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ENTERTAINMENT: Two of Us Productions, PS21, Clermont Comics, Bard Upstreaming, Bard award recipient

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Hear two classic radio plays Saturday

COPAKE—The Two of Us Productions invites all to “a blast from the past” Saturday, May 23 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. when the theater group reads two classic radio plays via Zoom.

In “Trouble at the Circus,” super-detective Dick Tracy investigates the sudden death of a talented elephant trainer who dances with her elephants until the night she is trampled to death for no apparent reason.

In “Justice Wears a Blindfold,” handsome, dashing newspaper publisher Britt Reid learns that a well-respected local judge is apparently going out of his way to not send a local hoodlum to jail. Donning his alter ego as The Green Hornet, Britt and his assistant Kato intervene to see that justice is served.

This online event is free on Zoom. Register to get the link at www.thetwoofusproductions.org or email constancerlopez@gmail.com. Donations are gratefully accepted.

PS21 program for elder residents continues remotely

CHATHAM—Since its inception in 2006, the mission of PS21 has been to bring exceptional works of dance, theater and music to the Hudson River Valley, and to provide free and affordable community programs to the area’s permanent residents.

One program central to PS21’s mission was developed in 2018 by Nancy Rothman, an East Chatham actor and educator, for elderly residents of the Ghent Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ghent (formerly Whittier).

Rothman’s Sharing Stories program began as a way to bring literary performance to an often isolated group. Through these evenings, as she brought stories, essays and poetry to share, her listeners began to share not only their impressions of the various authors and pieces but also their felt connections to their own lives, memories and to each other.

Until mid-March, Rothman went twice a month to the residence to share stories and literature. The program expanded to include participants’ own creative writing. With the pandemic, Rothman can no longer join residents in person.

Now PS21 and Whittier Adult Home work together to allow Rothman to send materials remotely. “Not being allowed into the facility has been very challenging,” Rothman said in a press release. “Being able to at least keep the connection in this remote way is helpful for all of us,” she said. “It allows the residents to stay connected with me, to the world outside and, most important, to the much wider world of their imagination.”

The Whittier Place Adult Home Sharing Stories program has received support from the Upstate Theater Alliance for a Fair Game, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Fund for Columbia County and Bank of Greene County, as well as the Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation and NYSCA, both of which support all of PS21’s educational programming.

The program, now delivered remotely through audio and video recordings, will continue for as long as it is needed, and PS21 is exploring offering the program to other facilities.

Emily Parks as some see her. Image credit: NYS Parks blog

NYS Parks features Clermont’s History Comics Club

CLERMONT—During the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily Robinson, educator at Clermont State Historic Site, has used comics as a way to help local children process and chronicle their view of what’s happening, and how that view informs history itself.

Clermont thanks its friends at New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation for highlighting Robinson’s work in a recent online newsletter.

Read the full article at https://nystateparks.blog/2020/04/14/drawing-todays-history-to-the-page

Bard’s Fisher Center launches new digital platform

ANNANDALE—The Fisher Center at Bard College has launched Upstreaming, its new virtual stage.

Upstreaming broadens the Fisher Center’s commitment to reaching audiences beyond the physical walls of its building, and offers new ways for viewers to engage with artists.

Programming includes new commissions, specially conceived for the digital sphere, from artists with long-term relationships with the Fisher Center, as well as special access to performances and public events from the Fisher Center archives.

Each Wednesday Upstreaming releases new streaming content, free of charge. Works featured each week will highlight a different aspect of the breadth of programming the Fisher Center offers, including weekly content from the SummerScape opera and Bard Music Festival archives.

Artists whose work will be featured include Pam Tanowitz, Claudia Rankine, Will Rawls, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Dan Hurlin, Beth Gill, Tere O’Connor, Jack Ferver and more. Select SummerScape operas from the past eight years, featuring the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein, will be released every other week, alternating with the release of audio recordings from the Bard Music Festival’s extensive archive.

New content will be announced in the Fisher Center’s weekly newsletter. To receive those updates and stay connected to Upstreaming, join the mailing list at fishercenter.bard.edu/mailing list

Valeria Luiselli Photo contributed

Bard College faculty member Luiselli wins Guggenheim

ANNANDALE— Valeria Luiselli, Bard College writer in residence, has received a 2020 Guggenheim fellowship for her work in fiction.

Luiselli is among the 175 winners of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s 96th competition for the United States and Canada. Selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

The great variety of backgrounds, fields of study and accomplishments of Guggenheim Fellows is one of the characteristics of the fellowship program. 2020 Fellows are drawn from 53 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 78 different academic institutions, 31 states and the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces.

Luiselli is the author of the award-winning novels “The Story of My Teeth” (2015) and “Faces in the Crowd” (2013), and the essay collections “Sidewalks” (2013) and “Tell Me How It Ends” (2017). Her most recent novel, “Lost Children Archive,” won the 2020 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, American Academy for Arts and Letters’ Rosenthal Family Foundation Award and Folio Prize. Luiselli is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

Luiselli has worked as a volunteer translator in the Federal Immigration court, translating testimonies of asylum-seeking undocumented minors, and conducted creative writing workshops in a detention center for undocumented minors. She has taught at Bard College since 2019 and is working on a sound piece about violence against land and bodies in the borderlands.

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