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Performing arts

SAXTONS RIVER Auditions for "Noises Off": Those auditioning should expect to read from the play and "work into" a scene or two. The 1982 comedy by Michael Frayn takes its name from the theatrical direction indicating sounds coming from offstage. The play deals with what's happening on both sides of the curtain as the characters play off each other off-stage to undermine the on-stage action, with plenty of slapstick thrown in. Auditions: 12/6: 6-9 p.m., 12/7: 3-6 p.m. Call backs: 12/8: 1-3 p.m. Rehearsals begin May 2020, typically two evenings a week and weekend mornings. Performances: 7/10-7/19. Contact director David Stern,, if you need to arrange an alternative audition time. Through Saturday, December 7. Main Street Arts, 37 Main St. Information:

PUTNEY Sandglass - 7th Annual Crankie Celebration Weekend: A crankie, known in the 19th century as a moving panorama, is an old storytelling art form that has found new audiences and enthusiasts. A long illustrated scroll is wound around two spools and set into a box with a viewing window. As the scroll is hand cranked, the unfolding story is narrated, sung, or accompanied by music. Includes performances by Sandglass founders, Eric Bass and Ines Zeller Bass, and guest artists, plus a building workshop. 12/7: 2 performances - 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; 12/8: 3 p.m. Handicap accessible. Through Sunday, December 8. $18, $16 students and seniors. Sandglass Theater, 17 Kimball Hill. Information: 802-387-4051; Click for more info on Web in new window.

The written word

NEWFANE "Short Stories, Tall Tales, and Surprise Endings": Dr. Blake Prescott's new collection offers 31 short stories liberally stirred with humor and heavily spiced with a few dozen illustrations from the Newfane author's hand. Relax in an armchair and travel on our greatest rivers, from the Nile to the Amazon, jump from pole to pole, from the arctic to Tierra del Fuego, and prepare yourself for a journey where one story invites you to read the next. 12 noon. Light refreshments. Free. Moore Free Library, 23 West St. Information: 802-365-7948; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Visual arts and shows

BRATTLEBORO Gallery at the Garden Presents - "Let the Colors Sing" by Artist Carlene Raper: Some of the work you see on the gallery wall is brand-new, while the Mama Bear Quilt dates from the very early days of Carlene's career as a quilt maker (nearly 40 years ago). About 30 years ago, Carlene Raper began the adventure of dyeing her own cloth, using fiber reactive dyes. She's still quite playful with these dyes and doesn't know exactly what the cloth will look like in the end. She likes it that way. Her goal is to make the fabrics (especially the colors) talk with each other, and yes, even sing! . 12/7, 1 - 3 p.m., Public opening with the artist. Refreshments served. (Exhibit runs through 12/27). The River Garden, 157 Main St. Information: 802-246-0982; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Celebrations and festivals

CHESTER St. Luke's Christmas Tea and Holiday Bazaar: This event is the traditional kick-off to the Christmas season for many in VT, NH, and nearby states. It's a lovely way to celebrate the season with friends by eating and chatting at festively decorated tables while enjoying an enhanced high tea (fancy lunch) featuring light sandwiches and scrumptious sweets. The Holiday Bazaar makes shopping for special gifts very quick and easy. Offerings include unique (very limited) handcrafted and quilted items, live evergreen and hand-sewn Christmas decorations and ornaments, original floral note cards and candles, and more. New this year is a Pet Corner with tasty treats and special gifts for favorite furry friends. The Culinary Classics table offers a delicious array of handmade chocolates, baked goods, jams, soups, and casseroles that will ease cooking at this busy time of year and brighten up any winter day. Another favorite is Grandma’s Attic, where former treasures and practical items for one person can become a collectible or practical solution for a new owner at a modest donation. Invite a friend to lunch and shop at this special holiday tradition. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Willard Hall. Fill your high-tea plate as much as you like for $8 adults, $4 youth 6-12, free for ages 5 and under. St. Lukes Episcopal Church, 313 Main St. Information: ; Click for more info on Web in new window.


BRATTLEBORO Community Messiah Sing (FOMAG) - Groundworks Collaborative Benefit: Rededicated as a benefit for the area's homeless since 2007, the Sing has raised over $22,500 in door donations for the Groundworks Collaborative to help fund its food shelf, emergency housing, and other support programs. Kenneth Olsson is on the organist's bench this season. Soloists include Elizabeth Wohl, soprano; Julie Olsson, alto; Walter Cramer, tenor; Cailin Marcel Manson, baritone; Joyana Damon, trumpet highlights. Two hundred or more singers from the Tri-State area and further afield come to perform the choruses in the Christmas portion of Handel's masterwork, in addition to later favorites. 1 p.m. Scores available to borrow/buy at door. Bottled water (only beverage allowed inside) for sale. FOMAG holiday boutique offers art cards, CDs. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food, winter outerwear, long johns, blankets, new unwrapped toys for Groundworks collection in church foyer. Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St. Information: 802-254-3600,

KEENE Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs - "Roots: Exploring the History of American Music": Featuring all five choirs with singers in grades 2-12 from nearly 20 towns across NH, MA, and VT. The concert program includes a wide repertoire drawing from American blues, jazz, African-American spirituals, music of Irish descent, Appalachian songs, 20th-century American composers, New England dance music, folk music, and today's exceptional choral music composed especially for children's voices. 3 p.m. $10, $5 ages 12 and under. St. James Episcopal Church, 44 West St. Tickets at door or online:

GREENFIELD "Down in Yon Forest" - Elizabeth Rogers and Eugene Friesen: This CD-release concert features VT-based singer/songwriter Elizabeth Rogers and cellist Eugene Friesen. The duo brings their soulful collaboration to a repertoire of Celtic-infused holiday songs and instrumentals from their new recording "Down in Yon Forest." The combination of Rogers' voice - aptly described as "pure silver," and Friesen's innovative cello creates music is at once mesmerizing and heart-opening. 7:30 p.m. In advance: $20 ($15 seniors). Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew, 8 Church St. Information: 413-773-3925; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Farmers' markets

BRATTLEBORO Brattleboro Winter Farmers' Market: Weekly diverse indoor farmers market. Local farm produce, meats, syrup, fresh baked goods, local cheeses, fruits, cider, pickles, preserves, handmade jewelry, pottery, soaps, and more. Lunch menu and live music Aura Shards. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Bring shopping bags or buy ours. (11 a.m. - 1 p.m. music in the cafe). Through Saturday, March 28. C. F. Church Building, 80 Flat St. Information: 802-869-2141,,

BRATTLEBORO Brattleboro Winter Farmers' Market: Weekly diverse indoor farmers market. Local farm produce, meats, syrup, fresh baked goods, local cheeses, fruits, cider, pickles, preserves, handmade jewelry, pottery, soaps, and more. Lunch menu and live music with 2Bit 2Man Froggy Went A'Courtin Orchestra. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Bring shopping bags or buy ours. (11 a.m. - 1 p.m. music in the cafe). Through Saturday, March 28. C. F. Church Building, 80 Flat St. Information: 802-869-2141,,

Kids and families

BRATTLEBORO Holly Jolly Gingerbread Craft Time: Come make an edible house out of graham crackers, icing and candy. Younger kids can make edible Christmas trees from ice cream cones, frosting and candy. Children under 7 must have a responsible person with them. Sponsored the by Friends of Brooks Library and the Children's Room. 10 - 11:30 a.m. or 2 - 3:30 p.m. in the Children's Room. Donations of nonperishable food items for Project Feed the Thousands are appreciated. Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St. Registration required: 802-254-5290 x 121.

GRAFTON Christmas in Grafton - Paper Snowflake Craft Day: Have you ever wondered why no two snowflakes are alike? Or how they get their complex shapes? You'll learn a little of the science behind these crystalline shapes while cutting paper snowflakes to take home. Revel in the warmth of the holiday spirit while enjoying homemade hot cocoa and cookies in our charming and educational natural history museum. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Nature Museum, 186 Townshend Rd. Information: 802-843-2111; Click for more info on Web in new window.

VERNON Home For The Holidays Craft Fair: 12/6, 4 -8 p.m., 12/7, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Vernon Elementary School, 381 Governor Hunt Rd. Information: 802-254-5373.

BRATTLEBORO Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Santa Claus arrives at the Gibson Aiken Center on a tractor provided by The Robb Family Farm and escorted by the Police and Fire Departments. Children can visit with Frosty, Santa and his Elves, and everyone is welcome to bring their cameras to take photos. "Santa's Workshop" will be open for children to decorate Christmas cookies which are donated and made by Mrs. Claus and the frosting was made by Vermont Country Deli. The Brattleboro Union High School Band will play Christmas tunes. 1 p.m. For children of all ages. Free. Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St. Information: 802-254-5808; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Community building

BRATTLEBORO Centre Church Annual Christmas Craft Fair: Soups and desserts on Friday evening; coffee and waffles on Saturday morning. Silent auction, quilt raffle, hand-made items for adults and babies, hand made wreaths, Central American items, fabulous selection of homemade Christmas cookies, again. All available for purchase. 12/6: 5 - 7 p.m., 12/7: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. followed by the Annual Messiah sing. Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St. Information: 802-254-4730; Click to e-mail for more information.

BRATTLEBORO Cotton Mill Open Doors '19: Iron Arts, OWL Energy Bar, Pro Lingua, Liza Cassidy and Rebecca Gembarowski Painting Studio, Q Filmworks, Rosie’s Wonders, T. Breeze Verdant Marquetry and Inlay, Witri Knives, Buddy's - A Pet's Store, Vermont Jazz Center (Sunday), and more. This year's event is a scaled-down version of the Cotton Mill Open Studio and Holiday Sale which is in regrouping mode. 12/7: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., 12/8: 12 noon - 4 p.m. Through Sunday, December 8. Cotton Mill, 74 Cotton Mill Hill.

TOWNSHEND The West River Radio Club - FCC Licensing and ARRL Certification Testing: All levels and upgrades. Bring two forms of identification (one picture), any prior radio license, a pencil, calculator, and $15 cash or check. All are invited to stay for the monthly meeting and potluck luncheon at 12 noon. 10 a.m. Free. Grace Cottage Hospital, Heins Conf. Rm., 133 Grafton Rd. RSVP: Mary Peterson: 802-258-3921,

BELLOWS FALLS Community Holiday Party: Family-friendly. Light refreshments served. The Stringfield Springers perform. Raffle items include gift certificates to area shops, fleece throw, seashell collection, children's books, bath set, sketch book with colored pencils. Raffle tickets $1 (6 for $5). Silent Auction includes felted wool landscapes by Maeve Sabine, Anne of Green Gables basket with doll, book & tea party set (by Eileen Charbonneau), Debbi Wetzel's miniature paintings of the four seasons, Saxton Distillery's Sapling Maple Liqueur, basket of bears plus Brown Bear, Brown Bear board book, books by Elayne Clift, one dozen muffins monthly for a year baked by John Bohannon. All proceeds from the Silent Auction and Raffle benefit Friends of the Rockingham Free Public Library. Plus free family portrait sessions with Kristie Lisai (w/advance reservation). Each family will receive at least 5 digital images. Make your reservation before Dec. 7. Children and their families are invited to decorate a gingerbread person in the Youth Dept., 11 a.m.-12 noon. Friends' Holiday Raffle and Silent Auction concludes at 12:30 p.m. Call/email by 12/6 to schedule free family portrait for 12/7:, 802-462-4270. No walk-ins. Free. Rockingham Free Public Library, 65 Westminster St. Information: 802-463-4270; Click for more info on Web in new window.

NEWFANE "Nuts & Bolts of Local Government" - Town Meeting: Does town meeting leave you shaking your head? Do you have an idea that you want your fellow citizens to consider in March? Do the procedures mystify you? Learn about the nuts and bolts of town meeting with Atty. and former Deputy Secy. of State Paul Gillies, Newfane Town Moderator Deborah Lee Luskin, and Brookline Moderator David Parker as this series helps explain who does what in your government. 3:30 - 5 p.m. Monthly. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of state or local government. Free. Moore Free Library, 23 West St. Information: 802-365-7948; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Arts and crafts

BRATTLEBORO Make-Your-Own - Carve A Clay Tile or Create a Glass Ornament: Spend an hour in the clay or glass studio working with the highest quality materials to create a work of art to give or keep. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Repeats 12/14). Glass: $45 per ornament. Clay: $35 per tile or $120 for set of four. Fulcrum Arts Center, Rte. 30, 485 West River Rd. Pre-registration recommended (walk-ins welcome) 802-257-2787; Click for more info on Web in new window.


BELLOWS FALLS Monthly Dance Party: Wundergroove with guest DJ D.V.A. spinning a diverse mix of funky dance tunes through the ages. Nightclub dance party atmosphere, great bespoke cocktails all made in-house, inclusive happy vibe, all welcome, come dance with us. 9:30 p.m. dancing (Kitchen closes 9:30 p.m. - farm fresh local ingredients international tapas/small plate menu). No cover. Wunderbar, 22 Rockingham St. Information: 802-489-0289; Click for more info on Web in new window.

Tag sales, auctions, bazaars

BRATTLEBORO Main Street Flea - Pop-Up: Showcasing great gifts from local makers: Pottery, jewelry, prints and cards, Vendors include: AkimbaMade, Henry Ireland Photography, K.B. Ceramics, Luna Roots Botanicals, Rob Cartelli Ceramic, Sarah Rice Art, Scoffs at Gravity, Tavernier Chocolates, Tiny Pony Apothecary, Vale Burns Art, and more. Gift-wrapping at select times. Plus Ezra Distler's photo booth. 12/5: 4-8 p.m., 12/6: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 12/7: 10 a.m.-6 p.m; 12/8: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (next to Shin La). Through Sunday, December 8. Sixty-One Main St., 61 Main St. Information:

KEENE Annual Holiday Greens Sale: The greens table will feature locally made decorated and plain wreaths, Balsam roping, kissing balls, swags, and bundles of greens. Traditional New England Berry Bowls in many different sizes will be for sale. Holiday cookies and baked goods will be available for purchase. Reasonably priced menu includes soups, salad breads, beverages. The Book Nook offers volumes of hardcover and paperback fiction/nonfiction covering art, travel, children's, religion, philosophy, geography, and more - priced to sell. Crafter's table holds handmade treasures such as bookmarks, blankets, knitted throws, place mats and tableware, pillows and assorted knitwear for babies and adults. A Christmas-themed White Elephant table has a display of gently used items. In addition, Palestinian-made Christmas items will be for sale. 12/6: 5 - 8 p.m., 12/7: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Parish Hall. Hot lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Through Saturday, December 7. Keene Unitarian Universalist Church, 69 Washington St. Information: 603-352-1719; Click for more info on Web in new window.

GUILFORD Christmas Bazaar at Guilford Community Church: Featuring handmade crafts, decorated wreaths, holiday cookie platters, white elephants, and many unique gift items. Children can decorate their own holiday card and have their picture taken with Santa's elves. Breakfast goodies, hot beverages, sandwiches, and soups will also be for sale. 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Free. Guilford Community Church, Crnr Rte. 5 and Guilford Center Rd. Information: 802-257-2776.

W. BRATTLEBORO All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Holiday Bazaar - Festival of Wreaths and Greens: Handmade Christmas Wreaths, Swags and Ornaments, Gift Emporium. Baked goods including holiday specialties such as Stollen, fruit cake (real fruit) and more at the Artisan Bake Table. Gift Emporium offers gifts handmade from fabric items, felted bags, and a few bunnies. Buy a raffle ticket for a theme basket. Homemade cloth gift bags and DVD movies on the Eco Table. 12/6: 3-7 p.m., 12/7: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Cafe - 12/6: Chilies and corn bread; 12/7: 11 a.m.-2 p.m: Homemade soups, bread, desserts.) All proceeds benefit the Church's West Village Meeting House, home of the Theater Adventure Program. West Village Meeting House, 29 South St. Information: 802-365-7388.



December 2019