Highlights: Showcase Encourages Women to ‘Shine Your Light’

  • Carmen Tarleton, of Fairlee, Vt., speaks to the congregation at the United Methodist Church in White River Junction, Vt., about acceptance and forgiveness on Sunday, February 19, 2017. Tarleton was the victim of a 2007 lye attack by her second husband Herbert Rodgers. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • 'Looking Ahead': The Texas-based Riyaaz Qawwali ensemble perform music of South Asia on Jan. 19 in the Hopkins Center's Spaulding Auditorium as part of Dartmouth College’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. (Amirah Islam photograph) Amirah Islam photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/11/2018 12:05:19 AM
Modified: 1/11/2018 10:05:02 AM

Carmen Tarleton regularly shares, through the spoken word, her journey back from a near-fatal attack by her estranged husband in 2007.

Last winter, she tried a new format, playing piano tunes from A Healed Soul, an album that she recorded after the two-year burst of composing she embarked on following her face transplant, at the “Shine Your Light” variety show at Bradford (Vt.) Academy.

“That was the first time I played in front of other people,” Tarleton, a Fairlee resident, recalled this week. “Even though I do a lot of public speaking, I was very nervous that night. But I went ahead with it because it sort of fit in with the theme, ‘Be Brave.’ ”

“Shine Your Light,” a yearly benefit for Safeline, the Chelsea-based agency that aids survivors of domestic violence, welcomes whatever form of presentation works for the woman performing. Near the end of this Saturday night’s third annual gathering, for example, Fairlee-based yoga instructor Kyla Suarez will ask the other performers and the audience for complete silence, before a session of meditation.

“I want to help them envision where they would like to be in their life — spiritually as much as in terms of their lives and careers,” Suarez, a 2006 graduate of Oxbow Union High School, said this week. “The message is, ‘You are capable of doing what you want to do.’ ”

While watching Tarleton, storytellers, singers and bellydancers at the 2017 show inspired her to take a turn this winter, Suarez to take a turn this year wasn’t sure at first what she wanted to do on the stage. She just wanted to return a favor to “Shine Your Light” founder and host, Dwayna Covey, of Fairlee.

“I’d just started my yoga business the summer before, and I was thinking about having a yoga festival in August of 2017,” Suarez said. “I left the show feeling like, ‘I can do this.’ That was the push I needed. ‘If Dwayna can do an event like this, I can do one, too.’ ”

Covey, a former guidance counselor and life coach who now works in the graduate medical education program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, hosted the first “Shine Your Light” show in December 2015, recruiting friends, family and co-workers to take a public leap of faith. She even talked a reluctant neighbor into playing her harp that first year.

“I didn’t want it to be too rehearsed or structured,” Covey, a 1983 graduate of Oxbow High School, said last week. “Just everyday people throwing it out there in whatever way they’re comfortable doing it. It’s just a way for women to get out there together and show our courage and our strength.”

Participation has grown gradually since the first show: In addition to Suarez, three other members of last year’s audience will make presentations on Saturday.

“I think they realized, ‘Oh: that’s a safe place,’ ” Covey said. “There’s no rules. We’re very laid back. We end with the message: ‘There’s good in the world if you choose to see it. … We all have something going on in our lives. We’re not alone in this. Even in these dark days of the year, there’s a light out there.”

Dwayna Covey hosts “Shine Your Light” Saturday night at 6:30 at Bradford Academy in Bradford, Vt. Admission is by donation to Safeline VT’s programs for survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Orange County, and in the towns of Sharon, Royalton, Bethel, Stockbridge and Rochester. To learn more about Safeline, visit safelinevt.org.

Best Bets

The Malpaso Dance Company performs to contemporary Cuban rhythms at Dartmouth College’s Moore Theater in Hanover tonight at 7 and Friday night at 8. For tickets ($13 to $40) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

Jay Nash and the Contenders play at ArtisTree Community Center for the Arts in South Pomfret on Friday night, in a concert whose proceeds will go the Green Mountain Disaster Relief Team to buy water pumps for a hurricane-ravaged community in Puerto Rico. Pomfret singer-songwriter Dylan Keith will open the show at 7.

For tickets ($20 general admission) and more information, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

The Sixth Floor Trio ranges among bluegrass, klezmer, classical, jazz, ancient music and contemporary rock during their Friday night concert at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph. For tickets ($10 to $30) and info about the show, which starts at 7:30, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464.

Harpist Althea Sully Cole plays her 21-string, Senegal-built kora at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret on Sunday afternoon at 4. For tickets ($10) and information, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500

Christian comedian Scott Davis performs his “Hope through Hilarity” show at Christ Community Church in Plainfield on Sunday night at 7. While admission is free, donations are welcome.

Looking Ahead

Shaker Bridge Theatre will kick off its three-weekend production of Broadway playwright Nick Payne’s Constellations next Thursday night at 7:30 at Whitney Hall in downtown Enfield. The drama examines, through the perspective of principles of string theory, relativity and quantum mechanics, a romance between a man and a woman. Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson played the couple on Broadway in 2014. To reserve tickets ($16 to $35) and learn more, visit shakerbridgetheatre.org or call 603-448-3750.

The Mighty Pillsbury Slowboys Blues Band will set the rhythm for dancing at Barrett Hall in South Strafford from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 19. Admission is $10.

As part of Dartmouth College’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Texas-based Riyaaz Qawwali ensemble will perform music of South Asia, including devotional rhythms and songs from the Sufi Muslim tradition, on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. To reserve tickets ($17 to $30) and to learn more, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

Theater/Performance Art

Thetford Academy stages its 21st annual festival of 10-minute plays at the school’s Martha Jane Rich Theater at 7 tonight and Friday night. The pieces are drawn from playwrights ranging from Samuel Beckett to Thetford Academy graduate Emily Eastridge. Tickets at the door cost $5.

Northern Stage is accepting reservations for the fifth edition of its New Works Now festival, which starting Jan. 19 will showcase three in-development plays in staged readings at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. The festival also will include Northern Stage’s “Thirsty Theater,” with veteran actors Gordon Clapp and Susan Haefner taking Jack Neary’s 10-minute play The Duel on the town with “pop-up” performances at The Filling Station on Jan. 19 at 9 p.m. and at the Thyme Cafe on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

While seating is free for the readings at the Barrette Center, reservations are required. To book seats, email boxoffice@ northernstage.org or call 802-296-7000. To learn more, visit northernstage.org.

The Tanglewood Marionettes perform the fairy tale The Dragon King on Saturday morning at 11, at Dartmouth College’s Alumni Hall in Hanover. The show is the first of the Hopkins Center’s free HopStop performances of the winter term.


Approaching the end of its winter tour, the Yale Russian Chorus sings at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock tonight at 7:30. Admission is free.

Soulfix plays the American Legion hall in Lebanon on Saturday night at 7:30.

Guitar masters Grant Gordy and Ross Martin perform on Sunday afternoon at 3 at the West Newbury (Vt.) Town Hall on Tyler Farm Road. Gordy is the lead guitarist for mandolin maestro David Grisman. For tickets ($20) to the show, which starts at 3 p.m., and for more information, visit rockfarmer.com or call 802-866-3309.

Boston-area vocalist Donna Byrne kicks off the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon series this weekend, at 4 p.m., in the Center at Eastman in Grantham. To reserve tickets ($18 to $20) and learn more, visit josajazz.com, call 603-763-8732 or 603-381-1662 or email bill.wightman@comcast.net.

Tuesday night is the deadline to join the North Country Chorus’s rehearsals for its spring 2018 season. Tuesday’s rehearsal, in the band room of St. Johnsbury Academy’s Morse Center for the Arts, starts at 7:30. The ensemble’s first two concerts are scheduled for Feb. 23 in Littleton, N.H., and Feb. 24 in Haverhill.

To register to join the chorus and learn more, call 802-748-5027, email arowe@stjacademy.org or visit northcountrychorus.org.


Belly-dance instructor Gina Capossela continues her series of free introductory classes tonight at 7:15 at Hanover’s Richard W. Black Center; Saturday morning at 11 at the Carter Witherell Center in Lebanon; Sunday morning at 11 at the Dothan Brook School in Wilder; and Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Grantham Village School. To register and learn more, email gina@ginadances.com or call 802-282-2149.

The Bogovich School of Dance comes from the Monadnock region to perform an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland at the Claremont Opera House on Saturday night at 7. Admission is $10. To learn more, visit claremontoperahouse.org.

The southern New Hampshire-based roots ensemble Birl sets the rhythm and Nils Fredland calls the steps for Muskeg Music’s next contradance at Tracy Hall in Norwich on Saturday night at 8. A run-through for newcomers starts at 7:45. All dancers should bring clean, soft-soled shoes, and are encouraged to bring finger food for the potluck snack break. Admission is $6 to $10.

Before the main event, Revels North will hold a potluck supper at 5:30 and a community dance at 6:30. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more, visit revelsnorth.org.

Bar and Club Circuit

The Bradford, Vt.-based folk duo of Don and Jenn Sinclair performs at Peyton Place in Orford tonight between 6 and 9. The Dinosaurs duo of Gary Hubbard and Dan Freihofer fills the venue with country blues next Thursday night, 6 to 9.

Saxophonist Mike Parker and singer-guitarist Alison “AliT” Turner play the Taverne on the Square in Claremont tonight from 6 to 9, and then Carpenter and Main in Norwich on Tuesday night at 7.

The Fromo duo of Anthony Funari and Kim Wilcox pulls into Windsor Station tonight at 7, to play an acoustic session of cover songs. Diamond Special covers rock hits from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s on Friday night at 9:30. Unbalanced takes the microphone at 9:30 on Saturday night, and Ty McCarthy and Greg Goodenwagen appear on Tuesday night at 6.

Randy Miller leads the weekly session of traditional Irish music at Salt hill Pub in Hanover tonight starting at 6. The weekend lineup features guitarist Ted Mortimer on Friday night at 9 and The Conniption Fits on Saturday night at 9.

Singer-songwriter Chris Powers plays a set of rock at Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon on Friday night at 9. At the same time on Saturday, the Manchester-area rock ensemble The Boneshakerz visit the venue.

The Dave Clark duo plays roots music at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9. The John Lackard Blue Trio appears at the venue on Saturday night at 9.

Arthur James sings and plays the blues at Salt hill Pub in Newport on Friday night at 9. Groove Sum rocks the venue on Saturday night starting at 9, and Randy Miller and Roger Kahle lead the traditional Irish session on Wednesday night at 6.

The Conniption Fits rev up The Engine Room in White River Junction on Friday night at 9.

Pianist Doc Winslow, bassist Tom Lord and guitarist Kit Creeger join forces with vocalist Cat Sensenig at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night at 9.

Pianist Sonny Saul plays jazz at the On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6 to 9.

Saxophonist Mike Parker and guitarist Norm Wolfe play jazz at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm on Wednesday night at 6.

Open Mics

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic at 7:30 on Thursday nights. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Jim Yeager hosts the following open mics over the coming week: at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday night at 6; on Wednesday night at 7 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners; and next Thursday night at 7 at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret.

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads an acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

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