Weston Playhouse hosts open Artist Salon; Manchester theater reopens; Skygate Farm pond tour

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company announces its sixth annual Artists Retreat, hosting seven collaborating artists for a week’s work in Vermont, capped by a free Artist Salon at the Weston Playhouse, 703 Main St., Weston, from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4. An informal reception with the artists will follow.

At the Salon, Artist Retreat participants will talk about their creative process and share selections from their latest work. Producing director Steve Stettler will moderate the event. This year’s visiting artists will work on their new musicals.

Composer Jenny Giering returns with collaborators Adam Gwon and Laura Harrington to work on Alice Bliss, Harrington’s coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old girl whose father is deployed to Iraq.

Pregnancy Pact writer Gordon Leary and composer Julia Meinwald will work on Pied, a musical that charts the rise and fall of pop culture figure Anita Bryant.

Composer Benjamin Scheuer along with director Sean Daniels will develop The Bridge, a one-man musical that tells the story of a young man’s journey through loss to discovery.

“We’ve been delighted to find how much this week means to the participating artists, and this summer we will feature a musical, Loving Leo, and a play, This Blessed Plot, that were developed in part at a Weston Retreat,” said Stettler.

No reservations are necessary. For more information about the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, its New Works Programs and its 2013 Summer Season, visit www.westonplayhouse.org.

Village Pictures reopens with ‘Alice’

Village Picture Shows in Manchester Center is opening its doors this Friday, May 3, after a month of upgrades and the addition of new digital equipment.

The Queen of Hearts in Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, showing in Manchester on Sunday.

The Queen of Hearts in Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, showing in Manchester on Sunday.

In addition to the new look and sound, it has also partnered with Emerging Pictures to bring the best of world ballet cinema to the big screen. Along with ballet, Village Pictures will be presenting operas, documentaries, independent films, special presentations and live on-screen Q&A sessions with well- known directors and experts in their fields.

Village Picture Shows plans on projecting at least one ballet per month, but will add more based on community interest. The first ballet presentation will be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from the Royal Ballet of London, at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Also playing for the unveiling of the new digital equipment will be Iron Man 3 (in 3D) and 42, the Jackie Robinson story.

Village Picture Shows is located at 263 Depot .St. Tickets to all screenings are available starting Wednesday at the box office during theater business hours or online at www.villagepictureshows.com.

Tickets are $9 for those 13 to 64; $7 for those 12 and younger and those 65 and older. Matinees are also $7 and Monday tickets are $5.

Windsor County Vermont Coverts hosts pond tour

Windsor County Vermont Coverts will hold a tour of three ponds at Skygate Farm, 611 Simmon Road, Andover, from 10 a.m to noon on Saturday, May 11. The tour will be led by environmental scientist Amy Picotte of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Management Division.

This tour is recommended for those who have ponds or are thinking about building ponds on their property. Participants will learn about aquatic ecosystems while following the development and current decision-making on the ponds owned by James Stack and Ron Theissen.

Picotte also will speak about the department’s new Lake Wise program, which promotes best practices for protecting important shore land and shallow water habitat.

Vermont Coverts is an organization that educates landowners in forest management and wildlife stewardship. The event is free and open to the public. To register, call Skygate Farm 802-875-3909, or Vermont Coverts at 802-388-3880 or go to vtcoverts.org. Registrants will be e-mailed with driving and parking instructions.

— Susan Lampe-Wilson

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