Edmond Chibeau looks at performance and theatre from the avant-garde communication perspective

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Location: Mansfield, Connecticut, United States

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Joan Seliger Sidney: Bereft and Blessed

Joan Seliger Sidney
Bereft and Blessed:
Joan Seliger Sidney
Antrim Press,
Simsbury, Connecticut
Spring 2014

Sidney's new book published by Antrim House with a cover painting by Gray Jacobik reflects a continuation and deepening of her style and her soul.  Joan Seliger Sidney's poetry often deals with unspeakable hurt and almost unbearable compassion.  But she speaks it, and she bears it.   We know this because we hear it in her writing.  She shares the stories that were handed down to her, the stories she creates, and the stories she has lived, and she asks us to share, not the pain, but the misericordia.
She prefers 3-speed bikes, roller skates that clatter on pavement, granddaughters to the grandsons that she doesn’t have.  She prefers telling the truth, though the truth doesn’t always need to be told. 
She sometimes relives moments in pre-World War II Poland, a country where she never lived but where she can take us with her writing. A place where we can join her to recapture, a time that is gone, a place that is gone, and a community that she, with our help, will keep alive forever.
Ask her some day why her mother couldn’t speak Yiddish.  Or read about it in her book.  It is a book that will both break your heart, and lift up your spirit.  Joan Seliger Sidney is a poet who is both “Bereft and Blessed.” 

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spirit of Broadway: Benedict Arnold

Squandered Opportunity or Beginning of Change

In the In the Norwich Bulletin on Tuesday 10 July 2014 Ray Hackett chided the town of Norwich bigwigs for not supporting a play with roots in their town.  He spoke about how the arts, especially the performing arts, can be the vanguard of a town’s revitalization.The key to transformation of a community is often in the arts.  Ray Hackett’s critique of the absence of city government at the opening of “Benedict Arnold: The Musical” at the Spirit of Broadway theatre is a point well taken. To develop its profile Norwich must make a concerted effort by producing more plays, musicals, and more exhibits about Norwich. The theatre should experiment with different lengths of shows and different kinds of shows. It should repeat successful works again the following year. There must be continued support from the town.  
“Spirit of Broadway” must produce more Norwich related material and members of city government must offer ongoing support.  One-and-done is not the answer, but developing a community that supports its arts and knows its history can make all the difference.