Craft guild’s holiday show set for next weekend; Reading Theater Project to stage ‘Mixed MESSages’ [Spotlight]

Robert G. Mull

Oct. 31—The Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen will hold its 71st Annual Juried Holiday Fine Art and Craft Festival on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at

Kutztown University’s O’Pake Fieldhouse, South Campus Drive, Kutztown.

Guild members will be sharing their stories with holiday shoppers as they browse everything from wearables to pottery, photography, baskets, wooden arts, furniture, folk art and metal work.

The Acoustic Road Show will be back providing music, and the student gallery will once again showcase emerging artists.

There will be hourly door prizes, a scavenger hunt and the first 50 patrons through the doors each day will receive a special gift.

Admission is $6, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Proceeds benefit the educational programs of The Reading-Berks Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

For more information, see


The Reading Theater Project has announed the company’s next production, a collage of several plays and solo performances called “mixed MESSages,” which will be performed Nov. 18-20 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at the WCR Center for the Arts, 140 N. Fifth St.

Tickets for all performances are pay-what-you-will, with a recommended price of $20 per person. Proof of vaccination and masks are required for all.

This production’s themes were developed by the creative artists associated with the Reading Theater Project. After several brainstorming sessions, local playwrights submitted scripts, all related to the idea of mess or mixed messages. The production features local performers and playwrights.

“How do you know who to trust, what to believe, where the truth lies? ‘Mixed MESSages’

explores these questions through realistic scenes, absurd musical numbers and everything in between,” said Vicki Haller Graff, artistic director. “As the world is re-awakening, many of us are asking ourselves these questions. Asking through theater helps us process together.”

Artists involved on stage and off include Craig Dodge, Brad Gale, Kath Godwin, Erick Goldsmith, Joel Richard Gori, Graff, Emily Hannon, Chris Heslop, David A. Nice, Nadia Pochan, Adam Richter, Arielle Ridley, Sean Sassaman, Jessica C. Warchal-King and Amy Young.

The production is being funded by the Berks County Community Foundation. For more information, visit


Reading Choral Society, under the direction of Dr. Graham Bier, will present the first concert in its 146th season next Sunday at 4 p.m. at the George Baer Chapel, 45 S. Sixth St.

RCS will take the audience on a musical cultural tour around the world with songs from Australia, China, Syria, Canada, Puerto Rico, France, Africa, Georgia and more.

Reading Choral Society will also be singing two commissioned pieces at this concert: “Dispirited Walls” by Isaac Duquette and “Dreams and Dreams” by John Conahan.

RCS will be accompanied by Mary Bishop on piano, Barbara Lanza on violin and Reade McCardell as the Narrator. Solos will be sung by the RCS Chamber Choir, section leaders (Elizabeth Bromley, Jarrod Miller and Rod Nevin), conducting scholar (Zachary Chan) and members of the chorus.

Tickets are $15 in advance at, $20 at door and $10 for students.

—-The Know Your Symphony Lecture Series, a continuing education service of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture in cooperation with the Reading Symphony Orchestra League, continues on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at The Highlands, 2000 Cambridge Ave., Wyomissing. The lecturer will be David Gross, executive director of Reading Symphony Orchestra.

—-The Gabriel Chamber Ensemble continues its 32nd season with an exciting upcoming concert that features masterpieces in chamber music for strings and guitar plus live Flamenco dancing, as well as a a world premiere by noted guitarist and composer, Rusty Banks. The concert takes place Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. at Jerusalem Lutheran Church, 252 Dock St., Schuylkill Haven.

The ensemble will perform a string quartet by Mozart (String Quartet K. 590), the Bridge Lament for Two Violas, Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto in D and the world-premiere of Ritornello for Guitar and Strings by Rusty Banks. The GCE will then be joined by Flamenco dancer Evita Conti and conclude the concert with the Fandango Guitar Quintet No.4 by Boccherini and Libertango by Astor Piazzolla.

The concert features the GCE Strings — Simon Maurer, violin; Dana Allaband, violin; Agnès Mauer, viola; and Gerall Heiser, cello — plus guest artists Rusty Banks, guitar, and Evita Conti, dancer. Anthony Cecere will also make an appearance on French horn.

Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Children and students with IDs are admitted free.

For more information, visit

Museum celebration

The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles will be holding A Mighty Museum Celebration on Nov. 6 beginning at 11 a.m.

The day will start with the unveiling of the new facade, which is the result of several months of construction. The new facade improves the look of the museum, adds to the visitor experience and provides better protection of the many vehicles on display inside the main exhibit gallery.

Following the unveiling and remarks, a special members’ hospitality tent will be set up to thank members who have supported the museum over the past years.

The museum will also be debuting one of its most recent additions to the collection during this event: a 1930 Dodge truck modified and used by world famous strong man The Mighty Atom.

The day ends with a block party open to the community from 2 to 4 p.m. with entertainment for all ages.


Berks Ballet Theatre is gearing up for its upcoming performances of “The Nutcracker,” scheduled for Dec. 18-19, with the return of the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party on Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Room 420 at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St.

Event-goers will be treated to a boxed lunch, desserts provided by area businesses and volunteers, a “Nutcracker” cast meet-and-greet, live preview performance and story time with the guest of honor, the Sugar Plum Fairy herself, Ellie Folga.

Tickets are required and can be purchased at

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