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March 10, 2016 01:00 AM

We’re all well acquainted with portraits. We’ve all seen da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Van Gogh’s self-portrait with bandaged ear. We’ve been subjects in our own portraits, from selfies snapped at wild house parties to those bizarre, neck-cricking high-school IDs. Portraits are displayed in magazine ads, on business cards, in mugshots, passports and newspaper headlines.

We’re all well acquainted with portraits. We’ve all seen da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Van Gogh’s self-portrait with bandaged ear. We’ve been subjects in our own portraits, from selfies snapped at wild house parties to those bizarre, neck-cricking high-school IDs. Portraits are displayed in magazine ads, on business cards, in mugshots, passports and newspaper headlines.

March 10, 2016 01:00 AM

“Twenty-five years seems like a significant milestone,” Denise Gilbertson says. 

That’s perhaps the understatement of the new year for the silver anniversary of the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE), of which Gilberston is a member. For any nonprofit arts group to reach the decade milepost, let alone the quarter-century mark, is cause for celebration.

Twenty-five years seems like a significant milestone,” Denise Gilbertson says. 

That’s perhaps the understatement of the new year for the silver anniversary of the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE), of which Gilberston is a member. For any nonprofit arts group to reach the decade milepost, let alone the quarter-century mark, is cause for celebration.

March 10, 2016 01:00 AM

With perfect political timing, a new dinner theater company brings Murder on the Campaign Trail to town

The newly minted Mystery Mayhem Theater Company’s dinner show, Murder on the Campaign Trail, opens in Springfield this weekend, with a sendup of the political process and whodunit rolled into one. 

With perfect political timing, a new dinner theater company brings Murder on the Campaign Trail to town

The newly minted Mystery Mayhem Theater Company’s dinner show, Murder on the Campaign Trail, opens in Springfield this weekend, with a sendup of the political process and whodunit rolled into one. 

The show’s co-producer, Tony Stirpe, cut his teeth on shows like this.   

March 10, 2016 01:00 AM

Clocking in at nearly four hours, University Theatre’s production of Scorched is something of an endurance test, and the stamina it requires is more than just physical. Bloody and unrelenting, the play transports the audience front and center to hell on earth, and its emotional impact is undeniable, like a seizure of post-traumatic stress that won’t let you go.

Clocking in at nearly four hours, University Theatre’s production of Scorched is something of an endurance test, and the stamina it requires is more than just physical. Bloody and unrelenting, the play transports the audience front and center to hell on earth, and its emotional impact is undeniable, like a seizure of post-traumatic stress that won’t let you go.

March 3, 2016 01:00 AM

Written in 2003, Scorched is by Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad. Opening Thursday, March 3, University of Oregon theater arts instructor Michael Najjar directs the play at University Theatre. 

Scorched is about a pair of twins who attend the reading of their mother’s will,” Najjar explains. “They are charged by their mother to find their father and brother they never knew they had.”

Written in 2003, Scorched is by Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad. Opening Thursday, March 3, University of Oregon theater arts instructor Michael Najjar directs the play at University Theatre. 

Scorched is about a pair of twins who attend the reading of their mother’s will,” Najjar explains. “They are charged by their mother to find their father and brother they never knew they had.”

If the siblings don’t follow this request, they are not allowed to bury their mother properly. 

March 3, 2016 01:00 AM

Lauren Gunderson’s 2011 play Silent Sky is about succeeding and failing, seeking and discovering, journeying and arriving. That is to say, it’s the story of a life — the life of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Silent Sky, directed by Elizabeth Helman, is playing now at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

Working at Harvard at the turn of the 20th century, Leavitt made significant discoveries leading to the development of the Hubble Telescope. 

Lauren Gunderson’s 2011 play Silent Sky is about succeeding and failing, seeking and discovering, journeying and arriving. That is to say, it’s the story of a life — the life of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Silent Sky, directed by Elizabeth Helman, is playing now at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

Working at Harvard at the turn of the 20th century, Leavitt made significant discoveries leading to the development of the Hubble Telescope. 

March 3, 2016 01:00 AM

Who’s Who and What’s What in Dance This Month

Spring is in the air, and dance offerings are starting to bloom, beginning with “In the Studio” with DanceAbility, an inspiring demonstration from their Everybody Can Dance teen program. Celebrate with local teens across a full spectrum of abilities and disabilities as they enjoy the art of dancing together. Guest professional dance artists led by DanceAbility teacher Jana Meszaros will also show an inspiring choreographed mixed-abilities piece with dancer Kelcie Laube.

March 3, 2016 01:00 AM

The third annual Wordcrafters Conference returns to Eugene this week.

Wordcrafters aims to provide “writers and readers opportunities to strengthen their craft, deepen their connection with literature and share their knowledge with each other and with future generations.” 

The third annual Wordcrafters Conference returns to Eugene this week.

Wordcrafters aims to provide “writers and readers opportunities to strengthen their craft, deepen their connection with literature and share their knowledge with each other and with future generations.” 

The conference features two days of workshops and on Friday, March 4, bestselling author of Two If by Sea, Jacquelyn Mitchard, speaks at 7 pm in the UO Baker Center downtown, 975 High Street; FREE, wordcraftersineugene.org.

March 2, 2016 11:51 PM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

‘Between Profiles’ by Manuel Izquierdo

 

February 25, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Local jazz songbird Halie Loren joins Torrey Newhart on piano, Mark Schneider on bass and Brian West on drum for “I’ll Be Seeing You: Reflecting the women of jazz,” an event featuring songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell 7:30 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb. 25, at The Jazz Station downtown.

February 25, 2016 01:00 AM

As the tilted Earth spins and progresses through her orbit, late February brings light and warmth flooding back to us. But spring is not the only fresh thing bubbling up from all points the south. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland soon greets the lengthening days, buzzing with new stories that are beautifully staged.

As the tilted Earth spins and progresses through her orbit, late February brings light and warmth flooding back to us. But spring is not the only fresh thing bubbling up from all points the south. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland soon greets the lengthening days, buzzing with new stories that are beautifully staged.

Under the artistic direction of Bill Rauch, the internationally renowned festival’s 81st season boasts first-run plays, elegant classics and a commitment to bringing a broader world perspective to the stage. 

February 25, 2016 01:00 AM

How to Be a Sissy, a new solo work by actor-writer Brian Haimbach, opens with the memory of a little boy wearing a towel on his head and imagining that he has long, glorious hair. 

How to Be a Sissy, a new solo work by actor-writer Brian Haimbach, opens with the memory of a little boy wearing a towel on his head and imagining that he has long, glorious hair. 

“I always played with dolls, as early as I can remember,” says Haimbach, who directs the theatre program at Lane Community College. “I don’t remember when I started putting the towel on my head — maybe about third grade.” As a boy, Haimbach’s mother made him keep his hair closely cropped.

February 18, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

More than a year has passed since Eugene’s beloved storyteller Mark Lewis passed away. The Emmy-winning local performer, author, teacher and voice actor was nationally known for his show Word Pictures and voicing part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. 

His spirit and influence lives on in the people he mentored, such as Angela Dunham and Lindsey Shields of Flex Studios, a local dance school.

February 11, 2016 01:00 AM

Valentine hugs and kisses to all y’all! But first:

Last month, we glanced briefly at benefits of maturing (aging) fine wines. The subject is too complex for one skimpy piece. Besides, we must tell the story of Bill Wilson, about time and wine and love.

Valentine hugs and kisses to all y’all! But first:

Last month, we glanced briefly at benefits of maturing (aging) fine wines. The subject is too complex for one skimpy piece. Besides, we must tell the story of Bill Wilson, about time and wine and love.

In 1985, Bill was already in his mid-60s, white hair, walked with a cane, always wore his father’s Iron Cross on a ribbon around his neck. He ambled into Ambrosia, introduced himself. We talked wine.

February 11, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

[Editor's note: This article has been updated to show the new time for the Heart of Eugene festival, which has been moved from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15]

February 11, 2016 01:00 AM

A search for escarole seed late last summer led me to the excellent website of Adaptive Seeds (adaptiveseeds.com). The seed they sent so promptly (for escarole “Diva” and a locally bred fava bean, “Aprovecho”) was terrific, delivering uniform, vigorous germination at a rate close to 100 percent. “Diva” has proved exceptionally cold-hardy, and the beans are growing strong. 

A search for escarole seed late last summer led me to the excellent website of Adaptive Seeds (adaptiveseeds.com). The seed they sent so promptly (for escarole “Diva” and a locally bred fava bean, “Aprovecho”) was terrific, delivering uniform, vigorous germination at a rate close to 100 percent. “Diva” has proved exceptionally cold-hardy, and the beans are growing strong. 

February 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Most Willamette Valley gardeners know the popular native groundcover kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Less familiar are larger members of the same genus known as manzanita. I fell in love with manzanitas when I visited a botanic garden in the Berkeley hills, where I saw mature specimens of several California species and could really appreciate the stems and bark that are their most striking feature.

Most Willamette Valley gardeners know the popular native groundcover kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Less familiar are larger members of the same genus known as manzanita. I fell in love with manzanitas when I visited a botanic garden in the Berkeley hills, where I saw mature specimens of several California species and could really appreciate the stems and bark that are their most striking feature.

February 4, 2016 01:00 AM

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month

DanceAbility International will be featured on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat and the community is welcome to an open house and viewing party 6:30 to 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 4, at 576 Olive St., Suite 208, with the segment airing on TV at 8 pm. 

February 4, 2016 01:00 AM

In the 1970s, The New Mime Circus Theater Ensemble was one of Eugene’s several cooperative community projects. Today, the company has been resurrected in a new form by co-founders Judith “Sparky” Roberts and fellow performer Joe Cronin.

Fools Haven, a nonprofit, launched its inaugural performance with a Shakespeare showcase at Springfield’s Wildish Community Theater in December 2014, and has since staged several showcases and other works at the Eugene Public Library, the Very Little Theatre and other public venues.

In the 1970s, The New Mime Circus Theater Ensemble was one of Eugene’s several cooperative community projects. Today, the company has been resurrected in a new form by co-founders Judith “Sparky” Roberts and fellow performer Joe Cronin.

Fools Haven, a nonprofit, launched its inaugural performance with a Shakespeare showcase at Springfield’s Wildish Community Theater in December 2014, and has since staged several showcases and other works at the Eugene Public Library, the Very Little Theatre and other public venues.

February 4, 2016 01:00 AM

What if you could peer into the hearts and minds of the participants of a middle-school spelling bee, just to see what makes them tick? What’s motivating them? What performance rituals do they employ to correctly spell words like autochthonous or eudaemonic?

What if you could peer into the hearts and minds of the participants of a middle-school spelling bee, just to see what makes them tick? What’s motivating them? What performance rituals do they employ to correctly spell words like autochthonous or eudaemonic?

Cottage Theatre’s new production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee answers these questions and more in a winning production directed by Mark VanBeever. 

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Keep the Whit original: The Whiteaker Tattoo Collective opens its door for Last Friday Art Walk from 5 to 9 pm Friday, Jan. 29, at 245 Van Buren St. See new work from Sharden Killmore, the lord of “fly art” (yes, his medium is dead flies) and oil paintings by Erich Scwhartzwald of human-animal hybrids. 

Also on Last Friday Art Walk, The Photography at Oregon group will screen the fantastic and mysterious documentary Finding Vivian Maier starting at 7 pm at Jon Meyers’ studio, 385 W. 2nd Ave.; free or by donation.

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

From the creative team at South Park that brought you “Mister Hankey the Christmas Poo” comes The Book of Mormon, a brash send-up of Joseph Smith, the Church of Latter Day Saints and even theater itself. 

Left: Billy Harrigan Tighe in The Book of Mormon. Photo credit: Johan Persson.
Right: Alexandra Ncube in The Book of Mormon. Photo credit: Joan Marcus

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

No holds barred: There is nothing the ladies in Disenchanted aren’t willing to throw down in an effort to overturn society’s ideal of a Disney princess. From tirades about historical inaccuracies to really dirty Pinocchio jokes, all’s fair in Actors Cabaret of Eugene’s (ACE) production of Dennis T. Giacino’s irreverent musical.

No holds barred: There is nothing the ladies in Disenchanted aren’t willing to throw down in an effort to overturn society’s ideal of a Disney princess. From tirades about historical inaccuracies to really dirty Pinocchio jokes, all’s fair in Actors Cabaret of Eugene’s (ACE) production of Dennis T. Giacino’s irreverent musical.

January 28, 2016 01:00 AM

There’s something slightly off about University Theatre’s current production of Water by the Spoonful, the Pulitzer-winning second installment in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy of plays about a returning Iraqi War vet who struggles to reintegrate himself into civilian life in the U.S.

There’s something slightly off about University Theatre’s current production of Water by the Spoonful, the Pulitzer-winning second installment in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy of plays about a returning Iraqi War vet who struggles to reintegrate himself into civilian life in the U.S.