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by Amy Kingsley

In a week, we’ll be staring down the shortest day of the year. For a lot of folks, including myself, that’s hardly an occasion to celebrate. That’s why religious authorities, way back in the day, bumped the Judeo-Christian holidays to the coldest, darkest part of the year. It was a distraction. A ruse.

Those people who consider the beginning of winter something that is worth celebrating now have a play they can call their own. It’s titled Awake the White and Wint’ry Queen, and it’s brought to you by the same creative team responsible for Opening the Eye of Light. The show is short on costumes – the principals prefer body paint and pasties – and long on interpretive dance. Performances start Friday at the Sanctuary and run through the following week.

If you prefer more conventional holiday entertainment, consider a Christmas puppet show in Old Salem. The show, Christmas in the Trenches, concerns the true story of a World War I soldier stuck in the trenches during the holidays, when Allied and German soldiers halted their fighting. The play, written by folksinger John McCutcheon, premieres on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the James Gray Jr. Auditorium.

The North Carolina Arts Council delivered early Christmas presents to four Triad artists who won $10,000 fellowships for 2008. The honorees include Brian Crocker, a fiction writer from Greensboro, Jeffrey Dean Foster, a songwriter from Winston-Salem, Steven Haines, a jazz composer from Greensboro, and Barbara Presnell, a poet from Lexington. The money will fund specific projects in some cases, or allow the prizewinners to devote more of the upcoming year to creative endeavors.

A couple of South Carolinian television producers are going to be visiting the Triad next year to shoot a pilot for a series called “Clarissa’s Quest.” They’re looking for non-union, professional actors to play pre-teen and adult roles. Casting is color blind, so send a headshot and resume to dark@triad.rr.com.

On Monday, High Point native Anthony Dean Griffey stars in the PBS special “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany.” The show starts at 9 p.m., set your TiVo accordingly.

The Weatherspoon wants you to know that three of its current exhibits will be ending in December. That gives you just a couple more weeks to catch shows by Sol LeWitt, Janine Antoni and the UNCG art faculty.

To have your events and happenings included, email Amy Kingsley at amy@yesweekly.com.

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