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Last year's newsletter...new one coming soon...



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Thank you to everyone who came out to see Shakespeare in the Grove 2011! 





The show had a terrific run at the lovely Grove at Middlesex Community College and as always, we'd like to thank our co-sponsor, the Humanities and Arts Division at Middlesex Community College, as well as the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Pratt & Whitney, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, our Shakespeare Slam participants and sponsors, and our gracious individual donors and audience members, who once again made it possible for us to bring high-quality professional Shakespeare to the Grove. Thank you.
MORE PHOTOS BY BILL DEKINE ON THE SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE PAGE

But wait! Just because the show is over, doesn't mean you have to cry "farewell to Shakespeare!"
Let us bring Shakespeare to you!
Shakespeare's Argument is built to tour! The argument of this fast-paced 90-minute piece centers around what makes Shakespeare so revered and so timeless, making it the perfect show for those new to the Bard's work, and for long-time lovers of Shakespeare. The show is especially well-suited to schools and festivals. Call (860) 346-4390 for booking.  


Special Event on 
Saturday, Sept. 29!

Circophony
 
a new teen circus co-produced by ARTFARM and Oddfellows, 
will be performing with the 
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
in a FREE CONCERT on the Bandstand in 
Bushnell Park in Hartford.
6:30 pm -- see you there!!
Juggling & Acrobatics accompanied by the HSO
playing Rimsky-Korsakoff & Tchaikovsky, 
directed by Dic Wheeler & Allison McDermott


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CIRCUS is in the air at ARTFARM
 
this fall!!!

We are auditioning for a circus performer for 


as well as booking SUBMERGED! into 
schools, festivals, nature centers and museums 
from October 19 through June, 2013. 

Auditions will be held 

Sun, Sept. 16, 6 - 8 pm 

Contact us for details or click here.
Seeking an experienced adult professional performer.

AND.............................................

ADSCENSIO!

The Connecticut School of Circus Arts is a collaboration between ARTFARM, Oddfellows Playhouse and Matica Arts. This week culminates the third year of this challenging and visionary training program for teenage circus performers. 

Come join us for the 

CT SCHOOL OF CIRCUS ARTS 

SPRING SHOWCASE

 including acrobatics, juggling, balancing, teeter board and more, plus the CSCA Traveling Company's performance of Adscensio.


Performances of the CSCA Spring Showcase were at 7:30 pm on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown, CT.

Go to www.oddfellows.org for details.

You can also see the full Adscensio (directed by Dic Wheeler) performance this Sunday, May 27 at 4 pm at the Katherine Hepburn Arts Center in Old Saybrook. Details HERE.

Coming JULY 2012:
SHAKESPEARE EVERYWHERE!
HELP SHAKESPEARE GO GLOBAL
During the month of July, we encourage you to choose a Shakespearean monologue or  a scene, and hit the streets. Perform your piece in a coffee shopthe grocery storein the parkon the busat the bank, 
or wherever the fancy strikes you !
 
If you are feeling inspired, we encourage you to have your performance filmed and sent to us. You can post it on the ARTFARM facebook page or you can tweet it to @ARTFARMpresents. But if you are one of the happy few who has managed to steer clear of the world of social media, you can always send it to us via email, send us a disk, or have a friend chisel your impression on stone tablets and bring them to us on your horse or bicycle. 

At the end of each week in July, we'll award AN EXCITING PRIZE to the most creative 
( zany/hilarious/daring/insert appropriate adjective here) performer(s). The recipients of these prizes will also get special shout-outs on our website/ facebook page/Twitter, which will doubtless ensure their eternal glory.  For those who can make it, the weekly  winners will also be featured at the performance of the Shakespeare Everywhere: The Compleate Work. 

 
Click HERE for some of our ideas about what you might perform! .
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WEEKLY WINNERS for Weeks 1 and 2 of the SHAKESPEARE EVERYWHERE GLOBAL CHALLENGE
have been selected!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Week 1: Neely Bruce for his Shakespeare Melange in the CFA parking lot

Week 2: Peter Standaart for his Shakespeare Sample in the Stop and Shop Bakery Department

YouTube Video





The Turnips are IN at ARTFARM!




The Shakespeare Everywhere! Global Challenge is in FULL SWING!
Wondering what it is? This two minute video by Rebecca Cashman explains it all for you:


Also...
See Recent postings on the FACEBOOK EVENT 
ARTFARM's Shakespeare Everywhere! Global Challenge
Peter Standaart: Shakespeare & flute at Stop 'n' Shop
McDermott Duo do Shakespeare at the Circus
Michelle Page does Shakespeare in Vermont
Samantha Michaud at Middletown Teen Theater

Watch Neely Bruce perform a melange of Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and The Merchant of Venice !

YouTube Video





SHAKESPEARE AT THE CFA
SHAKESPEARE EVERYWHERE! took Middletown by storm AGAIN when the ARTFARM ENSEMBLE performed a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring Oberon, Titania, and many, many fairies at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts.

Fairies Backstage

Titania and Oberon Dance

The Bard Himself



UPDATE: Shakespeare made his first appearance....ON WHEELS.



The bard accompanied several  members of the ARTFARM Ensemble to Middletown's Fourth of July festivities. What will his next move be? 







Shakespeare Everywhere is a three part explosion of Shakespeare in ARTFARM's hometown of Middletown, CT and the world. It started July 1 and goes like this:







1. ARTFARM Ensemble members perform short scenes and monologs from Shakespeare at public events all over Middletown throughout the month of July. These will be unannounced guerilla/flashmob appearances at previously scheduled public events. 

2. The Shakespeare Everywhere Global Challenge is ARTFARM's dare to the world to perform Shakespeare in public places, record it, post it to our Facebook page and become eligible for prizes and the opportunity to perform with us August 5. See details below...

3. Shakespeare Everywhere: The Compleate Work 
will take place on Sunday, August 5 at 5 pm in the Grove at Middlesex Community College. Hosted by WNPR's Chion WolfThe Compleate Work will start by live music performed by the duet Luna y Sol, followed by a recap of all the guerilla performances presented by ARTFARM during July, plus our weekly Challenge Winners, live music by the ARTFARM Irregular Orchestra and Shakespeare songs by Anitra Brooks and Eric Kuhn. 
Join us for a picnic in the Grove to celebrate Shakespeare Everywhere!
SHAKESPEARE EVERYWHERE
is coming to Middletown this summer. Check out this link for more information!
Photo by Bill Dekine

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Circus for a Fragile Planet’s 
current touring show 

SUBMERGED!

 was featured at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven - 


Circus SUBMERGED! photos by Ben Jordan

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APRIL 10, 2012 --
A Night to Remember
ARTFARM
Celebrates 
PETER SCHUMANN
Photos below by Mick Bolduc. Thanks to Michael Pestel, The Bottle Shop, City
Steam Brewery, Neely Bruce, Bread and Puppet Theater, and all the others who 
joined to create this fabulous night on Prout Hill Rd!
Peter Schumann performs the Fiddle Sermon "Shoe"
Michael Pestel and his daughter Josie warm up the crowd
Neely Bruce leads some Shape Note Singing
Peter relaxes before getting onstage
Thanks for coming, Peter! See you this summer at Bread and Puppet Theater's 
Our Domestic Resurrection Circus in Glover, VT!
VIEW REBECCA CASHMAN'S 3 MINUTE VIDEO OF 
PETER SCHUMANN'S VISIT 

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The ARTFARM Re-Skilling Series presents

Toothpick Gardening 



A Hands-On workshop in Starting your Vegetable Garden from Seeds

Saturday, March 17, 2 – 5 pm

at 218 Jackson Hill Road, Middlelfield

Led by Eleanor Poole and Sioux Wimler

                  Octogenarian Eleanor Poole, who is ‘the best gardener I know!”, says ARTFARM Artistic Director, Marcella Trowbridge,

                                       and homeschool wiz-mom, Sioux Wimler, will teach various techniques for starting your home garden from seeds.                                   

                                        These two experienced organic gardeners will share ideas from home-made seed pots to hand-mixed potting soil,

                      as well as time lines for planting, natural and artificial lighting, when to move seedlings outdoors, and more!                                                               

This workshop should be a treat for the green-thumb and the greenhorn.                             

  Plan to bring home a spring start to some of your own summer veggies.

Please bring a $5 materials fee, a few small plastic containers and a note pad,  and if you are inclined to bring a healthy potluck snack- we wouldn’t turn you down!

 

Please Register to let us now how many to prepare for.

Marcella@art-farm.org or 860.346.4390 (day of event, call 860.202.2872) 


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 ARTFARM artists performing at The Buttonwood Tree

Anitra Brooks and Eric Kuhn

A night of acoustic music by two talented artists. They will be singing original tunes along with some lovely covers. 
Anitra on ukelele and hand percussion.
Eric on guitar, bass and piano.   

Friday, March 16

8:00pm

The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street, Middletown, CT

$10

 Anitra Brooks (right) as the Duchess in ARTFARM's 2010
production of Shakespeare's As You Like It.  Eric Kuhn (left)
as Charles the Wrestler throws young Orlando in the same production.
Photos by Bill Dekine.

www.buttonwood.org 

www.anitrabrooks.com

www.ericwardkuhn.com

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January 20 and 21 --
ADSCENSIO!
a thrilling new YOUTH CIRCUS
directed by Dic Wheeler
Photo by Rob McGuinness courtesy of Oddfellows Playhouse
January 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm
at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington St
in Middletown, Call 860.347.6143 to tix.
SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS AND DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS!!!
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Photo gallery of Traveling Circus at the Festivals in Sarasota and NYC:
Playing on the beach in Florida
Traveling Circus Company members Denzell and Malaika work with famed Hungarian contortion coach Panni Spiers. Wait until you see their duet in Adscensio!

Evan and Zack at a juggling class at the New York festival

Rebecca on the low wire in NY

Company members inspired after Cirque du Soleil performance in Hartford. Thanks for the tickets, Cirque!!
What's up at ARTFARM??
CONNECTICUT SCHOOL OF CIRCUS ARTS


Three central CT arts organizations -- ARTFARM, Oddfellows Playhouse and Matica Arts --have been partnering for the past three seasons on a unique teen program called the Connecticut School of Circus Arts.

It provides ongoing circus training for young people ages 12 to 20. CSCA meets every Monday night, 6 - 9 pm at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown. Starts Jan 23 and culminates with a
Spring Circus Showcase performance on May 25 & 26.

This is a great opportunity for kids to get an overview of circus arts -- juggling, clowning, acrobatics, diabolo, poi, devil stick, minitramp, balancing, tightwire, unicycle, rolling globe, rola-bola, stilt dancing -- in an environment which is rigorous, disciplined, but non-competitive.
All levels are welcome; no experience necessary.

This program is directed by Dic Wheeler of ARTFARM (founder of the Children's Circus of Middletown and director of ARTFARM's "Circus for a Fragile Planet") and the lead trainers are Joel Melenedez and Heidi Kirchofer of Matica Arts.

Circus is a great alternative to sports as a way to get physical activity while developing teamwork, patience and discipline. Kids gain incredible CONFIDENCE by learning to master what at first seems impossible.

Tuition for the 18 week program is $250, and some financial aid is available. For more info, or to register, go to www.oddfellows.org. If you have specific questions about the training, talk to Dic Wheeler directly: dic@art-farm.org or call (860) 346-4390.


WINTER WELLNESS WORKSHOP
with Marcella Trowbridge
Thursday, January 19
6 - 8 pm
at South Congregational Church
Pleasant Street, Middletown
Click on the image for details:



ARTFARM co-hosts Climate Reality presentation Monday, November 14 at 7 pm at Russell Library
Don't miss this provocative presentation by Marjorie Shansky exploring how Climate Change will change our lives over the coming decades and what we can do to help alleviate its effects and protect ourselves, our children and our planet. This presentation is offered to communities by Al Gore's Climate Reality Project.
ARTFARM is proud to join with Jonah Center, Middlesex Community College Sustainability Team, Earth Ministry
and Wesleyan University in helping to keep Middletown well-informed and well-prepared.
Planning next year's garden yet? Planting fruit and nut trees?
Come join the conversation on November 14!

 


ADSCENSIO postponed to JANUARY 20 & 21!
We managed to get in one performance of this NEW CIRCUS on October 28, but then snowfall and power outages shut us down. The Friday night crowd loved this original and eerily poignant circus production and were awed by the skill levels of the young performers. NOW YOU HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE.
Info, commentary and opening night photos below: 



Awesome new youth circus performance featuring the Oddfellows Playhouse Traveling Circus, directed by Dic Wheeler. Nine teenage circus performers will take you on a journey through time, from the discovery of fire to the newest i-device.
Great fun for all ages, featuring ensemble performance, juggling, acrobatics, the most virtuosic unicycling you have ever seen, a spine-tingling act on the roman ladders and much, much more.
Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21
7:30 pm
at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown.
Tickets $15 for adults, $8 for kids
Call (860) 347-6143 for reservations.


Dic wrote the following about the journey this group have taken together over the coming months, from Middletown to Youth Circus Festivals in Florida and New York City and to Cirque du Soleil in Hartford. From the Adscensio playbill director's note:

"This is one of the most fabulous and talented groups of youth circus performers with whom I have had the pleasure of working, and I’ve been making circus at Oddfellows, ARTFARM and other places for thirty years.

As with earlier Traveling Circus manifestations, we bonded as a group and raised our collective bar by journeying together to the American Youth Circus Organization’s National Festival in Sarasota, Florida this summer. This was a unique, joyful and humbling experience. Hundreds of young circus performers and youth circus directors and trainers, all gathered together in a big hot four ring circus tent for four days of workshops and performances. The opportunity to try new apparatus that we have little or no access to – Trapeze, German Wheel, Lyra, Spanish Web, Fabric, High Wire. The privilege of working with many of the top circus trainers in the country. Experiencing young performers who dazzled us with their skill, discipline and teamwork. Making friends with circus kids from all over the country. Juggling with African kids from Chicago at 3 o’clock in the morning in the hotel parking lot.  Flying together and waiting and waiting for our delayed flight in Atlanta airport – finally getting home as the sun was rising the day after.

Adventure and discovery. That’s what this show is about. The human journey -- progress, humanity and the price of progress to humanity.

While I conceived the basic concept for the show and maintained ultimate artistic direction, most of the acts in Adscensio were created by the performers themselves. All solos were devised by the performers who perform them. Rebecca, Chris and Evan stepped up and each directed terrific group acts. In addition, Assistant Director and Traveling Circus go-to guy Ethan Zukas made a great group acrobatic piece, and ARTFARM teaching artist and performer (and Children’s Circus instructor) Allison McDermott created a lovely duet for two of our most talented acrobats. This has been a real group effort and an awesome journey.

We hope that you enjoy Adscensio, and if you are a young person I hope that you will consider joining the Connecticut School of Circus Arts this winter and spring. The CSCA is a great collaboration between Oddfellows, ARTFARM and Matica Arts which offers systematic circus training to circus enthusiasts of all levels ages twelve to twenty. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and you could end up in the Traveling Circus one day!

 If you know a school or organization that might want to hire the Traveling Circus, please let us know. We like to Travel."

PHOTO GALLERY OF 

CFP SUBMERGED! in rehearsal March, 2011:
Photos by Heidi Kirchofer. Performers Meg Berritta, Maegan Fuller, Allison McDermott, Joel Melendez and Dic Wheeler.

And, now in its THIRD YEAR of touring New England, New York and New Jersey, the original Circus for a Fragile Planet is also still available --

 



A few rehearsals photos by Ben Jordan below.

Annie DiMartino and Marcella Trowbridge

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CT SCHOOL OF CIRCUS ARTS
JUGGLATHON

Monday, July 18, 6 -7 pm
on Middletown's South Green
ARTFARM, in collaboration with Oddfellows Playhouse and Matica Arts, will be bringing eight young circus performers to the American Youth Circus Festival in Sarasota, Florida August 17 -21. To support the travel costs we are holding a JUGGLATHON on Monday, July 18. You can participate in three ways:
1. JUGGLE
at the event and solicit donors to sponsor you by pledging a minimum of $1 per minute for your juggling.
2. SPONSOR A JUGGLER.
It can be as little as $5 to sponsor a juggler for 5 minutes at $5 per minute, or $500 at $100 per minute.
3. COME WATCH.
Come enjoy one brief hour of Madness and Joy on the South Green as dozens of young people and adults juggle, stilt, unicycle, hoop etc etc.  

To receive guidelines and pledge forms, contact info@art-farm.org

CONNECTICUT SCHOOL OF CIRCUS ARTS
a year-round circus training program for ages twelve to twenty. This program, directed by ARTFARM’s Dic Wheeler, is a collaboration between ARTFARM, Oddfellows Playhouse and Matica Arts.
SPRING CIRCUS CELEBRATION
MAY 20 and 21
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm

at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown

A full evening of amazing Youth Circus!
Act one is a Spring Showcase of the CT School of Circus Arts
Act Two is the premiere of We Work for Ice Cream!
a unique forty minute
street circus created by CSCA's Traveling Circus Company and directed by Dic Wheeler.

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Thanks for the FIFTH GREAT SEASON
of ARTFARM's Shakespeare in the Grove.
July 8 - 18 over two thousand people joined us at Middlesex Community College for eight terrific performances of Shakespeare's As You Like It. Here are a few photos by Bill Dekine:


Phil Rosenthal opened the final show on July 18. Here he is with the audience in full picnic mode. Photos by Dic Wheeler:
And, finally, a lovely shot of ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge celebrating with Brian O'Rourke after a successful fund raiser at O'Rourke's Diner on June 27:


Thanks to the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Pratt & Whitney, Middlesex Community College, It's Only Natural Restaurant, Kidcity Children's Museum, O'Rourke's Diner and the many individuals who attended, donated, slammed sonnets and otherwise made Shakespeare in the Grove 2010 possible! See you next year in the Grove.

Circus for a Fragile Planet 


public performances upcoming!


 

Saturday, November 13, 11 am

Mark Twain House in Hartford.
$5 kids, $10 adults. www.marktwainhouse.org

Family Matinee with
ARTFARM's "Circus for a Fragile Planet"

On November 13 at 11 a.m., ARTFARM will perform its eco-friendly “Circus for a Fragile Planet.” A nutty professor is trying to teach kids how to take care of our planet but keeps getting interrupted by the Fossil Fools. It’s an hour-long show of juggling, clowning, acrobatics, stilt-dancing, unicycling and a healthy dose of up-to-date and empowering environmental education. A side-splitting, mind-opening blend of circus and science! Admission to each performance is $5 for children, and $10 for adults. Call 860-280-3130 for tickets. Saturdays with Sam is made possible by a joint grant with the Barnum Museum, sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and Hartford Steam Boiler.


Oddfellows Playhouse Traveling Circus at
FIRST NIGHT HARTFORD!
The Traveling Circus is the touring wing of the Connecticut School of Circus Arts, a collaboration between ARTFARM, Oddfellows and Matica Arts. The group, directed by ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler, will be performing at the Wadsworth Atheneum on Friday, December 31 at 3:15 pm as part of Hartford's First Night Celebration.They will be reviving Spring!, a 45 minute show which they toured during May and June. Come see this fabulous group of seven teenage circus performers in a fantasy-filled performance of acrobatics, juggling, stilting, unicycling and comedy which will delight all ages.
For more info about the venue and about First Night, go to www.firstnighthartford.org.
Photo below by Cassandra Malo.
SHAKESPEARE'S


As You Like It



 
* Click on poster to enlarge

ARTFARM'S SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE

2010
July 8th -11th & 15 -18

@ Middlesex Community College
100 Training Hill Rd. Middletown, CT 06457



~ Professional performers in a beautiful venue
overlooking the ~ Connecticut River Valley

  Live music begins @ 6pm each evening
             
                Shakespeare's
As You Like It begins @ 7pm


Admission is FREE, suggested donation $20

RAIN OR SHINE!


2010 Musical Headliners:



July 8
Nancy Tucker

Nancy Tucker blends outrageous squeaky clean comedy, spirited guitar instrumentals  and moving songs of human experience in her show for people of all ages.




July 9
Banning Eyre & Dirck Westervelt

Banning Eyre & Dirck Westervelt fuse their diverse backgrounds in world music to bring you an tremendous performance that stretches all the way from the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic Ocean. 




July 10
Noah Baerman & Friends

Noah Baerman & Friends present jazz stylings that will entice the ears & stir the soul.




July 11
Tom Callinan


Tom Callinan Connecticut's first "Official State Troubadour”. This singer, songwriter, & multi-instrumentalist is guaranteed to bring down the house with his impressive display of  folk, sea songs & original compositions.



July 15
Sirius Coyote

Sirius Coyote are a multi-talented group of musicians, storytellers and instrument makers. They will take you on a musical journey with their rousing mix of traditional, original, and contemporary music of the Americas.


July 16 Eric Kuhn

Eric Kuhn is a local singer-songwriter who will perform original music infused with more than a dash of humor and political commentary.


July 17 Nzinga's Daughters

Nzinga's Daughters present an inspirational performance of acappella spirituals and poetry, stories, and songs from the Underground Railroad



July 18
Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal is a nationally renowned singer, songwriter, recording artist and record producer whose compositions have been recorded by many leading bluegrass & country music performers including Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. He is also highly respected for his instrumental skills on banjo and mandolin.



For information contact info@art-farm.org or call (860)346-4390


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ARTFARM UPDATE

Ten Percent Tuesdays at It’s Only

Natural Restaurant!


Through July 13, It’s Only Natural Restaurant has offered to donate TEN PERCENT OF SALES ON TUESDAYS TO SUPPORT ARTFARM’S SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE 2010.

So support ARTFARM while enjoying the best vegetarian food in Connecticut plus a fabulous selection of organic wine and beer.

EVERY TUESDAY 11 AM - 9 PM

In Main Street Market, 386 Main Street in Middletown.
(860) 346-9210; www.ionrestaurant.com


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Upcoming ARTFARM Events



  • JULY 8 – 11 and 15 – 18 ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove 2010 presents As You Like It. Live music starts at 6 pm each evening; the play begins at 7 pm. Bring your family, your friends and your picnic to the Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College.

  • ONGOING Ten Percent Tuesdays at It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Main Street Market, 386 Main Street, Middletown. Ten Percent of Sales every Tuesday go to support ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove.

       And a special thanks to Thai Gardens, who have
       generously been supplying us with waste vegetable
       oil that we convert to biodiesel to power our bus.

       Thanks to you all the Shakespeare Sonnet Slam!
       on April 8 was a huge success artistically, socially
       and even financially. We are still about $10,000 short
       on this summer’s Shakespeare budget, and you may
       have noticed that we didn’t manage to get
       our spring fund raising appeal out yet, but feel free
       to renew your Annual Contribution by sending a
       check to ARTFARM, 119 Highland Ave, Middletown,
       CT 06457, or donating online (see the link at
       the top of this page). If you know of a business
       that might like to gain broad visibility by being a
       Shakespeare in the Grove Sponsor, please
       send them our way!




Special
 ARTFARM Dinner at 

O'Rourke's Diner 
in Middletown!

(
a fundraiser for Shakespeare in the Grove
 

Sunday June 27th * 6pm - 9pm

$100 
a plate/seat/person


Great Food & Drinks
 prepared by our 

favorite chef, Brian O'Rourke
    
     
     Guest appearances by ARTFARM actors, as well as fiddling
          by nationally known local musician Rani Arbo & friends

   
  *Limited to the first 40 people to reserve a seat, please send a 
      check to ARTFARM (119 Highland Avenue, Middletown,  
          CT 06457) or pay by credit card at www.artfarm.org


     For information contact info@art-farm.org or call (860)346-4390
  


  

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  Upcoming Events:


  • JUNE 25 @ 1:45pm Noon to Night : Circus for a Fragile Planet at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. An exciting educational circus performance featuring juggling, clowning,physical comedy, acrobatics, unicycling and other circus arts built around a strong environmental message, this show is a side-splitting, mind-opening blend of circus and science, featuring a lively contemporary and classical music score. FREE on the Family Stage.  

  • JUNE 27 Fundraising dinner for ARTFARM prepared by Brian O’Rourke at O’Rourke’s Diner. Only forty places -- $100 per person. Support ARTFARM and enjoy a gourmet feast! Contact us to reserve your place.


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Click here for Spotlight on CT Shakespeare In Grove 2009 interview!


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The Taming of the Shrew
July 16 - 19 and 23 - 26, 2009
OUTDOORS in the Cedar Grove
at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown
Live Music begins at 6 pm
Play starts at 7 pm
EcoFestival on Sundays, July 19 & 26


Directed by ARTFARM Core Ensemble Member Joni Weisfeld, this production promises to deliver ARTFARM's signature physical style to the beautiful Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College. Arrive before 6 pm with your family and friends, and enjoy a picnic while listening to fabulous music provided by some of Connecticut's top musical artists.
Performance will be held indoors in the case of rain. Shakespeare in the Grove is supported by Middlesex Community College Division of Humanities and Arts, City of Middletown, Pratt & Whitney, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Aetna Foundation, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middlesex County Community Foundation and many generous donors.
Admission is "Pay If You Can" -- the suggested donation is $20 for adults.


Directions to Shakespeare in the Grove 2009 

Musical Headliners

July 16: Nancy Tucker (shown above)
July 17: Banning Eyre
July 18: Nzinga's Daughters
July 19: Lee Mixashawn Rozie

July 23: Rani Arbo & Mark Erelli
July 24: Joe Fonda and Mike Mussilami
July 25: Dennis Waring & Friends
July 26: Carlos Hernandez Chavez 

Rehearsal Photo by Pearse Pinch. Jackie Coleman as Bianca, Ken O'Brien as Lucention.
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Shakespeare in the Grove Press Release
July 2, 2009

The global economic recession has hit everyone hard. But Middletown based theater company ARTFARM hasn’t let financial woes hamper its style. The organization’s goal of providing world class Shakespeare to the Connecticut River Valley, while emphasizing environmental sustainability, will be realized once again this summer.
ARTFARM presents its exciting fourth season of Shakespeare in the Grove, featuring The Taming of the Shrew, July 16- 19 and 23 - 26 in the Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College.
Local musicians will play before each performance beginning at 6 pm. Families are encouraged to arrive early, bring blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy a picnic while being serenaded. There will be everything from Native American jazz to the rhythms of Latin music. Performers include:

July 16: Nancy Tucker
July 17: Banning Eyre
July 18: Nzinga’s Daughters
July 19: Lee Mixashawn Rozie
July 23: Rani Arbo &Mark Erelli
July 24: Joe Fonda & Mike Mussilami
July 25: Dennis Waring & Friend
July 26: Carlos Hernandez Chavez

On Sunday performances, July 19 and 26, the show will be preceded by ARTFARM’s annual Ecofestival

Representatives from various local and national environmental action groups will be present for the EcoFestivals. On July 19 EcoFestival Stage performers will include solo musician Dave Downs and the duet Tim Sparks and Melissa Spencer. July 26 entertainment will be provided by Eric Kuhn as well as poet J-Cherry and Friends. Phil & Ken Faraci (aka 45RPM) and ARTFARM's Circus for a Fragile Planet will perform on both Sundays. Roving performers will wander among the crowd and there will be environmental games and activities and an exhibit of recycled art. Local organic farmers will sell their produce, and artisans put up for sale everything from homemade soap to products made from alpaca wool. Don't miss this fabulous family celebration of our link to the planet!

The main event, of course, is The Taming of the Shrew. The basis for such popular films as Kiss Me Kate and Ten Things I Hate About You, The Taming of the Shrew has often captured the imagination of modern audiences. Director Joni Weisfeld brings fresh ideas to Shakespeare’s comedy. Weisfeld hopes to present the play in a progressive light by exploring with physicality the play’s animal elements: “When I first read the play, the idea of ‘taming’ really stuck out. There's something very animalistic about that word and the actions that go along with it.  Most people, upon reading the play think of Kate as the ‘Shrew’ that must be tamed, but I think that it is her inner animal that needs taming.  And we ALL have inner animals.  Petruchio has one.  Lucentio and Bianca have one.  I have one.  You have one.  And yes, sometimes these inner beasts hurt us or hurt others, and they need to be reigned in.  But these inner animals are also what attract us to our mates, make us fall in love, and what keeps us together for life. When it comes to love, we all have shrews within us.  In fact, the original title for this play was "Taming of A Shrew", which implies there are many shrews and Kate is just one. ”
Bringing this creative vision to life has been especially difficult in the midst of the economic recession.“The bank which had been our signature sponsor since the beginning had to back out this year,” ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge said, “and other corporate and foundation donors came back at lower levels. State and City funding have both been a challenge. Yet our audience grows every year and expects more from us. How do we keep this magic alive without sacrificing quality or accessibility? That has been the challenge of 2009.”
Trowbridge, who will be playing Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, and ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler solicited the help of the Middletown community in meeting these financial challenges and have met with huge support. ARTFARM’s June 9 Sonnet Slam and Elizabethan Bash attracted 150 people and garnered over $6000. Community members have hosted benefit dinners in their homes, and generous individual donors have helped make the production possible.
ARTFARM’s mission is to cultivate high-quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. The group purposely mixes its Shakespeare with an environmental festival featuring local farmers, educational and advocacy groups, live music and circus performers to “cross-pollinate” the Shakespeare audience and the environmental activists. ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet will be featured at the EcoFestivals on July 19 and 26.
Middlesex Community College is located at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. In the event of rain the performance will be held indoors at the college. Shakespeare in the Grove is co-sponsored by the Humanities and Arts Division of Middlesex Community College. Additional funding is provided by the City of Middletown, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Pratt and Whitney, the Aetna Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Middlesex County Community Foundation.     
...................................................................................................................................                             
             

 SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE 2008


Thank Yous go out to everyone who came out to see Shakespeare in the Grove's "Twelfth Night"!


A small Twelfth Night photo gallery of dress rehearsal photos
by John Giammatteo:

 
ARTFARM presented free outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night July 17 – 27 at Middlesex Community College in Middletown. Performances were at 7 pm Thursday through Sunday, July 17 - 20 and 24 – 27 in the Pine Grove at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown this summer. All performances of this cross-dressing comedy hit of the 1590’s were preceded by headliner musical acts at 6 pm.

Rehearsal photo by Yvonne Page

                                        





ARTFARM Teaching Artists All Over

The State In 2010!

Six ARTFARM teaching artists are busy teaching at schools all over Connecticut. Currently you can find us at Kinsella Arts Magnet School, Watkinson School, and Weaver High School (all in Hartford) and we just finished an intensive circus week at Waterbury Arts Magnet School. Dic Wheeler, along with Circus for a Fragile Planet performers Maegan Fuller, Megan Berritta, Joel Melendez and stage manager Allison McDermott are all teaching circus arts under the ARTFARM umbrella this winter. Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge is creating a new work with Weaver High School students as part of an exciting pilot program called OutFront. Look for the premiere of this new work on May 6 at 7 at Weaver High School.

Dic is also teaching two classes at Middlesex Community College this spring: Acting One, which he has been teaching for the past several years, and Plays in Production, a new course that will culminate in the production of a play on May 14 and 15 at the College. Both classes start the week of January 25 and still have space available. Participation in Plays in Production requires having completed Acting One, or requesting permission from the instructor. Acting One meets Mondays, 1:20 – 4:10 pm. Plays in Production meets Wednesdays, 1:20 – 4:10 pm. Contact ARTFARM or go to www.mxcc.commnet.edu.

 ...................................................................................................



       ________________________




ARTFARM's Circus for a Fragile Planet performer Megan Berritta (aka Methaney) was recently seen flying over Brooklyn! Learn this and more at...
CONNECTICUT SCHOOL OF CIRCUS ARTS

Now enrolling for the spring semester!

This fabulous collaboration between ARTFARM,Oddfellows Playhouse and Matica Arts offers rigorous, year-round circus training to young people ages 12 to 18.
Monday evenings 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm starting February 1 and culminating in public circus performances on May 21 and 22.
The program is held at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street in Middletown and is directed by ARTFARM Executive Director (and founder of the Children’s Circus of Middletown) Dic Wheeler with Matica circus artists Joel Melendez and Heidi Kirchofer. Contact Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143 to register.
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__________________________


WANTED

Individuals To Perform
in ARTFARM’s
SHAKESPEARE  
SONNET SLAM

Thursday, April 8
to raise MONEY for
ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove 2010
production of  

As You Like It

All you need to do is:
*PREPARE ONE OF SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS
-as a solo, duet or group!
*Get as many people as possible to
SPONSOR YOUR PERFORMANCE
by donating to ARTFARM.
*Come to Kidcity in Middletown,
on Thursday April 8
and PERFORM YOUR SONNET at
ARTFARM’s Elizabethan Bash
Who can do this?
YOU CAN!
Sign up in one of four categories:

  • YOUTH
  • COLLEGE
  • ADULT AMATEUR
  • ADULT PROFESSIONAL

How can I join?

Contact ARTFARM at info@art-farm.org
or (860) 346-4390

Download 2010 Sonnet Slam Guidelines (pdf)

Download 2010 Sonnet Slam Pledge Form (pdf)

Then start preparing your Sonnet performance
and racking up the
SPONSORS!!

The people with the most sponsor donations
WIN COOL PRIZES!

__________________________
 

Arts Administration
Intern

ARTFARM is looking for a talented and energetic individual who can take initiative, take direction and be self-reliant while working on many administrative, artistic, technical and promotional aspects of Shakespeare in the Grove, 2010.

The Administrative Intern will focus primarily on marketing, public relations, production support, and event coordination for a two week run of Shakespeare's As You Like It. Shakespeare in the Grove includes live preshow music every night This is an opportunity to learn about all aspects of producing a large-scale theater event, from fundraising to wardrobe.

May 24 to July 21. Stipend available.
We are looking for a current college student or recent graduate.

Relevant skills and experiences include internet literacy, desktop publishing, graphic design, event management, set construction, theater, writing skills, public speaking, imagination and a general willingness to go where the need is most acute and fill the gap.

Send cover letter and resume by March 26, 2010 to:

 ARTFARM
119 Highland Ave.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-4390
info@art-farm.org

ARTFARM announces auditions for
Shakespeare’sAs You Like It

Friday, February 26, 6 – 9 pm
or
Saturday, February 27, 1 – 4 pm

In Founders Hall, Middlesex Community College,
100 Training Hill Road, Middletown, CT.

Experienced performers wishing to audition must be at least 18 years old and attend one of the two audition sessions for the entire three hours.
Come dressed to move, with a Shakespeare monolog prepared. Please bring a current resume and headshot. Singers will be asked to sing – a cappella or supply your own accompaniment. Non-Equity professionals encouraged. A limited number of Equity Guest Artist contracts may be available.

Rehearsals begin May 24 and will be weekday evenings, 6 – 9 pm. Shakespeare in the Grove performances of As You Like It will be July 8 – 11 and 15 – 18.

Call (860) 346-4390 or email info@art-farm.org for more information, or to register for one of the audition sessions.

____

Circus for a Fragile Planet
Middletown December 12

&
Instant Circus class for kids


On Saturday, December 12, ARTFARM's Circus for a Fragile Planet will give a rare public performance in Middletown. This family-friendly blend of Circus and Science is part of ARTFARM’s Very Merry Solstice Circus Celebration, which will also include an INSTANT CIRCUS class for young people ages six to fourteen.

Circus for a Fragile Planet will perform at 7 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 24 Old Church Street in Middletown. The circus features the Austrian Professor Offli Varminhere (Dic Wheeler) and the three Fossil Fools Gasso (Joel Melendez), Coalina (Maegan Fuller) and Methany (Megan Berritta.) The four performers offer hard facts about climate change, recycling, resource depletion, critical habitat and personal responsibility through comedy, juggling, acrobatics, unicycling, stilt dancing and other circus arts in a format that entertains and inspires adults and young people alike.

Circus for a Fragile Planet has been touring the northeast since November, 2007 and has been to schools, colleges, festivals, museums and arts centers all over New England and New York. Over the two years the show, and the cast, have evolved, so friends who have not seen the Circus in some time are invited to have another look. We think that you will find the show tighter, the skill levels higher, the characters more clearly defined and the message stronger than ever.

The Circus will be preceded from 1 – 4 pm by a Circus Arts Class for ages six to fourteen led by ARTFARM Circus Director Dic Wheeler and ARTFARM circus artists. Parents can drop off their children at 1 pm and come back at 4 pm to witness an INSTANT CIRCUS! performance by the students. Young people will be divided by age and learn skills in juggling, balancing, acrobatics, plate spinning and physical comedy. No experience is necessary, but students with some circus experience will be challenged at their own level. Enrollment in the INSTANT CIRCUS! class and performance is limited; please register early to reserve your place.

Tickets for the Circus for a Fragile Planet performance are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. The fee for the three hour Instant Circus! class is $45 per student or $75 for two students from the same family.  The fee includes FREE ADMISSION to the Circus for a Fragile Planet performance at 7 pm.

INFO and registration: (860) 346-4390; info@art-farm.org
Both events are at First United Methodist Church, 24 Old Church Street in Middletown.
 __________________________

ARTFARM co-founders Marcella Trowbridge and Dic Wheeler have been engaged in a very exciting Residency with students at Watkinson School in Hartford this fall. Working with eighteen high school students three days a week since the beginning of September, Marcella and Dic have devised a new, ensemble-created piece about Food and Sustainability. Eat It Up!, as the piece is currently called, is a non-linear exploration of where our food comes from and the effects of that journey, and the industry that delivers it, on our planet and ourselves.
Eat It Up! Will premier at Watkinson School, 180 Bloomfield Avenue in Hartford on November 6 & 7 at 7:30 pm.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and will be available at the door.
Eat It Up! is the result of research, writing and improvisation by the students in the ensemble. After a five week process of research and development, Marcella took the material into a secret playwright’s laboratory and emerged after three intense days and nights with a working script. Since then the cast, directors and designers have been working furiously to bring this exciting work-in-progress to the stage. We hope that you will consider joining us to support the students of Watkinson as they premier ARTFARM’s newest work.
Eat It Up! is produced by Watkinson Director of Arts Karen Bovard. Costumes are designed by Barbara Washer, set and props created by the team of Pam Lang and David Schulz, lighting design is by Nora Matthews and sound deign by Ryan Sitner. ARTFARM thanks Watkinson School for the trust and support they have offered in allowing us to develop this provocative and engaging work with their students. 
__________________________

ARTFARM submits proposal to City of Middletown for 30 Acres in Maromas!

The City of Middletown recently put out an RFP for five parcels of City-owned land in the beautiful Maromas section of Middletown. ARTFARM put in a proposal for "Parcel number 5", a beautiful pirce of land off Brooks Road. To find out more about the RFP, check out:City Land RFP
To read our proposal, click here:
ARTFARM's Proposal to City

Next step is a formal presentation on September 14. We will keep you posted!

__________________________

Thank you one and all...


...for attending and supporting ARTFARM's 2009 Shakespeare in the Grove production, The Taming of the Shrew. The show, including our fourth annual Ecofestival, was a tremendous success, drawing in 2000+  audience members over the course of its run. Warm thanks to everyone who contributed of their time, energy, and passion to this memorable event!
~~~ 

__________________________

This Saturday, June 27 there will be a "Barefoot Boogie" Dance Party at Vinnie's Jump and Jive, 424 Main Street in Middletown. This is a BENEFIT for Shakespeare in the Grove! Donation is just $5 and you can dance from 8 - 10:30 pm. Click below to see the lovely poster!

Vinnie's Barefoot Boogie!

_____

A Colossal "Thank You" to  '09 Sonnet Slam Performers, Sponsors, Donors, and Volunteers!

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all of you who devoted your time, energy, and extraordinary talent to make ARTFARM's first ever Shakespeare Sonnet Slam and Elizabethan Bash a tremendous success! This event brought in over 120 people from the community and beyond and raised nearly $5,000! 

All photos by Matthew Kabel.


Special Thanks to Matthew Kabel for the photos.

___________


WANTED

Individuals to Perform in ARTFARM’s

SHAKESPEARE SONNET SLAM
on Tuesday, June 9

to raise MONEY for

ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove 2009

production of The Taming of the Shrew

All you need to do is:

*PREPARE ONE OF SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS

-as a solo, duet or group!

*Get as many generous patrons as possible to

SPONSOR YOUR PERFORMANCE

by donating to ARTFARM.

*Come to Kidcity in Middletown,

on Tuesday, June 9

and PERFORM YOUR SONNET at

ARTFARM’s Elizabethan Bash

Who can do this?

YOU CAN!

                                    There are four categories:

YOUTH (ages 14 – 18)

COLLEGE (currently in college
                       or ages 19 – 21)

ADULT AMATEUR

ADULT PROFESSIONAL

How can I join?

Contact ARTFARM at info@art-farm.org or (860) 346-4390


Then start preparing your Sonnet performance and racking up the SPONSORS!!

The people with the most sponsor donations

WIN COOL PRIZES!
Go to CONTRIBUTE on this website for details. Download SPONSOR FORMS and SLAM GUIDELINES right here:

To make your SPONSORSHIP DONATION RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE, just click on the "DONATE NOW" button at the top of this page and where it says "Designate my Donation" type in "Sonnet Slam Sponsorship" plus the name of the performer! Thank you!

--------------------

Taming of the Shrew Comes to the Grove in July!


ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge has been committed to bringing world-class Shakespeare to the Connecticut River Valley for the last four summers, and she is not about to let a global financial downturn slow that mission down.

This summer Trowbridge will be featured as Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, which will run on the campus of Middlesex Community College in Middletown July 16 – 19 and 23 – 26. Performances begin at 7 pm, with live music starting at 6 pm before each performance. The Sunday performances are preceded by an EcoFestival starting at 4 pm.

ARTFARM has been presenting free Shakespeare in the Grove since 2006 and each summer the productions have grown in visual impact and technical sophistication, always built around the powerful ARTFARM Ensemble of professional actors. As the budgets have increased, however, the corporate and foundation pockets that have made this free event possible have gotten shallower.

“The bank which had been our signature sponsor since the beginning had to back out this year,” Trowbridge said, “and other corporate and foundation donors came back at lower levels. State and City funding have both been a challenge. Yet our audience grows every year and expects more from us. How do we keep this magic alive without sacrificing quality or accessibility? That has been the challenge of 2009, for ARTFARM and, of course, many other performing arts organizations.”

Trowbridge and ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler did what they had to do: They reached out to the community that has supported Shakespeare in the Grove since the beginning. A series of fund raising events this spring – from a Shakespeare Sonnet Slam to dinners hosted by local farmers -- helped to bridge the funding gap, and the group is counting on more donations from the audience themselves.

“This is the first year that we have not used the word ‘free’ on the poster for the production,” said Wheeler, “and that was very hard for us because ARTFARM was founded on the idea that this work should be accessible to anyone. For The Taming of the Shrew we are using the phrase ‘Pay If You Can’, with a suggested $20 donation. The hope is that those who can afford the $20 will pay that, but that everyone will feel invited regardless of their ability to pay.”

ARTFARM’s mission is to cultivate high-quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. The group purposely mixes its Shakespeare with an environmental festival featuring local farmers, educational and advocacy groups, live music and circus performers to “cross-pollinate” the Shakespeare audience and the environmental activists. ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet will be featured at the EcoFestivals on July 19 and 26.

To take full advantage of the beautiful natural setting at the college, and to encourage families to enjoy a picnic before the show, ARTFARM enlists some of Connecticut’s top musical acts to play before each performance. The 2009 Music Headliners include Nancy Tucker, Nzinga’s Daughters, Sirius Coyote, Rani Arbo, Carlos Hernandez Chavez, Banning Eyre as well as Joe Fonda with Mike Musillami.

Middlesex Community College is located at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. In the event of rain the performance will be held indoors at the college.

Shakespeare in the Grove is co-sponsored by the Humanities and Arts Division of Middlesex Community College. Additional funding is provided by the City of Middletown, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Pratt and Whitney, the Aetna Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Middlesex County Community Foundation.

*******************************************************************************************************************************************


What will Middletown look like in the year 2030? The local non-profit theater company ARTFARM will be posing that question in an open community conversation and imagination session which will focus on preparing ourselves and our world for life after fossil fuels.

TRANSITION TOWN MIDDLETOWN: What will our Community Look Like in 2030?” will be held at Russell Library on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm. This “Earth Day Eve” event is free and open to the public. The gathering will be held in Meeting Room Two.

In a fun, informal atmosphere aimed at engaging the energy layperson as well as environmental scientists, community leaders and economists, “Transition Town Middletown” is a structured forum for envisioning the community’s future. Round table discussion and activities aimed at evoking vision will ensure that everyone who attends becomes a player in the creation of Transition Town Middletown.

“Over the next few decades, as the age of cheap oil ends and we increasingly begin to feel the effects of global warming, many changes will inevitably take place in our community and on our planet. A proactive, positive and creative approach to this transition will help us all be better prepared,” says ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler. “A first step is coming together and projecting a vision of where we see our community going over the next twenty years. We are presented with an opportunity to head into the future with a sense of control and choice rather than letting ourselves simply be propelled by events as they unfold. Scientists have provided us with the facts, and government is beginning to respond, but is up to common citizens to point us in the direction we would like to go. We feel that it is the obligation of artists to be the creative catalysts that provide a forum in which change can manifest.”

ARTFARM cultivates theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. ARTFARM’s annual EcoFestival in July (presented in tandem with ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove) attracts hundreds of people to a festival which puts the spotlight on local organic farmers and producers of natural products. The EcoFestival also provides a venue for local and national environmental organizations to promote their organizations in a family-friendly environment animated by musicians and circus performers. ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet tours New England with a unique combination of circus and environmental education and was enjoyed by over 3500 people in 2008.

All members of the public are invited to join in this event. 

----------

.AUDITIONS for

We will also read sides from the text. 
The Production Schedule / Dates:
We go into rehearsals May 26th. We will work evenings in Middletown. Initially, most actors will be called 2- 3 nights per week, typically between 6 pm and 9 pm, until we get closer to performances. There will be 8 evening performances: Thursdays - Sundays, July 16 - 19 and 23 -26.
Please contact us to schedule an audition.  Plan to stay the entire time.
860.346.4390 or 
info@art-farm.org. 119 Highland Ave., Middletown CT 06457

*Please note that auditions will be held at 128 Washington St., Middletown, Ct 06457 (at Oddfellows Playhouse.) There is parking across the street in the municipal lot behind Kidcity or one block west on Pearl Street. 

...........................................................

Woman's Will opens Tour  January 11!


Jackie Coleman and Marcella Trowbridge 

                                   in  A Midsummer Night's Dream
                                         Photo by John Giammatteo
Woman’s Will, our two-woman Shakespeare collection, is kicking off its 2009 Tour in Farmington, CT on January 11.
Shakespeare’s most interesting and provocative female characters are explored in this fast-paced script which draws from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, Measure for Measure, As You Like It and more than half a dozen other plays. Woman’s Will crackles with life through the prodigious performing talents and bold range of Marcella Trowbridge and Jackie Coleman. Marcella is, of course, ARTFARM’s Artistic Director and a Shakespearean performer with national credentials. Jackie, an ARTFARM Core Ensemble Member featured in all three summers of Shakespeare in the Grove, is Director of Education at the Hartford Stage Company. The piece, while containing some well-known passages, presents lesser known scenes and monologues in a journey which is at times playful, at times dark and heart-wrenching, but always challenging and entertaining. Woman’s Will performs at the First Church of Christ, Congregational1652 at 75 Main Street in Farmington on 4 pm, January 11. There is a charge of $10 per person, $5 for children (Woman’s Will is recommended for adults and teenagers, not because it is inappropriate, but the material may be too challenging for younger children.) The hour-long performance will be followed by a talk back with the performers. Call (860) 677-2601 for information and reservations.
*****************************

ARTFARM presents a free outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night July 17 – 27, 2008, at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown. Performances are Thursday through Sunday, July 17 – 20 and 24 – 27 at 7 pm. All performances are preceded by Yvonne Page photo

headliner musical acts at 6 pm. On Sundays (July 20 and 27), performances are preceded additionally by a unique “EcoFestival” starting at 4 pm and featuring family-friendly circus and musical entertainment, interactive environmental activities and games, and area eco-vendors.

Shakespeare in the Grove is co-sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division of Middlesex College. The production is made possible in part by generous support from Liberty Bank, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, a City of Middletown Challenge Grant, Pratt & Whitney, the Middlesex County Community Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the Aetna Foundation,the Middletown Foundation for the Arts, and donations from many individuals.

Shakespeare in the Grove and the ARTFARM EcoFestivals are offered to the public for free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person. For more information, call (860) 346-4390 or email info@art-farm.org

Directions
- A few miles South of downtown Middletown on Route 9, take Exit 11 (Rt. 155, Randolph Road).
- At the end of the ramp (for both N. & S. bound) turn right onto Randolph Road.
- Continue to the traffic light at the top of the hill & turn left onto Saybrook Road.
- Go a quarter of a mile & turn right onto Reservoir Road.
- Travel past the stop sign & then take the first right onto Training Hill Road. Your first left will lead into the MxCC Campus parking area.
- For more information call ARTFARM at 860-346-4390

John Giamatteo Photo

ARTFARM ANNOUNCES SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE 2008 MUSIC HEADLINERS

ARTFARM ofMiddletown, CT has announced its roster of musicians who will be playing before each performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for this summer’s Shakespeare in the Grove. The Shakespeare in the Grove 2008 Music Headliners are supported by a grant from the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

Thursday, July 17:Rani Arbo and Andrew Kinsey of Daisy Mayhem perform their unique traditional and original sound on fiddle, bass and voice. 

Friday, July 18: Nzinga’s Daughters will perform acappella spirituals and songs from the Underground Railroad.

Saturday, July 19: Joe Fonda and Mike Musillami, straight from being on tour in Europe, present classic and contemporary jazz on . 

Sunday, July 20: Eric Kuhn, local singer-songwriter will provide original music with more than a dash of humor and political commentary.

Thursday, July 24: Banning Eyre and world musician Dirck Westervelt perform traditional music of West Africa. 

Friday, July : Lee Mixashawn Rozie, Native American composer and performer will offer traditional music and jazz.

Saturday, July 26: Dave Downs performs traditional and old-time music .

Sunday, July 27: Tibetan singer Dadon accompanied by Peter Moore.

 ____________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RE:ARTFARM’S FREE SHAKESPEARE IN MIDDLETOWN JULY 17-27, 2008

CONTACT: ASHLEY FONG (860) 346-4390, info@art-farm.org

ARTFARM's third season of free “Shakespeare in the Grove” in Middletown will feature Shakespeare's Twelfth Night July 17-27 in the Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College. Twelfth Night is a comedy of intrigue, disguise, love, loss, and mistaken identify which is accessible to all ages. Directed by ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, this production blends fantasy, physical comedy, beautiful music, and powerful acting. At once elegant and bawdy, Twelfth Night remains one of Shakespeare's most well-loved comedies.

Performances will be at 7 pm, Thursday through Sunday, July 17 – 20 and 24 - 27. Each performance will be preceded by a local musical headliner beginning at 6 pm. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early, bring blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy a picnic in the lovely grove overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. The show will be held indoors in case of rain.

The Sunday Performances, July 20 and 27, will additionally be preceded by a lively EcoFestival beginning at 4 pm. The EcoFestival features not only musicians, circus performers and interactive Shakespeare, but also a rich variety of eco-activism. There will be local farmers selling organic produce, local artisans, bread bakers, craftspeople, green vendors of all kinds, and local and national environmental organizations represented with information, exhibits and activities highlighting their conservation work and educational programs.

ARTFARM's signature combination of physical theater, spectacle and realism comes alive in this provocative romp of cross-dressing confusion. This is all while journeying through sincere and timeless questions of love, perception, honesty, human emotion, and 'right and wrong'. This play, inspired by the medieval 'Feast of Fools', balances revelry and reckoning while turning status and gender on its head.

ARTFARM is a non profit, professional theater organization, founded in 2001, which cultivates high quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. At the heart of the Twelfth Night cast are the five members of the ARTFARM Ensemble, an ongoing company committed to the creation of new work. The balance of the fifteen member cast is a mix of Equity and non-Equity professional performers plus three college-age apprentices.

Shakespeare in the Grove is so-sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division of Middlesex College. The production is made possible by generous support from Liberty Bank, the City of Middletown, Pratt and Whitney, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Middlesex County Community Foundation, the Aetna Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and donations from many individuals.

Shakespeare in the Grove and the ARTFARM EcoFestivals are offered to the public for free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person. For more information call (860) 346-4390, or go to www.art-farm.org
__________________________________________
In honor of SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day,
March 29th, from 6pm-9pm
ARTFARM is offering a workshop open to the community:

Women: Body, Mind and Voice

This workshop, led by Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, is for the curious novice, the theater professional, and performers and non-performers alike.
Through the rich world of theater, participants will explore personal identity, social constructs, taboos, expectations, limitations, fears and hopes. We will be specifically addressing that which is unique to being a woman.
Developing emotional literacy, cultivating a deeper understanding of the issues that inform and define women today and giving voice to each participant in a safe fun environment are our goals.
This is a playful, interactive, on your feet workshop. We will be doing small and large group theater and movement exercises. We will be brainstorming, writing, utilizing snippets of text and creating new works to share with each other by the end of the workshop.
Dress to move. 
This workshop is part of ARTFARM’s commitment to developing dialogue within the community, to honoring the artists in the community and to giving community members opportunities to grow and play within the giving structure of theater.
The cost is $30   Registration is required.
Some scholarship aid is available. We want all women, young and old, who would like to join us to have this opportunity. Money should not stop an interested person from being able to participate. The arts are for everyone. Call and inquire if this applies to you or someone you know.
_________________________________________________________________
* SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now Day) is a new international holiday that celebrates women artists.  SWAN Day will be an annual event taking place on the last Saturday of Women’s History Month. The first international SWAN Day will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2008 in venues across the U.S. and around the world.
Women artists are creating change in their communities and using the arts to heal, uplift, and transform the world. Through performances, exhibits, parties and other events, women artists will be celebrated on SWAN Day and throughout Women’s History Month.  The public will be encouraged to attend SWAN Day events, to make donations to their favorite women artists, and to seek out the work of women artists all year long.
Women artists are inspiring, and SWAN Day will help people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives. The long term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.
The idea for SWAN Day grew out of a collaboration between The Fund for Women Artists and Chicago's WITASWAN (Women in the Audiences Supporting Women Artists Now). 

 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

UNIQUE CIRCUS COMBINES
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
AND ZANY FUN

Imagine a circus in which actors juggle bottled water, polar bears dance on melting ice floes, the props and set are recycled, and the core of clowns are called the Fossil Fools.

That’s part of what you get in ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet, a brand new educational circus performance. This hour-long show, appropriate for all ages, premiered at the First United Methodist Church in Middletown on Friday, November 30, 2007.

The Circus for a Fragile Planet is a professional circus performance, featuring juggling, clowning, physical comedy, acrobatics, unicycling and other circus arts, built around a strong environmental message. The show is written, directed and features ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler, creator of the Children’s Circus of Middletown and longtime artistic director of Oddfellows Playhouse. Wheeler plays an offbeat Austrian scientist, Professor Offli Varminhere, whose attempts at informing the audience about critical environmental issues are undermined by five fun loving clowns with an agenda of their own. Featuring a lively contemporary and classical score, and costumes by designer Cassandra Malo, The Circus for a Fragile Planet is a side-splitting, mind-opening blend of circus and science.“The bottom line is that this is basically a fast-paced circus show that will entertain any one of any age”, says Wheeler, “but it does so while exploring pressing environmental issues and engaging the middle and high school earth science curriculum on a very personal level. What the audience gets is a terrific small-scale circus. What we hope is that they leave inspired, asking themselves ‘what changes can I make in my lifestyle to become a better world citizen?’”

ARTFARM is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, dedicated to cultivating high quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice.

The Circus for a Fragile Planet is designed to tour to schools, organizations and festivals and will be available for booking through June, 2009.

The First United Methodist Church is located at 24 Old Church Street in Middletown. Admission to each performance is $7 for adults, $5 for students, children and seniors, or $20 per family. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call ARTFARM at (860) 346-4390 or visit www.art-farm.org.

June 5, 2007

The City of Middletown recently announced that it has awarded a $15,000 Challenge Grant to ARTFARM in support of Shakespeare in the Grove, 2007.

This grant, for which ARTFARM must raise 2 dollars for every dollar in City funds, will be partially matched by grants the non-profit theater group has received from Liberty Bank, the Middlesex County Community Foundation and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

The group still needs to raise another $15,000 in donations, sponsorships, playbill advertising and other fundraising to match the City challenge and balance the Shakespeare in the Grove, 2007 budget.

The second season of ARTFARM's Shakespeare in the Grove will feature free outdoor professional performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth at Middlesex Community College at 7 pm on July 12 - 15 and 19 - 22. Various local professional musicians will precede every performance at 6 pm, supported by the Middletown Commission on the Arts. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early, bring a blanket and picnic, and enjoy high quality entertainment in a beautiful grove overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. On the two Sundays, July 15 and 22, ARTFARM will host a Middletown EcoFestival at the College from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, featuring a rich variety of activities, performances, vendors, local organic farmers and environmental groups.

ARTFARM recently received its 501-c-3 non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that all contributions to the company made since May, 2006 are tax deductible. The group also opened a new office at 119 Highland Ave in Middletown.

"This is an exciting time for ARTFARM" said managing director Dic Wheeler. "Last season's Shakespeare in the Grove was more successful than we had dared hope, and the support that we have received in the community has been both gratifying and encouraging. After this summer's production our number one priority will be acquiring a nice piece of farmland in Middletown."

For more information about ARTFARM or this summer's production of Macbeth, call (860) 346-4390, or check out the website at www.art-farm.org.


____________________________________________________

Website news, 9/3/06

INAUGURAL YEAR OF "SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE" A BIG HIT!

About 2300 savvy people experienced ARTFARM's inaugural "Shakespeare in the Grove" production at Middlesex Community College this summer. A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed eight times over two weekends (well, seven and a half, as the second Saturday had to be stopped halfway through due to a steady rain), the pre-performance Midsummer EcoFestival featured an ever-changing but always exciting group of performers, activists and environmentalists, and the reviews of the event from friends and strangers alike have been raucously positive.

The overall outcome, for the first season, feels fantastic. People of all ages and backgrounds seem sincerely to have loved the show, and we have been swamped with testimonials via mail, e-mail, phone and in person about how blown away people were. Many comments were of the "I've seen A Midsummer Night's Dream a dozen times, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and this was by far the best" nature. We seem to have succeeded in creating some kind of magic that reached adults and kids alike; there were many families at each performance, and dozens of parents have commented amazedly on how engaged and enthusiastic their four or ten or fifteen year-old was by the show. Lots of folks came back to see the show multiple times. The final Sunday was an ideal summer evening, and nearly 500 people packed the hillside, which was a great way to go out after less-than-friendly weather for the first three nights of the second weekend.

The "buzz" around town seems significant, and the biggest question on everyone's lips now is "What show are you going to do next summer?" (Look for an announcement about that later this fall!)

This all happened with the help of many, many volunteers of all kinds. The individuals are too many to mention, but a few people deserve a special bow. Volunteer Coordinator Pamela Lang, with the help of EcoFestival Coordinators Katy Vicchitto and Michelle Page, made the entire event run incredibly smoothly. Our EcoFestival "headliners" were universally fabulous and warmly-received by the audience: the Middletown High School Jazz Band directed by Marco Gaylord, Dennis Waring, Dirck Westervelt, Ann Shapiro, Kathak dancer Rachna Agrawal performing with Wendy Black-Nasta's "International Peace Belt", Eric Kuhn, Rani Arbo, Dave Downs, Carlos Hernandez Chavez and Graciela Quinones. Yvonne Page designed the twenty page playbill single-handedly. Marlene Olson and all the folks at Middlesex College were extremely supportive and energized. Sue Murphy at Liberty Bank arranged for the printing of huge amounts of color posters and flyers. Richard Kamins coordinated our publicity. Many professionals contributed their services (including ARTFARM webmaster Misty Winter!) as EcoFestival performers, graphic designers, photographers, etc., and the dozens of daily EcoFestival and production volunteer staff were tireless and committed. Lee Godburn and Cassandra Malo stepped up above and beyond the call of duty.

The design and production team for A Midsummer Night's Dream also deserves a hearty pat on the back. Set designer Tony Palmieri, musical director Joseph Getter, costume designer Christian Milik, properties designer Cindy Prue, choreographer Marcella Trowbridge, technical director Royal Greenwell, stage manager Aryn Kyer and production intern Janet Bellows all did beautiful and inspired work in their respective roles.

The cast was breath taking. The audience inspired. The crew unstoppable. The donors essential. THANK YOU ALL, and see you next summer for "Shakespeare in the Grove".

PHONE
                860.346.4390     
ADDRESS
                ARTFARM
                119 Highland Ave.,
                Middletown, CT. 06457
EMAIL
                info@art-farm.org

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Circus News:January, 2009

(Circus for a Fragile Planet cast, left to right, Joel Melendez, Dic Wheeler, Eve Pappalardo and Maegan Fuller. Photo: Yvonne Page)

The Circus for a Fragile Planet Fall Tour reached more than 1400 people over 13 performances from Mansfield, CT to Cobbleskill, NY, including a featured spot at the One Thing Expo at the Hartford Convention Center.
Megan Berritta has replaced Maegan Fuller in the role of Coalina while Maegan is on maternity leave. Megan Berritta is a circus performer and gymnastics teacher. She has worked with Dic Wheeler for about 18 years in the Children’s Circus of Middletown, the Oddfellows Playhouse Traveling Circus and now in the Circus for a Fragile Planet. We are thrilled to have her in the company.
The Circus for a Fragile Planet will take a winter hiatus until February 2009 while Gasso (Joel Melendez) goes home to Venezuala to show off his baby, Inti, to his family, and Methane (Eve Pappalardo) takes a jaunt to Texas.
The Circus for a Fragile Planet is eligible for matching funding through the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Book us now at a reasonable rate.

New Circus cast member Megan Berritta out of costume and in the light.Photo by Javier Oddo
______________________________________

New

Circus for a Fragile Planet
Debuts

The new Circus features four performers, including Venezuelan circus artist Joel Melendez. Melendez is a multi-talented circus performer and is one half of the Connecticut-based performing duo Matica. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Central and South America, and teaches circus arts at the Children’s Circus of Middletown.

Directed by ARTFARM’s Executive Director Dic Wheeler, Circus for a Fragile Planet is an hour-long touring circus production built around a strong core of environmental education. Wheeler also performs in the show as the Austrian environmental scientist Professor Offli Varminhere. He has been performing, teaching and directing circus and physical comedy for nearly thirty years. Wheeler was the artistic director of Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater for nearly twenty years, during which time he founded the Children’s Circus of Middletown and the Oddfellows Playhouse Traveling Circus.

The new cast also includes veteran Circus for a Fragile Planet performers Maegan Fuller and Eve Pappalardo. Fuller is a clown, actress and acrobat who holds a BA in Theater from Central Connecticut State University. Pappalardo is a uniquely talented contortionist and acrobat who has performed throughout Connecticut as well as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Illinois and California. She also performs with the circus group Oddchild Uprising. Both Fuller and Pappalardo are former long-time students of Dic Wheeler.

ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet originally opened in November, 2007 with a cast of six and toured throughout Connecticut and New York over the past year. The new show retains much of the original material plus new additions and updates, and it is energetic and wonderfully fast-paced with the current cast of four.

Audiences will have several opportunities to see the Circus for a Fragile Planet over the next six weeks. Upcoming shows include:
  • Friday, October 10, 9 am to 4 pm: A twenty minute version of the show will be performed ten times throughout the day as part of the OneThing Expo at the Convention Center in Hartford.
  • Sunday, October 12, 2 pm: Full show at the OneThing Expo, Hartford’s Convention Center.
  • Thursday, October 16, 4 pm and 7 pm at State University of New York in Cobleskill, NY.
  • Sunday, November 2, noon: Hibernation Festival, Oak Grove Montessori School, Mansfield, CT
  • Tuesday, November 4 at the Science and Math Magnet School in Hartford (not open to public).
  • Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at 7 pm: Middletown debut of the NEW Circus for a Fragile Planet at the First United Methodist Church, 24 Old Church Street in Middletown.  Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, children and seniors.
  •  

EARTH DAY EVE EVENT


Transition Town Middletown

What will Middletown look like in the year 2030? The local non-profit theater company ARTFARM will be posing that question in an open community conversation and imagination session which will focus on preparing ourselves and our world for life after fossil fuels.

TRANSITION TOWN MIDDLETOWN: What will our Community Look Like in 2030?” will be held at Russell Library on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm. This “Earth Day Eve” event is free and open to the public. The gathering will be held in Meeting Room Two.

In a fun, informal atmosphere aimed at engaging the energy layperson as well as environmental scientists, community leaders and economists, “Transition Town Middletown” is a structured forum for envisioning the community’s future. Round table discussion and activities aimed at evoking vision will ensure that everyone who attends becomes a player in the creation of Transition Town Middletown.

“Over the next few decades, as the age of cheap oil ends and we increasingly begin to feel the effects of global warming, many changes will inevitably take place in our community and on our planet. A proactive, positive and creative approach to this transition will help us all be better prepared,” says ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler. “A first step is coming together and projecting a vision of where we see our community going over the next twenty years. We are presented with an opportunity to head into the future with a sense of control and choice rather than letting ourselves simply be propelled by events as they unfold. Scientists have provided us with the facts, and government is beginning to respond, but is up to common citizens to point us in the direction we would like to go. We feel that it is the obligation of artists to be the creative catalysts that provide a forum in which change can manifest.”

ARTFARM cultivates theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. ARTFARM’s annual EcoFestival in July (presented in tandem with ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove) attracts hundreds of people to a festival which puts the spotlight on local organic farmers and producers of natural products. The EcoFestival also provides a venue for local and national environmental organizations to promote their organizations in a family-friendly environment animated by musicians and circus performers. ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet tours New England with a unique combination of circus and environmental education and was enjoyed by over 3500 people in 2008.

All members of the public are invited to join in this event. 

 

 

----------

AUDITIONS for 

The Taming of the Shrew

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

11 AM-2 PM or 4 pm-7 pm

at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street in Middletown, CT. Contact ARTFARM to register for one of the two sessions. Call (860) 346-4390 or email info@art-farm.org. Open to all actors, especially males, age 18 and up. Must have monologue prepared, dress to move, and be prepared to stay for the entire three hour session.
...........................................................

 

ARTFARM presents a free outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night July 17 – 27, 2008, at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown. Performances are Thursday through Sunday, July 17 – 20 and 24 – 27 at 7 pm. All performances are preceded by Yvonne Page photo

 

headliner musical acts at 6 pm. On Sundays (July 20 and 27), performances are preceded additionally by a unique “EcoFestival” starting at 4 pm and featuring family-friendly circus and musical entertainment, interactive environmental activities and games, and area eco-vendors.

Shakespeare in the Grove is co-sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division of Middlesex College. The production is made possible in part by generous support from Liberty Bank, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, a City of Middletown Challenge Grant, Pratt & Whitney, the Middlesex County Community Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the Aetna Foundation,the Middletown Foundation for the Arts, and donations from many individuals.

Shakespeare in the Grove and the ARTFARM EcoFestivals are offered to the public for free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person. For more information, call (860) 346-4390 or email info@art-farm.org

Directions
- A few miles South of downtown Middletown on Route 9, take Exit 11 (Rt. 155, Randolph Road).
- At the end of the ramp (for both N. & S. bound) turn right onto Randolph Road.
- Continue to the traffic light at the top of the hill & turn left onto Saybrook Road.
- Go a quarter of a mile & turn right onto Reservoir Road.
- Travel past the stop sign & then take the first right onto Training Hill Road. Your first left will lead into the MxCC Campus parking area.
- For more information call ARTFARM at 860-346-4390

John Giamatteo Photo

 

ARTFARM ANNOUNCES SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE 2008 MUSIC HEADLINERS

ARTFARM of Middletown, CT has announced its roster of musicians who will be playing before each performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for this summer’s Shakespeare in the Grove. The Shakespeare in the Grove 2008 Music Headliners are supported by a grant from the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

Thursday, July 17: Rani Arbo and Andrew Kinsey of Daisy Mayhem perform their unique traditional and original sound on fiddle, bass and voice. 

Friday, July 18: Nzinga’s Daughters will perform acappella spirituals and songs from the Underground Railroad.

Saturday, July 19: Joe Fonda and Mike Musillami, straight from being on tour in Europe, present classic and contemporary jazz on . 

Sunday, July 20: Eric Kuhn, local singer-songwriter will provide original music with more than a dash of humor and political commentary.

Thursday, July 24: Banning Eyre and world musician Dirck Westervelt perform traditional music of West Africa. 

Friday, July : Lee Mixashawn Rozie, Native American composer and performer will offer traditional music and jazz.

Saturday, July 26: Dave Downs performs traditional and old-time music .

Sunday, July 27: Tibetan singer Dadon accompanied by Peter Moore.

 ____________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RE:ARTFARM’S FREE SHAKESPEARE IN MIDDLETOWN JULY 17-27, 2008

CONTACT: ASHLEY FONG (860) 346-4390, info@art-farm.org

ARTFARM's third season of free “Shakespeare in the Grove” in Middletown will feature Shakespeare's Twelfth Night July 17-27 in the Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College. Twelfth Night is a comedy of intrigue, disguise, love, loss, and mistaken identify which is accessible to all ages. Directed by ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, this production blends fantasy, physical comedy, beautiful music, and powerful acting. At once elegant and bawdy, Twelfth Night remains one of Shakespeare's most well-loved comedies.

Performances will be at 7 pm, Thursday through Sunday, July 17 – 20 and 24 - 27. Each performance will be preceded by a local musical headliner beginning at 6 pm. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early, bring blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy a picnic in the lovely grove overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. The show will be held indoors in case of rain.

The Sunday Performances, July 20 and 27, will additionally be preceded by a lively EcoFestival beginning at 4 pm. The EcoFestival features not only musicians, circus performers and interactive Shakespeare, but also a rich variety of eco-activism. There will be local farmers selling organic produce, local artisans, bread bakers, craftspeople, green vendors of all kinds, and local and national environmental organizations represented with information, exhibits and activities highlighting their conservation work and educational programs.

ARTFARM's signature combination of physical theater, spectacle and realism comes alive in this provocative romp of cross-dressing confusion. This is all while journeying through sincere and timeless questions of love, perception, honesty, human emotion, and 'right and wrong'. This play, inspired by the medieval 'Feast of Fools', balances revelry and reckoning while turning status and gender on its head.

ARTFARM is a non profit, professional theater organization, founded in 2001, which cultivates high quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice. At the heart of the Twelfth Night cast are the five members of the ARTFARM Ensemble, an ongoing company committed to the creation of new work. The balance of the fifteen member cast is a mix of Equity and non-Equity professional performers plus three college-age apprentices.

Shakespeare in the Grove is so-sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division of Middlesex College. The production is made possible by generous support from Liberty Bank, the City of Middletown, Pratt and Whitney, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Middlesex County Community Foundation, the Aetna Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and donations from many individuals.

Shakespeare in the Grove and the ARTFARM EcoFestivals are offered to the public for free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person. For more information call (860) 346-4390, or go to www.art-farm.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
__________________________________________
 
 
In honor of SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day,
March 29th, from 6pm-9pm
ARTFARM is offering a workshop open to the community:

Women: Body, Mind and Voice

This workshop, led by Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, is for the curious novice, the theater professional, and performers and non-performers alike.
Through the rich world of theater, participants will explore personal identity, social constructs, taboos, expectations, limitations, fears and hopes. We will be specifically addressing that which is unique to being a woman.
Developing emotional literacy, cultivating a deeper understanding of the issues that inform and define women today and giving voice to each participant in a safe fun environment are our goals.
This is a playful, interactive, on your feet workshop. We will be doing small and large group theater and movement exercises. We will be brainstorming, writing, utilizing snippets of text and creating new works to share with each other by the end of the workshop.
Dress to move. 
This workshop is part of ARTFARM’s commitment to developing dialogue within the community, to honoring the artists in the community and to giving community members opportunities to grow and play within the giving structure of theater.
The cost is $30   Registration is required.
Some scholarship aid is available. We want all women, young and old, who would like to join us to have this opportunity. Money should not stop an interested person from being able to participate. The arts are for everyone. Call and inquire if this applies to you or someone you know.
_________________________________________________________________
* SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now Day) is a new international holiday that celebrates women artists.  SWAN Day will be an annual event taking place on the last Saturday of Women’s History Month. The first international SWAN Day will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2008 in venues across the U.S. and around the world.
Women artists are creating change in their communities and using the arts to heal, uplift, and transform the world. Through performances, exhibits, parties and other events, women artists will be celebrated on SWAN Day and throughout Women’s History Month.  The public will be encouraged to attend SWAN Day events, to make donations to their favorite women artists, and to seek out the work of women artists all year long.
Women artists are inspiring, and SWAN Day will help people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives. The long term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.
The idea for SWAN Day grew out of a collaboration between The Fund for Women Artists and Chicago's WITASWAN (Women in the Audiences Supporting Women Artists Now). 

 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

UNIQUE CIRCUS COMBINES
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
AND ZANY FUN

Imagine a circus in which actors juggle bottled water, polar bears dance on melting ice floes, the props and set are recycled, and the core of clowns are called the Fossil Fools.

That’s part of what you get in ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet, a brand new educational circus performance. This hour-long show, appropriate for all ages, premiered at the First United Methodist Church in Middletown on Friday, November 30, 2007.

The Circus for a Fragile Planet is a professional circus performance, featuring juggling, clowning, physical comedy, acrobatics, unicycling and other circus arts, built around a strong environmental message. The show is written, directed and features ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler, creator of the Children’s Circus of Middletown and longtime artistic director of Oddfellows Playhouse. Wheeler plays an offbeat Austrian scientist, Professor Offli Varminhere, whose attempts at informing the audience about critical environmental issues are undermined by five fun loving clowns with an agenda of their own. Featuring a lively contemporary and classical score, and costumes by designer Cassandra Malo, The Circus for a Fragile Planet is a side-splitting, mind-opening blend of circus and science.“The bottom line is that this is basically a fast-paced circus show that will entertain any one of any age”, says Wheeler, “but it does so while exploring pressing environmental issues and engaging the middle and high school earth science curriculum on a very personal level. What the audience gets is a terrific small-scale circus. What we hope is that they leave inspired, asking themselves ‘what changes can I make in my lifestyle to become a better world citizen?’”

ARTFARM is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, dedicated to cultivating high quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice.

The Circus for a Fragile Planet is designed to tour to schools, organizations and festivals and will be available for booking through June, 2009.

The First United Methodist Church is located at 24 Old Church Street in Middletown. Admission to each performance is $7 for adults, $5 for students, children and seniors, or $20 per family. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call ARTFARM at (860) 346-4390 or visit www.art-farm.org.

June 5, 2007

The City of Middletown recently announced that it has awarded a $15,000 Challenge Grant to ARTFARM in support of Shakespeare in the Grove, 2007.

This grant, for which ARTFARM must raise 2 dollars for every dollar in City funds, will be partially matched by grants the non-profit theater group has received from Liberty Bank, the Middlesex County Community Foundation and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

The group still needs to raise another $15,000 in donations, sponsorships, playbill advertising and other fundraising to match the City challenge and balance the Shakespeare in the Grove, 2007 budget.

The second season of ARTFARM's Shakespeare in the Grove will feature free outdoor professional performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth at Middlesex Community College at 7 pm on July 12 - 15 and 19 - 22. Various local professional musicians will precede every performance at 6 pm, supported by the Middletown Commission on the Arts. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early, bring a blanket and picnic, and enjoy high quality entertainment in a beautiful grove overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. On the two Sundays, July 15 and 22, ARTFARM will host a Middletown EcoFestival at the College from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, featuring a rich variety of activities, performances, vendors, local organic farmers and environmental groups.

ARTFARM recently received its 501-c-3 non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that all contributions to the company made since May, 2006 are tax deductible. The group also opened a new office at 119 Highland Ave in Middletown.

"This is an exciting time for ARTFARM" said managing director Dic Wheeler. "Last season's Shakespeare in the Grove was more successful than we had dared hope, and the support that we have received in the community has been both gratifying and encouraging. After this summer's production our number one priority will be acquiring a nice piece of farmland in Middletown."

For more information about ARTFARM or this summer's production of Macbeth, call (860) 346-4390, or check out the website at www.art-farm.org.


____________________________________________________

Website news, 9/3/06

INAUGURAL YEAR OF "SHAKESPEARE IN THE GROVE" A BIG HIT!

About 2300 savvy people experienced ARTFARM's inaugural "Shakespeare in the Grove" production at Middlesex Community College this summer. A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed eight times over two weekends (well, seven and a half, as the second Saturday had to be stopped halfway through due to a steady rain), the pre-performance Midsummer EcoFestival featured an ever-changing but always exciting group of performers, activists and environmentalists, and the reviews of the event from friends and strangers alike have been raucously positive.

The overall outcome, for the first season, feels fantastic. People of all ages and backgrounds seem sincerely to have loved the show, and we have been swamped with testimonials via mail, e-mail, phone and in person about how blown away people were. Many comments were of the "I've seen A Midsummer Night's Dream a dozen times, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and this was by far the best" nature. We seem to have succeeded in creating some kind of magic that reached adults and kids alike; there were many families at each performance, and dozens of parents have commented amazedly on how engaged and enthusiastic their four or ten or fifteen year-old was by the show. Lots of folks came back to see the show multiple times. The final Sunday was an ideal summer evening, and nearly 500 people packed the hillside, which was a great way to go out after less-than-friendly weather for the first three nights of the second weekend.

The "buzz" around town seems significant, and the biggest question on everyone's lips now is "What show are you going to do next summer?" (Look for an announcement about that later this fall!)

This all happened with the help of many, many volunteers of all kinds. The individuals are too many to mention, but a few people deserve a special bow. Volunteer Coordinator Pamela Lang, with the help of EcoFestival Coordinators Katy Vicchitto and Michelle Page, made the entire event run incredibly smoothly. Our EcoFestival "headliners" were universally fabulous and warmly-received by the audience: the Middletown High School Jazz Band directed by Marco Gaylord, Dennis Waring, Dirck Westervelt, Ann Shapiro, Kathak dancer Rachna Agrawal performing with Wendy Black-Nasta's "International Peace Belt", Eric Kuhn, Rani Arbo, Dave Downs, Carlos Hernandez Chavez and Graciela Quinones. Yvonne Page designed the twenty page playbill single-handedly. Marlene Olson and all the folks at Middlesex College were extremely supportive and energized. Sue Murphy at Liberty Bank arranged for the printing of huge amounts of color posters and flyers. Richard Kamins coordinated our publicity. Many professionals contributed their services (including ARTFARM webmaster Misty Winter!) as EcoFestival performers, graphic designers, photographers, etc., and the dozens of daily EcoFestival and production volunteer staff were tireless and committed. Lee Godburn and Cassandra Malo stepped up above and beyond the call of duty.

The design and production team for A Midsummer Night's Dream also deserves a hearty pat on the back. Set designer Tony Palmieri, musical director Joseph Getter, costume designer Christian Milik, properties designer Cindy Prue, choreographer Marcella Trowbridge, technical director Royal Greenwell, stage manager Aryn Kyer and production intern Janet Bellows all did beautiful and inspired work in their respective roles.

The cast was breath taking. The audience inspired. The crew unstoppable. The donors essential. THANK YOU ALL, and see you next summer for "Shakespeare in the Grove".

 

 

PHONE
                860.346.4390     
ADDRESS
                ARTFARM
                119 Highland Ave.,
                Middletown, CT. 06457
EMAIL    
                info@art-farm.org