Arts & Entertainment

Learn how to at tie flies at White Mountains Community College

BERLIN — The cold winter months are a great time to learn the rewarding hobby of tying flies. Get a start on it at the Fly Tying for Beginners workshop being offered at White Mountains Community College. This entry level class, instructed by Dan LaPointe, owner of Dan's Fly Shop and Guide Service, will focus on the basic skills needed to get started tying your own flies. The class will cover the tools, techniques and materials needed to tie a variety of simple but effective fly patterns. Discussion will include how to fish these newly tied flies on the streams and ponds. All tools and materials will be provided as well as recipes and sample flies for the patterns covered during the classes. Tuition is $35.

The class is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Other upcoming non-credit offerings at White Mountains Community College are a lecture series on the American Civil War, Selling on eBay, a four series Intermediate Fly Tying course, and Photography Basics.

Information on the full Spring non-credit courses can be obtained on the White Mountains Community College website at www.wmcc.edu on the Workforce Development tab,
http://www.wmcc.edu/academics/course-schedule/non-credit-and-professional-development-course-schedule-spring-2017

Register for classes by contacting Tamara Roberge, project manager, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone (603) 342-3062. They encourage early registration.

 FlyTyingLearn how to tie flies at White Mountains Community College. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Dana and Susan Robinson to perform at St. Kieran's tonight

BERLIN — Dana and Susan Robinson will be bringing their guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, harmony-singing interpretations of the American experience to St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 14, starting at 7 p.m.

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Dana Robinson, a native of the Pacific Northwest, relocated to New England in the 1980s where he discovered both a thriving songwriter’s scene and the deep well of traditional mountain music. He launched into full-time touring after the release of his 1994 debut CD, "Elemental Lullabye," and after receiving a request to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Putumayo’s Shelter benefit project. Over the past 20 years, Dana has released 10 CDs, traveled over a million miles, and performed thousands of concerts across the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

Susan Robinson grew up in Vermont in a musical family and studied piano, oboe and fiddle in her youth. In 2002, when Sue and Dana met, she took up guitar and banjo and studied old-time mountain music in Asheville, N.C. Sue and Dana have been performing together since 2003 and have recorded five CDs together.

Tickets for the performance are available online for a minimal additional fee by visiting www.stkieranarts.org, at the art center office and/or at the door on the evening of the show. Thanks to a project grant from the N.H. State Council on the Arts, tickets will be $12 for adults and $8 for those under 18.

For more information about this community concert, to purchase a membership or loyalty card or to make a donation to the annual or capital improvement funds, contact the arts center at (603) 752-1028; visit the website, www.stkieranarts.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stkieranarts.

Programming at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts is made possible by the support of community corporate sponsors, The N.H. State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the N.H. Charitable Foundation, The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, The Wyman Family Fund and The Rydin Family Fund.

RobinsonDana and Susan Robinson. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Kirstan Knowlton: Women’s March across NH and the country

“Solidarity: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.”

Solidarity.

It’s a word I’ve been hearing used a lot lately in the news and among activist groups, and admittedly it wasn’t until about six months ago that I had given it’s meaning much thought.

I remember the first time I really remember hearing that word. I was at the Pride Celebration in Boston last summer and I was listening to people’s conversation about why the gathering was important to them.

They wanted to stand in solidarity with their community, because with numbers there is strength. The following day I saw just how important that was when I woke up to the news that there had been a mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando.

From that point on I started to see a shift in how others treated one another. I saw a level of respect and intention that I hadn’t noticed before. Why is it that it always seems to take an event of epic proportion to bring people together?

Like all things, people move on with their lives and major events no longer seem to matter, but with the recent election I have seen a resurgence of that energy.

People from all walks of life have come together to stand up for equal rights for all people.

The day after the inauguration we will once again witness the power of solidarity with a nation wide events called the Women’s March. Originally planned for D.C., the march has spread to each state giving people the opportunity to participate in something that they believe so deeply in.

Just in our state alone I have heard of three different march locations, one being right here in Lancaster. On Saturday, Jan. 21, from 10 to 11 a.m. participants will march peacefully for an hour on the public sidewalks in downtown Lancaster. The march will start at the municipal parking lot and people are encouraged to bring signs showing what you stand for regarding the protection of our civic rights.

To stay up to date on the latest information follow them on Facebook by searching Women’s March North Country.

I am very excited to say that I will be traveling to Boston to participate in their march. The last time I checked there are over 25,000 people registered for the march and notable people like Senator Warren, AG Healey and Mayor Walsh will be joining in the march.

If anyone has any questions about the march feel free to send me an email. There is also a wealth of information on their main website https://www.womensmarch.com/

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. I wish that we had more snow in our forecast, but I know that there is still plenty of winter left!

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Acting classes now offered by Upstage Players

LITTLETON — Upstage Players is now offering its first Acting Studio Class offering training opportunities for adults and teens that are interested in learning about the craft of acting. This class is suitable for people from all walks of life, not just experienced actors who want to better hone their skills but also perfect for those who have always wanted to give acting a try or who simply want to polish presentation skills and gain experience and comfort in front of an audience.

Upstage’s first class will be a general acting studies class touching on many elements of performance including stage presence, speaking skills, imagination, warming up the body and mind, memorization, rehearsal etiquette and how to audition. The class will then focus on scenes and monologues, analyzing the script and creating well developed characters culminating in an acting showcase performance open to the public.

The Acting Workshop will be taught by Upstage Players Artistic Director Andrew Lidestri. Lidestri earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Rhode Island Theatre Program. After living and working in theatre in Los Angeles and New York City, he relocated to the North Country and has spent the last three years as Upstage’s Artistic director.

During his time here he has worked to develop a welcoming and accessible program for community members to create quality theatre in a community environment that feels like a professional setting. He is excited to bring a new theatrical experience to the local community here in the North Country.

Acting classes will be held on Mondays from Feb. 6 to May 8, with a total of 12 sessions. There will be no class on April 3 or 17. Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

Following the scheduled classes there will be a dress rehearsal on May 10, with three showcase performances on May 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and May 14, at 3 p.m.

This class open to all ages high school through adult. Class is accessible to all skill and experience levels and will be tailored to the group registered. No audition is required.
Classes will be held at the Littleton Opera House, and some rehearsals may be held in other facilities but all in close proximity to the Opera House. All performances will be held at the Littleton Opera House.

For more information or to register please visit http://www.upstageplayersnh.org/acting-workshop.html

Kirstan Knowlton: Amazing lineup at St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts

Monique Lavertu over at the St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts in Berlin has once again rolled out an amazing lineup for their annual performing arts series.

With over 20 shows already scheduled, you’ll be seeing some great diversity from classic dance tunes to jazz and bluegrass. Local favorites like The Heather Pierson Trio, Comedian, Bucky Lewis and Berlin Jazz will also be performing this year.

Along with their fantastic lineup of concerts and performing artists, Monique also incorporates local visual artists into the venue by inviting them to display their work on the walls of the center.

As one of the artists who was given the opportunity to display their work, I can tell you that it had a tremendous impact on my visibility within the community. Since then I’ve had several people comment that they’ve seen my work at the center and enjoyed my photographs.

As most of you know I love to support my local businesses, but when I have to shop online I turn to Amazon and use their AmazonSmile promotion to support charitable organizations.

One of the organizations listed on AmazonSmile just so happens to be St. Kieran, making it a convenient way to support the Art Center, while doing a online little shopping.

To sign up just go to www.smile.amazon.com and search for the Art Center. From there you just shop as normal and they donated a portion of sales to the organization.

But it gets even better, for those of you who like to bundle and save, St. Kieran offers a great way to get out and see more shows without breaking the bank with their Loyalty Card Program.

Members can choose between a 12-month loyalty card and a concert bundle loyalty card and enjoy some great benefits. Full information for their loyalty programs can be found online or by calling the center.

I truly do love the center, because all that it offers to the community. Beyond hosting artists, several other groups like the quilting guild use the space for their meetings and activities. They Art Center really does rely on the support from the community to stay open, so checkout their lineup, pencil it in your calendar and call it a date!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful New Year’s celebration. My son and I went to a friend’s party geared towards kids and we had a blast; lots of games and finger friendly food. Jamie and saw the clock hit mid-night, but then it was off to bed. As you get older you realize just how valuable getting your sleep really is.

St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts is located at 155 Emery Street in Berlin. For more information call (603) 752-1028, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.stkieranarts.org. Don’t forget to also find them on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all the latest events.

Kirstan Knowlton writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Her inspiration comes from events and people in the community who continue to work hard to make the North Country one of the best places to live. You can contact Kirstan by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..