T he school year is winding down, which means there’s a lot of concerts and performances marking the culminations of several years of study. Thespians at the Yale School of Drama stage full productions of new works by their classmates, as prize-winning classical musicians from the Yale School of Music perform at Yale’s Sprague Hall. Another competition winners’ recital, featuring younger generations of achievers, happens at Neighborhood Music School, and a songsmith whose spacey writing methodology involves studying his own “psychological dysphoria” fills The Space in Hamden.
Time to get schooled in culture this week in New Haven.
Monday, May 6
Yale School of Drama’s Carlotta Festival of New Plays takes full-length scripts by three graduating students in the school’s playwriting program and assigns them to directors, designers, crew and actors from other YSD programs. The results can be as impressive as anything else put on a Yale stage all year. This year’s shows are Sagittarius Ponderosa by MJ Kaugman (directed by Margot Bordelon), Lottie in the Late Afternoon by Amelia Roper (directed by Ethan Heard) and House Beast by Justin Taylor (directed by Jack Tamburri), which starts the festival off tonight at 8 p.m. Each play gets four performances at Yale’s Iseman Theater (1156 Chapel Street, New Haven) between tonight and May 14. $28; $15 students.
Tuesday, May 7
The winners of the Yale School of Music’s annual Chamber Music Competition reprise their award-winning performances tonight at 8 p.m. in Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street, New Haven; 203-432-4158). $10-$15; $5 students.
Wednesday, May 8
Clybourne Park is the most-produced new play of this theater season, taking common issues of urban renewal and gentrification (inspired by a minor character in the classic drama A Raisin in the Sun) and creating an outrageous, often hilarious and constantly thought-provoking argument about race, culture and property values. The Long Wharf Theatre’s new production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer-winning play, directed by Eric Ting, has its first preview performance tonight at 7 p.m. Opening night is next Wednesday, and the show runs through June 2 on the Long Wharf’s mainstage. 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven. (203) 787-4282.
Youth Lagoon is an intense hipster guy named Trevor Powers (pictured above), whose albums The Year of Hibernation and Wondrous Bughouse put the “psyche” into “psychedelia.” He brings his analytical mind-pop to The Space (295 Treadwell Street, Hamden) tonight for a space-between-the-ears sonic exploration. Majical Cloudz is also on the bill, which starts at 8 p.m. $15.
Thursday, May 9
Charles R. Knight, according to tonight’s Peabody Museum lecturer Richard Milner, is “The Artist Who Saw Through Time.” Milner has penned a new biography of Knight, whose murals of dinosaurs, primitive people and extinct species are displayed at New York’s American Museum of Natural History and elsewhere. Knight’s granddaughter Rhoda Knight Kalt will be in attendance at tonight’s free-of-charge talk, after which Milner will sign copies of his book. 5:30 p.m. at 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 432-3776.
The travails of two Norwalk, Connecticut fifth-graders in the education reform era of No Child Left Behind forms the basis of Ron Berler’s new book Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools. Berler appears tonight at the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm Street, New Haven) as part of the library’s “Democracy Forum” discussion series. 6 p.m.
The beginnings of the State of Israel, from the early 1940s into the 1970s, are brought home through home movies and other rare footage in the documentary Israel: A Home Movie. The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven and Yale’s Joseph Slifka Center are co-sponsoring the screening, 7:30 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street, New Haven; 203-387-2522), part of the JCC’s Israeli Film Festival. $10.
Friday, May 10
New Haven Museum and the New Haven Preservation Trust are co-sponsoring a walking tour of “Court Street: The Model City’s Model Project,” led by preservationist and historian Douglas Royalty. The walk begins at the Columbus statue in Wooster Square Park at 12 p.m. Pre-registration is required; email email@example.com or call (203) 562-5919.
Clear across town, a whole other kind of walk, the 16th annual Westville Village Artwalk, begins tonight with festivities from 5-10 p.m. and struts for another six hours tomorrow (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). There are multiple live music stages, dozens of art vendors, special exhibitions at galleries in the neighborhood and lots of activities for artists and non-artists alike.
If you prefer your artists to be European, deceased, and hanging in museums rather than Westville storefronts, there’s an international symposium at Yale this weekend held in conjunction with the current Yale Center for British Art exhibit, Edwardian Opulence. The keynote speaker is Angus Trumble, the YCBA’s senior curator of Paintings & Sculpture, speaking on “The Rhythm of Time in the Arts of Edwardian Britain.” The symposium as a whole is titled with the provocative question “The End of an Era? New Perspectives on Edwardian Art,” and takes up most of Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free, but advance registration is required. 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
Vanessa Hollingshead is the daughter of Michael Hollingshead, the hallucinogens specialist who personally gave Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Richards and many others their first doses of LSD. Vanessa has her own mode of mind expansion: stand-up comedy. She starts a two-night, three-show stand at the Joker’s Wild comedy club tonight. Performances are tonight at 8 pm. and Saturday at 8 & 10:30 p.m. Sean Morton is also on the bill. $18. 232 Wooster Street, New Haven. (203) 773-0733.
Saturday, May 11
You have to reside or go to school in Connecticut to enter the Renee B. Fisher Competition for Young Pianists. There are divisions for elementary and middle schools, high schools, and those who perform new works. The winners perform tonight for free, 7:30 p.m. at Neighborhood Music School (100 Audubon Street, New Haven; 203-624-5189).
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, that versatile pop/rock/rockabilly/R&B/soul/harmony band from Anaheim, California, have been together 25 years, and are celebrating by… doing what they’d be doing anyway: touring and recording. The new album is an all-acoustic affair titled What a Dream It’s Been. Sandy and the boys fly rite into Cafe Nine tonight for a 9 p.m. show, with opening act Girls, Guns and Glory. $15, $12 in advance. 250 State Street, New Haven. (203) 789-8281.
Sunday, May 12
Neighborhood Music School, which hosted the winners recital for the Renee B. Fisher Competition for Young Pianists yesterday (May 11) at its own 100 Audubon Street headquarters, shifts locations today to Yale’s Battell Chapel (400 College Street, New Haven) for its Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles Spring Concert. The four audition-based NMS ensembles—the Concert Band, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Concert Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra—perform at Battell starting at 2 p.m.
Written by Christopher Arnott.