Friday, April 8, 2011

1858 Surprise During Raitt Renovations

During roof renovations to the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum’s 1896 Main Farmhouse, a relic from years gone by literally fell out of the soffit, much to the surprise of everyone at the Farm Museum.
Tom Raitt, caretaker of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum, was handed the 1858 revolver by JT, one of building contractor JD MacDougall’s crew, who was working on the soffitt when the revolver fell out.
“In addition to the 1858 revolver, two glass bottles and a powder horn were also found in the soffitt,” stated Tom.
The revolver was taken to the Kittery Trading Post where David Michniewicz, who was working in the gun department, instantly recognized the make of the revolver as an 1858 Beals Remington Revolver.
“I believe the revolver will still work even though it is in ‘relic’ condition,” stated David after checking the revolver over.
“He located a book that contained a description of the gun, how many were made and many other details about the revolver, so we could have the information and would be able to do some more research,” stated Tom.
According to Steve Beckert, President of the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum, the Museum plans to display the revolver at the 16th Eliot Antique Tractor and Engine Show in July and at the Mainely Grillin’ & Chillin’ BBQ Festival in early August are being discussed by the Board of Trustees.
“Every once in a while something occurs here at the Farm that takes you back in time to an earlier life of simpler times,” stated Trustee Alan Watson. “Finding that old firearm was such an event. Whose was it? Why was it hidden in the eave? One can’t help but wonder what part this revolver played in the lives of our predecessors here at the Homestead. I suppose we are left only to speculate what those events might have been.”
Photo caption: Relics discovered during renovations at the 1896 Main Farmhouse at Raitt Homestead Farm Museum. (Courtesy photo)

Ogunquit Playhouse Announces Open Call Auditions

The Ogunquit Playhouse is holding auditions for its non-Equity and Actors’ Equity Association Summer productions. The 2011 season auditions are for “Avenue Q” (May 25 - June 18, Rehearsals begin May 17) All Roles Open; “Summer of Love” (June 22 - July 16, Rehearsals begin June 7) All Roles Open; “The Music Man” (July 20 - Aug. 20, Rehearsals begin July 5) All Roles Open; “Legally Blonde The Musical” (Aug. 24 - Sept. 17, Rehearsals begin Aug. 9) All Roles Open Except Paulette; and “Miss Saigon” (Sept. 21 - Oct. 23, Rehearsals begin Sept. 6) All Roles Open. The Playhouse is also casting for the Theatre for Young Audiences production of “Pinkalicious” (July 9 & 10, Aug. 13 & 14, Sept. 3 & 4, Rehearsals begin June 27).
Auditions are Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 10 a.m. for children and at 4 p.m. for adults age 18 and older, and Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. for both children and adults at Seacoast Repertory Theatre, 125 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH. This is an open call; therefore appointments will not be taken in advance, however, they will be scheduled for the day, on-site at 10 a.m. for children and 4 p.m. for adults. For those asked to return, the callbacks are scheduled for Sunday, April 10 at 4 p.m. Please do not call Seacoast Repertory for information.
AEA and non-Equity performers age 18 and older should prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo musical theatre song in their key and be prepared to dance for the open casting call. Bring sheet music, as an accompanist will be provided. The Ogunquit Playhouse is particularly seeking character roles and the Mother and Father in “Pinkalicious,” the parents who learn more about themselves and give in to pink power.
Children auditioning for the Children’s Ensemble in “The Music Man” (ages 9-15) should prepare a short song in their key and bring sheet music as an accompanist will be provided. They should also bring comfortable clothes and shoes in case they are asked to dance. The Ogunquit Playhouse is particularly seeking the following roles: for “The Music Man” - Winthrop Paroo (age 8-10), brother of Marian Paroo who is brought out of his shell by Harold Hill, strong young actor and singer who moves well; Amaryllis (age 8-12), piano student of Marian Paroo and friend of Winthrop, strong young actress and singer who moves well; Gracie Shinn (age 12-14), Mayor’s younger daughter, strong dancer; seeking for “Miss Saigon” - Tam (age 5-7), the Asian-American child of the strong Vietnamese woman, Kim and Chris, the conflicted American G.I.; seeking for “Pinkalicious” - Pinkalicious (age 10-13), learns that more is not always better, as well as the power of pink; Peter (age 9-12), Pinkalicious’ little brother who secretly desires to enjoy pink like his sister and to express himself creatively; Alison (age 10-13), Pinkalicous’ friend who learns not to be jealous, and that the grass is not always greener.
Children called back for the roles of Winthrop, Amaryllis and Gracie in “The Music Man” should all be prepared to read from the script and sing from the score. Children called back for “Pinkalicious” should be prepared to read from the script. Music and sides are available to download at All will sing first, however, all may not be asked to stay to dance or read. Children selected for the ensemble in “The Music Man” will be required to participate in the Children’s Theatre Summer Program: a tuition-required, two-week rehearsal and theatre camp experience. All invited callbacks occur on Sunday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m. Children must be available for all rehearsals and performances.
For more info, visit Directions to Seacoast Repertory: From 95 take exit seven and head into downtown Portsmouth on Market Street. Take a left on Bow Street, at the fork in the road, you must bear right past at St. John’s Church. Go two blocks to State Street, take a left, then take another left so that you loop around without going over the bridge to Maine. Then take your first right and the Seacoast Repertory Theatre is on your right.
Photo caption: The Ogunquit Playhouse has officially announced its 2011 season, along with auditions to take place April 9 and 10. (Photo courtesy

Wells Reserve EcoDay Promotes Healthy Planet, Healthy You

Get active, be fit, and go green is the message for Wells Reserve EcoDay, to be held April 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. As Earth Day approaches, begin or renew your commitment to a healthy planet and a healthy you. From alternative energy to sustainable gardening and from aquatic sports to Zumba, EcoDay promises hours of opportunities for you to try something new.
EcoDay activities will include the third Laudholm 5K, a volleyball tourney, a beach cleanup, and demonstrations or try-its for paddle surfing, kayaking, biking, fishing, hiking, geocaching, and yoga.
“The Wells Reserve is already a great place for exercise and connecting to nature,” said Diana Joyner, president of Laudholm Trust, the nonprofit that is offering EcoDay as a benefit for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. “By bringing in green businesses, conservation groups, and wellness practitioners, we hope to help people discover new ways to improve both their own quality of life and the quality of local environments.”
In the EcoDay keynote, Dr. John E. Carroll, professor of natural resources at the University of New Hampshire, will address food sustainability for New England. What is the future of local food? Is Maine on your dinner plate? Do you know your farmer? Dr. Carroll’s EcoDay presentation is sponsored by the Garden Club Federation of Maine.
EcoDay will have face painting, art projects, and other activities for kids, bluesy funk-rock music by Velourosaurus, giant kites flown by the Nor’easters Kite Flying Club and Kites Over New England, and good food and drink available for sale. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm also boasts miles of trails through a variety of habitats and an undeveloped sandy beach.
“Wells Reserve EcoDay will be as well suited to singles as it is to families,” Joyner explained. “It should be fun for everyone.”
In celebration of the Wells Reserve’s 25th anniversary, no admission will be charged for EcoDay, but free-will donations are welcomed.
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is located on Laudholm Farm Road, just off U.S. Route 1 near the Wells-Kennebunk line.