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Crouse plays the belle

Since she was a child, actress Lindsay Crouse has spent summers in the Annisquam section of Gloucester, where her father, playwright Russell Crouse, and his writing partner, Howard Lindsay, wrote much of "The Sound of Music" and other shows.

Her mother, Anna Crouse Murch, still has a home there.

A prolific performer on stage and screen, Crouse has always been supportive of the Gloucester Stage Company. But she hasn't appeared in a show there, until now.

Crouse stars in "The Belle of Amherst," a one-woman play by William Luce based on the life and work of poet Emily Dickinson, at Gloucester Stage through Aug. 12.

A veteran of the New York stage, Crouse has performed on and off-Broadway, winning Obie and Theater World Awards.

Her film credits include "The Verdict" "All the President's Men," "Indian in the Cupboard," "House of Games" and "Places in the Heart," for which she received an Academy Award nomination, as well as a movie released last month, "Mr. Brooks."

In addition to many guest appearances on television, she has played recurring roles on the shows "Providence," "Hack," and "Dragnet." She spent a season as Professor Maggie Walsh on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

In addition to her acting, Crouse teaches Buddhism and each summer holds a meditation and teaching retreat on Cape Ann.

For performance times and ticket prices for "The Belle of Amherst," call 978-281-4433 or visit gloucesterstage.org.

MORE FROM EASTLANDS: When half of the folk art collection of the late Jean and James Eastland was auctioned last year, there was national interest. Now, the rest of the collection is being sold.

Under a tent Saturday at 12 Rogers Lane, in the Byfield section of Newbury, auctioneer Leo Legare offers items collected by the Peabody couple over a 30-year period. They include folk art, circus and carnival items, advertising, country items, and other unusual pieces.

"It is a great privilege to sell the second half of this collection," said Legare. "The Eastlands really were knowledgeable collectors."

Previews of auction items are Friday, noon-5 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. Auction begins at 10 a.m.

For details, photos, and directions, visit legare-auctions.com or call 603-595-9625.

ONE ACTOR, TWO ROLES: Malden actor Johnny Lee Davenport stars in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on Boston Common this week as part of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Free Shakespeare on the Common series.

Davenport, who has appeared in 28 Shakespeare plays, performs the roles of Theseus and Oberon.

His film and television credits include "The Blues Brothers," "The Fugitive," and "Law & Order."

Hosted by the Citi Performing Arts Center, the performances are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 p.m.; Saturday matinee, 3 p.m.; and next Sunday, 7 p.m., at the Parkman Bandstand.

Call 617-532-1212 or visit freeshakespeare.org.

AUTHOR'S CORNER: Eric J. Dolin of Marblehead makes several local appearances to present a slideshow and discuss his latest book, "Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America." Dolin has degrees in biology and environmental studies, including a doctorate in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his dissertation focused on the role of the courts in the cleanup of Boston Harbor. He recently was a policy analyst with the National Marine Fisheries Service, based in Gloucester, and is now writing full time. He has authored more than 60 articles for magazines, newspapers, and professional journals, as well as several books. He will be at Abbot Public Library in Marblehead, July 31, 7 p.m.; Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, Aug. 17, 7 p.m.; and the Rockport Public Library, Sept. 5, 7 p.m. . . . Arden Moore, author of 16 books on pets, discusses her latest works, "The Cat Behavior Answer Book" and "The Dog Behavior Answer Book," at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport on Friday, 7 p.m. In addition to explaining why dogs and cats do what they do, Moore offers tips on curbing pets' bad habits and helping them live longer, healthier lives.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: Two artists -- watercolor painter Jeanne Greenleaf and oil painter Eugene Quinn -- have joined the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, opening galleries on Rocky Neck Avenue. Greenleaf's work focuses on the natural world and human form. Quinn specializes in traditional scenes of local landscapes and boats . . . "Courting Nature's Bliss," an exhibition of photographs by Patricia Bashford, opens at the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport with a reception today from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Bashford, in her late 70s, is a retired professor of photography, theater, film, and television production who now travels the world with her camera.

Items for the People column can be sent to wdkilleen@comast.net. Photos, as jpeg attachments, can be sent to globenorth@globe.com.

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