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Haybarn Theatre Fundraiser featuring Anaïs Mitchell

Haybarn Theatre Fundraiser featuring Anaïs Mitchell
Sat, 04/05/2014 - 7:30pm
Goddard / WGDR Concert Series
Haybarn Theatre at Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Rd.
Plainfield, VT

Matching a grant for a new sound system, new theater lights, and other improvements. With singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, opening set by Kris Gruen.

Tickets: $35 online. $40 day of at the door.

The Haybarn Theatre at Goddard College has been awarded a $30,000 matching grant funded by the State of Vermont and administered by the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Cultural Facilities Coalition: Vermont Historic Society, and Vermont Department of Historic Preservation. All proceeds go to the Haybarn Theatre Renovation Fund.

Read below to learn more about the performers, and about the renovation project. Buy Tickets Here.

Thanks to our concert sponsors:



About Anaïs Mitchell Anais Mitchell photo

Anaïs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. As a Vermont- and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Mitchell recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012.

Among her recorded work are four, full-length albums, including 2010′s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown--a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth– and 2012′s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’.

Mitchell has headlined solo and band performances worldwide as well as supporting tours for artists like Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, and the Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown). At the moment, she’s touring with friend and collaborator Jefferson Hamer in support of Child Ballads, a co-arranged collection of traditional Celtic and British Isles ballads. 

Mitchell has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. “That’s why,” as one journalist put it, “there’s a sexual ambiguity about her work and why, even in her most intimate moments, she never sounds like a confessional songwriter.”


About Kris Gruen:

Gruen writes songs about grown up life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the world’s sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. He grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Kris’s voice is strikingly current. A New York City native who’s put down roots in Vermont, Gruen effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth.

Americana UK writes "There is the sense of theatre that artists such as Sufjan Stevens achieve, and Gruen's music certainly stands alongside such artists comfortably…truly a thing of beauty.” While often garnering comparisons to contemporaries like The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and Andrew Bird, Exclaim!

Canada’s Music Authority aptly notes, “Kris Gruen is no mere imitator. He possesses a sound all his own.”

His album, New Comics From The Wooded World finds Kris Gruen’s voice seasoned, soaring, and at the height of his craft. The spacious, textured production combines the sweeping sounds of classic rock and the intimacy of a Nick Drake midnight session. The album was recorded in San Francisco at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone Studios and at producer Charles Newman's (The Magnetic Fields, AM, Gospel Music) Mother West Soho digs in NYC. It features contributions from drummer Butch Norton (Lucinda Williams, Eels), Anais Mitchell, Sean Hayes, Shiben Bhattacharya, The Bowmans, Nashville's Jason Goforth (Over The Rhine) and more.

In January 2014 Gruen released the single and music video for the song “How Long Will I Wait”, attended the Sundance Film Festival where he did a string of shows which included the acclaimed ASCAP Music Café, and then continued to Los Angeles for a short west coast tour. He is currently gearing up to head to Austin, TX for this years SXSW music festival.

About the Haybarn Theatre Renovation Fund

The Haybarn Theatre is the fulcrum for Goddard's arts initiatives and is central to its educational mission. The Theatre currently accommodates 317 standing and 200 seated.  This renovation will increase seating capacity to 274, and address all other significant needed improvements to the Haybarn, making it a state-of-the-art venue for decades to come.

Increased use in recent years has made clear the need to improve this infrastructure and make the Haybarn more flexible and welcoming as a home for the arts. The existing lighting is decades-old, unwieldy to use, energy-intensive, and unsafe.  Existing sound infrastructure, last updated in the 1970s, is minimal (supplementary equipment is rented for public performances). Permanently installed modern sound and lighting will make the Haybarn more useful to performers and more accessible to audiences. 

Projected and budgeted renovations include:

  • Lighting upgrades.
  • Sound upgrades to include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant improvements for hearing-impaired users. 
  • The creation of ADA compliant bathroom facilities. 
  • Renovations to the entryway, primarily moving the door (currently on one side) to a central point in the foyer, lined up with the stairs into the hall, to improve the flow of foot traffic. 
  • High-quality, whisper-quiet fans, built into the exterior walls, to effectively move warm air out and cool air in, making the venue viable, for the first time, for large-scale public events during the warm summer months. (This will greatly increase its use by the community, including the monthly concert series, whose summer events have been held outdoors, in rented tent space.)

With these improvements, The Haybarn Theatre will become more accessible and enjoyable for its diverse, year-round audiences, and for the world-class performers that entertain them; making the Haybarn an even more attractive space for public performances and community events of a scale, scope, and artistic ambition that is unusual for a rural venue.

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