Friday, January 29, 2016

Connecticut Arts Connections

Images: Mike Shea. Wheat Farmer, Nicodemus, Kansas, 1940. Gelatin silverprint. 1987.1.1840 
Unidentified photographer. View of Logging Camp, c. 1890. Cabinet card. 1987.1.1388

AMISTAD CENTER

Opening to the Public, February 13, 2016  
Second Saturdays for Families
Free 10 am to 1 pm

Join EQuilibrium Dance Theatre explores The Amistad Center for Art and Culture's exhibition
40 Acres: The Promise of a Black Pastoral through art, song, and dance.Second Saturdays for Families: Explore art with your family, encourage creativity, and expand your imagination through conversation and discovery. Each program is free and includes hands-on art projects, tours for families, live music, and engaging fun through film, theater and dance. Join us the second of every month year-round!
10:30 - 11 am: ABCs: Art, Books, Connections
11 am - noon: Ask About Art
11:30 am - noon: Eyes on Art Family Tour

PALACE THEATER
The Palace Theater in Waterbury is setting the stage for a healthier New Year by offering a six-week yoga course on Monday evenings from Feb. 1 through Mar. 2. Registration for all six classes is $85 (203-346-2000; www.palacetheaterct.org; Box Office, 100 East Main St, Drop-in students are also welcome to participate for $20 per session. Participants of all ages and skill levels are invited to relax their mind and sculpt their bodies by practicing this ancient discipline in the beautiful halls of the historic theater. Each class is one-hour in length and will take place after normal work hours from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. Certified instructor Lisa Zembruski, has been practicing yoga for more than 25 years and has studied various types of yoga including Hatha, Baptiste Vinyasa flow, Bikram, Kundalini, and Iyengar. Her depth of experience includes teaching meditation, yoga Pilates fusion, kundalini yoga, and vinyasa power yoga for all ages, including children, teens, and senior citizens. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants, and participants are responsible for bringing their own yoga mats. 

WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE
Westport Country Playhouse has launched a New Works Initiative to develop new plays and musicals through workshop and reading opportunities involving playwrights and other artists.The program will make possible the development of two new works at the Playhouse in February – “Out of the Mouths of Babes” by Israel Horovitz, in partnership with New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre, and “The Rivals,” with book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by Stephen Weiner, based on the 1775 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. For each project, the Playhouse will host workshops with the playwrights, actors, and other creatives, culminating with a reading before an audience. Dates and details will be announced soon. www.westportplayhouse.org; 203-227-4177, 888-927-7529.

Larry Kramer

MARK TWAIN HOUSE
The Mark Twain House and Museum presents Mark My Words: An Evening with Larry Kramer 7 pm ,Saturday, April 16. The event will be moderated by Shawn Lang, Deputy Director of AIDS Connecticut.

Kramer is an American playwright, screenwriter, public health advocate, and gay rights activist whose confrontational style of advocacy, while divisive, was credited by many with catalyzing the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. He'll be in conversation about his life, his work, and his latest book "The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel," a book he has been working on since 1981, and which was finally published as a novel in 2015. In the book, Kramer asserts that many iconic American historical figures, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Mark Twain, were gay.

Kramer began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the iconic 1969 filmWomen in Love, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his 1978 novel Faggots. The book earned mixed reviews but emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for his portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.

Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease AIDS in the early 1980s. He co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart.

The conversation with Larry Kramer will be followed by a book sale and signing. Tickets are $25 / $20 members: 860-247-0998; marktwainhouse.org and click on Events.

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

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