Friday, May 11, 2012

Shakespeare Festival Offers Several Ways to Celebrate the Bard

Fresh off the success of Ogunquit Performing Arts’ 6th annual Piano Festival, this ambitious presenting group that is sponsored by the town of Ogunquit and supported by local businesses is undertaking a new festival devoted to the writings and philosophies of William Shakespeare.
This event, partially funded by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council and a second grant from the Ogunquit Rotary Club, will explore (in a variety of ways) the works of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English poet, playwright, and actor who is arguably the most important writer in the English language and the world’s eminent dramatist. His surviving works consist of about thirty-eight plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
The kick-off event for the 2012 Shakespeare Festival is the presentation of the film “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Friday May 18 at 7:30 pm at the Dunaway Center. This film is the 1996 film adaptation of the 1994 Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage production. It is a playful version of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy. It is richly colored, elegantly costumed, and superbly acted, with the beauty of Shakespeare’s language shining throughout.
Then on Saturday, May 19, between 2 and 4 p.m. at the Dunaway Center, participants will be transported back into Elizabethan times with a free afternoon of Shakespearean events that will be opened by poets of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. Participants will meet and interact with actors, poets, scholars, and musicians, and are invited to come in period costume. There will be poetry readings, stories and crafts hosted by the Wells Public Library staff, a theatre Workshop conducted by MaineStage Shakespeare (for ages 11+), a panel discussion by professionals in the field of theatre production: “Why Shakespeare?” another workshop for ages 5 to 10 conducted by MaineStage Shakespeare, and an Elizabethan Music Workshop with SeaCoast Brass.
The Festival’s culminating event, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19 at the Dunaway Center, will be “A Taste of Shakespeare” presented by MaineStage Shakespeare who will perform, in costume, selected acts from “Othello,” “As You Like It,” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost” with introductory and intermission poetry plus Elizabethan music by SeaCoast Brass. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the Dunaway Center, Ogunquit Camera Shop, and Ogunquit Welcome Center, and at the door the evening of the performance. For detailed information about this event and its participants go to: (courtesy photo)

Terrorism Expert to Speak

Well-known counter terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross will be guest of the Maine Chapter of the Association for Intelligence Officers at the May 19 meeting. Author of the recently published “Bin Laden’s Legacy: Why We’re Still Losing the War on Terror,” Gartenstein-Ross is director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank. In line with his major areas of research into radicalization of homegrown terrorists and the Somali-based jihadi group al Shabaab, he will discuss strategic issues in the global struggle against a resiliant al Qaeda, with an extended discussion of Somalia and briefly touch on funding for terrorist groups.
Gartenstein-Ross is a frequent consultant on counter terrorism for various government agencies as well as private groups. He has testified before the U. S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is a regular lecturer for the Naval Postgraduate School’s Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace.
Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, the son of non-practicing Jewish parents, Garstenstein-Ross converted to Islam in his early twenties after becoming impressed with the religious devotion of his Muslim friends. In 2000 he converted to Christianity after helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conducting their investigation of Al Haramain, a Wahhabi charity now considered a terrorist group.
The speaker holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and is a Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America where he received a M.A. in the same subject.
The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Brick Store Museum Program Center, 2 Dane Street, Kennebunk. The meeting is open to the public. For information call 207-967-4298.

Local Child is Winner in Writers’ Contest

Noah Quater’s story “Joe the Dragon” was selected as a 3rd place winner for Kindergarten in this year’s New Hampshire Public Television – PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest.  Noah’s story features a water-breathing dragon named Joe, who has a hard time making friends with the fire-breathing dragons at school.  That all changes when Joe's water saves the day! Noah lives in South Berwick.
The contest encourages children in K – 3rd grade to explore the power of creativity by writing and illustrating their own stories, and promotes reading skills through hands-on, active learning. This is the 18th year NHPTV has hosted a writing and illustrating contest for children.  There were 320 entries this year; more than 10,000 children have participated over the years.
NHPTV’s first-place winners will compete against the winners from 62 other public television stations in the national PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest. The first-, second-, and third-place winners in the four grade categories will be recognized at the awards ceremony June 2nd at NHPTV Family Day at Story Land in Glen, New Hamspshire.  Award-winning children’s author Kathy Brodsky, whose books include “A Horse Named Special,” “Stover,” and “The Inside Story,” will speak at the ceremony.
“We’re so pleased to offer this opportunity to celebrate young writers. The entries we received were very impressive,” said Dawn DeAngelis, NHPTV's chief content officer.
The contest is part of NHPTV's commitment to promoting literacy and a love of reading, writing and creative expression in children. The contest aligns with New Hampshire writing and reading standards, and is made possible with support from NEA-New Hampshire.
This year's NHPTV winners were chosen by a panel of judges including local educators and librarians. Winning stories can be read on the website
Starting as the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest in1994, the contest became the NHPTV– PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest in 2010. Six local children have been recognized for their work with national awards.