Summer Arts Scene

Art & Culture: Season Highlights.

The hilltop campus of Manchester’s Southern Vermont Art Center is top of our list for summer arts inspo. See contemporary exhibitions in the Wilson Museum and member shows throughout the historic Yester House. Plus, there are hiking trails and outdoor sculptures to explore, and performing arts events to enjoy. Save the date for Ragtime Pianist and National Treasure Bob Milne, August 19.

Insider Tip: If you go, make reservations at the museum’s café. The artfully prepared Japanese home-style cuisine is perfect for a restorative lunch or pre-show dinner!

SVAC Summer Arts Exhibits

Pavel Kraus, Four Self-Portraits. Courtesy SVAC.

On Stage.

Choose from three professional theatres in unique, charming towns–all a hop and a skip from Manchester. Dorset Theatre Festival’s summer opened with Theresa Rebeck’s world premiere Downstairs (June 22 – July 8) starring Tim and Tyne Daly. Totally sold out! Next up (now) Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville, and Matthew Lopez’ new musical comedy about an Elvis impersonator gone drag queen, The Legend of Georgia McBride (Aug 3 – 19). Insider Tip: Our pick? Definitely Mamet’s American Buffalo with Treat Williams and Stephen Adley Guirgis (Aug 24 – Sept 2). Go for pre-theatre drinks at Barrows House or dinner at Dorset Inn.

Oldcastle Theatre Company’s season includes Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius and another Ludwig, Comedy of Tenors (Aug 18 – Sept 3). We like, in particular, Moonlight and Magnolia (June 23 – July 9) which the Chicago Sun Times calls “a hyperventilating slapstick comedy” and an “impassioned love song.” Okay, and a blazing critique of Hollywood.

Weston Playhouse was a rousing success with the Vermont Premiere of Once. Next up on the Main Stage, Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, and The Music Man (Aug 3 – 19). Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night is the Company’s 3rd annual American Masters work and closes the main stage season. We’re over the moon for Once (June 27 – July 15) and both second stage shows. Buyer & Cellar (hilarious!) and Tenderly (July 3 – Aug 15) starring the delightful Susan Haefner as Rosemary Clooney.

Insider Tip: Grown-ups, don’t miss the zany Cabaret. And, get your kiddos tix for Really Rosie (June 22 – July 9). Have lunch in Weston, shop Vermont Country Store, and see the play. So fun!

Also in August, dancers from American Ballet Theatre take the stage at SVAC’s Arkell (August 12). Expect pieces like “Dance of the Hours” from La Giaconda, classic scenes from Swan Lake, Chopin’s Nocturne. Will be spellbinding!

Mary Beth Hansohn will perform with the Corps de Ballet at SVAC. Photo © Rachel Neville.

Downtown Action.

Watch for ART Manchester’s pop-up galleries from July 4 through Labor Day. Tour the Museum of the Creative Process. See Stephen Schaub’s newest solo show, Motion Pictures, from July 10th to 18th at Helmholz Fine Art. Note: On July 15 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm, Schaub will present on both the work and his ground-breaking, proprietary technique. Then, discover monumental driftwood horses and stunning equine portraits (also at Helmholz Fine Art) in the exhibition, The Spirited Horse. Meet the artists, Rita Dee and Lisa Cueman, at the opening reception on July 22 from 5 ‘til 7 pm.

Moved by Music.

In his first season as festival director, Adam Nieman brings an exciting schedule of eight Manchester Music Festival performances. Among them, an evening of epic orchestral works conducted by Maestro Ignat Solzhenitsyn and a tour de force Night at the Opera. Taconic Music has launched their premiere festival season with four inspired performances at Riley Center for the Arts. We’re eyeing their Summer Benefit starring the stunning chanteuse, Maxine Linehan. VIP tix include a meet and greet, and reception; Sept 2.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Photo © Preservation Hall Jazz Band. See them at Stratton this summer!

Beyond Classical.

There’s the Danby Bluegrass Festival. There’s the Stratton Summer Concert Series with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Three Dog Night, and Rusted Root, all in a gorgeous Alpine village location. Plus, you’ll find live music at venues in and around Manchester. Check the Perfect Wife, Fire Fly, and JJ Hapgood General Store, for starters.

ART-Seed.

Every Tuesday from May through October, the Artists-in-Residence at Marble House Project present work to the public. Presentations, performances, and open studios include works in progress, as well as completed works, across all disciplines. It’s free. One and all are welcome.

Insider Tip: Go early and tour the grounds and gardens. Gorgeous!

Budding Artists.

Keep the kiddos busy (in a good way) with week-long summer arts camps. At SVAC they can act, craft, dance, and design at full and half-day sessions, on campus. At Manchester Arts, right downtown, they can choose from Mermaids, Pirates, Paint Your Own Pottery, Silk Screen, Pet Portraits, and more! A day of camp there includes multiple projects, plenty of outdoor time, two snack times and a lunch break. Magic formula, terrific instructors!

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