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Behind the Scenes

Errol Craig Sull, founder and coordinator of the Mark Twain Birthday Party and Symposium held each year in Buffalo, announced that the event will no longer be presented.

"(The year) 2004 was our 10th anniversary, and, as with all previous years, it was a success with a standing-room-only audience," Sull said.

"This event served its purpose, presenting Mark Twain and his extraordinary contributions to American literature and culture to all of Western New York. But now it's time to move on to new educational ventures and programs."

Begun in 1995 at Niagara University (and since expanded to the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society's main auditorium), the program grew out of Sull's lifelong academic passion for Twain's works.

"Western New York is fortunate to have a nationally and internationally acclaimed group of Twain experts, as well as perhaps the Holy Grail of Twain memorabilia, the original manuscript of 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' And with Twain having lived here from 1869-1871 it was an excellent and obvious opportunity to bring Mark Twain to life for the Twain-focused classes I was teaching," Sull said.

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Villa Maria College's Life Long Learning office, in partnership with the Lancaster Opera House, will be offering two new workshops.

"Acting for Children," for ages 6 to 9, is an introductory class that will take well-known tales, cast roles and perform a unique version of them on the final day of class. The class runs from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 15, 22 and 29.

"Theatre Adventure Workshop," a basic training for the actor, will cover theater games and improvisation for both the novice and experienced actors. The class runs 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5 and 12. To register, call 961-1815 or 961-1866. Space is limited.

> Auditions

St. Paul's Cathedral is holding open auditions for its Boys' Choir from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and Oct. 1 in the Cathedral House at 128 Pearl St. Membership of the choir is open to boys ages 7 to 9, regardless of religious background and prior musical experience. For more information, call 842-6933.

AIDS Community Services is looking for all entertainers, drag divas and dancers to audition for the 16th annual "Cause for Celebration: An Evening at Studio 54" stage show. Auditions will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Hamlin House, 432 Franklin St. Anyone interested in participating should call Eugene Abrahamson at 332-2268, Ext. 167, by Wednesday to schedule an audition time.

Curtain Up Productions will be holding auditions for "Scrooge the Musical" at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Palace Theatre, 2 East Ave., Lockport. Participants should prepare 16 bars of a song to sing. For more information, call 940-1496.

The Community Advent Chorale, under the direction of Gregory White, will begin rehearsals at 7 p.m. in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pine Street and Fillmore Avenue, East Aurora. Singers of all voice parts over the age of 15 are welcome to join. For more information, call White at 823-9722 or Judy Wieserner at 652-6548.

> Calls for works

El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera seeks work for its annual "Dia De Los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) altar exhibition. The exhibition will open with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 and will include music, dancing, costumes and more. Artistic entries of various sizes and materials will be accepted until Oct. 14. Contact the gallery at 884-9693 for a summary of dimensions, materials and electrical and/or audio and visual needs.

The PIECES Gallery, 109 Main St., Batavia, is currently accepting submissions from Western New York artists for its October exhibit "Textures, Textiles and Beads." Mixed media, two-dimensional, three-dimensional and functional pieces are desired. To make an appointment, call (585) 344-4749 or e-mail

-- Cindy Szymanski

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