The Grist - November 2021

November 10, 2021

All About EPC

Have you been missing live theater as much as we have? You will be happy to know that you can come to the Mill on November 20th to hear the six plays that won this year’s Emerging Playwright Competition (EPC). They will be read by area actors, followed by a talk back with the winning playwrights. Next month, we will be holding auditions for our spring musical, “Marriage: What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

In this issue of the Grist, we introduce you to the winning playwrights, as well as some of the actors who will make this live annual event come alive.


4th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition

Reading of Plays

Saturday, November 20, 7 p.m.

Come to the historic Phillips’ Mill to hear the six 2021 winning short plays read on stage. Stay for light refreshments and a talk back with the authors.

This wonderful evening of theater is produced by Valerie Eastburn, directed by Fran Young and features Laura Brenner Scotti, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, Matt DiMarino, Rick Goodwin, JaQuinley Kerr, Sarah LeClair, Cecily Laidman, Millie Levy, Keith Maliszewski, Thomas Metelski, Kevin Nalty and Tim Wade.

Admission is free. Donations welcome!

Masks and proof of vaccination required.

Join us in congratulating the winners of the 4th Annual Emerging Playwright Competition: 

Dominique Cieri - Branchville, N.J. for “Blighted”

Lynda Crawford - New York, N.Y. for “The Wonderer”

Sherry Friedman - Brooklyn, N.Y. for “Beware the Kraken”

Jeff Stolzer - New York, N.Y. for “The Eulogy”

Kate Thomas - Brooklyn, N.Y. for “The Advocate”

Nancy Vander Zwan - Perkasie, Pa. for “Northern Lights”

“I’m honored to be selected as a winning playwright in EPC, and thrilled for the opportunity to see my work read live after almost two years of having my plays done in virtual performances. Sharing the space with live actors once again who can relate to each other while we experience the reactions of a live audience will mean so much to me in the development of my work. Thank you to all the talented people involved. Bravo to Phillips’ Mill for bringing live theater back!”

—Sherry Friedman

Meet the Actors

We are grateful for the 12 very talented actors who will bring their own energy, creativity and interpretation to the characters in each of the six winning plays, including the following:

JaQuinley Kerr

JaQuinley Kerr is a stage and film actress, as well as a director, writer and singer. She currently tours the country as narrator and singer in specialty concerts with The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass.

Cecily Laidman

Cecily Laidman seemed destined to be on stage since her first acting gig, as an eighth grader, in the New Hope Solebury High School. She has performed with various community theater groups, worked as a singer and managed to translate her love for the arts through her day jobs as well, operating a federally funded arts program in a state prison and selling art to corporations.

Tim Wade

Tim Wade has performed in many community theater productions over the years, including several at Phillips’ Mill. He has enjoyed performing on stage since grammar school and was heavily involved in theater as a student at Villanova University. He lives in Doylestown with his wife, Janine, a fine artist well known to many Phillips’ Mill patrons.

Millie Levy

Millie Levy (she/her) is a lifelong theater kid from Northeast Philadelphia who also dabbles in organ procurement. Hobbies include embroidering, cryptid hunting and consuming chocolate. She's excited to test her range and play someone who would go on a date with Matt DiMarino (Gabe).


Auditions for our Spring Musical Comedy
"Marriage: What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

Check our website and social media pages for dates and times.

Happy Birthday, ArtTalk!

It’s been one year since we presented our first “ArtTalk” conversation with host Laura Womack, recently elected President of the Board of Phillips’ Mill. While the program was initiated as a way for artists to stay connected through the pandemic, it has grown into a popular Sunday afternoon activity for many of our viewers. 

After 25 shows and more than 2,000 views, Laura and ArtTalk producer Jen McHugh plan to continue presenting online interviews twice a month, but also hope to add more studio tours, demonstrations and pre-recorded episodes. They are also interested in expanding to in-person events hopefully in late 2022.

“I think ArtTalk is successful because it’s an opportunity for people to get to know artists as people whose work they know. They learn why and how artists create the works they do,” says Laura, who hosted her own syndicated show in Virginia before joining WAMU in Washington, D.C., where she also contributed to NPR. “Art is a communication from the artist, but it’s visual instead of language-based. Talking with an artist is like getting the answer key or at least a hint of how to appreciate and understand that communication. And then to go even deeper.”

What viewers enjoy most is getting to meet artists “in real life” during the show. To see their studios, ask them questions and discover new meaning in their work. While they are recorded live, they are uploaded to the Phillips’ Mill YouTube channel so you can watch shows you missed or rewatch favorites.

“What makes ArtTalk special is that it is really about people and their relationships to others and the world around them,” adds Jen McHugh. “Art brings people together, whether by working on a panel, putting together a show or communicating to others through that art. We are exploring the people behind the art.”

ArtTalk: The Ethereal Work of David Stier

Sunday, November 14, at 5 p.m.

The drawings and paintings of David Stier have been described as introspective, atmospheric, moody and ethereal. His color palette is often subdued, and his subjects range from still life forms and interiors to human figures and landscapes. He often cites William Lathrop as a key influence in his work, and it’s clear to see how that translates.  

When painting, David likes to go to different places and spend a lot of time there at various times of the day doing drawings. “I work not only from what I see in the visual world but also from my imagination; the two inform each other; that is, your ability to see and process the outer world informs your ability to interpret and completely reinterpret the world through your imagination,” he says.


How to Market Yourself as an Artist

Now that the Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show has wrapped up for the year, we shift our attention to providing and promoting programs to help artists grow their audience.

Creating an Effective Artist’s Statement

Thursday, November 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Jane Ramsey, Arts & Culture Council of Bucks County, and Gene Underwood, a PMCA volunteer, will demonstrate how to craft an artist’s statement that resonates with jurors, collectors and other members of your audience. You’ll gain practical advice with the tools you need for beginning the process. Q&A follows the virtual presentation.

Pre-registration required.

A New Way to Showcase Your Art

We are inviting artists to submit a 30- to 60-second video showcasing their work to be part of a new exhibition series. Entries will be accepted through November 24th. 

Think of each video as a unique and animated expression of your artistic self!

Follow Phillips' Mill on Instagram and Facebook for more information.


Artist Spotlight
Growth of Fashion

Jennifer Rubin Garey

Is there a “bronze ceiling” for women in art, particularly sculptors?  And why are there far fewer works of public art depicting women than men?

Sculptor Jennifer Rubin Garey is fascinated not only with the female form, but with how women are represented (and underrepresented) in art — both as artists and as subjects. She is the winner of the 2021 Phillips’ Mill Community Association Sculpture Award, and the 2020 winner of the Phillips’ Mill Patrons Award for Sculpture.

“I have always been focused on the female figure, but really, deep down, it is gender stresses and the stereotypes put on women in society in general that interest me,” she says.

All Things Must Pass (L), Spirit In The Night (R) by Sharlene Holliday


Phillips’ Mill Photo Exhibition

Juried Photo Exhibit
April 2 – 30, 2022

This month’s featured photographer is Sharlene Holliday, who has lived in Bucks County for 30+ years and is a retired corporate photo lab photographer. Before the pandemic, she was focused on shooting New York City streets. Her body of work is called Cyanotype: Journey into the Blues.

During the quarantine, Sharlene began experimenting with cyanotype, which is a type of photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.

“It kept me safe, it kept me home, it kept me sane,” she says. “My body of work is my journey into the cyanotype world. Although this 170-year-old photographic process is a simple concept, I am finding the more I experiment, the bigger the learning curve.  There are many variables and endless possibilities. It’s an extremely addictive hobby.”

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus