After its World Premiere in Philadelphia, Then Athena returns to Allentown by Robert Moyer


Allentown Public Theatre unveils a playfully dark fantasia of woman-warriorship.

ALLENTOWN: This past September, Allentown Public Theatre staged the world premiere of the new play Then Athena as part of the 2016 Philly Fringe Festival. This November, the show will make its Lehigh Valley debut at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley.

athen3Then Athena is brave and brazen, campy and critical,” said one Philadelphia critic. Devised as a raw collaboration between five different professional theatre artists, Then Athena intercuts stories of fourteen women characters – some historical, some from pop culture, some completely new – as they confront the fraught identity of “heroine” in modern American mythologies. “The four creators deliver compelling performances throughout, each managing to find moments where they individually shine brightest,” said one Philadelphia reviewer. Now, the five artists return to their home to perform the piece in Allentown.

Performed by actor/writers Samantha Beedle, Holly Cate, Louise Howard and Anna Russell, and directed by Troy Dwyer, Then Athena is an experimental suite of work created in the spirit of European avant-garde devised theatre. “Because the performers are also the playwrights, we’re channeling stories tailor-made for our bodies,” says Russell, who is also Allentown Public Theatre’s Artistic Director. “This kind of work isn’t done much in the United States. These are the characters we want to embody, because we weren’t seeing their stories told justly anywhere else, if at all.”

Dwyer underscores the political urgency of Then Athena as a distinctly American endeavor. “On the one hand, the U.S. seems progressive when it comes to the intersection of gender and valor. Military combat roles for women and transpeople are opening. Come November, a woman might lead the nation. But on the other hand, so might Donald Trump. It’s that Trumpish ‘Miss USA’ notion of valor that makes us want to fight. And we fight with art.”

And there is both “fight” and “art” in Then Athena. “We’re costumed in military-style clothing,” says Cate. “And yes, we carry prop weapons, including assault rifles. But they’re all painted bright red. There is a ‘performance art’ feel.” But there is also humor, much of it supplied by stand-up comic Samantha Beedle, who plays a variety of roles. “It’s easy just to feel rage when you realize how the stories of women heroes are undervalued. I think that’s where I come in handy. Artists like Anna [Russell] just see red. I crack jokes. But trust me, they kill.”athen2

Ranging from dark to darkly-humorous, the stories portray a wide variety of American women of all ages, and from all backgrounds. “I’m 64,” says Howard, “and it’s refreshing to be able to write and perform from my life experience, but also to stretch myself. I play an Army General in a minefield in Afghanistan, a wannabe Wiccan who communes with ancient goddesses, and even a comic book supervillainess battling Wonder Woman. I also get to sing a little country and Western number. It’s a feast.”

According to one Philadelphia critic, the success of Then Athena is “…as much a testament to the acting as it is the script,” featuring “…text that is at once poetic and natural, which gives the women multiple meaty characters to portray with aplomb.”

Then Athena is fast with a lot of unexpected twists and turns,” says Dwyer. “I’ve never worked on anything quite so sharp, shocking and personal. It’s unapologetically feminist, cutting-edge and funny. And even though it’s imaginary, and reaches into history and mythology, it breathes with the real souls of the women who created it. In that way, it’s far from pretend. It’s happening right in front of you, a real confrontation of real heroines.”

Roberta Moyer, Managing Director

610-217-0850 cell

This Year’s Humane Society Hero Dog is from Lehigh Valley–Upcoming feature on Judge the Lab

judgeYou may have heard of the American Humane Society’s Hero Dog Awards.  Did you know that one of this years’ winners – a 7-year-old yellow lab named Judge – is from the Lehigh Valley? Judge has worked with the Allentown Fire Department Arson unit since 2011. He was chosen for his hard work investigating over 275 fire scenes and making the entire Lehigh Valley and neighboring communities more aware of fire and life safety. His investigation, deterrent and education work has even resulted in multiple criminal arrests and civil penalties for insurance fraud cases.

Because of this, RCN Lehigh Valley will be airing a RCN TV Community Spotlight featuring Judge and his handler, Chief Laubach. The special will air on Sunday, October 16 at 9:30pm; Sunday, October 23 at 9:30pm and can be accessed On Demand anytime following the initial airing. RCN TV can be found on Channel 4 (SD) or 1004 (HD).

The AHS Hero Dog Awards ceremony will air on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, October 28. RCN Lehigh Valley customers can find the Hallmark Channel on channel 251 (SD) andchannel 1251 (HD).

Lehigh Valley’s FireRock Productions Wins Two Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards

Lehigh Valley’s FireRock Productions
Wins Two 2016 Emmy® Awards
Emmaus video production team pushes lifetime awards total to seven
firerockEMMAUS, PA (September 25, 2016) – FireRock Productions won two 2016 Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy® Awards categories from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on September 24, 2016 to push their overall claim to seven.
The Emmaus-based video production company took home awards in the Magazine Program/Special and Craft Achievement categories.
Full awards include:
Magazine Program/Special:
“Nazareth: Resonating Through Time” – Paul Luongo, Producer; Liz Keptner, Producer; Casey Feinberg, Writer; Julia Urich, Director; Rocky Urich, Director of Photography; Carlo Acerra, Associate Editor; and Hillary Carrigan, Associate Producer
Craft Achievement:
Photographer – Program: Rocky Urich
The Emmaus-based video production company is owned and operated by the husband and wife team Rocky and Julia Urich.
FireRock Productions has been nominated for Emmy® awards nineteen times, and has won five times prior to this year.
About FireRock Productions
FireRock Productions is a full-service video production company located in the Lehigh Valley run by the husband and wife team of Rocky and Julia Urich. Rocky received an Associate’s degree in Radio/TV, and a specialized degree in multimedia from Northampton Community College. He later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in TV/Film from DeSales University. Julia earned her Bachelor of Arts in both Theater and Music from Muhlenberg College. Together, they have won multiple Emmy® Awards, Telly Awards, ADDY Awards, and were honored for Excellence in Business by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber.
Julia Urich, Owner
FireRock Productions
Emmy® Award-Winning Video Production!

Young Entrepreneurs Seek Lehigh Valley for Startup Success by Paul Hodges

In searching for the ideal startup and living climate, three young entrepreneurs chose the Lehigh Valley as their new home and launchpad


paul-h10/11/16, BETHLEHEM, PA: After graduating college and faced with the question “what’s next?”, the answer was obvious to the three young men – develop this company they had been discussing for quite some time. However, due to the gravity and reality of their college loans, they were forced to move back to their homes to help lessen the weight of the costs they had just accumulated. But home had three very different geographic meanings for the three young men. It was obvious that if they were to continue developing their company, they would have to decide on a single location to call their home and headquarters.

Such a big decision would require some serious research so the three began meticulously combing through all the statistics and reviews they could find. The criteria they were basing their decision on included three important values – location, cost of living and opportunity/ investment climate. As they continued researching the possible next locations to build their company and lives in, the choice was becoming more and more obvious – the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley has all three and it continues to be reflected in their lives says Soltech Solutions’ Co-founder Michael Planer. “Opportunity is everywhere here, whether you’re looking to start a company in one of the many business incubators or just looking to entertain friends and family on weekends – it’s all here, and at an affordable price. Commuting for meetings in Philadelphia and New York is a regular occurrence while growing our company and we’re lucky to have both major cities so close, but even better is being able to come home to Bethlehem.”paul-h2

It’s been a year and a half since moving to Southside Bethlehem, and Paul Hodges, 25, Mike Planer, 26 and Chris Clark, 26,of Soltech Solutions all agree it’s been
nothing less than ideal. Living on 3
rd Street and working out of the Hatchhouse Ventures business incubator on 4th Street, the three agree that you can’t deny the remarkable sense of community and support of enterprise the Lehigh Valley offers. “It’s communities like this that keep the American Dream alive”, says Chris.

Soltech Solutions has officially launched their Kickstarter campaign for their revolutionary grow light, the Aspect. The Aspect is the first LED grow light developed specifically for interior design, allowing you to grow any plant – anywhere, while aesthetically enhancing any indoor space. With the Aspect, you can comfortably grow anything, from a pineapple to fresh spices to an avocado tree, anywhere throughout your home or office.

The Kickstarter is viewable on

About Soltech Solutions LLC: Operating out of Bethlehem, PA, Soltech Solutions is a young startup that develops green and energy efficient products to enhance your daily life. Together they have years of experience in the fields of energy engineering and environmental science and continue to design and handcraft their product lines with the mission of helping you live healthier and happier.


Paul Hodges, Co-founder

Phone: (484) 821-1001


Twitter: @SolTech

Asthma on the Increase, Reasons Why

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Andrea HartleyBy Andrea Hartley

If local officials notified you that they were going to build a landfill next door to you, what would your reaction be? Would you be outraged? Would you object? According to Sloan Barnett, a regular contributor to NBC’s  Today show and author of the book, Green Goes With Everything, the landfill is a lot closer to you than next door.

“Most Americans, but especially children, have dozens of pesticides and other toxic compounds in their bodies, many of them linked to health threats,” she writes. “A source of many of these toxins? Common, everyday, run of the mill household consumer products.landfill2

Barnett’s own child, who suffered from asthma, was the inspiration for her research. She had spent her career as a consumer reporter, so she knew how to dive right in. She discovered that the United States is “in the midst of an asthma epidemic”. “There’s no polite way of saying this: your body is a landfill; a dumping ground for a mind-boggling array of toxic chemicals. So is mine, so is your child’s.”

One of every 13 school-age children in the United States has asthma. This is an increase of 160 percent from 1980. That’s about 9 million children, to say nothing of the number of adults who suffer from it.

What is the suspected cause of these stunning numbers? According to Barnett’s book, which was published last year, six well-designed epidemiological studies published in well respected journals have found one answer. There is a strong link between the use of certain cleaning products and asthma. She writes, “That stopped me cold. I may have been poisoning my own son.”

For example, Barnett lists the chemicals that are found in your fabric softener: “toluene, trimethylbenzene, styrene – which are neurotoxins according to the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health; phenols, xylene, a-terpineol, (irritates mucous membranes and causes central nervous system damage); benzyl acetate, (eye and respiratory irritant); benzyl alcohol, (can cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory irritation and a drop in blood pressure); camphor (on the EPA’s hazardous waste list); ethyl acetate, (eye and lung irritant); limonene, (irritant); linalool, (affects central nervous system); and pentane, (eye and skin irritant and that may cause headache, vomiting, dizziness, or loss of consciousness).”

Could this be the tip of the iceberg? Could the increase incidents of cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases be attributed to our excessive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday life? A man’s home is his castle, according to the old adage; but according to the research, a man’s home has become a contributor toward his ill health.

In the book, Barnett tells how to make your own fabric softener. (An added advantage to this is you will save money). Add a half cup of baking soda to the wash cycle. To eliminate static cling, add quarter cup of white vinegar. To eliminate static cling in the dryer, dry natural-fiber clothes and synthetic fiber clothes separately.

Stains in fabric? Make an inexpensive, healthy alternative to spot removers.

2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
2 drops peppermint or lemon essential oil Water.

Combine to make paste, spread on stain, allow to dry before washing. (Source: Kayn Siegle-Maier.)

Barnett chose to change her lifestyle and go green. Many others who were sick and tired of being “sick and tired” have done the same.

As your wellness coach, I can encourage and guide you into healthier, more loving thought patterns that will increase your health and well-being. There are many ways that we will employ to accomplish this. Some are education, personalized meditation and thought affirmations, accountability, emotional support and my “Association Technique”. This technique will help you to develop love, peace and calm in your life.

If you are willing to dedicate yourself to your personalized wellness program, I would like to partner with you. I will give you a free one hour session, valued at $40 to help you find your wellness plan and create your vision.

Call me at  609-533-7966

Andrea Hartley is the publisher of Lehigh Valley Woman’s Journal, wellness coach, and  personal trainer with a specialty in mind body connection, certified by AAAI/ISMA.

____________________________________________________________ [Read more…]

Search Engine Optimize Your Food

by Andrea Hartley

Healthy food 2Search Engine Optimization means that the best key words are used to help the search engines find your content on the internet.  This is of great value  because it doesn’t matter how great your website or article is, if no one can find it or read it.  You must give the search engines optimal key words so your content can be found and utilized as you intended it to be.   Likewise, your body requires optimum nutrition to perform as it is intended to.   Giving your body optimum nutrition is one of the greatest challenges the American people face today, since our soil is often deficient of key nutrients.  In many cases, an apple today does not possess the same nutritional value that it did 100 years ago.  If that weren’t bad enough,  we in America face a challenge that most other countries in the world do not.  Industry is trying to force genetically modified food on us, turning us into human  guinea pigs.  This food has not been tested and the nutritional value is suspect, at best.  It is often referred to as “Frankenfood”.  Strawberry ShortcakeMost processed foods contain genetically modified food. Scroll down below  and you can see some of the problems with eating genetically modified food and there is an excellent research paper written by Lauren Williamson which discusses that as well. (See her paper here) Moreover, it contains MSG, artificial colors, artificial flavors  and preservatives.Healthy face

Search Engine Optimizing your food, assumes you already know that the standard American diet is one that should be avoided.  If you are not sure why, you can click on any of the links in the article.  The purpose of this article is to help those individuals who want to eat more healthy foods.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.  It can be challenging at first, but I have been studying this for over 30 years and use what I learn in preparing good, real and healthy food for my family and myself.

Sweet Potato Pie-0I am including a link to a video where I teach how to make sweet potato pie. Click here for the FREE natural food recipe video

To help you SEO your diet, I will share with you what I have learned.  You can receive a monthly newsletter which will contain recipes, food tips and a video lesson on preparing natural, healthy food without artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and  MSG free.  Be the first 20 people to sign up and you will receive this newsletter absolutely free for 6 months! To Register Click here.


10 Top Dangers of Processed Foods

According to Invigorate360

Although the threats of processed foods are numerous, knowing the 10 top dangers of processed foods may be enough to rethink your next meal or snack.

1. CANCER – Some cancers are known to be caused by carcinogenic properties which are included in processing foods.

2. OBESITY – Processed foods are most often high in fat, sugar and salt. If counting food calories, these are the perfect ingredients to cause excessive weight gain.

3. HIGH CARB CONTENT – Most processed foods include an overabundance of carbohydrates and not nearly enough protein.

4. HEART DISEASE – The trans fat in many processed foods will spike the cholesterol level and lower the HDL.

5. HYPERTENSION – Blood pressure is elevated by the high salt and fat content in foods.

6. DIABETES – The high sugar products and fast acting carbohydrates will raise the glucose to unhealthy levels.

7. FOOD ADDITIVES AND UNKNOWN EFFECTS – For color, consistency, taste, shelf life and more, processed foods include additives while the effects are unknown.

8. UNKNOWN FILLERS – Several foods like hot dogs and processed meats are filled with unknown parts.

9. LACK OF NUTRIENTS – If processed foods are the main part of the diet, the body will be lacking the nutrients needed to fight disease.

10. ARTIFICIAL VITAMINS – Synthetic vitamins, which lose their potency during processing, are added to some processed foods like bread.

The list of the dangers of processed foods can go on. Back to basics with home cooking using wholesome, nutritious, and unprocessed foods may add healthier years to your life.


To learn more about the dangers of MSG from Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. click the following two links:


For more information about MSG and GMOs see link below:


My mission is to help others live healthy lives.

I am a AAAI (American Aerobic Association International) and ISMA (International Sports Medicine Association) certified personal trainer in Mind-Body Connection. I can assist you in discovering where you want or need to  retrain your brain– to retrain your body and increase your health and well-being, and assist you in discovering effective ways for you to achieve that goal.   I can also assist you in discovering where you expend your brain’s energy, like Bruce Lipton writes of, and how to use that energy for your good.

As your wellness coach, I can encourage and guide you into healthier, more loving thought patterns that will increase your health and well-being. There are many ways that we will employ to accomplish this. Some are education, personalized meditation and thought affirmations, accountability, emotional support and my “Association Technique”. This technique will help you to develop love, peace and calm in your life.

If you are willing to dedicate yourself to your personalized wellness program, I would like to partner with you. I will give you a free one hour session, valued at $40 to help you find your wellness plan and create your vision.

Call me at  609-533-7966

Andrea Hartley is the publisher of Lehigh Valley Woman’s Journal, wellness coach, and  personal trainer with a specialty in mind body connection, certified by AAAI/ISMA.

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Image taken from

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is commonly defined as a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms that are triggered by exposure to low levels of chemicals.

Commonly suspected substances include petroleum products, scented products, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, smoke, and paints. Symptoms may be vague and non-specific, such as nausea, fatigue, and headaches.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has also been termed :

  • Toxic Injury (TI)
  • Chemical Sensitivity (CS)
  • Chemical Injury Syndrome (CI)
  • 20th Century Syndrome
  • Environmental Illness (EI)
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI)
  • Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT)

and is often involved in Gulf War Syndrome.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a Limbic System condition brought on by neurological trauma which may involve chemical injury, viral, environmental and/or psychological factors. The way in which the brain/mind/body expresses this trauma is unique to each person. [Read more…]

Breaking Free from Unhealthy Internal Dialogue

Internal dialogue happens constantly for most people.  It occurs mostly as words rolling around in our heads but there are also feelings that accompany the words or sometimes just the feelings alone.  Feelings of fear, worry, anger or feelings of peace, joy, serenity.  I used to think that I had no control over this inner dialogue.  After all, if someone has done something that I deem stupid, inappropriate, or mean, I thought that it was only normal to react with anger.  It may be considered normal or “to be expected” but is it wise?  Medical science shows us that negative emotions make us sick and can lead to pre-mature death.  Metaphysics tells us that thoughts are substance and can manifest materially in our lives in accordance with whether or not the thought is a positive one or a negative one.   [Read more…]

Anger Management Tips


1.)    Admit to yourself that you are angry and need a time out.

2.)    Get by yourself, go to the bathroom if that is the only place you can be alone for 10 minutes

3.)    Accept that you have the right to your feelings; so you have the right to feel angry.

4.)    Ask yourself “Why am I angry?” [Read more…]

Neuroplasticity: The Way To Greater Health And Well-being

by Andrea  Hartley

                                                            Reprogramming the Brain

A Path to Healing Disease, Happiness and Well-being

          Few people would question the value of maintaining a physical fitness program.   Increasing numbers of people are finding that their health and quality of life improves as they increase their physical activity by walking and working out.   Health experts encourage people to maintain a regular a fitness program and this has become an important goal for many people.    Some people are finding that a fitness program for the brain has incredible benefits as well and this may also soon become a common goal. [Read more…]