Arts & Leisure

Arts Beat: Logger-turned-storyteller to perform at THT

LAUDED STORYTELLER BILL Torrey will perform “Cutting Remarks” on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m., at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater.

Bill Torrey will be performing his Storytelling Extravaganza, “Cutting Remarks,” at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. The NPR Moth Mainstage Performer and Four-Time Moth StorySlam Winner shares true, heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching stories of his life.
He spent his childhood roaming the fields and forests, which led him to a 40-year career working in the woods. By the time he was 19, he was working as a logger earning 80 cents a tree. His timber harvesting skills and forest stewardship was considered some of the best in the state. While working with Vermont Family Forest, Torrey supplied third-party certified, sustainably harvested timber for Middlebury College, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Shelburne Museum, UVM, and the Green Mountain Club.
Torrey will tell stories of loyal friends and tolerated family, middle school dances and county fairs, tall trees and devoted dogs. Stories from his first book, “The Ta Ta Weenie Club,” priceless narratives of his childhood, will be combined with true, amazing stories from his next book, “Cutting Remarks: Forty Years in the Forest.”
He has won three Extempo Vt. Storytelling Competitions and the VPR Listener’s Appreciation Party StorySlam. He also won the North Country Public Radio Black Fly StorySlam and was thus awarded the coveted Golden Fly Swatter.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with a cash bar. Recommended for ages 16+. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at or by phone at 802-382-9222. Tickets may also be purchased in person from noon to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday, or one hour before showtime. Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant Street in Middlebury.

Bristol’s 21st Annual Harvest Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, on the Bristol Town Green, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival will offer fun for the whole family, including pony rides, food, vendors, a bounce house, a pie eating contest, silent auction and a lineup of popular local musicians.
The music begins at 10 a.m. with Ramble Tree — Reagh Greenleaf Jr. (vocals, bodhran, percussion) and Daniel Brown (guitar, banjo, harmonica, vocals) — who will play Irish-Americana Folk-Rock and traditional Irish tunes.
Then, at 11 a.m. Rick Ceballos & Lausanne Allen take to the stage. Ceballos explores the many facets of traditional folk music on banjo and button accordion. At noon, the featured performers will be the Harvest Festival Band. This group is made of friends and family playing a mixture of genres.
The musical entertainment continues at 1 p.m. with Mark Lavoie, who has been playing harmonica and performing for 40 years. Then, at 2 p.m., Keith Williams, who goes by the name Papa Greybeard, will perform one-man-band show.
Last but not least, at 3 p.m., Patrick Fitzsimmons will wrap up the musical entertainment. Fitzsimmons is a founding member of From Good Homes. He began his solo career in 2001 and continues to tour throughout the northeast building a large and loyal following with his soulful, captivating performances.
This family-friendly event is organized by the Addison County Chamber of Commerce and the Bristol Recreation Department.


The VSO joins leaf-peepers on the road for the annual “Made in Vermont” chamber orchestra tour this fall, with a stop at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Spirited works by Bartók, Devienne, and Haydn will showcase VSO principal flute Melissa Mielens, and 17-year-old cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing from Detroit’s Sphinx program. VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo will conduct.
2019 marks the third year of the VSO’s unique collaboration with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. This year the tour features the world premiere of The Greatest Night, a new film by Jeremy Lee MacKenzie, 2018 VSO Award winner at the festival. The film’s original score, composed by Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Music Matthew Evan Taylor, will be performed live by the orchestra as the film screens overhead.
General admission tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for students (children ages 6–17 and full-time college students with ID); free for children ages 5 and under. Tickets are available at the Middlebury College box office at 802-443-6433 or The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors.

A new exhibit of paintings by Peter K.K. Williams will be on display at the Jackson Gallery in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater this Friday, Sept. 27, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m.
Williams creates paintings in oil that are exceptional in their vivid representation of texture and light. Subjects include landscapes inspired by Vermont, Lake Champlain and the rainforest of Costa Rica, as well as accurate recreations based upon Paleolithic cave paintings from France. The paintings in this exhibit were chosen from a large body of work created during the last several decades, as well as the most recent.
The exhibit, which will remain on display through Nov. 10, is free. The Jackson Gallery is located in the lower level of Town Hall Theater located in the center of Middlebury. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday noon to five, and an hour before any public events in the building. ­For further information call 802-382-9222 or consult

The 2019-2020 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Middlebury College, with the 2019 U.S. film “American Factory,” a Netflix Original Documentary, by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.
This acclaimed film takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans still recovering from the effects of the 2008 recession. Working side-by-side with experienced Chinese workers, the locals are optimistic about the future for the first time in almost a decade. But early days of hope give way to setbacks as high-tech China collides with working-class America, and issues of language and culture become seemingly insurmountable walls between clashing factions.
The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125). It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

Middlebury College hosts the live performance event Cocoon, inspired by the popular storytelling phenomenon The Moth, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s  Mahaney Arts Center. Six hand-picked storytellers will tell a diverse range of stories around the theme of resilience. The event has two rules: one, all stories must be true; two, no notes. The audience is invited to a reception with the storytellers after the show.
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for Middlebury College ID card holders; $8 for youth, and $6 for Middlebury College students. This event is expected to sell out in advance. For tickets or further information, call 802-443-6433 or visit
This event will be presented with sign language interpretation. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot.

The Vermont Coffee Company Playhouse presents “Ill Seen Ill Said,” by Samuel Beckett, a Gare St Lazare Ireland production, directed by Judy Hegarty-Lovett, on Saturday, Sept. 28, and Sunday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m.
Performed by Deb Gwinn, “Ill Seen Ill Said” is among the most beautiful and disquieting of Beckett’s prose works. The work focuses on an old woman in a cabin ‘at the inexistent center of a formless place.’ She is part of the objects, landscape, rhythms and movement of an incomprehensible universe.
Admission is $10 at the door, cash or check. General seating, no reservations. The Vermont Coffee Company Playhouse is located at 1197 Exchange Street, Suite 3, in Middlebury. For additional information, email [email protected].

Finally, as part of the 2019 Music Series at Otter Creek Brewing, the Super Stash Bros will be performing at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, in OCB’s pub space. Be prepared for an amazing night of tunes at the OCB Pub.
OCB is located at 793 Exchange Street in Middlebury. For more information, call 802-388-0727.

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