Arena Players celebrates its 40th anniversary with opening of 'God's Trombones'


September 06, 1992|By Linell Smith | Linell Smith,Staff Writer

Arena Players Inc. will celebrate its 40th season with a week of special events leading up to the gala opening of a production of "God's Trombones" by James Weldon Johnson on Friday.

Dedicated to preserving the heritage of African-American theater, Arena Players has provided continuous community theater performances in Baltimore since 1953, when it was founded as an outgrowth of "The Negro Little Theater." It moved to its present building at 801 McCulloh St. in 1961.

Special events of the anniversary week include an open mike night with emcee Randy Dennis on Monday; an evening devoted to films by black filmmakers on Tuesday; a panel discussion and interviews with local casting agencies on Wednesday and children's storytelling with griots Mary Carter Smith and Deborah Asante on Saturday.

"God's Trombones" will run through Oct. 4. Other productions this season are "The Rabbit Foot," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," "The Trials and Tribulations of Staggerlee Booker T. Brown," "Checkmates" and "Eyes." For details about events and ticket information, call (410) 728-6500.

Works by Alfred Sisley

The Walters Art Gallery will bring a landmark show of the works of French Impressionist Alfred Sisley to Baltimore next March. The exhibition will be the first major retrospective of work by the 19th century artist, a founder of Impressionism who was renowned for his splendid landscapes.

"Sisley, Master Impressionist" features 65 masterworks selected from private and public collections worldwide by an international team of scholars, including William Johnston, the Walters associate director and curator of 18th and 19th century art.

Co-organized by the Walters, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, the show will open in those museums before traveling to Baltimore where it will run March 14 through June 13. Baltimore is the sole American venue for the show.

The Walters will sell advance time tickets to the show through all Ticketmaster outlets beginning Jan. 2.

Music auditions

The Washington Performing Arts Society will hold auditions for its gospel mass choirs on Saturday (women only) and Sept. 19 (men only) at Howard University's College of Fine Arts, 6th and Fairmont streets Northwest. The auditions are for "The Men and Women of Gospel" showcase, featuring Walter Hawkins and Yolanda Adams, on Nov. 8 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. '' For details and to schedule an appointment, call Eric Torain at (202) 833-9800, Ext. 30.

Auditions for the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra will be held Saturday and Sept. 19 in the Humanities building of Catonsville Community College, 800 S. Rolling Road. The orchestra, directed by Angelo Gatto, provides an opportunity for talented young musicians to learn and perform major symphonic repertoire. Rehearsals take place at CCC on Saturday afternoons. For details and an audition appointment, call Margaret Keating-Gatto at (410) 442-5645.

Robert Black, music director of the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, will hold auditions on Friday and Saturday in the Shriver Hall auditorium of Johns Hopkins University. The orchestra rehearses weekly and performs a season which includes four subscription concerts. Musicians should prepare a concerto or sonata and will be asked to sight-read. For details and to schedule an audition, call (410) 516-6542.

lTC The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Barry Tuckwell, will hold auditions for assistant concertmaster, violin I, violin II, viola and cello on Tuesday in Hagerstown. To schedule an audition and for information, call (301) 797-4000.

Auditions for the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra, based at Essex Community College, are scheduled at 4 p.m. Sept. 17 at the college, 7201 Rossville Blvd. Under the direction of Anne Harrigan, the orchestra draws members from the metropoli

tan area as well as from southern Pennsylvania. Players aged 13 to 21 are invited to audition. For details and to schedule an appointment, call Fran Dearman at (410) 821-5783.

A number of vocal and instrumental ensembles at Essex Community College will accept new members this season. Call the music department at (410) 522-1421 for information about the following groups: the Baltimore Chamber Singers led by Cathy Ferguson; the Community Chorus under Patricia Sparti; the Good Time Singers under Arne Lindquist; the Sunshine Express show choir led by Scott Frutchey; the Baltimore Symphonic Band led by Chris Wolfe; the Electric Guitar Ensemble under Robert Winter; the Classical Guitar Ensemble under Julian Gray and the Power House and Night Train big bands, led by Ashton Fletcher.

Theater auditions:

Howard Community College will hold auditions for its production of "The Foreigner" from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the college's Smith Theatre off Little Patuxent Parkway. The cast includes five men, two women and various townspeople. The show, directed by Bill Graham Jr., will run Nov. 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. For details, call (410) 964-4940.

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