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GreenStage Guilford 2023 Presents a Week of Live Arts, September 17-24

GreenStage Guilford Live Arts 2023 will showcase five new works and present nearly two dozen other live performances and workshops in music, drama, dance and storytelling, plus a dance residency for people of all abilities. There will be something going on every day on and around the Guilford Green from September 17-24. All events will be free.

Formerly known as the Guilford Performing Arts Festival, GreenStage Guilford will feature folk, jazz, classical, brass-band and music from many parts of the world; ballet and contemporary dance; staged dramatic readings and storytelling; join-in programs in singing, circus arts, Puerto Rican Bomba dance, Bharanatyam dance from India, Middle Eastern belly dancing and VisABLE dance for all abilities. There will be a puppet show; a performance of drumming, dance and storytelling by members of the Mohegan Tribe; standup comedy; plein air painting and hands-on artmaking, plus an audio booth where people can tell their own stories and interview one another.

Events will take place on two stages on the Guilford Green, at the Arthur Murray Dance Center, the Guilford Community Center, the First Congregational Church, the Guilford Free Library and the Shoreline Ballet dance studio. For more information, visit, send an email to greenstageguilford or call (203) 654-9482.

A centerpiece of this year’s festival is a multi-day VisABLE Dance residency for people of all physical, cognitive and emotional abilities. Led by expressive arts consultant and movement artist Kerry Kincy, it features three workshops and a performance.

Recipients of GreenStage Artists’ Awards—which commission new works for premiere at the festival—will present three new pieces in music, drama and storytelling. Storytellers Jennifer Munro and Denise Page have curated a collection of never-before-heard stories by five women, called Women Tell: Our Firsts; playwright Peter Sonenstein will premiere The End of Empire, a multimedia staged reading about the history and impact of digital technology; and violinist Ilana Zaks will present Sounds of New England, a six-movement piece for solo violin and looping technology based on visits to low-income and under-resourced New England communities.

Other musical artists include five-time-Grammy-winning composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards and others), who will perform with his jazz trio and play ten original solo piano etudes; folk duo Goodnight Moonshine; jazz quintet Jonathan Barber and Vision Ahead; the innovative brass ensemble Dingonek Street Band; singer and actor Schuyler Beeman, who will present a new cabaret, Home Again, based on his life as a gay man, sheep farmer and theatre artist in a small New England town; and soprano Danielle Munsell Howard, who will perform a program of late 19th- to 21st-century music by underrepresented women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ composers.

In drama and spoken word, playwright Laura Thoma will present a staged reading of her play Yours in Words, about two women who challenge the gender norms of the 1890s; poet and author Alexa Patrick will read from her new book Remedies for Disappearing; GreenStage comedy night features Beecher and Joe Gerics. Patrick and Zaks will also collaborate on a performance of music and spoken word, playing off works at the Guilford Art Center. A StoryCorps DIY booth will be available for people to record their own stories for archiving at the Library of Congress.

New England Ballet Theatre will present three original works, while dance will be featured among the many participatory events. Artists include the Middle Eastern Dance Academy, performing and teaching belly dance; Movimiento Cultural, presenting Bomba music and dance from Puerto Rico; Natyamandala, demonstrating the classical Indian dance form Bharanatyam; master musician Oghlan Bakhshi, playing music and telling stories from the Turkmens region of Central Asia; and choral master/conductor Marika Kuzma, leading a joyful singalong that includes a song from Ukraine, her ancestral home (donations will be collected for a Ukrainian charity). Oompa Possum Puppets will stage a nature-themed puppet show.

In addition to the public events, seven festival artists have been invited to teach workshops or master classes in music, movement and spoken-word in the Guilford public schools.

GreenStage Guilford gets major support from The Residences at 66 High Street, Guilford Fund for Education, The Guilford Foundation, The Horton Group, The Town of Guilford/American Recovery Plan Act, Connecticut Humanities and the CT Humanities/Connecticut Office of the Arts CT Cultural Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, The George A and Grace L. Long Foundation, Riverside Financial Group, M&T Bank, Palumbo’s Automotive, Rotary Club of Guilford, NewAlliance Foundation, Guerrera Landscaping, Pasquariello Electric Corp. and Shore Publishing/

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