THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS has sent one of its own to Gambia, Africa, to teach girls there the art of live theatre. The Rep’s director of education, MARSHA COPLON, is traveling as a volunteer with Starfish International, a service organization dedicated to improving the lives of Gambian girls. Coplon is introducing 25 girls to the elements of a play and how to write a story in dialogue.

Congratulations to BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL, recognized as the sixth best hospital in America in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Honor Roll of Best Hospitals. For the 20th consecutive year, the hospital and its physician partners at Washington University School of Medicine are listed among the nation’s elite medical centers, as well as ranking in 15 individual specialties. Additionally, Barnes-Jewish was ranked regionally as the No. 1 hospital in Missouri and No. 1 in the St. Louis metro area.

Comedian KEVIN NEALON has been announced as the headline entertainer for this year’s Cancer Support Community ‘Celebration of Hope’ gala. Nealon is best known for his years at Saturday Night Live, where he created ‘The Subliminal Man,’ ‘Franz’ (of Hans and Franz) and for anchoring Weekend Update. He’ll appear Sept. 7 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. All proceeds from the event benefit CSC’s support programs.

Shall we dance? DANCE ST. LOUIS has announced its 2012-2013 season, which will include the highly charged, revolutionary Pilobolus modern dance company; the percussion sensation, Stomp; and Moulin Rouge—The Ballet by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. For ticket information, visit

Also out with its upcoming season lineup is SAINT LOUIS BALLET. The company, in collaboration with Dance St. Louis, will perform a world premiere by New York choreographer, Pam Tanowitz, as part of New Dance Horizons at The Touhill, Oct. 5 and 6. Also on tap: the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet. For more information, visit

Longtime St. Louis media executive and entrepreneur CHARLOTTE OTTLEY is out with a new book, Surviving Success: Changes, Challenges & Choices. The Emmy Award-winning Ottley, who has represented some of the nation’s top companies and cultural and faith-based groups, as well as celebrities and dignitaries, currently is director of communications and special initiatives for the St. Louis license collector’s office.

ST. LOUIS PUBLIC LIBRARY and ST. LOUIS AREA FOODBANK’s ‘Food for Fines’ program is underway. The popular campaign, now in its fifth year, allows adults to pay down their fines by donating canned goods to any St. Louis Public Library location. For every item brought in, $1 will be subtracted from overdue fines (a $25 limit applies). Last year, enough food was donated for more than 10,000 meals. The program runs through July 31.

New York Times bestselling author DEBORAH HARKNESS will be at the St. Louis Public Library’s Schlafly Branch next week to promote her latest novel, Shadow of Night, the sequel to her blockbuster debut, A Discovery of Witches. Her July 25 appearance begins at 7 p.m.

Military historian and Missouri University of Science and Technology professor JOHN C. MCMANUS will hold a book-signing and discussion of September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far, an exploration of World War II’s most ambitious invasion dubbed Operation Market-Garden. He’ll appear at St. Louis County Library headquarters July 31 at 7 p.m.