Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 08.26.10

Posted August 25, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

« back to blog main page

+ Nun-turned-house sitter pens memoir
Novelists would love to get their hands on Sarasota artist Barbara Dondero’s life story.

The subject of this week’s A&E Highlights feature, Dondero, a longtime artist and art teacher at the Pines of Sarasota, revealed that not only was she a nun for 11 years in the freewheeling 1960s, but that when she left the church in 1971, she married a former Jesuit priest.

“While the hippies were partying on the street, I was in the convent praying for them,” jokes the 67-year-old Long Island, N.Y., native.

The next step in Dondero’s professional life came when she started house-sitting for affluent homeowners in Connecticut, and, later, Sarasota.

For 20 years Dondero bounced from house-sitting gig to house-sitting gig, all the while working as a caricature artist for a small newspaper in the Hamptons.

“Whenever anyone hears that you used to be a nun, they trust you with their life,” says Dondero, who moved to Sarasota more than 10 years ago on a house-sitting assignment for Sarasota Ballet founder Jean Weidner.

The wise-cracking Dondero has aptly titled her memoir, “Sleeping Around: House Sitting Tales From a Former Nun.”


+ Graphic-tee lovers: Get your s/ART/q on
Casual Fridays in Sarasota haven’t been the same since s/ART/q organized its first T-shirt screen-printing party last August at the HuB.

The inaugural Print Party drew nearly 1,000 people. And for a year, residents from Longboat Key to Lakewood Ranch have been spotted rocking graphic tees designed by s/ART/q artists Joseph Arnegger, Brian Haverlock, Tim Jaeger, Sabrina Small and more.

Good news for those of you who covet more: The Sarasota arts collective is throwing another Print Party from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at the HuB.

Each design costs $5, so gather your plain white Ts, your baby clothes, dog clothes and handbags. Any item that can lie flat under a screen will work.

For more information, call 330-4838 or visit

+ Parkland Gallery finds art in poetry
Gallery owner Kevin Greeland will host a poetry reading during the First Friday Art Walk at Parkland Art Boutique & Gallery on South Pineapple Avenue in downtown Sarasota.

In addition to Greeland, poets Debra Gingerich, Kevin Costello and Tom Lennox will all read their work during a wine-and-cheese reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 3.

Also showcased will be artwork by B. Arthur Miller, Elaine Charney, Jill Krasner, Belly Bolivar and Pamela Ross. Glass artist Josh Ryun and sculptors David “Scarbie” Mitchell and Sandra Fink will exhibit their works.

The gallery’s current show features glass and ceramic by Dona Marie Berotti and Robert McClurg and mosaics by Patricia Rockwood.


+ Asolo rep seeks Renaissance dog
Finally, a meaty role for Sarasota dogs!

Local mutts were howling with envy after the success of Florida Studio Theatre’s “Sylvia,” in which actress Katharine Abbruzzese played the role of a poodle/Lab mix vying for her owner’s affection. It’s hard enough to come by a good dog part these days without humans commandeering the roles.

Well, good news for thespian pooches: The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (in collaboration with the Animal Rescue Coalition) is auditioning dogs next month for the role of Crab in Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

Conservatory Director Greg Leaming is looking for an older, docile dog with a wizened and deadpan sense of humor; some knowledge of tricks is a plus.

Auditions are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The audition reservation deadline is Sept. 13.

“The Two Gentleman of Verona” runs Nov. 2 to Nov. 21. A portion of the conservatory’s season subscriptions will benefit the Animal Rescue Coalition.

+ Gloria Musicae searches for its voices
Looking to bank on your vibrato?

Gloria Musicae is holding auditions for its paid singing positions Aug. 28 to Aug. 30.

Sarasota’s all-professional vocal chamber ensemble is looking for classically trained sopranos, altos, tenors and basses who can sing two works in two different languages, sight read and perform vocal exercises.
Rehearsals are held throughout the season from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday evenings. Singers are paid for rehearsals and performances.

For more information, call Executive Director Steven Falk at 706-2459 or e-mail


+ Hot tickets
“My Favorite Things: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein”: Listen to your favorite Broadway tunes by the famous musical-writing duo. The musical stars Broadway’s Brian and Melissa Minyard, who last appeared in the Golden Apple’s “The Drowsy Chaperone,” among others. The one-time show is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. For more information, call 366-5454 or visit


Login Register now

Currently 0 Responses

Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!

Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2014 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved