Month: August 2015

Theatre Workshops for Kids in Brainerd area, Fall 2015

I am offering Theatre Workshops for kids in the Brainerd lakes area again this fall, thanks to the support of the Central Lakes College Community Theatre program, director Patrick Spradlin and Jean Beckmann. Classes will be held on Thursdays, after school, starting September 17 with a performance on the last day, November 12, 6:30 pm for both groups. This program is exciting and fun, and the kids get a chance to work together to  create a play. I am always amazed by their openness and creativity. What a wonderful experience for all of us! Childrens Theatre Work-Shops Mary Aalgaard and her company, Play off the Page, along with the support of the Central Lakes College Theatre have partnered once again and are offering  theatre work-shops for children in grades 1-4 & grades 5-8. The work-shops will take place at CLC in the Chalberg & Dryden Theatres.  The subject for the work-shops is: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home From School” What might happen on a bus ride that turns into a train wreck, or when curious students stray off their usual path?  Could they find themselves in some other time and place? Students will create an original script under the guidance of playwright Mary Aalgaard. Grades 1-4 Class meets from 4 – 5 p.m. Non-refundable registration fee $65 Note: No class over MEA break Final performance: November 12 @ 6:30 p.m. Grades 5-8 Class meets from 5:30-7:00...

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Book Review: Arctic Shadow by Joanne Sundell

Quote of the Day: The dogs must race again. The Great Crag widens…its drop-off forever. Shadows haunt and bring the ice. It begins again. Excerpt from Joanne Sundell’s Arctic Shadow, the second book in her Watch Eyes Trilogy. I read the first book, Arctic Storm, and wrote about it during the April 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, H is for Huskies, and used my characters Millie and Willie to do an interview with Joanne. Millie and Willie opted out of doing another interview. (The challenge is over, and they’re on vacation.) Joanne has a brilliant story line going throughout her Watch Eyes series. Anya, a Chukchi girl from Siberia, is traded away from her tribe in Arctic Storm. Her beloved Huskies are also sold away. They are more than dogs to her, they are her family. She can’t live without them. And, so, she perseveres, risking her own health and safety to reunite with them and keep them safe. But, she’s only a 13-year-old girl up against the elements of nature and the spirit world, not to mention the evil men and women who turn on her. It is not an easy road for Anya. She meets Rune, a Norwegian American seaman, who helps her take care of the dogs and races them in Arctic Storm. In Arctic Shadow, the journey continues. Rune ends up back on the...

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Interview with Laura Radniecki, Love Your Camera

Quote of the Day: When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. Ansel Adams Laura Radniecki is a photographer here in the Brainerd Lakes Area. She has written an ebook and made an online course called Love Your Camera to help people make better use of the DSLR cameras and take better photos. I took her course a few years ago, in person, and learned so much. She helped me understand the settings and create better shots. She also encouraged me to get a new lens, the 50mm, which offered more creative shots and was good for more indoor shots. Since then, I have had several of my photos printed in magazines to go along with the articles I submit as a freelance writer. She is offering a giveaway and special introductory prices on her ebook and course. The following is an interview with the author and photographer. Hi Laura, Welcome to Play off the Page. How long have you been working professionally as a photographer? ​Hi Mary! I’ve been working as a professional photographer since 2009. I began my career while living on Oahu, Hawaii with my husband who was finishing up his Active Duty Marine Corps contract. I have a nursing bachelor’s degree, but while we were on Oahu, I bought my first DSLR camera to take...

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The Guthrie’s Music Man has Heart

Quote of the day: photo and quote from the Guthrie Theater Facebook page. (photo by T. Charles Erickson. Harold Hill played by Danny Binstock, a terrific actor, he really made us believe he went from Shyster to Sweetheart.) It didn’t work out for me to attend press night for the Guthrie Theater’s production of The Music Man, so this is an unofficial review. I wanted to bring my boys, who had an exceptionally busy summer, and it worked best for us to go near the end of its run. Ever since I saw my “little” sister play Marian the Librarian in a AAAA community theatre production of this show, it became my favorite musical. There’s something about the setting, Midwestern Iowa small town, and it’s residents, much like my own community in Minnesota, and the music that sets my toes-a-tapping, that makes this show irresistible. In the end, it’s a story of redemption as Harold Hill finally gets his “foot caught in the door.” He sees the heart of the people and not just their pocketbooks. Marian, who’s been cool and independent, ready to find the flaw in any man, sees the good in a con-artist who somehow reaches in and transforms the lives of her brother, and other town’s folks. He inadvertently does what he lies about being able to do, change the community through music, and that warms this...

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An Outing to watch Inside Out

Quote of the Day: from the Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out Joy: Do you ever look at someone and wonder, “What is going on inside their head?” Well, I know. Okay, I know Riley’s head. Joy: Come on, group hug! You too, Anger. Anger: Don’t touch me. I really wanted to see this movie, but I don’t have any little kids at home, and my big kids were away having their own adventures. So, what’s an old mom with a kid’s heart supposed to do? I called up my friend Krista and asked if I could borrow her girls for the afternoon and take them to a movie. (I usually bring them with me to the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, for live performances.) They had already seen Inside Out, but wanted to go again with “Auntie Mary.” Then, Krista called back and said, “Oh, and do you mind taking their friend Lucy along?” No, the more the merrier. “And, the girls were talking about it, and Lucy’s older brother Sean wants to go, too.” Okay, so I loaded up the movie bus (i.e. my Subaru, named Scarlet) and headed to the nice, cool movie theater. The girls couldn’t stop talking about their favorite parts on the ride over. I tried to la, la, la it so I wouldn’t hear and spoilers, but that’s harder to do when you can’t cover...

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