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Pioneer Previews: 'Spitfire Grill' to open Playhouse season

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Paul Bunyan Playhouse opens the season with the folk and bluegrass musical/drama "The Spitfire Grill" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, with evening performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 10. The following week performances will be at 8 p.m. June 13 to 16. The production will be in the historic Chief Theater at 314 Beltrami Ave. NW.

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The story revolves around a young woman, just released from a prison term for manslaughter, who gets a new start at life at the Spitfire Grill in an economically struggling town.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. Coupon books are $100 for five shows. The box office number is 751-7270 or order tickets online at thechieftheater.com

The Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series will begin at 1:30 p.m. today with Free Indeed, a family gospel/bluegrass quartet of musicians and singers, on the outdoor stage at Lake Bemidji State Park. Admission to the park requires a current sticker; one-day passes are available. The concert is open to the public at no charge because this series is funded by a Region 2 Arts Council grant.

The Bemidji Public Library Book Discussion group will meet at noon Monday to talk about "The Help," a novel by Kathryn Stockett about life in the segregated south of the 1960s before the Voting Rights Act.

The story is told from the point of view of the women who worked as household help in a variety of homes. The second discussion will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the library, 509 America Ave. NW.

The 25th Anniversary Bemidji Area Church Musicians Summer Concert Series will begin at noon at the Evangelical Free Church, l15 Carr Lake Rd. SW, with guest recitalist Michael Olson. This concert will be expanded to 45 minutes with a hymn sing along with the organ recital. All concerts are open to the public and free-will offerings will be accepted for the BACM scholarship fund. A post-concert luncheon will be provided at a minimal cost, a service of each member church to support fundraising efforts.

The 2012 Great American Think-Off Debate on "The Nature of Humankind: Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?" will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the New York Mills School Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 24 Main Ave. N. For more information, call 218-385-3339 or visit the website www.thinkoff.org.

Last year's winner, Marsh Muirhead, will defend the position that humankind is inherently good; the audience will vote on the finalist in each category and then decide the winner. Tickets are $12 for advance sale and $15 on the night of the debate, and student admission is $5.

Grace Garland will host a watercolor class from 1-4 p.m. June 13 at Gracie's Woodsy Boutique, six miles west of Bemidji on U.S. Highway 2 West. Students will complete and frame a 11-by-14-inch watercolor painting of a friendly bluebird. The fee is $40. To register, call 759-2952

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center, 311 Main Ave. S, Park Rapids, is offering two different workshops. To register or for more information, visit the website BlankCanvasGallery.org. There is no fee as workshops are funded by the Region 2 Arts Council.

E "Photography for Artists" with Cal Rice. The photography of two- and three- dimensional art projects to document work for brochures, art contests and recording of inventory. Registration is required for the workshop, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 15.

E "Painting Crystal in Watercolor" with professional artist June Young from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19-21. Participants will learn the process of glazing to produce a realistic watercolor painting of cut glass crystal. Class size is limited.

These workshops are sponsored by the Bemidji Library Book Festival. Registration is required in advance, as space is limited. Call 751-3963 to register.

E "Writing for Tweens and Teens," with William Durban, who has written 12 historical research novels for Young Adults. The workshop will be held at 2 p.m. June 11 at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

E "Writing Your Life, Finding Your Story," with Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for Books, Star Tribune, 2 p.m. June 12, HSMA.

E "Writing a Children's Book," with Margi Preus, who won the 2011 Newberry Honor Book for her novel, "Heart of a Samurai." The workshop will be at 2 p.m. June 13 at HSMA.

E "Drawing with Nancy," with Nancy Carlson, illustrator of more than 60 children's books, 2 p.m. June 14 at HSMA.

E "Doing Business Online," a free professional development workshop for artists, with Ryan Pesch of the University of Minnesota Extension, will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 11 at the Math Computer Lab of Bemidji High School. Contact Region 2 Arts Council to register: staff@r2arts.org or call 751-5447.

E Poetry Slam, in conjunction with the Bemidji Book Festival, will begin at 8:30 p.m. June 11 at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. A slam is a competition at which poets read or recite original work and then are given scores on a numerical scale by the judges. Limited to 12 poets and cash prizes will be given. To enter, call the Bemidji Public Library at 751-3863.

Auditions for students in grades 4 through college will be held for "The Legend of Paul Bunyan," a musical play by Verna Safran with show dates of Aug. 3-5 and 9-11 at Bemidji High School auditorium. Director Cate Belleveau will audition actors from 4:30-7 p.m. June 20 and 21. Contact kayakc2@me.com for time slot and requirements.

"The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman show based on the life and poetry of Emily Dickenson will be reprised by Rhoda Jackson at 3 p.m. June 9 and 10 at the Long Lake Theater. More information can be found on the website www.longlaketheater.com or by calling 218-732-0099. Reservations are recommended.

Loon Opera Company released information on the upcoming opera, "Madama Butterfly" by Puccini on its website www.loonoperacompany.com. The performance time and dates are 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 30 in the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Kelsey's Jewelry in downtown Bemidji or by calling 368-8805. All tickets are $25 for general seating. This production is made possible in part by grants from the Region 2 Arts Council and the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

June art installations: A complete listing of all the artists and venues can be accessed on the home page of the Bemidji Community Arts Center at bcac.wordpress.com.

E Bemidji Library Book Festival, June 11-16, with polar explorer, Ann Bancroft as keynote speaker at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Free tickets available now at the library and Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

E Folklorist John Berquist in concert at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Shevlin History Center. U.S. Highway 2 West. Free admission. This is a Legacy Fund event.

Paul Bunyan Playhouse opens the season with the folk and bluegrass musical/drama "The Spitfire Grill" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, with evening performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 10. The following week performances will be at 8 p.m. June 13 to 16. The production will be in the historic Chief Theater at 314 Beltrami Ave. NW.

The story revolves around a young woman, just released from a prison term for manslaughter, who gets a new start at life at the Spitfire Grill in an economically struggling town.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. Coupon books are $100 for five shows. The box office number is 751-7270 or order tickets online at thechieftheater.com

The Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series will begin at 1:30 p.m. today with Free Indeed, a family gospel/bluegrass quartet of musicians and singers, on the outdoor stage at Lake Bemidji State Park. Admission to the park requires a current sticker; one-day passes are available. The concert is open to the public at no charge because this series is funded by a Region 2 Arts Council grant.

The Bemidji Public Library Book Discussion group will meet at noon Monday to talk about "The Help," a novel by Kathryn Stockett about life in the segregated south of the 1960s before the Voting Rights Act.

The story is told from the point of view of the women who worked as household help in a variety of homes. The second discussion will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the library, 509 America Ave. NW.

The 25th Anniversary Bemidji Area Church Musicians Summer Concert Series will begin at noon at the Evangelical Free Church, l15 Carr Lake Rd. SW, with guest recitalist Michael Olson. This concert will be expanded to 45 minutes with a hymn sing along with the organ recital. All concerts are open to the public and free-will offerings will be accepted for the BACM scholarship fund. A post-concert luncheon will be provided at a minimal cost, a service of each member church to support fundraising efforts.

The 2012 Great American Think-Off Debate on "The Nature of Humankind: Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?" will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the New York Mills School Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 24 Main Ave. N. For more information, call 218-385-3339 or visit the website www.thinkoff.org.

Last year's winner, Marsh Muirhead, will defend the position that humankind is inherently good; the audience will vote on the finalist in each category and then decide the winner. Tickets are $12 for advance sale and $15 on the night of the debate, and student admission is $5.

Grace Garland will host a watercolor class from 1-4 p.m. June 13 at Gracie's Woodsy Boutique, six miles west of Bemidji on U.S. Highway 2 West. Students will complete and frame a 11-by-14-inch watercolor painting of a friendly bluebird. The fee is $40. To register, call 759-2952

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center, 311 Main Ave. S, Park Rapids, is offering two different workshops. To register or for more information, visit the website BlankCanvasGallery.org. There is no fee as workshops are funded by the Region 2 Arts Council.

- "Photography for Artists" with Cal Rice. The photography of two- and three- dimensional art projects to document work for brochures, art contests and recording of inventory. Registration is required for the workshop, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 15.

- "Painting Crystal in Watercolor" with professional artist June Young from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19-21. Participants will learn the process of glazing to produce a realistic watercolor painting of cut glass crystal. Class size is limited.

These workshops are sponsored by the Bemidji Library Book Festival. Registration is required in advance, as space is limited. Call 751-3963 to register.

- "Writing for Tweens and Teens," with William Durban, who has written 12 historical research novels for Young Adults. The workshop will be held at 2 p.m. June 11 at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

- "Writing Your Life, Finding Your Story," with Laurie Hertzel, senior editor for Books, Star Tribune, 2 p.m. June 12, HSMA.

- "Writing a Children's Book," with Margi Preus, who won the 2011 Newberry Honor Book for her novel, "Heart of a Samurai." The workshop will be at 2 p.m. June 13 at HSMA.

- "Drawing with Nancy," with Nancy Carlson, illustrator of more than 60 children's books, 2 p.m. June 14 at HSMA.

- "Doing Business Online," a free professional development workshop for artists, with Ryan Pesch of the University of Minnesota Extension, will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 11 at the Math Computer Lab of Bemidji High School. Contact Region 2 Arts Council to register: staff@r2arts.org or call 751-5447.

- Poetry Slam, in conjunction with the Bemidji Book Festival, will begin at 8:30 p.m. June 11 at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. A slam is a competition at which poets read or recite original work and then are given scores on a numerical scale by the judges. Limited to 12 poets and cash prizes will be given. To enter, call the Bemidji Public Library at 751-3863.

Auditions for students in grades 4 through college will be held for "The Legend of Paul Bunyan," a musical play by Verna Safran with show dates of Aug. 3-5 and 9-11 at Bemidji High School auditorium. Director Cate Belleveau will audition actors from 4:30-7 p.m. June 20 and 21. Contact kayakc2@me.com for time slot and requirements.

"The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman show based on the life and poetry of Emily Dickenson will be reprised by Rhoda Jackson at 3 p.m. June 9 and 10 at the Long Lake Theater. More information can be found on the website www.longlaketheater.com or by calling 218-732-0099. Reservations are recommended.

Loon Opera Company released information on the upcoming opera, "Madama Butterfly" by Puccini on its website www.loonoperacompany.com. The performance time and dates are 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 30 in the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Kelsey's Jewelry in downtown Bemidji or by calling 368-8805. All tickets are $25 for general seating. This production is made possible in part by grants from the Region 2 Arts Council and the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

June art installations: A complete listing of all the artists and venues can be accessed on the home page of the Bemidji Community Arts Center at bcac.wordpress.com.

- Bemidji Library Book Festival, June 11-16, with polar explorer, Ann Bancroft as keynote speaker at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Free tickets available now at the library and Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

- Folklorist John Berquist in concert at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Shevlin History Center. U.S. Highway 2 West. Free admission. This is a Legacy Fund event.

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