Pop-up Shop supports Camp Sunshine

Jewelry artist Chaya Caron, owner of Chaya Studio Jewelry, will host the seventh annual holiday pop-up shop to spotlight local artists, support the buy-local movement, and raise funds for Camp Sunshine.

As always, holiday shoppers will find a wide range of affordable handcrafted items from $2 including pottery, jewelry, scarves, art and more. Participating artists, more than 25, include Shannon Wong, Ember Grove, Sue Vittner, James McLaughlin and Melanie West.

Patrons are invited to enter the annual holiday raffle for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate for Chaya Studio Jewelry.

Register at the the shop or online.

New this year are two Happy Hour events and two silent auction:

Happy Hour at Chaya’s on Nov. 29, 5 to 7 p.m., features refreshments and kicks off a three-day silent auction (Nov 29, 30, 31.

Happy Hour at Chaya’s on Dec. 13, 5 to 7 p.m. features refreshments and kicks off a three-day silent aauction (Dec. 13, 14, 15).

A portion of the proceeds from the month-long sale, silent auctions and raffle will benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Chaya Studio Jewelry is located at 22 Cottage Road in South Portland. For more information, call 221-6552.

Mad Horse Theatre presents ‘Mary Jane’

Mad Horse Theatre presents Mary Jane by Amy Herzog, directed by company member, Stacey Koloski, Nov. 7-24 at Mad Horse Theatre, 24 Mosher St., South Portland.

As Mary Jane navigates both the mundane and the unfathomable realities of caring for Alex, her chronically ill young son, she finds herself building a community of women from many walks of life. Mary Jane is Amy Herzog’s remarkably powerful and compassionate portrait of a contemporary American woman striving for grace.

There’s no denying the central, wrenching focus of Mary Jane, but it’s also a story about a small group of women who commit themselves to the tough project of caring for this child and his mother with grace and humor.

The cast includes company member Reba Askari (Mary Jane) and four other actors that play dual roles, Emily Grotz, Gusta Johnson, Elise Voigt and company member, Tootie Van Reenen.

The crew includes company members, Mark Rubin (production manager), Jennifer Halm- Perazone (Stage Manager), Corey Anderson (lighting design), Jake Cote (sound design) and guest artists, Anna Halloran (costume design), Johnny Speckman (props) and Amber White (set design).

“It’s a gift to be working with so many female-identifying artists on Amy Herzog’s beautiful play. This production arrives at a time when the world would benefit from the examples set by the strong, empathetic, intelligent and resilient women of ‘Mary Jane,'” said Stacey Koloski, director, in a written statement.

Author Amy Herzog received a masters in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama. Her teachers included Richard Nelson and John Guare. Jim Nicola, producer of Belleville at the New York Theatre Workshop, said that “the distinction of Herzog’s work is her belief ‘that private, individual experience is always inseparable from public, historical processes, when she explores human lives.”

She has received numerous awards including the Helen Merrill Award for Aspiring Playwrights, the Whiting Award, the Lily Award and the 2012 Obie Award in the category Best New American Play for 4000 Miles.

“Mary Jane” won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play for Mary Jane in 2018. Herzog was also awarded the 2019 Horton Foote Playwriting Award (along with Heidi Schreck) by the Dramatists Guild of America. Herzog teaches at Yale as a lecturer in Playwriting. She learned about caregiving the hard way: Her oldest daughter suffers from a congenital neuromuscular disease.

Mary Jane runs Nov. 7-24 at Mad Horse Theatre in the historic Hutchins School, 24 Mosher St., South Portland.

Performance times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. There will be an opening night reception immediately following the Friday, Nov. 8 performance.

Patrons are invited to stay after the show, enjoy light snacks, and mingle with the cast, crew, and fellow theater lovers.

A talk-back is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 17 immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. This is an opportunity to discuss the play with the director and actors.

Tickets are $23 for adults and $20 for seniors. For patrons younger than 25, tickets are pay-what-you-can for all performances.

Pay-what-you-can dates for “Mary Jane” are Thursdays, Nov. 7 and 14 and Sunday, Nov. 10. Pay-what-you-can tickets are only available at the door on a first come, first served basis.

Reservations are strongly recommended. Purchase tickets online at www.madhorse.com or call 747-4148 for more information. Please call for group rates.

Toy drive seeks assistance, donations

The 2019 South Portland Christmas Toy Drive is seeking assistance so that it can can help children from within the community that are less fortunate and could use a little help during the Christmas season.

Last year, the drive helped more than 220 South Portland children with toys, boots and warm coats.

This is the eighth year for the drive and involves a partnership with the South Portland Police Department, South Portland Policemen’s Association, South Portland school system, Maine Roofing Inc., Evelyn’s Tavern, Port Harbor Marine and Peoples United Millcreek.

Each year the group collects hundreds of toys, boots and coats which are distributed to the identified families with the help of local police officers.

The toy drive is looking for businesses, groups or individuals to “adopt families” for the drive. All volunteers need to do is specify how many children in a family hat they would like to buy a coat, boots and some toys for.

The drive is also looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys, art supplies and gift cards which can be dropped off at the businesses listed. The deadline for donations is Friday, Dec. 6.

To make a donation, checks can be made out to the SPPP Community Needs Fund (South Portland Policemen’s Association) and mailed to Maine Roofing- 24 Bishop Ave., South Portland, ME 04106.

The eighth annual annual toy drive party is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 at Evelyn’s Tavern. Please bring new unwrapped toys and join attend a night of fun and cocktails.

For more information, call Liz Darling at 767-4243 or by email  [email protected]

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