The Energy of the Arts District

Missy Hartney Brings Energy and Ideas to the South Side Arts District Colorful murals in South Bethlehem burst from what used to be blank walls. The addition of a mural on E. Third Street has brought vitality to the city’s streetscape. Created by Manhattan street artist Denton Burrows, this piece of artwork combines elements of…

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Artist Spotlight: Alexis Leon

If you’ve attended any productions at Touchstone Theatre in the past few years, chances are, you have seen Alexis Leon’s work. Although Leon’s professional life at Lehigh University, where she works as the Assistant Director of International Internships (through the Office of International Affairs), takes up much of her schedule, she still manages to find…

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A Show About a Show About Reality: A Review of Touchstone’s “Dictators 4 Dummies”

Behind this façade of musical satire, Christopher Shorr’s “Dictators 4 Dummies” is grounded in some very real horrors of our current global political climate. I walked in Touchstone Theater on 3rd Street, and immediately, unbeknownst to me, I was already on set of this faux-production. The production assistant, played by Emma Ackerman, was smiling by…

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Artist Spotlight: Bill George

A towering tree—lush and fruit-bearing—grows out of asphalt. The tree’s fruit is, ostensibly, art in its many forms. This is the image painted on the back of Touchstone Theater. As embodied by the tree mural, Touchstone grew organically out of the Bethlehem arts culture. A co-founder of Touchstone, actor Bill George sat down with me…

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Poetry Breaking Down Bars

Within the walls of a prison, beyond ribbons of barbed wire and under orange jumpsuits, sit poets putting their thoughts into verse. Some sit jotting down notes to loved ones on the back of napkins, or scrap paper to continue letter exchanges. With the United State’s two-million-plus prisoners in mind, these literary exchanges constitute one…

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Artist Spotlight: Emma Ackerman

On February 25th, I spent the early afternoon with Emma Ackerman (née Chong), the playwright and sole performer of “The Complete and Authoritative Tour of Holy Stuff.” The play, which ran from March 2nd through March 12th at the Touchstone Theatre, explores what we consider holy in our lives. Emma elaborates on this conception, explaining…

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