Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!
Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots). Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience.
PAMTA winner, Chelsea Nicole Lapp, returns to choreograph, alongside Skylar Derthick, PAMTA nominee and 5th Avenue Award winner, as Crutchie, and two time 5th Avenue Award nominee, Clayton Lukens, staring as Jack Kelly.
Parent Advisory: mild language and brief physical violence.
Their mission: “Journey is a Christ-centered theater arts program that exists to grow youth and their families in character and purpose to be difference-makers in their world.” Throughout the Portland/Vancouver area, Journey offers dozens of classes for ages 6-18, in drama, dance, voice and more. In addition, we produce Broadway style shows in four locations during the school year, improv competitions, multiple summer camps and professional-level community theater musicals for all ages in summer. Journey is a nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684. Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/07080619/DBA9F9B3-3D69-4A3B-9BB3-9936630508BF-e1562879255699-scaled.jpeg12162718Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-07-11 14:12:342019-07-11 14:13:50Journey Theater Preparing For Disney’s ‘Newsies’ Debut This August
Washougal, WA — This charming stage musical is an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale, “A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge tells the timeless story of the quintessential miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, as he’s visited one Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-To-Come. They lead him through a fanciful journey as he comes to terms with his miserly ways and has a change of heart.
Performances are November 30 – December 9, 2018 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School, 1201 39th Street, Washougal WA, 98671. Tickets are on sale now at journeytheater.org or by calling 360.750.8550. Pre-sale adult tickets are $12. Youth and senior tickets are $10. Our “family day” performance is December 1 at 7:00 pm with all tickets $10 in advance. Tickets for all performances are $4 more at the door.
Friday, November 30th – 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 1st – 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 2nd – 2:00 pm
Friday, December 7th – 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 8th – 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 8th – 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 9th – 2:00 pm
Our mission: “Growing youth in character, confidence and creativity, in a Christ centered community.” Throughout the Portland/Vancouver area, Journey offers dozens of classes for ages 6-18, in drama, dance, voice and more. In addition, we produce 12 Broadway-style shows in four locations during the school year, improv competitions, multiple summer camps and professional-level community theater musicals for all ages in summer. Journey is a nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684. Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org
Vancouver, WA — Journey Theater Arts Group presents Disney’s “The Lion King Jr,” which will run for two weekends, November 16-25 at Fort Vancouver High School.
A lively stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning 1994 Disney animated film, “The Lion King Jr.” is the story of a young lion prince living in the flourishing African Pride Lands. Born into the royal family, precocious cub Simba spends his days exploring the sprawling savanna grasslands and idolizing his kingly father, Mufasa, while youthfully shirking the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy, orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes his father’s life, Simba flees the Pride Lands, leaving his loss and the life he knew behind. Eventually companioned by two hilarious and unlikely friends, Simba starts anew. But when weight of responsibility and a desperate plea from the now ravaged Pride Lands come to find the adult prince, Simba must take on a formidable enemy, and fulfill his destiny to be king. With music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, additional music and lyrics by Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Hans Zimmer, and book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, Julie Taymor’s vision has been brought to life for audiences all over the world.
Our mission: “Growing youth in character, confidence and creativity, in a Christ centered community.” Throughout the Portland/Vancouver area, Journey offers dozens of classes for ages 6-18, in drama, dance, voice and more. In addition, we produce 12 Broadway style shows in four locations during the school year, improv competitions, multiple summer camps and professional-level community theater musicals for all ages in summer. Journey is a nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684. Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org.
Journey Theater Arts Group presents Disney’s “The Lion King Jr,” which will run for two weekends, November 16-25 at Fort Vancouver High School.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/07091855/E2EA6FD4-7316-4F4C-A8D9-835AD1720862-e1540965347643-scaled.jpeg12743252Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-10-31 14:20:362018-10-31 23:10:43Journey Theater Arts Group Presents “The Lion King, Jr.” Mid-November
As he prepares for his starring role in the upcoming Camas Theatre production of “Macbeth,” which opens November 8, Camas, WA actor Clayton Lukens reflects on his summer theatrical experience at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Lukens was accepted into the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute, which is a four-week summer program full show intensive for young actors. This summer, they produced “Tuck Everlasting.”
“You do a full production,” said Lukens. “Some other camps are about workshops, and this is about doing a full-scale production. We arrived and the first day we all go find our houses and the boys are housed in the colored cottages. They placed all the girls in a mansion. The first day we all walked to the beach together and we start in a circle to talk about our goals and what we are able to bring to the team.”
Each summer session has 25 students, plus the crew program with about eight youth, the institute staff and the director, Joe Barros, who has worked on Broadway several times.
“He’s [Barros] is always doing big, big projects,” said Lukens. “He always likes to switch things up.”
Being accepted into the program was a dream come true for Lukens, who found out in March he was accepted into the $6,000 camp — but he’d already been saving his money for about a year.
During application time, he filled out the basics and sent a video audition of him singing and dancing.
“And, so I brought out a friend who choreographed a dance for me,” Lukens said. “Her name is Grace Thompson. I signed my application, and was just doing Little Shop rehearsals and I was waiting. We found out March 16, which was opening day for Little Shop. The whole day I had my Chromebook open in the corner and kept refreshing. I got the email that said I was accepted. I’d been wanting to do this for over a year, and then they placed us all in a Facebook Group. We all got to know each other before we went. It was a virtual audtion process.”
The summer institute had much to do about chemistry with other people, and he was called back for two characters: Jesse Tuck, and Man in Yellow Suit. The whole plot is this family drinks the water and now will never die.
“They learn lessons that life is valuable, and some point you have to get off the wheel so others can experience it,” said Lukens. “I ended up playing Man in Yellow Suit. He wants to monopolize on the water. I was double cast, and then I played ensemble second weekend. That was hard. You have to learn two roles.”
He said the first challenge was having to memorize everything off-book before arrival, which was rough for the “in-the-moment” learner that Lukens is.
On the set of “Tuck Everlasting.”
The institute program is pretty tough, with 9-13 hour rehearsal days, every day.
“We spend our time choreographing every scene, learning the music, learning the harmonies,” he said. “We do that for the first two weeks, and it’s very exhausting. We did this seven days a week with only two days off. On those days off, we went to Savannah, and then went to the beach on Hilton Head.”
By the time they got to opening day, he said the team felt very prepared and that they all became really good friends.
The teens did six performances in total, with each lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes — which is a short time for a musical.
“Joe completely reinvented the show,” Lukens said. “It’s very different from what appeared on Broadway. The play flopped on Broadway, so Joe fixed the dents. He incorporated 126 umbrellas into the whole show. It was amazing!”
Breaking umbrellas was a real problem.
So, what did Lukens learn the most from this?
“I think I learned that the biggest part is interpretation,” said Lukens. “It can be funny, and wild and weird, but deep down you have to be a person that the audience can relate to. They taught me how to get deeper into the character. A lot of people can fake it on stage, but making it an actual character so that he feels like a person.”
“Kris Saucedo played Tuck. He went to the program last summer, so I found him on Instagram and he’d been to the institute previously, and he had been helping promote the program. We became really great friends. The set design was amazing. It was the best set I’ve ever stepped on to. They had these umbrellas in the sky, and we had lots of trap doors on the stage. One time I sat in the trap door for four hours while reading a book. It was totally fine to listen.”
“It took us that whole year to save up for it. It was the best experience I’ve ever had with theatre. You’re just in a group of people that all want to do the same things you do. There are some days when you’re with someone for 13 hours, and you want to snap — you get so exhausted. For sure, we had our different groups, but it was just a crazy community to be around. Time moves differently there. It’s its own little world.”
Man in Yellow Suit, played by Clayton Lukens.
To be considered for the program, you have to be in high school —as a rising freshman up to a recently graduated senior.
Ben Wolfe started the program, which has flourished through the years. He contributes so much, said Lukens, and he gives everything to that company.
One of the original producers came to the show, and the original Jessie Tuck came and did a Master Class. His name is Andrew Keenan-Bolger. He’s a big broadway celebrity.
“Clayton is an outstanding young man filled with a joy and energy that makes every room he enters a little bit brighter,” said Wolfe. “We loved working with him this summer.”
Go to www.summertheatreinstitute.com to learn more.
Photos by Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute.
Lukens had a great time, and worked really hard.
Man in Yellow Suit, played by Clayton Lukens.
Lukens played Man in Yellow Suit for “Tuck Everlasting.”
Lukens made some good friends at the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/07092803/BA676580-F86B-421A-8038-8122F5B3BD17.jpeg426959Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-10-08 19:08:002018-10-09 09:36:12Lukens: Actor Reflects on Summer Theatre Experience; Looks Forward to “Macbeth”
Washougal, WA — Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” an international sensation that has played to over 35 million people worldwide in 13 countries. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.
Our mission: “Growing youth in character, confidence and creativity, in a Christ centered community.” Throughout the Portland/Vancouver area, Journey offers dozens of classes for ages 6-18, in drama, dance, voice and more. In addition, we produce 12 Broadway-style shows in four locations during the school year, improv competitions, multiple summer camps and professional-level community theater musicals for all ages in summer. Journey is a nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684. Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/07095206/4AAA7FF7-E11C-4121-8B72-FB5FDA091F76-scaled.jpeg23003602Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-07-16 18:41:472018-07-17 10:37:30Journey Theater Arts Group Presents: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”
Camas, WA — When Camas High School senior, Omar Shafiuzzaman, walks into the doors of London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama this October, he’ll be living his dream.
After attending a workshop last summer at London’s Globe Theatre, he knew he wanted to attend school in the United Kingdom. So, he applied to four schools in the area, and ended up being one of nine young men from all over the world to receive an unconditional offer to enter the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s acting program. The school has a one percent acceptance rate.
Shafiuzzaman, known for his work in Camas Theatre productions over the past few years, says the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is the top-ranked acting school in the United Kingdom, one of the top 10 in the world, and boasts of several prestigious graduates: Dame Judi Dench, Sir Laurence Olivier, Andrew Garfield (of the “Spider-Man” movies), and Sonia Friedman, among others.
“This is everything I ever wanted,” said Shafiuzzaman. “This is the best possible outcome for me.”
Shafiuzzaman has been gaining local attention for his work in plays such as “Brigadoom,” “The Laramie Project,” and most recently, “Little Shop of Horrors,” for which he has received a 5th Avenue Award nomination for Best Supporting Role. 5th Avenue is the top Washington state acting honor a student can receive.
So, how did he get here? His acting journey started in 6th grade, but it didn’t become a passion until years later.
“It was a gradual realization to want to be an actor,” he said. “I was in 6th grade (in Las Vegas) — in my first play, which was ‘Peter Pan’. I played Mr. Darling, Wendy’s dad. Then I moved to Camas in 8th grade and started doing it more, and researched how to get the best training. Mr. Kelly at Camas has been a huge help.”
Following his year at Skyridge, he enrolled in Drama 1 Class at CHS, which is taught by Sean Kelly.
“He teaches you how to memorize lines, basic acting techniques, movements, blocking, how to connect with partners,” said Shafiuzzaman. “He teaches vocabulary for theater. For my sophomore year, I enrolled in Advanced Drama, which is independent, and you get to write your own work. You work on more advanced skills.”
Initially, he didn’t find his strengths.
At the close of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“His first year as a freshman, he was emotionally closed off and was pretty quiet in my class, oddly enough,” said Kelly. “He didn’t take a lot of risks at first, so I think for Omar his biggest victory was overcoming this idea that he is not good enough at this, and he had major breakthroughs last year that have put him where he’s at. He has confidence in his craft. He’s meticulous. He likes to have a lot of tools at his disposal. He can really embrace the sloppiness of being human. He has the confidence and comfort level to do so. I told him to stop playing it safe, because the risks are where you have growth. He also started taking acting lessons outside of class, which I highly recommend.”
His family is very supportive, but they also keep him grounded — and he needs to find a summer job before heading to London.
“We never really had this planned for Omar,” said his mother, Kylee. “We told him to follow his dreams. And this is what he’s super passionate about. It’s exciting to see opportunities come. He’s really worked hard.”
Omar loves his craft because each acting experience is different.
“Actors are very lucky because they get to experience everything they could ever want to in life,” said Shafiuzzaman. “They can learn how to be a doctor, then they study and pretend to play a doctor. You can be a king. It’s a dream job. You can do what you want as an actor. You get to meet really smart people. You can’t just really feel emotions — there’s an intellectual side to it, as well. You have to get other people to believe you, you have to know how the world works, and be very knowledgeable about the world. You have to talk to a lot of people.”
Omar has been in six main stage productions, and two student productions, which are one acts. Plus, he did two other shows in Drama class.
“My mom helped put them up, which were cancer fundraiser shows,” he said. “We raised $6,000 last year, and $2,000 this year. One was ‘Chemo Girl’ and this year we did ‘Sillyheart.’ My favorite play was ‘Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s.’ That was the first time I’d done a show since 6th grade. When I finally got to perform again it was exhilarating. It introduced me into the whole world of theatre. It was just amazing. I played Eddie and he was the hero of the show. He had the most lines. Ended up saving all the people at the end. My favorite character that I played was Jeff Douglas, an alcoholic man who went to Scotland with his best friend, in ’Brigadoom.’
“It’s exhausting at times because everything is out in the open. We talk about what we feel isn’t right. Theatre is the best way to express yourself. It’s a way to spur change or make a statement. There’s also the entertainment side, as well. It’s mostly a good thing that all these things are coming to light, and then we can talk and solve problems.
Omar in a scene from Camas Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“My friends are very, very happy for me. I live in a very supportive community of kids in the theatre group. They’re all really nice about it.”
Kelly said memorization is essential to being a good actor.
“At first, it’s very hard, and it’s really the donkey work of acting,” he said. “You just repeat the lines over and over again. And, then repeat them without looking at script. You just have to memorize it. You either do it, or you don’t. It gets easier as you do it more and more. After memorizing so many lines, then once the show is done, they go away really quickly.”
Entertainment is becoming part of the family business. He has an older sister, Sophia, attending Northern Colorado University, working on light and set design. And, Omar’s younger brother, Aiden, is involved with the Skyridge Middle School choir, and he also appeared in “Alice in Wonderland.”
During summer break, Shafiuzzaman will play a Pakistani teenager in a short film called “Death from Above.” The film talks about the Middle East.
It’s great that he’s attending such a prestigious acting school in London,” said Kelly. “The British approach is much more technical, and I think this will be a good fit for him.”
Camas Theatre director, Sean Kelly, has high praise for Omar.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/07095919/A9B46150-1A7C-4CB4-A1E4-8605EB9E0A56-scaled.jpeg23965247Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-05-29 14:12:172018-05-29 16:06:42Camas Theatre’s Shafiuzzaman to Attend Prestigious London Acting School
WASHOUGAL, WA – Journey Theater Arts Group presents “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Winner of nine Tony Awards when it debuted in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof is the brainchild of Broadway legends, Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince; songwriters, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick; and bookwriter, Joseph Stein. Touching audiences worldwide with its humor, warmth and honesty, this universal show is a staple of the musical theatre canon.
Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof‘s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
Their mission: “Growing youth in character, confidence and creativity, in a Christ centered community.” Throughout the Portland/Vancouver area, Journey offers dozens of classes for ages 6-18, in drama, dance, voice and more. In addition, we produce 12 Broadway-style shows in four locations during the school year, improv competitions, multiple summer camps and professional-level community theater musicals for all ages in summer. Journey is a nonprofit educational organization, with offices located at 1400 NE 136th Ave, Suite 201, Vancouver WA, 98684. Contact at 360.750.8550 or www.journeytheater.org
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/07100019/8A2EF684-52EA-475C-980B-6B71C240CBBD-scaled.jpeg21473853Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-05-18 19:12:152018-08-20 11:33:28“Fiddler on the Roof” Begins Its Production Run This Weekend
Camas, WA — My sons looked at me funny when I told them I was attending Evening On Broadway instead of the hoops battle between Union and Camas Friday night. We’re a little short-staffed this week, so it was one or the other.
Sorry basketball players. We think you’re awesome, but we thought the choir needed some attention. We’ll get you all at the next game.
Watching these kids belt out some challenging songs, dance, act and entertain us was well worth the 2+ hours at Camas Theater. Led by Musical Director, Ethan Chessin, and accompanied by pianist Detelinka Dimitrova, “Evening On Broadway didn’t disappoint. Liz Borromeo was the choreographer.
Opening with the entire choir singing “The Circle of Life” as they walked among the audience onto the stage was dramatic, and it was introduced by actors Omar Shafiuzzaman and John Elder, who acted out a Muppet theme throughout the production — and it was their “Man or Muppet” performance mid-way that stole the show. They can sing, dance, and act.
See their entire performance on our YouTube page:
In total, the youth performed 26 songs from popular Broadway productions, such as “The Lion King,” “Newsies,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Funny Girl,” “Grease,” “La La Land,” and more.
It was refreshing to see the range of talent, and see kids who wrestle and swim for Camas sing a few tunes and dance their hearts out. It’s clear these kids have talents and gifts — and love to entertain.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/07104736/41D549A7-35BD-47E4-8DA1-86EA34125D73-scaled.jpeg40006000Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-01-27 02:01:452018-01-27 02:01:45Reflections on “Evening on Broadway” — A Camas High School Choir Event
The Portland Choir and Orchestra will be ringing in the Christmas season this Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, November 25 at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Newmark Theater in Downtown Portland. This year’s event features special guests Edmund Stone of All Classical Portland Radio, and Bells of the Cascades.
Tickets may be purchased directly from the Newmark Theater by phone (503-274-6551), ONLINE, at the box office, or from choir members. Newmark fees may be lower at the box office, and specific seat choices can only be secured directly from Newark.
Newmark Theater address:
1111 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205
“The choir currently has 100 members, and the orchestra has 45,” said choir member, Curtis Bedont. “We have two to three concerts a year. One is the Christmas concert, and then we have one in the late spring. This season we will have three concerts — in November, March, and June. There are many members that have been singing with them since its inception. Others come and go as their schedules and life circumstances permit. We are always recruiting new singers! We would actually like to be a little bigger, at 110-120 choir members.”
The Portland Choir & Orchestra has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February to perform Durufle’s Requiem, and they are also preparing for that event.
Portland Choir and Orchestra.
About Portland Choir & Orchestra
Since its founding concert in 2005, the organization has been delighting audiences with excellent, inspiring choral and orchestral music. Each year, thousands of Oregon and Washington residents turn out to hear PCO’s wide variety of concert programs including the annual Celebration of Christmas, master works for choir and orchestra based on sacred texts, and patriotic and pops-style concerts that celebrate humankind’s rich heritage of Faith, Music, Family and Liberty.
Portland Choir & Orchestra has performed the Star Spangled Banner at multiple Portland Trail Blazers’ Games and has also performed with the Newport Symphony Orchestra, the Willamette Falls Symphony, and with national stars like Grammy-nominated and acclaimed concert violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, renowned Mormon Tabernacle Organist Clay Christiansen and Broadway actor and recording artist Dallyn Vail Bayles. Local celebrities such as Bill Schonely and Ray Summers have also collaborated to provide inspiring collaborations of music and narration like Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, the Camas High School Theatre group performed “The Laramie Project”, I attended the matinee at 2:00 pm.
There are many specific reasons that individuals join together to share in a common interaction with the arts. Be it music, painting, sculpture, film, photography, dance, theatre or other forms. Generally, the reason is the same, we expect the art to affect us emotionally. Sometimes the emotion is joy, perhaps happiness, or simply to be entertained through humor or wit. The best art tells a story about real or fictional characters, their motivations, their joys and pains, to be revealed through the senses—sound, light, color, speech, smell, taste, or form.
In the case of exceptional art, that story aspires to more than just someone else’s journey discovered through an artist’s medium. Art can attain a higher level, where if the subject is willing, the story unfolds around you in such a compelling narrative that the story is no longer a foreign entity, it enters you and demands that you become part of it. “The Laramie Project” is such an opportunity. If you let it in, you become part of the story. If you let it in, and apply introspection to the experience, you will learn about yourself. In you let it in, and act on what you learned about yourself, it will change you.
Actor Forest Myers-Power.
“The Laramie Project” is challenging, raw, emotional material. With data, quotes, and experiences gathered over significant amount of time through observation, interview, and research. The material is then presented in a narrative that depicts just not the journey of those directly involved in Laramie and surrounding locations, but the journey of the playwrights themselves as they interact directly with the setting in space and time. Slowly building the pieces of the puzzle, and then putting those pieces into the larger tapestry of the events surrounding the life and death of Matthew Shepard.
Occasional reexamination of one’s beliefs, prejudices, and biases is a critical component to human progression. Art is often the catalyst allowing one to sort through many attributes of the human condition in rapid succession. Hate, love, guilt, passion, judgement, compassion, anger, disgust, fear, charity, hope, and forgiveness may all run their course through you in the span of just a few hours’ time.
While there are moments of humor, this is not easy or light material. Your experience with it will vary greatly dependent on your willingness to engage it and especially to honestly engage yourself. If you let it in, you will leave with a greater desire for compassion and tolerance. Even towards those things which you don’t believe and for people and cultures that you don’t understand. If we are to heal our world, our nation, our community, even our families—it will take a little more of such desire.
There will be three more showings: This Friday at 7; Saturday matinee at 2, and a final showing this Saturday at 7 pm — all at Camas Theatre (at Camas High School).