Browsing category: Arts & Culture

At the theater with Lucinda Merry-Browne

Originally published in Annapolis Home Magazine in November 2018. Lucinda Merry-Browne, an energetic visionary, is rarely at home. Her demanding job as founding artistic director of Annapolis’ nonprofit theater, Compass Rose, keeps her on the go. When she’s not raising funds for a new building for the theater, she is directing plays where she takes pains to nurture synergy between professional actors and child-actors-in-training. Currently, the 11-year-old Compass Rose has no fixed address; recent performances have been held in area hotels to rave reviews. But the theater’s temporary “homelessness” has not deterred Merry-Browne from guiding the theater’s intense and steadfast mission, which is to provide evocative and entertaining theater while maintaining the utmost educational and artistic standards. We recently caught up with Merry-Browne to learn more about her deep roots in theater and how they continue to expand throughout Annapolis.  It seems as if acting is in your blood.

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What’s the Payoff — Love or Money?

Some of these profiled artists received highly specific training to pursue their endeavors. Others fell into them. For those who earn their living from their art, most agree it’s getting increasingly harder to do so. Nevertheless, all feel passionately about their work, and they’ve got impressive pieces to show for it. A sample of Jill Orlov’s work. (Handout photo) Jill Orlov Jill Orlov, 49, counts “The Borrowers,” a book-turned-movie about a tiny family that lives in the walls of a Victorian house, as one of her artistic work’s primary influences. Seeing her exquisitely crafted, minuscule rooms made of metal, it’s easy to understand why. Shortly after earning a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and starting her career, she left the profession and took a welding course, which led to a near obsession creating mini-vignettes from steel and other metals — some as dioramas in vintage wood boxes or drawers, others set within full-scale table

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Filmmaker Follows Baltimore Step Team in New Documentary

Amanda Lipitz grew up loving musicals and learning how to give back. These passions — plus a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, an internship at Nickelodeon and a post-graduate job with a Broadway producer — put the 36-year-old Owings Mills native on the entertainment industry fast track. By 24, Lipitz had produced Broadway’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” followed by the Tony Award-winning “A View from the Bridge” and “The Humans,” also a Pulitzer finalist, among others. Lipitz also created and produced the groundbreaking MTV series “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.” But Lipitz’s foray into creating documentaries led to her most significant achievement to date. The feature-length documentary “Step,” directed and produced by Lipitz, follows the first graduating class of an all-girls high school in inner-city Baltimore as they compete on the school’s step team and strive to be the first in their families to

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Fall Arts Guide 2018

Originally published in on September 1, 2018. There’s a lot to love about the fall. The oppressive heat and the you-can-cut-it-with-a-knife humidity ease up; summer getaways have left folks feeling recharged and ready to socialize again; and the city’s arts and culture scene responds with an abundant calendar of intriguing events and cool places to explore and rediscover. The challenge now becomes not what to do, but how to fit it all in. It’s impossible to get to everything, of course. But for those willing to try, we’ve provided a full listing of local cultural events that span the fall season. We’ve also picked out a few cultural gems around town that we deemed worthy of special spotlighting. Whether you’ll be checking out these local landmarks for the first time or making a return trip, they’re sure to leave a lasting impression. Enjoy! Baltimore Book Festival 2017, Inner Harbor Read On! More than three decades ago, then-Mayor

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Public Art Thrives in Annapolis

Originally published on PUBLIC ART THRIVES IN ANNAPOLIS Annapolis has long been considered a cultural hub. In colonial days, it was referred to as the 'Athens of America'. Today, it continues to boast a strong tradition of visual and performing arts institutions. But there's more. In Annapolis, you'll find a range of free-standing public art. Some of it informs observers about a particular historical figure or event. Other pieces aim for pure delight. Still others intrigue. Here's a small sampling of the fascinating public art you'll find displayed throughout Annapolis.

SCULPTURES Thurgood Marshall Memorial What: The Thurgood Marshall Memorial is dedicated to first African American Supreme Court justice, one of the great figures in civil rights history. The memorial consists of a group of bronze figures, including an eight-foot bronze statue of Justice Marshall as a young lawyer, positioned on a granite pedestal and presiding over

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Meet the locals: josé-luis novo

Originally published on, March 2, 2015 Annapolis is proud to be home to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO). Now in its 53rd season, it continues to flourish as a dynamic artistic force within the region. Music director and conductor Maestro José-Luis Novo, now in his tenth season with the ASO, deserves much credit for the symphony’s growing success. Hailing from Spain, Maestro Novo began studying violin at the conservatory of his hometown, Valladolid, when he was just 10. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels before coming to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar, earning both a Master of Music and a Master of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. Only afterwards did he pursue studies in orchestral conducting, via a fellowship at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since then, he’s enjoyed a rich career throughout Europe and the U.S. as a violinist, conductor and music director, and educator. Recently, Maestro Novo spoke to

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