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Performing Arts

Summer 2004

Short Shakespeareans

In a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Demetrius calls for a sword. His request produces instead a yellow rubber chicken tossed from off stage.

“Shakespeare should be fun,” says Sherry Chastain Schreck, founding director of the “Short Shakespeareans.” Children in the drama troupe are 4 to 15, most of them pre-teenagers. In the 25 years since making their debut, the thespians have become a community treasure in Wenatchee.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a favorite of the Short Shakes. “The children love it. It is easy for young people to follow and understand,” Schreck says.

While the cast of characters has changed over the … » More …

Spring 2004

Happy in Hollywood, actor Larkin Campbell loves what he's doing

It’s a dark drama, set in a desert. The lead character, Zack, runs into some bad guys, and he’s in real trouble. The name of the movie, an independent production, is short and catchy: Nowhere.

But the actor playing Zack, Larkin Campbell, hopes the movie goes somewhere. He not only played the lead, he also produced the flick.

“We’ve sent it out, but it hasn’t been accepted in any of the festivals yet,” he says. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Among other projects he’s working on is Squatch, an adventure film about two guys chasing the mythical Bigfoot.

Last year he was a co-star … » More …

Spring 2005

The Show Makers: Great Directors of the American Musical Theatre

Seek out and interview 12 of the most creative and highly respected directors of the American musical theatre, and let them reveal how they went about directing some of the most important and influential musicals of the 20th century. No easy task, but that’s exactly what Lawrence Thelen (’93 M.A.) successfully accomplished in his new book, The Show Makers: Great Directors of the American Musical Theatre.

The book brings together the wide-ranging and diverse approaches of its contributors, and reading it is like bringing these famous directors into your own living room for a casual, yet highly informative chat that is peppered with such phrases … » More …

Fall 2002

Whispered prayers

On the floor of Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum, Native American children dressed in full regalia run off steam before the grand dance at the Pah-Loots-Pu Powwow this Saturday night in April. One of them is Red Bear McCloud, the 5-year-old son of arena director Russell McCloud, seated at the announcer’s platform in jeans and a crimson wind jacket. Father looks on at son unhurriedly. The grand dance is scheduled for 6 p.m., an hour away, but McCloud knows it will most likely be later. Always factor in Indian time—about half an hour more than what’s advertised.

“I grew up going to powwows,” McCloud says. He … » More …

Fall 2002

Dancing for the Gods

On a recent spring evening, the audience at Daggy Hall was mesmerized by a rare glimpse of a complex and ancient culture. For more than two hours, Raji Soundararajan, who by day is a research associate with the Center for Materials Research, danced the magical Bharata Natyam.

Though obviously a rare treat, for many Indians in the audience Bharata Natyam was not so exotic as it was for the rest of us. Even without the excellent explanations by Mani Venkatasubramanian, associate professor in electrical engineering, they understood the stories, the rich allusion to Hindu epics danced by Ms. Soundararajan. The rest of us, including many … » More …

Summer 2002

An instrument most rare

As soon as he touched the keys of the Fazioli, Gerald Berthiaume knew he was playing a magnificent piano. He found its construction and luxurious sound far superior to the better known Steinway.

Berthiaume discovered the instrument while shopping for Washington State University at Baldassin Performance Pianos in Salt Lake City, the only licensed dealer in the West where a Fazioli can be purchased.

“This was an incredible piano,” said the program coordinator for WSU’s School of Music and Theatre Arts.

Paolo Fazioli, the piano’s craftsman and an accomplished pianist in his own right, was among the guests when the 10-foot, 2-inch Concert Grand Fazioli … » More …

Spring 2002

"You'll miss it"

“I liked science classes because they were applicable, and I’ve always been logical. But music adds some structure.”

Nothing navigates the left brain-right brain divide more effectively than guilt and loyalty.

For proof, just pick the brains of Washington State University plant pathologist/cellist Jane Jung-Hae Choi. She switches with ease between running through experiment protocols and symphony movements, thanks to the bicameral prick of expectation.

It worked that way in her science. Offered the choice in summer 1996 between two fellowships through the State University of New York, one at Syracuse Medical Center and one at Geneseo in plant research, Choi chose the plant research … » More …