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Inside Out & After Dark

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STONINGTON Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House (OHA) is excited to announce the launch, on the evening of Aug. 12, of a new public art installation: Inside Out & After Dark, a series of giant historic projections on the 30'x40' harbor face of the Stonington Opera House, in celebration of its centennial. The projections, created by East Blue Hill filmmaker Veronica Young with materials from the collection of Opera House Arts, the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society and the Penobscot Marine Museum, will, starting at dusk each night from Aug. 12-24, treat community members and visitors to free, outdoor, historic images of Stonington and its Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, between 1912 and 2012. The project's goal is to draw attention to the community and Main Street significance of the 100-year-old Stonington Opera House, and the creativity it has and continues to house.

'As we were considering ways to celebrate the centenary of our beloved Stonington Opera House, I realized we could honor the building by turning the inside out' and projecting its history on the building itself,' said Young. 'I was inspired in part by last year's guerilla actions of students who retaliated against the Maine governor's removal of a politically potent mural from the Department of Labor lobby by projecting its image on the exterior of an Augusta government building.'

The Opera House 'belongs' to Stonington and their pasts are inextricably linked. Using photos generously loaned by the Penobscot Marine Museum, Deer Isle Historical Society , Opera House Arts and Deer Isle family collections, the project will depict the gloriously checkered history of the building in the context of the ups and downs of the town itself, from its granite quarrying heyday to its current status as the Atlantic Coast's top lobster landing port.

Sitting majestically high on a hill overlooking the harbor, the Opera House is the most prominent building in Stonington on Deer Isle in Down East Maine. After dark, its massive waterfront face will serve as a giant canvas on which to project huge images portraying the story of the building and Stonington's own extraordinary history, which was once home to 5,000 residents (today's population is approximately 1,100), 42 Main Street stores, and a thriving granite as well as fishing industry. The Opera House has served variously as a vaudeville stage, as the town hall, a basketball court, a roller rink, a banquet hall, the venue for graduations and marriages and as a movie theater since 1918 when a hand cranked projector moved the likes of Lillian Gish and Laurel and Hardy across a silent screen.

For 100 years, the Opera House has also endured bouts of neglect and abandonment and it is only since its rescue and rehabilitation in 1999 that the building resurfaced as a non-profit, multi-media performing arts center, attracting acclaim and attention in Maine and in the national arts community.

Veronica Young is an award winning documentary filmmaker with a diverse and international production background who has been globetrotting since moving from the UK to Australia as a child. A social work degree from the University of Melbourne morphed into a career in media at BBC London and New York, WGBH TV and Time Life Video. As an independent producer, director and writer, she has made TV programs for HBO, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Channel, Lifetime and PBS including 'Emily Dickinson,' 'Building To Extremes' and 'Race To Save The Planet,' plus four documentaries for the acclaimed science series NOVA. Young functioned as executive producer of the long-running USHUAIA adventure series for CNBC and as series producer of The Health Network six-episode series 'Grace Under Pressure; Living With Cancer and 'Locked Up' for TLC. Since moving to Maine, she has made documentaries for Penobscot East Resource Center: 'Designing A Green Lobster Boat; ' Natural Resources Council of Maine: 'Protecting The Nature of Maine;' and OHA: 'The Making of Dear Fish'.' From time to time she can be seen on stage in Opera House play readings or in non-singing roles with New Surry Theatre.

Opera House Arts is a nonprofit community and performing arts organization founded in 1999. OHA's mission is to use the performing arts to foster and promote excellence in all the ways we perform our lives: Incite Art, Create Community! For further information and a full schedule of year round events and movies, visit the Opera House online at www.operahousearts.org.

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