October is a scary month for the arts

Published 8:45 am Thursday, September 29, 2011

Column: Rosalie Truax, Eye on the Arts

Fall is in the air and local arts organizations are gearing up for the holiday season, including the eerie atmosphere of witches, ghosts and ghouls as a theme for their arts events.

Rosalie Truax

Albert Lea Community Theatre will hold auditions for the much-loved “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 3-5, at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. There is a large cast for the show, including parts for children over the age of 8 for a variety of roles. Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchit family, Tiny Tim, the three Christmas Spirits, the Fezziwigs and party guests and many character parts offer new and experienced actors interesting roles. To audition, come prepared to read from a script and perhaps sing a Christmas carol (for a singing part). The show is directed by Glen Parsons and Gordy Handeland and will be performed Dec. 1-4, 7-10. Check the website www.actonbroadway.com for more information.

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Albert Lea Art Center will again begin their annual Pumpkin Painting Event the week of Oct. 10.

If you have some free time, come to the Albert Lea Art Center and paint a pumpkin that will be placed with shutins, nursing homes, schools and other venues around town. Call the Art Center 373-5665 to reserve a time. All materials are provided. This is a fun, community-building event for all.

Local piano virtuoso Brook Cuden and Andreas Denk are coming to Albert Lea From Amsterdam, Holland, on Oct. 10, 11 and 12 to conduct workshops on interpretive dance at Albert Lea High School during the school day. Student actors, singers and dancers will have the chance to work in small groups with these two talented artists to learn more about live performance. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Cuden and Denk will perform for the community at the high school auditorium. The piece called “Sophie and Concert” is based on stories from families who have lost young children and other family members.

Using music and dance, the emotions of such loss are expressed and explored in a beautiful and moving way. Show time is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at the door. Cuden is the daughter of Frank Cuden and Mary Summerness and lives in Amsterdam with her husband, Johann, and daughter, Anna Rose.

The Freeborn County Historical Society will be sponsoring the Mystery Bus Tour Oct. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call Pat Mulso at 373-8003 for more information and to register.

The Southeast Minnesota Chamber Orchestra will perform a pops concert at the Albert Lea High School auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m., featuring several pop songs scored for orchestra by Brock Besse and featuring the lyrical voice of Nikky Krautbauer.

A major event for the Art Center is the second annual Celebrating the Arts & Artists at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club, with feature artist Rory Mattson and patron artist Mark Kness on Friday, Oct. 21. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. for appetizers and a cash bar, a silent auction of celebrity artists and a live auction of selected pieces from the Art Center’s permanent collection. A $5 donation will be accepted at the door.

The Art Center will also hold Community Education classes at the Art Center. Beginning Drawing with Peg Shelton will be offered Oct. 4 and 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., fee $40. Beginning Watercolor with Beth Tostenson will be Oct. 10, 14, 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., fee $60. Call Community Education to register: 379-4834.

As part of the Monthly Lecture Series, Lowell and JoAnn Barr will talk about their Navaho experience on Thursday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. Free admission.

“A Touch of Broadway: Witches and Goblins” will be presented at the Lighthouse Event Center, 621 Marshall St. from 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27-29, featuring music from shows such as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Sweeney Todd.” Call 373-3144 for more information.

The fourth annual Pipe Screams Concert will be held on Sunday, Oct. 30. at 3:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church. This annual treat has filled the sanctuary with sounds of organ and choral music.

Costumes are worn by all participants and the audience is encouraged to wear a costume as well.

Performers this year will include American Guild of Organists Robert Tewes, Gail Thurnau, Eileen Nelson Ness, the Stray Notes and members of the Albert Lea Cantori. The program is family-oriented with pumpkin and Halloween trivia. Songs like “Toccata in D Minor” by Bach, “The Monster Mash,” “Three Little Fishies,” “The Teddy Bears Picnic,” pumpkin carols and other music of the season will be included.

Come early for a good seat. There will be popcorn and apple cider available from 3 to 3:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public. An offering will be taken for the organ revoicing project. Contact Eileen Nelson Ness at the United Methodist Church for more information at 373-8233.

As you can see from the wide variety of programs planned during the month of October, one only needs venture outside the front door to enjoy affordable local arts activities. Thanks to the generosity of local artist and volunteers, we all benefit with a better local quality of life.

Rosalie Truax is the president of the Albert Lea Community Theatre.