Arts & Entertainment

Find out about local art, theater, music and film going on in Southern Vermont near Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast. The arts and entertainment scene in Vermont often showcases local artisans and local crafts. Nearby Fletcher Farm Craft School offers courses in everything from digital imaging to weaving a necktie chair seat to introductory silversmithing!


Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Lebanon, NH

I continue to be astounded by the way the world comes to our neck of the woods in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The mountains surrounding our bed and breakfast in Cavendish are known for their impressive hiking, biking and skiing, but they are also constantly celebrated through art.  I realized this last night, as the tour of the Banff Mountain Film Festival passed through Southwestern New Hampshire.  Though it was a bit of a hike to get to Lebanon, NH from the Ludlow and Okemo area, it was completely worthwhile to experience the moutain film of a lifetime.  Well, really, it was many films of a life-time, and they were only a microscopic snapshot of the entire collection shown at the original Banff Film Festival back in October of 2013.  Though the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Whites of New Hampshire are small in size compared to the Himalayas, the tapuis of South America, and the cliffs of Morocco, this was the perfect setting in which to watch mountain-themed films.  The culture of our area is shaped by the mountains just as the mountains and hills have been shaped by time.  Though every range and peak has its own character, people who love the mountains have a deep passion in common.  It was that passion that every theater-goer that night shared as we watched with eyes wide at the dramatic scenes before us.

Below are brief accounts and review of a sampling of mountain films showed in the Lebanon Opera House this past Friday.  Check out the United States Tour to see if the film festival is coming your way in the future…it may just stoke your passion to gain elevation!

  • The first half of the evening’s feature film was Ready to Fly, a documentary profiling the fight to end discrimination against women in the Olympics.  Lindsey Van, a woman ski jumper who can jump farther than most men, led the fight by suing the International Olympic Committee.  If you’ve been following the Olympic Games News for the Sochi Winter Games of 2014, you’ll already know the ending to the story (it’s a happy one with victory for ladies!) but this film is absolutely stunning and will make you think about equality in sports today.
  • A short film called Cascada showed impressive imagery and cinematography.  Kayakers journey to Mexico to tackle waterfalls, but reflect upon their experience with people and wilderness in the process.  The shots are absolutely gorgeous!

  • My favorite piece was The Burn, simply because it did not try to impress…because it did not have to.  The entire mountain film was simply two skiers pounding powder in the back country that had burned down in a wildfire the day before a snowstorm.  Not only was the landscape desolately captivating, but the trees were still glowing with embers from the fire before. Sparks flew off from under the skiers when their skis sank through the powder and hit still-burning wood, red embers reflecting off of ice and snow.

  • Two 20-minute films were shown in the second half.  One, Keeper of the Mountains, told the story of an old woman named Elizabeth Hawley, who has kept records her entire life of the ascents of Mount Everest.  She knows every traverse, camp, and crevasse, but has never and will never climb the mountain herself.  Another impressive lady was profiled in Spice Girl, the story of perhaps the best female trad (traditional) climber of her age.  Her name is Hazel Finlay, and she was the first girl to trad climb an E9 (that’s a very hard thing to do!).  As you watch her make ascents, your palms sweating, she speaks about the experience, saying “It’s a bit scary.”  Amazing.  The first half shows her conquering rock walls with her dad, and the second half chronicles her adventure to Morocco to climb a 12-pitch wall that took from before dawn to far after dark.

Visit Vermont not just for the mountains, but also for the amazing creative work they inspire and celebrate from across the world!

 

Featured Artist: Robert Sydorowich

We are blessed this winter to be displaying several watercolors and oils by talented Vermont impressionist Robert Sydorowich. His landscapes depict Andover, VT, where he has resided for over 40 years, as well as surrounding towns such as Weathersfield, Windsor, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Wallingford, Plymouth, Weston, Quechee, Waitsfield, and Salem. In his own words, his creations strive to be “simple, focused, capturing the truth of the moment.” His work is featured in galleries across the state, in New York City, and even in London, as well as his own gallery in Andover. While his gallery, a converted 1000-square-foot barn, is in hibernation for the snowy months to come, a few of his paintings have found a temporary home in the Golden Stage’s living room and dining room, and the Inn’s walls are practically shivering with delight to be so beautifully adorned!

These gorgeous landscapes that our guests can now enjoy from the comfort of the indoors are reminiscent of the scenic country roads wandering to and from the Inn. Cows graze peacefully, ice-covered creeks wind between evergreen trees, snow-covered hills shelter silos and barns, and shadowy mountains undulate before lavender winter skies. Even the rusty, smoky colors of Stick Season become idyllic when interpreted by Robert Sydorowich’s paintbrush. [Stick Season, for those who may be hearing the term for the first time, is that period after the fall colors but before the winter snow, when deciduous trees are bare to the bones. Though this may sound bleak at first glance, many rejoice in November’s comforts: cider-pressing, root-crop and winter squash harvests, wool sweaters, pre-Christmas shopping, and the first wood-stove fires of the year!]

 

At this Bed & Breakfast, we do our best to support and advocate the abundance of local artistic talent available year-round. Robert Sydorowich will especially appeal to those of you who take an interest in art that reflects the natural world while giving you a full sense of what it means to call Vermont home. You can see two of the pieces featured at the Golden Stage Inn at Robert Sydorowich’s website, entitled Winter Reflections and Nancy Brook. The remaining paintings housed here cannot be viewed online, but there are several images on his website that depict scenes you’d be certain to see during a winter stay in the Okemo Valley region! These include maple syrup taps; a covered bridge; views of Okemo; and – most importantly – a cozy stove warming a sleepy cat and a pot of tea.

If you live in the area, we encourage you to seek out Robert Sydorowich’s fantastic impressionism in person, whether at a gallery near you or at our own first-floor-turned-art-gallery. This past fall, Sydorowich was featured in the Vermont Open Studio Weekend in conjunction with 130 other artisans and craftspeople. Hopefully he will be a part of the Spring 2014 Open Studio Tour as well, since it will be the Vermont Craft Council’s 20th year putting on this incredible promotion for VT crafts and art!

 

Summer Theatre at Weston Playhouse, 2013

Summer theatre at Weston Playhouse in Vermont is one of my favorite attractions of Okemo Valley.  Earlier this month, I went with my daughter Samantha and our exchange-student family member Yui to see Educating Rita.  The cast of two put on an engaging performance.  Even though the play was not my favorite selection, the play was thought provoking and insightful. The acting, the set, and overall the whole evening was a delight – as it typically is at Weston.

The line-up for the rest of the 2013 season looks great!  At the beautiful historic Main Stage, located on the green in the heart of Weston village, the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is performing three more shows this season. They’ll plunge directly into some heavy issues about family life and mental health in Next to Normal, a rock musical with a Tony-award winning score.  And then they turn to some long-standing classics as they perform 42nd Street, the Tony-award winning musical about an actress trying to make it on Broadway , and To Kill A Mockingbird, a play that brings to life two of America’s favorite characters, Scout and Atticus Finch.

Just a few miles from the Main Stage is the “Other Stage,” located in the Weston Rod & Gun Club building on Route 100.  Tickets are a bit less expensive for shows performed here, but really, I don’t see why – every seat is a great one, and the quality of each performance is just as good too!  Each summer starts with a children’s show and this year’s was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  (My kids loved this book, I’m sad that we missed this performance.)  Upcoming shows include Loving Leo, a new musical that explores family relationships, and The Blessed Plot, a one man play about the battle for free Shakespeare in Central Park.

Whether you are a seasoned theatre-goer or someone who thinks maybe it’s time to try theatre for the first time, Weston Playhouse is a great choice.  Of course, we recommend that you consider our theatre package so you can enjoy two nights at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast.  It’s a gorgeous drive between our inn in Proctorsville (Cavendish) and the Weston Playhouse.  And our breakfasts are sure to impress you at least as much as the theatre does!

-Julie-Lynn, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

Craft Classes at the Wild and Woolly Weekend

When it comes to woolly craft classes and workshops,

I’ve always been much more of a spectator than a participant – though I admit to harboring a steady curiosity (or maybe envy is a better word).  At county fairs, I always seek out the craft barn and – okay, I’ll admit it – I get excited when I see that the spinners are doing their thing.  It’s like watching a fairy tale come to life as fluffy piles of wool are changed into spools of rough-hewn yarn.  Well, maybe it’s not quite as magical as spinning straw into gold, but it still impresses me every time! 

So it was a real treat for me to attend last year’s craft classes at Wild and Woolly Weekend, a fiber arts fair hosted by Six Loose Ladies and Fiber Arts in Vermont.  ­­­Now, I’m looking forward to this year’s installment, on April 27 and 28 at the Pointe Hotel.  This fiber arts weekend is 50% fair, 50% craft classes, and 50% social networking.   No, that’s not careless math; it’s just that this weekend has so much packed into two days that it overflows!  Veteran and virgin crafters alike really ought to swing by to check out the vendors and craft classes being offered by this energetic group of artists and do-it-yourself-ers.

Those who are new to this sort of event may have the wrong impression.  A weekend about yarn?!  Probably a bunch of old ladies sitting around with knitting needles, balls of yarn, and maybe even a cat or two by their feet.  You couldn’t be more wrong. When you look up the meaning of the phrase Wild and Woolly, you’ll find synonyms such as boisterous and unruly.  And, based on the energy that is present from the moment you walk in the door, boisterous and unruly seem like achievable descriptors!  (I mean, with a retail store name of Six Loose Ladies, you know that rowdy humor will be a part of the fun!)

The Wild and Woolly Weekend has craft classes available for the very beginner, like me, but they also have classes appropriate for those who are already pretty established in the crafting tradition.  In some classes, you’ll go home with a finished product; in others you’ll go home with enough knowledge and enthusiasm that you can tackle a new project on your own.  You can choose between three-hour classes or 50-minute ‘mini-classes.’  The topics range from spinning on a wheel or on a drop spindle; choosing and working with colors; making mug rugs (coasters), chair pads, animal pins, and mittens with needle felting; designing decorative boxes from paper collage;  and creating sparkly bracelets using beaded knitting.

Whether you’re still a latent crafter or an admitted junkie of all things wool, this event is well worth checking out.  Entrance is not only free, but there are door prizes galore.   The costs of craft classes are $5 or $10 for the mini-classes and between $30 and $45 for the 3-hour classes.  Class listings are available at the Six Loose Ladies website.

 

-Julie-Lynn, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

“Mary’s Wedding” at Weston Playhouse (2012-08-13)

Play Review

Written by Samantha Wood

Recently, my dad  and I went to the Weston Playhouse to see Mary’s Wedding.  Mary’s Wedding was set in post World War I England. The whole drama was a dream that Mary had the night before her wedding. With a cast that consisted of only two actors, and with a total running time of 90 minutes, I thought that the play was going to feel extremely long, but every time I got that feeling, the actors did one more thing that amazed the audience, keeping me enthralled until the last line.

Mary’s Wedding was very enjoyable and I recommend the Weston Playhouse to anyone that enjoys the theater, whether you are a theater fanatic or just someone  looking for something fun to plan while on their vacation!

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