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The College of Southern Maryland’s Children’s Theatre Company presents its cast for the fall production of “Moby Dick,” a play by Mark Rosenwinkel based on the novel by Herman Melville and produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill.

CSM’s cast includes Francis Ford of Prince Frederick as Peter Coffin; Matthew Jones of Welcome as Daggon; Brandon Jones of Cheltenham as Queequeg; Greg Kenney of Accokeek as Ishmael; Alex LaClair of La Plata as Captain Ahab; Mitchell Landon of Great Mills as Starbuck and Kenneth L. Waters Jr. of Waldorf as Stubb.

Ishmael, a young man in search of adventure, first mate Stubb, and Queequeg, the mystical Polynesian harpooner, set off aboard the Pequod, a whaling ship piloted by the brooding captain Ahab. As they sail deeper into unknown waters, they discover the real reason for their quest: to hunt and kill Moby Dick, the legendary white whale who long ago devoured the captain's leg. Ahab’s dark obsession for the creature soon takes hold of the entire ship, driving them all toward a violent confrontation with the great beast itself.

Performances are 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the College of Southern Maryland, Fine Arts (FA) Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Tickets are $7 for adults and seniors and $5 for youth in high school or younger. Children’s Theatre combo ticket packages are $15 for adults/seniors, $12 youth (high school and below) for one ticket to each of the three CSM Children’s Theatre productions over the 2012-13.

For reservations email bxoffc@csmd.edu, call 301-934-7828 or go to www.csmd.edu/arts.

Francis Ford, Brandon Jones, Alex LaClair, Greg Kenney and Kenneth L. Waters Jr. in CSM’s “Moby Dick.”

Oktoberfest to benefit Hospice of Charles County

Now in its third year, Oktoberfest of Charles County is a fun-filled family weekend festival with live German entertainment, food and beer, dancing, contests, a children’s area and crafts -- all for a good cause. This year’s event will be held from 12-7 p.m. Oct. 13 and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Charles County Fairgrounds at 8440 Fairgrounds Road in La Plata, The cost is $10 in advance and $15 onsite for adults, $5 for designated drivers and $5 for children between 3 and 20.

Call 240-320-6749 or email tmessick@hospiceofcharlescounty.org.

The St. Charles Companies invites the general public to join the Westlake Business Association as we celebrate fall with our first-ever St. Charles Fall Festival for the Arts. This family-friendly daylong celebration of autumn will give county residents their first look at the new Waldorf West library and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at the waterside O’Donnell Lake Restaurant Park at the intersection of St. Patrick’s Drive and Smallwood Drive in St. Charles.

In addition to St. Charles’ regular Saturday farmers market and local artists market, there will be a children’s pumpkin painting contest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (while supplies last). Chick Fil A, Boston’s the Gourmet Pizza, Jay’s Italian Ice and Scandelicious Cupcakes will offer food and refreshments for sale, and there will be live entertainment on the boardwalk beginning at 10 a.m.

Beginning at 1 p.m. attendees can get a sneak peak at the new state-of-the-art Waldorf West Library, scheduled to open later this fall in St. Charles. The library will host an art gallery, as well as readings from numerous authors from around the region. The day will also include a business expo, featuring St. Charles Apartments, Lennar Homes, My Doctor Urgent Care, St. Charles Family Dental, and many more local businesses.

In addition to the Westlake Business Association, sponsors include the Charles County Public Library, KO Productions, Chick-fil-A, the Waldorf/St. Charles Farmers Market, Southern Maryland Arts & Culture, and the O’Donnell Lake Association. Go to www.somdarts.com

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Annmarie Garden) fall artist in residence, Kaitlin Pomerantz, will be undertaking the project, Hidden Midden, a sculptural tribute to the history of oystering. Hidden Midden will explore the way that industrialization has affected marine ecosystems during the 20th century and the cultural and environmental implications. It takes its cues from the historical phenomenon of oyster ‘middens’ -- enormous ancient piles of shell formed by Native Americans that once lined the eastern seaboard.

Pomerantz (born 1986, New York City) works primarily in painting and printmaking, exploring different phenomena in nature and in the history of the interaction between humans and the earth. Normally based in Philadelphia, Pomertantz will be with Annmarie Garden until the end of October. Hidden Midden will be the first large scale sculpture project that Pomerantz has commissioned. Pomerantz will begin building the sculpture, with the assistance of artist John Heron, once oyster shells are collected. The public is welcome to observe the construction of the Hidden Midden and create a mini-midden in the artLAB from 1 to 4 p.m. daily.

A significant part of Pomerantz’s construction will require oyster shells and the public is welcome to donate oyster shells to Annmarie Garden. Oyster shell donations can be dropped off at Annmarie Garden (please look for the oyster pile, which is located southwest of the Tonger). Alternatively, Pomerantz will happily retrieve oyster shells from willing donors. Email hiddenmiddenproject@gmail.com or call 410-326-4640.

On Saturday, October 13 come enjoy the first installment of “Laughing to the Polls,” a bi-annual event sponsored by the Twain Lecture Series and the Center for the Study of Democracy. Jimmy Tingle, the speaker for this inaugural event, is a stand-up comic, a social and political humorist, and an activist.

Tingle has worked on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” He served as a commentator on MSNBC and on “60 Minutes II” on CBS. Tingle also appeared in Lions Gate Films' “Boondock Saints” and Miramax Films’ “Next Stop Wonderland,” and the The Boston Herald praised his one-man show, “Uncommon Sense,” saying “there isn’t a lot of sense out there these days. Jimmy Tingle’s sense, and sense of humor, is indeed uncommon.”

The Twain Lecture Series began in 2007 with speaker Ron Powers, a Pullitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of “Mark Twain: A Life.” Other speakers have included Peter Sagal (“Wait . . . Wait Don’t Tell Me”), Mo Rocca (“CBS Morning Show”), Larry Wilmore (“The Daily Show”), and most recently the late David Rakoff (“This American Life”). The Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture serves to present the wide range of topics that face all humans, specifically Americans, through humor and the guiding presence of America’s greatest humorist and most typical American, Mark Twain.

The Center for the Study of Democracy was founded as a joint initiative of St. Mary's College of Maryland and its partner institution, Historic St. Mary's City, the site of Maryland's first capital. The purpose of the Center is to explore contemporary and historical issues associated with democracy and liberty in national and international contexts.

“Laughing to the Polls: An Evening with Jimmy Tingle” is co-sponsored by Historic St. Mary’s City.

Email baclick@smcm.edu or go to www.smcm.edu/twain.

Reservations open Oct. 2 for madrigal dinners

Start your holiday season in style at a Colonial Madrigal Dinner. Historic St. Mary’s City will host the 41st annual series of celebrations featuring feasting, frolicking, and song in the State House Dec. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16.

Holiday revelers have feasted through the ages. In the colony, delicacies arrived with the tobacco fleet towards the end of the year and cool weather signaled time for butchering meat and decanting beverages that had fermented since the harvest. The notion of adding music to the meal was introduced to England from Italy, and the 16th-century lords and ladies of the land enjoyed great madrigal feasts. Today’s madrigal dinners feature other customs that were probably familiar to the colonists. The burning of a Yule log, a common practice by the Middle Ages, was thought to bring good luck in the New Year. Plants that magically remained green through the bleakest times have held a special significance since Ancient Rome. In 15th- and 16th- century England, musicians sang carols to introduce the Christmas story to those who were unable to read.

All of these traditions are part of HSMC’s Madrigal Dinners. Enjoy delectable fare from Expressions of St. Mary’s, lavish decorations designed and installed by the Mistress Brent Garden Club, and beautiful harmonies by St. Maries Musica. Join the Lord and Lady of the Manor in the Great Hall at 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. In response to guests’ suggestions, this year’s Sunday dinners will begin at 3 p.m. Admission is $85 for the general public ($80 Friends members). Reservations are required and began Oct. 2. Call 240-895-4991 or go to events@stmaryscity.org.