Learning more about our history

June 19th, 2015 9:17 am

First Posted: 10/10/2014

Most of us are familiar with the songs “Camptown Races,” “Oh! Susanna,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” and “Beautiful Dreamer,” but do we know much about Stephen Foster, the writer of these songs which are so much a part of American music?

Foster was born in Pennsylvania and his body of work is comprised of 286 musical works. At at 3 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 19 the Dietrich will celebrate Foster and his contributions to the great American songbook with a concert by folk musician Bruce Young.

During the concert, Foster’s biography will be outlined in songs with guitar, fiddle, banjo and dulcimer. This interactive program is suitable for audiences of all ages. Admission is free and donations will be accepted. We would like to thank Sandy and Ron Vieczorek and Gary and Hildy Morgan for underwriting this program. The concert will be followed by a light reception.

Tickets can be reserved by calling the theater at 570-996-1500, and will be available at the door as long as they last.

Then at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, the Dietrich will host a free presentation on Moravian History with Dr. Sheldon Spear.

According to Spear, “Curiosity about the Amish has drawn thousands of tourists annually to the vicinity of Lancaster, but much less is known about the Moravians, another ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ denomination. The Moravians caused a furor in mid-18th century America because of their aspirations, led by their leader Count Nickolaus van Zinzendorf, to unify all Protestants in the mid-Atlantic region and their determined and humane endeavor to Christianize Native Americans.”

During his talk, Spear will examine these developments and other aspects of Moravian history. Admission to this program is free.

For those more interested in visual arts, Steve Colley, artist-in-residence at the Dietrich, will teach a new class for teens and adults this month, entitled “Oil Painting for Beginners.” During this six week introductory oil painting series, students will study the relationship between positive and negative space and the basic concepts of mixing color. Attendees will also explore the basic techniques of applying paint to a two dimensional surface.

Classes will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 20 and 27 and Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Admission is $90 for a series of six classes, plus the cost of materials.

For children, the Dietrich will host a session of Half Pint Poets with instructor Katie Wisnosky Saturday, Oct. 18. During this workshop, children ages seven to eleven will learn and share with one another through poetry and performance. The class will start with team building activities and writing warm-ups as well as performance exercises. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon, and a healthy snack will be provided. For more information or to register, call the theater.

The following weekend, Rand Whipple of Box of Light Studio will be back at the Dietrich for more Minecraft and a Robotics for Kids workshop. We will offer two hour networked Minecraft sessions Saturday, Oct. 25. During these sessions, students ages seven to fourteen will be able to build wonderful worlds and accept the Minecraft Challenge. Admission is $15. For class openings and details, call the Dietrich.

In the Robotics for Kids workshop, students ages seven to fourteen will have the opportunity to build and program robots. Students will make machines that move and even talks. Admission is also $15 and preregistration is required by calling the Dietrich.

As you can see, the Dietrich is so much more than the movies!