Upcoming events

    • April 27, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • November 01, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • Various Municipal Parks, Conservancies and Ice Age Trails in Dane County
    • 1

    I have collected information about walks that were popular as Guided Walks.

    Please observe  Social Distancing restrictions.


    The self-guided walks listed below are meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 Virus.  Please adhere to all Municipal and State requirements for Social Distancing and Healthy behavior on public paths.  Please do not plan to meet with people other than your household members.

    The Restrooms are not available;  they are locked.  There are no staff in the parks and on the trails to assist you.  Please stay safe by remaining on the trails and observing the conditions of the trails. Use common sense when confronting obstacles and slippery paths.

    The Walks are derived from popular Docent Guided Walks offered by PLATO over the last four years.  I have provided the following information for each walk:

    • Brief description of what is unique about the park;
    •  Brief description of the terrain you'll walk through;
    •  Difficulty of the walk and the composition of the paths.
    • Is this park accessible to those needing mobility assistance such as a cane.
    •  Directions to the parking area leading to the trail head;
    •  Hours the park is available to the public.

    The walks cover the following types of preservation land:

    •  State Parks and Recreation Areas - These are now closed to the public due to overuse and staff shortages.
    • ICE AGE TRAIL ALLIANCE trails created and maintained by IATA throughout the County and the State, 
    •  City and County Parks including (City of Madison, Middleton, Cross Plains, and other Dane County towns.)
    •  Private and Public Conservancies and Public-Private shared ownership.
    Remember that none of these areas are staffed nor are their bathrooms open.

    List of Self-Guided Walks

    1. Indigenous Earthwork (Indian mounds) on Lake Mendota's North Shore
    2. Pope Farm Conservancy: Well posted with signage for self-guided walks;
    3.  Stewart Lake County Park: Lake, fishing, beach, wooded walk
    4. Edna Taylor Conservancy & Aldo Leopold Nature Center  
    5.  Wilkie Gorge of the Cross Plains National Scientific Reserve
    6.  Indian mounds and springs of Pheasant Branch
    7.  The woods and farmstead of Donald Park 

    A Message from Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway 

    Getting outdoors is great for physical and mental health, but please be safe and follow public health orders.

    • State parks are closed. City and county parks remain open, but park equipment and sports courts are closed. Go to the park solo or with people in your household. Do not meet up with friends or family, even if you’re six feet apart.
    • Do not visit a park if it is crowded. If a parking lot is full, that’s a good indicator that it will be hard to maintain physical distancing.

    Like you, I am eager for the day when we can return to some of our old habits. Here in Wisconsin, we are still in the beginning stages of this pandemic and we don’t yet know when we will be able to ease the restrictions on physical distancing. We will do our very best to keep you informed of our latest thinking on how to be safe and any news on City services.
    Remember to follow all the news from our Public Health Department at their website https://www.publichealthmdc.com/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/publichealthmdc/ and Twitter @PublicHealthMDC.

    Comments from the ICE AGE TRAIL ALLIANCE" Newsletter:


    Daily, there are more birds at the feeders and sweet trills hailing from oak trees and budding shrubbery. It’s calming, in this unsettling time, to watch these feathery creatures go about their normal activities. In a similar fashion, we hope the Ice Age National Scenic Trail continues to provide you with a similar sense of continuity and constancy in this uncertain time. As a part of the Ice Age Trail Alliance community, you know how beneficial the Ice Age Trail and our public lands are for improving physical and mental health, inspiring creativity, and increasing optimism. However, please hike responsibly and help flatten the curve.
     
    The Ice Age Trail is created, supported, and protected by a dedicated volunteer force, some of whom now find themselves in the frontlines against COVID-19, as healthcare professionals and other essential service providers. We’re grateful for the time, energy, and effort these individuals are expending in the effort to respond to and manage this pandemic. Thank you.


    Comments or questions about the walks?

    This "self-guided walks of Dane County" was developed from a list of successful docent-led walks Carla and I and other faithful volunteers have conducted over the last four years.  I will be adding more to the list as the Pandemic continues to keep us isolated.  Building these self-guided walk series is very much a "work in progress".  If you have ideas for improving communications about the walks or additional information I could provide, please let me know.

    If you have a favorite walk please drop a note and I'll get back to you shortly.  Please mark the subject line of the email "PLATO Walks" so that I can get to them quickly.

    Mike DiIorio at mdiiorio1234@gmail.com or text me at 608 520 4448.

    I hope you enjoy the walks. Stay healthy, stay safe.


     






    • April 27, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • December 02, 2020
    • (CST)
    • Ice Age Trails in Wisconsin
    • 1


    ICE AGE trAIL ALLIANCe


    Exploring Wisconsin on Foot




    The Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) Website provides information on walks throughout the State of Wisconsin along the edges of the Wisconsin glacier.  

    How to use the IATA website to plan a walk:

    1.   Go To the planning page of the IATA website: 
    2.   Scroll down to the regional maps of wisconsin.
    3.   Below each map you will find various types of walks.
    4.   Select the type of walk you are interested in.
    5.   The display will contain a glacial-edge route between various     sites containing appropriate walks. 
    6.   You will be presented with material you need to plan a safe trip to the area including directions, trail head location, and available facilities.

    What you can expect 

    • Information about the organization
    • Organized by Region of the State and type of walk
    • Information about each walk including
      • level of difficulty including accessibility considerations
      • length of walk, type of terrain, type of path,
      • points of interest including historical and geological information
      • resources along the way such as restrooms, restaurants, gas stations, etc.
    • Overnight stay possibilities such as camping facilities


    Mike DiIorio at mdiiorio1234@gmail.com or text me at 608 520 4448.

    I hope you enjoy the walks. Stay healthy, stay safe.


     






    • June 18, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • February 17, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Madison


    This guide for bicycling around Lake Monona is  meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    Bicycling around Lake Monona is very popular with the bicycle community.    The route (12.5 miles) outlined below goes through a mixture of bicycle paths and lightly traveled streets and deviates slightly from the official Lake Loop but was selected because it is relatively flat and easy to follow.   It takes about 75 minutes for the average cyclist.   Enjoy

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    Monona Terrace to Waunona Way - 2.4 miles


    This portion of the trail is flat and follows the John Nolen Drive Causeway.  There are three junctions to other trails on this section.  Shortly after leaving Monona Terrace there is a junction  to the Brittingham Park Bike Path where after 500 yards, you can connect to the Southwest Commuter Path.  At Olin Park, there is a junction  to the Wingra Creek Bike Path which will take you to Fish Hatchery where you can connect to the Cannonball Trail.     And just before Waunona Way and the railroad tracks, there is a junction that will enable you to continue on the Capital City Trail  where you have the option of biking to Fitchburg or biking to McFarland via the Lower Yahara River Trail.  But if you are continuing on the Lake Monona Trail, turn left onto Waunona Way.

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    Waunona Way to Winnequah Road - 1.8 miles


    This section of the route goes along Waunona Road, a lightly traveled street.  Esther Beach Park has nice views of the Capital and Lake Monona.  At the end of Waunona Road, the path goes into A. O. Paunack Park.  Follow the path in the park to Bridge road where you will turn left for one block to reach Winnequah Road.

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    Winnequah Road - 2.4 miles


    At Winnequah road turn left and follow it for the next 2.4 miles.  There is a bike lane for about half of the distance.  At the stop sign at Maywood and Winnequah, turn left on Winnequah and go up the hill.  When you go down the hill on Winnequah you will see a pond on your left side and a Lake Loop sign that says to turn left.  Ignore that sign (the Lake Loop route has some steep hills on Tonywatha) and instead turn right on Winnequah Road.  A few blocks further you will cross Nichols Road;  the Monona Public Library is two blocks to the right at 1000 Nichols Road, a nice half-way point on the route.    Continuing on Winnequah Road, at 4516 Winnequah (across from Schluter Park), you can get Babcock Hall ice cream at Monona Bait & Ice Cream Shop.  At the intersection of Winnequah Road and West Coldspring Avenue (there is a sign that says Lake Loop),  turn right onto W. Coldspring Avenue.

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    Winnequah Road to Capital City Trail - 1.5 miles


    Go three blocks on W. Coldspring Avenue to Monona drive.  Cross Monona drive at the lights and go one block on E. Coldspring Avenue to Jerome street.    Turn left on Jerome street and continue until you reach E. Buckeye road.   Go straight ahead on Monona Court for four blocks until you reach Maher Avenue.  Turn left on Maher Avenue for four more blocks.  Cross Cottage Grove Road (the new Pinney Branch Library is a block away on the right) and go straight ahead onto Royster Oaks Drive for two blocks.  Turn right on Pinney street for one block and then left on Dempsey for one block.  Just after the railroad tracks, you will turn left onto the Capital City Trail.

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    Capital City Trail at Dempsey to Monona Terrace - 4.5 miles


    The final stretch follows the Capital City Trail back to Monona Terrace.   About a mile along the route you will come across Olbrich Botanical Gardens which is now open but has restrictions regarding hours and the number of visitors.  Across from Olbrich is the  Garver Feed Mill where you can get pizza and ice cream.   Further down along Atwood Avenue you can get ice cream at the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company (2322 Atwood Avenue) or the Atwood Scoop  (2302 Atwood Avenue), both of which have outdoor seating along the trail.  The trail then parallels Atwood Avenue and Williamson Street and both streets have a cornucopia of establishments for food and drink.

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    BCycle Stations along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the route where you can rent an electric bicycle. The following map lists some stations within a block of the route.

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    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Monona Lake Loop Map

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    June 2020

    • June 28, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • February 27, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Madison


    This guide for bicycling the Cannonball Trail/Arboretum loop is  meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    The route (8.2 miles) outlined below traverses a mixture of bicycle paths, city streets with bike lanes, and a quiet road through the U.W. Arboretum.   It takes about 50 minutes for the average cyclist.   Enjoy

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    Arboretum entrance to Fish Hatchery - .5 miles


    The starting point is the eastern entrance to the Arboretum at N. Wingra Drive & Haywood Drive.  There is a BCycle  station a few yards to the north of the entrance where you can rent an electric bicycle. 

    Take the Wingra Creek Bike Path south for a half mile to Fish Hatchery Road.  The Wingra Creek Bike Path parallels Wingra Creek and the eastern edge of the Arboretum.

    When you reach Fish Hatchery road you will be turning right.   However if you went straight ahead, you would continue on the Wingra Creek Bike Path until you reach Olin-Turville park where you can connect with the Lake Monona Bike Path.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Fish Hatchery - .6 miles


    After turning right on Fish Hatchery Road you have two options:  1) using the bike lane on Fish Hatchery Road, or 2)  biking on the sidewalk along the south side of Fish Hatchery Road if you feel uncomfortable using the bike lane because of the traffic.  Proceed .6 miles and just before the railroad tracks you will see the start of the Cannonball Path on the right.

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    Cannonball Path - 2.8 miles


    After turning right on the Cannonball Path, the Arboretum parallels the path on your right side for the next 2.8 miles.  About a mile along the path you will reach a pedestrian/bicycle bridge crossing the beltline.  Just before the bridge there is a Culvers on the right where you can get some ice cream and other refreshments.  

    Continuing on the Cannonball Path, after 1.5 miles you will see a kiosk on your right that marks the Knollwood Conservation Park and the Westview Bike path.  A few yards along that path is the southeast entrance to the arboretum.  Bicycles are not allowed on paths in the arboretum but you can park your bike and explore Greene prairie and Grady tract on foot. 

    Continuing on the Cannonball path, you will shortly arrive at the Seminole highway junction where you will be turning right.  To the left of the Seminole highway junction is a dedicated bike path that will take you to the Capital City Trail and the Dawley Bike Hub.   If you went straight ahead,  the Cannonball path will take you,  after one mile,  to the Velo Underround,  a junction of five trails:  the  Capital City Trail, the  Southwest Commuter Trail, the Military Ridge State Trail, the Badger State Trail, and the Cannonball Path

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    Seminole Highway - 1.0 miles


    This one mile segment on Seminole highway has a bike lane and is hilly at the start until you reach the beltline overpass at the top.  At the top on the right side before the overpass is an Arboretum parking lot  where you can park your bike and explore the Grady Tract and Green Prairie.  Continuing on Seminole highway, cross the overpass and bike down the hill until you reach the first right -  the entrance to the Arboretum at McCaffrey Drive - turn right onto McCaffrey Drive.

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    Arboretum - 3.2 miles


    The final stretch goes through the University of Wisconsin Arboretum for 3.2 miles. 

    A mile into the Arboretum is the visitor center (closed now because of Covid-19).  West of the visitor center is the Curtis Prairie, the world's oldest ecologically restored prairie.  East of the visitor center is Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, the premier collection of trees, shrubs, and vines in Wisconsin.  There are many opportunities in the Arboretum to explore trails on foot (bicycles are not allowed on the trails) by downloading a trail map.

    From the visitor center take Arboretum Drive to the eastern Arboretum entrance.  This road has light traffic allowing a very peaceful finish to the Cannonball Path/Arboretum loop.

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    BCycle Station along the Route

    At the start of the  loop, there is a BCycle station near the eastern entrance to the Arboretum at 850 S. Mills.



    _________________________________________________________________________

    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    June 2020

    • July 01, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • December 31, 2020
    • (CST)
    • Internet

    virtual theater Trips

    PLATO theater trips will return!  But during the COVID-19 era, we still have some options for you. Use the links to connect to more information or to the appropriate streaming service, which will vary. Check out these online performances before they disappear.


    Forward Theater Company of Madison


    THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT

    by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
    Streaming Online September 11-27

    Wisconsin Premiere, Directed by Joe Hanreddy

    Celebrated author John D’Agata has just written a sublime and shattering magazine essay. But is his story true? And how negotiable are the facts? When the world’s most neurotically precise fact-checker appears on the author’s Las Vegas doorstep and starts dissecting his work, the ultimate showdown between “truth” and “accuracy” begins. As the deadline looms, the high-stakes world of publishing becomes a battle royale in this brand new comedy of conflict. Timely and terrific, this brainy Broadway hit wrestles with truth, what constitutes it, and who gets to decide.

    "...a rib-bustingly funny farce in which things go

    from very bad to far worse in nothing flat.”
    – The Wall Street Journal


    Opera North




    Leonard Bernstein's Short Opera, Trouble in Tahiti


    Globe Theatre and Swinging the Lens


    Richard II

    Richard II isn’t just one of Shakespeare’s most lyrical plays. With its trenchant, emotionally wrenching analysis of political corruption and the consequent decline of good governance, it’s also among the most relevant to our own moment, as we collectively wrestle with what’s next in a country that, to quote Gaunt, “has made a shameful conquest of itself.”

    This production features a cast composed entirely of women of color, that played to acclaim last year at London’s Globe under the direction of Adjoa Andoh (who also stars as Richard) and Lynette Linton. The entire production is available for streaming, in a top-notch archival recording.

    In contrast to Holland’s contemplative and idealized Richard, Andoh gives us a petulant and narcissistic tyrant. Both interpretations are legitimate; as always, Shakespeare’s plays contain multitudes. And as this fabulous cast drives home, that goes for who can and should embody these roles, as well as for the plays themselves. Here’s hoping American Players Theatre returns to this great play – which hasn’t been performed in Spring Green in 20 long years – soon. And here’s hoping that it proves similarly audacious in its casting choices once it finally does.

    --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

    former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

    Lifeline Theatre


    Pride and Prejudice

    Christina Calvit’s adaptation – which debuted at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre in 1986 has been reprised there twice since – because it fully captures the broader social dimension of Austen’s great novel through additions such as constantly gossiping townspeople. There’s more: Because Calvit’s Lizzy continually breaks the fourth wall in appeals to us rather than being channeled through Austen’s distancing use of a close third-person narrator, Calvit injects additional dramatic immediacy and raises the stakes.

    Lifeline’s current virtual production of the Calvit adaptation – available for a four-day rental through October 4 for a suggested $20 donation – has its drawbacks. Some members of the young Lifeline cast overegg the pudding. And there is no scenic or costume design. But that second weakness is also a strength; rather than losing ourselves in well-appointed sets, elaborate costumes, and courtly minuets, we can focus on Austen’s words and her lead characters’ conflicting emotions.

    Samantha Newcomb – an American Players Theatre apprentice last summer – is particularly splendid in deftly balancing Lizzie’s intoxicating warmth and self-involved conceit; it’s not hard to see why Andrés Enriquez’s priggish Darcy falls for her, losing his reserve while recovering his humanity. Meanwhile, Zoom makes us more aware than ever that even when we’re alone, others are watching, nattering, and judging – appealing to our pride and stoking our prejudice.

    --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

    former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member


    Curve Theatre


    My Beautiful Laundrette

    Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette was justly acclaimed when it arrived in the cinema in 1985; it movingly captured the fault lines involving race, class, and gender, as played out within a Pakistani family in London led by an entrepreneurial Thatcherite and his alcoholic, socialist brother. Overlaying that conflict was the seemingly star-crossed romance between two young men – one of Pakistani descent and the second an English skinhead – trying to overcome ethnic hate and homophobia.

    Last year, Kureishi’s stage adaptation of his screenplay (with linking music from Tennant/Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys) debuted at Leicester’s Curve Theatre; Curve has now given us the tremendous gift of a captioned archival stream of the final (public) dress rehearsal before previews for this well-reviewed 2019 world premiere. It’s very good (and the captioning helps with occasional sound issues). It will remain available for on-demand streaming until Curve reopens.

    The play is even better, retaining the film’s original 1980’s milieu while speaking directly to the current moment, in ways that not only implicate British politics but also indirectly indict the radioactive, anti-immigrant racism spawned and spewed by 45 and his lackeys. While Kureishi’s original takedown of Thatcherite capitalism remains intact, he has simultaneously sharpened his focus on anti-immigrant hysteria – and on how women of color are especially victimized by a politics of race hatred (the uncle’s mistress is now a woman of color rather than a white woman, which helps drive this home).

    --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

    former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

    Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatricals


    Romantics Anonymous

    Have you seen a live onstage kiss in the past six months? Or live onstage singing? I didn’t think so. But you can once again do so starting next Tuesday, when creator and director Emma Rice’s Wise Children theater company brings us a remount of Romantics Anonymous. A musical comedy adaptation of the 2010 French film “Les émotifs anonymes,” it was a huge hit when it debuted in 2017.

    It’s the story of two shy chocolate makers who overcome parental inhibition and a few of their own, finding an original recipe for sweetness by learning to take risks. In her 2017 review in The Guardian, Lyn Gardner wrote that “nobody presents sexual desire and the transformative joy of love on stage quite as well or with such febrile intensity” as Rice.

    Rice’s cast, which has been in a quarantine bubble throughout the rehearsal process, will give five live performances from the stage of the Bristol Old Vic between September 22-26. Proceeds from each performance will be split between Wise Children and sponsoring theater companies around the world, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

    --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

    former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member

    The Noel Coward Foundation announces

    A Marvellous Party


    A unique celebration and star-studded collection of performances celebrating the continuing legacy of Noël Coward and coinciding with the 100th anniversary of his West End debut as a 19-year-old playwright.

    This transatlantic celebration featuring words and music of the playwright will see Kate Burton, Judi Dench, Stephen Fry,  Montego Glover, Derek Jacobi, Josh James, Cush Jumbo, Robert Lindsay, Kristine Nielsen, Bebe Neuwirth, Julian Ovenden, Patricia Routledge, Kate Royal, Emma Thompson, Giles Terera, Indira Varma and Lia Williams performing.

    All of the performers involved have either self-recorded at home or been filmed on location under COVID-19 regulations.

    A Marvellous Party will be the first of its kind to utilise Broadway on Demand’s new digital venue, which launches this month. Viewers in the U.S. can visit the web address www.broadwayondemand.com and register for free in advance to watch the show premiere on September 20th.  It will then be available on demand for 14 days.

    Funds raised through the performance will provide support to theatre workers on both sides of the Atlantic affected by the pandemic and will benefit Acting For Others (UK) and The Actors Fund (USA).

    Court Theatre of Chicago


    Court’s Theatre & Thought series connects audiences to expert insights from University of Chicago faculty about the historical context, thematic relevance, and artistic possibilities surrounding classic works. Each Theatre & Thought topic will feature a different play and include virtual meetings with University scholars to discuss the ideas underpinning these classic texts.


    Skylight Music Theatre



    While PLATO is not currently planning any field trips at this point, for those of you who are hungry for live theater events and are willing to incur the possible health risks (despite extensive Covid-19 precautions taken by the Theatre), you may wish to mark your calendar with these upcoming shows in Milwaukee. This is FYI only! PLATO is not endorsing or taking any trips to these, or any other venues at this point.

    Milwaukee Opera Theatre

    Bonus!

    Available now online:

    Episode 1

    Episode 2  Episode 3  Episode 4


    New: Shakespeare Shorts from Milwaukee Rep!

    Most of these clips are under 5 minutes long, while two of them are a little over 10 minutes in length.

    As You Like It

    Twelfth Night

    Henry VI

    The Taming of the Shrew

    Romeo and Juliet


    Other Theater Shorts

    If you don't have time for an entire show, you may enjoy these clips.  These high energy musical numbers take 5 minutes or less.

    What I Did for Love – A Chorus Line, Stratford Festival 2016

    Pirate Island- Poor Wand'ring One - Madison Savoyards, 2020

    Rocky Horror Show - Time Warp - Stratford Festival 2018

    The Music Man - 76 Trombones - Stratford Festival 2018 

    Pirate Island - When the Foeman Bares His Steel - Madison Savoyards, 2020

    HMS Pinafore - When I Was a Lad - Stratford Festival 2017

    Pirates of Penzance - I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General! - Stratford Festival 1985

    The Mikado - A More Humane Mikado - Stratford Festival 1982


    Jermyn Street Theatre

    Samuel Beckett: No Country for Old Men


    Krapp’s Last Tape | The Old Tune

    Trevor Nunn staged Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape and the rarely performed The Old Tune at Jermyn Street shortly before the pandemic hit. Both plays are prophetic of what was to come; the old men inhabiting them underscore how fragile our lives are and how easily they can come undone, as we draw on unreliable memories to make sense of lives that we never live as fully or well as we might have.

    Krapp’s Last Tape is now rightly considered a major work in the Beckett canon, and James Hayes’ embodiment of a failed writer shows why: listening to diary-like tapes he’d made as a younger man, the 69-year-old Krapp winces at all his younger self left out and didn’t understand, overestimated about who he was and failed to appreciate in others. It’s a devastating performance that goes a long way toward explaining why Nunn’s production (which included a third Beckett one-act not made available here) was the hottest ticket in London this past winter.

    Gentler and funnier, The Old Tune is a minor variation on some of the themes sounded in Waiting for Godot. Two septuagenarians (Niall Buggy and David Threlfall) wait for death; lost in a world they never made, their failing memories leave them unable to return to the world they’ve left behind. As with Didi and Gogo in Godot, their lone respite from existential loneliness is each other – even if their efforts to communicate miss more often than they land.

    --Mike Fischer, dramaturg,

    former theater critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    and Forward Theater Company Advisory Member



    The Fire This Time Festival


    On the other side of the continent, the 11th annual edition of The Fire This Time Festival – a showcase for emerging Black playwrights which, in years past, has given early exposure to artists including Aziza Barnes, Jocelyn Bioh, Katori Hall, Dominque Morisseau, and Antoinette Nwandu – has made archival recordings available for on-demand streaming of all seven shorts from this year’s Festival.

    Many of these plays touch on a theme central to the Black experience in America: with one’s community constantly under siege, does one fight or take flight? And if one leaves one’s roots behind (literally, in Jay Mazyck’s If Men Were Flowers), how does one avoid becoming invisible, appropriated by a dominant culture’s continued campaign to whitewash Blackness? Can old alliances be saved (an express theme in both Tyler English-Beckwith’s Maya and Rivers and in Natyna Bean’s Assume Positions)? Might new ones arise (a topic explored in Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s Antepartum and Mario Wolfe’s Wish I Could P. (Pay it No Mind))?

    All of these questions are on the table in the night’s longest and best piece: Niccolo Aeed’s One Morning Soon. Aeed’s play invokes and then bends Paul’s early Christian writings to explore how, in moving past the old order to create a better one, a culture might preserve all that’s best about where and what it’s been – while simultaneously ensuring that hate and oppression aren’t replicated, but rather vanquished by love.

    --Mike Fischer

    MISCAST20 IS STILL HERE!

    null

    New York’s hottest star-filled event goes WORLDWIDE for 2020.  The full event was previously live-streamed in its entirety for FREE.  While that has now ended, online streaming of the individual musical numbers is still available!  See some of your favorite Broadway stars perform like you’ve never seen them before.

    Founded in 1986 as MANHATTAN CLASS COMPANY, MCC began as a collective of young actors, writers, and directors determined to steer their own artistic development and redefine the NYC theater scene with the kind of stories they wanted to see on the stage. That work continues today in Hell’s Kitchen at THE ROBERT W. WILSON MCC THEATER SPACE, a creative hotbed where our ARTISTS, STAFF, and STUDENTS have the freedom to stir things up, all under one roof.



    The Public Theater


    Richard II  by William Shakespeare.  Conceived for the Radio and Directed by Saheem Ali

    Without a venue for their free Shakespeare in the Park series, The Public Theater is instead producing a radio version of Richard II.  Listen as the last of the divinely anointed monarchs descends and loses it all. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity.  The all-star cast includes Andre Holland as Richard. Read a "behind the scenes" account of the production in the New York Times.   It is now available for download on the Public Theater website and wherever you get your podcasts.



    Live from Lincoln Center 


    Carousel

    The New York Philharmonic presents a stunning production (staged but without sets, in front of the orchestra) of this iconic Rogers & Hammerstein work about a young woman in New England and the carnival barker who steals her heart. Featuring a star-studded cast including Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Jason Danieley, Jessie Mueller, and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck. Available through Tuesday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. CDT.



    Hamilton

    The show you have been waiting for, with the original Broadway cast! Winner of the Tony Award for best new musical and Pulitzer Prize in drama, this sensational show chronicles the life of the first U.S. Treasurer Alexander Hamilton and his compatriots through a variety of musical styles.  Filmed live at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016. Local critic Rob Thomas says "in some ways it’s better than the best seats in the house." Watch it on Disney Plus; there is no end date. A one-month subscription is $6.99, and you can cancel at any time. More details on this unique viewing experience.



    Bush Theatre (London)


    The Protest

    A series of short online works, collectively titled The Protest in response to the death of George Floyd. Associate director Daniel Bailey, who curated the series, said: "The Bush kneels with the black community at home and aboard as we fight the ongoing pandemic – racism and the oppression of Black People. We asked some of our Bush family to lift their voices in a myriad of ways that mirrors the diversity within the Black community." Originally distributed through Twitter, but available as a collection on this site.



    streaming link

    America 

    First performed in December of 2016, in a country hurting from racism and oppression, the Broadway cast of Hamilton used the words of Langston Hughes, Bob Marley and Lin-Manuel Miranda to call for peace and equality in this short song with dance.

    "Now, as we reel yet again in anger and despair, the impassioned pleas for justice continue to resonate. We stand with those who walk in fear simply for being black. We will continue to listen and educate ourselves, and call out others, on how we can best lift up our colleagues, artists, community members and supporters. Lives depend on it."


    PBS Wisconsin - Great Performances

    PBS Great Performances has several free full-length musical and dramatic theater performances for your enjoyment.  Additional performances may require the Passport membership. Beginning and ending dates may not apply for those with Passport membership. 


    Porgy and Bess

    This 2019 Metropolitan Opera production takes a fresh approach to Gershwin's complicated 1935 masterpiece, which has been criticized for its African American stereotypes since its debut. The setting — Catfish Row, a Charleston, South Carolina neighborhood – is now a close-knit, aspirational working-class community in which everyone is doing his or her best to get by, instead of an abandoned slum. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles. Streaming for free on PBS Great Performances beginning July 17.


    Streaming link

    Gloria: A Life

    Experience a unique interpretation of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s life told by an all-female cast, starring Emmy Award winner Christine Lahti and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.  Streaming now through July 24.

    Streaming link

    Ann

    Enjoy a powerful and revealing look at legendary, larger-than-life Texas governor Ann Richards who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family in this critically acclaimed play written by and starring Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor. Streaming now through July 17.

    Streaming link

    Twilight: Los Angeles 

    Anna Deavere Smith's play is about race relations in Los Angeles at the time of the infamous police beating of Rodney King, and the ensuing jury acquittal of the perpetrators. She notes that “few people speak a language about race that is not their own. If more of us could actually speak from another point of view, like speaking another language, we could accelerate the flow of ideas.” “After all,” Smith says later, “identity is in some ways a process toward character. It is not character itself. It is not fixed. Our race dialogue desperately needs this more complex language.”

    Smith channels the voices of forty among the hundreds of people she interviewed: white and Black, Korean and Latinx, men and women, cops and activists, store owners and looters. Playing them all, Smith physically embodies the truth that each of us contains multitudes.

    Director Marc Levin blends Smith’s stage performance with news footage and interviews to capture a community’s rage and loss, but also its grit and hope and love. This encore streaming will run from June 8 through August 7.


    Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration


    Take Me to the World - Free - A starry line-up of Broadway favorites are toasting Stephen Sondheim with a once-in-a-lifetime concert event live on Broadway.com    Mr. Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his work in musical theater like:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); Company (1970); Follies (1971); A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979); Merrily We Roll Along (1981); Sunday in the Park with George (1984); and Into the Woods (1987). He is also known for writing the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959).

    Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre


    After Pass Over's 2017 world premiere at Steppenwolf, Academy Award nominee and Honorary Oscar winner Spike Lee brought a camera crew and filmed the entire performance. The filmed play premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and now Lee's filmed play is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.



    Enjoy this complete production of Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu featuring ensemble member Jon Michael Hill. A provocative riff on Waiting for GodotPass Over is a rare piece of politically-charged theater about two young black men who stand around on the corner dreaming of their promised land when a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans.


    L.A. Theatre Works

    Over 500 plays audio-recorded live in performance, everything from Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde to Arthur Miller and recent Tony winners, all with top-name actors,  so you can listen to great theatre anywhere.

    Listen free to the Relativity Series of Science Themed Plays which present science as a thoroughly human endeavor, bringing to life the people and stories behind the research and invention which shapes and changes our world.

    Among the many included titles are:

    Copenhagen, by Michael Frayn

    Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard

    An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen

    Proof, by David Auburn

    The Doctor's Dilemma, by George Bernard Shaw

    Also, in the 1990s, LA Theatre Works came to Chicago and recorded plays with many of the Chicago theatres, including Victory Gardens. Two of those play recordings are FREE FOR ALL to enjoy through July 15, 2020. (Note: Audio recordings still available as of Aug. 10.)

    Still Waters and Drowning Sorrows



    MORE INFORMATION

    Contact PLATO Theater Team members at:

    Sue Josheff  sooziej@sbcglobal.net
    Nancy McClements   nancymcclements@gmail.com 
    Stuart Utley  stuart.utley@gmail.com
    • July 06, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • March 07, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Madison


    This guide for bicycling the McFarland loop is  meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    The route (18 miles) outlined below traverses a mixture of bicycle paths and city streets with bike lanes.   It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.   Enjoy

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Monona Terrace to Waunona Way - 2.4 miles


    This portion of the trail is flat and follows the John Nolen Drive Causeway.  There are three junctions to other trails on this section.  Shortly after leaving Monona Terrace there is a junction  to the Brittingham Park Bike Path where after 500 yards, you can connect to the Southwest Commuter Path.  At Olin Park, there is a junction  to the Wingra Creek Bike Path which will take you to Fish Hatchery where you can connect to the Cannonball Trail.     And just before Waunona Way and the railroad tracks, there is a junction that if you turn left will enable you to continue on the Lake Monona Loop trail.  However if you are going to McFarland, turn right onto the Capital City State Trail.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Waunona Way to Lake Farm Campground - 2 miles


    At Nob Hill Road there is a kiosk where you can purchase a state trail pass for the Capital City State trail.  Check the website for details about obtaining a pass during Covid-19.  After crossing South Towne drive, on the right is the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) wastewater treatment plant and on the left is MMSD's wildlife observation area and boardwalk.   Arriving at Lake Farm campground, there is another junction.  Turning right you will be continuing on the Capital City State trail.  Turning left, you will be riding on the Lower Yahara River trail to McFarland.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Lower Yahara River Trail - 2.6 miles


    A trail pass is not required to bicycle the Lower Yahara River Trail.  To your left is  the Lussier Family Heritage Center which connects the community to natural resources through education, recreation, and experiences.  The highlight of Lower Yahara River Trail is the mile-long boardwalk spanning Lake Waubesa.  It is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America.  At the eastern terminus of the bridge is McFarland's McDaniel Park and the Green Lantern Restaurant.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    Siggelkow Road - 1.0 miles


    Turn left on Siggelkow's Road bike lane for one mile until you reach Marsh Road where you will turn left.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Siggelkow Road to Pflaum Road - 2.7 miles


    There is a bike lane on Marsh Road.  An overpass takes you over Highway 18.  At the stop sign after the overpass, you will arrive at the 4-way stop which is located at the intersection of Femrite Drive/Agriculture Drive.  Continue straight ahead on Agriculture Drive. 

    There are two notable buildings on this stretch of Agriculture Drive.  The first right after the Femrite  Drive intersection is Fen Oak Drive where at 5201 Fen Oak Drive  you can explore the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden with over 850 varieties of perennials, shrubs & trees that are midwest hardy. Further down on the right is World Dairy Drive that leads to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection building.

    But you want to stay on Agriculture drive where the road bends a little to the left until you reach Pflaum Road where you will turn right.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Pflaum Road to Capital City Trail - 2.6 miles

    Travel 100 yards on Pflaum Road until you reach Vondron Road.  After the railroad tracks on Vondron Road, take the first left onto Pebblebrook Drive.  Take Pebblebrook Drive until you reach the first left - Sandlewood Circle.  On the left of Sandlewood Circle you will see an unmarked bike/pedestrian path that runs for 500 yards  to Leona Court.  Take Leona Court for a half block to Tarragon Drive.  Turn left on Tarragon Drive for 50 feet where you will see the start of the Capital City Bike path at 1933 Tarragon Drive. 

    Take the Capital City Bike path to E. Buckeye Road.  Cross E. Buckeye where you will see the sign for the Acewood Interior Bike Path.  Continue on the  path for one block to Deerwood Drive.  At that intersection you will see an unmarked path which is the Acewood Interior Bike Path.  Continue on that path to Leo drive and take the first left onto Vernon Avenue.  Vernon Avenue dead ends onto Cottage Grove Road.  

    On Cottage Grove Road you turn left.  On Cottage Grove Road you can either take the sidewalk on the south side or the bike lane on the north side for a half mile until you reach the Capital City Trail located underneath the Highway51/S. Stoughton Road overpass. 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Capital City Trail to Monona Terrace - 4.7 miles

    The final stretch follows the Capital City Trail back to Monona Terrace.   About a mile along the route you will come across Olbrich Botanical Gardens which is now open but has restrictions regarding hours and the number of visitors.  Across from Olbrich is the  Garver Feed Mill where you can get pizza and ice cream.   Further down along Atwood Avenue you can get ice cream at the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company (2322 Atwood Avenue) or the Atwood Scoop  (2302 Atwood Avenue), both of which have outdoor seating along the trail.  The trail to Monona Terrace then parallels Atwood Avenue and Williamson Street.  Both streets have a cornucopia of establishments for food and drink.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    BCycle Station along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the route where you can rent an electric bicycle. The following map lists some stations within a block of the route.



    _________________________________________________________________________

    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    June 2020

    • July 23, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • March 24, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Madison

    Below are five guides to popular bicycling routes in Madison.   Each guide is broken up into distinct sections with maps providing detailed instructions.

    The guides are meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Bicycling Around Lake Monona


    The 12.5 mile route around Lake Monona is one of the most popular bicycle trips in Madison.  It goes through a mixture of bicycle paths and lightly traveled streets and takes about 75 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling Around Lake Monona

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop


    The route (8.2 miles) traverses a mixture of bicycle paths, city streets with bike lanes, and a quiet road through the U.W. Arboretum.  It takes about 50 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop


    The route (18.1 miles) is entirely on dedicated bicycle paths with the exception of a short 1/2 mile section on a quiet road.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Bicycling the McFarland Loop


    The highlight of this route (18 miles) is a mile-long bridge spanning Lake Waubesa.  It is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the McFarland Loop

    _______________________________________________________________

    Bicycling the Blackhawk Path/Lake Mendota Drive/Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop



    This 7.8 mile loop begins at Allen Centennial Garden and parallels University Avenue on bike paths before heading over to Lake Mendota Drive, a quiet, tree-lined residential neighborhood.   It then follows the Lakeshore Nature Preserve back to the starting point.   It takes less than one hour for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Blackhawk Path, Lake Mendota Drive, Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop

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    BCycle Stations along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the routes where you can rent an electric bicycle.


    _________________________________________________________________________

    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    August 2020

    • July 28, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • April 29, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Madison


    This 3.7 mile walk through the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood in Madison's isthmus highlights some of the important features and buildings in the neighborhood.  The descriptions come from two brochures published by the Madison Landmarks Commission and the neighborhood:   The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1997),  and The Old Market Place Neighborhood: A Walking Tour (1991).   Both brochures have many more landmarks not described in the walk listed below.

    This guide is meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Tenney Park and Sherman Avenue


    The walk starts at the Tenney Park locks located at 1500 Sherman Avenue.   Parking is available on N. Thornton Avenue across from the locks.   To start, walk past the locks onto the breakwater where you have wonderful views of the lake.  Then take the pedestrian path west along Lake Mendota until you come to the first stop, 1250 Sherman Avenue. 

    This guide is designed to be used with a smartphone.   When you click on the underlined links for each address, you will get a fuller description of each of the houses.

    1250 Sherman Avenue - 1929, Tudor Revival Style

    1228 Sherman Avenue - 1895, Queen Anne Style

    1127 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

    1047 Sherman Avenue - 1916, Prairie School Style

    1040 Sherman - 1916, Georgian Revival

    1031 Sherman - 1938, Wrightian Style

    1010 Sherman Avenue - 1913, Prairie School Style

    _________________________________________________________________________

    East Gorham Street and Prospect Place


    At the end of Sherman avenue, turn left on N. Brearly street for a half block until you reach E. Gorham street.   Turn right on E. Gorham street.

    On the south side of the 900 block of E. Gorham you will see a number of brick apartment buildings, the Norris Court Apartments.

    At the beginning of the 900 block of E. Gorham, turn right on N. Paterson street for one block until you reach Prospect Place.

    818, 822, 831, 844 Prospect Place -  Claude & Starck Houses

    At the intersection of Prospect Place/Washburn Place, walk down Washburn Place one block until you reach E. Gorham and turn right.

    802 E. Gorham - 1901, Claude & Starck

    803 E. Gorham - 1870, Vernacular 19th Century

    752 E. Gorham - 1857, Gothic Revival Style

    720 E. Gorham - 1915-1916, Lincoln School

    703 E. Gorham - 1868, Italianate Style

    640, 646, 704 E. Gorham - 1908-1920

    Note the wonderful garden at 704 E. Gorham, home of Mendota Lake House Bed & Breakfast.

    637 E. Gorham - 1925, Late Georgian

    Now you will be walking west on E. Gorham along  James Madison Park.

    622 1/2 E. Gorham - 1915, Bernard-Hoover Boat House

    Just before the Gates of Heaven Synagogue note the monument to the 45,000 International Volunteers who fought for the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

    302 E. Gorham - 1863, Gates of Heaven Synagogue

    Now backtrack to the corner of E. Gorham/N. Blount and walk south on N. Blount for two blocks to E. Dayton street.

    ____________________________________________________________

    East Dayton Street to Lapham School


    202 N. Blount  - 1910-1914, City Horse Barn

    At the corner of N. Blount/E. Dayton, note the sign denoting Madison's first African-American neighborhood.

    647 E. Dayton - 1853, Miller house

    649 E. Dayton - 1901 and 1912, Hill house & grocery

    123 N. Blount - 1909-1910, Badger State Shoe Factory

    917, 919, 921, 923, 925 E. Dayton - 1915-1916, John Blake bungalows

    939, 941 E. Dayton - 1915, Michael Olbrich bungalows

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Lapham School to Tenney Park


    1045 E. Dayton - 1939-1940, Lapham School

    124 N. Baldwin - 1873, Second Empire Style

    Continue east on E. Dayton Street where you will reach the Yahara River.  Follow the bike/pedestrian path under E. Johnson where you can explore Tenney Park before returning to the starting point.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    August 2020

    • August 01, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • March 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Madison


    This guide for bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop is  meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    The route (18.1 miles) outlined below is almost entirely on dedicated bicycle paths.   It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.   Enjoy

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Camp Randall to Velo UnderRound - 4.5 miles


    The ride starts across from Camp Randall Stadium at the intersection of Regent, Monroe and Breese streets.  There is a BCycle station, 92 S. Breese Terrace,  where you can rent an electric bike.  You will begin traveling west on the  Southwest Commuter Path,  a paved path that follows the route of the Illinois Central Railroad branch built in 1887 between Freeport, Illinois, and Madison.  For the first three miles there is a slight incline until you reach the bicycle/pedestrian overpass at the beltline.  Continue until you reach the Velo UnderRound.

    The Velo UnderRound marks the junction of five trails: the Capital City State Trail, the Southwest Commuter Path, the Military Ridge State Trail, the Badger State Trail, and the Cannonball Path.  There is also access to the Seminole Mountain Bike Trails.

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    Velo UnderRound to Lake Farm Campground - 7.8 miles


    To continue on the Capital City State Trail, you will need a State Trail Pass.

    Continuing on the Capital City State Trail, just before reaching Seminole Highway, you will see the Dawley Bike Hub on your right.   It has a bike repair station, parking, restrooms, and water (might be closed during the Covid-19 pandemic).   After crossing Seminole Highway the trail is uphill for a short distance.  On the portion of the trail between Seminole Highway and Fish Hatchery Road, you will see Ashbourne Pond where there is a spur to the Cannonball Trail.

    At Fish Hatchery Road there is a bicycle/pedestrian overpass.  After the overpass you will turn right on Glacier Valley Road for a mile (the only portion of the loop that is not on a bicycle path).  At the junction of Glacier Valley Road/Gunflint Trail, turn left to continue on the Capital City Trail. 

    This portion of the trail parallels the Capital Springs State Recreation Area  for nine miles.  Points of interest along the Capital Springs State Recreation Area include:  Lake Farm County Park and Campground,  Lussier Family Heritage Center,  Lewis Nine Springs E-Way,  Capital Springs Disc Golf & Dog Park,  Jenni and Kyle Preserve,  Nevin Springs Fish & Wildlife Area,  Monona Wetland Conservancy,  Upper Mud Lake,  Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District Wildlife Observation Unit,  Capital Springs Centennial State Park, and the Gilman Native American Mounds.

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    Lake Farm Campground to Waunona Way - 2 miles


    At Lake Farm Campground there is a kiosk marking the junction of the Capital City Trail and the Lower Yahara River Trail.   At this intersection you can also see  the Lussier Family Heritage Center which connects the community to natural resources through education, recreation, and experiences. 

    Turn left at the junction to continue on the Capital City State Trail.  On the right is a boardwalk providing access to the Nine Springs E-way Observation Deck.  Further on you  will be biking by the Madison Metropolitan Area Sewerage District wildlife observation area with good birding opportunities.  Madison's sewer plant will be on your left.   Where the trail meets Waunona Way, if you turn right you will be doing the Lake Monona Bike Loop.  However turn left on the Capital City Trail.

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    Waunona Way to John Nolen Drive/North Shore Drive - 2.1 miles


    This stretch of the Capital City Trail goes past the Coliseum and the Alliant Center.  At Olin Park, there is a  junction to the Wingra Creek Bike Path.  Continuing on the Capital City Trail the path parallels the John Nolen Drive Causeway.  At the intersection of John Nolen Drive and North Shore Drive, there is a left  junction to the Brittingham Park Bike Path which you will take.

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    John Nolen Drive/North Shore Drive to Camp Randall - 1.8 miles


    After 500 yards on the Brittingham Park Bike Path  turn right on the Southwest Path/Greenbush Link which will take you back to your starting point, Camp Randall.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    BCycle Station along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the route where you can rent an electric bicycle. The following map lists some stations within a block of the route.



    _________________________________________________________________________

    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    July 2020

    • August 06, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • April 07, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Madison


    This guide for bicycling the Blackhawk Path/Lake Mendota Drive/Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop is  meant for your enjoyment during our time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  Please adhere to all municipal and state requirements for social distancing and healthy behavior on public paths and streets. 

    The route (7.8 miles) outlined below, starting at Allen Centennial Garden, is along dedicated bicycle paths and quiet residential streets.   It takes a little less one hour for the average cyclist.   Enjoy

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Allen Garden to Spring Harbor Drive - 3.6 miles


    The ride starts at UW-Madison's Allen Centennial Garden, 620 Babcock Drive.  During Covid-19 the Garden is open by reservation only at selected times.

    From the garden go south for 1/2 block to Observatory Drive and turn right.  Take the first left (Elm Drive) for one block where you will see the bicycle/pedestrian University Avenue overpass.  Before the overpass turn right and bike past the Dairy Cattle Center and the greenhouses until you reach the stop sign.  At the stop sign, turn left.  There is construction fencing but after 50 feet you will see the Campus Bike Path intersection.   That is the start of the Campus Drive Bike Path that parallels Campus Drive.

    Continuing on the Campus Drive Bike Path you will cross Highland Avenue (VA and University Hospitals to the right) and University Bay Drive (Frank LLoyd Wright's Unitarian Meeting House a block to the right).  At University Bay Drive the bike path changes to the  Blackhawk Path which goes through Shorewood Hills. 

    Continue on the Blackhawk Path until you reach Shorewood Blvd.  Turn left on Shorewood Blvd for 50 feet until you reach Locust Drive where you turn right.  At the stop sign at Locust Drive/Rose Place, turn right and continue on Locust Drive where after a block you will see on the right the Indian Hills Bike Path which you will take to Spring Harbor Drive.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Lake Mendota Drive - 1.6 miles


    Turn right on Spring Harbor Drive for one block to Lake Mendota Drive.  If you turn left on Lake Mendota Drive, after two blocks you will be at Spring Harbor Beach Park which has a small swimming area.  But if you are on the Loop Trail, turn right on Lake Mendota Drive.

    After one block on Lake Mendota Drive,  Spring Court will be on your left.  If you take Spring Court for three blocks you will be at Merrill Springs Park which features three stone picnic benches and a spring cistern built by the Wisconsin Emergency Relief Administration in 1934.

    Continuing on Lake Mendota Drive, you will be biking past the Blackhawk Country Club on your right.  Lake Mendota Drive is a quiet tree lined residential street where you can occasionally view Lake Mendota over the houses.   At 3650 Lake Mendota Drive is the Frank Lloyd Wright designed privately owned John Pew House.  At 3400 Lake Mendota Drive is another public park, McKenna Park, also known as Shorewood Hills Beach, where you have access to the Lake Mendota waterfront along with a boat dock and pier.  Continue on Lake Mendota Drive until you reach Eagle Heights and the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Lakeshore Nature Preserve - 2.6 miles


    This portion stays on Lake Mendota Drive and follows the Lakeshore Nature Preserve which has a myriad of hiking trails to explore.  Bicycles are not allowed on the trails but bicycle parking is available at Raymer's Cove, Frautschi Point, Eagle Heights Gardens, and Picnic Point.

    At the entrance to the Eagle Heights Gardens you will see a paved path that is the start of the Howard Temin  Path that you can take or you can continue on Lake Mendota Drive until you reach University Bay Drive which turns left onto the Howard Temin Path .  Follow the bike path until you reach the Porter Boat House where you will turn right for one block to return to the Allen Centennial Garden.

    Then you can treat yourself by biking a block south to Babcock Hall, 1605 Linden Drive,  for some ice cream.  Check for its hours during the pandemic.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    BCycle Station along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the route where you can rent an electric bicycle. The following map lists some stations within a few blocks of the route.



    _________________________________________________________________________

    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Madison Road Bike Routes

    Biking in Fitchburg

    Riding in Sun Prairie

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Compiled by Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com

    August 2020

    • September 04, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • November 20, 2020
    • (CST)
    • 6 sessions

    Fall 2020 PLATO Virtual Breakfast 
    Get-Togethers
    1st and 3rd Fridays

    Make new friends and meet new and longtime PLATO members; with special guests and possible topics suggested each week via the PLATO newsletter. 

     


    Conveniently online via your computer or phone from the comforts of your home!




    1st and 3rd Fridays in Fall 2020

    • Days:  September 4th, September 18th, October 2nd, October 16th, November 6th,  November 20th, and we'll query attendees if they want to meet in December.

    • Time:  9:30 am to 10:30 am

    • Organizer:  Sue Dentinger and special guests.

    • To join,  just click on this url at the right date and time: 

    • https://meet.google.com/czb-vorm-cvy

    • If you do not have a computer or smart phone, join by calling +1 501-803-2238  then when asked, enter the PIN 475483052#  

    • RSVP or Questions?: Let Sue know you're coming the Wednesday before the breakfast by email or phone, or just show up!  

    • Weekly PLATO emails will let you know of special guests or topics.

    Questions? RSVP:  Sue's contact information is:  flumpo@gmail.com or 608 469-8766.


    Banana Bread was a topic at our first online breakfast meeting (as was Carol Maas, the Waunakee Banana Bread Lady, who bakes banana bread three times a year to deliver to all the Waunakee schools to say thank you to the staff!)

    Here's the recipe from Mary Karau for the Best Banana Bread Ever.  You could also call it "Small Batch Quarantine Banana Bread":

    It's a small recipe and I put it into two large-ish ramekins.  You could also use a 5-inch oven pan.  As I mentioned, one recipe of this is 4 servings for me.  I would say each serving is about like a regular-sized muffin.  Ramekins are 3 1/2 wide

    Ingredients:

    One very ripe banana, medium (need not be "rotten"!)

    1 medium egg

    4 Tablespoons oil (neutral flavor, such as avocado)

    1 scant teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/8 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

    1/4 Cup all-purpose flour

    1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour

    1/4 rounded teaspoon baking powder

    1/4 rounded teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt (more if Kosher salt)

    1/4 - 1/2 cup broken nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts)

    Mash the banana in a wide bowl.  Add the egg and mix well.  Add the oil, vanilla, and the sugars and mix well.

    In another small bowl, add the flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and the salt.  Mix well.  Add the nuts and toss.

    Grease 2 large ramekins or a smallish oven pan.

    Mix the wet and dry ingredients, folding rather than stirring, until just blended.  Do not overmix!

    Bake at 325º for about 15 minutes.  Check with a toothpick in the center.  Cool 10-15 minutes and then turn out of the pans.

    Notes:

    This goes together very quickly and is really good--no fail!

    I think plain whole wheat flour would work as of course would using all all-purpose flour.  WW Pastry flour makes the result very tender, great texture.

    This banana bread keeps well for several days (if you can stop eating it that long!)

    This is plenty sweet for me but some folks who have a big sweet tooth might use 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  

    Enjoy!

    Waunakee Banana Bread Lady (Carol Maas) 

    favorite Banana Bread recipe via Steve Sparks: 

    3/4 cup butter or margarine (whatever margarine is on sale)

    1 1/2 cup  sugar

    1 1/2 cup  mashed bananas

    2 eggs  (well beaten)

    1 tsp vanilla

    2 cups sifted flour

    3/4 tsp salt

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 cup  sour milk

    3/4 cup  chopped nuts (optional)

    Mix butter (I melt it into liquid in the microwave) and sugar thoroughly. Blend in bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add to banana mixture alternately with milk, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 75 minutes. Yield one loaf.....or  3-4 small loaves which are baked for 40-50 minutes.

    To sour milk...add 1 Tbl.  white vinegar to milk. Bananas can be mashed and frozen until needed.

    Other helpful tips for being in a Google Meet meeting:

    • Join the conference, click on the link:  https://meet.google.com/czb-vorm-cvy.  The link will be active now and you can go to Google Meet at any time although other people will not join you until the meeting date and time.

    • Use the link above before the meeting to:

      • Make sure your device’s camera and microphone work.

      • Get familiar with the interface.

      • Make sure you look good on camera (for example, I have a window behind me that casts me in silhouette so I close the blinds for the meeting).

    • Joining the meeting:

      • Clicking on the “Joining info” link will open a tab in your browser and start Google Meet.

      • Depending on how you have your browser’s privacy settings configured, you may be asked to allow the browser to turn on your camera and microphone. Accept those permissions (otherwise you won’t be seen or heard!) and you will see yourself on your computer or phone screen.

      • If you’re the only one on the call, it will tell you that. If anybody else happens to be on, it will tell you that.

    • Using the interface:

      • Use the icons in the center of the white bar at the bottom of the screen to control your participation.

      • § The microphone icon – Click on the icon to turn the mic on or to mute it. In the meeting you should always have your microphone muted unless you are speaking. This will prevent any background noises in your house from disturbing while others are talking.

      • § The camera icon – Click on the camera icon to turn it on and off.

      • § The red telephone receiver icon – Click on this icon to disconnect from the conference. If you leave Google Meet completely and then want to return to the conference, go back and click the “Joining info” link the invitation email.

      • § If the white bar at the bottom disappears from your screen, click anywhere in the main picture area to get it back.

      • Chat :  In the upper right corner of the screen is a chat function, this allows participants to send and receive texts. If there are many people in the meeting it may work better to write via Chat that you want to make a comment or question.

    • October 15, 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
    • Online
    Register



    Deciding What's True in a Polarized Society

    Thursday, October 15, 2020: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

    Online via Zoom or by Phone

    Professor Michael Wagner

    UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication


    FREE TO PLATO MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE LINK TO ATTEND.  Please register before the event starts.  Questions may be written in during the event.


    In this lecture UW-Madison Professor Michael Wagner will review research on fake news, fact-checking, and selective exposure to like minded media outlets.  He will describe the implications of each of these for democracy.

    As the lecture is online, you can use your computer or smartphone to access the lecture and see the speaker and slides during the presentation. You will not be visible during the lecture, but you will be able to chat with the speaker by typing in your comments.

    If you do not have a computer or smartphone you can also use your regular phone to dial a phone number and listen to the talk without seeing the slides.


    SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY:

    Michael Wagner is a Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who also holds affiliations with the Department of Political Science and the LaFollette School of Public Affairs.  Wagner directs the Physiology and Communication Effects (PACE) Lab, is a Senior Fellow with the Mass Communication Research Center, a faculty affiliate at the Center for Communication and Democracy, and a faculty affiliate at the Elections Research Center at UW-Madison.  He is also the Founding Director of the  Center for Communication and Civic Renewal  at UW-Madison.

    He is co-author of Political Behavior of the American Electorate  and Mediated Democracy: Politics, the News and Citizenship in the 21st Century   His website is at  https://prowag.me

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

For more information about PLATO, contact:

Christine Bartlett
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