chance to gush about his students. “The kids have been absolutely fabulous,” he said. “They bonded quickly around the material, and they have been super supportive of one another. We’ve been really excited to see kids’ aspirations rise with the whole class, over half of whom have never sung in public, as they are preparing to audition for the Lincoln Academy-Heartwood Theater collaboration in the fall, when we’ll produce ‘West Side Story.’ Michelle Bruckner will be providing choreography two days a week for about six weeks in the fall – an amazing opportunity, and the kids are pretty pumped about it.”
On June 9, the class members will present a 30-minute sampling of their pieces during each of the last three periods of the day, which run as follows: 8:50-9:40 a.m., 9:45-10:30 a.m., and 10:40-11:30 a.m. “The kids will have a chance to perform pieces for their peers or anyone who wants to come in,” said Braley, adding that “folks should know that this is classroom work, not finished staging.” Check in with the Lincoln Academy school office for location.
Heywood retreat: Waldoboro artist Anne Heywood still has slots in her upcoming artist retreat that will run from roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 24-28 at Heywood’s studio at 808 North Nobleboro Road, Waldoboro.
“This is not your typical workshop; it’s a really different approach,” Heywood told me. In addition to live pastel painting demonstrations and indoor and outdoor painting time, attendees will be treated to an excursion to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland and a lobster-and-steak bake, among other things. Heywood said the emphasis is on camaraderie and learning “through all the senses.”
“You’re not a number when you’re at a retreat,” she said, adding that her husband assists her by “doing all the comfort stuff – you know, giving you a cup of coffee in the morning the way you like it.”
Blooming art: Don’t forget the three-day “Art in Bloom” fundraising event taking place June 9-11 at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Parish House, at 16 Glidden St. in Newcastle, featuring art and floral arrangements. On June 9 and 10, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on June 11, the hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $15.
The art of the sandwich: S. Fernald’s Country Store, at 50 Main St. in Damariscotta, is unveiling a brand-new sandwich on Friday, June 9 to add to its deliciously impressive sandwich list. “The Maine Attraction” is a collaborative effort between Fernald’s and Riverside Butcher Co., just across the street. It is a Reuben made entirely of Maine-made ingredients. I can’t wait to try it!
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