Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Drama Circle Opens at the Village Lyceum, Petersham Massachusetts

The Drama Circle Opens at the Village Lyceum, Petersham Massachusetts

Genevieve Fraser, artistic director of the Drama Circle has announced the organizational rebirth of the Drama Circle at the Village Lyceum in Petersham, MA.  The Drama Circle is dedicated to showcasing original scripts for the stage and screen.  The organization also plans to sponsor readings of Shakespeare and other classical works. Events are free and open to the public with audience members often enlisted to read and comment on scripts.  


The Drama Circle which originated at Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner, MA reviewed dozens of original scripts throughout New England during it's eight year run and offered staged readings for a dozen more. One of the scripts, "Lincoln: The Musical" by Dr. Michael Riccards went through readings and staged readings and was ultimately showcased as a full scale production at the Town Hall in Orange, MA in 2012. 


Josef DellaGrotte
Sunday, May 21, 2017, Michael Riccards original play, The Poor Man of Assisi was presented. Nearly all those who attended participated in the reading and the discussion that followed. The Poor Man of Assisi follows in historical sequence the life of the Catholic saint, Francis of Assisi who founded the Franciscan Order of monks.


Charles Tower
A special thanks to Josef DellaGrotte for playing the part of St. Francis and Charles Tower who played several of the major roles, along with Phil Hubbard. Both actors, Charles and Phil, had also appeared in Lincoln: The Musical.  Charles played John Wilkes Booth and Phil was Secretary of State Seward who survived an assassination attack in his home at the same time that Lincoln was assassinated in the Ford Theater.
James Carmody (rt) with Phil Hubbard and Charles Tower

Additional readers for The Poor Man of Assisi included Janet Lawson, Melody Salvadore, James McCrohon and his father, Jim McCrohon. James Carmody read the part of Pope Innocent. I had cast Jim Carmody many years ago as the Duke of Norfolk in A Man for All Seasons. It's always wonderful to have former cast members join in the readings, but people of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Once a script is accepted and scheduled, the writer is expected to provide scripts for the reading. The Drama Circle will be held in the Davis Memorial Hall in back of the Petersham Unitarian Church on the Town Common. Dates for future readings, to be announced. For further information, contact Genevieve Fraser at FraserGenevieve@gmail.com or call (978)-544-1872.



Janet Lawson, Genevieve Fraser and Melody Salvadore, readers at the Poor Man  of Assisi by Dr. Michael Riccards.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Village Lyceum reading of Michael Riccards play, “The Poor Man of Assisi,” Sunday, May 21 at Davis Memorial, Petersham, MA

Village Lyceum reading of Michael Riccards play, “The Poor Man of Assisi,” Sunday, May 21 at Davis Memorial, Petersham, MA

The Village Lyceum is inviting audience participation in a reading of Dr. Michael Riccard's original drama, "The Poor Man of Assisi," to be held in the Davis Memorial building, in back of the Petersham Unitarian Church on Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 pm. A discussion will follow the reading. Dr. Riccards is a past president of Fitchburg State College and author of "Lincoln: The Musical" which was performed at the Orange Town Hall as part of the Quabbin Civil War Remembrance in 2012 with Genevieve Fraser directing.

According to the playwright, "This play predates the pope's use of the name and describes one of the most popular Catholic and Protestant saints in history. Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant, was a soldier and troubadour who came home from captivity after fighting for Assisi and heard God tell him to fix his church. He thought God meant a local rundown church, but it was a call to fix the Roman Church," Riccards explained.

"His gospel was one of poverty, chastity and Christ's admonitions. His rule was too strict for some but after generations had passed was respected throughout western Europe. On one occasion, he avoided the commitment of the Crusades and sought to go to visit the Mohammedans and convert them to Christianity. He was not successful but won the respect of leaders of Islam," Riccards said. Saint Francis died young and was quickly canonized. He is frequently seen as the patron saint of the environment, of animals and of the poor and needy.

For further information, contact Genevieve Fraser at FraserGenevieve@gmail.com or Telephone (978) 544-1872.

PHOTO: Dr. Michael Riccards, as seen in a televised interview by the Hall Institute of Public Policy on great presidents, is the author of the play, "The Poor Man of Assisi," to be read in the Davis Memorial building, in back of the Petersham Unitarian Church on Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 pm. A discussion will follow the reading. Dr. Riccards also wrote the play. "Lincoln: the Musical" whivch was performed at the Orange Town Hall in 2010.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Improvisational Acting for Teens and Young Adults at Workshop 13 with Genevieve Fraser


Improvisational Acting for Teens and Young Adults
Instructor: Genevieve Fraser

Through short improv games and relationship-based scene work, the group will explore the ability to think on their feet and outside of the box. The class will introduce the concept of subtext and "living in the moment" onstage and will culminate in a final short-form improvised performance for friends and family.

5-weeks on Thursdays, beginning October 2 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm.

Workshop 13, a Cultural Arts and Learning Center



For more information:


Contact:
413-277-6072 or info@workshop13.org
Location:
Workshop13 is located at 13 Church Street Ware, MA 01082.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Drama Circle's Genevieve Fraser, to Teach Acting Technique starting in September at Workshop 13

Genevieve Fraser

Join the artistic director of The Drama Circle, Genevieve Fraser for a 5-week acting class titled, "Acting Technique: Building a Character from the Toes on Up" at Workshop 13, 13 Church Street in Ware, Massachusetts.  Fraser most recently directed "Lincoln: the Musical" by Michael Riccards.



Workshop 13 Theater  & Acting Space
Through the practical application of Method Acting, Fraser will take you through both the interior life and the logical behavior of a character as well as the subtext in a script, the meaning behind the words of a text.  


Genevieve as Mrs. Laurey with Abraham Lincoln
Observation, visualization, improvisation, speaking to get a response, ensemble acting in scene work and use of objects and props will be investigated through a variety of exercises. 

 The  class is being held on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm beginning September 11th.  


Fraser holds a BA in Theater & Communications from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in Theater-Playwriting from Brandeis. 


Fraser directed "A Man for All Seasons" by Robert Bolt

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

Workshop 13 


ACTING TECHNIQUES 101GF – $125 Non Member / $100 Members
Instructor: Genevieve Fraser
5 week course – Thursdays 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Dates: 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, & 10/9 – Class limit – 10 students 
For registration information, please visit:  
http://workshop13.org/classes/

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