Neil Gaiman photographed by Kimberly Butler

This Week in New Haven (June 2 - 8)

Creative people, you included, create lots of scenes, stirs and commotions this week in New Haven. In addition to a handful of well-known creators making stops in the area, there’s a creation story fashioned in an extremely skilled manner, a sketching session led by an expert, spontaneous interactive theater led by other experts and an afternoon for kids to get krazy with chalk, paint and whatever else they can get their hands on.

Monday, June 2
Today, the Knights of Columbus Museum (1 State St, New Haven; 203-865-0400) opens its new exhibit Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible, which features “68 original pages from all seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible along with tools, sketches, materials and rare books.” The document at the heart of the effort, the Saint John’s Bible, is a one-of-a-kind handwritten tome with gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum worked into colorful, high-designed pages, meant to “illuminate” the goings-on. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the exhibit’s up through October. Free.

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Split Knuckle Theatre presents

Tuesday, June 3
Today is the paperback release date of the “bewitching and harrowing” novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (pictured above), and at 4 p.m., the beloved thinker and multi-talented artist himself is posting up at R. J. Julia Booksellers (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959) for a book signing. Gaiman’s coming is the result of a contest won by R. J. Julia’s rabid readers, who ordered more copies of Ocean between November and December 2013 than readers did at any of 23 other participating indie bookstores around the country. An R.J. Julia-purchased copy of the paperback book ($14.99) is your ticket; so is a hardcover copy purchased during the initial contest period. (If you fall into the second camp, contact the store in advance and have them check you against the list.) Though today’s event isn’t a talk, you can still exchange a few words with the guy while he scribbles a few more inside your book.

Wednesday, June 4
At the Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-2800) today, artist Jaime Ursic, the YCBA’s assistant curator of education, is leading a “noontime sketching hour,” offering “insights on drawing techniques and observational skills.” Attendance is free, and so are the drawing materials. Register by emailing

Thursday, June 5
Once upon a time, the Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang was an M.F.A. student at the Yale School of Drama. In 1974, he contributed a play to the Yale Summer Cabaret’s opening season, and now he’s contributing the opener to its 40th, the 2009-premiered Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. It’s a satirical critique of our post-“post-9/11” world, dealing with a litany of tragic human weaknesses, somehow getting big laughs anyway. The play runs June 5-15, skipping only Monday, the 9th, with performances at 8 p.m. except for Sundays, when they get going at 7 p.m. $25, or $20 for Yale faculty/staff and $15 for students. 217 Park St, New Haven. (203) 432-1566.

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Oak Haven Table & Bar - 1-Year Anniversary

Friday, June 6
On9’s latest first-Friday theme, “Create,” officially pops into existence tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. in (and near) the Ninth Square. The half-block stretch of Orange Street between Center and Crown is closing off to make way for outdoor dining, plus interactive theater courtesy of the Elm Shakespeare Company and a painting demonstration by Kwadwo Adae. Up in Pitkin Plaza, on Orange just north of Chapel, contestants will be having a surprising amount of fun throwing beanbags into a hole cut out of wood during the “2nd Annual Cornhole Tournament.” Before and during the event, from 5 to 8 p.m., Reynolds Fine Art (96 Orange St) is hosting another of its popular opening receptions, this time for Plān ‘E(ə)r: A Group Exhibition, featuring work by plein air painters, a.k.a. landscape artists who set up their easels out in nature. Then, “as Create On9 winds down,” a jazz quartet led by guitarist Nobuki Takamen graces bar/restaurant The 9th Note (56 Orange St).

Saturday, June 7
Today at 11 a.m. at IKEA (450 Sargent Dr, New Haven), alphabet soup is on the menu. In a “Join the Conversation” event organized by WSHU Public Radio, CBS correspondent Bill Geist and his son Willie Geist, a co-host for NBC’s Today and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, are getting lightly grilled by local ABC affiliate WTNH’s longtime news anchor/reporter Ann Nyberg. The Geists have a new book out, Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees… and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have, and a copy of it comes with the price of admission ($15). Register here.

From noon to 5 p.m., Audubon Arts on the Edge, the Arts Council’s annual fun-sized takeover of Audubon Street between Whitney and Orange, delights children and parents with “free, family-oriented music, dance, interactive arts-and-crafts activities and fun educational programs.” It’s rain or shine, but let’s hope for shine, especially for the sake of the “giant painting wall” and collective chalk street mural the kids’ll be creating.

Sunday, June 8
Starting Friday and ending today, Special Olympics Connecticut’s 2014 summer games for athletes with intellectual disabilities are serving up warm-hearted inspirational stories at venues across Southern Connecticut State University (501 Crescent St, New Haven) and Hamden Hall (1108 Whitney Ave, Hamden). Major event categories include track & field, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, tennis and soccer; check out the schedule and other details here, or contact SOCT at (203) 230-1201 or Free and open to the public.

Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Kimberly Butler. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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