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Spice of Life 

State of the Arts

Ethan Bowen
  • Ethan Bowen

It all started with one too many “freezing rehearsals” in a school auditorium, says actor Ethan Bowen, 50. The Rochester-based professional actor, who has worked with a number of regional theaters — his turn as Fagin in Vermont Stage Company’s production of Oliver Twist begins this Wednesday — saw the need for a smaller, heated space for his town’s winter productions. Enter Spice Performing Arts Studio (spas), Bowen’s multipurpose venue for classes and small theatrical performances, set to open within the next two months.

The 30-by-30-foot area on South Main Street in Rochester was once a garage; it has now been renovated with radiant floor heating. Coming next: mirrors lining one side of the room, warm yellow-orange paint, curtains and moveable theater seats. The flexible setup, which can accommodate 40 to 60 people, lends itself well to the dance, yoga and martial-arts classes Bowen says will be starting later this winter. He also hopes to host music, theater productions and a variety of spoken-word performances — ranging from serial novel readings to “Piano Stories,” a combination of classical music and short tales.

SPAS got a trial run in December with “Music & Massage,” a benefit for the installation of the hardwood floor. Attendees soaked up tunes by Greg Ryan and Stephen Kiernan while receiving “minimassages” from local masseuses. “Cross-pollination of this kind is what Spice is all about,” explains Bowen.

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More by Carolyn Fox

  • In Season, Fall 2017
  • In Season, Fall 2017

    From bustling Church Street to the highly trafficked waterfront, Burlington is anything but a ghost town — unless Thea Lewis is leading your way. The actor, author and paranormal historian is also Vermont's queen of Halloween, and, in the weeks leading up to that haunted holiday, she presides over three walking tours rife with local history and mystery. The Darkness Falls Tour explores the spooky spirits of Burlington's downtown; the Wicked Waterfront Tour dives into shipwrecks, lake monsters and shoreline mischief; and the Cemetery Tour travels to the city's most ghoulish gravestones. These tales are spine-tingling but typically appropriate for ages 9 and up.

    • Sep 9, 2017
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About The Author

Carolyn Fox

Carolyn Fox

Bio:
Carolyn Fox was the Seven Days calendar editor from 2009-2012. From 2012-2013, she was the managing editor of Kids VT. She currently works as Special Publications Manager for Seven Days.

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