Music theater looks for girl and dog to star in ‘Annie’

Maine State Music Theatre wants to know: Do you know Annie?

The summer music theater in Brunswick is seeking bright, energetic girls to play Little Orphan Annie and her fellow orphans in its 2011 production of “Annie.”

Candidates for Annie must be between 6 and 15 years old and be able to act, sing and dance. Auditions will be held via YouTube submission. The audition video should be three minutes long and include dance movements as well as at least one of these songs: “Tomorrow,” “Maybe” or “Hard Knock Life.”

Candidates should upload audition videos to and save the link address for that video. Fill out the form on the theater’s website under “Employment/Auditions/Annie” and include the YouTube video link in the submission form. Audition videos are not private, and may appear on the theater’s website.

In addition, the theater is also looking for candidates to play Sandy, the lovable mutt. Sandy candidates must be trained and be comfortable in crowds. Candidates’ dogs — or their handlers — should use the submission information for “Annie” auditions. Sandy candidates need to be able to bark and come when called. Dancing is optional.

For details, visit 

Two dozen exhibits, studios featured in next ArtWalk

The 2nd Friday ArtWalk in Brunswick and Topsham will include new exhibitions and receptions from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

People Plus, 35 Union St., Brunswick, will participate, showing work from students in two classes offered at the center. On Park Row, the Brunswick Inn will hold an ArtRave from 5 to 9 p.m.

These are among two dozen exhibitions and open studios included in the ArtWalk. Three new exhibitions on Pleasant Street include Nelson Bruns’ “Engineering Art” at Gallery Framing, “Lost and Found” by members of Points of View at Brunswick Business Center and “Origins — A Juried Exhibit” at VSA Arts of Maine, 11 Pleasant St.

The 2nd Friday ArtWalk is a free, self-guided tour of galleries and artist studios sponsored by Five Rivers Arts Alliance. Details are available in brochures available across town and online at www.fiveriversarts


Victoria Mansion appoints historic preservation expert

The board of trustees of Victoria Mansion has announced the appointment of Thomas B. Johnson as director. He replaces Robert Wolterstorff, who left the house museum this past winter.

Johnson joined Victoria Mansion on Sept. 1, and brings more than 30 years of experience in museums and historic preservation. A graduate of American University with a master’s in American and New England studies from the University of Southern Maine, he has been director of Maine Preservation, and currently serves on the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. For 14 years, Johnson was on the staff of the Museums of Old York in York as curator and acting director. Most recently, he was curator of collections at Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire.

Johnson said he planned to build on the strengths of the organization that have been cultivated over the past 25 years. “Victoria Mansion is recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the finest house museums of its type and we are rated as a top tourist destination for visitors to Maine on the Web. Spectacular is not an understatement when describing the mansion, and I want to re-emphasize to our local community what a treasure there is in our midst,” Johnson said in a statement. 

Vocalist and guitarist back with Gypsy Tailwind

Gypsy Tailwind, a Portland-based rock band, announced last week that vocalist and guitarist Anna Lombard has rejoined the band after a year-long maternity leave. Her first performance back with the band will be on Saturday as part of the Harvest Hootenanny at the Camden Snow Ball.

“I am really excited about performing again with the band,” Lombard said in a statement. “The break gave me some time to recharge my creative soul and musical passion.”

Gypsy Tailwind is fronted by Dan Connor (vocals, guitar) and Lombard. The seven-piece act also includes Chris Dow on drums, Colin Winsor on bass, Maxwell Cantlin on guitar and vocals, Tyler Stanley on keyboards, and Ben Trout on mandolin.

The Harvest Hootenanny takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Gypsy Tailwind is the closing act, performing at 4 p.m. Other artists include The Mallett Brothers Band and Roosevelt Dime.

Admission is $9, and children under age 12 will be admitted free.


Maine writers to give readings at Bates College

Two writers based in Maine and renowned nationally will take part in the Language Arts Live series of literary readings at Bates College in October. Debra Spark, author of the novels “The Ghost of Bridgetown” and “Good for the Jews,” reads from her work at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11. One of Maine’s most respected poets, Wesley McNair, visits Bates at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

Both readings take place in Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave., and are open to the public at no cost. For more information, call 786-6326 or 786-6256.


Kennebec arts group receives $10,000 grant

The Kennebec Valley Art Association has received a $10,000 grant from the Portland-based Quimby Family Foundation. The Kennebec Valley Art Association is a membership-based nonprofit art association, and its mission is to promote the arts and artists of central Maine. The art association has owned and operated the Harlow Gallery at 160 Water St. in downtown Hallowell since 1963.

The funds will support recent strategic initiatives in board committee development and support, creation of education programs, internship programming and donor relations and development.

The Quimby Family Foundation was formed in 2004 by Roxanne Quimby, a businesswoman, environmentalist and philanthropist. The mission of the foundation is to advance wilderness values and to increase access to the arts throughout Maine. For information, visit

— Compiled by Bob Keyes, Staff Writer