Monday, January 28, 2013

Connecticut Arts Connections You Won't Want to Miss

Families with children on the autism spectrum or other sensory challenges ar invited to Downtown Cabaret's first sensory sensitive performance of Freckleface Strawberry, the Musical. Based on the beloved book by celebrated and award-winning actress Julianne Moore. Freckleface and her friends confront bullying and learn to love the skin they’re in. The Downtown Cabaret Theatre is the first professional performing arts organization in the State of Connecticut to offer a Sensory Sensitive Performance of one of its own productions. For more information contact Rosemary Martin Hayduk at 203-576-1634 x 102. Tickets: Sunday, March 3 at 5:30 pm are $15. Other performances for the general public are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays Feb. 23 through March 30. Tickets $18-$24: 203-576-1636; downtowncabaret.org.

The free Nook Farm Book Club series at the Stowe Center continues with a discussion of "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. The book is available for purchase in the Stowe Visitor Center. Refreshments will be served at 5 followed by a one-hour discussion beginning at 5:30 pm. Registration is suggested: Call 860-522-9258 ext. 317 or e-mail Info@StoweCenter.org. Free, secure parking is available at the Stowe Center (77 Forest St.) and The Mark Twain House and Museum (351 Farmington Ave.) parking lots.
Yale Opera presents I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) Feb. 15–17: Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm. Based on the tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, this production of Bellini’s opera is sung in Italian with projected English translations. Shubert Theater and Box Office, 247 College Street, New Haven; shubert.com; 800-228-6622;  

The Mattatuck Museum transports you back to the era of the Great Depression with Stars and Bars, a 1938 living newspaper play by Ward Courtney and the Negro Unit of the Connecticut Federal Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm. The reading is performed by the Working Actors Collective and directed by Ed Wierzbicki with music by Elizabeth Drevits and Jeff McQuillan, and stage managed by Geoffrey Ault. Written in 1938, the play attempts to enlighten a “Yankee” character about the true plight of African Americans in Connecticut. This is the first living newspaper about racial issues to get past a first draft, and there is no record of any performance of the play during the New Deal Era. Stars and Bars is specifically based on the history and status of Blacks in the Hartford in the 1930s. The title refers both to the flag of the Confederacy, and to the impediments - "bars"- to freedom implicit in American society. Stars and Bars is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Art for Everyone: The Federal Art Project in Connecticut on view through Feb. 3, 2013. Admission to this program is $7 for members (and students/seniors) and $12 for non-members. Cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres are available at 6:30 pm and the reading will conclude with a short panel discussion with the actors and director. Register in advance at www.mattatuckmuseum.org or call 203-753-0381, ext. 10. Located at 144 West Main St., Waterbury, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday noon to 5 pm. Free parking is located behind the building on Park Place.

Westport Country Playhouse has received a $20,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation for general operating support of the non-profit organization’s 2013 season. The Foundation has awarded over $151 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is a great place to find out about the latest performances, workshops and opportunities in that part o the state. http://www.artsnwct.org/index.php.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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