Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Connecticut Arts Connections and News

Westport Country Playhouse presents Stella, Queen of the SnowPhoto: Margo Ellen Gesser

The Family Festivities Series will present Stella, Queen of the Snow, based on the book by Marie-Louie Gay, the award-winning creator of “Stella and Sam,” Sunday, Jan. 18, at 1 and 4 pm. Produced by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, the show is recommended for ages 3 to 7. Running time is approximately one hour. Tickets are $20.

Using puppetry, original music, and scenic effects, Stella, Queen of the Snow tells the story of an endearing sister and her younger brother as they spend the day playing in the snow. The forest, snowballs, snow angels, and the mysterious white stuff itself provide fuel for Sam’s questions and Stella’s answers as they embrace the world of winter. 

Pre-show activities will begin one hour before each performance, at noon and 3 pm. Children will play a series of environmental theater games, using their imaginations to create a winter wonderland. Through acting games, they will explore their newly created world. 

The Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series is presented on selected Sundays  through March. At each performance, the playhouse hosts a book collection for Read to Grow, Inc. Bins will be located in the Playhouse lobby for donations of gently used and new children’s books which will be given to families with limited access and to community resources that serve them in the greater Fairfield County area.

Everyone in the audience requires a ticket: 203-227-4177, 1-888-927-7529, box office 25 Powers Court, Westport,


B.J. Novak, writer and co-executive producer of the "The Office," in which he also starred, is coming to Hartford to do a benefit evening for the Mark Twain House and Museum. 
B. J. Novak
Novak will talk about his life, career, and about his recently published book "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories," which includes the short story "The Ghost of Mark Twain." The event will be followed by a book sale and signing. A VIP reception also is set.

Thursday, Feb. 12, 7 pm in the auditorium at Aetna in Hartford. Tickets are are $30 ($25 for Mark Twain House Members). The VIP Reception at 5:30 pm is $75 and includes the reception, premium seats for the talk, and also a copy of the book. 860-280-3130; or click here.


The new Australian Bee Gees Show keeps the legendary music of the Gibb brothers “Stayin’ Alive” with a special one night only performance at the Palace Theater in Waterbury Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the multimedia stage show are $55, $45, and $35: 203-346-2000;; box office, 100 East Main St.


The Education Department at Hartford Stage has announced its full roster of Winter Studio Classes. Registration is currently under way for a variety of classes designed to introduce basic theatre skills, build confidence, and give students opportunities to perform.

The popular Saturday Sampler classes return with Stories on Stage: Animal Tales (Ages 5-7),Young Actors Toolbox (Ages 7-9), and Accents & Dialects (Ages 10+). Children ages 5 to 8 can register for Musical Theatre Cabaret Jr., while those ages 10 and older can choose to arrange an audition for the Advanced Performance Troupe: Musical Theatre Cabaret.

Other featured classes include Production Class: Jungle Book (Ages 5-8), Production Class:Baker Street Irregulars (Ages 9+), and Mini-Production: The Emperor’s New Clothes (Ages 5-8). Private acting coaching and voice lessons are also available by appointment only for students ages 8 and older.

Classes focusing on monologue building, improvisation and comedy are also part of the Winter Studio Class roster.

Classes are available for all experience levels. Winter Studio Classes are held at Classical Magnet School at 85 Woodland Street in Hartford. Early registration is encouraged.

For more information, contact Erin Frederick, Education Enrollment and Marketing Coordinator, at 860-520-7244 or To view the roster of classes with descriptions, costs and dates – or to register online – visit

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

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