Eastport Arts Center

where creativity and community meet

Youth Theater Group’s Wacky Spring Show Treated Audience to Lots of Laughs

Tension mounts in act two as Roy Duffy as Sir Bedevere outlines to King Arthur (Marion Look) a daring plan to attack the Castle Aaaargh, while Sir Lancelot (Kieran Weston), Sir Robin (Erin Harrell) and Patsy (Liam Rouleau) listen in. EAC’s Children’s Theater Workshop, with 15 young participants from Eastport, Perry, Pembroke, Trescott and St. Stephen, N.B., presented Of Kings and Coconuts, an adaptation of Monty Python’s The Search for the Holy Grail, to a delighted audience on April 20. Photo by Brandy Argir.

EAC’s Children’s Theater Workshop presented Of Kings and Coconuts, an adaptation of Monty Python’s The Search for the Holy Grail, to a delighted audience on April 20. The group, which had 15 participants who came from as far away as St. Stephen, NB, and Trescott, and from as nearby as ‘next door,’ worked on the show every Saturday but one since late January. Familiar to some but hilarious to all—as affirmed by attendee David Brass, who’d never seen the Monty Python original—the young performers’ renditions of “The Bridge of Death,” “The Knights of Ni,” “The Castle Aaargh,” the “Bring Out Your Dead” sketch and the peasant’s diatribe kept the audience laughing loudly and smiles on all faces.

Kieran Weston, calling “Bring out your dead!” (left) has humorous difficulty with Tucker Thompson and Ivy Owens: “I’m not dead yet!” Photo by Brandy Argir.
In this scene, Roy Duffy as Sir Bedevere, Marion Look as King Arthur and Rachel Bailey as Sir Galahad, with an entourage including Liam Rouleau, Zephyr Nickerson and Erin Harrell, are viciously taunted by the French Guard, played with gusto by Tucker Thompson. Photo by John Leavitt.

“We had lots of fun, and were proud of the work we did,” noted Director, Chris Grannis. “Our next project will have a shorter-term rehearsal commitment and will be part of EAC’s annual Moose Island Follies show. We are looking for a short skit—ideas welcomed. It could be a short spoof commercial, a poem acted out, or a piece of music.” Those interested in participating in CTW’s new project should email Chris, chris@eastportartscenter.org.
Children’s Theater Workshop is a free program supported in part by a generous donation from Michael Tucket.

Among the 15 participants in Children’s Theater Workshop’s Of Kings and Coconuts were Zephyr Nickerson (from left), Cadence Nickerson, Owen Leavitt, Rachel Bailey, Roy Duffy, Marion Look and Kali Wallender. Photo by Brandy Argir.

Special thanks are extended by the show’s director, Chris Grannis:
“To all of the parents who provided invaluable help to this production by raising amazing children, and driving them all over the place to support their interests. Also, thanks to:

Cathy Adelman who helped in many ways as a volunteer gatherer, seamstress, painter, etc.
Cash Adelman, 10, from Parsonsfield Maine, who helped paint set pieces.
Colby Stoker, sound effects director, who was willing to jump in during heck week.
Marissa Stoker who came willing to play, and constructed an amazing Knight of Ni helmet.
Pam Koenig who gave us a good head start with costuming.
Susan Lehnen who joined the fray and helped with set pieces.
Wren Fraser who was sorry to miss the production after attending rehearsals but flew south over school break week.
Susan Bailey who was at most rehearsals and was of great support by being ‘on book’ for the actors and also with her creative painting on set.
Peg Richardson who stepped up and made us a cake.
Steve Grannis who willingly (it seems; he may be a good actor) helps create whatever crazy idea I have.”

The after-party cake, featuring fearsome bunny, was made by Peg Richardson. Photo by Brandy Argir.

Participants included:
Rachel Bailey, 27, of Eastport: Sir Galahad and Reporter’s wife.
Roy Duffy, 14, of Perry: the Reporter, Sir Knight of Ni, Sir Bedevere and Brother Maynard.
Siobhan Duffy, 15, of Perry: the Narrator and God.
Erin Harrell, 8, of St. Stephen, NB: a Ni Person and Sir Robin.
Abby Leavitt, 15, of Trescott and Pembroke: Light Operator.
Owen Leavitt, 13, of Pembroke and Trescott: Old Man Soothsayer, Tim the Enchanter and the Bridgekeeper, and sound effects.
Marion Look, 13, of Eastport: King Arthur; also of invaluable help to the director and a helper with props and set.
Cadence Nickerson, 15, of Pembroke: Dennis the Serf, the Black Knight, and Roger the Shrubber, and sound effects.
Zephyr Nickerson, 9, of Pembroke: the English Guard and the Green Knight, and sound effects.
Ivy Owens, 8, of St. Stephen, NB: the Not Quite Dead Person, a Ni Person and the Fierce Bad Bunny, and sound effects.
Liam Rouleau, 7 of St. Stephen, NB: King Arthur’s Patsy and Brother, and boulder construction help.
Tucker Thompson,12, of Eastport: the Customer, French Guard and Tim 1.
Kali Wallender, 13, of Eastport: Mrs. Dennis and the Old Crone, sound effects and stage hand.
Kieran Weston, 13, of Eastport: the Dead Collector and Sir Lancelot.

Director Chris Grannis is shown doing some behind-the-scenes work on the castle, which occasionally is a menacing rock wall (above), and helping a performer on stage, as the set (including cardboard boulders and vegetation) comes together.

Sound effects: Colby Stoker
Set building & painting: Steve Grannis, Susan Bailey, Marion Look, Kieran Weston, Cash Adelman, Catherine Adelman, Lindy Weston, Susan Lehnen and Shelly Thompson.

Wool Felting Double Header Enmeshed Participants in a Fascinating Medium

Meg McGarvey selects colored roving as part of a workshop in wet-felted fiber beads. Photo by Brandy Argir

Participants in Audra Christie’s back-to-back wool felting workshops on April 27 and 28 immersed themselves in gloriously colored and textured wool roving and batting, hot sudsy water, and a special camaraderie as all engaged with the near-magical material in the transformation process of wet felting. The Saturday group learned to make spherical beads and the more complex sushi roll beads, similar to millefiori glass work. Necklaces, key fobs and earrings were then formed from the beads. Sunday’s group (which had six in attendance from the previous day) took on the lengthier task of creating a wet felted vessel, and spent nearly four hours in carefully building up the layers of malleable material, then shaping the resulting forms. Some attendees became so enamored of this process as a result of the felting immersion weekend that ongoing felt experiments are a new passion. Learn more about Audra Christie, a returning EAC instructor who taught us the art of Painting with Wool in May 2018 (needle-felting an image onto a wet-felted wool sheet) at her website, audrachristie.com. And watch for a wealth of summer workshops opportunities coming soon!

A felted wool vessel, product of a satisfying if laborious process, is shown filled with experimental felted cording made the day after the workshop by a participant who just can’t stop felting. Photo by Lauren Koss

For more information about EAC education and outreach programs, please visit our Education page or email Alison Brennan, Education & Outreach Director, at alison@eastportartscenter.org. EAC workshops are partially funded by the Maine Community Foundation’s Belvedere Handcrafts Grant; a sliding scale for fees is available by request.

Arts Campers Reached for the Stars

Eastport Arts Center’s April vacation week arts campers are shown with some of their outer space themed creations. Instructor Sara Myrick is at top left.

Rocket ships, UFOs, aliens, pastel space paintings and more added up to an action-packed Outer Space themed April Vacation Arts Camp April 16-18 at Eastport Arts Center. Thirteen children from Eastport, Robbinston, Pembroke, Edmunds, Parsonsfield, Bangor, Scarborough and as far away as Bolivia (South America) explored their ideas of extra-terrestrial life, intergalactic travel and heavenly bodies, using a wide variety of media.

The busy supplies table included a found object bin in which campers enjoyed rummaging for parts for their aliens and spaceships.

Instructor Sara Myrick ingeniously provided multiple project options each day for the arts campers so each could gravitate towards whichever art supplies and techniques they found most appealing, simultaneously assuring that attendees ranging from 6 to 13 years of age would all be engaged. In addition, she encouraged the young people to continue to experiment with her designs to come up with their own solutions, such as with a wee paper rocket built to be launched by the child’s burst of breath through a drinking straw.  

Sara Myrick demonstrates for April vacation week arts campers how to launch their paper rockets via a drinking straw. 

“I am continually amazed with the innovativeness of children,” said Myrick after the camp. “I can show them a simple idea and they find their own way of expanding on it. Arts camp attracts children who enjoy creating independently and who like to work together on projects. It’s been such a fun session.”

Myrick, who teaches K-12 art in the Eastport schools, will be one of the instructors for EAC’s Summer Workshop Series, which begins in June. The center’s next Arts Camp—with popular leaders Ann Cannizzaro and Willy Claflin—will take place in July, and feature a North Woods Adventures theme. For more information about EAC’s outreach and education programs, please visit our page or email Alison Brennan, alison@eastportartscenter.org.  EAC workshops are partially funded by the Maine Community Foundation’s Belvedere Handcrafts Grant; a sliding scale for fees is available by request.

Schuth Show a Spring Treat for EAC

Sam and Henry Schuth rehearse for their evening concert. Photo by Brandy Argir

Sam Schuth, a familiar face for Eastport music-goers of nearly two decades, arrived home for a visit, musical friends in tow, on April 12. His April 13 recital presented a pleasing array of flavors and styles, and the near-full house clearly appreciated his efforts. In addition to performing solo renditions of Bach’s Chaconne and Misty Mazzoli’s Dissolve, O My Heart, Sam brought Portland-based musicians Max Eddington, piano, and Kinnon Church, bass, to join him for a mesmerizing rendition of Haydn’s Gypsy Trio.

Sam Schuth treated the EAC audience to a recital on April 13. Photo by Brandy Argir.
After humorously serving as stage hands for the first portion of the show, Sam’s brothers, Henry and Frank Schuth got to jump in musically for a set of Schuth Faktori tunes, to the delight of audience members of all ages, but perhaps especially for those who ‘knew them back when.’
“While enjoying Sam Schuth’s concert last week the years just flew right by, back to when I watched three young boys, barely babies, play their instruments in Eastport Strings,” said Chris Grannis. “Suddenly, all worries left … How wonderful to see our children grow up to be such talented and generous adults.”

—EAC is pleased to announce that Sam will be back this summer as part of our Concert Series—on August 9! Stay tuned for details.—

Annual Follies Revue Seeking Talent

Auditions are ongoing for Eastport Arts Center’s 15th Annual Moose Island Follies, to be held as two performances, 4 and 7:30 pm, on Wednesday, July 3, as city-wide Fourth of July festivities are coming to a peak. Acts should be two-to-eight minutes in length and may consist of any type of performance—music, dance, physical stunts/comedy, theatrical scenes or skits, recitation, vaudevillian arts—truly, anything goes. To arrange an audition, email Chris Grannis at chris@eastportartscenter.org or call (207) 853-4650. Video submissions will also be accepted. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

Muster for Spring Cleaning Party

Community members willing to push up their sleeves and help with an EAC-wide spring cleaning effort are invited to join in for a work party. For details, please email Chris, chris@eastportartscenter.org.

Outreach Program Brings the Arts to Area Preschoolers

Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts program has received a Kars4Kids grant in support of expanded educational outreach efforts for the 2018/2019 school year. In collaboration with Theresa Fisk, District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinator for Washington County of the Cutler Institute, EAC has organized outreach visits of the KinderArts program for the Passamaquoddy Child Development Center, KidzFirst childcare center, Calais Head Start and Pre-K, Passamaquoddy Head Start and the St. Croix Early Care and Education Center. More than 60 local preschoolers have enjoyed learning yoga and meditation through dance, music and storybooks with instructor Caroline DiLio. Owner of Maine Moon Kids Yoga, DiLio is a certified children’s yoga instructor and a mother of three. She also leads the Tiny Yogis program at Eastport Arts Center, which will resume weekly starting March 21.
“Caroline’s quiet and patient presence when working with young children helps them to become fully involved in the activity.” said Marcia Rogers, Site Manager for Head Start at Child and Family Opportunities.
“The yoga and music experience can be relaxing and fun when the instructor is able to capture their interest. Caroline excels at this, which is evident in the excitement of our children when they learn she is coming to visit their classroom.”
Prior to receiving the Kars4Kids funding, EAC’s KinderArts program did a series of outreach visits to private home-based caregivers in Eastport and Perry, with support from the Crewe Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission.
“We reached out to area childcare centers because these children did not have the opportunity to travel to our center,” said Alison Brennan, EAC’s Education and Outreach Director. “Early arts learning is so important to the well-rounded growth of healthy children.”
Eastport Arts Center’s mission is to stimulate and nurture an appreciation of the visual and performing arts and the creative process and to provide a home and an environment within the community where they can prosper. More information may be found at eastportartscenter.org/education.

Quoddy Voices Welcomes New Singers to Explore World Music

Rehearsals will resume for Quoddy Voices’ spring concerts at 7 pm, Monday, February 25, at Eastport Arts Center. This season’s program is titled Around the World in 80 Minutes and will include choral works from all seven continents, even Antarctica (or written on the way there in 1843!). The chorus will prepare an exciting mix of pieces reflecting the diversity of cultures within the human family. The program, full of rhythm and joy, draws upon traditional folk idioms, including a Russian men’s chorus; a Zulu wedding song; an Australian work, Hope There Is, with text by an Aboriginal poet; and an arrangement of a melody of the Ojibwe First Nation tribe in Canada. One highlight will be a work composed for Quoddy Voices by the Chinese composer Yujing Bai.
The group welcomes new singers of all experience levels. No auditions are required, but those wishing to join are asked to contact director John Newell before the first rehearsal at jnewell384@gmail.com.
Quoddy Voices is a constituent group of the Eastport Arts Center, with dedicated members who hail from all over our region. For additional information, please contact Newell at the address above, or send a message via the Quoddy Voices Facebook page.

EAC Gift Certificates are ‘One Size Fits All’

Shop Local—from Home! What could be easier? Shop EAC Gift Certificates online, or purchase your certificate in person at the arts center. Certificates are redeemable at the box office for any EAC event, and make a perfect one-size-fits-all gift for everyone on your list!

EAC Community Members Thrilled to Host Raja Rahman

John Newell (center) and Linda Courtney (right) were psyched to host pianist Raja Rahman at their home after his EAC concert on November 11. “It was wonderful to get to know him,” noted Newell. “In terms of his concert, I will just say that he is an incredible pianist. He is indeed a virtuoso and presented what are sometimes described as ‘war horses,’ but his playing has a subtlety of expression that is too often missing today. In each work Raja allowed the music to breathe and to take shape for the audience. He gave us a wonderfully elegant and dramatic musical experience.”

Raja posted the ‘selfie’ (above) with John and Linda on Facebook, noting that he is very excited to return to Downeast Maine this summer for more music, vacationing and lobster, and this time he’ll bring Jarrett!

While we’re awaiting that excitement, we can make sure to catch up with John and Linda at the Quoddy Voices concerts December 14 and 16 at EAC (John directs the international chorus, and Linda is one of the singers).

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The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.