The year before the Sandy Hook tragedy propelled Newtown into the hearts and minds of people across the globe, resident and finance industry expert Hayden Bates set out to bring a broader range of world-class artists in to play in the intimate Edmond Town Hall Theater, in part to raise funds to improve the classic Main Street venue.
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 message of unattainable certainty in an atmosphere of doubt and the pervasive damage that can cause.
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.
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.”
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 cats lie on the sills leaning into the screens, nodding their noses around in the feral air to awaken their dozing hunter appetites.
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 (SHOP).