Arts & Culture

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence's Wilbury Theatre Group has never avoided doing the controversial.  Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says their current play, “Straight White Men” definitely fits into that catalog.

Markham Starr

Connecticut-based photographer Markham Starr has dedicated almost a decade to documenting New England’s fishing industry. His photos, featured in an exhibit at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, include a type of fishing unique to Rhode Island. 

Narragansett Fishermen Part Of New Photography Exhibit

Nov 28, 2016

The exhibit is now on display at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford. Connecticut-based photographer Markham Starr has dedicated almost a decade to documenting New England’s fishing industry. 

Starr photographed fishermen across New England, and says he took a special interest in the trap fishers of Point Judith in Narragansett.

“It’s an ancient type of fishing,” said Starr. “They’ve been doing it probably 150 years in Rhode Island and other traps like it go back even earlier. But there’s only three practitioners left really because it requires a lot of manpower.”

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Playwright David Mamet is well known for works such as “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Speed-The-Plow.” But many think “American Buffalo” is his masterpiece. Bill Gale says the Gamm Theater's production is proof of that.

“American Buffalo” was first done in Chicago way back in 1975, that time – if you can believe it -  of no cell phones , no Facebook.  And Twitter? That was something birds in the trees did.

Yale Art Gallery

For November's Artscape, we visited New Haven, Connecticut, where an exhibit at the Yale University Art Gallery showcases the dramatic artistry of furniture making in colonial-era Rhode Island. Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman talked with the gallery's Curator of American Decorative Arts, Patricia Kane, about Art & Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830.

Festival Ballet Providence

A storage facility full of costumes for Festival Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker has apparently been robbed. The Providence ballet company is scrambling to find replacements in time for opening night.

Epic Theater

Rhode Island is currently enjoying a theatrical surge. New theater companies have arrived, often with plays – and ideas – that are far from the usual. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has checked in on a couple now performing works that you are not going to see everywhere.

The Flu Season” continues at the Burbage Theater through December 3rd. James Franco and Me continues at the Epic Theater through November 27. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Festival Ballet in Providence concludes its "Up Close on Hope" series of programs on Friday and Saturday nights, with a unique collaboration between choreographer Ty Parmenter and storyteller Valerie Tutson. The pair teamed up to produce an original dance set to the spoken word piece "How We Got the Stars." 

Originally a story told by the Zulu people, Parmenter has created a dance for four dancers choreographed to Tutson's telling of the story. Parmenter and Tutson spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about how the piece evolved.

Newport Jazz Festival Opens Early Ticket Sales

Nov 3, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Early tickets for this year’s Newport Jazz Festival went on sale this week. The festival is renowned for featuring big names like Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong to Newport since 1954. Danny Melnick, the festival’s producer, said jazz enthusiasts can expect to hear music from a wide range of artists.

"So we're looking at a very dynamic lineup of great jazz, some Latin music, some blues, some soul - you know, a lot of different things that sort of all work at a jazz festival, a lot of music that's related to jazz in many different ways,” said Melnick.

Samuel F. Babbitt / Courtesy MacMillan Children's Publishing Group/NPR

Natalie Babbitt, the 84-year-old author of the popular children's novel "Tuck Everlasting," died Monday at her home in Hamden, Connecticut.

The novel left a big mark on young readers. It tells the story of a magical spring that grants eternal life to anyone who drinks from it – and a girl who has to decide whether to live forever or accept her eventual death. Babbitt told NPR’s Melissa Block last year that she decided to write "Tuck Everlasting" in 1975 after she realized her 4-year-old daughter was terrified of death.

Rhode Island Public Radio is partnering with Now Here This, a storytelling group at Brown University. On the last Friday of each month we’ll bring you a new story.  

Today’s story is inspired by the StoryCorps podcast. Erin West speaks honestly and openly with her father about his experience with suicide and depression, as well as their changing relationship as father and daughter.

Got a comment on this story? A question? A new idea? We want to hear from you! Send an email to nht@ripr.org.

Manton Avenue Project

Live theater is thriving in Rhode Island, and one program may inspire a new generation of playwrights. The Manton Avenue Project has kids write the plays and adult actors bring them to life. Rhode Island Public Radio intern Tarpley Hitt went to a performance to check it out.  

On a Saturday evening, kids race around a small stage in Roger Williams Memorial Park, fighting for the best patch of grass. Parents lean back on beach chairs as two performers enter with microphones.

Yale Publishes Mysterious Medieval Manuscript

Oct 27, 2016
Davis Dunavin / WSHU

It’s one of the world’s great literary mysteries: a 15th century book full of bizarre illustrations of imaginary plants, astrological signs, surreal figures and landscapes. Its origins are unknown, its creator anonymous. And it’s written entirely in an unknown language that’s stumped the world’s greatest code breakers.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

“Appropriate” is both brilliant and bitter, overdone and incisive. At times, it seems to be right on, an American original, both hilarious and heartbreaking. Other times it has you asking just what are these people on stage doing, for heaven’s sake?

For two hours forty-five minutes (including two intermissions) it is a play of rage and regret, of lives ruined, hope gone.

Andrew Iacovelli/Burbage Theatre Company

Rhode Island's booming theater scene is in full pulse these days Which has lead Rhode Island Public Radio's  Bill Gale to double up.

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