Stephen Hendrickson, left, and Steve Colley install part of the Art in Nature Exhibit at the Dietrich Theater.

The Dietrich Theater never ceases to surprise me. Before I sat down to write this column, Erica and I went down to the Earnshaw Gallery to see the progress on the new Art in Nature exhibit, the work of five artists, including Dietrich art instructors, Steve and Amy Colley and three of Steve’s students: Barry Everson, Eric Buffington, and Colleen Germain. The exhibit is exceptional, not only for the artwork, but for the stunning design of each art case. Stephen Hendrickson, production designer for TV and movies, brings his magic to our little theater most Christmases with a special display, and this fall, for the first time, is the curator and designer of the exhibit Art in Nature. “We invite everyone to come and view the work of amazing artists in our midst, displayed in a way that enables you to see paintings and sculptures and pottery in a new and insightful way.” You are invited to a reception of the Art in Nature artists on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 2-5 p.m. Most items are for sale and you will have a chance to meet all of the artists. Due to social distancing requirements, it is best to make a reservation by calling the Dietrich at 570-836-1022, ext. 3. The exhibit will be here until Nov. 15 and it can be viewed any time movies are shown or by appointment. Make sure you come to see it. I bet you will be surprised and delighted by what you see!

Also highly anticipated is the next Dietrich Mini-Fest, just around the corner. Beginning Friday, Sept. 18 and running through Thursday, Sept. 24, five foreign and independent films will have multiple showings, posted on our website And Then We Danced, a passionate tale of love and liberation in the country of Georgia, film follows a devoted dancer who has been training for years for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. Thrown off balance by the arrival of another gifted dance, a rivalry ensues. Burnt Orange Heresy, starring Donald Sutherland, Mick Jagger and Elizabeth Debicki, is a neo-noir thriller set in present day Italy. Can two lovers steal a masterpiece from an estate on Lake Como? The Etruscan Smile is a character study of one man’s journey to reconnect with his family. A rugged old Scotsman travels to San Francisco seeking medical treatment, moving in with his estranged son. Bonding with his baby grandson, his life is transformed. John Lewis: Good Trouble is a documentary showcasing the life and work of the legendary civil rights icon. We learn of his humble childhood and his activism alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Summerland, starring Gemma Atherton, a reclusive writer living on the seaside of Southern England during World War II, finds she is to adopt a young London evacuee. Do they have anything in common? Tickets for Mini Fest can be reserved online or at the ticket booth Due to social distancing regulations, seating is limited.

Do you have an occasion to celebrate? How about renting the Murray Theater – an end of summer special offer. For just $200 you can rent the theater and receive popcorn and soda at 1 or 7 p.m. to see one of the Mini-Fest movies or perhaps a film of your choice. Just call Ronnie Harvey to arrange. What better way to get 16 friends together and at the same time help the Dietrich?

Another way you can help the Dietrich and gift yourself or a loved one with handmade jewelry is this special opportunity. Artist Toni Hockman has donated her one-of-a-kind beaded or fused glass jewelry necklaces and other items, all proceeds to benefit the Dietrich. These items are featured in our online newsletter or on Facebook. Thank you, Toni, for your generous gift to the Dietrich.

Have you noticed that all of our current movies are new releases? Yes, new movies, another Mini Fest and a new art exhibit are harbingers of good times ahead. All we need is to see you walk through our doors. You know the popcorn will be popping! Come in and let the Dietrich surprise you.

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