June in New Haven is marked each year by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. This year’s program, to which we’ve dedicated this edition of The Arts Paper, promises extraordinary performances and a great deal more.
Hank Hoffman’s “Artists Next Door” feature introduces readers to A Broken Umbrella Theatre’s Rachel Alderman, who offers insight into Freewheelers, a play that examines two seemingly unrelated events in New Haven’s history: Pierre Lallement patenting the bicycle and the nation’s first corset factory opening – both of which happened in 1866.
The Arts Council’s communications manager, Amanda May, has written about a few festival events that will take place a bit beyond the main stage: an “Ideas Talk” by Joshua Foer – the best-selling author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Penguin Books, 2011) – titled “The Hunter-Gatherer Life,” and a one-man high-wire act called L’Homme Cirque that will take place above the New Haven Green.
Amanda also wrote about the festival’s “Weekend Showcase,” which will feature a collection of emerging and stylistically diverse musical groups.
I had the opportunity to interview, via e-mail, Tom Morris, who’ll direct the Bristol Old Vic and the Handspring Puppet Company in a unique production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I also spoke with playwright Aaron Jafferis, a New Haven native whose Stuck Elevator returns to the area three years after being read for festival audiences in 2010.
In these pages, you’ll be welcomed to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas by the organization’s executive director, Mary Lou Aleskie. And while the festival seems to consume the city for a few weeks in June, it also kicks off a summer full of cultural events in the Greater New Haven area, a handful of which we’ve listed in this issue of The Arts Paper. Still, we encourage readers to explore on their own all that our region has to offer during the summer months – and to let us know what you’ve found inspiring.
David A. Brensilver
Editor, The Arts Paper