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Arts Outlook


Ballerinas to perform 'Carol of the Bells'

Haines ballerinas will add to the holiday festivities for the first time this year with four performances at the ANB Hall Dec. 14.

Six students of ballet instructor Kim Sundberg will perform a classical ballet to a modern version of “Carol of the Bells,” a popular Christmas song. Performances will start at 1, 1:30, 2 and 2:30 p.m.

Sundberg said her students performed at the Holly Jolly Christmas Follies variety show last year, but will be unable to this year due to her absence.

So, the group brainstormed how they might work in a winter performance, and decided to have a Christmas-themed dance on the day of the holiday parade. Other events that day include pictures with Santa at the Visitor Center and holiday open house at the Sheldon Museum.

“It’s a pretty festive day, so we decided to add to those (other) festivities,” Sundberg said. “Hopefully we’ll be a stop along the way between the Visitor Center and the parade.”

Sundberg also teaches younger students, but six of her older students will be participating in the “Carol of the Bells” performance: Madeline Andriesen, Corinna Diggins, Victoria Hansen, Naomi Green, Zayla Asquith-Heinz and Sasha Mackowiak.

Andriesen said she is glad for another opportunity to dance in front of an audience, as the students usually only have one performance – the spring recital – per year.

“It’s fun to perform rather than just do bar work. It’s nice to work on an actual dance,” Andriesen said.

The piece is choreographed partly by Sundberg and partly by her students.

Admission is $1 for attendees 12 and older. Revenue will be used to cover hall rental.


Hilarious 'Ladies' set for Dec. 14

The Juneau-based company Theatre in the Rough is returning to Haines for the first time in a year, but instead of a dramatic Shakespeare play, the group will be putting on a “warm, delightful, hilarious comedy” called “The Ladies of the Camellias.”

The performance, presented by the Haines Arts Council, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 14, at the Chilkat Center.

Aaron Elmore, co-founder of Theatre in the Rough, directs and acts in the piece, which depicts two divas held hostage in a Paris theater by a Russian anarchist in 1897. “Hijinks ensue,” Elmore said.

The play, written by Lillian Groag, is metafictional: it portrays actors and directors attempting to put on the famous play “Lady of the Camellia” by Alexandre Dumas. The two divas are Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse, two famous actresses who were household names in the late 1800s.

“It will certainly be a comic night. It will be fun, which is good because it is getting close to Christmas and we might as well be doing fun stuff,” Elmore said.

Elmore particularly likes the play’s use of self-reference, a technique that usually makes audiences step back and use their brains a little bit. “It’s an opportunity for people to think about why they do what they do,” he said.

If the laughs aren’t enough to compel audiences, the “beautiful set and lovely costumes” will entertain the more aesthetically-inclined, Elmore said.

The play includes mild language, adult themes and what Elmore referred to as “Bugs Bunny violence,” so parents will have to decide whether it is suitable for their children. He characterized the content as PG-13.

Theatre in the Rough performed Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” at the Chilkat Center last December.

The Haines Arts Council and Alaska Arts Confluence have organized a pre-show wine and cheese reception with the play’s directors. It will start at 5:45 p.m. in the Chilkat Center lobby.

Arts council president Tom Heywood said a similar party that preceded “Macbeth” was well-received. “(Players) can talk about the play and give us some insight about the themes and the history of it,” he said.

Only 50 tickets are available for the pre-play reception.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students and $35 for families. Tickets are $25 for the wine and cheese reception, which includes entrance to the performance. They are available at the Babbling Book and at the door. 


School's play will be movie

Plans for a Haines High School play are moving from the stage to video.

English teacher Rene Martin said her eight-member theater class was planning to stage “Harry’s Hotter at Twilight,” a parody of the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” movie series before Christmas, but a busy student activity schedule, including a ferry break-down that added to student travel time, got in the way of rehearsals.

“We’re scrambling to get all the students together at once. We didn’t want to put it together in a half-done way, so we’ll use Green Screen technology and iMovie to create a movie,” Martin said this week.

The play is a 45-minute production with multiple scenes. Martin said she hopes to have the video complete by semester’s end. The one-semester theater class is offered every other year.


Holiday show seeking acts

Joe Parnell is taking the reins of the Holly Jolly Christmas Follies variety show this year, and is looking for talented residents to sing, dance, lip-sync, act or “whatever” in the Dec. 22 show.

The deadline to sign up is Dec. 15.

Producer Parnell and assistant producer Holly Jo Parnell are taking over from Sue Waterhouse, who put together the show for the past few years but wasn’t available for this year’s show. The two said they are rapidly discovering recruiting artists is more work than they bargained for.

“It’s been in the think-tank stage. We haven’t actually talked to many artists yet,” Holly Jo said.

So far, the two have cobbled together a handful of acts, including the HI DE HOs and Haines Bell Choir. Krista Kielsmeier also has penned a comedy skit about three Canadians who come to Haines seeking winter employment.

Kielsmeier said she doesn’t know how the audience will react to the skit, which she called “not very politically correct.”

“It’s pushing the envelope,” Kielsmeier said.

“They won’t know what to think,” said Joe Parnell. “It’s edgy.”

Anyone with Christmas-themed talents (skits, songs, martial arts, pet or magic tricks, etc.) should call 766-2447 to sign up. “If someone is putting it together they should tell us, because there is a limit. We can’t have a four-hour show,” Holly Jo said.

Kielsmeier said she is glad the Parnells are stepping up to the challenge of putting on the Holly Jolly Christmas Follies. “My family will be in town at the time, and I think it is a great opportunity for other visitors to see the diverse talents of our community and celebrate the holiday spirit.”