COVID-19 Impact

Like many small theatres across this nation and around the world New Spire Arts has been adversely impacted by the global pandemic. We have been shut down completely and then allowed to open at a small percentage of our capacity at various times throughout this past year. Our ability to present live performances has been drastically limited.

We continue to stay on top of the latest government mandates and are very hopeful that the distribution of effective vaccines will begin to put this trying experience behind us. If you are able, we ask that you consider making a donation to help support New Spire Arts during this very challenging time. Every donation helps ensure that we will be able to continue to bring exciting live performances to our beloved Frederick community. Thank you for supporting local performing arts!

Click here to donate!


Not goodbye, but see you later.

Now that Governor Hogan announced Phase 3 in September, we are moving to some limited in-person performances. You may have already noticed our Road to Hamburg concert scheduled for Sunday, November 8 at 3 PM which will be a great opportunity for all of us to put down the screen and experience live music the way it was meant to be! Also, we are partnering with the other two theaters here in Frederick's Theater District, the Weinberg Center for the Arts and the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in a live event. This time it will feature The Seldom Scene and Hogslip String Band, live at the Fairgrounds Drive-In also on a Sunday, November 15 at 4 PM.

Here's a little teaser: look for an announcement out soon on our 2021 Concert Series. I'm sure you will be familiar with many of the artists we have lined up. Tickets will at first be sold on a subscription basis at a price that's a real steal. If you haven't already signed up to receive out newsletter, now is the time to do so to receive advance notice of subscription sales.

I look forward to seeing you at both events!

Sincere regards,

Gerard Gibbs


Frederick's Newest Music Series

Do you like rad music? Do you like the idea of having more of it in Frederick?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then Frederick Jams is definitely for you.

Still wondering what Frederick Jams is? Well here's the low down. Frederick Jams is a new concert series taking place at Frederick's newest venue, New Spire Stages. Jams is all about providing local and nationally known bands a large capacity venue to perform that is open to all ages.

Music is an important part of any community, and we want the music scene to explode within ours.

 

All ages // 21+ to Drink

 

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at the door!

 

Saturday, June 22nd: Buy tickets now!

Saturday, July 27th: Buy tickets now!

 


WVNDER Announces Album Release Show

Frederick's own pop-punk/alt-rock band WVNDER will be dropping their 3rd full-length album "Nothing Stays" on Friday, May 17th.

To celebrate this much anticipated release, New Spire Arts has partnered with WVNDER to present the "Nothing Stays" album release show happening on Saturday, May 25th at New Spire Stages.

WVNDER will be performing along with support from Take Care, Blue Heaven, and Flying Jacob.

Get siked for this awesome line-up and come jam with us at the show!

All ages // 21+ to Drink

Tickets can be purchased online for $10 here

 


Strategic Partnership Announced

New Spire Arts (NSA), Frederick's burgeoning non-profit dedicated to the performing Arts, is currently in the final stage of forming a strategic partnership with the YMCA of Frederick County to deliver arts education classes. The NSA-YMCA partnership will combine the YMCA's proven leadership in youth and adult education with the expertise of NSA's performers and artists.

“As an organization, we’ve admired the structure that the YMCA has built for education, and by leveraging their expertise we can broaden our class offerings to students of all ages, by aligning with a proven leader. This allows us to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ and focus our time and resources on the performance theater. It’s really the best of both worlds in terms of supporting our mission to bring unique performing arts opportunities to people of all ages and abilities in Frederick,” said Gordon Cooley, New Spire Arts board president.

"Our goal is to provide a consistent offering of quality classes in the arts and humanities for Frederick County," says Chris Colville, CEO of the YMCA of Frederick County. “Performances and even master classes will be held at Stages, the newly renovated black box theater. The Stages venue is simply amazing. Modern, yet historic – and in the heart of downtown Frederick.”

"The Ausherman Family Foundation purchased 115 E Church Street for the purpose of uplifting performing arts education in Frederick. Both the YMCA and NSA are governed by strong, diverse boards, and we're confident this partnership represents a fiscally responsible solution that will continue to provide high quality arts education in our community for years to come," said Leigh Adams, Director of the Ausherman Family Foundation.

Following its successful grand opening in late January, NSA STAGES is now Frederick's largest black box theater. The NSA Board of Directors is currently focused on final equipment deliveries and installation, which are the final touches needed to make NSA STAGES a tempting palette for performing artists near and far. The NSA Board has also started an aggressive search for an Executive Director to focus on the task of growing and directing this new venue.

“We’re excited by the opportunities ahead and eager to help foster the growth of the performing arts in Frederick,” says Jonathan Warner, NSA board member.


From Camino to "Stranger in a Strange Land"

Joanne McCoy- In August of 2017, I left home to walk the Camino de Santiago. Although I am a veteran traveler, I had never attempted a solo trip. Still, at the age of 62, with little to no hiking experience, I decided to act on a dream that had been manifesting itself to me since I was a little child: I would walk the Way of Saint James.

The Way of Saint James is an ancient pilgrimage trail also known as the Camino de Santiago. Five hundred miles long and thousands of years old, it begins at the base of the highest peaks of the Pyrenes Mountains in southwest France and ends at the Cathedral de Santiago where the bones of St. James the Elder, one of Jesus Christ’s apostles, are said to rest. Since the early 9th century, millions of pilgrims have walked the Camino de Santiago seeking grace, peace, strength and forgiveness.

Last year, I made my own Way. With no companions, speaking neither French nor Basque nor anything but “school Spanish,” I set off from the medieval village of Saint Jean. I carried only 15 pounds of gear on my back, a set of hiking poles, and a special document from the Vatican allowing me to stay at the pilgrim hostels and eat at the pilgrim tables along the Way.

Before the sun had set on Day One, I had met a remarkable group of people from all over the world. We didn’t stay together over the entire journey, but our paths were to cross frequently over the next 40 days. We shared everything—water, food, music, clothing, advice, laughter and encouragement. With our eyes on Santiago, we were all the same. Some of us made it. Some of us didn’t. A few walked every step. Others stuck out their thumbs and hitched a few miles or jumped in the back of a pony and cart, or took a bus or train when exhausted or injured. We listened to our hearts and we didn’t judge. It was as if we were one body, all just walking each other home to Santiago.

It was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I’ve been looking for ways to revisit parts of it, emotionally if not physically, for the past year….

Yesterday was Day One of Rehearsals for the ensemble cast of "Stranger in a Strange Land," the community story play that will be part of New Spire Arts Stages' Grand Opening Weekend performances on January 19, 20 & 21.

Thirteen performers and I came together as strangers at 2:00 P.M. By 8:30, we had connected with one another in a way I’ve rarely experienced before. With encouragement from the multi-talented Celeste Miller, and after hours of experiments in dance, music and storytelling, our group of 14 had not only become friends with a deeper-than-casual knowledge of one another, we had also formed the basis for a true ensemble cast.

It was kind of magic, really.

I came to the group with my Camino experience to share. I've never felt more like a stranger in a stranger land than I did on my pilgrimage. But thanks to God's grace shown to me by my fellow pilgrims, and the kind and generous hospitalateros (inn-keepers) along the way, I lost my sense of "otherness" and felt welcomed into the rolling, ever-changing community that is the Camino de Santiago.

As we prepared to leave the theater last night, I realized that I had just experienced another "stranger in a strange land" experience. Nearly everyone else in the ensemble is an experienced actor or gifted dancer, all well-acquainted with Dramaworld-- that "strange land" of grease paint, spotlights and improvisation-- that I've never stuck my big toe into before yesterday. A stranger in a strange land indeed!

It's clear to me now that this foray into performance is the next step for me in learning to do things that scare me....that take me out of my comfort zone, that make me STRETCH, without needing to be *perfect* at it.

Just like the Camino did.

This time, my fellow cast members are my fellow pilgrims. Most/all are more experienced than I (just like on Camino)-- but we are all sharing this road, encouraging one another-- bringing each other out of that sense of "otherness" into the joyful together that is community.

It feels good to be back on the road again.

I'm thinking of all of you, fellow pilgrims and Camino angels, with love and gratitude this morning.

 

To keep up with Joanne's journey, check out her Facebook page The Last Pilgrim


Teacher Spotlight: Christine Mosere

Christine Mosere spent most of her theatre career in NYC where she discovered her love of the Bard while working with a First Folio Shakespeare Collective. As an actor/director/producer, she worked with such great companies as La MaMa, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, and was a Founding Member of The Peccadillo Theatre Company. She has worked as Managing and Development Director for theatres on both coasts including with nationally recognized Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle and most recently Maryland Ensemble Theatre. She is currently working as Head of the Theatre Education at New Spire Arts and Producing Artistic Director of the new-to-Frederick Endangered Species Theatre Project.

 

What inspired you to teach?

After leaving college, I headed to NYC. Once there, I jumped into acting classes so I wouldn’t get rusty while waiting for work. My first New York teacher was Ron Stetson, a direct disciple of Sandford Meisner, who told us to stay curious and be constant learners. Even when our training was done, he said to, “Go out there and work and when you aren’t working -- learn every other technique. You have a foundation, now decorate that house.” And I took that to heart. Any time I wasn’t acting or directing, I was back studying – Method, more Meisner, Uta Hagan, Stella Adler, Tim Phillips, etc. One day it dawned on me while I was directing a show that I had a lot to offer students. I tried my hand at teaching in-between acting jobs and I loved it. It was a way to pass my passion for acting and directing onto others.

 

What is your favorite musical/theatre performance to watch?

Honestly, this changes pretty regularly. Many times, my favorite is the last one I saw. I recently saw Hamilton at the Kennedy Center – and as expected, it was FANTASTIC and is my current favorite. Before that, it was a wonderful piece at Olney called The Invisible Hand. And locally, I laughed and smiled all through Other Voices Theatre’s Christmas show. It was for young audiences, but this young-at-heart thespian just enjoyed it so much.

 

Out of all the roles you’ve played, what has been your most memorable?

I’d have to say my most recent role is the most memorable. Louise in “Always… Patsy Cline” produced by Free Range Humans -- right here in Frederick. What a blast. I’ll never forget that crazy wonderful character.

 

What advice would you give an up and coming artist?

I’d pass on the advice I was given by Ron Stetson… be curious and always willing to learn! And I’d add, if opportunities don’t come your way, make your own opportunities!!


Obama White House Staffers Are Coming to Frederick!

West Wingers Book Release
Saturday, October 27 @ 4pm

 

Celebrate the release of West Wingers with some of the Obama White House staffers who contributed to the book! We're pleased to have Rumana Ahmed, Gautam Raghavan, Stephanie Valencia, Brad Jenkins, and Frederick native and Maryland School for the Deaf alum Leah Katz-Hernandez join us to talk about the book and their experiences in the West Wing.


Queer & Proud Open Stage Night

Thursday, October 11th at 6pm

New Spire Studios
115 E. Church Street, Frederick MD 21701

 

Join New Spire Arts, the Frederick Center, and SHE/THEY for an Open Stage Night as we celebrate National Coming Out Day and local queer artists! What is an open stage night? We will make the stage available for any type of artist that wants to perform. Sing a song, read a poem, do a dance - the stage is open! Featured artists include Chris August, Ash Cheshire, Jess Bryant, Anna See-Jachowski, Yvette Naomi, Joseph Mullhollen, and Sam Bagels.

Want to attend but unable to afford tickets? Email us at play@newspirearts.org. There are a limited number of discounted tickets available so we ask that you please pay if you can. Every ticket feeds a queer artist!


New! Upcoming Events at New Spire Arts

We're only a few months away from the grand opening of New Spire Stages located at 15 W Patrick St! To give our community a taste of what’s to come, we'll be hosting events this fall at New Spire Studios located at 115 E Church St.

 

Story Circles: Diane Macklin

Sunday, September 23 @ 3:00pm
$15 in advance / $20 at the door

Join us for an afternoon of storytelling with Diane Macklin! Macklin is well-known in the region for her dynamic, high-energy storytelling for audiences of all ages. She is trained as a multicultural mediator in conflict resolution, facilitating hope, peace and justice through interactive audience participation, often using world folk tales and creative personal narratives. Diane is a story griot and workshop leader, actor, MD State Arts Council Educator, resident storyteller for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, life member of the Griots Circle of MD and the National Association of Black Storytellers.

 

POETRY SLAM with Sonya Renee Taylor

Thursday, September 27 @ 6:00pm
$15 in advance / $20 at the door

Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya is a former National and International poetry slam champion, author of two books, educator and thought leader who has enlightened and inspired organizations, audiences and individuals from boardrooms to prisons, universities to homeless shelters, elementary schools to some of the biggest stages in the world.