Friday, August 23, 2013

Children's Literature Memoir "Running through Time" for All Ages

Children's Literature Memoir "Running through Time" for All Ages

The artistic director of the Drama Circle , Genevieve Fraser of Orange took a break from her own writing in the past year to edit what she believes will become a children's literature classic for all ages by her sister, Lillian Fraser Douville.  "Running through Time" is the multi-generational story of a New England family told through short stories, poetry, paintings and family photographs.

"Running through Time" is set in the loving environment of a group of people devoted to one another.  It is written as a memoir starting when the author is 2 years old in March 1940.  And as with many tales, the story begins "once upon a time" but quickly expands into a delightfully humorous, yet poignant story.  

"Once upon a time in a snug place on this planet, that has long since disappeared, a first child, Lillian, soon nicknamed Lulabelle, was born to a couple with empty pockets.   They were rich in their own way, as their hearts were filled with hope and their minds overflowed with dreams of better days ahead..."

Lullabelle
Book I, "The Adventures of Lulabelle" is the story of a very endearing and mischievous little girl which spans to encompass seven generations of family history as told to Lillian, nicknamed Lulabelle, by her elders. But all is not bright and whimsical in this child's life. Her beloved baby brother, Donnie, is born with a chronic illness, later diagnosed as cystic fibrosis.

Book II, "A Move to the Country" continues the story of Lulabelle, now in her teens and referred to by her proper name Lillian.  Donnie's poor health and the addition of three more children spur her parents to leave their home in pollution-plagued industrial Massachusetts and buy a farm in rural New Hampshire.

Book III, "Chicken Stories" are told during Lillian's thirties while living in Connecticut as a wife and mother of three girls, working as a pre-kindergarten teacher. "Chicken Stories" is the compelling, witty, heart-warming but ultimately heartbreaking tale of the family's adopted chickens, Bormiff and Gondor, and their sweet, black bear of a dog, Damian.
"Running through Time" concludes with "Farm Stories" which serves as an epilogue by her daughter, Rebecca Douville Albright.  "Running through Time" is published by Xlibris and is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and booksellers throughout the world.  




Lillian Fraser Douville is an artist and retired school teacher living in Downeast Maine with her husband Donald.

PHOTO CAPTION: The front cover for "Running through Time" was painted by the author, Lillian Fraser Douville.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Peace Corp’s Vision for Global Literacy - July 18 at the Orange Innovation Center

Joanie Cohen -Mitchell Peace Corp Literacy Soecialist
The Peace Corp’s Vision for Global Literacy - July 18 at the OIC

Joanie Cohen Mitchell will present a talk and slide-show on the “Peace Corp’s Vision for Global Literacy” as part of "An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells" scheduled for Thursday, July 18 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm on the third floor of the Orange Innovation Center, 131 West Main Street, Orange, MA.  
After serving for 28 years as an Early Childhood Teacher Trainer Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Haiti and Paraguay, Cohen-Mitchell was offered a position at Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington DC as the agency's Literacy Specialist.  Her talk will offer a first hand look at this important global initiative.

As the Peace Corps Literacy Specialist, Cohen-Mitchell collaborates with USAID to support their Education Strategy Goal 1 - to have all children reading by 2015 by supporting Peace Corps posts in Africa, InterAmerica and Pacific and Europe and to collaborate with the Global Partnership for Education and other non governmental and governmental organizations working in literacy and early grade reading.
Teaching literacy in Africa

According to Joanie, her mandate includes setting a vision for literacy for the Peace Corps across the globe as well as developing the agency's overall framework for early literacy and early grade reading programs.  The Peace Corps offers over twenty programs that implement early literacy and early grade reading programs.

 “I’ve developed training curricula for host country nationals and Volunteers on literacy teaching and learning concepts for school based and community based projects,” she explained. “I’ve also created teaching learning materials for Volunteers and their counterpart teachers to use in the classroom and in community settings and designed Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation tools to measure outcomes in early grade reading.” 

Prior to moving to the Washington, DC area last year, Joanie served as chair of the Orange Elementary School Committee, director of the Athol Area United Way, president of Temple Israel in Greenfield, and consultant to the Commonwealth of MA Even Start family literacy program in Franklin County and the North Quabbin. 

Joanie and Tim Cohen-Mitchell
The evening will also include a presentation by Joanie’s husband, Tim Cohen-Mitchell on “The Man Who Painted Lincoln,” sponsored by the Drama Circle as part of the 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the American Civil War. Tim will be re-joining Joanie and their son, Noah, at the family's new home in Greenbelt, MD at the end of July.  Both have been active in the North Quabbin community, with Tim serving as the Founder and Executive Director of the Young Entrepreneurs Society (YES) since 1998.  Following both presentation, the evening will conclude with a reception for the couple.  Refreshments will be served. 

Sponsors for “An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells” include Orange Innovation Center owners Jack and Laura Dunphy, Noel Vincent and Zita Rasid, Deans Beans, Seeds of Solidarity, North Quabbin Community Co-op, Millers River Café, the Bohemian Kitchen, Rachels Everlastings, Smilin’ Dog Café, Maple Grove Farmhouse, Trailhead, North Quabbin Trails Association and Whitten Trophies. 

An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells is open to the public and free of charge, though donations to YES-Biz and the Orange Cultural Council will be gratefully accepted.  For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at (978) 544-872 or Email: FraserGenevieve@gmail.com






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Drama Circle presents “The Man Who Painted Lincoln” July 18 at OIC

President Barack Obama views the George Henry Story
portrait of  President Abraham Lincoln
Drama Circle presents “The Man Who Painted Lincoln” 
July 18 at OIC

 In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, the Drama Circle will present Tim Cohen-Mitchell’s “The Man Who Painted Lincoln: images and tales from the outbreak of the Civil War by George Henry Story, 1835-1922.” The Civil War era portrait artist, George Henry Story, is Tim Cohen-Mitchell’s great-great-great uncle.  The talk and slide-show presentation will be part of "An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells" scheduled for Thursday, July 18 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm on the third floor via the elevator at the Orange Innovation Center building, 131 West Main Street, Orange, MA.

George Henry Story’s artist studio was located over the Civil War photographer Matthew Brady’s studio, according to Tim Cohen-Mitchell.  “Through Brady, Story met many of the era’s noteworthy characters in politics, business and popular culture. Among these was President-elect Lincoln, whose first, and later definitive, photographic portrait on arriving to take office in the Capital was posed by Story himself.”

“After attending the Inauguration and White House reception as Lincoln’s guest, the President invited Story to his second-floor White House office to sketch him -- he was far too busy to sit for a portrait -- over several full days as he assembled his Cabinet and administration and began preparations for a civil war he still hoped could be averted,” Cohen-Mitchell explained.  “From these sketches, Story completed twelve portraits of the President, the last in 1919. These today hang in the Smithsonian, Smith College, The Clark, and the Oval Office of President Obama.”
Tim Cohen Mitchel

“Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Story set sail for Cuba for his health, where he completed several commissions and witnessed the cruelty of slavery at first hand. A year later he established a studio in New York City. He travelled often to Europe, studying the works of the great masters, purchasing art for the private collections of Andrew Carnegie and John Pierpont Morgan, and winning a prize for genre at the 1886 Centennial Exhibition in Paris,” he continued.  “Story spent the next quarter century as curator and repairer of paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as its director as well as serving Mr. Morgan as paintings consultant to the Hartford Athenaeum. At the time of his death in 1922, he left a legacy of portraits, landscapes and genre paintings in museums and private and company collections across America.”

Following “The Man Who Painted Lincoln” presentation, Tim’s wife, Joanie Cohen-Mitchell will give a talk on her work across the globe where Peace Corps Volunteers work in early literacy and early grade reading programs.  Tim will be re-joining Joanie and their son, Noah, at the family's new home in Greenbelt, MD at the end of July.  Both have been active in the North Quabbin community, with Tim serving as the Founder and Executive Director of the Young Entrepreneurs Society (YES) since 1998.  A reception will follow the presentations

An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells is open to the public and free of charge, though donations to YES-Biz and the Orange Cultural Council will be gratefully accepted.  Refreshments will be served. 

Sponsors for “An Evening with the Cohen-Mitchells” include Orange Innovation Center owners Jack and Laura Dunphy, Noel Vincent and Zita Rasid, Deans Beans, Seeds of Solidarity, North Quabbin Community Co-op, Millers River Café, the Bohemian Kitchen, Rachels Everlastings, Smilin’ Dog Café, Maple Grove Farmhouse, Trailhead, North Quabbin Trails Association and Whitten Trophies.  For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at  (978) 544-872 or FraserGenevieve@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Trudi" a One-Woman Show at Drama Circle @ AOTV Studio January 19


Dickens' Hard Times
"Trudi" a One-Woman Show at Drama Circle  
@ AOTV Studio January 19

“Trudi,” a one-woman variety show with singer-actor-director Trudi Goodman will be the featured presentation at the Drama Circle on Saturday, January 19 at 2:00 pm in the Athol Orange Community Television (AOTV) studio, 163 South Main Street, Athol. Sponsored by the performing arts division of Art for Life, the Drama Circle is dedicated to original works for the stage and screen and is free of charge and open to the public. 

Trudi Goodman

On screen, Goodman performs Roberta Trett in the Ben Affleck directorial debut: Gone Baby Gone (Disney/Miramax).  She also appears in the films:  Grown Ups (Dir. Denis Dugan, Columbia/Sony Pictures), 21 (Dir. Robert Luketic, Columbia/Sony Pictures), The Departed (Dir. Martin Scorsese, Warner Bros.), The Child King (Dir. Frank Kerr, Boston Pictures), Jesus, Mary And Joey (dir. James Quattrochi, Federal Hill Productions), and in Lebensborn (Dir. Joy Park)--for which she additionally created and performed the Yiddish Musical Soundtrack.

Dicken's Hard Times
She has performed her one woman show, The Sunny Side of the Street:  Stories from Real and Unreal Life, and her Yiddish Revue: Die Maase Bukh: The Jewish Experience in Poetry and Song throughout the New England area. Her voice can be heard as Shifra Shapiro in the multi-media exhibit at the Shapiro House/Strawberry Banke Museum, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.Recently, Trudi was seen as Margaret in Daniel John’s original work, Full Figured Woman at the MassArts New Play Festival in October 2012.  She performed as Mrs. Rosa Murillo in Shameless, a Boston Globe Critics Pick of The Week. She also performed as 6 characters, in Charles Dickens' Hard Times, multi-media theatrical event at The Puppet Showplace in Brookline, MA.  This play required Trudi to re-create 6 Dickens characters, ranging in age from 10 years old to early 60s at break-neck speed.
Fire of Life

Goodman is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music (1973), and a graduate of University of Massachusetts at Boston (1984), where she won The Susan Glover Hitchcock Award for Outstanding Musicianship.  She also graduated from The New Theatre Conservatory (1997) with a professional actor certificate.  As a published writer, lyricist and poet, she co-edited and co-managed the independent poetry journal, Zonё, A Feminist Journal for Women and Men (1981-1986).  She was also an editor and writer for local community newspapers and media among these: The Mission Hill Good News and WUMB-AM Radio.  She is a member of SAG-AFTRA (The newly merged Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), Stagesource (The Greater Boston Theatre Alliance) and The National Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA).

EQUUS

For further information, contact Genevieve Fraser, the artistic director of the Drama Circle at (978) 544-1872 or email: FraserGenevieve@gmail.com






Monday, October 29, 2012

"Lincoln: The Musical" Movie Featured at Drama Circle November 10 at Bruce's Browser


Niles Larson
"Lincoln: The Musical" Movie Featured at Drama Circle  November 10 at Bruce's Browser

On Saturday, November 10th, the Drama Circle will feature a movie of this past summer's world premiere of "Lincoln: the Musical" by Michael P. Riccards. According to Genevieve Fraser, artistic director of the Drama Circle who served as the producer/director of "Lincoln," the film will be shown at 2:00 PM at Bruce's Browser, 1497 Main Street. Athol, MA, to be followed by a discussion of the play as well as the film of the production.
 
The "Lincoln: The Musical" DVD was shot and edited by cinematographer, Niles Larson, a resident of New Salem and 2006 graduate of Mahar Regional High School who attended the New York Film Academy in NYC for post secondary school. Larson is the founder of North Quabbin ProductionsAlong with his
freelance camera work, Niles is the Board President of
the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem and Master/President of
the North Orange Grange #86.


The Drama Circle, which is free of charge and open to the public, is sponsored by the performing arts division of the non-profit organization, Art for Life.  For further information, contact Genevieve Fraser at (978) 544-1872.
 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inside Out Dance Company Dancers Featured in “Lincoln: The Musical”


 
Inside Out Dance Company Dancers Featured in “Lincoln: The Musical”
 
Dancers from The Inside Out Dance Company, under the direction of Brenda Ingrid Cromwell Hall, were recently featured in the Drama Circle’s production of “Lincoln: The Musical” by Michael Riccards and directed by Genevieve Fraser. The Inside/Out Dance Company is the year-round performing company of The Dance Studio, located at 5 South Main Street in Orange MA, which has been inspiring dancers in the North Quabbin region since 1977.  

“Lincoln: The Musical” opens and closes in Ford Theater.  The opening featured Jack Arnot as Senator Butterworth singing the 19th century Irish ballad, “The Last Rose of Summer,” a personal favorite of Abe and Mary Lincoln.  Each night a different “rose” was selected to perform a ballet to the tune as the newly elected President Lincoln watched from the balcony.  The dancers were Marley Aldrich, Haleigh O'Reagan, Angie Price and Haley Jean.

In Act 2, the final scene opens with a red, white and blue clad dancer,         Courtney O'Regan, performing “en pointe” to Faust’s “The Soldier’s March,” a tribute to the Union victory in the Civil War, as the Lincolns arrive and are warmly greeted by an appreciate audience.  At the conclusion of the dance, O’Regan salutes the President and First Lady, and the play, “Our American Cousin” commences with John Wilkes Booth slowly ascending the staircase for the assassination.

Lincoln: The Musical” opened at the Orange Town Hall on July 7 and closed on July 15.  Though free to the public, performances were used as a fundraiser for the Town Hall Restoration Fund.  “Lincoln: The Musical” was  sponsored by the Drama Circle, the Performing Arts Division of Art for Life - CF Pals, and was funded, in part, by Heyes Forest Products, the Miller’s River Café and a grant from the Orange Cultural Council which is funded by the Mass Cultural Council.

For further information, contact the artistic director of the Drama Circle, Genevieve Fraser at Tel. (978) 544-1872 or email: FraserGenevieve@gmail.com

PHOTO CAPTION:  Pictured left to right (standing): Marley Aldrich, Courtney O'Reagan, Angie Price and Haley Jean Seated: Haleigh O'Regan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Lincoln: The Musical” to Raise Funds for Orange Town Hall


Abe and Mary with John Wilkes Booth ready to strike
“Lincoln: The Musical” to Raise Funds for Orange Town Hall

The world premier of "Lincoln: The Musical" by Dr. Michael Riccards, with songs from the Civil War era, enters its final run on Saturday, July 14 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, July 15 at 2:00 pm at the Orange Town Hall, 6 Prospect Street, Orange, Massachusetts.  The play, which is produced by The Drama Circle and directed by Genevieve Fraser, is free of charge; however, donations are gratefully accepted and will be used to purchase lights and sound for the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall.

“Over $1,300 was raised from the July 7 and 8 opening of the show, due in part, from a very generous donation from one of the Quabbin Civil War Remembrance steering committee members, Paul Robichaud,” Fraser commented.  “We will be requesting that the Orange Select Board reactivate the Orange Town Hall Renovation Committee so that the money raised can be spent on a state of the art sound and light system.”  The Orange Town Hall Renovation Committee was convened in the mid 1990s and spent nearly a decade renovating the auditorium to its former splendor.

John Wilkes Booth
“As a producer/director, it is easy to fall in love with this extraordinary hall which was built in 1868 and designed by one of the great 19th century architects, Elbridge Boyden, who was raised and educated in Orange.  Boyden also designed Mechanics Hall in Worcester which is considered by architectural historians as the nation’s finest pre-Civil War concert halls,” Fraser stated. 

“And though the Orange Town Hall auditorium acoustics are extraordinary, there are spots within the hall where the sound fades and needs amplification,” Fraser continued. “In addition, theater and dance require systems for special sound and lighting effects.  Once we acquire these and upgrade the electrical system for air conditioning, the town can offer one of the finest venues in the region for the performing arts.”

“Lincoln: The Musical” chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s determination to lead the country into an era of prosperity but instead faces a conflict that threaten to tear it apart through the American Civil War. “Lincoln: The Musical” is sponsored by the Drama Circle, the Performing Arts Division of Art for Life - CF Pals, and is funded, in part, by Heyes Forest Products, the Miller’s River Café and a grant from the Orange Cultural Council. 

Refreshments for the July 14 – 15 show dates will be sponsored by the Orange Lions Club.  All proceeds will be donated to the Town Hall Restoration Fund, Account # 253 192 4800.  Admission to “Lincoln: The Musical” is free of charge and open to the public.  For further information, contact the artistic director of the Drama Circle, Genevieve Fraser at Tel. (978) 544-1872 or visit website: http://thedramacircle.blogspot.com/