A+ A A-

Belknap Mill to host Elm Street School Mill Project exhibit starting Monday

LACONIA —  The Belknap Mill is hosting the Elm Street School Mill Project exhibit for the month of February in its Riverside Room. The kickoff to the exhibit will take place on Monday, February 2 from 6:00 to 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.

Students from the three third grade classrooms at Elm Street School in Laconia have worked to create miniature mills located in the Lakes Region area. Each student was asked to create a mill using cardboard and Sharpies; complete with a small informational piece showcasing the industry and time period in which the mill operated. Eighteen miniature mills were constructed in Andy Mercer's class and the two other third grade classrooms, led by teachers Kelly Bliss and Megan Vasconcellos, were soon to follow. The students have assisted each other with the design and creation of the mills, making for collaborative efforts between the teachers and students.

The Elm Street School Mill Project is the creation of Mercer, a 3rd grade Elm Street School teacher, who wants to showcase the importance of Laconia's history to his students; providing them with connecting points in their local community. He has attended the award-winning 'My First Day of Work at the Mill' program hosted annually in the spring at the Belknap Mill and thought this project would provide his students with a better understanding of the program with a hands-on experience.

"When Andy had shown me the project, I was beyond thrilled that he chose to have his students work on this. It links the area's history with the present and gives children a better understanding of where they live. Hosting an exhibit for the students work is a perfect opportunity to showcase arts and history," says Beth San Soucie, Managing Director for the Belknap Mill. "The project also showcases aspects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities, which we promote in our educational programming at the Belknap Mill."

The Belknap Mill is the oldest, unaltered brick textile mill in the country. It has a permanent exhibit that interprets the history of the textile industry in Laconia, and has changing monthly exhibits focusing on the arts and history, as well as educational programs for all ages. For further information on the mill and its events, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit www.belknapmill.org, or call 603-524-8813.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:21

Hits: 192

Inspiring solo theatre work addresses sensitive issue of dementia

PLYMOUTH  — Alumnus, professional actor and creator Robin Marcotte remains loyal to Plymouth State University long after his 2000 graduation. This year, as the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at PSU recognizes the 30th year of theatre as a major at the university, Marcotte will present a full-length solo piece, DOTTIE, he first created in 2005 while executive director and co-artistic director of Hotel Obligado in Philadelphia.

The 2015 production is a completely reworked and expanded re-envisioning of the original play that reveals Marcotte's grandmother Dottie (who would have been 90 this year), her best friend Dutchie, and a third entity, a boy as a metaphorical element, each portrayed by Marcotte. The script incorporates Marcotte's experiences of his grandmother's decline, and clips from 8 mm family films that become effectively documentary.

Performances of DOTTIE are February 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and February 14 at 2 and 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Silver Center. Following the Friday performance, Dr. Robert Kelly will present a "talk back" discussion on the topic of dementia.

Though the play has some dark moments as it tells the story of the bright and vivacious woman's slow slide into dementia, Director Elizabeth Daily says DOTTIE is about love and hope as it explores how people suffering from dementia perceive the world. "Even if we don't always recognize our loved one (or vice versa), the person is still there—there is beauty and truth within," she says. "I think audiences will find an opportunity to experience a joyous and sweet life in this this hour-long production that reflects the journey of a remarkable woman and her memories."

DOTTIE is a work of physical theatre, a nontraditional art form not often seen in New Hampshire. Physical theatre is movement-based, not text-based, and includes many experiential elements. Marcotte uses mask performance, aerial work, shadow dancing and monologue to take the audience into the layered realities of the title character's mind...a mind overwhelmed by dementia. "There is a beauty to physical theatre," Marcotte says. "Physical theatre communicates with the heart before the mind—viewers may begin to cry before they process the information and not know why. Traditional theatre dependent on dialogue communicates the opposite way—from the brain to the heart. For audiences, this should be an experience, not a commentary, depicting the shared experiences of caregivers and of dementia."

Daily was one of Marcotte's teachers during his undergraduate years at PSU and they have co-directed two plays since Marcotte joined the department as a teaching lecturer in 2012. The two work exceptionally well together. Daily says, "Robin's openness of heart and mind will fill the performance. We are allowed to experience Dottie from her relationships, her mind and her heart. Since this work is very personal, it also becomes a gift to those of us sharing Dottie's story."

Marcotte studied at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre after graduating from PSU, and earned an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College with a focus on theatre creation, theatrical social engagement and theatre pedagogy.

Tim Gray, resident composer and sound designer for the Dell'Arte Company, composed original music for DOTTIE.

Also joining the production staff are PSU alumnus and teaching lecturer Fran Page, PSU costume shop manager and teaching lecturer Danee Grillo, and alumna Heather Manfredi as set coordinator. Philadelphia artist Aaron Cromie designed and built the masks worn by Dottie and her friend, Dutchie.

Daily says, "Fran, with exceptional technical savvy, has given us exactly what we've outlined for video and voice over components. Danee has also completed some stunning costumes that complete the characterization."

Alumna Heather Manfredi is the set coordinator and PSU student Jaime Mancuso, a senior theatre arts major from South Windsor, Conn., serves as student lighting designer.

Tickets for DOTTIE are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

DOTTIE is made possible in part by a grant from the Smart Family Foundation.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:12

Hits: 157

Teen Believers 4-H Club to meet on February 11

LACONIA —  There will be a Teen Believers 4-H Club on Wednesday, February 11 at 6 pm in the Belknap County 4-H Office, 635 Main Street, 3rd Floor.

As the Teen Believers 4-H Club welcomes the new year, they also welcome their newly installed officers at their first meeting in 2015. One of the new electives includes Natashia Guzman, as President, in her first year of office. Also recognized is Iain Patterson, Vice-President, Micheal Marrone, Secretary, and Megan Fife, as Treasurer.

Those interested in 4-H and are between 13-18 years old are welcome to attend the meeting. The major project this year is about bees and beekeeping. For more information, contact the Belknap County 4-H Office at (603) 527-5475.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:04

Hits: 117

Waterville Valley now has ‘Fat Bikes’ for rent

WATERVILLE VALLEY — The latest in a series of expanding off-mountain activities at Waterville Valley Resort is the addition of fat bikes available to rent from the Nordic Center. Fat bikes are mountain bikes with oversized tires designed to float in soft and challenging terrain, including snow. Developed in Alaska in the early 1980's, fat bikes have grown in popularity in recent years but are still rare to find at ski resorts in the White Mountains.

"One of Waterville Valley Resort's most unique features is the wide variety of activities available to guests off the slopes," says Nordic Center Director Leah Wilson. "Whether you're an alpine skier or not, the valley a great place to stay and play. Fat biking is another excellent option in addition to the cross country skiing and snowshoing available at the Nordic Center." There is 15km of "many use" trails within the Nordic system where the fat bikes will be available to ride. These are part of Waterville Valley Resort's mountain bike trail system in the summer.

The Nordic Center is stocking a small fleet of fat bikes that are now available to the general public seven days a week as conditions allow. For more information, call the Nordic Center at 603-236-4666.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 09:57

Hits: 190

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette