8th Annual “Pottstown Celebrates Young Children” event TOMORROW!

The eighth annual Pottstown Celebrates Young Children event will be held on April 12, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 at the Pottstown YMCA (724 Adams Street – across from Pottstown High School). The event targets families with young children and is sponsored by PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative. The afternoon will include a petting farm, moon bounce, mascots and clowns. More than 40 community organizations will provide family activities and everything is free.

This year PEAK is partnering with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center as the main sponsor for the Month of the Young Child events. According to PEAK Coordinator, Mary Rieck, “We are very thankful for the partnership with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Pottstown Celebrates Young Children is great way to raise awareness for early education and services of the hospital, as well as an enjoyable afternoon for the whole family. We look forward to finding new ways to work with the hospital to help Pottstown’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve.” The Month of the Young Child is also supported by the Pottstown Rotary Club Community Endowment Fund which is providing funds to support the purchase and distribution of 400 copies of the featured book for the Pennsylvania One Book campaign.

PEAK has received donations to support the event from Wegman’s and Costco. PEAK (Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness) is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community early learning programs and agencies seeking to prepare children and families for success in kindergarten. To learn more about PEAK or the April 12 event, visit http://www.peakonline.org, e-mail Ms. Rieck at mrieck@pottstownsd.org or call 610-970-6655. You can also follow PEAK on Twitter @PEAKPartners and on Facebook.

Spring into the arts this weekend in Pottstown!

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long – teaching and coaching take up just about all of my waking/thinking hours these days – but I have not forgotten you, Pottstown and its champions, and will continue to promote your fun, fascinating, and hard-won triumphs whenever possible! The following info comes from press releases from these organizations.

Whether you want to browse recycled and upcycled art at ArtFusion 19464, or take in a new, classic American drama – August: Osage County – at Steel River Playhouse, there’s plenty to keep your right brain busy this weekend.

First, there will be an opening reception at ArtFusion from 6-8 pm TONIGHT, Friday, March 21st, as they open their show, ReSourced, which helps prove true the old adage that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Local artists have created work from recycled, upcycled and salvaged items. Visitors to ArtFusion will be delighted by the wide range of pieces on display, from functional clothing to gorgeous free-standing sculptures.

Each visitor will also have a chance to contribute to a fun public art project. Throughout the show, which runs from March 21 through May 3, visitors will have a chance to add to a large scale, recycled weaving project. The weaving will be created from plastic bags, paper, VCR tapes, and more. The piece can be seen as it grows in the front window of the ArtFusion gallery.

Participating artists are: Alita Abruzzzese, Lisbeth Bucci, Robyn Burckhardt, Tom Carroll, Arline Christ, Maggie Creshkoff, James M. Enders, Juanita A. Gaspari, Robert Hakun, Heidi Hammel, Joe Hoover, Millie Lea, Dora Siemel, Carla Schaeffer, Teresa Shields, Donna Steck-McMahon, and Julie Tonnessen.

There will be an opening reception for ReSourced on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. All receptions are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A $100 Best in Show prize, sponsored by the NARI-BIE Green Team, will be presented at 6:30pm.

In conjunction with this show, ArtFusion is offering free field trips to local schools. Over 550 children have currently signed up for a fun, interactive experience. Students will learn about and discuss recycling, why it is important to the future of our planet, and how artists create with objects other people throw away. Each student will also create their own unique piece of recycled art. This show will help teach local children the importance of caring for our planet and will inspire them to look at the world–and how people create art–in a whole new way.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Now, maybe you want to drop in at ArtFusion right at 6 and then cross the street to Steel River for the 7 pm showing of August: Osage County IT IS IN ITS FINAL WEEKEND!! (Friday and Saturday at 7 pm; Sunday at 3 pm)

It has gotten some great reviews (see The Mercury’s review here.) This play swept the 2008 awards season, winning the Pulitzer plus all the “Best Play” awards –  the Tonys (5 in all), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and New York Drama Critic’s Circle awards. It’s about wild and wacky family dynamics, which make it perfect for a grown-up night out, book clubs, service organizations – you get the idea (not for young kids).

Please note: It’s a long play so it’s got an early curtain for the evening performances (7 pm), but it’s fast-paced and engrossing. There are two intermissions so there’s plenty of time to kick back with a glass of wine or beer – especially appropriate for this play! And you’re welcome to bring your refreshments into the audience seating area. 

To order your tickets online: go here.

Steel River Playhouse

245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464

610.970.1199www.steelriver.org

 

 Pulitzer Prize-winning New American Classic

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (comedy-drama)

Thursdays – Sundays

March 13th – 23rd

Comedy-Drama by Tracy Letts

Directed by Harland Meltzer

Contains Mature Themes, Sexual Content, and Adult Language

Bobby Rydell performs in Pottstown March 29th

By Official Proclamation Pottstown Presents

Bobby Rydell Organ Donor Awareness Day

The Legendary BOBBY RYDELL
  and
The Unmistakable –
DUPREES
 Also featuring the #1 “Girl Group Revue”
FIRST LADIES OF ROCK AND SOUL

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014
Davenport Performing Arts Center – Pottstown High School
750 North Washington Street • Pottstown, PA 19464
Show Starts 6pm
Reserved $55 General Admission $45

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW:
By Phone: 610.853.6776 OR 610.306.9361
By Mail: P.O. Box 912 Pottstown, PA 19464
Check Payable to: Tom Coyle
Credit Card: http://www.FirstLadiesofRockandSoul.com

Pottstown MLK Day observance at Hill School today at 4 pm

This comes from Rev. Vernon Ross, Jr., Pastor of Bethel AME Community Church.

You are invited to attend and to encourage your congregation, family, friends, and others to attend the Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM.

The Celebration will take place at The Hill School Center for the Arts, and the Pottstown Community Martin Luther King Choir will be singing.  Our special guest will be Mr. David Carlisle, Director of Music, Ms. Melanie R. Hill, Violinist, and Minister Adrien Gale, Soloist.

The proceeds of a free will offering will be given to the Pottstown School District to support their Math/STEM Programs.  This is a wonderful opportunity to help our youth in the Pottstown Community!   We hope to see you!

The Hill School Center for the Arts is located at 860 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.

College Performing Arts Programs: Steel River alumni share their stories TONIGHT

Steel River Playhouse is located at 245 E. High Street in the heart of Pottstown, PA 19464

The Road to College Performing Arts Programs

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

A Chat with Steel River Alumni

Thursday, January 16th

7:00 pm

Join us for a lively discussion and performance demonstrations featuring SRP alumni who have pursued advanced training at the college and conservatory level. Alumni will share their journeys, discuss their career paths, and answer questions of students and parents who are considering a performing arts career or are just curious about the process!

SCHEDULE

7:00 pm –

discussion

8:15 pm – alumni performance demonstrations

9:00 pm – refreshments

PARTICIPATING ALUMNI

Drew Carr – BM Music Education, Ithaca College (2017)

Craig Hacker – BFA Film and Media Arts, Temple University (2015)

Ryan Hagan – BA Theatre, DeSales University (2017)

Matt Kiesling – BFA Theatre, NYU/Tisch, New Studio on Broadway for Music Theatre (2016)

Michael Kiesling – BM Vocal Performance (Opera concentration), Westminster Choir College (2017)

Andrew Pierce – BA Theatre, DeSales University (2017)

Jordan Popky – BM Songwriting (minor in Choral Conducting) (2016)

Kelsey Riker – BFA Musical Theatre, Seton Hill University (2016)

Carrie Thorwarth – BFA Musical Theatre, University of the Arts (2016)

Kevin White – BA Musical Theatre, DeSales University (2015)

Matt Zarley – BA Theater (Acting concentration), Temple University (2015)

RSVP appreciated with the number in your party. Contact kathy@steelriver.org

Hill School artist to showcase glass creations this Sunday

The Hill School is once again on Pottstown’s Historic House Tour, but this year there will be a special open house taking place at the Center for the Arts at 860 Beech Street. Hill’s Director of Security – and fellow girls’ basketball coach! – will be showcasing his glass-making and poetry. Please stop by to see this multi-talented artist in action and support The Mercury’s Operation Holiday.  See below for details in the press release provided by The Hill…

On Sunday, December 8th from 2pm to 7pm, Glass Tears founder Randal S. Doaty will be holding an open house at the Center for the Arts at the Hill School located at 860 Beech Street in Pottstown. Doaty is a local glass artist and poet who will be showcasing his Glass Tears creations and poetry, as well as selling his custom Glass Tears Christmas tree ornaments to visitors.

Doaty will be handcrafting special Christmas Tears ornaments with his flame working torch to sell as a fundraising effort. All of the proceeds from the sale of his custom creations will go to benefit the Pottstown Mercury’s Operation Holidays to benefit local families at Christmas. These special ornaments will only be sold at this special Open House event and are not available for sale at the Glass Tears webstore.

The Mercury’s stories of families facing difficult challenges during the holiday season inspired Doaty to offer his unique gifts to raise money for this local effort. Randal Doaty is currently the Director of Security at the Hill School. He is also known throughout the community as a real estate business man and former Chief of Police. On Sunday he will put on his artist’s hat and share another side.

The Glass Tears concept was born when Doaty noticed a scrap of glass sparkling in the sunlight in a scrap glass bucket at Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. He remembers thinking “glass tear” when he saw glass dropping during a visit to the studio. Weeks later, Doaty commissioned his long-time friend and fellow glass artist Will Dexter to create a similar free standing glass teardrop as a sympathy gift for a good friend.

The original glass teardrop Dexter created was beautiful, but it had no voice. Doaty decided to pen the very first poem he had ever written entitled “Glass Tears”. The union of the glass art and the poetry became a winning combination. Others who saw the unique sympathy gift began to order them and the Glass Tears business was born. To date Doaty had written more than 400 Glass Tears poems and has also published his first book of poetry.

The original intent of the Glass Tears gift was an expression of sympathy, but today these gifts are used for a wide range of occasions. “Tears are the punctuation marks in life’s most powerful moments” says Doaty. His glass art and poetry are now used to convey messages of courage, hope, faith, joy, sorrow, friendship, thanks and much more. These special keepsakes have been sold around the world and as far away as Australia and Africa.

The special Christmas tree ornaments that Doaty will be crafting on Sunday are his special occasion tears represented by their unique colors glass. He has an emerald tear of hope, a blue Christmas teardrop for grief support, a purple tear of courage, a pink breast cancer battle tear, an ivory tear of love or faith, plus several more. He even has a black onyx “Biker’s Tear” that has become popular with motorcycle enthusiasts.

The ornaments and decorative hangers will sell for $15 each or two for $25. They will only be sold as fast as he can handcraft them at the event or while his supplies last. This is a great opportunity to help local families who cannot afford a special holiday of their own. Doaty hopes to inspire other local businesses to step in and support the Operation Holiday during these difficult economic times.

 

Shrek the musical at Steel River: Family fun for everyone!

Family Holiday Fun – Shrek the Musical at Steel River Playhouse

“Five Years on High” 5th Anniversary Celebration

It isn’t easy being … GREEN! Bring the whole family to Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High Street in Pottstown and celebrate the holidays with everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek! Fun for the “kid” in all of us, Shrek the Musical runs Thursdays through Sundays, December 5th through 22nd. Take advantage of a range of special family events at no extra charge, especially during the Opening Weekend “Five Years on High” celebration in honor of Steel River’s fifth anniversary on High Street!

 

Michael Roman as "Donkey"
Michael Roman as “Donkey”

Here’s your Shrek refresher to access your funny bone … In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Add a donkey who won’t stop talking, a vertically challenged bad guy with a “short” temper, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand – Shrek! The familiar music will have you tapping your toes, and the heartwarming story will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Opening weekend includes complimentary photos with the cast (12/5 through 12/8), free gingerbread treats (12/5) and candy cane treats (12/6 through 12/8), and a complimentary reception sponsored by Lily’s Grill (12/6). You can also join the cast and crew for special talkbacks after the show on Sundays, 12/6 and 12/15.

Other special events include free “Family Fun Days” on Sundays, 12/8 and 12/15 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, immediately prior to the 3:00 pm matinee performances. Designed for ages 6 through Adult, Family Fun activities include comedy/improv and theater games facilitated by Steel River’s expert instructors. Pair this event with tickets to see Shrek the Musical and a FREE talk-back session to chat with the actors after the show. Make it a magical day your family will remember!

But WAIT, there’s MORE! On Saturday, December 14th, you can participate OR observe one-day only Stage Combat and Tap Dance workshops with special guest artists James N. Brown (Certified Teacher, SAFD), Adam Kissinger (Actor/Combatant, SAFD Theatre), and Johnnie Hobbs, III (Los Angeles tap dancer, actor, director, and producer). Divided by age groups, the workshops will cover unarmed stage violence as well as tap dance history, technique, and choreography. Sign up by December 5th, and receive $3 off tickets to the first weekend performances of Shrek the Musical. More information is available at www.steelriver.org.

And while you’re at Steel River, be sure to check out the new concession and retail area, where you can pre-order your intermission treats for fastest service, including Sly Fox Beer as well as an assortment of wine, sodas, indulgent treats, and healthy snacks. There’s great holiday shopping too, with Silver Shoppe jewelry and authentic gemstones, glass ornaments (including limited edition Shrek themes), and Steel River logo items (wine glasses, cheese trays and more).

The cast of Shrek the Musical includes Bryon Smith* as “Shrek” (Reading), Erica-Anne Bossman as “Fiona” (Bensalem), Michael Roman as “Donkey” (Reading), Joe Ciresi as “Farquaad” (Limerick), Ebony Pullum as “Dragon” (Philadelphia), Stephanie Haring as “Gingy” (New York), Jordan McAndrew as “Young Fiona” (Pottstown), Denise Webb as “Mama Ogre/Witch” (Coatesville), Sebastian Coates as “Young Shrek/Baby Bear” (Douglassville), Amanda Morrell as “(Mama Bear” (Phoenixville), Maddie Aicher as “Pinocchio” (North Coventry), Connor Kirk as “Elf” (Chester Springs), Becka Melanios as “Queen Lillian/Sugar Plum Fairy” (Birdsboro), Ashley West as “Teen Fiona/Knight” (Downingtown), Ben Williams as “Pig” (Pottstown), Taylor Ruffo as “Pig” (Royersford), AJ Sermarini as “Pig/Knight” (Barto), Jocelyn Shank as “Ugly Duckling” (Douglassville), Robert Webb as “Wolf” (Coatesville), Zach Reynolds as “Peter Pan/Knight” (Norristown), Olivia Helmer as “Puss-in-Boots” (Gilbertsville), Burt Merriam as “Captain of the Guard/Bishop” (Pottstown), Trent Soto as “Knight/Humpty Dumpty” (Boyertown), Nathan Esser as “Mouse” (Blue Bell), Liam Keenan as “Mouse” (North Coventry), Ben Helmer as “Mouse” (Gilbertsville), Madison Devlin as “Blue Bird” (Gilbertsville), Charles Delaney as “Thelonious/Guard” (Collegeville), Carly Silberman as ”White Rabbit”, and as “Ensemble and other characters”: Anna Pederson (Gilbertsville), Hannah Paczkowski (Pottstown), Sabrina Paulino (Coatesville), Lindsay Lohr (Schwenksville), Breyana Clark (Pottstown), Kendall Bowden (Gilbertsville), Karissa Smith (Boyertown), Abby Webb (Coatesville). The director is Deborah Stimson-Snow and the music director is Richard Lewis. *Mr. Smith appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Shrek the Musical runs Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm, December 5th through 22nd. Tickets are $15 – $27 and may be purchased online. Steel River Playhouse is located at 245 E. High St., Pottstown, PA 19464. Purchase tickets at www.steelriver.org or by contacting boxoffice@steelriver.org or 610-970-1199. Please note: children under 4 will not be admitted to the theater.

About Steel River Playhouse

Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Designated as a “gateway” performing arts center, Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. The organization embraces emerging and established artists, and supports community by serving as a magnet destination for economic development and a platform for shared experiences by diverse audiences. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side-by-side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers. More information is available at www.steelriver.org.

Hometown Holiday underway in downtown Pottstown!

The calendar below comes from the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) website.

It’s not hard to find plenty to do in Pottstown beginning this weekend and continuing throughout the holidays, from Sunday brunches to the Historic House Tour this Sunday afternoon to carriage rides, Shrek the musical, Van Gogh’s Secret Studio Shopping for kids, story time with elves, free baby-sitting, local choirs at Smith Plaza and SANTA!

Of course, there’s also a plethora of holiday shopping and dining opportunities, so come out and see what Pottstown has to offer!

DECEMBER 8 / SUNDAY

  • 10am Brunch w/ Santa at Grumpy’s (137 E High Street) – Reservations are required – $7.00 – 610-323-1232
  • 2pm – 7pm: Historic House Tours (start at The Elks Club for Tea)                                                                                                                                                                                            Tickets sold at PDIDA (17 N Hanover St)/ 610-323-5400 or Parks & Rec (100 E High Street)  610-970-6618
  • 2pm – 7pm:  Carriage Rides  along High Street – $5 per person-TICKETS SOLD AT SMITH PLAZA
  • 3pm:  Steel River Playhouse – SHREK  go to http://www.steelriver.org
  • 5pm:  Santa Arrives to Smith Plaza – Tree Lighting – Choirs and more!

 DECEMBER 14 / SATURDAY

  • 10am – 3pm: ARTFusion (254 High Street) Van Gogh’s Secret Studio Shopping for kids – get your raffle ticket first!
  • 2pm -7pm:  Photos with Santa at Smith Plaza / Carriage Rides along High Street
  • 1pm:   Tree Decoration Making and party at Red Cloud Kung Fu (3o7 E High Street)
  • 2PM Tea w/ Mrs. Clause (Free) Sitter’s Clubhouse (355 E High  Street)
  • 2:30/3:30/4:30 & 5:30PM – Story Time With The Elves/Milkmen Lunch Co (255 E High Street)
  • 5pm – Illusionists/Magician Kyle & Kelly will be entertaining at Smith Plaza
  • 8pm:  SHREK
  • Be sure to BUY LOCAL – Get your raffle Tickets by calling: Sheila Dugan  @ 610-323-5400 / 484-948-6061

DECEMBER 21 / SATURDAY

  • 2pm, 3pm, 4pm & 5pm:  Story Time with the Elves – Milkmen Lunch Co. (255 E High Street)
  • 4pm – 6pm:  Kyle & Kelly Illusionist /  Magician at Smith Plaza
  • 5pm– 7pm:  Free Babysitting while you shop Sitter’s Clubhouse (355 E High Street) – Pizza & Drinks will be supplied for the kids!
  • 8pm:  Shrek
  • Shopping – get your raffle ticket first!
  • Choirs at Smith Plaza

DECEMBER 15th & 22nd / SUNDAY Holiday Brunches 10am to 1pm

  • Lily’s Grill: 115 E High Street
  • Juan Carlos 235 E High Street
  • Grumpy’s 137 E High Street
  • Live Music  – come out and enjoy brunches during the holidays with your family & friends!  
  • BUY LOCAL RAFFLE SALE STARTS NOVEMBER 30th –
  • Buy a raffle ($25) – Spend $100 more in the Downtown & Buy Local Shops
  • Return Raffle w/ Receipts to 17 N Hanover St BEFORE MIDNIGHT DEC 21st and get a chance to win $1,000 / $500.00!!!
  • Only 200 Raffles will be sold!
  • WHITE RIBBON SALE STARTS NOVEMBER 15th & ENDS DEC 5th – Purchase your white ribbon and send a loved one your message
  •  $5 per ribbon. These will decorate our community tree and be displayed throughout the holidays.
  • Fill in your message and we will do the rest.
  • Ribbons are on sale now at Twice as Nice. Memories n More, Cole’s Tobacco & Grumpy’s.
  • You can remember a loved one, wish your friends and family well or just be a part of your community with a holiday message!
  • Call Sheila  for more information 610-323-5400 or 484-948-6061.

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