Canada's Classical Theatre Project shatters modern preconceptions about the dryness of Shakespeare by infusing the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet with a potency and youthful electricity that snuffs reluctance in the Bard-averse. On an inventive chalk-circle set, the Toronto players whisk viewers to an Elizabethan marketplace in the 16th century, engaging the imagination without relying on cumbersome stage props. Hearts melt as Romeo, the Montague, and Juliet, the Capulet, fall in love against the odds, sweeping the audience along on their way to ghost prom. Shakespeare’s colloquies come naturally from the mouths of the virile acting talents, who translate the text for this generation’s ears without changing a word. Classical Theatre Project's rendition of Romeo and Juliet, intended for ages 11 and older, treats Shakespeare's tragedy like a rock concert, except with better enunciation and a higher mortality rate. A surviving artifact established in 1890, the historic and lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre adds majesty to the performance with its brocade draperies and crystal chandeliers.
When she began knitting at age 12, Henrietta “Hank” Davis kindled a lifelong passion; as the owner of Hank of Yarn, the only yarn shop in north Mississippi, Davis now shares her hobby with the local community. Her seminar-size classes, which range from novice to expert techniques, cover topics such as crocheting, knitting, and dyeing. Handicraft lovers can mingle in the shop’s cozy seating area, where knit-alongs and parties sometimes feature surprise extras such as professional massages, eyebrow waxes, or group appearances by the cast of Airwolf. For inspiration, patrons can browse the shop’s comprehensive selection of needles and inspect yarns that range from baby-friendly varieties to luxurious strands of cashmere.
Push Pilates owner Val Russell draws from her 10 years of experience studying human physiology and lifelong practice of dance, gymnastics, and circus arts to construct the studio's curriculum of movement-based workouts. During Pilates sessions, students can either learn to perform floor-based mat exercises or opt to work out on the spring-loaded Reformers, Cadillacs, and Wunda Chairs. Yoga-class instructors incorporate athletic poses into flowing Vinyasa-style sequences, linking one pose to the next with balance-challenging movement and breathing exercises. During aerial-arts lessons, students learn to reenact scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey as they dangle from ceiling-mounted silk slings or metal hoops. Outside of the classroom, the center's massage services can soothe and rejuvenate any weary muscles or vestigial wings.
As the head trainer at Raintree Equestrian Center—and in previous roles—Shannyn Welsh has worked in riding disciplines including Western pleasure, hunter/jumper, and barrel racing with horse breeds ranging from all types of top-bred warmbloods to arabians, andalusians, and tennessee walkers. Equestrians from all over the country and from Europe trust Shannyn’s experience so much that they routinely send her their own horses to help with problem solving, preparation, and training. Students of all riding levels also seek out Shannyn’s expertise to improve their skills. While practicing within the 60-foot round pen or the 100’x200’ lighted arena, or experimenting with a Fosbury flop on the full-jump course, students learn to exhibit the hallmarks of good riding technique, including center balance, soft hands, and firm legs.
Although painting is a solitary experience for many artists, it becomes a color-strewn party at ArtJamN. Enthusiastic staff members encourage participants to interact, inspire each other, and even collaborate on the same canvas. Painters are outfitted with a bevy of paints and textures that add dimension to magnum opuses and make it easier to crawl into someone else's painting and take a nap. Both regular painting sessions and private parties introduce burgeoning artists to a cornucopia of artistic styles as they intermingle and sip from their own stash of adult beverages.
The atmosphere a The Mad Earl is a mélange of sports bar and classic pub, both of which are represented in its decor. Upstairs, captain’s chairs surround small tables in the long space, where guests watch games on huge flat-screen televisions. In the finished basement, more televisions surround pool and ping-pong tables. On either floor, the wait staff pours brews and assembles pub bites such as soft pretzels with spicy mustard and five signature sandwiches and hot dogs.