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Cultural Events

‘Looking To The Future With 2020 Hindsight,’ A Written And Visual Experience



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UPDATE (Thursday, March 12, 2020): Due to coronavirus concerns, this program is being postponed indefinitely. FONS President John Boccuzzi is hoping to reschedule later in the spring.

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“Looking to the Future with 2020 Hindsight” is a collaborative artistic experience being offered at the Newtown Senior Center/Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street, through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts awarded to Friends of Newtown Seniors (FONS).

This program offers an opportunity for those ages 55 and older to share in a creative experience. The program is open to all regardless of their experience as a writer or artist. The project will be divided into two parts with participants hopefully attending all seven sessions.

Part One, discussions and writing, moderated by a professional writer, will take place Fridays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, from 10 am to noon. Part Two of mosaic creation with professional mosaic artists will take place Monday, March 30; Wednesday, April 1; and Friday, April 3, from 2 to 4 pm.

In the first four sessions of this program, the group will share in a discussion lead by Kate Katcher of Stray Kats Theatre, who will collect the comments of those participating and create a series of written pieces that express the ideas and thoughts of each participant.

Participants will discuss what is important in their lives, what memories they have, what they are most proud of, or what changes they have observed over their life. The product from the four sessions will be written in prose, telling the story that each person wants to tell.

Kate Katcher is a writer, actor, director, and artistic director of the Stray Kats Theatre Company in Newtown. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport and Western Connecticut State University where she teaches acting, intro to theater, and playmaking, a course that combines playwriting and working with children. Ms Katcher is also an MFA candidate with concentrations in playwriting, memoir, and creative nonfiction. She will graduate in May 2020. Her full-length play The 36th Line won the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition and was a finalist for the National Playwright’s Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center.

In keeping with her special interest in writing for today’s generation of senior citizens, Ms Katcher penned The Little Sisters of Littleton, a comedy about two sisters caught on opposite sides of the same man. Her short plays Planning Ahead and Decisions, Decisions have been featured at the “Still Crazy After All These Years” festival of one-acts pertaining to the lives of today’s active senior citizens. The festival has just selected its winners for the 2020 season and will perform at Edmond Town Hall, May 15 and 16.

As an actor, Ms Katcher debuted on Broadway in the 1976 revival of Fiddler on the Roof and was later chosen to play Tzeitel in Jerome Robbins’ revival of the show with Herschel Bernardi. Her most recent credit was as the Jewish mother in the 2017 Off-Broadway play Daddy Issues.

Phase Two will be led by mosaic artists Joanne and Bruce Hunter, using the written pieces created by Ms Katcher and the group, to develop designs and color patterns that represent the feelings and ideas put forward in the written work. The goal will be to communicate these stories using color and patterns in a 12-by-12 inch mosaic created by each participant.

Joanne and Bruce are BFA Pratt Institute graduates who have created hundreds of large-scale public art mosaics for 30 years. They work in collaborative groups or on private commissions.

In addition, in 1998 they founded The Art Spot, a School of Fine Arts. There they have students from ages 4 to 87 studying painting, drawing, pastels, oils, watercolors, acrylics, and more.

The Hunters helped participants of a public art experience in Newtown two years ago. The final product of that effort now decorates the lounge of the new Senior Center in town.

The plan is that both the written and mosaic art will be moved through the schools in Newtown during the 2020-21 school year to share the thoughts of one generation with another. Intergenerational discussions of the work will be a part of this endeavor.

To register for this free program, contact the Newtown Community Center, 203-270-4349, or the Newtown Senior Center, 203-270-4310.

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