Arts Notes

Staged reading planned of ‘Shakespeare’s Sister-
A staged reading of “Shakespeare’s Sister” by Emma Whipday, a riff on Virginia Woolf’s rumination, “What would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister called Judith, let us say…?”  will be presented Sunday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. at Colchester’s Mead Hall.

The Vermont Shakespeare Festival will present the reading.

The festival, which is celebrating 12 years of performances, workshops, readings and a summer training program is expanding its board, staff and events.

The board has appointed Ruth Wallman as executive director. She will handle administrative duties, while Jena Necrason and John Nagle will be co-artistic directors and will continue as the creative team. Wallman has many years of experience running nonprofit organizations, and has been on the festival board for the past two years.

The Vermont Shakespeare Festival has also elected new leadership. President of the board is Dennis W. Voigt, a financial adviser; vice president is Joanne Farrell, a professor at Champlain College; treasurer is Adam Necrason, principal of the Necrason Group lobbying and public affairs team; and secretary is John Nagle, the festival’s co-artistic director. Other board members are Sue Chalifoux, Nicholas Clary, Jena Necrason, Michael Schultz, Ruth Wallman and Dok Wright. An advisory board is also being established, led by Gregory Ramos, chair of the theater department at the University of Vermont and a former board member. Information:

New ballet company to perform in Shelburne
“Bees & Friends” will be presented Saturday, Oct. 14, at 4:15 p.m. at Shelburne’s Bread and Butter Farm by Ballet Vermont as part of a fall festival. This show will also feature Chris Dorman, a popular musician and early childhood educator.

Ballet Vermont was born after three successful seasons of the Farm to Ballet Project, enjoyed this summer by more than 3,000 audience members in six Vermont counties.

Farm to Ballet founder Chatch Pregger says the project raised nearly $30,000 this summer, of which 75 percent went directly to farms and agricultural nonprofits.

Pregger said Ballet Vermont is the state’s only classical ballet company; it includes a number of the dancers who appeared in Farm to Ballet, plus some newcomers. The six soloists and 11 other dancers aim to present high-quality ballet that celebrates Vermont. Pregger said he hopes to create a path for professional ballet dancers, musicians and composers in Vermont to collaborate and produce original dance pieces.

“Bees & Friends,” a 45-minute piece, offers a menagerie of bees, bugs and birds dancing to Vivaldi’s ”Four Seasons,” which will be performed live. The ballet explores topics of pollination, metamorphoses, integrated pest management and bio-luminescence. Tickets are $20 at

Visionary David Sellers to give Batten lecture
David Sellers, an internationally recognized leader in environmental and community-related designs, will deliver the 18th annual Roland Batten Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. at 301 Williams Hall at the University of Vermont.

His topic will be 50 years of his built and unbuilt projects and visions for the future in Vermont.

The lecture series was founded in 1999 in memory of Shelburne-based architect and planning board member Roland Batten. The RBA Fund was established to fund activities designed to enhance the role of architecture and design in society.

Sellers, founder and president of Sellers and Co. in Warren, has experimented with sustainable energy systems and designs featuring passive and active solar, wood backup, super-insulation, water storage for recirculating heat, composting toilets, and windmills since the early 1970s.

He was selected as one of the top 100 architects in the world by Architectural Digest, founded the Goddard College design/build program, and inspired the present Yestermorrow Design/Build School. His designs have included Putney School dormitories that use trees for the structure, a Butterfly House with mirrored sides that unfolds for camp or vacation use and is invisible in the woods, and an underground house with a grass roof flush to the ground that pops up on hydraulic cylinders.

His design competitions and proposals include a bio-shelter of St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, an earth shelter tunneled in rock at a winery in California, the Cousteau Ocean Center, and American Organ Academy.
Recently he founded the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Art (

Admission is free. Information: the UVM Art Department at 802 656-2014 or

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