MuseFLASHES: Peg Loughran sings at Song & Story Swap and other arts happenings in the Amherst area

  • Alan Fraser will hold a lecture/demonstration for pianists Sunday. COURTESY OF UMASS DEPT. OF MUSIC AND DANCE

  • Christina Sumi, center, who plays the lead role in the play ‘Boy’ at PVPA, rehearses with, from left, Rocco Desgres, Ava Hicks-Mazzallo, Seth Barrett and Phoebe Lloyd. COURTESY OF PVPA

  • Members of the Opus One Chamber Orchestra at UMass Ben Barnhart

  • Pat Loughran performs Saturday at the Nacul Center in Amherst. COURTESY OF SONG & STORY SWAP

  • The Asian Arts & Culture Program at UMass presents a performance Wednesday by the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China. COURTESY OF THE UMASS FAC

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Theater at PVPA

Kaihla Laurent, a senior at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, presents her directorial debut, Anna Ziegler’s play “Boy,” Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the school, 15 Mulligan Drive in South Hadley.

The play is inspired by a true story, when in the 1960s, a well-intentioned physician convinced the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold.

PVPA senior Christina Sumi plays the lead role of Adam/Samantha. Other cast members are Phoebe Lloyd, Seth Barrett, Rocco Desgres and Ava Hicks-Mazzallo.

Tickets at the door cost $7; $5 for seniors and military; $3 for students

Music at UMass

Pianist and teacher Alan Fraser will offer a lecture/demonstration and masterclass for teachers and performers Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“Body Organization and Musicianship at the Piano” Learn about new technical resources for solving the challenges of artistic playing” is free and open to the public.

Fraser is a regular recitalist in Europe and Canada and the author of several books on piano technique. He draws on his study with Canadian pioneer pianist and psychologist Phil Cohen and his collaboration with the Croatian virtuoso Kemal Gekic. He is trained as a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method.

The Opus One Chamber Orchestra, a faculty-student collaboration, will present a concert Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Bezanson Recital Hall.

The performers will be advanced string students with faculty members Elizabeth Chang, violin; Kathryn Lockwood, viola; Edward Arron, cello; and Salvatore Macchia, contrabass.

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, children and seniors. To reserve, call 5452511 or visit www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.

Song & Story Swap

Folk artist Peg Loughran will be the guest performer at the Song & Story Swap, Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Nacul Center, 592 Main St. in Amherst. The theme this month is travel.

Loughran, a songwriter and guitarist, has come out of folk-music retirement with a new collection of songs written over the last two years.

Influenced by traditional American fiddle tunes, swing music, blues and rock ‘n’ roll beats, she sings of the Civil War era, Colonial times, the Basque country, and also writes offbeat love songs: to people, places and even birds.

She will be joined by singer-songwriter and guitarist Lisa Ferguson.

Suggested donation: $5-$10.

Sneak peek

A sneak preview of a new film “To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine” will be shown Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Woodbury Room at Jones Library, 43 Amity St. in Amherst. The film will eventually be distributed to public TV stations across the country.

Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was a political activist and revolutionary who inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.

Though it is an historical drama, organizers say the 73-minute film of Ian Ruskin’s play addresses a multitude of contemporary issues. Free.

At the Carle

“The Golden Age of the Modern Era: The Michael and Esther Droller Collection” will be on view Sunday through Jan. 29, 2017, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art at 125 West Bay Road, Amherst.

There will be a gallery talk, “A Passion for Collecting,” Sunday at 1 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

Curated by H. Nichols B. Clark, the Carle’s founding director and chief curator emeritus, the exhibit features art by both legendary and contemporary names from the world of children’s literature.

On view will be artists from the Golden Age of Illustration (1875-World War I), such as Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway, as well as later practitioners Frank Adams, L. Leslie Brooke and W. Heath Robinson. From the last quarter of the 20th century, such names as Barbra Cooney, Alice and martin Provensen and Maurice Sendak are included.

For information, call 559-6315 or visit www.carlemuseum.org.

Acrobats extraordinaire

“Shanghai Nights,” by the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, will be presented Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Concert Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The group, one of the longest-running circus troupes in the world, presents acts of skill and daring set to a combination of traditional and modern music.

Many of the company’s acts have won gold and silver prizes and awards nationally and internationally.

Tickets cost $40, $35, $20 ($15, $12, $10 for youths 17 and under).

New plays

The New Play Readings Series at Smith College will present new scripts written by Smith College undergraduates, MFA candidates and guest artists who received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and other awards.

On Nov. 10, “A Small Death in Sweet Grass” will be performed. Written by Sabrina Brier and directed by Siobhan McManamon, both seniors, the play follows the drama of an old woman on her death bed, whose children have made their way back home.

On Dec. 1, “MERIT” will be staged, written and directed by Lenelle Moïse, MFA ’04 and the 2017 Lucille Geier Lakes writer-in-residence at Smith College. The play follows Mona, the only black student and Southerner in a graduate fiction-writing program in rural Vermont, where she befriends her divorced literary hero.

Both events will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theater in Smith College’s Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts. Free. For information, visit www.smith.edu/smitharts.

Curating fellowship

John Tyson of Amherst is taking part in the 2017-17 fall fellowship and internship program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He is one of 10 emerging professionals to participate as graduate curatorial interns in the program, which began Sept. 12 and will continue through May 12, 2017.

While at the National Gallery, the interns will participate in ongoing work and projects for a specific department, complete an entire project or a portion of a larger project, and have a weekly seminar that introduces the staff, departments, programs and functions of the Gallery.

Tyson received a bachelor’s degree in art from Colby College, a master’s degree in art history from Tufts University, and a doctorate in modern and contemporary art history from Emory University. He will assist the department of modern art with research for the upcoming Rachel Whiteread retrospective and lead tours in the newly reinstalled East Building permanent and special exhibition archives.

In collaboration with the department of film programs, he is developing an evening film and video art series, and will also work in the department of modern prints and drawings, cataloging Jasper Johns prints.