Arts and Culture

Word of Mouth
2:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Uncle Vanya In Maine

Brent Askari and Rebecca Rudolf star in “Uncle Vanya in Maine.”
Credit Courtesy Bushor Photography

Since its premiere in 1899, Anton Chekov’s play Uncle Vanya has been adapted for stages all over the world. Originally about a family property in eastern Russia, it’s been re-set in the English lake district in the 1930s, at an abandoned theater on Manhattan’s 42nd Street, and a post-apocalyptic interpretation set in Hawaii after a zombie attack.

Now, Kent Stephens, founding artistic director of Stage Force Productions, is bringing Uncle Vanya to the Maine coast.  Stephen’s relocates the bored, begrudging family members to the banks of the Androscoggin – bringing 21st Century concerns of environment and land policy issues to the fore. Uncle Vanya in Maine opens this Friday, November 1st, and runs until the 10th, at the Star Theater in Kittery, Maine.

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Thu October 24, 2013

I've Gotta Have More Cowbell! A History Of The Humble Instrument

This cow has no shortage of cowbell.
Credit Ingo Lütkebohle via flickr Creative Commons

One of comedian Will Ferrell’s most memorable Saturday Night Live characters was musician Gene Frenkle, the belly shirted cowbell player from the ‘70s rock band, Blue Ӧyster Cult. His cowbell playing was intoxicating and hilarious and prompted this now quotable line: "I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."

That line, delivered by Christopher Walken, catapulted onto t- shirts and bumper stickers, and helped put the instrument designed for agriculture into the mainstream musical spotlight. But where did cowbell come from? And how did it migrate from the farm to the recording studio? Chicago based journalist Lori Rotenberk  wrote an article for Modern Farmer called “More Cowbell: From Herdsman’s Tool to Cultural Icon.

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Word of Mouth
9:21 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Live From Studio D: Red Heart The Ticker

Logan Shannon

Each month the husband and wife duo, Robin MacArthur and Tyler Gibbons, from Marlboro, Vermont write and record a song to be released on the day of the full moon. The beautifully layered, tunes have a backwoods feel are recorded in a barn, and sent out to subscribers. It’s an intimate and unique take on the ever growing DIY music scene.  They joined us in studio back in July to talk about their album and to play live in Studio D.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Edgar Oliver Recounts His Childhood, Live On Stage

Screenshot of Edgar Oliver from the trailer for "Helen and Edgar."
Credit via hop.Dartmouth.edu

Edgar Oliver has a voice you’ll never forget: part Bela Lugosi, part Count Chocula. You may have heard him tell stories of growing up in Savannah in the 1960s, with a smothering, compulsive mother who shared her paranoid, terrified state with her children, Helen and Edgar. His tales of growing up are pulled together in  “Helen and Edgar”, a kind of a spoken memoir being performed at Dartmouth’s Warner Bentley Theater at 7:00pm tonight and Wednesday.

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Arts & Culture
8:30 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh: Currier Museum Explains Impressionism In Three Paintings

"Route aux confins de Paris" (1887)
Vincent van Gogh Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H.
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Word of Mouth
3:37 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

NH Filmmaker Aaron J. Wiederspahn Talks About His Latest Film

Credit via onlydaughterfilm.com

Eighteen-year-old Dawn has never met her father; raised by her mother in a rural New Hampshire town, they are barely getting by. Dawn works at a bait and tackle shop by day and turns tricks at night to fund an escape from her dead-end life.  A cascade of bad events set Dawn on the road to find the father her mother doesn’t want her to find. He’s not so keen on the idea either. Our guest, Aaron Wiederspahn wrote, directed and starred in the film, “Only Daughter.”

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Word of Mouth
2:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

This Weekend's N.H. Arts Scene: Mary Pickford And Fountains Of Wayne

Mary Pickford

For anyone who’s ever driven by a crumbling old New Hampshire barn and wondered what could be in there, here’s one answer…a stack of dusty old film reels that turned out to be the only surviving reel from a long lost 1911 film. The movie, called Their First Misunderstanding , was written by and stars Mary Pickford, one of the most beloved actresses of the  silent film era. We spoke with Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Keene State College Dr. Larry Benaquist about the discovery of this rare, important and now celebrated film.

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Word of Mouth
3:04 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Drag Queens And Covered Bridges

Two great things that look great together?
Credit Andre Rosa

New Hampshire is known for its White Mountains and maple syrup. But one local artist would like to add another pair of regional highlights to that list: covered bridges and drag queens.

Andre Rosa is an artist and software engineer working out of Manchester. He’s just recently funded a photo calendar through Kickstarter and joins us to talk about the project.

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Word of Mouth
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Amy Grace Loyd: The Woman Who Made Playboy A Great Read

Credit iphonebookstore via Flickr Creative Commons

We turn now to that exemplary literary magazine, Playboy.  Hugh Hefner’s magazine has always been about the centerfold and male fantasy and an air-brushed version of female sexuality…but it's also a great read. Really.

In 2005, writer Amy Grace Loyd was hired to revive Playboy’s traditions of stories from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and short fiction from Margaret Atwood, or that scandalous interview with Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.  Amy was Playboy’s Fiction and Literary Editor for seven years, and she recently wrote in Salon about some of the ribbing she took for a job she loved. She also recently published her first novel, called “The Affairs of Others."

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The Exchange
4:00 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Van McLeod, New Hampshire Commissioner Of The Department Of Cultural Resources

Just reappointed for a sixth term, Van McLeod’s agency oversees Libraries, Historical resources, and the state Council on the Arts. With the tighter budgets of recent years, his department has had to adjust, but he says it continues to be a key factor in the state’s prosperity and quality of life. 

Guest

  • Van McLeod - Commissioner for New Hampshire's Department of Cultural Resources.
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Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Poet Sophie Cabot Black

Poet Sophie Cabot Black will be appearing at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend.
Credit via The Poetry Foundation

The Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is horrifying, unforgettable and open to interpretation. Faithful Jews, Christians and Muslims regard God’s demand that Abraham sacrifice his beloved son as a lesson about the demands of faith, the rewards for obedience, or for some, evidence of God’s cruelty.  

Others see the essence of the story not in the command not to sacrifice, but the command to stop. The parable is alluded to throughout “The Exchange” by Sophie Cabot Black, one of the poems about the exchange of love and money and sex and time which anchors her third collection of poems. Black is among the many writers who will be sharing her work with audiences at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend. 

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Word of Mouth
12:13 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

The Language Of Dementia Turned Into Poetry

Alzheimer's and dementia can create deep communication lapses between patients and their loved ones.
Credit mollybob via Flickr Creative Commons

People living with dementia can appear to live in their own world, a complicated, non-linear inner world not so easily communicated to, or understood by others. The London-based writer Susanna Howard is attempting to give people with dementia a voice by visiting with them and recording their words as poetry. 

Susanna is artistic director of Living Words, an arts and literature program helping people with dementia feel understood and heard even when communication seems lost. 

Check out the Living Words website here.

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Word of Mouth
12:06 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Vanishing Rest Stops

Anthony, NM
Ryann Ford

For the past fifty-three years, rest areas have offered weary travelers a place to pull off and pause and maybe even learn a little local history. Traditional rest areas are disappearing across the country… Louisiana for example, has already closed twenty-four of its thirty-four stops. Ryann Ford is a photographer whose work has been featured in the New York Times and Texas Monthly. She’s been trying to capture these doomed rest areas with her camera… before they disappear. Her project is called “Rest Stops: Vanishing Relics of the American Roadside.”

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Word of Mouth
11:42 am
Tue October 1, 2013

David Lockwood, Live From Studio D

Inspired by the Modern Love section of the Sunday New York Times,  each song on David Lockwood's new album is based on a deeply personal essay about love and relationships. David visited NHPR’s Studio D to play a few of his new tunes, and talk about the stories behind “Modern Love”. You can check out the essays that inspired the songs David played for NHPR here: Love Like This, Come Back Here, and Gone

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Word of Mouth
12:18 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Ritual Of Death Row's 'Last Meal'

Ted Bundy's last meal, as pictured on photographer Jonathon Kambouris' site, The Last Meal Project
Credit Jonathon Kambouris

For his last meal, John Wayne Gacy requested 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, french fries, and 1lb of strawberries. Gary Gilmore was served steak, potatoes, milk and coffee. Timothy McVeigh asked for two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Victor Feguer asked only for a single pitted olive. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were not given a choice.

Brent Cunningham is deputy editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and he wrote about the history of prisoner’s last meals for Lapham’s Quarterly.

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