Elizabeth Gilbert speaks
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat Pray Love," will participate in several events during Frederick Reads book festival. She will give a lecture at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hood College's Hodson Auditorium, Frederick, Md. For Gilbert's other events or a complete Frederick Reads schedule, call 301-600-2828 or go to http://www.weinbergcenter.org .
THURSDAY, April 15
The Shepherd University Sketch Factor will present topical comedy at 8 p.m. Thursday and additional dates through Saturday, April 24. The show is on stage at Shepherd University's Studio Theatre in Sara Cree Hall in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Tickets cost $8 or $10; free for Shepherd students. Call 206-369-1514 or e-mail email@example.com.
FRIDAY, April 16
Meet romance writers
Washington Romance Writers annual Boonsboro gathering features authors Charlaine Harris, Nora Roberts, Gail Barrett, Heidi Betts, Roxanne St. Clair, Susan Donovan and others. The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe, 18 N. Main St. in Boonsboro. Tickets will be passed out by 10 a.m. the day of the signing for a place in line. One ticket per person present. For more information, go to http://www.ttpbooks.com and click on Event Rules & Etiquette. Call 301-432-4588.
'Art in Bloom'
Floral designers present arrangements that interpret artwork at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown. The arrangements are on display 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 18. Preview party is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets for the party cost $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Call 301-730-5727.
Longest improvised scene
Hagerstown Children's Theater will hold a "scene-a-thon" to set a new unofficial world record for improv. HCT will attempt to improv for 24 1/2 hours from 5 p.m. Friday, April 16, to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17 at HCT studio, 806 Frederick St., Hagerstown. Free, but donations requested. Call 301-733-8261 or go to http://www.mytheaterarts.com.
SATURDAY, April 17
Soap Box Derby in Hancock
A Soap Box Derby Rally will take place this weekend. Late entrants are welcome. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday; racing begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Racing will be on West High Street between Fulton Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The public is invited. Call Tim Smith at 301-988-2776. For soap box car description, go to http://www.aasbd.org.
A mom-themed event with local vendors, crafts, kids' zone, dads' zone, activities at Center Court from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Valley Mall, 17301 Valley Mall Road in Halfway. For information, call Randi McClure at The Herald-Mail at 301-745-3620.
Earth, art, music and recycling
Renfrew Institute's 20th annual Earth Celebration Day and Festival of Art features a talking robot named Cycler (shown at right), live music by Slim Harrison, artists' demonstrations, kid's activities, a clothesline art exhibit and document shredding for the public. Festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Renfrew Museum and Park, 1010 E. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa. Free. Call 717-762-0373 or go http://www.renfrewinstitute.org.
SUNDAY, April 18
Vocal and piano concert
Soprano Karen Lubeck and pianist Jessica Chow will perform a group of songs inspired by nature at 2:30 p.m. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown. Composers include Gabriel Faur, Franz Schubert and George Whitefield Chadwick. Admission costs $5; free for museum members. Call 301-739-5727.
For other listings go to THECalendar at http://www.herald-mail.com/calendar/events/