Miles of trails snake through the verdant woods surrounding Seaton Hackney County Stables, beckoning riders and their stallions to showcase skills learned from the full-service facility?s multitude of equine activities. A staff of seasoned equestrians imparts English- and Western-style horsemanship techniques during frequent camps and lessons, introducing pupils of all ages to Seaton's stable of more than 35 resident horses. Mounted atop the valiant steeds, the staff also shepherds guests on guided trail rides through nearby environs or leads offsite excursions that explore area parks and horse-only dance halls.
The Mayo Performing Arts Center straddles time. While one foot is planted in the old-fashioned charm of the1930s movie-palace golden age, the other is firmly in the tech-savvy modern day. Between is a stretch of history that saw the theatre fall into disrepair and then resurrect itself to its star-studded heyday thanks to volunteers. Since its 1994 rebirth, the center has welcomed everyone from the Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg to Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin. But, if the Mayo Center were a tripod, its third foot would certainly reach toward the future?a suite of education studios is onsite to cultivate the next generation of performers.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
One of the nation's most esteemed Shakespeare outfits, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has brought the playwright's work to life for the past half-century. But the troupe takes its name more as an inspiration than a strict limit, also mounting productions of other classics by writers such as Thornton Wilder and Noël Coward. Once a summer, the company takes to the College of Saint Elizabeth's outdoor amphitheater—modeled after Athens' Theater of Dionysius, a favorite venue for Shakespeare performances in Greece—to present the bard's work in the way he intended: alive under the open sky.
Nestled in the Morris Museum, the Bickford Theatre's cast of canny actors transmits theatrics directly to each of the auditorium's 312 house seats. Their latest production, the Tony-nominated I Hate Hamlet, charts the comedic trials of protagonist Andrew Rally, a successful actor offered the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. The leading character is haunted by his eponymous hatred for the show, and he inadvertently summons the ghost of John Barrymore, history's greatest Hamlet. The play's multifaceted plot incorporates madcap antics to generate bellowing laughter—maintaining a replay value comparable to a YouTube video of a koala sneezing and falling into a vat of flour. The Bickford Theatre produces four plays every season and hosts jazz concerts, children's theater, and performing-arts classes.