RANDOLPH — At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, Vermont Pride Theater will present a staged reading of “The Laramie Project.” This is VPT’s eighth annual winter benefit, with the proceeds this year going to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, whose mission is to erase hate by replacing it with understanding, compassion and acceptance.
On Oct. 7, 1998, young Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked, tied to a fence outside of Laramie, Wyoming, and left to die because he was gay. In the weeks following his death, on Oct. 12, Moises Kaufman’s young New York City-based Tectonic Theatre Company traveled to Laramie to begin answering a central question raised by this tragedy: How would Laramie change as a result of Shepard’s death?
The company’s work on this project encompassed 18 months of interviews of over 200 residents of Laramie. From these interviews, 100 of the most compelling and diverse stories were chosen to weave together the script that became “The Laramie Project,” a play in which 10 actors voice these 100 narratives.
Tickets are $24, $17 for students, $22 and $15 in advance; call 802-728-6464, or go online to www.chandler-arts.org.
Vermont Youth Orchestra
BURLINGTON — The Vermont Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Benjamin Klemme, presents its winter concert, “Depictions of a Dream” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday, the program offers a musical tribute to MLK’s life and legacy. Guest artist Counterpoint vocal ensemble presents a suite of songs associated with the Civil Rights movement.
The VYO performs Duke Ellington’s “Les Trois Rois Noirs (Three Black Kings)” alongside the expressive second movement from Antonín Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, “From the New World,” the basis for the spiritual “Goin’ Home.” Rounding out the program is Lou de Lise’s Fantasy on “Amazing Grace” for percussion ensemble, and VYO senior soloist Sebastian West performing the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
Tickets are $17, $12 for students; call 802-863-5966, or go online to www.flynntix.org.
‘Artists to Watch’
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Arts Council, in partnership with The Vermont Art Guide, presents “Artists to Watch 2019” in the Spotlight Gallery. The artists are also featured in “Vermont Art Guide #9.”
The exhibit features the work of 10 artists selected by Vermont curators. From “Jeremy,” a haunting black and white photograph by Andrew Frost, to “Swimmers” by Hasso Ewing, floating on the ceiling, the exhibit highlights the broad spectrum of work being created by artists in Vermont. The artists are: Sarah Amos (Enosburg Falls), Clark Derbes (Charlotte), Ewing (Calais), Frost (Burlington), Sally Gil (Brooklyn), Sean Hunter Williams (Montpelier), Elizabeth Nagle (East Dorset), Andrew Orr (Richford), Rhonda Ratray (North Bennington) and Jackson Tupper (Burlington).
Hours are: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; call 802-828-3293, or go online to www.vermontartscouncil.org. The Spotlight Gallery is located in the VAC office, 136 State St.
The Orlando Consort
HANOVER, N.H. — The Orlando Consort, one of Europe’s highest-regarded early vocal music ensembles, transports audiences to the 15th century in its multimedia project, “Voices Appeared,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College.
In this project, these five voices perform a live soundtrack to “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent masterpiece about the peasant girl-turned-military commander whom authorities tried and burned at the stake. With the film projected above them on the big Spaulding screen, the Consort sings a continuous a cappella score created from excerpts of sacred and secular music from Joan’s time, amplifying the beauty and agony of the onscreen images.
Wrote El Mundo (Spain), “The spectator was immersed in the 15th century ... moved by the intensity of images and music.” Calling the project “the benchmark score for Dreyer’s masterpiece,” Classical Source noted how the singers’ “vocal beauty offered a respite from the intensity of the images.” Wrote The Church Times, “Even without Dreyer’s searing film, to hear music of this immensely early period sung with such purity, wisdom, and insight is an inspiration.”
Tickets are $20-$30, $17 for 18 and younger; call 603-646-2422, or goonline to https://hop.dartmouth.edu.
Calling all actors
MONTPELIER — Actors, come work on your craft and chase away the winter doldrums. An Intermediate/Advanced Acting series, co-sponsored by Open Door and Green Room Productions, will build on your previous acting training and/or experience in six sessions. Acting classes will occur on the following at Vermont College of Fine Arts, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 (no class Feb. 27), March 6, 13, 20 and 27 (and possible scene showing March 28).
For more detailed information on the classes and instructor Joanne Greenberg, email@example.com
RANDOLPH — Chandler Gallery’s winter exhibit “Paper Possibilities” will be up through March 2. There will be a reception for artists and the community 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan 19.
This exhibit features 10 artists who use paper in diverse and innovative ways. They have cut, printed, painted and sculpted paper into a visual feast. In an artist’s hand and mind, paper is never blank but full of possibilities.
The guest curator of the exhibit, Lian Brehm, makes large colorful abstract sculptures out of paperclay that seem to float. Her Northeast Kingdom neighbor Joanne Vecchiola makes three-dimensional paper boats that may actually be buoyant. Deb Sharpe Lunstead traveled the world learning paper making techniques and settled in Vermont to create luminous paper pulp landscapes. Philip Robertson stitches and prints landscapes on rice paper rolls, bringing the origins of paper to mind.
Several artists, like Susan Osgood and Kirstin Quick, combine different layers of paper materials together into collages in works whose subjects range from narrative to abstract. Carolyn Guest specializes in telling narrative stories with cut paper in her work. She uses sheep shears to cut intricate Vermont stories and landscapes.
Storytelling, paper and books are a rich part of contemporary art and the exhibit includes intricate books created by Ann Kresge that were just exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. A local artist and storyteller, J. Turk creates two- and three-dimensional pieces that reflect family history and identity.
Hours are: noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and during Chandler performances; call 802-728-6464, or go online to www.chandler-arts.org.
Bassem Youssef for laughs
BURLINGTON — Comedic giant-tickler Bassem Youssef brings “The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword” to the Flynn main stage at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25.
Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab world, was the host of popular TV show “AlBernameg,” which was the first-of-its-kind political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a five-minute show on YouTube, “AlBernameg” became the first online-to-TV conversion in the Middle East and the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week.
“AlBernameg” received wide acclaim around the world with coverage in some of the biggest media outlets, topping it off with Youssef’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart twice in June 2012 and April 2013. In June 2013, Youssef hosted Jon Stewart on “AlBernameg” in Cairo, marking the second season’s peak.
Throughout its three seasons, “AlBernameg” remained controversial through its humorous yet bold criticism of the ruling powers, which led to lawsuits being filed against the show and its host. Youssef was even issued an arrest warrant in March 2013 and turned himself in the next day. He was questioned for five hours and released on bail. In recognition of his success, Youssef was named among Time Magazine’s most influential list for 2013 under the “Pioneers” category, was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the CPJ, and was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the global thinkers during the same year.
Tickets begin at $15; call 802-86-FLYNN (863-5966), voice/relay calls welcome; or go online to www.flynncenter.org.