The Valley Players are auditioning for their annual production of "Dracula" on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Amesbury Playhouse, 194 Main St., Amesbury.

The show is casting for adult roles only. The production will be staged Oct. 15 through 31. Call 388-9444 or visit for more.

Whittier Home brewing up old-fashioned tea

The Whittier Home in Amesbury is hosting another old-fashioned tea in the Garden tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the historic home at 86 Friend St.

The menu will feature sandwiches, desserts, hot and cold tea, and lemonade. Admission is $15. Call 978-388-1337 or visit to reserve a seat.

The next meeting of the Whittier Home Association will be Thursday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. and include a guest speaker, tea, coffee and sandwiches. Guests are invited for $5.

For more than 100 years, the Whittier Home Association has been steward of the house museum, maintaining the property and collections and striving to educate others about Quaker poet John G. Whittier.

The museum is open for tours Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 30. For more, call the museum at 978-388-0930 or visit To schedule a tour by appointment, call Dawn Bennett at 978-465-5964.

Sacred Heart Singing School in session

Sacred Heart Singing School is tuning up this month at First Parish Church at 20 High Road (Route 1A) in Newbury.

Sacred harp is a participatory, a cappella singing tradition with roots in 18th century New England and the deep South. The music is a mixture of raw harmonies and driving rhythms, coupled with Calvinist poetry. An integral part of the sacred harp tradition is the singing school, where new singers learn the rudiments of the practice that uses visual mnemonic (sharp notes) to aid sight-singing.

An eight-week singing school geared toward teaching beginners the rudiments of the musical style that uses mnemonic (sharp notes) to aid sight-singing starts Sunday at 3 p.m. at First Parish Church. Singing school continues on Sunday afternoons through Oct. 31, with community sings planned for Sept. 19 and Oct. 17 and the New England Singing Harp Convention on Oct. 2 and 3.

The cost is free, although students must buy a $19 textbook. Visit for more.

Art association instructors lead demonstrations

Newburyport Art Association's art educators are launching a series of free art demonstrations on Wednesdays in September.

The midday sessions go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will highlight various mediums. Beverly Mitchell will lead an introduction to watercolor on Sept. 15, with artist and illustrator Susan Spellman offering a portrait painting presentation and demonstrating techniques for capturing the human spirit on Sept. 22.

Call the art association at 978-465-8769 or visit for more.

A calypso beat to benefit Plum Island

Things are heating up on Plum Island for a Calypso Night later this month to support efforts to nourish the beach.

The fundraiser for the Plum Island Foundation is set for Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Plum Island Grille on Sunset Boulevard in Newbury. Plum Island Pans will provide the calypso sounds for the night.

There will be a raffle, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets are $100.

In addition, a Plum Island Getaway online auction for five Plum Island beach homes is taking place at The homes are being donated for weeklong or weekend vacation getaways by their owners to support Plum Island Foundation. Bids will be accepted through noon on Sept. 21.

For more on the fundraiser or online auction, call 978-807-0794.

Save the date for Costume Ball & Auction

The Actors Studio in The Tannery in Newburyport is making plans for its first benefit Costume Ball & Auction on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Carriage Pines Golf Club in Rowley.

Costumes are optional, but encouraged. In addition to a contest for the best-dressed guest, there will be dancing to music provided by the DJs of WNBP radio, hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and signature drink.

Pete Falconi of WNBP will serve as celebrity guest auctioneer for the silent and live auctions. Auction items will include artwork, theater and music classes, furniture and hats from the studio's production of "Alice in Wonderglass," jewelry, spa visits, gift baskets, gift certificates to Greater Newburyport stores and restaurants, and more.

Proceeds of the event will support the nonprofit Actors Studio's mission to serve as a cultural resource for the community. Tickets are $60 before Oct. 1, $65 after. Call Jeanette Isabella at 978-465-1229 for reservations or information.

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