So what is scene work?

Scene Acting WorkshopThe answer is both embarrassingly simple and unnervingly complex. A scene is any time there’s more than one actor on stage. That’s the simple part. The work part is what you should do when that happens. That’s the complex part.

The best acting doesn’t happen alone. Theater is, at its heart, a collaborative art. For any piece of drama to succeed, the actors have to be working with each other to make the performance a reality. This kind of working together can be as simple as everyone on stage being more or less in agreement where everyone should be standing. It can also be as elusive as everyone on stage finding just the right way to convey an emotional tone, or how to get the laugh from the audience.

Scene work in Shakespeare’s plays in some ways makes this easier. The rhythm of

Read more: So what is scene work? 

But... That's the Good Stuff!

I am a frugal artist.

I make my own stretcher frames from hardware store lumber and pull my own canvases. I buy the cloth from fabric stores rather than art suppliers. I am the type of artist that believes "gesso" is an Italian word that means "overpriced house paint."

While I take pride in my DIY cost-cutting measures, I sometimes find that I tend to immediately lose inspiration when presented with the rare opportunity to use top-notch, quality art supplies. I immediately put on my kid gloves, start overthinking my every move, and keep reminding myself, "but...but... this is the good stuff." In other words, I get performance anxiety.

Artist Jillian Long at work
Artist Jillian Long at work
As a kid, I would have no problem making art on notebook paper, deposit slips, gum wrappers, and church bulletins - but I locked up when it came time to put something down in an actual artist's sketchbook. And I'm not talking about those really nice Moleskin journals like the Impressionists used, I'm talking about a five-dollar-for-seventy-five-pages sketchpad from Wal-Mart (tear out pages optional). I saw the sketchpad as some means to show a progression, or an archive of quality work. I was ashamed to put anything in there that would not be a successful attempt, and usually ended up with an empty sketchbook, with as many as five years passing between one page to the next.

I'd like to say that I'm cured of my sketchpad anxiety and have filled countless pages of thousands of journals, but I'm still the same way. I always feel like the sketchbooks (being a proper art supply) are solely for my good ideas, and I hesitate to use them - preferring rather to scrawl my ideas on loose bits of paper that get lost in the shuffle.

My seven-year-old daughter, Jillian - an aspiring, creative kid in her own right - is the exact opposite of my careful reservation. She is driven to create and has no qualms about obliterating a sketchbook in a couple days, filling every page front and back. She may use ten pages just drawing cat faces in different styles - some with stripes, some with big eyes, some with crazy teeth, etc. When I used a new box of crayons I did so with care, trying to keep the points sharp and paper neat, but Jillian

Read more: But... That's the Good Stuff!

An "Uplift"-ing performance coming Wednesday from Irish visitors

Amy Ryan MoffettDanville’s relationship with its Sister City of Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland has made headlines again with the arrival of Ryan and Amy Moffett. The Moffetts are visiting this month as guest instructors at West T. Hill Community Theatre's Camp Causwelovetoact, but they are also stopping at the Community Arts Center for Lunch with the Arts this Wednesday!

Ryan and Amy are founders of Uplift, a performing arts school in Northern Ireland. They will bring a few teenage students to perform several musical numbers as a preview of the upcoming public performances at West T. Hill Community Theatre. The Moffetts will also talk about their experiences starting Uplift and the successes they have experienced so far.

The performance will cover Irish and American music (tracing the similar roots of each genre) and Broadway show tunes. Lunch with the Arts presentations are always followed by a question and answer session and a chance to meet the artists.

Local playwright and arts advocate Liz Orndorff played a pivotal role in bringing the Moffetts and their students to Danville.

Read more: An "Uplift"-ing performance coming Wednesday from Irish visitors

Would Cavemen Watch Movies?

Most film critics will agree that the film that finally broke
the mold and saw the medium reach new heights was
Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane.
As one of the most modern forms of art, I find it interesting that film reaches back into the most archaic form of art – storytelling. Modern audiences find themselves gathered around a flickering screen while stories unfold that they can hardly believe. Magic unfolds, shamans step forth, and morals are taught as the battle between good and evil takes place right before their eyes.

Of course our modern theaters with reclining seats are far more comfortable than primitive rocks and logs. The resolution of a digital movie screen is more detailed, albeit less warm than the blazing fires of our ancestors, and Scarlett Johansson is no doubt far more attractive than the tribal elders that once passed on their tales to younger generations.

For all the multi-million dollar budgets, CGI, and special effects that modern movies use, at their core they ignite something primitive in all of us – the desire to hear a story.

Film tells a story like few other forms of media can. Of course, live theatre is a very direct and real means of telling a story, and when you are in the audience, there is nothing like it. However, live theatre finds its limitations in terms of audience size. Once you get a certain distance from the stage, the nuances in the actors’ movement get lost and you strain to hear the dialogue. You can’t see the subtlety in their expressions, the raise of an eyebrow, or the smirk of a smile.

Early films seemed to solve a lot of the problems inherent in a packed playhouse by

Read more: Would Cavemen Watch Movies?

Don't forget - we have Starry Night Studios for kids, too!

Big Red
Paint your own Big Red  (or Big Blue, Big
Purple, or Big Green!) this Sunday.
One of the most popular programs here at the Community Arts Center is Starry Night Studio, a group painting experience (we like to call it "the social painting experience") where each participant completes the same painting in about two hours. Many local teens and adults have participated in a Starry Night Studio or heard about them from friends, but not many people know yet about special “Grown Up & Me” Starry Night Studios for children under 12 and their parents or guardians.

These classes give children the opportunity to paint their own masterpiece on a real canvas. We provides one canvas per child, the use of all the necessary paints and brushes, and an instructor. Adults and children work together to create their own unique piece of art. (You can also bring your favorite snacks and drinks, too! Just be sure not to mix up your O.J. with your paintbrush cup).

Krista Rinehart became a Starry Night Studio instructor after bringing her daughter to a “Grown Up & Me” class last year.

“My favorite part of the Starry Night Studios – either the adult or kids classes – is

Read more: Don't forget - we have Starry Night Studios for kids, too!

Exhibit and Lisi's Art Lab Hours:

Wed. - Fri.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Exhibits free, Lisi's Art Lab $1 per child

Office Hours:

Mon. - Fri: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

401 W. Main Street

Danville, KY  40422