'Ten Minute Play Festival' auditions

The Actors Theatre Playhouse announces open interviews and auditions for its 8th "Ten Minute Play Festival" performing Fridays and Saturdays, June 10 to 25, for six performances. Auditions will be on both Saturday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, Dec, 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brattleboro Savings and Loan Community Room, 221 Main St., Brattleboro, Please RSVP jbombicino@svcable.net if you plan on attending, or need to set up a different time. Copies of the scripts are available as PDF files for your perusal by email from the producer, Jim Bombicino at jbombicino@svcable.net.

You will be asked to read from those plays that interest you. Directors may also ask you to read for other plays and roles as well. You may audition for as many plays as you like and you may act in more than one play. Rehearsals will be spread out over several months, with the most intense time being the two weeks prior to the opening and through the first weekend's run.

'Masters of the Short Story' by Chekhov

Short stories by famed Russian author, Anton Chekhov, will be discussed on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room. This is the third in the Vermont Humanities Council reading and discussion series with a focus on short stories.


The Chekhov stories to be talked about on Nov. 30 are: "The Black Monk," "The House with the Mezzanine," "The Peasants," "Gooseberries," and "The Lady with the Toy Dog." Books are available at the Library Circulation Desk.

'Two film screenings and discussions

The Women's Freedom Center is hosting free film and discussion nights in towns all around Windham County. "The Mask You Live In" and "Miss Representation" will screen on Monday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dover Free Library, 22 Holland Rd., Dover and on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., There will be frank and inspiring community conversation that explores the profound impact of gender norms and media-fueled pressure on us all. The first film examines how American masculinity harms boys, men, & society at large. The second highlights mainstream media's harsh & distorting influence on women & girls, restricting their full potential as well. We'll discuss positive means for change. For more information, please call 802-257-7364.

'Les Comperes' to screen at The Latchis

Express Fluency and Latchis Arts present a screening of the French comedy film "Les Comperes" at the The Latchis Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. Express Fluency will offer a two-part mini-class in French to talk about the film.

Before the film, on Sunday, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., participants in the first part of the mini-class in French will set the scene for the film, and then on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., the class will continue as the students talk about what happened in the movie. The classes will be held at Express Fluency at 73 Main St., Brattleboro.

"Les Compères is a classic comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard," said Elissa McLean, the founder of Express Fluency. "We're excited to be partnering with Latchis Arts to offer an opportunity for French speakers to come together to talk about the film.

Even if you're not taking the class, the film is open to everyone.

Admission to "Les Compères" is be by donation, to benefit Latchis Arts. Tuition for the mini-class is $30, $15 for students. For registration and more information: expressfluency.com/product-category/french/.

Messiah Sing to benefit the homeless

Friends of Music at Guilford invites singers and music lovers in the Tri-State region to start their holiday season at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, with the 45th annual Community Messiah Sing, a benefit for the homeless. Centre Congregational Church, at 193 Main Street in Brattleboro, has been home for the Sing since 1982 and for a few prior seasons as well.

As many as 250 or more singers from the Tri-State region bring their copy of a Messiah vocal score, otherwise borrow or buy one at the door. Copies are available in advance online or at regional music shops. A number of other folks just come for the beautiful music and to enjoy the rich sound of such an enormous choir. Water is the only beverage allowed in the sanctuary; a supply of bottled water is also available for purchase at the door.

All door donations at the Sing since 2007, a total of nearly $13,500, have been divided between the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and Morningside Shelter (now renamed Groundworks Drop In Center and Groundworks Shelter) to support their work with the homeless at holiday time.

For further information, contact the Friends of Music office at (802) 254-3600 or email office@fomag.org; visit online at www.fomag.org.

VJC will present its annual big band swing gala The Vermont Jazz Center will present its annual big band swing gala on Friday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. All proceeds will support the VJC's Scholarship Program. This year's concert will feature the music of world-class vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and his Dream Band. The VJC will use the same arrangements that Gibbs' Ensemble performed during the group's apex that took place in the late 1950s and early '60s. Based out of Los Angeles, Gibbs' Dream Band is still recognized as one of the best big bands to emerge after the bebop movement.

The 17-piece Vermont Jazz Center Big Band acquired some of the sheet music of Gibbs' Dream band and searched for a vibraphonist who could stand in for the virtuosic and hard-swinging Gibbs (who is now a feisty 91 years old). Berklee College of Music professor Rich Greenblatt, who often performs with area guitarist Draa Hobbs, was available - he took on this project with gusto, delighted by the level of writing and the prospect of reinterpreting such significant material.

The VJC Big Band will also feature vocalists Jill Connolly and Mark Anagnostopulos, The Vermont Jazz Center Big Band is a professional community band that comes together under the auspices of the VJC to rehearse and take on projects. The VJC's tribute to the Dream Band will take place on Friday, Dec. 4.

Admission, which includes a delicious desert buffet, is $25 plus for general admission, $30 plus for reservations that include reserved seating. For local high school students, there is a special fund available to subsidize admission.

Purchase tickets online at www.vtjazz.org, by email at ginger@vtjazz.org, at In the Moment Records in downtown Brattleboro, or call the VJC ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1 (a $1 surcharge per ticket will be charged for all tickets purchased with a credit card, online, or by phone). Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Call in advance at 802–254-9088 if someone in your party will require the use of an elevator.

Groovebargers in A Capella Holiday Concert Next Stage Arts Project is delighted to present the first event of its re-opening, the Second Annual A Capella Holiday Concert, featuring international a capella sensation The Groovebarbers, with special guests The Putney Central School Chorus, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. Complimentary cider, donuts and tours of the newly renovated space will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for 6 to 12 years old, and $40 for a family. Kids under 6 get in free.

Tickets are available online, through the Next Stage website (www.nextstagearts.org) or at Offerings Jewelry in Putney or Turn It Up in Brattleboro. Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill, Putney.

The Village Voice calls The GrooveBarbers "acapella rock and soul royalty". Each member of this all-vocal powerhouse quartet is a bona fide star in his own right: Sean Altman, Charlie Evett and Steve Keyes are former members of the pioneering modern a cappella group Rockapella of "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" TV fame, and Kevin Weist is a renowned bald vocal guru. Collectively they have established themselves as the go-to vocal group for rock, doo-wop, jazz, barbershop and — with the help of guest soprano Inna Dukach — a new hybrid genre they call "doowopera". www.GrooveBarbers.com www.doowopera.com

Masters of the jazz guitar

Two "Masters of the jazz guitar" will be on stage at Main Street Arts in Saxtons River when world class guitarist John Stowell teams up with local legend Draa Hobbs on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m.

The duo will present "An evening of spontaneous improvisations," based on familiar standards from the classic American songbook as well as seldom heard pieces by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and others.

International Critics poll winner John Stowell has been called "Jazz's wandering minstrel," having played across Europe, South America, Australia, and the former Soviet Union.

Grafton guitarist Draa Hobbs has been performing in clubs and concerts throughout New England.

Writing for the Brattleboro Reformer William Ballard says Hobbs "represents jazz at its best."

Main Street Arts Managing Director Margo Ghia said, "Main Street Arts is very excited to have these two wonderful musicians on our stage. Jazz fans in our region already know the quality of Draa's work and John Stowell is a tremendous talent. Putting them together should make for a wonderful evening for everyone."

Advance tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. To reserve your seats call Main Street Arts at 802-869-2960.