The Historic Earle Theatre is reopening later this month for several activities — including movie showings and free Traditional Arts Programs for Students (TAPS) lessons for young musicians and dancers.
Movies, for the viewing public, will begin Oct. 24, while the TAPS music and dance lessons will get underway Thursday.
The TAPS lessons also will resume on Thursday. Traditional dance is at 4:30 p.m., followed by fiddle at 5:30 p.m. and banjo, guitar, and mandolin at 6:15 p.m.
Jim Vipperman, multi award-winning musician and teacher, instructs the music lessons. Instruments are provided and students are encouraged to try out different instruments. No experience is needed, and the instructors provide tablature. Students are given the opportunity to play alone and in groups on the Earle stage. Masks are required and will be provided if needed.
TAPS students often compete in youth competitions and they are encouraged and assisted in working on competition pieces during class. In the past, TAPS students have competed at the Tommy Jarrell Youth Competition and the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention, among others. Most recently, TAPS students competed in the Mayberry Idle competition during Mayberry Days and won second place, giving them the opportunity to perform live at Colonel Tim’s Talent Time before an audience of local residents and visitors.
Dance is instructed by award-winning dancer and instrumentalist Darius Flowers along with Shelby Coleman, Surry Arts Council dance director.
The lessons are supported by a TAPS grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The grant provides communities with funding for after-school programs that connect North Carolina students with local traditional artists. Students receive instruction in an art form that has deep cultural roots in their community. Advance registration for TAPS classes is not required.
Movies at the Historic Earle Theatre are scheduled to start on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. with the 96-minute Disney family comedy Hocus Pocus. The movie stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker with Omri Katz, Thora Birch and Vinessa Shaw in supporting roles. Show times will be that Friday at 7 p.m., then Saturday at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. and at those same times on that Sunday.
On Oct. 30, Disney/Pixar’s Coco will be featured. Miguel, an aspiring young musician, embarks on a journey to the land of his ancestors. There, the trickster Hector becomes an unexpected friend who helps Miguel uncover the mysteries behind his family’s stories and traditions. Showtimes will be Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m., that Saturday (Halloween) at 2, 4, and 7 p.m., and that Sunday, at 2, 4, and 7 p.m. On Halloween, the first 10 customers at each show will receive free popcorn.
Masks will be required and the limited number of guests will be asked to socially distance in pre-marked seats.