TWO OF A FEATHER: Local arts advocates and philanthropists Patricia Zaido and John Archer are taking the stage at the
Salem Theatre Company to perform A. R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” Friday and Saturday.
The performance is a benefit for the theater.
“Love Letters” evolves as two characters — Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III — read notes, cards, and letters sent to each other during a span of almost 50 years. They discuss the hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats that have passed between them throughout their lives.
“This is something that John and I have wanted to do for a while now,” said Zaido. “We have been great friends for a long time and we have that history and perspective. And we are happy to bring it to, and hopefully raise some money for, the Salem Theatre Company.”
“I think this is such an interesting play because we can relate at times to both characters,” said Archer. “There is some quality of ourselves in both Andrew and Melissa.”
Zaido, who has received numerous awards for her service to the arts, formerly served as chairwoman of the theater department and founding executive director of the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at Salem State University.
She has also helped form several arts-related organizations and the Creative Economy Association of the North Shore.
Zaido is currently executive director of the Salem Partnership.
Archer is a native of Beverly and has been active in theater all his life. In addition to his performance life as a pianist, singer, and actor, he is known for his philanthropy and advocacy for historic preservation and nonprofits throughout the region.
The show is directed by Amy Oliver of Wenham, who is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has directed productions for several regional theaters.
FILM CLIPS: The Marblehead Festival of Arts hosts a winter film festival on Wednesday at Marblehead Little Theatre.
The two-hour event features 13 films, ranging from 1.5 minutes to 17.5 minutes.
This variety of pieces show the many ways film and video can be used as an art form to inform and express. They are not commercial films found in a standard movie theater.
Although some of the works can be enjoyed by children, not all of the films are appropriate for young audiences. Parents are encouraged to review the lineup.
Film Committee cochairs are Mike Evers and Laurie Stolarz. Working with them are Carol McLaughlin, Phil Osborn, Jocelyne Poisson, Sandy Rhoads, Bill Smalley, Paulina Villarroel, and Carol Anne Wildfield.
Founded in 1962, the Marblehead Festival of Arts produces a summer arts festival traditionally held each year over the Fourth of July holiday.
The festival is a volunteer organization comprising more than 40 committees and involving several hundred volunteers. It operates year-round and relies solely on donations.
For the film festival, doors open at 7 p.m. with the screenings beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.marbleheadfestival.org.
IN LOCAL GALLERIES: A collection of oil and acrylics on canvas and computer-generated mandala prints by Janice Stanley are on exhibit in the Stetson Gallery of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead through February. Stanley, who has degrees in psychology, art therapy, and education, worked as a child therapist before becoming ill with Gerd Cushings syndrome. A delayed diagnosis caused her to lose speech, memory, and cognitive skills, leaving her disabled. Stanley started the healing process by using her art therapy skills on herself. This exhibit, which has been in process for more than six years, represents how art has served as a healing vehicle in her life.
. . . Paintings by Christine Molitor Johnson of Amesbury are on display at the Chococoa Baking Co. in Newburyport through March. Johnson is a native of Newburyport. Her paintings highlight some of her favorite local vistas — Plum Island, Point Shore, the Newbury marshes, and the Atlantic surf. Her emphasis is on capturing the ever-changing daylight on the local landscapes. . . . “Use Your Imagination” is the theme for the latest exhibit of the Hollis Arts Society at the Gallery on West Pearl in Nashua. Most members of the society are showing one or more pieces that illustrate the ways in which they use their imagination. They include paintings, photographs, drawings, jewelry, and polymer clay pieces.