Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handeling The Holidays with Song

The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on Delaware, PA presented their 32nd Annual Holiday Community Sing In Concert on Tuesday December 21st featuring Handel‘s “Messiah.” The concert was presented in loving memory of Ruth Wesley Pearsall who passed away in 2010 at the age of 90. The evening proved to be a wonderful memorial to her life.

The playhouse filled itself to capacity as those who came to form an enormous community choir by lending their voices to it sought their places in seats specially designated for their vocal range. The spirit of the season was upon every as greetings of established and new friends inspired wonderful conversations as the orchestra began to take their place. The musicians who lent their talents to the concert included Wendy Davis (who served as Orchestra Mistress), Carol Kraemer, Brittany Smith, Chimene Reid, and Karl Viernstein on Violins, Betsy Buzzelli-Clarke (who served as the Orchestra Coordinator), Marsha Cahn, and Ellen Yorgey on Violas, Joshua Montgomery and Rachel Vowcicefski on Chellos, Dave Lantz on Bass, Jenny Collins (who served as an Accompanist) on Piano, Sarah Derrick on Oboe, Tim Eick on Trumpet (who provided a Trumpet Solo), and Steve Mathiesen on Timpani.

The excitement felt among the attendees in anticipation of the event gave way to Ginny Kirkridge as she stepped upon the stage to share her appreciation for everyone’s welcomed presence. It was soon afterwards that the evening’s conductor Terry Flatt took the stage to add his sentiments of gratitude along with some amusing antidotes to delight the audience. Soon, their anticipations transcended into bliss as the first notes from the Sacred Oratorio composed by G. H. Handel in 1741 were played.

The music and voices filling the playhouse also filled the souls of all who experienced it. Even those who are not touched with the gift of having a good singing voice (like me) felt the music permeate their very being bringing a sense of joy to it. This sensation was enhanced by the soloists who lent their exquisite voices to the concert. They included Sara Ferguson, Nicolas Gareca, Wendy Grice, Gary Grice, Marjorie Groenwald, Chris Henry, Rob Howwell, Dan Hoy, Christopher Joyce, Midge McClosky (ho serves as The Shawnee Playhouse‘s Executive Director), Dave Revelle, Tom Revelle, Dale Viernstein, and Michael Yasenchock.

As the evening came to it’s conclusion, the spirit of the concert lingered within the heart as everyone exited the building. Many who have attended the Sing In throughout the previous years have told me such a lingering sustains them through the entire and coming back each December recharges their spiritual batteries. I personally find this to be true as I’ve been going the past three years and feel a warm anticipation as the month takes its place on the calendar. You’ll find more photographs on The Forwardian Arts Society Music 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Shawnee Playhouse was built in 1904 by C.C. Worthington and became known as the Worthington Hall. It was designed to provide entertainment and educational benefit to residents and visitors of the area as local actors and actresses known as The Shawnee Players performed until World War II. In 1943, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians began to broadcast their famous radio programs from the Hall. Unfortunately, the Hall later fell into disuse.

It began a restoration period when the Kirkwood family purchased the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in 1978. The Worthington Hall has since become known as The Shawnee Playhouse and became well known for their theatrical productions and special events. The site has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and won the prestigious Phoenix Award, presented by the Society of American Travel Writers. Upcoming events and production include their Annual New year‘s Eve Show on Friday December 31st, their presentation of The Worthington Players Productions of their winners of their One Act Play Competition January 8th - 16th, and their presentation of The Kaleidoscope Players Production of “Who‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“ by Edward Albee January 22nd until February 6th. Please Contact The Shawnee Playhouse at 570-421-5093 or Explore their Website at www.theshawneeplayhouse.com for more information.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Holly Jolly Castle

The Shoppes at the Castle Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA held a Holiday Open House on Saturday December 18th featuring an opportunity to visit with Santa and join in some Christmas Caroling with Holly Avila of Planet Azul. The experience was a calming one as compared to those associated with larger shopping centers. This allowed shoppers to select their items in a relaxed pace and to chat with the store owners and/or those who created the item they are considering purchasing. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Special Events 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Castle Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA was originally built in 1906 and became known as a premier resort location throughout its illustrious history. It now offers a variety of shops providing an unique experience in their newly renovated establishment. They include The Tapestry Corner, Scarlet Ice Jewels, Juvenis Body Works, Sherri’s Bag n’ Bubbles. Camp Poconos, Vintage Baubles, Custom Creations, Ze3n Safari, Quench’s Juice and Smoothie Bar, Zoe’s Ice Cream Emporium, and The Olde Buggy Marketplace. A display of the work of Jose Santamaria was presented in the Castle Inn’s new gallery. Please Contact them at 917-861-2257 or explore their website at www.castleinndwg.com for more information.

Fiery Dreams Takes The Holidays at The Jukebox

The Main St. Jukebox in Stroudsburg, PA held their annual holiday celebration with “A Very Dream of Fire Christmas” on Friday December 17th. The festive event featured the band Dream of Fire along with numerous musical guest which made it a memorable evening. The conversation among the many who attended, the cookies, and the Pennsylvania Dutch Eggnog which was almost as kick ass as the music collaborated in bringing the spirit of joy and camaraderie the season is known for when it’s at its best.

The musical guests were introduced by Dream of Fire’s drummer Charlie Abriel who also accompanied the first band to perform which was The Eric J. Becker Experimental Experience Project Tour/Business Edition. Eric performed his original works on guitar along with Keith 'Kif' Haynes on Bass Guitar and Abby Braman of Dream of Fire on Banjo and Harmonica. Trombonist Joe Lynch of Dream of Fire joined the band for a song or two. The quality inherent in original songs composed by Eric along with his rendition of the Elvis Presley song “Blue Christmas” provided a foretaste of what was to come.

The foretaste provided by the Eric J. Becker Experimental Experience Project Tour/Business Edition led to a satisfying portion served by Blues Guitarist Randy Bigness who was joined by his daughter Kristin. They performed a series of Christmas favorites inviting the audience to join in. The good cheer of Randy and Kristin inspired a chorus of smiling faces to accept the invitation and their collective voices soon (as one fan put it) brought the house down.

Randy and Kristin Bigness’ performances was followed by Guitarist Johnny Rydell whose powerful voice echoed throughout the Jukebox and entered the soul of all who experienced it. He was followed by a solo performance of Keith 'Kif' Haynes of the Eric J. Becker Experimental Experience Project Tour/Business Edition which brought more enjoyment to the evening. But, this enjoyment didn’t end with his performance. It continued with that of Guitarist Ajax Rasputin who kicked some holiday butt and a high tech karaoke Duet given by Eric J. Becker and Kristy Galunic of Dream of Fire. The Duet utilized their Cell Phone devices to obtain music and lyrics to the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” held them to the microphone, and sang. Damn, they were good.

After a brief break, Dream of Fire took the Microphones. Those members of the band who already performed were joined by Lead Guitarist and Vocalist Jimmy Lee and Will McGrath on bass. There are many reasons why Dream of Fire has gained the reputation for being one of the best bands in the area and making it a favorite among many music lovers. Although none in attendance had forgotten those reasons, they were reminded of them nonetheless. This was especially true given the high quality standard of music presented prior to their performance.

To say a performance was great may suffice for any other band, but such an accolade doesn’t quite do justice for Dream of Fire. The songs are well structured, the vocal and musical interpretation is spot on, and their professionalism is par excellence. But, as good as these qualities are, people come to see this band not solely because of the music but to experience how the band performed it. In other words, they not only sing a song, they perform it. It’s not an easy distinction to make in the written word, but those who came out to The Main Street Jukebox found it a very easy one to make. You’ll find more photographs taken during the show in The Forwardian Arts Society Main St. Jukebox 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

In addition to Art Exhibitions, Concerts, and special shows, The Main Street Jukebox offers recordings made on CDs, Tapes, and Vinyl. Please Explore The Main St. Jukebox Website at www.myspace.com/mainstjukebox or call 570-424-2246 for more information about these events and all they have to offer.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Ambitious Cockroach

The Ambitious Cockroach
By Paul Adam Smeltz

There once was a cockroach who dreamed about climbing the Eiffel Tower. He would spend his nights staying awake planning his ascent predicting every step he would take in his endeavor. He knew he would receive great praise and recognition for his well planned feat and anticipated this as well.

However, once he connived his way to travel to Paris and stood before the enormous structure, it’s size overwhelmed him and he fell into despair. This was until an adorable little girl saw the cockroach. She looked into his eyes, gave a sympathetic smile, and stepped on him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Monkey Throve Tonight

The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA held a Closing Reception on Saturday December 11th for an exhibition to benefit the "THRIVE to Survive" Foundation. The well attended event featured a variety of artists whose work centered around the exhibition’s theme which was the color pink. The evening also featured music performed by Singer/Songwriter Eric J. Becker on Guitar along with Abby Braman who accompanied him on Banjo and Harmonica.

The original songs were also accompanied by some stories associated with them which added to the enjoyment of the performance. There was one song not written by Eric which was “Blue Christmas” which is well known for being sung by Elvis Presley. However, his treatment of the song humbled Elvis’ and other previous artists’ renditions of it.

The range of the visual works were equally impressive as they ranged from American Indian wall hangings to Japanese glass works to huge paintings and photography. The artists who participated in the exhibition includes William Mohlenhoff, Brianna Ace, Rendi, Laura Below, Morgan Crespo, Karalina Davis, Sherley Escribano, Denise VanNess, Ashley Zucker, Ka-Son Reeves, Helen Victoria (who curates the exhibition), John Kolbeck, Myke Maldonado, Chris Francz, Alexandra Carpenter, Alison Grey, Paul (yeah, that‘s me). Although the exhibition held its closing reception on December 11th, it will continue one more day until December 12th. This will give those who could not make the reception one final chance to place their bids on the pieces to help raise funds for The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Cheeky Monkey 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_art.

The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program was created is to increase breast cancer survivorship rates in our community. One of their goals is to build a new facility in which would serve the local female population in regards to the issues related to the condition and provide the appropriate treatment when the need arises. More information about The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program can be gained by exploring their website at www.poconohealthsystem.org or by contacting them at 570-476-3367. Please Contact Helen Vitoria at 484-221-3592 for more information on how you can make a donation by placing a bid on the work resented in the exhibition.

Other future events at The Cheeky Monkey include “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” which takes place every Thursday evening at 7pm and singer/songwriter Jeni Hackett on Friday December 17th. The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with events such as the one described in this article. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bedie Bye Time at The Sherman

The Sherman Community Gallery located within The Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on December 9th for their “Bedtime Stories” Exhibition. The exhibit was organized by The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) and the works presented were as varied in styles and techniques as were the artists who participated. The evening included musical performances by Guitarist Ritchie Murder and Keith 'Kif' Haynes who, while they performed separately, brought a smile to the faces of all who experienced them. They were followed by Billy Mack Collector who performed many songs while sitting on the Theatre’s Floor to the delight of the children (of all ages) who were invited to pick up an instrument and join in.

The artists who participated in the exhibit included Chris Francz, Myke Maldonado, Thomas Dillon, David Ohlerking, Arielle Sekula, Nickolas Barakso, Melissa Benzinger, Katie Hovencamp, James Gloria, Ka-Sone Reeves, Kari Nespola, Cenia Crespo, Malky Frii, Gennifer Gordon, and Marty Carr. The pieces in the show ranged from unique visual interpretations of classic storybook characters along with depictions of scenes of children having the doorways of their imaginations opened by the telling of such stories. There were also pieces not directly related to the show’s theme but one can imagine many children enter their dreams with such images in their head. The event also presented opportunities for attendees to explore their creativity by creating some Greeting Cards and Trading Cards. There was also a raffle whose proceeds would be utilized to install more hanging fixtures to accommodate artists wishing to participate in future shows.

It was a well attended event filled with great art, wild and wonderful music, and the kind of enchanting conversations destined to become the stuff of bedtime stores. The exhibition continues until February 1st. You’ll find more Photographs of the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) offers an opportunity for all creative people to explore, enhance, and share their talents. They offer weekly Artist Socials beginning 5pm held at The Starbucks Coffeehouse located in Stroudsburg, PA in which artists, photographers, musicians, and other at all skill levels are welcomed. The next exhibition scheduled for The Sherman Gallery will be titled “Reveries of Form: A Celebration of Women” featuring the photographic works of Sander Martijn. The Artist’s Reception will be Thursday February 10th with live music and a charity auction. The exhibition will conclude April 1st. Please Contact The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) at StroudsburgAreaArtAlliance@yahoo.com or explore their website on www.facebook.com/StroudsburgAreaArtAlliance for more information.

The Sherman Theatre was built in the 1920s and now is equipped to present many of today’s biggest shows offering a full bar along with the sound, comfort, and historic feel of their incredible performance venue. Their next presentations include Patent Pending as part of their Independent Rock Series on Friday December 17th, their Annual Christmas Jam on Saturday December 18th, and Wu-Tang Clan on Saturday January 1st. Please Contact The Sherman Theatre at 570-420-2808 or Explore their Website at www.shermantheatre.com for more information.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The 2010 ESU Winter Choral Concert

The East Stroudsburg University of PA presented their Music Department’s 2010 Winter Choral Concert on Wednesday December 8th in The Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall at their Fine and Performing Arts Center. The program consisted of performances given by the A Cappella Ensemble and The Concert Choir under the direction of Prof. James Maroney with Pauline Fox serving as musical accompanist. The well attended event featured the voices derived from members of the campus community along with those individuals residing in the surrounding area.

Although those who participated in the program came from many different places and experiences, their common love for music and vocal performance united them into one voice with each variation complimenting its tonal qualities. This love served to enhance the selection of compositions selected for the evening’s presentation which ranged from the A Cappella Ensemble’s rendition of the combined traditional pieces titled, “Amazing Grace” and “Promised Land” with a soloist performance given by Karen Guilliams to the Classical pieces sung by the entire choir such as “Lux Autumque” composed by Eric Whitacre. The number of those lending their voices were too many to attempt naming in this article, but those who are reading this article and were part of this choral event are welcomed to share their experiences and reflections of the concert. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Music 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Future concerts and recitals presented by The East Stroudsburg University of PA Department of Music will include their Winter Band Concert on Monday December 13th at 7:30pm and a Student Voice Recitals featuring the students of James Maroney and Wendy Grice on Tuesday December 14th. Rehearsals for the Spring 2011 Semester Choral Performance begin Tuesday January 18th and all those who would like to participate in the program are welcomed to attend. The performance will take place Wednesday April 27th. Please contact The East Stroudsburg University Department of Music at 570-422-3483 for more information.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Even Dreamlands Gets The Blues

The Dreamland Creations in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists Reception on Sunday December 5th which featured the work of numerous artists for their exhibition titled, “The Blue Show.” As with all their themed shows, Dreamland Creations encouraged artists to devise their own interpretation to what the concepts to the color blue or the emotional state to which it’s associated with entail. As always, this led to an array of styles and approaches to the theme which included some images simply captaining blue coloring while other contained some soul searching themes inspiring those who experienced them to remain reflective throughout the reception and beyond.

The reception concluded with a performance by guitarist Fred Kresge whose bluesy approach to some classic rock and jazz standards complimented the reception by adding an audible voice to the work. His presentation of the songs was simple which gave them the power to penetrate the senses of all who heard them. Many who did so found themselves looking at the works displayed upon the Dreamland’s walls in a new way. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Dreamland Creations 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Those artists participating in “The Blue Show” include Rendi, Helen Victoria, Denise J., J. J. Schutz, Don Menza, Cenia Crespo, Shane Izykowski, Abby Braman, Will Daskel, Thomas Augusta, Thomas Lefevre, Allison Gray, Michael Cooke, J. A. S., Brianna Ace, Brittany Heimorle, Ashley Mytyk, John Kobeck, M. J. S., Marcia Flammonde, Anna Marie Hendricks, Myke Maldonado, Sander Martijn, Noel Leas, Victoria Penna, Ka-Son Reeves, Hatter Marie, Arielle Sekula, Dean Cash, and Paul (yeah, that‘s me). The Exhibition continues until January 3rd.

The Dreamland Creations in Stroudsburg, PA serves as a studio where individuals can adorn their forms with a variety of body art such as tattoos and piercing reaching out to the vast community of conventional and non mainstream artists throughout the area. Their next Artists’ Reception will feature artists well known to those who visit in an exhibition titled, “The Dreamland Art Show.” The reception will take place Sunday January 9th beginning at 4pm. The Exhibition will continue until February 1st. Please Explore The Dreamland Creations Website at www.myspace.com/dreamlandcreations or call 570-421-6313 for more information about the artists, the current and future exhibitions, and all they have to offer.

Hendricks and Sekula at The Jukebox

The Main Street Jukebox in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artist’s Reception featuring The Artwork of Arielle Sekula and Ana Maria Hendricks on Saturday December 4th. A sizable crowd gathered to partake of the varied images depicted upon the canvases. Although the two artists differed in style and technique, the pairing together of their work proved to be complimentary to one another.

Among the excellently crafted pieces, there are two that struck me in a profound way. The first was a piece created by Ana Maria Hendricks titled, “Unfinished Fantasy.” The title’s association to the work was quite evident as it did appear to have some unfinished qualities to it. However, upon deeper reflection, I began to wonder about fantasies and if, by their very nature, are meant to be unfinished.

One can say a fantasy is finished when it becomes a reality and in many respects that’s true. However, regardless whether the fulfillment of a fantasy results in a pleasurable or disappointing result, a fantasy dies in the process. This is because reality as a finite quality to it. It can be built upon since it is a part of life and the living of it, but not nearly to the same degree a fantasy can be. There is a very ethereal quality to fantasies not reliant on the dimensions of the physical world. This leave one contemplating which experience one really prefer.

The other painting that caught my attention was the piece titled, “Grunge” by Arielle Sekula. It is one of the fascinating works that has the ability to change depending upon the angle in which one is looking at it. It depicts a woman crawling out of what appears to be a hole. If the viewer stands at a distance from the piece, it appears she is following and coming closer with each effort. This gave a sense of eeriness and I found myself looking over my shoulder while I walked down the street after the reception was completed.

Music for the evening was provided by The Eric J. Becker Experimental Experience Project Tour/Business Edition whose original songs enhanced the evening. Those who have seen Eric perform in several venues including the Open Mic Nite he host at The Starbucks on Sunday Evenings were met by many familiar tunes. However, it was a special treat to encounter some new works which transcended the qualities of the older ones. A band consisting of Abby Braman on Banjo and Harmonica, Keith 'Kif' Haynes on Bass Guitar, and Charlie Abriel on Drums brought a musical depth to the songs Eric sang while playing his guitar. The quality of the performance left me a bit surprised the group has yet to record a CD and it is hope they’ll consider doing so as many would be eager for its release. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Main St. Jukebox 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

In addition to Art Exhibitions and Concerts, The Main Street Jukebox offers recordings made on CDs, Tapes, and Vinyl. The Artwork of Arielle Sekula and Ana Maria Hendricks Exhibition continues until December 26th. Information on the Next Exhibition has yet to be released. Please Explore The Main St. Jukebox Website at www.myspace.com/mainstjukebox or call 570-424-2246 for more information about these events and all they have to offer.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Monkey Off the Tracks

The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA hosted a Comedy Night on Friday December 3rd presented by The Off Track Players. The comedy troupe featured local comedians Joseph Carnevale, Kevin Cronk, Penny Dee, Anthony DiSanto, Matt Duffin, and Tiffani Thompson who showcased their talents in a variety of sketches, monologues, and improvisational games which amused their audience. Audience members were invited to participate in this an other aspects of the show which enhanced the delight of experiencing it.

These games included one called, “ABC” in which a location was selected by the audience and each performer had to begin their sentence in alphabetical order in relation to where they were. Another game consisted of a member of the troupe stepping outside while the Audience selected the identity of a famous person he or she was to become when they re entered. It was up to the comedian to guess his or her identity after receiving a series of clues.

It was a fun night out and a great opportunity to hear some original work by local comics. The next Comedy Night at The Cheeky Monkey featuring The Off Track Players is scheduled for Friday January 14th beginning at 7pm. You’ll find more photographs taken during the December 3rd event in The Forwardian Arts Society Cheeky Monkey 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Off-Track Comedy Players offer a plethora of comedic and non-comedic services (including live-action murder mystery shows) and are available for resorts, clubs as well as private or public events. Prior to Friday January 14th engagement at The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse, they’ll be appearing at The Daniels Family Resort in Canadensis, PA on Friday December 17th. Please Explore The Off-Track Comedy Players Website at www.offtrackcomedy.com or Call 570-486-6787 for more information.

Other future events at The Cheeky Monkey include The “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” events which take place every Thursday evening at 7pm, a Closing Reception on Saturday December 11th for an exhibition to benefit the "Thrive to Survive" Foundation, and a concert featuring singer/songwriter Jeni Hackett on Friday December 17th beginning at 6pm. The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with events such as the one described in this article. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Music for Children at ESU

The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA Department of Music presented a Children Concert on Wednesday December 1st in The Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall located in The Fine and Performing Arts Building on the ESU Campus. The program featured the University/Community Orchestra under the direction of Betsy Buzzelli-Clark who also performed as one of the program’s pianist along with Robert Miller. Otis French Conducted the Orchestra while Terry Flatt accompanied the music by serving as the stories’ Narrator.

Those among the campus and surrounding community who lent their musical talents to the program included Brittany Smith, Stephen Kozak, Lauren Noyes, Kelly Oxman, Christina Piserchio, Kim Cocuzza, Deb Esposito, Ashley A. Jones, Joan Nolan, Jennifer Wierzba, and Brittany Wolfe on Violin, Kinsey Buchanan, Celeste Hylton-James, and Maria Vecchio on Viola, Joshua Montgomery, Virginia Parry, Mathew Smith, Rachel Vowcicefski, Hannah Wallner, and Charles Whitaker on Cello, Clarissa Gallo on Bass, Dianneliz Garcia on Flute, Sarah Derrick on Oboe, Marta Oberlin and Lucas Watson on Clarinet, Laura Goss on Bassoon, Jenny Galunic, Richard Severe, and Brian Miller on Horns, Laura Housley on Trumpet, and Bernie Perlman and Jean Sandberg on Percussion.

The program included “The Carnival of the Animals” composed by Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) and “Peter and the Wolf” composed by Serge Prokofieff (1891-1953). I couldn’t stay for the whole performance, but what I experienced was enjoyable as was also evident in the smiles on the faces of numerous children in the audience. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Music 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Future concerts and recitals presented by The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA Department of Music will include their Winter jazz Concert on Sunday December 5th at 7pm, their Winter Choral Concert on Wednesday December 8th at 7:30pm, their Winter Band Concert on Monday December 13th at 7:30pm, and Student Voice Recitals featuring the students of James Maroney and Wendy Gice on Tuesday December 14th. Please contact The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Department of Music at 570-422-3483 for more information.

A Review of the Arts at ESU

The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA Art Department held an Artists’ Reception on Wednesday December 1st to showcase the works created by those students who attended their Fall 2010 Fine Arts and Art and Design Classes. The reception featured a gallery talk by Joseph Castronuova who shared the many influences which could be discovered in is work. The reception also served as an opportunity to present scholarships awarded by The ESU Society of the Arts to students who not only excelled in the visual arts, but those who do so in the performing (such as Music, Dance, and Theatre) as well.

A variety of styles and approaches were represented throughout the Madelon Powers Gallery which is located in The Fine and Performing Arts Building on the ESU Campus. The students’ youthful excitement of discovering new techniques to express their creativity was not only seen in their works but also permeated the fascinated smiles of those among the many attendees who experienced them. It was an enjoyable evening filled with wonderful art, conversation, and food.

Along with Joseph Castronuova who gave the gallery talk, other equally talented artists participating in the exhibition in the main gallery included Maria Sorrentino, Jacqueline Barainyak, Samantha Dalton, Ben Koch, Greg Sims, Jessica Van Orden, Heather DeMeglio, Shanaya Williams, Agnetta Krechner, Jessica Moran, Nick Gemenek, Matthew Zullo, Kathleen Muir, Brandon Key, Alyssa Kopf, Issain Alachem, Lauriel Gingrich, Nicholas Nieves, Kelly Barrieres, Alma Barrantes, Abby Oxford, John Grima, Michael Marshall, Nicole Thomas, Amy Cummiskey, Dominick Frabizio, Shanna Bridglal, Erinn Gittens, Austin Baxter, Megan Dimler, Eric Cuevas, Samm Garcia, Chris Delturrondo, Drew Dvorsky, John Carroll, Jackie Eichelberger, Lindsay Godin, Kyle Petzoldt, Janelle, Roache, Paulette Nelson, Kelsey Sutliff, Monicaq Gombita, and Cassie Kleppinger. Additional work were also on display on the upper level of the gallery. The Artists presented included Ebony Fenstermaker, Bethany Wert, Jason Dolinsky, Kari Fish, Meghan Ragard, Kaylee Nayman, Angelina Fregoni, Yash Rao, Steve Mack, Emily Lesoine, Meg Nicholson, Gavin Macrine, Dillion Geer, Erika Erdmann, and Gina Castianni.

As mentioned earlier, the reception provided an opportunity to award students for their contribution to the arts through their talents. These included Maria Sorrentino for her accomplishments in the Visual Arts, Jessica Davis for her accomplishments in the art of Dance, Noam Frishman for his accomplishments in the art of Music, and Erin Lanza for her accomplishments in the Theatrical Arts. The faculty members who presented the awards were Betsy Buzzelli-Clark of the ESU Department of Music, Stephanie Davertry-French of the ESU Theatre Department, Darlene Farris-LaBar of the ESU Art Department, and Elizabeth Gibbons of the ESU Dance Department. Some special remarks were made by Miharu Lane, Margaret Ball, Susan O'Hearn, and University President Robert J. Dillman. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The exhibition continues until December 10th. Future exhibitions presented by The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of PA Art Department will include “Images” featuring the works of Sharon Bartman and David Coulter February 1st - March 4th, The Art Association All University Student Juried Art Exhibit March 17th - April 12th, and The Senior Seminar and Portfolio in Art Student Exhibition April 20th - May 4th. Please contact The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Art Department at 570-422-3695 for more information.

Theatrical Review: Electra

Theatrical Review: Electra
Written by: Sophocles (c. 496 BCE - 405 BCE)
Adaptation by: Frank McGuinness
Directed by: Susan P. O’ Hearn
Theatrical Review by: Paul Adam Smeltz

The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Department of Theatre and Stage II presented their production of “Electra” written by Sophocles who is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived to this day. The others are Aeschylus and Euripides who also wrote a version of the “Electra” story which was presented on the ESU Stage in 1986. Of the three, Sophocles is noted for his many influences on the art of theatrical presentation. These include introducing a third actor to the dialogue which helped move the plot along reducing the importance of the chorus to do so.

The setting for this production of Sophocles’ “Electra” is placed in a mental institution which enhances the play’s thematic element of pain by adding a psychological dimension to it. The characters are seen early in the play as the institution’s inmates encouraging the audience to examine the nature of each character through a prism of insanity. This is made much easier as the considerable talents of each actor subtly reminds the audience their character is touched with insanity and everything they say and do are subject to their condition.

This is most notable through the delivery of the lines given by many of the actors. At first, their delivery seems forced with too much emotional emphasis on certain phrases and words. However, once the environment they’re in is realized, such an approach become an appropriate one. A less notable reminder is when some characters delivered their lines in a more “normal” tone but even here one can see something peculiar in their eyes and mannerisms which betray their airs of normality. All this involves the audience even deeper into the play as it heightens their perception of all they are witnessing because the performances are physiologically confusing. In other words, it gets into your head.

There is, however, one notable exception. The character Chrythothemis (as portrayed by Erin Lanza) can be considered the only sane one in the bunch. She serves as a counterpoint to the other characters which allows us to see the deeper motivations which lead to their behaviors and perceptions. Her voice of reason is often met with accusations by her sister Electra (as portrayed by Shannon Leah Christmann) of being insane which heralds back to a well know proposition, “If there is only one sane person in an insane world, would that person be deemed sane?”

The character Chrythothemis is not the only voice of reason Electra hears. The chorus, which consisted of Alexandria Bellivan, Michelle Jones (who also served the production as one of its scenic artists and carpenters), Kimberly Konczos, and Jenny Liriano, often reminds Electra many of the wounds she suffers from are self inflicted and it would be wiser to stop injuring herself by letting go of the thoughts and behaviors of others. But, she ignores such heeding since she embraces her pain like a security blanket and only acknowledges the choral beseechments when she wants to confront them in order to justify the resentments she relives with every compounding thought. Although we see the chorus upon the stage with Electra, we wonder if they’re physically there or are they the voices of wellness within her head.

The play has its roots in an act that occurred soon after the Trojan war ended. The King of the city state of Argos named “Agamemnon” was a Greek Ally during the war and was instrumental in securing their victory. Upon his triumphant return home, he was killed by his wife Clytemnestra (as portrayed by Samantha Crawn) and her lover, Agamemnon’s cousin Aegisthus (as portrayed by Christian Monturuno), while taking a bath. This act was committed partly because they wanted to usurp his throne but the main reason was because Agamemnon sacrificed his and Clytemnestra’s infant daughter, Iphigenia, to assure military success in Troy and Clytemnestra wanted to revenge her death. Fearing for her twin brother’s, Orestes (as portrayed by Joey Dougherty), life, Electra rescues him by sending him to Strophius of Phocis with a servant (as portrayed by Luke Thomas Swierczek who also served as one of the production’s Carpenters).

The play itself takes place years later when an adult Orestes returns to Argos with his friend Pylades (as portrayed by Paul Ceni) and the servant with a plot revenge his father’s death and to claim the throne. Part of this plot is to weave a yarn in which Orestes has died in a chariot accident and delivery of an urn with his remains will take place soon. The object of this deception is to allow entry of Orestes and Pylades into the home so they may exact their murderous revenge.

The story of Orestes' revenge was a popular subject in the Ancient Greek tragedies and it loses little of its impact in the modern era. This is especially true when productions like the one occurring on the ESU stage breathes new life into the work though imaginative settings and talented actors who approach the play and all its implications fearlessly. This production of Sophocles’ “Electra” can be held as an example of the well earned reputation of quality theater The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Department of Theatre and the student theatrical club Stage II has gained throughout the years.

The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Department of Theatre and Stage II production of “Electra” by Sophocles as adapted by Frank McGuinness was Directed by Susan P. O’ Hearn. The Production was Stage Managed by Melissa Sherry who also served as the production’s Scenic Artist. She was assisted by Karen Guilliams and Katie Dembesky who both also served among the production‘s Carpentry Crew. Yoshinori Tanokura designed the set as assisted by Gillian Reinartz and Costumes as assisted by Felicia Revero (who also was a part of the Carpentry Crew) and Ahleea Zama. The Lighting was designed by David Dougherty, and Michael Thomas was the production’s Technical Director. Meg Dowling was the production’s Light Board Operator and a Carpenter while Marie Steeger served as the production’s Sound Designer and Board Operator with Albert P. Borges who served as the Sound Editor.

The production’s Master Carpenter and Shop Foreman was Robert McIntyre. The Property Master Shamus Halloran who was assisted by Elyse Burnett and Kelsey Pulzone. The Production’s Electricians were Michelle Tuite who also served as a part of the Carpentry Crew and as one of the Scenic Artists and Tim Hahn. Stephanie Clare was part of the running crew. Members of the Carpentry Crew not already mentioned were Jackie Knollhauff and Merrill McGuinness. The House Manager was Tiffany Cruz, the Box Office Manager was Jessica Pachuta, and the Poster and Program Cover Design for the production was done by Lauren Moffett.

This production of “Electra” by Sophocles will continue its run at The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) in East Stroudsburg, PA at The University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center in it’s Smith-McFarland Theatre until December 5th and is recommended for those who are want to see excellent theatre that is fearless in its approach to the art. Future productions include The 2011 Stage II Student Directed One-Act Plays to be presented February 8th - 13th featuring A Tennessee William Festival consisting of the works titled, “The Pink Bedroom,” “The Lady of Larkspur Lotion,” “Auto da-fe,” and “This Property is Condemned.” The East Stroudsburg University Department of Theatre will also present their production of Noel Cowards “Blithe Spirit” April 12th - 17th. Please contact The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Theatre Department at 570-422-3483 for more information and to reserve your ticket.

No Photographs were provided.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Incubus Grows In Stroudsburg

The Forwardian Arts Society held their final Film Lovers’ Gathering for 2010 at The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA on Friday November 19th. The event included a free screening of the film, “Incubus” (aka Inkubo). Although the attendance was very low, the gathering was an enjoyable experience.

“Incubus” (aka Inkubo) was made in 1965 and was shown in subtitles with it’s dialogue spoken in Esperanto which was created in 1887 by Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof who was a Russian-Jewish ophthalmologist. The language was constructed in order to foster harmony between people from different countries. This didn’t quite happen, but some primary schools teach it as preparation for learning other foreign languages.

The film was directed by Leslie Stevens who created The Outer Limits television series in 1963 and starred William Shatner shortly before he began working on the Star Trek Series in 1966. The film’s premiere took place at the San Francisco Film Festival in 1966 because many of the attendees were prone watching films with subtitles. However, several Esperanto enthusiasts "screamed and laughed" at the actors' poor pronunciation of the language and the filmmakers were unable to find distribution for the film except in France. The film was considered lost in a fire until a very deteriorated version was found and restored in 2001. Due to numerous hardships visited upon many members of the cast, the film was considered cursed.

These hardships include the actor who played the Incubus killing his girlfriend, Barbara Ann Thomason Rooney (the estranged fifth wife of Mickey Rooney) and himself in 1966, an actress committing suicide less than a year after the film wrapped, the daughter of another actress was kidnapped and murdered, and the director’s production company (Daystar Productions) went bankrupt. Even the success William Shatner found through his portrayal of Captain Kirk left him typecast to the character leaving his subsequent career somewhat lacking. The one notable exception to the curse would be of film’s cinematographer Conrad Hall whose work on the films “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “American Beauty,” and “Road to Perdition” won him Academy Awards.

The film is about a solder (played by William Shatner) who returns from war as a wounded hero. He and his sister comes to the village of Nomen Tuum which has a well that can heal the sick. The well also has cosmetic effects which can make people more beautiful. This quality of the well attracts many vain individuals and this attracts some succubi (agents of the God of Darkness) who lead them to their deaths in order to send their souls to Hell. All is working well for the succubi until one becomes ambitious and tires of easy prey.

She yearn for the desire to turn a pure soul over to their master and embarks upon doing so with the William Shatner Character in spite of warnings of her sister succubi. Her insistence leads her to the cottage the soldier and his sister lives and, after a cordial get together during a solar eclipse, she lures him away to tempt him from his purity while his sister goes blind while watching the celestial event through her naked eyes. It is during her temptations, the vain succubus becomes overwhelmed by her prey’s innocence and falls in love with him.

This is seen as a spiritual violation by the succubus and her sister tantamount to rape. The sisters summon their brother (The Incubus) from the depths of Hell to help them exact their revenge. They do so by luring the soldier’s sister into their unholy dwelling in which the Incubus rapes her in a Satanic wedding ritual. The violated succubus then embarks on exacting her revenge directly upon the soldier by creating the stage for him to discover his sister’s rape and killing her brother (The Incubus) thus tarnishing his soul with the sin of murder making it easier to send him to Hell.

This goes as planed until the soldier (dieing from his wounds gained in battle with the Incubus) become so filled with remorse for his deed that he devotes his soul to God in order to become redeemed and falls to the floor of a church he enters. Although she is unable to enter the church. The soldier’s actions lead the succubus to fall in love with him again. Her brother (The Incubus) turns into a goat and attacks her. She survives by proclaiming her soul now belongs to God and the film ends with her crawling into the church to grasps the soldier’s hand.

As mentioned earlier, the gathering wasn’t well attended, but the film was an enjoyable one to watch. It was fun to watch William Shatner speak in Esperanto which made one wonder if everything he does would be better with subtitles. As also eluded to earlier, film’s cinematography was beautifully shot which allowed it to transcend the qualities of the script and acting which were sometime lacking. It was pleasantly surprising how well the film looked while remembering all the physical damage it received prior to its restoration.

The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are manifesting their dreams through performances and/or presentations, and by loving them and all they do. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at www.theforwardianartssociety.com for more information about the fellowship and all it has to offer.

The Next Film Lovers’ Gathering of The Forwardian Arts Society will take place in April 2011 when our active season for gatherings and other events resume. It is hoped we’ll begin our season with some original worked created by some local filmmakers. More details about this and how filmmakers can participate will be shared later.

In addition to The Forwardian Arts Society Gatherings, The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with other events for the public to enjoy. These include their exhibition being shown until December 12th to benefit the "Thrive to Survive" Foundation in their research for cancer cures and treatments, a Comedy Night scheduled for Friday December 3rd beginning at 7pm and their “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” events which take place every Thursday evening at 7pm. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Theatrical Review: “It‘s a Wonderful Life”

Theatrical Review: “It‘s a Wonderful Life”
Book, Music, and Lyrics by: Thomas M. Sharkey
Directed and Choreographed by: Dan Gaouette
Theatrical Review by: Paul Adam Smeltz

The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on the Delaware, PA is currently presenting their production of the musical version of “It‘s a Wonderful Life” written by Thomas M. Sharkey. The play is based upon the 1946 classic Frank Capra film of the same name which was based upon a short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern titled, "The Greatest Gift." Both the short story and film are very similar (but not identical), but their most striking secularity is they were not all that popular when they were first presented.

However, the Capra film became a holiday classic due to the magic of incessant Television Seasonal Broadcasts while the short story has (with few exceptions) entered the realm of virtual obscurity. This is somewhat unfortunate as the Short Story has a few nuances the film doesn’t contain. This makes it a bit of an interesting work to visit and read but the cinematic mastery of Frank Capra enhances the story through the use of the tools available in the medium.

For those of you who haven’t had access to a television for the last 30 years, here is the basic storyline to the film. It begins with George Bailey who is on a bridge considering suicide. An angel, who hasn’t yet earned his wings, is sent to rescue him by granting his wish to never have been born. This allows the angle to show George what life would be like for his family and friends if his considerably good deeds and influence would never had touched their lives. George then wishes to be returned to existence in which his realization “It’s a Wonderful Life” is renewed and the angle (presumably) gets his wings. This musical version of the film reflects all its elements minus much of the cinematic magic that eventually made it a classic.

While it’s true something always gets lost while translating a work from one medium to another, there should be some endeavor made to enhance the original work through the tools the medium the work is being transcribed to has to offer. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, if a filmmaker or playwright is unable to do so, he/she should leave the original work alone with all the good memories of it intact. Adding mostly forgettable songs doesn’t do the trick.

Although it may be considered unfair to compare this musical version (and there has been a few of them) of “It’s a wonderful Life” to the film, it should be considered the film is very well known and it’s doubtful the play would have been written if it wasn’t for the desire to be associated with it. After all, it’s not solely based upon the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern and it isn’t titled, "The Greatest Gift." This may have made the play a much more interesting one to experience but the only reason similarities to the short story exist is because they existed in the film.

However, in spite all the misgivings this reviewer has in regards to the translation of the film to this theatrical work, the talent of many of the actors who performed in it brought a new life to the familiar characters which made it a nice time at the theater. These actors included Brian Bowman who portrayed George Bailey, Kara Snyder who portrayed Mary Hatch Bailey, Scott E. McIntosh who portrayed Clarence Oddbody (the Angel), Brandon Hanks who portrayed Joseph and Potter’s man, Ray Papay who portrayed Uncle Billy, Jenell Manzi who portrayed Mother Bailey, Sara Ferguson who portrayed Violet Bick, Dante Giammarco who portrayed Henry Potter, Jim Lynch who portrayed Harry Bailey, Rob Eilenberger Howell who portrayed Mr. Gower, Steve Rau who portrayed Bert, David Schappert who portrayed Ernie, and the role of ZuZu was double cast by Chelsea Cirillo and Leah Beairsto. The remainder of the cast consisted of an ensemble who included Kiera Arneaud, Hannah Beairsto, Sarah Beairsto, Alyssa Beveridge, Justine Curcio, Brigitte Endrulat, Krystal Endrulat, Jillian Garvey, Chris Grape-Garvey, Emily Guzman, Beckie Herb, Julia Lofblad, Jadyn Rome Lynah, Gryffin Pedersen, Sarah Principe, Hannah Rau, Kristopher Sanchez, Julia Rose Vecchio, Elizabeth Wagner, Grant Wagner, Griffin Wagner, Joshua Wagner, and Samantha Wagner.

The Shawnee Playhouse production of “It‘s a Wonderful Life” by Thomas M. Sharkey was Directed and Choreographed by Dan Gaouette and Staged Managed by Aubrey Boyd. Scot Cleaveland served as the Production’s Scenic Designer with Marshall Haskel serving the production as its Technical Director and Lighting Designer. Amy Rau served the production as its Music Director and Sound technician while Missy Benefield served as its costumer. Kevin Hillman served as the production’s Property Master. The Shawnee Playhouse producers are Ginny and Charlie Kirkwood with Midge McClosky serving as the playhouse’s Executive Director. The Box Office Manager is Mary Horn as assisted by Barbara Ross, Christina McManus, Pam Hudak, and Ariel Hudak. Becky Haskell serves as The Shawnee Playhouse’s Sales and Marketing Director.

Although the Thomas M. Sharkey theatrical presentation of the Frank Capra 1946 Classic film pales in comparison, the overall production at The Shawnee Playhouse was well done and presented some very good acting. It’s not what this reviewer considers to be the best theatrical presentation the playhouse has produced, but it does manage to bring a holiday smile to the face and eyes of its audience. Perhaps, in retrospect, this is a great gift to those who just want enjoy a nice time at the theater so they can realize how wonderful life can be.

This production of “It‘s a Wonderful Life” continues its run at The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on the Delaware, PA until December 19th. Their current “Mark Mysterrio’s Tales of Magic and Mystery for Kids” is being presented until December 28th. The Shawnee Playhouse upcoming presentations and productions include their Children Productions of “A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Carol” November 19th - December 18th and “Kids’ Kabaret” December 28th and 29th, The Northeast Ballet Ensemble production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s “The Nutcracker” December 6th - 26th, and The Shawnee Playhouse Annual “Messiah Sing In Concert” on Tuesday December 21st.

Those who enjoy the Passionate Art Lover level of membership in The Forwardian Arts Society are offered a $3.00 discount off the admission fee of The Shawnee Playhouse Productions (excluding Children Theatrical Productions and those presented by non Shawnee Production Companies). Please Explore The Shawnee Playhouse Website at www.theshawneeplayhouse.com or call 570-421-5093 for more information about their productions and to reserve your ticket.

Photograph provided by The Shawnee Playhouse and depicts the characters in The Shawnee Playhouse’s Production of “It‘s a Wonderful Life” by Thomas M. Sharkey.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mindful Abstractions at The PCT

The Pocono Community Theater (PCT) in East Stroudsburg, PA held Artists’ Receptions on Saturday November 13th in their Front and Back Galleries. The Front Gallery is located in the main lobby area of the theater and featured an exhibition titled, "The Abstract Show." It presented the works of Susan Bradford, Brienne Rosner, Denise Mckellick, Andrea Levergood, and Christine Griffin. The Back Gallery can be found along the corridor leading the theater’s screening rooms two and three. This Exhibition is titled, "Mindscapes" presenting the work of photographer Endel Uiga. Both Exhibitions began November 7th and continues until January 9th.

The afternoon brought a modest number of art lovers out to The Pocono Community Theater which was somewhat unfortunate as the work deserved more of a audience. The work was pleasing to the eye and many had the ability to reach into the mind altering the viewers’ perceptions of everyday reality. The conversation was quite congenial with topics as abstract as the work depicted upon the walls. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Pocono Community Theater 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Besides exhibitions like the one described in this article, The Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg, PA presents a number of special events designed to enhance the creative needs of the community. These include book discussion groups, concerts, and screenings of original work. This is in addition to presenting films for discerning movie goers to enjoy which are not commonly shown in larger venues.

The next special event to be presented at The Pocono Community Theater will be their 2nd Anniversary on Sunday November 14th. It’ll begin at 7pm featuring performances given by Bob Dorough and Regina Sayles. It will also feature a spoken word performance given by Urban Mountain Voices and a Youth Infusion presentation of the student-made anti-bullying documentary titled, “BeNoBull.” Please Explore The Pocono Community Theater Website at www.poconocommunitytheater.org or Contact them at 570-421-3456 for more information.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thriving at The Monkey

The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Friday November 12th for an exhibition to benefit the "THRIVE to Survive" Foundation. The well attended event featured a variety of artists whose work centered around the exhibition’s theme which was the color pink. The evening also featured music performed by Singer/Songwriter Jeni Hackett who provided her audience with a listing of songs they were invited to circle their favorites so she may sing them during her set. This enhanced the event as many added their internal voice to the familiar choruses while she taught their hearts some new one through her original works.

The range of the visual works were equally impressive as they ranged from American Indian wall hangings to Japanese glass works to huge paintings and photography. The artists who participated in the exhibition includes William Mohlenhoff, Brianna Ace, Rendi, Laura Below, Morgan Crespo, Karalina Davis, Sherley Escribano, Denise VanNess, Ashley Zucker, Ka-Son Reeves, Helen Victoria (who curates the exhibition), John Kobek, Myke Maldonado, Chris Francz, Alexandra Carpenter, Alison Grey, Paul (yeah, that‘s me). The exhibition continues until December 12th. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Cheeky Monkey 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Proceeds from the sale of the work presented at The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse will go to The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program which was created is to increase breast cancer survivorship rates in our community. One of their goals is to build a new facility in which would serve the local female population in regards to the issues related to the condition and provide the appropriate treatment when the need arises. More information about The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program can be gained by exploring their website at www.poconohealthsystem.org or by contacting them at 570-476-3367.

As mentioned before, funds for The Pocono Medical Center’s THRIVE to Survive Program are raised through the sale of the donated works. This is done through a silent auction in which visitors to The Cheeky Monkey can write their bid for each piece on a form found on the wall adjacent to the one they’re interested in purchasing. This can be done until the closing date of the show which is December 12th and the item will be available for pickup on that date. Please Contact Helen Vitoria at 484-221-3592 for more information.

Other future events at The Cheeky Monkey include “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” which takes place every Thursday evening at 7pm. The event is free and open to all who love the written word. The Forwardian Arts Society will hold a Film Lovers Gathering at the Cheeky Monkey on Friday November 19th at 7pm featuring the 1965 film titled, “Incubus” starring William Shatner. The event is free and open to all who love the art of film. There will be a discussion period after the screening in which The Cheeky Monkey offers a free crepe with a purchase of a beverage to the attendees. The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with events such as the one described in this article. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Faithful Gather at The Dreamlands

The Dreamland Creations in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists Reception on Sunday November 7th which featured the work of numerous artists for their exhibition titled, “The Religion and Spirituality Show.” As with all their themed shows, Dreamland Creations encouraged artists to devise their own interpretation to what the concepts of Religion and Spirituality along with all their divinations/deviations mean to them. This led to an array of styles and approaches to the theme which included some profoundly soul touching work along with some healthy blasphemous pieces inviting each viewer to examine their own faith without the presumptions society and institutionalized entities have placed upon them.

Those who attended the Artists’ Reception were greeted by a quality of work faithful to the gallery’s usual astounding standard of creative excellence. The work presented ranged from very simple depictions of images which allowed the viewer to focus on the subject without any unwanted distractions to those whose appropriate complexities drew one in until the experience of the work included themselves. The approaches in regards to creating the work also had its own range. Some artists chose to utilize the traditional methods such as the use of oil and acrylic paints to form their visions while others explored alternative methods enhancing the originality of their pieces.

The reception concluded with a performance by the Heavy Metal band Nu Prosta Kaif whose industrial strength sounds shook the halls of the gallery adding to the irrational energies of the pieces. Their songs and performance style proved to be intoxicating which caused many to be delightfully inebriated throughout the set. In other words, it was a great way to end the evening which inspired many to eagerly await the next exhibition in December. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Dreamland Creations 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

Those artists participating in “The Religion and Spirituality Show” include Rendi, Helen Victoria, Rob and Denise VanNess, J. J. Shlutz, Don Menza, Narlene Jacobs, Sherley Escribano, Abby Braman, Andrew Collenburg, Mark Purcell, Judy Zarach, Allison Gray, Michael Cooke, J. A. S., Brianna Ace, Brandi G. Merritt, Diane Paulhamus, Heather Hummel, Laura Below, Richard Soezzano, Marcia Flammonde, Anna Marie Hendricks, Myke Maldonado, Olaf Sigurdsson, Kari, and Paul (yeah, that‘s me). The Exhibition continues until November 30th.

The Dreamland Creations in Stroudsburg, PA serves as a studio where individuals can adorn their forms with a variety of body art such as tattoos and piercing reaching out to the vast community of conventional and non mainstream artists throughout the area. Their next Artists’ Reception will feature a variety of artists in an exhibition titled, “The Blue Show.” The reception will take place Sunday December 5th beginning at 4pm. The Exhibition will continue until January 3rd. Please Explore The Dreamland Creations Website at www.myspace.com/dreamlandcreations or call 570-421-6313 for more information about the artists, the current and future exhibitions, and all they have to offer.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Parsons at The Jukebox

The Main Street Jukebox in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artist’s Reception featuring The Artwork of Michael Parsons on Saturday November 6th. A sizable crowd gathered to partake of the fantastic scenes brought to life upon the intriguing canvases. These scenes were an interesting mixture of original visions alongside depictions of images from familiar films. Not only did these later works capture the essence of their celluloid inspirations, but Mr. parson’s interpretations transcended them.

Music for the evening was provided by Rezlep and the Apparatus whose musical escapades led each listener to a wild journey into the familiar darkness of their minds. This was done through a combination of vocals, audio from films and other source material, and ecstatic gestures emphasizing many of a song’s aspects.Rezlep and the Apparatus’s performance was indeed a multimedia event with one of the medium’s forms being within each listener’s mind. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Main St. Jukebox 2010 Gallery at www.mysapce.com/forwardian_arts.

In addition to Art Exhibitions and Concerts, The Main Street Jukebox offers recordings made on CDs, Tapes, and Vinyl. The Artwork of Michael Parsons Exhibition continues until November 30th. The Next Exhibition will feature The Art of Arielle Sekula and Ana Maria Hendricks with an Artist’s Reception on Saturday December 4th beginning at 6pm and concludes on December 26th. Please Explore The Main St. Jukebox Website at www.myspace.com/mainstjukebox or call 570-424-2246 for more information about these events and all they have to offer.

Exploring the Space of Art

The ARTSPACE Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA will held an Artist’s Reception on Saturday November 6th featuring the work of Sharon Cosgrove. The huge canvases filled with intriguingly peaceful images invited those who experience them to become a part of their tranquil depictions. Ms. Cosgrove’s enticing work was surrounded by the works of other works created by the artists who are part of The ARTSPACE Gallery.

These artists include Thomas Augusta, Michelle Montes, Richard Spezzano, Marlana Holstein, Irene Bartz, Linda Mann, John C. Kopp, Don Manza, Ka-Son Reeves, Will Daskal, Maroon Colvin, Lenore Liore Mills, Bud LaRosa, Jim Hanlan, Shirley Epstein, Jean Benfante, Helen Heeran, and Peter Ambush. Their pieces can be found in the Main Gallery as well as their Studio Gallery. The Exhibition Continues until November 30th. The gallery also presented Poetry written by the students who are part of Urban Mountain Voices whose work can be found along the gallery‘s “Wall of Poetry and Writing” along with works of pottery and other crafted items found in The PoconoArts Gallery Shop. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception at The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.mysapce.com/forwardian_arts.

The ARTSPACE Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA is housed within The PoconoArts Cultural Center which is designed to meet the needs of artists and art lovers offering a venue to present and experience a variety of art forms including visual and the literary arts along with opportunities to attend art classes and workshops. The next event scheduled to be held at The ARTSPACE Gallery will be their Annual Holiday Show and Sale beginning Saturday December 4th featuring a variety of arts and crafts available for purchase for the season. Please Explore The Pocono Arts Council Website at www.poconoarts.org or call 570-476-4460 for more information.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Funny Monkey

The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA hosted a Comedy Night on Friday November 5th presented by The Off Track Players. The comedy troupe featured local comedians who showcased their talents in a variety of sketches and improvisational games which amused their audience. These games included one called, “ABC” in which a location was selected by the audience and each performer had to begin their sentence in alphabetical order in relation to where they were. Audience members were invited to participate in this an other aspects of the show which enhanced the delight of experiencing it.

You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Cheeky Monkey 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts. The next Comedy Night at The Cheeky Monkey is scheduled for Friday December 3rd beginning at 7pm. It was a fun night out and a great opportunity to hear some original work by local comics.

Other future events at The Cheeky Monkey include The “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” events which take place every Thursday evening at 7pm and an Artists’ Reception on Friday November 12th beginning at 6pm for an exhibition to benefit the "Thrieve to Survive" Foundation. The exhibition continues until December 12th. The Forwardian Arts Society will also hold its next Film Lovers Gathering at the Cheeky Monkey on Friday November 19th at 7pm featuring the 1965 film titled, “Incubus” starring William Shatner. The events is free and open to all who love the art of film. There will be a discussion period after the screening in which The Cheeky Monkey offers a free crepe with a purchase of a beverage to the attendees. The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with events such as the one described in this article. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are manifesting their dreams through performances and/or presentations, and by loving them and all they do. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at www.theforwardianartssociety.com for more information about the fellowship and all it has to offer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Music Creates a Haunting House Concert

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse in East Stroudsburg, PA presented Seattle singer/songwriter/singer Anna Coogan on Friday October 22nd. After a performance of soothing meditative music given by host Don Slepian, Ms. Coogan and her guitar took the stage to mesmerize the audience further with her powerfully haunting voice. A painting created by her cousin Ali Walsh provided a visional backdrop providing some additional depth to the performance as it was utilized for the cover art of her most recent CD titled (as is the piece), “The Nocturnal Among Us.”

Although the majority of the songs sung by Ms. Coogan were her own compositions, she did perform some songs written by other artists. However, her interpretation of these songs took the listener beyond the outstanding qualities of the original performance and allowing them to experience a new higher level as they found new meanings to the older melodies. A thoughtful silence covered the audience like a blanket as they thoughtfully absorbed the entirety of Ms. Coogan’s musical stylings.

Along with the wonderful music, the evening also included an opportunity to enjoy some delightful conversation and some delicious culinary treats which included some tempting chocolate donuts. A peaceful and welcoming environment never fails to engulf those who come visit the house which many has come to feel at home. The ArtMusic Coffeehouse is not only a place one can go to hear some great music; it is also a place one can experience love. You’ll find more Photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society ArtMusic Coffeehouse Series 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse holds its concert series in the home of Don Slepian and Jan Julia who reside in the borough of East Stroudsburg, PA. A variety of musical forms are presented including folk, jazz, classical, and electronic music. Although the concerts welcomes all who wish to attend, seating is limited as it they take place in a private home. The Next The ArtMusic Coffeehouse Concert will feature Barnaby Bright on Saturday November 6th beginning at 8pm. Please Explore The ArtMusic Coffeehouse Website at www.ArtMusicCoffeehouse.com or Call 570-476-6307 for more information and to reserve your seat.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lit, Ukes, and Vampires, Too.

The Forwardian Arts Society held their final Literary Lovers’ Gathering for 2010 at The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA on Thursday October 21st. A small group of poets and authors met to share their experiences and talents but this final gathering for the year was marked by the presence of Novelist and Musician Uke Jackson who preformed some of the songs mentioned in his novel titled, “Broadway Vampire” on his Ukulele which can be read online at www.broadwayvampire.blogspot.com. It was a fitting finale to a wonderful season filled with memories of literary gifts that was shred throughout the year and the thoughtful feedback they inspired.

Our next season of regularly scheduled Literary Lovers’ Gatherings will begin in April 2011. However, there will be opportunities for groups and individuals to meet with The Forwardian Arts Society to plan other events related to the literary arts such as featured readings, book signings, workshops, etc. Participation will be open to all who love the literary arts and you may make your interest in being part of the planning stage know by leaving a comment to that effect.

The Gathering was immediately followed by the “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” which brought many more poets and musicians to the Cheeky Monkey. The meeting seamlessly continued the conversations initiated by the Literary Lovers’ Gathering but added new voices to the melodious mix. Additional songs were preformed by Emmitt Derrick on his Harmonica and poetry was read by a number of others. You’ll find more photographs taken during the evening’s events in The Forwardian Arts Society Literary Lovers’ Gathering 2010 and The Cheeky Monkey 2010 Galleries at www.myspqace.com/forwardian_arts.

The “Just Say It: A Spoken Word Symposium” events take place every Thursday evening at 7pm in The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA. All poets and musicians are welcomed. The Forwardian Arts Society will hold its Film Lovers Gathering at the Cheeky Monkey on Friday November 19th at 7pm featuring the 1965 film titled, “Incubus” starring William Shatner. The events is free and open to all who love the art of film. There will be a discussion period after the screening in which The Cheeky Monkey offers a free crepe with a purchase of a beverage to the attendees.

Other future events at The Cheeky Monkey include a Comedy Night on Friday November 5th at 7pm featuring a variety of comics performing throughout a hilarious evening and an Artists’ Reception on Friday November 12th beginning at 6pm for an exhibition to benefit the "Thrieve to Survive" Foundation. The exhibition continues until December 12th. The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse offers a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats along with events such as the one described in this article. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or Call 570-420-8222 for more information.

The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are manifesting their dreams through performances and/or presentations, and by loving them and all they do. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at www.theforwardianartssociety.com for more information about the fellowship and all it has to offer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Home Filled with Folk

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse in East Stroudsburg, PA presented a folk and bluesy performance given by songwriter/singer Elly Wininger on Saturday October 16th. The home of Don Slepian and Jan Julia provided a welcoming venue for this enchanting guitarist whose mixture of original and well established pieces endeared her to those who were in attendance. The small but appreciative gathering found much to enjoy in the evening’s concert as their enjoyment could be seen reflected by their bobbing heads, tapping toes, and thoughtful countenances.

Along with the wonderful music, the evening also included an opportunity to enjoy some delightful conversation and some delicious culinary treats which enhanced the entire experience. A peaceful and welcoming environment never fails to engulf those who come visit the house which many has come to feel at home. The ArtMusic Coffeehouse is not only a place one can go to hear some great music; it is also a place one can experience love. You’ll find more Photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society ArtMusic Coffeehouse Series 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The ArtMusic Coffeehouse holds its concert series in the home of Don Slepian and Jan Julia who reside in the borough of East Stroudsburg, PA. A variety of musical forms are presented including folk, jazz, classical, and electronic music. Although the concerts welcomes all who wish to attend, seating is limited as it they take place in a private home. The Next The ArtMusic Coffeehouse Concert will feature Anna Coogan on Friday October 22nd beginning at 8pm. Please Explore The ArtMusic Coffeehouse Website at www.ArtMusicCoffeehouse.com or Call 570-476-6307 for more information and to reserve your seat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Forward at ESU

The East Stroudsburg University of PA held an Artist’s Reception in their Madelon Powers Gallery on Thursday October 14th which featured the work of Joni Oye-Benintende. A sizable crowd came together to experience the exhibition titled, “Going Forward in Reverse” in spite of the wet, dreary weather that dominated the day. The Reception was well worth the endeavor to brave the elements for as each piece presented its unique beauty and depth for each attendee to explore.

According to the program provided to the Gallery’s visitors, the exhibit derived from the artist’s inspiration to go back to the work she had previously explored with much of it left incomplete. In her endeavors to revise and manifest the ideas of her past efforts, Ms. Oye-Benintende created a bridge connecting the past to the present which may yet lead to a future vision created through the perceptions of those who experiences the work. One could have seen this in the thoughtful gazes of those who attended the reception as a silent countenance communicated a great deal more than the conversations about what they felt about the shapes and designs was able to convey.

The Exhibition Continues until November 24th. You’ll find more photographs taken during the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts. The next Exhibition at The Madelon Powers Gallery will be the University’s Semester Review to be presented November 29th until December 10th featuring the work of students enrolled the in the Fall Semester Art Classes. Please Explore The East Stroudsburg University Website at www.esu.edu or Contact The Madelon Powers Gallery at 570-422-3483 for more information.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

COTA All Wrapped Up

The Celebration of the Arts (COTA) held a meeting to end all meetings for 2010 on Tuesday October 12th at The Deer Head in Delaware Water Gap, PA. Jazz Lovers who have become volunteers throughout the festivals many illustrious years gathered to review and fondly recollect the 33rd Annual Festival which took place September 10th - 12th 2010. The evening provided an opportunity to gain a perspective on the festival in order to fine tune it so the 34th Annual Festival will be even greater. It was also a time to reflect on what new aspects of this year’s festival occurred and well worth instituting into future years as well as exploring dreams of what the festival can become in the coming years which will enhance it even further.

The experience of attending the COTA Volunteer meetings never fail to give one a sense of belonging. The people one meets never simply become colleagues or fellow festival workers, but dear friends whom can be counted on to enhance the meaningful experiences in a life. This atmosphere was felt throughout the evening and it encourages all who attended. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society COTA Meetings 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Jazz and Arts Festival is held in Delaware Water Gap, PA over a three day period in September on the weekend after Labor Day. It consists of Friday evening events of an Artists’ Reception at The Antoine Dutot Gallery and Museum featuring artists participating in their juried “Music Motif” exhibition and presentations at The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain presenting theater, dance, classical music, and other forms of performing arts. The following Saturday and Sunday features Jazz performed by world class musicians and singers along with numerous booths filled with artist and artisans to be visited throughout the day. Volunteers are needed in several areas and the date and time of their next General Meeting welcoming such individual will be posted on their Website. Please Explore The COTA Website at www.cotajazz.org or Call 570-424-2210 for more information.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Scary time at Starbucks

The Starbucks Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artist’s Reception featuring the work of Shane Izykowski, John Kolbek, and Mike Parsons on Saturday October 9th. A sizable crowd gathered in the hallway in which the pieces were hung as they created a sense of frightening fascination in the deeper recesses of the souls who dared to gaze upon them. For those who could not withstand the dare, there were chocolate treats awaiting them at one end of the hall while the rest rooms awaited those who had the tricks scared out of them.

The images presented proved to be compelling drawing the viewer into each scene depicted. Although each artists had a distinctive style which still could be seen in the collaborative work of John Kobek and Michael parsons, the beautifully macabre visions inspired an eerie feeling which was an enjoyable experience for all who love the Halloween season. Music for the evening was provided by Liz Moon whose haunting voice enhanced the exhibition which continues until October 31st. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Starbucks 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Starbucks Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA offers a variety of beverages along with an opportunity to view work created by local artists and photographers. They also present a series of Open Mic Nights hosted by Eric Becker every other Sunday. The next event offering an opportunity for musicians to share their talents is Sunday October 17th at 6pm. Please Contact The Starbucks Coffeehouse at 570-421-2302 for more information.

Colors Fit For a Castle

The Shoppes at Castle Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA held an Artists’ Reception for The Pocono Photo Club exhibition titled, “Hues of Autumn” on Saturday October 9th. The photographic work was excellent as the modest group of attendees gazed and became intrigues with the colorful display of work. The afternoon was enhanced by the delicious cookies and other baked goods along with the engaging conversation in which the art of photography was shared encouraging even the non picture taker to consider beginning the wonderful adventure of capturing the timeless occurrences one often encounters.

Those photographers participating in the exhibition included Robert Ace, Narlene Jacobs, Greg Melbert, Terry Flatt, Leslie Nagy, Maureen Cunningham, Barbara Courouble, John A. Abbruzzese, Jr., Linda Stevenson, John M. Yetter, Eric Goins, John Edwards, and Eileen White. The exhibition continues until November 29th. You’ll find more photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Pocono Photo Club is open to anyone having an interest in photography regardless of skill level offering an opportunity to learn more about their hobby or craft and to share individual photographic knowledge or experiences with its membership. Please explore their Website at www.poconophotoclub.com for more information.

The Shoppes at Castle Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA was originally built in 1906 and became known as a premier resort location throughout its illustrious history. It now offers a variety of shops providing an unique experience in their newly renovated establishment. Please Contact them at 917-861-2257 for more information.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Villainous Heroes and Heroic Villains at The Sherman and More

The Sherman Community Gallery located within The Sherman Theatre in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists’ Reception on Thursday October 7th for their “Heroes and Villains” Art Show. The exhibit was organized by The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) and the works presented were as varied in styles and techniques as were the artists who participated. The evening included musical performances by You and Charlie and The Eric J. Becker Experimental Experience Project Tour: Business Edition. The event also presented offerings from vendors “Give Headwear” which is a charity based headwear company and “Creature Cards.”

The artists who participated in the exhibit included Adam Kuder, Rebecca Crockett, Chris Francz, Josh Bodwell, Myke Maldonado, Michael Hendra, Alison Gray, Thomas Dillon, David Ohlerking, Michael Parsons, Mark Purcell, Anna Marie Hendricks, Arielle Sekula, Camilla Brecheen, Mike Strunk, and Judyta Zarach. The pieces in the show ranged from unique visual interpretations of classic comic book characters like Superman and The Joker to original personages of imagined entities as well as those existing in their circle of friends. A modest number of art and music lovers attended the reception and the outstanding qualities of the overall work was well received as was the musical performances which complimented the exhibit quite well. The exhibition continues until December 1st and you’ll find more Photographs of the reception in The Forwardian Arts Society Visual Arts 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Sherman Theatre was built in the 1920s and now is equipped to present many of today’s biggest shows offering a full bar along with the sound, comfort, and historic feel of their incredible performance venue. Their next presentations include Action Item on Saturday October 16th beginning at 6pm as part of their Independent Rock Series, 311 on Wednesday October 20th at 8pm, Shawn Colvin on Friday October 22nd at 8pm, Ke$ha on Thursday October 28th, another installment of their Severed Sinema Series on Friday October 29th, and a Pre-Party featuring a Midnight Screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” beginning at 10pm. Please Contact The Sherman Theatre at 570-420-2808 or Explore their Website at www.shermantheatre.com for more information.

The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) offers an opportunity for all creative people to explore, enhance, and share their talents. They offer weekly Artist Socials beginning 5pm held at The Starbucks Coffeehouse located in Stroudsburg, PA in which artists, photographers, musicians, and other at all skill levels are welcomed. The next exhibition scheduled for The Shawnee Gallery will be their “Bedtime Stories Show” whose Artists’ Reception is Thursday December 9th featuring musicals performances by Billy Mack Collector and David Ohlerking. Please Contact The Stroudsburg Area Art Alliance (SAAA) at StroudsburgAreaArtAlliance@yahoo.com or explore their website at www.facebook.com/StroudsburgAreaArtAlliance for more information.

My visitation to the Artists’ Reception was preceded by The Forwardian Arts Society very first Performing Arts Gathering outside the Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA while guitarist Derek Tucker performed inside. It was a seasonable October evening in which many ideas on what this new aspect of our fellowship focusing on the arts of Theatre and Dance can explore for the coming Spring. These included holding a monthly evening of 10 minute plays presented in collaboration with local theatrical groups including ESU, hosting Play Reading Parties in which participants agree on a play to read, bring their copy of it, choose a part to portray, and simply read it to one another, hosting evenings filled with drumming and dance, and an evening of free style dancing. You’ll find more Photographs taken during the Gathering in The Forwardian Arts Society Performing Arts Lovers’ Gathering Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are manifesting their dreams through performances and/or presentations, and by loving them and all they do. The next gathering will take place on Wednesday October 20th at 7pm and all those who love Theatre and Dance are invited to attend to lend their ideas, talents, and organizational skills as we go forward together. Other future Gatherings to be held at The Cheeky Monky Coffeehouse include a Literary Lovers‘ Gathering on Thursday October 21st at 6pm and a Film Lovers‘ Gathering on Friday November 5th. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at www.theforwardianartssociety.com or call 570-269-3348 for mote information.

As previously mentioned, The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse presented the music of Guitarist Derek Tucker who played a series of cover tunes to delight those who were in attendance. It was a nice set to listen to prior to going next door to the Sherman Theatre to enjoy the “Villains and Heroes Show” previously written about in this article. You’ll find more Photographs in The Forwardian Arts Society Cheeky Monkey 2010 Gallery at www.myspace.com/forwardian_arts.

In addition to events like this one and The Forwardian Arts Society Gatherings, The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse hosts a number of events including poetry readings, film nights, and more. They also offer a variety of coffee, drinks, and culinary treats. Please Explore The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse Website at www.cheekymonkeycoffee.com or call 570-420-8222 for more information