'The Snow Queen'

"The Snow Queen," by Will Ledesma, featuring young actors in grades 5 and 6 enrolled in a summer theater camp, will be performed Thursday, Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4 at 2 p.m.

Kay and Gerda are the best of friends until a piece of an enchanted mirror finds its way into Kay's eye, causing him to see the world in a cold-hearted way. Soon taken by the Snow Queen, Kay forgets his happy life. Gerda must go on her own journey to find him, encountering many interesting characters along the way. Overjoyed to finally find Kay in the Snow Queen's palace, Gerda must help Kay find hope again by solving a puzzle before they can escape. General admission tickets are $7 for this 40-minute production in the Black Box Theater.

Final week of summer art camp

The final week of Summer Art Camp classes for ages 4 through teens is Aug. 5-9. Openings remain in most classes, including, Fun with Clay (ages 4-6), Teen Pottery on the Wheel (ages 13 and older), Great Big Messy Art Camp (ages 5-11), Kid-tastic Art Camp (ages 5-11), Raptor Studies (ages 12 and older), St. Croix's Got Talent (ages 6-10), Tiny Drops (ages 4-7), and Stained Glass (ages 15 and older).

Class fees range from $59 to $139. For working parents or those with busy summer schedules, before and after care is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $10 per day with advance registration.


'The Little Prince' inspired ballet

Ballet Co.Laboratory (BCL) presents an original take on the famous fable "The Little Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Expéry, on Friday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as well as Sunday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m.

Pairing original choreography by Zoé Emilie Henrot and the distinctive classical stylings of composer Camille Saint-Saens, this one-hour fanciful performance promises to lift audience members away from the drudgery of adult life and reacquaint them with the world as seen by a child.

The ballet introduces Eloise, a young girl who is longing for more quality time with her workaholic father. After she begs and pleads, he agrees to let her tell him a story and she transports them both into the world of "The Little Prince," where she helps him see the world through the eyes of an inquisitive child. Many recognizable characters from the original story make appearances: the fox, the snake, the rose, and of course the Little Prince.

The cast features BCL's professional company as well as 17 area dancers.

Tickets are $27 for adults and $20 for students of any age.

Dance classes open house Aug. 10

Dance technique classes for children and adults begin in September and continue through May 2020. There will be an open house on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. in the dance studio, which offers an opportunity to receive the dance class catalog, meet the instructors, and be placed in the appropriate level class. Students will be able to register for adaptive dance, ballet, ballroom and Latin, contemporary, core and flexibility, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, pre-ballet/tap, and tap classes at that time or afterwards.

The class year is divided into two semesters of 16 weeks each, except for ballroom, which is divided into four quarters of eight weeks each. All instructors are experienced as both educators and performers.

Class times and fees as well as a complete catalog may be found at The Phipps.org beginning Aug. 11.

Registrations may be made by sending the class fee to The Phipps Center for the Arts, or by calling 715-386-2305, or online at ThePhipps.org.

Classic Big Band and The Nostalgics

The Classic Big Band and The Nostalgics will perform in concert on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

This popular 17-piece band led by Dan Odegaard is dedicated to preserving the original sounds of the great big bands of the swing era, such as Miller, Dorsey, Goodman, Shaw, and James. The Nostalgics quartet recreates the close harmony of 1940s vocal groups such as the Modernaires, the Pied Pipers, and the Sentimentalists.

The ensembles have performed at The Metropolitan, The Prom Ballroom, The Radisson St. Paul Hotel, The Wabasha Street Caves, The Medina Ballroom, The Golden Valley Country Club, and have been a three-time featured band at The Glenn Miller Festival. The band also plays at Como Park Pavilion, Lake Harriet Band Shell, Maple Grove Pavilion, Victory Memorial Flagpole, and Osseo-Boerboom Park in the summer.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students of any age. Discounts are available by purchasing season tickets.

Ballroom dance parties

Ballroom dance parties are offered on the third Saturday of every month June through September, from 7-10 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of every month October through May in the dance studio.

Tom Larson will offer a dance lesson during the first hour. The nightclub two-step and hustle will be taught Aug. 17. This is an opportunity to have fun trying out new dance skills in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome. Admission is $12 per person.

Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis. He performed for five seasons with The Continental Ballet Company.

Children's theater auditions Aug. 12, 13

The Phipps Children's Theater will hold auditions for area students entering grades 7-9 for "Sleeping Beauty and the Beast," by Wade Bradford, on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 12 and 13, 6-8:30 p.m. Actors may schedule an audition time by going to ThePhipps.org. Callbacks will be held on Thursday, Aug. 15, 6-8 p.m., if necessary.

"Sleeping Beauty and the Beast" is a comedy that follows the quest of the bumbling, but good-hearted Prince Charmless as he attempts with all his might to save Princess Rose from the Wicked Faerie and her sleep-induced curse. Along the way, Prince Charmless meets and befriends an adventurous Puss 'n' Boots, a snarling Snow White, the helpful Headless Horseman, and a very lonely Beast. "Sleeping Beauty and the Beast" turns fairytales upside down and the result is big laughs and a big adventure in a kingdom far, far away.

Those auditioning will read from the script and perform some movement in a group. The director says, "This should be a fun, worry-free audition process." Actors should wear clothes and footwear that allow them to move freely. Those auditioning should also bring a list of all conflicts they may have during the rehearsal period.

There will be a $40 performance fee for each cast member due at the first rehearsal/parents meeting. Scholarships are available if needed.

Rehearsals will be held every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 6-8:30 p.m., starting

Aug. 19. There will also be a few Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon rehearsals. There will be no rehearsal on Labor Day weekend. Rehearsal times will be extended during the week prior to opening.

The show runs Oct. 4-13 on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Director Tami Provencher is currently the theater director at Lake Middle School in Woodbury. She has staged several children's theater productions at The Phipps, including "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Snow White Variety Show" this summer.

John Gregor landscape photography workshop

John Gregor returns to offer a three-day landscape photography workshop, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 6-8.

Throughout the workshop, Gregor will combine field exercises and technical demonstrations with group critiques and one-on-one instruction, resulting in participants' increased understanding and enjoyment of photography, the creative process, and the natural world. Shooting in various conditions of light and exploring proper digital technique and workflow for landscape photography will help participants realize their photographic visions, from field to finished image.

The workshop will be split evenly between time in the field and in the classroom. Field shoots will provide the subject matter for daily studio sessions in which the instructor will demonstrate post-processing techniques using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Field instruction will explore the concepts of choosing a vantage point for a landscape, capturing place, proper camera technique for printmaking, using filters to expand dynamic range, and much more. Classroom discussions will include issues related to print resolution, color space, using ICC Print Profiles, paper/media selection, image sharpening for print output, and editorial post-processing manipulation.

Each participant will work on their own images and have the opportunity to make several 8 x 10-inch text prints and a single 12 x 18-inch finished exhibition-quality fine art print.

Gregor has owned and operated ColdSnap Photography for 20 years and has been teaching photographic courses and workshops for over 30 years. He has a B.A. in Documentary Expression of American Culture Through Photography from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Education with an emphasis in Photography Literacy from St. Scholastica College. Gregor is an accomplished photographer and educator with several books and numerous magazine articles to his name.

The workshop runs from Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 a.m. through Sunday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m., with an exact schedule to be communicated to participants a week in advance. The fee is $375 per student.


Houlton art bench project in final stages

Work to complete the 10th community art project on the St. Croix River Valley Art Bench Trail is underway in Houlton, Wis., by Hudson-based Willow River Company. The design of this new community gathering space across the street from Houlton Elementary School is the result of years of planning and design work by Houlton Elementary School students and dozens of other local individuals, businesses, and partner organizations. A community celebration at which this new project will be unveiled is planned for the fall.

The boulders that make up the seating and "stage" area were installed by Willow River Company at the end of May. A community workday was held on June 1, during which students and their parents helped plant native trees and shrubs and pour 15 concrete pavers for the "patio" area of the project. These pavers each have a colorful metal form embedded in them, which were created by Hudson High School students based on line drawings by the elementary school students. The drawings represent aspects of the natural and cultural history of the area. These same line drawings were carved into the boulders by Rivard Stone, to be discovered by visitors as they explore the site.

To finish the project, Willow River Company is laying the pavers, adding crushed rock to the walkway between the rows of boulders, creating the stage area and working with St. Croix County and Master Gardeners to plant more trees and plant material.

This art bench project was designed by fourth and fifth grade students from Houlton Elementary School with John P. Kalmon, architect, and Dan Shimon, Willow River Company, in partnership with Hudson High School, Master Gardeners, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Rivard Stone, St. Croix Bike & Pedestrian Trail Coalition, and St. Croix County, with funding from Friends of Perch Lake, Hartman Homes, Houlton Parents Association, Hudson Daybreak Rotary, Hudson Education Foundation, Hudson Home and Garden Club, St. Croix Bike & Pedestrian Coalition, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Thrivent, Town of St. Joseph, William H. Phipps Foundation, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the Houlton Art Bench Project, contact Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director, The Phipps Center for the Arts, at 715-386-2305. For more information about the Art Bench Trail, go to artbenchtrail.org.