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Here you’ll find the stories, events, ideas and history of Franklin County, PA.

Totem Pole Playhouse Opens For 66th Season

Totem Pole Playhouse is Pennsylvania’s premiere summer theatre located in Caledonia State Park on the Lincoln Highway, midway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg PA. Doors open on May 17 with a special pre-season, eight-show run of Lovesick Blues. Robbie Limon and Denise Patton bring the greatest hits of Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy Cline to Totem Pole in this tribute show. Running until May 22, the show is sponsored by Paul Orange, MD Emmy Award-winning actress Loretta Swit, well-known for her portrayal of M*A*S*H’s Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, is starring in the opening show of Totem Pole’s 66th summer season, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, a touching comedy. Starring opposite Ms. Swit is David Engel, a veteran of numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and a six-time Los Angeles Ovation Award winner. The comedy revolves around a formidable retired woman living in St. Petersburg, FL, who hires a much-younger, acerbic dance instructor to give her dance lessons – one per week for six weeks. What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into a beautiful friendship while dancing the Tango, Waltz, Swing, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Michael Bloom, who ran the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Playhouse for 10 years, will direct the production. The comedy will run at the playhouse from May 27 through June 12. The show is sponsored by M & T Bank and Ludwick Eye Center. One of the most successful musicals in Totem Pole’s history, Forever Plaid, will return June 17 through July 3, in an all-new production directed and choreographed by Christine O’Grady.  The show features such 1950s classics as: “Three Coins in the Fountain,”...

NORTH SQUARE FARMERS MARKET SET TO OPEN MAY 21

Chambersburg’s only open-air market will kick off its eighth season Saturday, May 21, with over 20 vendors offering local produce and artisan merchandise. North Square Farmers Market will open its stands from 8 a.m. to noon at 50 N. Main St. Opening day festivities will include a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. and live music by Dan McCarthy and Don’t Look Down. “Produce offered at North Square Farmers Market is harvested just hours before coming to you so it tends to be a lot fresher than what you’d buy in the store,” says Market Coordinator Julia Lehman. “Not only is the food fresher, but you strengthen the economic base of our community when you buy local. You’re basically buying from your neighbors.” NSFM offers 100 percent local produce, local cheeses, breads, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods, handmade soaps and body products, custom jewelry, purses, wallets and accessories. Prepared food vendors will have breakfast and lunch items available. The Franklin County Library System will be present along with other community organizations. Kids aged 4 -12 are encouraged to sign up for POP (Power Of Produce) Club. Members receive $2 in tokens per market visit to be used on fresh fruits and vegetables. Membership in POP Club is free. The market is a project of the Chambersburg Downtown Business Council, a non-profit organization that supports the downtown community. NSFM’s season, which runs Saturdays from May 21 to October 15, 8 a.m. to noon, will feature a greater number of vendors this year and Second Saturday Events each month. Free parking is available behind the market at the Franklin County Courthouse. Learn more at www.facebook.com/North-Square-Farmers-Market...

6th ANNUAL BLUES, BREWS & BARBECUE @ The Capitol Theatre May 7 Rain or Shine

  Join the growing number of the 21+ crowd who put this annual fundraising event for the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg at the top of their list of fun spring things to do in Franklin County, PA.  The back lot at the Capitol Theatre is the place to be…rain or shine…on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 1:00pm-7:00pm. Gather your friends and bring your lawn chairs and simply chill out or get up and dance with the music of live bands, sip some craft specialty and domestic brews (or wine) and grab some finger lickin’ barbecue to keep your hunger at bay. Proceeds benefit Capitol Theatre Center Foundation, a 501 (c)3 cultural arts organization. Capitol Theatre Center is located at 159 S. Main St., Chambersburg, in Franklin County, PA. (717) 263-0202. www.thecapitoltheatre.org. BANDS (VIDEOS – http://www.thecapitoltheatre.org/specialevents.html) *1:00pm – 2:30pm Grammy nominated blues/roots artist, singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Randy McAllister and the Scrappiest Band in the Motherland – from East Texas. Learn more at:  http://www.randymcallister.com/ Media contact: bossnboysmanagement@yahoo.com Dean (214) 536-5149   *3:00pm – 4:30pm Voted best Blues Band in the Mid-Atlantic for 12 years, theKelly Bell Band – from Baltimore, MD.  Learn more at:  EPKhttp://www.powerpresskits.com/PPKs/indexC.aspx?PPK=15092 Media contact: Ari Nisman   ari@degy.com and tiara@degy.com (732) 818-9600   *5:00pm – 6:30 Authentic blues soul and powerful player hailed by many as one of the next best things on the rock and blues scene, Eric Steckel – from Lehigh Valley, PA.  Learn more at:  http://www.ericsteckel.com/.  Media contact:  Eric Steckel ems@ericsteckel.com (904) 316-1572 *band times are approximate BREWS Dogfish Head, Troegs, Neshaminy Creek, Ithaca Brewing, Roy Pitz, Deschutes, Leinenkugel, New Belgium and Miller Lite provided by ACE Distributing, plus Bud Light, Yuengling and more. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. BBQ   On the menu, to complement...

CASHS Annual Art Exhibit on View April 30-May 12

  Chambersburg Area Senior High School (CASHS) Art Department presents its 2016 Annual Art Exhibit April 30 – May 12, with open hours 10am-4pm daily at the school’s front lobby, 511 South Sixth Street, Chambersburg. The Annual Exhibit will highlight eight seniors who are are currently enrolled in AP Studio/Portfolio Art and have taken art classes for four years at CASHS.  As members of the National Art Honor Society, their entire portfolios will be displayed, showing evidence of the growth, style, and individuality of these students.  Artwork by the 15+ juniors who are new members of the National Art Honor Society, will also be shown, and the remaining space will be filled with as much artwork as possible from students from grades 9-12. In addition to paintings, photography, 3D sculptural pieces, works from Clay 1 and Clay 2 ceramics students will be displayed. In a new aspect to the annual show, teachers and staff have been invited to showcase their creative endeavors! “Our students work very hard,” says CASHS Art Teacher Holly Strayer.  “It is so exciting to see all of their efforts on display for their peers, friends, family, and the community to view.  It is always one of our favorite times of the year here at CASHS.  We hope that everyone is able to attend!“ For more information contact Holly Baker Strayer at (717) 377-9891 or...

TOTEM POLE PLAYHOUSEANNOUNCES EMMY AWARD-WINNER LORETTA SWIT FROM ‘M*A*S*H’ TO OPEN 66th SUMMER SEASON

Totem Pole Playhouse, Pennsylvania’s premiere summer theatre located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA, has announced that Emmy Award-winning actress, Loretta Swit, who played the quick-witted, impassioned Maj. Margaret Houlihan on TV’s most honored series “M*A*S*H,” will star in the opening show of the playhouse’s 66th summer season, the touching comedy, “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.” Starring opposite Ms. Swit will be six-time Los Angeles Ovation Award winner, David Engel, a veteran of numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.The comedy revolves around a formidable retired woman living in St. Petersburg, FL,who hires a much younger, acerbic dance instructor to give her dance lessons – one per week for six weeks. What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into a beautiful friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Tango, Waltz, Swing, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Nationally acclaimed director, Michael Bloom, who ran the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Playhouse for 10 years, will direct the production. The comedy will run at the playhouse from May 27 through June 12. The show is sponsored by M & T Bank and Ludwick Eye Center. One of the most successful musicals in Totem Pole’shistory, “Forever Plaid,” will return June 17 through July 3, in an all-new production directed and choreographed by Christine O’Grady, who choreographed last season’s critically-acclaimed production, “Shenandoah,” andaudience favorite, “Godspell,” the year before. Ms. O’Grady has cast four current students from the prestigious Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM), Louis Griffin, Derek Kastner, Stavros Koumbaros, and Gabe Wrobel as the “Four Plaids” – a four-part close harmony singing group...

CVSM Cumberbunds Children’s Chorus Presents Free Concert Thursday, April 28

Cumberbunds Children’s Choir members are fine tuning a variety of selections for a Spring Concert at the Wilson College Thomson Alumnae Chapel at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28. Chambersburg’s Cumberland Valley School of Music features the children’s group as one of its offerings each semester. Under the direction of Jeffrey Noll, choir director and CVSM instructor, the Cumberbunds concert will be free and open to the public. Noll said that the concert is the culmination of the spring semester for the 21-member “treble voice” choir that includes ages 4th through 8th grade. In addition, the children will be joined by members of the Wilson College Choir for a special selection, Noll said. Elisabeth Turchi, also a CVSM instructor and well-known area vocalist, became director of the Wilson group in the fall. Along with other tunes, Noll’s young voices will be performing a medley of songs from  “Peter Pan,” arranged by Mac Huff. Selections from the choral highlights include “Never Never Land”; “I Won’t Grow Up”; “I’ve Gotta Crow”; and “I’m Flying”. The music revisits the character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, who first used Peter Pan as a character in a 1902 adult novel. Written for piano and choir, the arrangement will be accompanied by CVSM and Montessori Academy instructor Diana Reinert. In addition, Reinert accompanies a home school choir and the Penn National Harmony Singers. She has varied freelance experience as a pianist and teaches individual lessons at CVSM. Noll said that when teaching the Cumberbunds, he concentrates on developing a child’s natural singing voice. He also introduces the students to part singing and...

Totem Pole Playhouse Show: SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS MAY 27, 2016 – JUNE 12, 2016

Award-winning actress, Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H*) and L.A. Ovation Award winner, David Engel, star in Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks a touching and human comedy about a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, who hires an acerbic dance instructor, Michael Minetti, to give her private dance lessons —one per week for six weeks— in her gulf-front condo in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion. A comedy with music and dance, the play also addresses the serious issues of ageism and intolerance. For...

Cumberland Valley School of Music Students given Scholarships are presenting a free Concert on Sunday, April 24 in Chambersburg

Cumberland Valley School of Music plans to hold its annual Recognition Concert on Sunday, April 24 to feature the student recipients of the Merit Award Scholarship, the Henry and Janet Guarriello Scholarship, and graduating seniors who plan to major or minor in a performance art. Free and open to the public, the concert will take place at the Thomson Alumnae Chapel on the Wilson College Campus, 1015 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg. Each student will have a performance slot during the 3 p.m. concert. According to Paula Hepfer, CVSM executive director, the Merit Awards Scholarship process was formed during the earliest years of the 26-year-old school’s existence. She recently commented about the merit audition process. “All participating students benefit from the merit audition process, not only those named in the top three slots. Performing before a panel of judges serves as a powerful motivator to prepare diligently, the performance itself requires courage and develops poise under pressure, and the judge’s feedback gives future musical studies direction,” Hepfer said. To determine the Merit winners, students auditioned on Saturday, April 2 at the school. Students in instrumental, piano and voice categories presented pieces they prepared before three judges. Judges heard audition candidates between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day. Once the judging sheets were tallied, students placed as follows: Instrumental 1st – Abigail Duvall, violin student of Cindy Scanzello. Abigail is a 10th grader attending Greencastle-Antrim High School. 2nd – Jordan Noll, flute, student of Amanda Bietsch. Jordan is a 9th grade home school student affiliated with the Greencastle-Antrim High School. 3rd – Elinor Borrell, violin student of Cindy Scanzello. Elinor is...

39TH ANNUAL SHALOM CHRISTIAN ACADEMY DUTCHFEST May 6 & 7

Shalom Christian Academy’s 39th Annual DUTCHFEST begins Friday, when food concessions (featuring our delicious pork bar-b-que sandwiches and homestyle dutch foods), the craft show, and the used book area open. Saturday continues the food and fun and includes our Chicken BBQ! There are various auctions both Friday and Saturday that feature many different items – be sure to check them out on this website! Then come on out to join the fun – there’s sure to be something to interest people of all...

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