, Newburyport, MA

July 11, 2013

Studio showcase

Tannery Performs features music, dancing and theater

By Ann Reily
Features Editor

---- — The Tannery Marketplace houses a lot of creative talent behind the doors of its music, dance and acting studios.

Tonight, that talent will come outside for the second Tannery Performs, a celebration of performance arts that runs from 7 to 10 under the event tent.

“It’s a combination of some student ensembles, some instructors, some performance groups that are based out of each of the studios,” said Shari Wilkinson, a marketing consultant for the Tannery.

Working with Tannery owner David Hall, Wilkinson said the idea for the monthly summer series was inspired by the Tannery itself.

“This is an event that we thought of just in terms of all of the different cultural elements that the Tannery has happening within it, and we wanted to bring that forth to the public,” Wilkinson said. “The Tannery is such a hub for creative learning in the community.”

The studios were on board with the idea from the start.

“We approached everybody and asked what they thought of the concept, and everybody was really excited to showcase the various talents they have within their studios,” Wilkinson said.

Exit Dance Theatre, a modern dance company based at The Dance Place, will spotlight a hip-hop piece by Wendy Hamel and Karl Granoth. The performance was choreographed especially for tonight’s event.

The Actors Studio is presenting “Storytime,” a one-woman play written and performed by Kathy Isbell. The show explores parent/child relationships.

Featured music includes solo guitarist Dan Searl and the Zach Fields Drum Studios Steel Drum Band.

Searl, a Berklee College of Music graduate, is the newest faculty member at The Musical Suite. He has performed at festivals and venues throughout the Northeast and was a semifinalist in the 2012 Yamaha 6 String Theory Guitar Competition.

The nine-member ZFDS Steel Drum Band will wrap up the evening with an African-inspired piece, a few traditional calypso pieces and a contemporary piece written by local composer David Schumacher.

The Tannery’s restaurants are also getting involved in tonight’s event, with each one offering a special takeout meal to bring to the performances. For example, Enzo Restaurant & Bar will sell crab cakes on a salad, Wilkinson said.

Though last month’s debut event was dampened by heavy rain, Wilkinson said it was “well-received by the folks who came.”

But she’s definitely hoping for a bigger crowd this time around and said they might extend the series into the winter, bringing it indoors.

Additional performances in the summer series are scheduled for Aug. 8 and Sept. 12.

If you go

What: Tannery Performs

When: Tonight from 7 to 10

Where: Event tent in front of Mill 1, The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St., Newburyport

How much: Free.

More information: