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The streets of Bridgeport are in full spring buzz as May comes to a close!
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BRIDGEPORT ART TRAIL NEWSLETTER

Welcome to our Bridgeport Art Trail newsletter, providing a listing of arts and cultural events.

The streets of Bridgeport are in full spring buzz as May comes to a close!

There's a show for everyone at The Bijou Theatre and Downtown Cabaret TheatreThe Bijou Theatre stage hosts Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. And just in time for Memorial Day the Bridgeport Theatre Company presents A Few Good Men. 

Grab a specialty cocktail or dinner and check out Sam Morrow's exhibition at the Barnum Publick House Gallery. The opening reception for the London-native turned Bridgeport artist is Wednesday, May 20th.

City Lights Gallery opens their new exhibition "A Lifetime Making Comics" on May 28th. The reception will also include a special performance of cartoon show theme songs by pianist Walter Duda. And don't miss figure drawing/painting on May 30th!

Take to the seas with The Barnum Festival at the Barnum Sails the Sound event!
And join the conversation at the new Heart of the City series. The June 1st event features local speakers, live music, and a pop-up artisan market on McLevy Green.

Don't miss upcoming calls for art including Connecticut Free Shakespeare and City Lights Gallery is also extending a call to all artists for its 5th annual Same Sex exhibit.

And The Nest Arts Factory has two exhibits on view: the encaustic themed Encased Exhibit and photography exhibit by Catherine Conroy - Sidewalks of Bridgeport. Plus, The Housatonic Museum of Art  present's their student art exhibition,

Lastly, join us in celebrating The New England Ballet Company's (NEBC) Kenneth Hopkins as our May Featured Artist!
Hopkins discusses how the NEBC has developed over the years, their new downtown Bridgeport location, and the transition from dancer to Executive Director

Be sure to check out all the details below!

-The Bridgeport Art Trail Team

Check out the full calendar of Bridgeport Art listings at the Bridgeport Art Trail Website.

VISIT THE BRIDGEPORT ART TRAIL WEBSITE

ART EXHIBITION: "A Lifetime Making Comics"
City Lights Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 28th, 5:30-8:30pm
On Exhibition: May 28th-June 27th 2015


Event Description:
SHAZAAM! Look up in the sky… it is a bird, a plane… No, it's the City Lights banner at 37 Markle Court… heralding the new exhibit, “A LIFETIME MAKING COMICS” featuring the creators and artists of Beetle Bailey, the Flash, Superman, DONDI, Wonder Woman, Dennis the Menace, The Green Lantern, Hi and Lois, Batman and more. Enjoy cartoon show theme songs played by pianist Walter Duda at the opening reception on Thursday May 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public  and will run to June 27, 2015. .

View original art, working sketches, prints and original copies for sale.  Local artists include, Chance Brown, Frank McLaughlin, Mort, Brian and Greg Walker and Irwin Hasen.  This exhibit is in memory of Irwin, who recently passed at 96, after a long lifetime of making comics, which included the comic strip DONDI. Special Thanks to Frank McLaughlin for his assistance with the coordination of the exhibit which will also include chosen work of his students from Paeir School of Art in Hamden.

Check out the article "Comic-book legend Irwin Hasen remembered at City Lights" in the CT Post!

More Info


Art Attribution: Beetle Bailey by Mort, Brian and Greg Walker  Dondi and All Star Comics illustrations by Irwin Hasen

ART EXHIBIT : The Paintings of Sam Morrow
Barnum Publick House Gallery
Wednesday, May 20th, 6-8PM

 
Event Description:
Please join us in welcoming artist Sam Morrow! A London native who came to Bridgeport via Virginia, Sam has a very interesting body of work. His contemporary approach to landscape, portrait and body studies reveal a master-painter's thought process into the present and future of painting as a constantly evolving art form.  BootlegGreg Genias will be showing his own mastery of mixology, with the very best cocktails in town!

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THEATER:  A Few Good Men
May 22-30, 2015
Downtown Cabaret Theatre
263 Golden Hill St
Bridgeport, CT 06604

 
Event Description: A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network, The Newsroom) tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marines accused of murder. Sorkin adapted his work into a screenplay for a 1992 film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Brown and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore.
 

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THEATER: Hamlet / Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
The Bijou Theatre
May 22nd-24th
 
Show Description: Hamlet, son of the king of Denmark, is summoned home for his father’s funeral and his mother’s wedding to his uncle. In a supernatural episode, he discovers that his uncle, whom he hates anyway, murdered his father. In an incredibly convoluted plot–the most complicated and most interesting in all literature–he manages to (impossible to put this in exact order) feign (or perhaps not to feign) madness, murder the “prime minister,” love and then unlove an innocent whom he drives to madness, plot and then unplot against the uncle, direct a play within a play, successfully conspire against the lives of two well-meaning friends, and finally take his revenge on the uncle, but only at the cost of almost every life on stage, including his own and his mother’s.
 
Show Description: The play concerns the misadventures and musings of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet who are childhood friends of the prince, focusing on their actions with the events of Hamlet as background. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is structured as the inverse of Hamlet; the title characters are the leads, not supporting players, and Hamlet himself has only a small part. The duo appears on stage here when they are off-stage in Shakespeare’s play, with the exception of a few short scenes in which the dramatic events of both plays coincide. In Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are used by the King in an attempt to discover Hamlet’s motives and to plot against him. Hamlet, however, mocks them derisively and outwits them, so that they, rather than he, are executed in the end. Thus, from Rosencrantz’s and Guildenstern’s perspective, the action in Hamlet is largely nonsensical and comical.
 
DOUBLE SHOW DISCOUNT FOR SAME DAY ATTENDANCE:
$10 OFF when you buy tickets to both Rosencrantz and Hamlet for the same day.
 
 

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SPECIAL EVENT: Barnum Sails the Sound/The Barnum Festival
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Ferry Dock
Water Street, Bridgeport
Dockside Dining: 5:15 PM
Boat Sails: 7:15 PM

Tickets: $50

Event Description: Join us for a spectacular evening as Barnum Sails the Sound! Enjoy a delicious dockside dinner, then come aboard and dance the night away to the “WhatUp Funk Band.” Bring your dancing shoes! Grab your family and friends and we’ll see you on board!
 

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SPECIAL EVENT: Heart of the City
Monday, June 1st 5-8PM
McLevy Green, Bank Street

 

Event Description: It's the 2nd event of the series and we're kicking off summer in the best way. Join us outdoors at McLevy Green!

BYOPicnic, live music by Grit Rhythm, a new slew of awesome storytellers, and a pop market of CT's finest crafters & artists.

Storytelling theme – "From Little Things, Big Things Grow: When small decisions lead to life successes.”

$5 suggested donation at event.
 

More Info

Photos by Catherine Conroy, Sidewalks of Bridgeport

VISUAL ART: Figure Drawing and Painting
City Lights Gallery
Saturday, May 30th, 3:30-6:30pm


Event Description: Figure drawing sessions for May at City Lights are scheduled for Weds. May 13, & 20, 6-9 p.m. and Sat May 30, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Please bring drawing materials and drawing board. The Wednesday evenings will be a long pose.

Sessions are designed as open studio time for drawing and painting from life. Without instruction. $15 model fee, $12 for City Lights members, $10 for students. Instruction available upon request.
Please RSVP at clgallerybpt@gmail.com

 

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CALLS FOR ART

AUDITIONS : Connecticut Free Shakespeare: Mornings of April & May

Description:

Connecticut Free Shakespeare is having auditions for their 2015 season production of "Mornings of April & May" by Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

Equity Principal Auditions are Tuesday, May 26th (9:30AM - 5:30PM)
Non-Union Auditions are Wednesday, May 27th (12PM - 6PM)
Auditions are at the Downtown Cabaret Theater (263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604). The location is walking distance from Metro North "Bridgeport" stop.

Managing Artistic Dir./Stage Dir: Ellen Lieberman
Executive Producer: Bert Garskof
Casting: Ellen Lieberman and Bert Garskof

Rehearsals start 7/21/15. Performances run 8/5/15 - 8/9/15 outdoors at the CT Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT. Housing for out-of-town actors is limited. CT residents or actors with CT housing are encouraged to attend.

WHAT TO PREPARE: Please prepare a brief comedic monologue. (Memorization preferred but not necessary.) Please prepare 16-32 bars of an uptempo comedic musical theatre song. No pop/rock. No accompaniment will be provided.

Please bring a headshot and resume stapled back-to-back.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: All roles are available (i.e. not yet offered and accepted) 5 AEA contracts are available (parts are doubled.)
 

  • DON HIPOLITO: He is a womanizer /lounge lizard/ a fun loving cad. He is secretly engaged to Clara.
  • DONA CLARA: She is independent and an early feminist in the 1600’s
  • DON LUIS: He defends his dead cousins honor- “you killed my cousin prepare to die”.  
  • INES: She is a companion/chaperone/servant/ to Dona Clara. She is a romantic and her destiny is with Don Luis.
  • DON JUAN: Honorable to a fault, he is in love with Dona Ana. He killed Don Thomas in self -defense.
  • DON PEDRO: Always helpful, he is a nobleman in love with Dona Clara
  • LUCIA: She is a companion/chaperone/servant/ to Dona Ana. She and Arceo are in love.
  • DONA ANA: She pines for her love Don Juan who is in hiding.           

All auditions are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

More Info

First Pride Parade in Downtown Bridgeport for the opening of SAMESEX exhibit 2014

CALL FOR ART: SAMESEX 2015
City Lights Gallery

DESCRIPTION: "SAMESEX", City Lights Galley's 5th annual gay-themed art show, opens July 9, 2015, with work that reflects the current LGBTQ zeitgeist.

City Lights is extending a call to all artists for our 5th annual Same Sex exhibit, scheduled to open Thursday, July 9, 2015.
 
SameSex explores LGBT themes, same-sex attraction, related feelings and issues of 2015.  This year’s suggested theme is “gender identity”. However artists can choose their own subject matter and need not be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to participate.
 
All artists are invited to submit jpegs of their work for consideration by June 5. 2015.
Artists will be notified by June 13, 2015.  
 
For more info email clgallerybpt@gmail.com.

SUBMISSION DETAILS: There is no size limit to the dimension of art submitted, however larger works, over 60" will be subject to space limitations.

SEND SUBMISSIONS IN JPEG FORMAT, (no more than 8 images), 72 DPI, DUE BY June 5, 2015 TO: clgallerybpt@gmail.com

NECESSARY INFO TO INCLUDE WITH SUBMISSION:
Brief artists statement, itemized list of art submitted should include:  title, size, medium, price of work, Works not for sale should include a value rather than a price. Also include artist's contact info: name, email, phone (evening and daytime numbers), mailing address and website if available. 

ACCEPTED ART TO BE DELIVERED BY: JUNE 25, 26, 27, 2015 Gallery hours, W-FRI 11:30-5, SAT 12-4, TH open ‘til 7. Art should be in excellent condition and ready to hang.
 
ABOUT: City Lights is a nonprofit, community based art organization located in downtown Bridgeport CT., easily accessible by Metro-North, Port Jeff Ferry, I-95 and the Merrit Parkway via the Route 25 Connector.

For more info please email us at: clgallerybpt@gmail.com
Visit Our Website: www.citylightsgallery.org
 
Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Friday:  11:30 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 11-7
Saturday:  12- 4:00 p.m.
By appointment
 
City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport.  203-334-7748.  
For more info: www.citylightsgallery.org .
 
 

More Info

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS ON VIEW

ART EXHIBITIONS: Encased /Sidewalks of Bridgeport
The Nest Arts Factory


Exhibit Description:
A stunning exhibit in the NEST Gallery featuring acclaimed local encaustic artists.
The exhibit runs from May 9-June 6, 2015

Exhibit Description:
Sidewalks of Bridgeport is a photographic series by Catherine Conroy. The exhibition will also feature Catherine's photographs of musicians, the Majestic Theater, and the Remington Arms Factory.
 

More Info

ART EXHIBITION:  2015 HCC Student Art Exhibition
Housatonic Museum of Art: The Burt Chernow Galleries

Exhibit Description:
Don’t miss the 2015 HCC Student Art Exhibition on view through May 28th
Featuring special show of works by HCC Alumnus Leonard Lampugnale
 

More Info

 FEATURED ARTIST: MAY
 KENNETH HOPKINS
Executive Director of The New England Ballet Company

 
 NEW ENGLAND BALLET COMPANY MISSION STATEMENT
New England Ballet Company, founded in 1990 by Artistic Director Kenneth Hopkins, is committed to the belief that experiencing the performing arts is a vital element in the education of our children working under the initiative Dance:  Developing Appreciation and Nurturance in Cultural arts Education.  It exists to promote arts education and to serve the community by giving performing opportunities to dancers of all ages and levels. 

The dancers benefit from the experience of working with professional faculty, choreographers and guest artists, as well as professional directors, dancers, lighting, costume and set designers.  The community benefits from having its own ballet company whose local school and public performances enhance arts awareness and showcase local talent.  New England Ballet Company performances integrate the participation of students, parents, community and professional performers, civic groups, businesses, school administrators and dance enthusiasts.
From the recent "Birds of Ballet" performance at The Klein Memorial Auditorium.
Photographer: David Kent
" This year for our 25th Season we hired our first professional contracted male dancer...I am quite proud to have this part of the “dream” become reality. Imagine how thrilled I was to discover Nicholas Franco was a Bridgeport resident, attended the MACH program in high school and graduated from The Hart School at University of Hartford with a BFA in Ballet Performance!."-Kenneth Hamilton
Firebird Dance images
Photographer: David Kent
Q. How would you describe your artwork/style?
A. Performance Art through Classical Ballet.

Q. What medium do you work in?   
A. Dance, Choreography, Performance

Q. What is your process like? 
A. Teaching many weekly ballet technique classes & hours of rehearsal for existing works or creating new choreography.

Q. What inspires you? 
A. Mainly the NEBC mission statement inspires me. “Bringing Children to the Arts & Arts to the Children”. Next would probably be Artistic Collaboration: Bringing different dancers, choreographers, scenery, costume & lighting designers together to create new works or perhaps bring fresh life to existing works. I find bringing this process to downtown Bridgeport to be very exciting & inspirational.

Working with talent inspires me! Our newly appointed Artistic Director Victor Trevino served as our main choreographer for the past 22 years. We have known each other for over 30 years having met while dancing with Ballet Florida in the 1980’s.  NEBC has taken a major leap forward with his taking on a more active role. 

Q. How do you think you’ve changed or developed as an artist?
A. The obvious is the 35 year transition from Dancer to Teacher to Founder/Artistic Director to now Executive Director as my skill set in the Arts has continued to change and grow.  My early training was in drawing/painting & photography.  The performing arts took over my life in college but that early training has served me well in creating & visualizing new productions.  Photography remains my preferred medium outside of dance.

Q. Can you tell me about your role at the New England Ballet Company?
A. The vision for NEBC has been mine since its inception. My role continues to be one of inspiring others to participate in making that vision a reality. 

Q. I see you founded the New England Ballet Company in 1990. How do you think the company has evolved since then?
A. The quality of the productions has grown tremendously. My goal has always been a professional ballet company that also has a strong school, training dancers to a professional career level. This year for our 25th Season we hired our first professional contracted male dancer. We have paid dancers per production for many years. Having a professional male company dancer full time has been a game changer for NEBC. I am quite proud to have this part of the “dream” become reality. Imagine how thrilled I was to discover Nicholas Franco was a Bridgeport resident, attended the MACH program in high school and graduated from The Hart School at University of Hartford with a BFA in Ballet Performance!
NEBC New Location Grand Opening with Mayor Bill Finch.
Photograph by  David Kent
"To me, it became clear all roads were leading to Bridgeport. Honestly it did not feel like relocating. It has felt like coming home! New England Ballet Company has a wonderful new dance facility & HOME downtown Bridgeport at 130 Elm Street!
."-Kenneth Hopkins
Q. What was one of your favorite projects/performances to be a part of?
A. A full length production of Romeo & Juliet to the Prokofiev score.  I hope to revive this production with new choreography for the Spring of 2016 at The Klein bringing in area high school students.

Q. You’ve just moved to a new location in Bridgeport. Why did you decide to relocate? Why base the company in Bridgeport?
A.  The evolution of NEBC making Bridgeport home began with performances of Nutcracker at The Klein several years ago which included a special performance for 1400 of the after school Lighthouse program students. That led to annual performances for Curiale School through our relationship with the CT Post. NEBC has worked with Diane Wyckoff of the Bridgeport ABCD programs teaching dance to the young children & bringing live performances to them for over 10 years. We received a grant and ran a 10 week program at Roosevelt School & merged our company dancers with the Roosevelt dance classes for a performance of the Nutcracker

We formed a relationship with The Bijou Theatre two years ago and began teaching dance classes’ downtown as well as creating a Children’s Series of Ballet performances.  NEBC was given the honor of the title “resident ballet company” at both theatres.

To me, it became clear all roads were leading to Bridgeport.  Honestly it did not feel like relocating.  It has felt like coming home!  New England Ballet Company has a wonderful new dance facility & HOME downtown Bridgeport at 130 Elm Street!

Q. What are some plans for the future of the New England Ballet Company?
A. We are currently writing grants in hopes of establishing a scholarship program to allow our 5 year old ABCD students who age out of that program to attend classes at our new studio.  We have statistics showing that those children who participated in our dance programming consistently have tested higher going into 1st grade.  NEBC will hold its first Summer Ballet Intensive Program this summer & plan to extend this to bring out of state dancers in the future.  We will increase the number of contracted professional dancers & create new ballets to perform.  Collaboration with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony on a production of Peter & the Wolf for area school children is definitely on our wish list!

DON'T MISS THESE EXCITING EVENTS COMING UP ON THE NEBC CALENDAR
 
  • NEBC participates annually in the CT State Open House Day, June 13, 2015
  • Bridgeport Juneteenth Parade, June 13, 2015
  • Barnum Festival Wing Ding Parade & Great Street Parade
  • Registration for Fall Classes
  • Community Nutcracker Auditions in September.
  • Fall performance of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
  • 24th Annual Nutcracker performance at The Klein in December
For more information please visit: www.newenglandballet.org
*Newsletter Editor's Note: All event descriptions and featured artist profiles are published as provided.
Copyright © 2015 Bridgeport Art Trail, All rights reserved.


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