Events

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Theater at the Mount and The Arc of Opportunity will offer a sensory-friendly performance of “Annie” for individuals with sensory-input disorders, autism, developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities, and their families.

The customized production continues a weeklong slate of performances and will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at MWCC’s theatre, which offers convenient accessibility and seating for those in wheelchairs. The musical tells the rags-to-riches story of young Annie’s journey from New York orphanage to the luxurious home of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks.

In a welcoming and stress-free environment, attendees will benefit from lower levels of sound and lighting, the freedom to talk and leave their seats, and extra support from sufficiently trained staff and actors.

TAM and The Arc will also provide social stories and plot summaries to prepare attendees for the performance; listening devices available on a first-come, first-served basis; and a designated quiet room.

“This sensory-friendly performance is an opportunity for families to go to the theatre without anxiety or fear of judgment,” said The Arc President and CEO Mary Heafy. Theatre at the Mount Director Gail Steele adds, “Many parents struggle to find events like this one and we are so proud to offer it here at Theatre at the Mount.  In “Annie,” Daddy Warbucks takes the orphan Annie into his home, opening the door to opportunities she never imagined. We hope that this performance opens the doors to the magic of live theatre for families who face the challenges of autism, sensory processing disorders and other cognitive and developmental issues.”

“Annie” will star 12-year-old honor student Mary Mahoney of Leominster. The evil Miss Hannigan will be played by Athol’s Julie Capone-Smith. The cast will also feature Jeff Garber as Oliver Warbucks, Cassie Blanchette as Grace Farrell, Keith Wolosz as Rooster, Joyce Baldwin as Lily St Regis, Robert Thomas as F.D.R. and Dash Riprock Twiss as Sandy.

Tickets for this performance can be purchased for $10 at mwcc.edu/tam/shows. Financial aid and printed copies of the social story are available through The Arc at 978-343-6662 extension1023. To download the social story, visit arcofopportunity.org/events.

 

“Godspell,” originally performed in 1976 as Theatre at the Mount’s first musical, will be one of four productions during the 2015 season.

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Theatre at the Mount will offer a full slate of four productions during the 2015 season.

Based on the popular 1988 film, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” kicks off the 2015 TAM season. Two shameless con men and a hapless American heiress are locked in an uproarious dance of disguise, deception and deceit against the luxurious backdrop of the French Riviera. With $50,000 and territorial rights going to the winner, all bets are off as masochistic German doctors are impersonated, live goldfish are eaten, and “love sneaks in” unwittingly on even the cleverest of cons. But who ends up conning whom? Performances of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” are Feb. 27 and 28, as well as March 6 and 7, at 8 p.m. and March 8 at 2 p.m.

Take out your dictionaries when “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” opens in May. This six-time, Tony-nominated musical tells the story of five quirky kids vying for 1st prize, bragging rights, and most importantly, a trip to the National Spelling Bee Championship. The misfit contestants are joined by 3 or 4 guest spellers from the audience as they learn that a spelling bee is one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time, win or lose. Can you spell i-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e? Show dates for Spelling Bee are May 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and May 3 at 2 p.m.

Theatre at the Mount will reprise the very first musical ever performed on the TAM stage in 1976, with a new production of the musical “Godspell.” Stories of the Bible are brought to life through mime, music, song and dance in a brand-new, up-to-date musical circus. Enjoy all the good gifts in this exuberant, rocking, rolling and riveting musical. Come sing about love! Performances of “Godspell” are Oct. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.

Kris Kringle takes on the cynics among us in a heart-warming musical adaptation of the classic holiday film, “The Miracle on 34th Street.” In his inimitable style, Meredith Wilson (The Music Man) tells the story of a charming, white-bearded gentleman who claims to be the “real Santa Claus.” Filled with humor, spectacle and great songs like “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” the show reminds us that miracles really do happen. Share the holiday spirit when Miracle on 34th Street takes the stage on Nov. 27 and 28, as well as Dec. 4 and 5, at 8 p.m. and Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

Season Tickets for all 4 shows are only $60.00 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, call the Theatre at the Mount box office at 978 630-9388. Tickets may also be purchased online at http://theatre.mwcc.edu

 

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Paintings by MWCC alumnus John Rosis (’77) will be on display in the East Wing Gallery through Dec. 7. Pictured is Rosis’ “Fresh Things,” a 2014 acrylic on canvas.

The artwork of Mount Wachusett Community College alumnus John Rosis (’77) has been presented in galleries throughout the Northeast. Currently, his paintings are on display in MWCC’s East Wing Gallery through Dec. 7, when a reception will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Rosis works with several mediums concurrently, including large-scale paintings on canvas, small-scale reverse paintings on glass, and collages on paper. His paintings feature line, form, texture and color, as derived from nature.

With a penchant for creating complex relationships out of simple shapes, Rosis has developed a strong appreciation for the hands-on process that drives all of his painting projects.

Rosis’ work has previously been shown at Hopper House Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art, and Rockland Center for the Arts in New York; Holter Museum in Montana, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Berkshire Art Museum, and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Regular hours for the East Wing Gallery are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Art Department continues its ongoing student lecture series Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, with mural expert Ben Mikles and self-starter Isabella Bourque respectively. The Dec. 4 event will take place from 12 to 1 p.m., and the Dec. 5 event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Both events will take place in Art Studio 1, Room 172.

Mikles has painted large-scale murals, both temporary and permanent, at several local venues. A user of spray paint and brushes, Mikles will discuss his techniques, materials and process.

Following the presentation, Mikles will meet with interested students to discuss potential strategies and locations for a service-learning and mural project during the spring semester.

Both art majors and non-art majors are encouraged to attend.

Bourque will again deliver a lecture encouraging her peers to market themselves as artists. Students who were unable to attend Bourque’s first lecture are encouraged to attend.

After purchasing an inexpensive kiln on Craig’s List, Bourque created a home studio, where she produces artwork for commissions and sale at street fairs and on Etsy. A graphic design student in high school, Bourque secured her current job as a graphic and web designer for WS Beauty Supply by offering to help a family friend with website issues.

Specifically, Bourque will discuss how to begin selling artwork, including potential sales platforms; easy marketing tools to drive sales and commissions, and how to cultivate an online presence.

Bourque will graduate this semester with an Associate Degree in Art.

To promote conscientious discussion on the topic of suicide, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Honors Program is inviting the public to a student-led panel discussion that will also feature area leaders in mental health. One-Day-At-A-Time-Logo

Titled “One Day at a Time,” the free event will take place Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café at the Gardner campus. MWCC students Phil Stan and Stevie LaBelle organized the event as an extension of their abnormal psychology course and a service-learning project to meet Honors Program requirements.

“We want to de-stigmatize suicide and demonstrate that it’s okay to talk about it,” said Stan, who will co-moderate the forum with LaBelle. “Suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death, but unless we open up lines of communication, we can’t offer the help that these people need.”

Acknowledging the sensitivity of the topic, Stan said organizers will create a secure environment in which participants can freely express their concerns, speak to MWCC guidance counselors and obtain information on area support services.

The panel will include former State Senator Bob Antonioni, whose advocacy for mental health stems from experiences in his personal life; Michael Ellis, project coordinator of the Men’s Suicide Prevention Program at Heywood Hospital; and MWCC student Carrie DeCosta, who will recount her personal triumphs.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24, according to The Trevor Project. The Center for Disease Control reports that the year 2012 saw 40,600 reported suicides in the US, including one every 12.9 minutes.

“Often, simply asking if someone is okay can make a huge difference,” said Stan.

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“Leapin’ Lizards!” “Annie,” one of the best-loved family musicals of all times, opens at Theatre at the Mount on Thanksgiving weekend. Show dates are Nov. 28, 29, Dec. 5, 6 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the famous comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” which first ran in the New York News in 1924, “Annie” made its Broadway debut in April 1977 and played 2,377 performances before closing in 1983. The show won seven Tony Awards, including for Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan), Best Original Score (music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin), and Best Choreography. This heart-warming musical is the rags-to-riches story of plucky young Annie’s journey from the hard-knock New York orphanage to the luxurious home of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks. “Annie” boasts one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, including “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street” and the legendary “Tomorrow,” fantastically visual choreography, a side-splittingly funny script and, of course, the adorable dog Sandy.

“Annie” will star 12-year-old honor student Mary Mahoney of Leominster. Mary was selected from more than 100 girls who auditioned for parts in Theatre at the Mount’s production. The evil Miss Hannigan will be played by Athol’s Julie Capone-Smith. The cast will also feature Jeff Garber as Oliver Warbuckss, Cassie Blanchette as Grace Farrell, Keith Wolosz as Rooster, Joyce Baldwin as Lily St Regis, Robert Thomas as F.D.R., and Dash Riprock Twiss as Sandy.

Tickets for ”Annie” are $20 for evenings; $15 for matinees; and, $10 for students ages 16 and under. Call the Theatre at the Mount Box Office at 978-630-9388 or purchase tickets online at mwcc.edu/tam.

To raise awareness about global poverty and economic inequality, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement will host a hunger banquet on Thursday, Nov. 20. The hour-long event will begin at 12:30 in the South Café at the Gardner campus.

Illustrating the correlation between external factors and one’s economic standing, and consequently welfare, event organizers will serve participants meals of varying sizes consistent with global trends in food security.

The banquet falls during the Student Government Association’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which supplies meals to similarly disadvantaged MWCC students and their families.

Advance tickets are available for $1 in Room 152 and are $2 at the door. The Center will donate all banquet funds to the Students Supporting or Students (SOS) Office to support MWCC students in need.

Over 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, leaving a large gap in senior management in all sectors of the workforce, including the non-profit community. Are we preparing Generation X and Generation Y for this transfer of leadership responsibility?

Join Enterprise Bank and Mount Wachusett Community College on Nov. 19 as they host special guest Massachusetts State Senator Jennifer Flanagan and MWCC Director of Community Learning Shelley Errington Nicholson to lead you on an exploration of this pressing concern.

The free seminar will take place in MWCC’s North Café, with doors opening at 8 a.m. for a buffet breakfast. The speaking portion of the program will run from 8:30 to 10.

To register or for more information, call Andrew Duncan at 978-459-9000, or email Andrew.duncan@ebtc.com

Henry_David_ThoreauThe ongoing MWCC Humanities Project, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant, will next welcome Thoreau Society Executive Director Michael Frederick for a lecture on Thoreau, Eastern philosophy and nonviolence. The hour-long lecture continues the project’s first year theme, “East Meets West in a Cabin in Concord: Walden and Beyond,” and will take place Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12:30 p.m. in the Gardner campus’ North Café.

A Massachusetts-bred writer, philosopher and naturalist, Thoreau was a progressive thinker during the 1800s, opposing both slavery and the Mexican-American War. His refusal to pay the poll tax, which was imposed on all adults within a community and helped fund slavery, landed him in jail for one night in 1842.

In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau writes, “If… the machine of government… is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” This essay, coupled with Thoreau’s fundamental viewpoints, served as inspiration for such nonviolent reformers as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The MWCC Humanities Project is a multi-year initiative to integrate annual themes in the humanities into campus curricula and community events. The first year features a slate of free events spotlighting various works written or inspired by Thoreau, as well as related student projects developed by several MWCC professors.

In 2013, MWCC received one of 173 NEH grants, which are awarded to recipients representing the highest level of humanities research and public engagement.

For more information about the MWCC Humanities Project and a full schedule of events, visit http://mwcc.edu/humanitiesproject.

 

Mount Wachusett Community College will host a free career fair, “Discover MWCC Certificate and Trade Programs,” on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its Gardner campus, 444 Green Street. A career exploration workshop will take place at 6 p.m.

Information will be available on fast-growing occupations including cyber security, law enforcement, healthcare, hospitality, graphic and interactive design and manufacturing.

College representatives will be present to explain fast-track training and trade programs including veterinary assistant, advanced manufacturing, data analysis certificates, computer & technology, professional development and CPR.

Further information on certificate and degree programs, college services, financial aid and career counseling will be available. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with alumni, admissions representatives and professors, as well as tour the campus.

To register, visit mwcc.edu/rsvp, or contact the Admissions office at 978-630-9110 or email admissions@mwcc.mass.edu.