Checking out the pixelated mailbag this time around to see what's coming up in the local and regional A&E realm. (Note: Check out page B8 today for a sampling of live-music options this weekend.)

Making Plein Air happen

So you're not a painter yourself, but you'd like to play a part in the annual Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival & Competition this June around Canandaigua Lake? No problem: Volunteer opportunities abound, with people of all ages, abilities and skills needed before, during and after the festival.

According to a festival release, volunteer tasts include (but aren't limited to):

— Distributing brochures and rack cards, staring now

— Helping during artist registration and check-in

— Hanging paintings and helping with exhibit installation and take down

— Joining street teams for the Canandaigua Wine Trail Paint Out, Quick Draw Competition and Community Paint Out

— Staging events, and serving food at events

— Greeting visitors, answering questions at the information center, etc.

Want to join the volunteer team? Contact festival HQ at the Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery at or 585-394-0030. You also can visit and fill out a questionnaire.

The festival devoted to plein air — essentially, outdoor — painting is set for June 4-9.

Local playwrights' works get the pro treatment

Geva Theatre Center will host two evenings of new work by local playwrights, the "Regional Writers Showcase." A partnership between Geva and Writers & Books, it gives area playwrights the chance to bring their work to local audiences and have them showcased by professional actors, directors and dramaturgs.

The featured plays will be presented, script in hand, at 7 p.m. Monday, April 29, and Monday, May 6, both in the Fielding Stage at Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester. The featured scripts were selected from 45 plays submitted after a call for work.

On April 29, "Something Else" by Maria Brandt will be presented, directed by Jean Gordon Ryan. It's set in the not-too-distant future in which A.I.s exist — and Rachel wonders if she's caused her A.I. to malfunction by only uploading the memories she wanted to retain. Can she face her painful past to move on from the trauma?

Brandt teaches English and creative writing at Monroe Community College and has had several works performed locally and elsewhere, produced by Out of Pocket Productions, Method Machine and more, including "The Cell" and "Swans."

May 6 will feature two plays, starting with "Solitude" by Carolyn Kourofsky, also directed by Jean Gordon Ryan. It's the story of Edith Bone, a doctor and journalist who endures seven years in solitary confinement after being unjustly accused of being a British spy in Hungary, circa 1949. She must find a way not to despair.

That play will be followed by "Free Coffee and Donuts" by Melinda Gros, directed by Lindsay Warren Baker, in which a homeless gourmand named ChiChi, panhandling meals on a subway platform., runs into a newly employed woman from a shelter, contacts her high school pal’s radio call-in show, and meets a pregnant woman who desperately needs a job. All of these women make a case for the dignity of their lives, and challenge ChiChi to find pride in her own.

Kourofsky's short plays have appreaded in previous Regional Writers Showcases, and her full-length play "Misdirection" received a developmental reading at Writers & Books. The Webster resident created the short play "What Happens in Vegas" as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival/Writers & Books 24-Hour Plays event. She was named a 2016 fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Gros, a University of Rochester graduate, started playwriting recently, after careers in dance and clothing design/manufacture. Her work has been presented in Louisiana, Indiana and Massachusetts, with a performance in California next month.

Tickets both nights are free but must be purchased in advance: Call 585-232-GEVA or visit to reserve tickets.

'One Take' at the Little

Starting tonight at The Little Theatre: The return of the One Take Film Festival, celebrating and promoting the art of non-fiction filmmaking. The festival, in its third year, runs  April 25-28 at the Little Theatre, 240 East Ave., Rochester, with some screenings at the Dryden Theatre, 900 East Ave., Rochester, and Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester.

The festival grew out of the Little’s monthly documentary series, "One Take: Stories Through the Lens," and is "a four-day celebration of education, art, music, food, empowerment, and film," notes a release from the Little. Filmmakers and audiences may interact after each event.

All-access pass prices are $85 ($70 seniors, students, and members of the Little and the Roc Doc group). Individual shows are $11 ($7 members of the Little and Roc Doc).

Check out the full lineup of films at