5 Reasons to See Atlanta Ballet’s “Camino Real”

10255914_10155653975150131_2422118828021152545_o

  1. Atlanta Ballet’s production of “Camino Real” is a world premiere! This is the first time the Tennessee Williams’ play, which originated on Broadway in 1953, has ever been transformed into a ballet. Atlanta Ballet’s resident choreographer Helen Pickett reimagined the play after her father handed down his copy from his college theater days, suggesting it would make a good ballet. The ballet has been three years in the making.
  1. Ballet as you’ve never seen (or heard) it before! Audiences can expect to be fully immersed and entertained when watching this full-evening ballet dance theater piece. Choreographer Helen Pickett has even challenged the dancers to learn lines from Tennessee Williams’ original text, which will be spoken throughout the show.
  1. It’s an everyman’s tale of love, lust, betrayal, courage and redemption. The story follows Kilroy, a once prizewinning boxer, who finds himself trapped in the surreal town of Camino Real. “It’s your classic good versus evil story,” said choreographer Helen Pickett. The story also features popular characters from literature and pop culture, such as Don Quixote, Esmeralda and Casanova.

camino wardrobe021

  1. Extravagant, theatrical display with brand new score, costumes and set design! A team of creative artists has been assembled to bring Tennessee Williams’ vision of “Camino Real” to life. The production will feature original costumes designed by award-winning designer Sandra Woodall, and a set design unlike any other, designed by Emma Kingsbury and David Finn. The rich, textured score, which Pickett has described as a character all its own, is the creation of composer Peter Salem.

Helen Pickett's Camino Real - Set Design (2)

  1. One weekend only! There are only four chances to see this Helen Pickett and Atlanta Ballet world premiere. The Company – dancers, costume shop, carpenters, painters, choreographer, composer, designers, etc. – has collectively logged more than 1,000 man-hours to bring the production to stage, and it’s a show not to be missed.

Buy tickets here.

All photos provided by Atlanta Ballet.

Fired Works Spotlights Folk Potters and Their Traditions

Fired Works Show-lr

Get your hands dirty with pottery classes at the event. Credit: Macon Arts Alliance

Featuring nine days of special events such as free Clay Workshops for Children & Teens, Corks & Clay workshops for adults, Pottery Roadshow appraisals, artist talks and demonstrations, the 10th Annual Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale, April 11-19, 2015, in Macon’s Central City Park, about 90 miles south of Atlanta, is a celebration of the rich history of ceramics-making in Georgia and the Southeast. What began as a local pottery show and celebration of the area’s Ocmulgee River region heritage now features more than 6,000 pieces of pottery by 65 ceramic artists– the state’s largest annual show and sale of functional and sculptural pottery.

Each year, Fired Works celebrates a special theme, artist or technique. The 10th Anniversary exhibition highlights the genuinely Southern tradition of Folk Pottery with works by five artists continuing the time-honored tradition of regional ceramics.

Shelia Chrzan bowl: Caption: Artists like Sheila Chrzan present their works for sale at the Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale. Credit: Macon Arts Alliance

Shelia Chrzan bowl: Caption: Artists like Sheila Chrzan present their works for sale at the Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale. Credit: Macon Arts Alliance

Bruce Bley, who lives in Monroe, describes himself as a “mountain person,” drawing inspiration from the North Georgia Mountains and their history of craftsmanship. Considered a rising star of the ceramic arts, Clint Alderman, from Habersham County, has been creating works of art by coil-building and pit-firing since 1995. His work is found in exhibits across the state, including the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia and the Atlanta History Center.

Both Roger Corn, of Lula, and Steve Turpin, of Homer, are decades-long potters and their work is well known. Corn has been dubbed the best potter to use the technique of pulling up his clay, creating light-as-a-feather works of art out of only small bits of clay. Turpin, a potter for more than 30 years, considers each piece he makes a tangible aspect of his personality. He says establishing the personal link created when a person feels connected enough to his works to want to purchase one is what being an artist is all about.

pottery - Caption: Wood-fired clay bowls crafted by potter Tammy Beane are reminiscent of Mississippian stamped pottery discovered at Macon’s Ocmulgee National Monument. Credit: The Macon Arts Alliance

pottery – Caption: Wood-fired clay bowls crafted by potter Tammy Beane are reminiscent of Mississippian stamped pottery discovered at Macon’s Ocmulgee National Monument.
Credit: The Macon Arts Alliance

Wayne Hewell is a fifth generation potter, a recognizable descendant of a folk potter family. He continues his father’s and grandfather’s tradition by by hand-firing all of his pottery in an old-fashioned wood-burning kiln.

Each featured folk potter will contribute between one and five pieces to the central exhibit at Fired Works, including traditional-style creations such as face jugs, snake jars and ash glazes – quintessential styles that continue to be produced by folk potters in the South.

If you go: Complete 10th Anniversary Fired Works event details; biographies of featured folk potters and the other 60-plus potters exhibiting and selling; Earth, Wine, and Fire special opening weekend packaged getaway, and schedule of talks and workshops is available at www.FiredWorksMacon.com.

katieMom-on-the-go and Laurie Rowe Communications PR pro Katie Reeder graduated at the top of her class from the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University with a degree in Communication Studies. Katie resides in Cumming, Georgia – between the beautiful mountains of North Georgia and the lights and action of nearby Atlanta.

Experience Appalachian Culture at the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival

photo 4

Many travelers don’t realize that Georgia has mountains–wild, beautiful, and home to a rich legacy of Appalachian culture. Minutes away from Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia, but only two hours from Atlanta, Young Harris College will celebrate Appalachian culture, particularly the spoken word tradition, during the first annual Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival to be held on the college campus on 10th and 11th April 2015.

The festival will feature some of the brightest stars in storytelling, including Lloyd Arneach, Lyn Ford, Hannah Harvey, Andy Offutt Irwin, Bil Lepp, Minton Sparks, Cayce Terrell, Tom Lawrence, Jr., and Sweet Sunny South. Listeners of all ages will learn about the fascinating cultural history of Appalachia through Cherokee legends, Affrilachian tales, Scottish folklore, stories of coal miners, local ghost stories, tall tales, family histories, and more. The festival will also offer visitors the opportunity to become part of the legacy of storytelling. Workshops on the art of storytelling will enable visitors to claim their own voices, and our recording booth will be open for those who want to preserve their stories for future generations. We’ll explore storytelling through the work of local artisans and musicians too with a quilt display, performances of traditional Appalachian music, and a bluegrass jam.  You’re in for a treat for the eyes, ears, heart, and mind!

The Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival is free to all students 18 and under and discounted for college students. Tickets for others are only $20 for a day of entertainment, from 10AM to 9PM.

We hope you will visit the GMSF to embrace and participate in the legacy of Appalachian stories.  To learn more about the event, go to http://gmsf.eventbrite.com. You can also find them under Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival on Facebook. Feel free to contact us at storytelling@yhc.edu or 706-379-5115.

10 Must-Do International Cherry Blossom Festival Events

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

This year’s International Cherry Blossom Festival in downtown Macon promises days and nights filled with a variety of fun March 19-29. Here are 10 events you’ll want to be sure you don’t miss:

1.)  Beer & Brats in the Biergarten – Sample bratwursts paired with seasonal selections from Macon Beer Company all while listening to traditional German folk music.

2.)  Cherry Blossom Parade – Watch as downtown Macon streets host a parade filled with floats, marching bands, military units, costumed performers, international dignitaries, and more.

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

3.)  Third Street Park Celebration – Enjoy an atmosphere filled with revelry with a different themed each day during the festival. There will also be live entertainment, free ice cream, and giveaways.

4.)  Buddy Greene Live in Concert – Singer and songwriter Buddy Greene brings his Southern inspired sounds to Macon and will perform a concert benefitting The Fuller Center for Housing of Macon, a non-profit that repairs and renovates poverty housing for low income families.

5.)  Bus Tour of Macon’s 12 Historic Districts – Various tours feature the some of the 6.500 structures in the city during a 2-hour guided bus tour of the Cherry Blossom Trail.

6.)  Food Truck Frenzy – On March 28th and 29th, food trucks will fill Third Street between Walnut and Mulberry Streets. Enjoy a sample, a snack, a meal, or a brew from the trucks.

7.)  Spring Spirit Stroll at Riverside Cemetery – Spend an evening walking amongst the graves of Riverside Cemetery as a 1-hour guided tour features acts in costume at graveside bringing to life selected stories from notable and notorious Macon history.

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

8.)  Cherry Blosson Bed Race – Which wild and wacky ride will reign supreme during their journey down Cherry Street?

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of International Cherry Blossom Festival

9.)  Macon-Bibb Firefighters Competition – Watch the red team battle it out competing against each other in events that test skill, agility, and teamwork in a challenging show of strengths.

10.)  Ocmulgee National Monument Lantern Light Tours – This unique opportunity allows visitors to grab a lantern and walk to the Great Temple Mound, see downtown Macon from the top of the mound, and learn about the history of the Native American people that called Ocmulgee home.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

11 Unique Egg Hunts Around Georgia

Title2If your family celebrates Easter, then you know the excitement of egg hunts! My little guys ask us to hide eggs more than a dozen times a day during the Easter weekend. We have a blast! But sometimes, we like to get out and do something different. Here are a few unique egg hunts around the state that your family is sure to enjoy.

Fernbank Museum Spring Egg-Stravaganza – Timed egg hunt, Radio Disney AM 590, Giggy A. Dinosaur appearance.

High Falls State Park Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Egg Hunt – 4,000 glowing eggs, registration required.

Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta Easter Celebration – Delectable Georgia-grown lunch, petting zoo for children, visit from the Easter Bunny, elaborate egg hunt in the MO garden, prizes.

Roswell Flashlight Egg Hunt – Hunt in the dark with only a flashlight.

Bogan Park Underwater Egg Hunt – Hunt for eggs underwater, pictures with Easter Bunny, snacks and crafts, kids under 6 years must swim with adult.

Influencers Church Helicopter Easter Egg Drop – Drops for all ages, visit from the Easter Bunny, farm animals, concessions, face painting, inflatables, petting zoo, free.

BabyLand General Hospital Easter Eggstravaganza – Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, parade, food vendors, arts and crafts, games, music, prizes.

Egg3The Rock Ranch Easter Eggstravaganza – Egg hunts for all ages, visit from Easter Bunny, photos options with bunny, free, frm animals, concessions, face painting, inflatables, ziplines, petting zoo.

Peter Cottontail Express on St Mary’s Train – Multiple dates available, Journey to the land of magic eggs and Easter bunnies with Peter Cottontail taking center stage to ride the return trip and host a fun Easter Egg Hunt.

Yogi Bear’s Easter Egg Hunt – Crafts, train ride, games, egg decorating, cartoons and popcorn, hay rides, bounce house, egg hunt, Yogi Bear visit,

A final note, those in Atlanta will enjoy the annual egg hunt at the Governor’s Mansion. It is filled already for 2015, but this egg hunt packs in a world of fun! Be sure to get updates from the governor’s office for future years.

LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.