Library offers book group
TOPSHAM — The Topsham Public Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer Let’s Talk About It, a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library.

Re-Imagining the American Family began on Thursday, Nov. 1, and continues for five sessions through March 14.

Books to be read and discussed include: “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D. Vance; “Fun Home,” by Alison Bechdel; “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?,” by Roz Chast; “What the Living Do,” by Marie Howe; and “Brothers and Keepers,” by John Edgar Wideman. Rebecca Nisetich, an English professor at the University of Southern Maine, will leads the discussions.

“Exploring ideas and issues through literature has a unique and fun way of creating community,” said Nicole Rancourt, director of Let’s Talk About It. “We find that there is great interest among adults in getting together to discuss what they’ve read with others. Having a discussion leader who is both excited about the readings and skilled in facilitating can help to deepen this experience.”

To register, call the library at 725-1727. For more information, visit mainehumanities.org or call 773-5051.

Students to attend free performance of ‘Animal Farm’
BATH — Bath Middle School students will attend a free live performance of “Animal Farm” on Friday, Nov. 2, at  Chocolate Church Arts Center. About 300 students are expected to attend.

The production, based on George Orwell’s classic novel, will be presented by the New Repertory Theater’s Classic Repertory Company, an educational program that brings theater to schools, summer camps, senior centers and colleges.

Actors will present pre-show questions and facilitate a post-show discussion around themes as the educational component. This will give students an opportunity to learn how a novel becomes a play.

The Chocolate Church Arts Center received funding support from the Maine Humanities Council and J.R. Maxwell’s as founding corporate donor of Gift-a-Seat Program. The Bath Middle School received financial support from the Maine Arts Commission.

Donations received by Orion for installed projector
TOPSHAM — Orion Performing Arts Center, the theater at Mt. Ararat Middle School, recently installed a new ceiling projector. The project was funded by grants and donations. The new projector, which projects a large and clear picture onto the back wall — above anything taking place onstage — was installed in July.

The Alfred M. Senter Fund provided a grant and attendees at events around Topsham and Maine School Administrative District 75 contributed. The Orion Advisory Committee conducted a dinner at the 99 Restaurant, a raffle, concession sales and an ice cream scooping night at Gelato Fiasco. Most recently, Norway Savings Bank gave a donation that put the fundraising effort over the top.

The Orion Performing Arts Center features 900 seats and hosts both school and community events and performances throughout the year.

For more information, visit orionperformingartscenter.org.

Concerts for a Cause
BRUNSWICK — The next Concerts for a Cause event at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick is scheduled for Nov. 10 and will feature Honest Millie. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Two-thirds of the net proceeds will be donated to the Gathering Place and the Brunswick Teen Center.

Drawing from years and years of experience in various combinations of musical groups, New Hampshire-based Honest Millie, a six-piece swing band, will perform music from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

The group will perform music from the Delta Rhythm Boys, the Ink Spots, the Boswell Sisters, Nina Simone, Louis Jordan and Peggy Lee.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Students and children are $5. Tickets are available at the church office, Gulf of Maine Books or at millie.brownpapertickets.com/.

Paintings from the Dorothy Eisner, Patrick McArdle on display
BOOTHBAY HARBOR — People at Play: Paintings from the Estates of Dorothy Eisner and Patrick McArdle runs through Nov. 27 at Gleason Fine Art.

According to a press release, although they never met, modernist painters Eisner and McArdle have much in common. They both studied at the Art Students League, and they both came of age during the first half of the 20th century, a time of change and experimentation in the art world.

Eisner spent her early years in New York City, where she became an active participant in New York’s arts community. Unlike many female artists of her time, she had considerable success showing her paintings at some of that city’s galleries, including Alfred Stiglitz’s Opportunity Gallery.

Over the years, Eisner tried several different paintings styles, but it wasn’t until she discovered Cranberry Island, a small island off Mount Desert Island, that she came fully into her own. Her paintings became more colorful — and playful. She painted her friends, family and neighbors, swimming, diving, boating and playing croquet.

McArdle was born in England and spent his early years in Ireland. After emigrating to the U.S., he focused on New York City, first for his education and then, as with Eisner, he found success at several prestigious galleries. McArdle paintings were featured in shows at both the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

After discovering Harpswell, the state of Maine became McArdle’s touchstone. He had always enjoyed painting people at play, but as with Eisner, his paintings lightened and brightened after he made Maine his home. McArdle was an observer of people, particularly people at the beach and people skating.

For more information, call 633-6849, email [email protected] or visit gleasonfinearet.com.