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Arts & Entertainment



Stratford’s Lower Loop 
a Top Place to Visit in CT 

Rachel Rusnak 

July 11, 2019 

Earlier this month, Connecticut Channel 12 News named Stratford’s Lower Loop as one of the top road trip destinations in the state. An online poll asked voters to select their top destinations from the list of 12, garnering the Lower Loop a spot in the top 4, and earning a road trip through the loop from the News 12 Crew. The Lower Loop offers a plethora of options, from shopping and dining, breweries and bars, to recreation and historic landmarks. Voting results as of July 9th place the Lower Loop on top of the pack, with 344 votes. The News 12 team will broadcast their road trip through the Lower Loop on Wednesday, July 10th.


Check out everything Stratford’s Lower Loop has to offer at  


Blues Return to Stratford

Rachel Rusnak 

July 11, 2019 

On Saturday, July 20th, Stratford will host the 9th annual Blues on the Beach Music Festival at Short Beach Park, 1 Dorne Drive. A full day of music is planned, with acts starting at noon and running through to 9:30 pm. The winners of this year’s Police Activity League Sang It vocal competition will kick off the festivities at noon, followed by Fast Lane, playing classic rock covers. Kristi Henrick, nurse by day, singer by night holds the 1:15 pm slot, followed by CK3, a trio who put a spin on classic songs, and the Funky Dawgz Brass Band playing R&B, hip hop, and funk with a brass twist. Chris D’Amato takes the stage at 4:30 pm playing soulful acoustic and electric blues, and roots music. Next up locals, The Alpaca Gnomes, a stomp-and-groove, 7-piece original rock-folk jam band from Bridgeport go on. Evan Goodrow goes on at 7 pm with soul, funk, blues and rock, and Da Band closes out the festival with greatest hits from yesterday and today.


Visit townofstratford.com/bluesonthebeach for more information.

Stratford Abuzz over Make Music Day 

Colin Healy 

July 4, 2019 


   For the second year Stratford joined the state, country and the world, presenting outdoor musical events on Friday, June 21 for Make Music Day, a global music celebration on the summer solstice that brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. 

   This year, we had over 40 acts performing all over town, including the Town Hall green, the White House on the Shakespeare property, Boothe Park Visitor Center, Putney Chapel, Paradise Green, CT Band Instruments, the Library and Sterling House. Music genres ranged from rap to folk, rock to indie, songwriters, funk, jazz, country, hip hop, family bands, blues and chorus! There were harmonica and ukulele lessons, instrument making, drumming and a “Fam Jam” to wrap up the day in community sing at Sterling House.

  Make Music Day Stratford was produced by the Coastal Arts Guild and the Mighty Quinn Foundation in partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and the generous use of the open spaces by the Town of Stratford.

International Actors Descend on Stratford for Shakespeare Academ

Susan Wright

July 4, 2019 


   On June 20th, the Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford kicked off its sixth season by welcoming fourteen young actors to Stratford. Coming from as close as New York City, and as far as the UK and Mexico, the group will spend six weeks training and performing on the property that once housed the American Shakespeare Festival Theater.

  A project of the Mighty Quinn Foundation, a Stratford-based non-profit, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford is a unique summer theater program for actors that combines rigorous theater training, ensemble collaboration, and the opportunity to rehearse and perform two of Shakespeare's plays in repertory.

   For students, living and working side by side as an ensemble is a hallmark of the SA@S experience. Mornings are spent studying with prominent instructors and masterclass teachers, including Stratford resident and Alexander Technique instructor, Joan Frost. Afternoons and evenings are devoted to rehearsal for two Shakespeare productions, to be performed for the public in a rotating repertory festival during the final ten days of the program.

   The 2019 season will feature productions of The Winter’s Tale and Coriolanus. All fourteen members of the company will perform in both shows. SA@S Artistic Director, Sara Holdren, will direct The Winter’s Tale, and Resident Director, Benjamin Curns, will direct Coriolanus.

   SA@S invites the public to attend these site-specific outdoor productions on the grounds that once housed the legendary American Shakespeare Festival Theater from July 27-August 4. On the days of the shows, performances are free and open to the public.

   Tickets can be reserved online for $10 at 


   The 14 actors of the "Pursued by a Bear" 2019 ensemble are: Sean Gassaway (Freehold, NJ), Lainey Helmers (Gladwyne, PA), Eddie Hood (Oak Lawn, IL), Kotaro Horiuchi (Hanover, NH), Mishy Jacobson (Betheseda, MD), Anna Lewis (Birmingham, UK), Sofía Mayorga (Texcoco, Mexico), Katharine Means (Santa Clarita, CA), Hallie Perlman (Houston, TX), Jill Phillips (San Antonio, TX), Rebecca Salzhauer (Bronx, NY), Ash Visker (Schenectady, NY), Justin Von Stein (Memphis, TN), and Genevieve Wisdom (Iowa City, IA).

   Building on creative relationships formed while working at SA@S, three members of the 2017 and 2018 ensembles have returned to Stratford this summer to form the 2019 Alumni Company. During their residency, they will create and produce a three-actor version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, culminating in a two-week performance tour throughout the East Coast, including performances in Stratford. The 2019 Alumni Company members are Annie Saenger (Yale University), Ellis Sargent (University of Notre Dame), and Robert Solomon (Georgia Tech).

   The Mighty Quinn Foundation is a Stratford-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to enhancing the experiences of young people in education and the arts. The Foundation honors the passion for learning and love of theater of Quinn Rooney, a Stratford resident who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer in 2012 at age 19.

   For information on Shakespeare Academy at Stratford, including upcoming performance dates, times and the Alumni Company's tour visit www.shakespeareacademystratford.org.