Stray Kats Theatre Company and Third Eye Productions have joined forces to produce and perform John Patrick Shanley’s "Doubt" at Newtown Meeting House and quite simply: it is a stunner. The play, under the direction of Don Striano, in his debut effort, drives home a a message of unattainable certainty in an atmosphere of doubt and the pervasive damage that can cause. Performances of the limited run production, which is also a Newtown Arts Festival event, continue through September 20.
The idea that he might one day hike the entire Appalachian Trail, a trek of just under 2,200 miles when traversed from Georgia to Maine, first entered Alex Neufeld’s head the summer after his freshman year at Newtown High School. On a high adventure trip with Venture Crew 70 to Maine, he encountered a hiker at the top of Mount Katahdin who was finishing up the Appalachian Trail. “I decided it was something I wanted to do,” said Alex, after visiting with that hiker. He grew up in a household that did a lot of family hikes and camping, and his experiences in Venture Crew gave him more experience with the outdoors.
LittleBits are small Lego-like building blocks kicked up to a new level. The ½-inch to 1½-inch plastic pieces are pre-engineered electronic modules, each with a specific function, and snapping one to the other through the use of tiny, but powerful, magnets. Developed by interactive artist and engineer Ayeh Bdeir, the mission of littleBits, her company, is “To put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone.” C.H. Booth Library is doing its part to put the power of electronics in the hands of residents, with its recent purchase of a littleBits kit....
When last we left Newtown entrepreneur and baker Stephanie Schneiderman, she was packing to run away to Hollywood. And while she had no dreams of making it big on the big screen, she did make the acquaintance of dozens of Hollywood stars who turned out for a pre-Emmy Awards red carpet event where they stuffed swag bags with selected gifts including boxes of Ms Schneiderman’s Biscotti, Etc cookies. Ms Schneiderman was one of just a few dozen companies providing items for the television awards showcase event on August 23 in Los Angeles.
“They described the event as something like a celebrity trade show,” she said. Ms Schneiderman was told that each celebrity attending the gifting event would receive at least one sample of Biscotti Etc products, which turned out to be the case.
These early September days have achieved that rare temperate equilibrium where neither air conditioners nor furnaces have anything to offer comfort aficionados like our cats. Thermometer readouts oscillate ever-so-slightly from high 60s to low 70s in the lulls between weather fronts, and we throw open windows on all sides of the house so it may breathe deeply with every shifting breeze.
The third annual Newtown Arts Festival began on September 5, when Town Players presented its opening night performance of "The Artificial Jungle." Arts Festival events have continued since, and will continue to do so until September 21, but the signature event of Newtown Cultural Arts Commission’s festival will return to Fairfield Hills this weekend. The 2014 Newtown Arts Festival — Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, from 10 am until 6 pm both days — will again offer guests of all ages two days of non-stop performances, workshops, exhibitions, music and over 85 artists and craftspeople offering their works for sale. Admission is $5 per person.
Art lovers perused more than a dozen demonstrations, exhibits and pop-up galleries while music lovers braved sizzling temperatures to enjoy a Beatles tribute band Saturday, September 6, as the 2014 Newtown Arts Festival sprang to life with overlapping events sponsored by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity. While Art In Residence Galley operators Rosemary and Rob Rau welcomed visitors to their pop-up gallery at 100 Church Hill Road (Suite 104, the former SHACK location), others put their final touches on temporary exhibitions at a number of nearby locations. Meanwhile, about 100 families and fans gathered alongside the Pootatuck River to hear Ticket To Ride play two sets of popular tunes spanning the history of the Beatles. The concert was the penultimate of the inaugural Choose Love Concert Series.
Combining the talents of Nuala Kennedy, John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary, The Alt focuses on songs, as opposed to instrumental dance tunes, from the Irish, Scottish, English, and American roots traditions. The trio debuted its new self-titled CD in August at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Festival and is now touring the country. On Monday, September 15, at 7:30 pm, the Fairfield County-based Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society will bring The Alt to Newtown Meeting House.
Ridgefield Theatre Barn is presenting Diana Son’s "Stop Kiss" in its fall lineup. The play, under the capable direction of Marla Manning, provides an intimate story of how we choose who we love and how those choices are adjusted by the world around us. This is not only the story of a possible hate crime. It is a love story about two people who connect and despite the obstacles, come to care for each other above all else. It is a tender journey threatened by needless violence. It also shows that in our darkest hour, our greatest strength is revealed.