Ancram Opera House will stream its newest program, LOCAL CHARACTERS, featuring AOH director Paul Ricciardi conducting lively, free-wheeling interviews with local residents to learn what makes them tick, online July 25 at 8 p.m. For the premiere, Paul will talk to Ancramdale’s Mary Murfitt and Millerton’s Vemilo. LOCAL CHARACTERS is free but advance reservations are required. RSVP at

Actor/writer/composer/lyricist Mary Murfitt was a co-author (with Debra Monk, Mark Hardwick and Mike Craver) and original cast member of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical OIL CITY SYMPHONY which received the Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. Murfitt received a Theatre World Award, Drama Desk Award and Joseph Jefferson Award citation for her work as an actor in OIL CITY. Among many other career highlights, Mary is the creator and composer/lyricist of the hit Off-Broadway musical, COWGIRLS. She originated the role of Mary Lou in the Off-Broadway production and has appeared in numerous regional productions. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, SDC (Stage Directors & Choreographers Society), ASCAP, Actors Equity and AFTRA, and is married to Ancram Town Board member Bonnie Hundt.

Vemilo, a Millerton native, is a performance artist, poet, song writer, fashion designer, DJ and Lady Gaga aficionado. He has performed at Helsinki Hudson, Infinity Hall (Norfolk, CT), and Starr Bar (Bushwick) and is on the staff at The Watershed Center, a retreat and resource center for changemakers. Vemilo exudes courage, talent and charisma. His goal is to spread peace and love around the world through art and music. To hear Vemilo’s latest music and to find out where he’s performing next, go to

“At AOH we believe everyone has a story to tell and it seems especially important, while we are all still physical distancing, to find ways to connect through sharing our stories. We want LOCAL CHARACTERS to feel like we’re chatting over a cup of coffee,” said Ricciardi. “Both of my guests are performers/theatre artists, so I’m interested in hearing what they think about live performance during and post-COVID, what they’re each up to creatively, and how living in this area inspires their work.”

Ancram Opera House in southern Columbia County is an intimate showcase for fresh, contemporary work by visionary theater and musical artists where audiences can connect with performers in immersive, immediate ways. For more information visit

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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