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.

Laramie

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).

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

— by Jon Pugmire

“The Laramie Project” Image Gallery

Photos by Jon Pugmire

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Camas Theatre students are in the middle of daily rehearsals for “The Laramie Project,” which director Sean Kelly says is the “most in-depth play we’ve ever produced here.”

The play, written by Moises Kaufman, and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project, is about the reaction to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming gay student, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming. The three-act play is based on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town, interviewer journal entries, and published news reports.

The cast of 19, each of whom takes on multiple characters, spends their afternoons rehearsing their lines, and preparing themselves for a play that is causing most of them to look deep into human nature and behavior. We spent 90 minutes with the actors as they listened closely to instruction, and then had their own in-depth discussion about what causes people to behave badly.

“The play is about how people can rationalize, in general,” says Kelly. “The students are taking on some really deep material. It’s stretching them.”

Armita Aziza, who plays Zubaida Ula, among other characters, says the play addressed how the incident affected the town.

“Our characters address prejudice, hatred, and community,” she says.

Omar Shafiuzzaman is playing four characters: Dennis Shepard (Matthew’s father), police detective, Rob Debree, a news reporter, and playwright, Moises Kaufman.

“We’re all on stage for the whole show,” says Shafiuzzaman. “It’s very challenging to switch between these characters, and we’re learning a lot.”

Skylar Derthick plays Jeddidiah Schultz, Dr. Castaway (who operates on Matthew), and Reverend Fred Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church, who lead a protest at Shepard’s funeral.

“It’s tough to play all these roles,” says Derthick, who appreciates the work going into this production.

Kelly encourages the local community to turn out for their play, and welcomes a broader discussion about prejudices and attitudes. Following the play, there will be an open question-and-answer period. And, it should be known the play does contain profanity, as it reflects on real-life accounts and interviews.

“It’s easy to hate an idea,” says Kelly. “But, it’s a lot harder to hate a person once you get to know them.”

The Laramie Project Play Dates

  • November 3 @ 7 pm
  • November 4 @ 2 pm (matinee) and 7 pm
  • November 10 @ 7 pm
  • November 11 @ 2 pm (matinee) and 7 pm

Location: Camas High School Theatre

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

Photo Gallery

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Camas Theatre premiered “Sillyheart” Wednesday night in conjunction with Compass Oncology and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a fundraiser to help cure cancer.

Before the touching play began, the audience heard from Brianna Barrett, who was named “Portland’s Best Storyteller” by Willamette Weekly. She discussed being a cancer survivor and how she documented her cancer battle. Dr. Kathryn Kolibaba, who practices hematology/medical oncology at Compass Oncology in Vancouver, WA, talked about how everyday heroes find ways to raise and apply needed cancer research funds. Megan McDonald talked about her daughter’s ongoing fight with leukemia, and Janelle Hayden also shared her family’s story of how they battle the disease.

Featuring a talented youth cast, “Sillyheart” is a one-act play where tragedy meets fantasy, and myth meets reality.

From the playbook: “The fairy tale world winds itself around the real drama of one little girl’s battle with cancer and her family’s anguish. As they struggle to cope with her prognosis and desperate treatment, the fairy tale characters from the little girl’s book play out in their own drama. Will an evil sorceress and her dark creatures succeed in pulling Princess Caroline (played nicely by Genesis Martinez — on this first night) away from her beloved family and prince? Will little Cora’s experimental cancer treatment save her?”

Sillyheart

Actors Wyatt Hodgson and Genesis Martinez in the opening scene of “Sillyheart.”

“In our imaginations, the villain is always slain, the good win out, and even happily ever after is truly possible. Our fantasies, like so many blankets, can keep us warm in time when the real world is simply too dark, cold and cruel to bear. At the end we are reminded it’s not just children who need fairy tales.”

The play is written by Billie W. Boone, and directed by Sean Kelly. The stage manager is Lily Haddan; costumes and makeup and by Carol Babilon. The event is coordinated by Kylee Shafiuzzaman.

To learn more, visit chs.camas.wednet.edu

Photo Gallery, by Jon Pugmire

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Camas, WA — In collaboration with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Compass Oncology, the award-winning Camas High School Theater Department is preparing for their premiere of “Sillyheart,” which is a 40-minute play about a young person’s cancer journey.

“It’s a play about an 8-year-old girl with leukemia that’s been in remission, but then the cancer becomes more aggressive,” says the play’s director, Sean Kelly. “The play is about how she maintains hope through her connections to a fairy tale called ‘Sillyheart.'”

Kelly explains it’s about how this princess uses courage and good will to deal with this terrible time. “It’s how the family stays afloat,” says Kelly.

All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk to help support research for blood cancers.

The Camas Theatre is located at Camas High School Auditorium, 26900 SE 15th Street — South Entrance, Camas, WA

House opens at 6:30 pm, Curtain at 7:30 pm
$10 Suggested Donation
http://tinyurl.com/LTNsillyheart

View Flyer

Upcoming Sillyheart Occurrences:

  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 6:30pm
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 6:30pm
Sillyheart

CHS Theatre actor signatures on the stage wall.

The Dayley Dance Academy NW is performing The Moving Art Show on October 14th as the organization’s fundraiser. These funds are needed immediately to produce upcoming projects, cover costs for the performance company and to admit hardship students for participation in the current dance season. The Moving Art Show is one night only on October 14, at 5 pm, 6:30 pm, and 8 pm. The show will be held at Dayley Dance Academy NW on 1700 Main Street Washougal.

Audience members will move room to room to view and participate in the different exhibits, some of which are a dancer performance with a unique close up viewing experience, a walk through art gallery of the DDANW students in inspirational and creative dance photos, ballroom dance lessons, and local food, drinks, and desserts. Tickets are $25 per person.

“After nearly a decade of running a small dance studio and giving scholarships when we could, we have received many moving letters, but one stands out from the others,” said owner, Sarah Dayley.  “Upon graduation from high school, a young man wrote an impactful letter highlighting the story of how our dance studio saved him from suicide.  Mentioned were a group of instructors and peers who encouraged his artistry and gave purpose to this young man inside the refuge that has been our dance family.  This is powerful. Saving this one life in the way that we did will save countless others.”Dayley adds: “Inspired to reach out to our community on a much larger scale, we are now Dayley Dance Academy NW (DDANW), a brand-new non-profit performing arts school along the Columbia River’s Gateway to the Gorge in Washougal.”

Community Benefits

DDANW provides professional training and unique performance opportunities to youth and adults in our community, no matter their socio-economic backgrounds. Offering subsidized tuition, special education grants, and community outreach classes will expose a broader range of students in our local area to the movement arts as an alternative to unproductive activities. The academy believes that this will result in the development of emerging new artists, innovative choreographers and instructors of the future.

Benefits for Students and Instructors

DDANW continually works to provide and maintain proper studio space for their instructors and students to not only teach, learn, and cultivate safe spaces, but to create new and innovative works of art. Promoting healthy lifestyles and exposing their dancers to prestigious instructors from around the nation will give their students new vision and world perspectives that encourage growth and build character while increasing their ability to network with other artists on professional levels in the industry.

Funds raised will be used to benefit DDANW grant recipients as well as the academy’s very own Illumination Youth Dance Company for producing performances and exposure to advanced instruction and choreographers that are prominent in the performing arts community around the globe.  Funds are needed immediately to produce projects, cover immediate costs for the performance company and to admit hardship students for participation in current dance season.So many children are wandering around after school hours not knowing what to do with their free time and getting into trouble. Exposing these children to something that is lasting and positive, regardless of their financial situation, can provide a safe haven and an addition family of support, says Dayley.  Teaching them to set goals, work hard and be their best selves will strenghten our community and improve our society.

You may also contribute funds to: https://www.gofundme.com/dayleydanceacademynw

JOURNEY THEATER ARTS GROUP PRESENTS Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.

Youth Theater Production Runs Two Weekends – October 21 – 29, 2017 at Ridgefield High School

Travel down the rabbit hole and join Alice, one of literature’s most beloved heroines, in her madcap adventures.  Featuring updated songs from Disney’s thrilling animated motion picture, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. is a fast-paced take on the classic tale.

The ever-curious Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit.  Her adventures become increasingly more strange as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game!

Performances are October 21 – 29, 2017 at Ridgefield High School, 2630 S Hillhurst, Ridgefield WA, 98642.   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 October 21st @ 2 p.m. with all tickets $10 in advance.  Tickets for all performances will be $4 more at the door.

Public Performances

  • Saturday, October 21st @ 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 22nd @ 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 28th @ 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 28th @ 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 29th  @ 2:00 pm

About Journey Theater Arts Group

Journey is the most dynamic theater arts community in the Portland/Vancouver area, offering dozens of classes in drama, dance, voice and more, as well as producing 12 shows in four locations during the school year and a professional-level community theater musical each summer.   Journey strives for excellence, while providing a welcoming and encouraging environment where kids ages 6 to 18 and their families can build life-long skills and friendships. Journey is a 501(c)3 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.

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Youth Theater Production Runs Two Weekends – May 19 – 28, 2017 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School

WASHOUGAL, WA

Based on Meredith Willson’s six-time-Tony-Award-winning musical comedy, The Music Man Junior features some of musical theatre’s most iconic songs and a story filled with wit, warmth and good old-fashioned romance. The Music Man Jr. is family entertainment at its best – a bold, brassy show that will have the whole town atwitter!

Master showman Harold Hill is in town and he’s got “seventy-six trombones” in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? The story follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize. The catch? He doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, whose belief in Harold’s power just might help him succeed in the end in spite of himself.

Performances are May 19 – 28, 2017 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 $14.  Youth and senior tickets are $10.  Groups of 10 or more are $9.  Our “family day” performance is Saturday, @ 7 p.m. with all tickets $10 in advance.  Tickets for all performances will be $4 more at the door. School day pre-performance prices are:  groups (10 to 99) – $6, groups (100 or more) – $5 with 1 free ticket with each 15 purchased!  School day tickets at the door are $8.

Public Performances

Friday, May 19th @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 20th @ 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 21st @ 2:00 p.m.

Friday, May 26th @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 27th  @ 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 28th @ 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 28th @ 2:00 p.m.

School Day Performances

Wednesday, May 24th @ 11:30 a.m.

About Journey Theater Arts Group

Journey is the most dynamic theater arts community in the Portland/Vancouver area, offering dozens of classes in drama, dance, voice and more, as well as producing 12 shows in four locations during the school year and a professional-level community theater musical each summer.   Journey strives for excellence, while providing a welcoming and encouraging environment where kids ages 6 to 18 and their families can build life-long skills and friendships. Journey is a 501(c)3 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.

Youth Theater Production Runs Two Weekends – May 20 – 29, 2016 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School

Washougal, WA — A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for 3 Tony Awards – including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale, this whimsical show follows two great friends — the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad — through four, fun-filled seasons.

Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A Year With Frog And Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures throughout the seasons.

The jazzy, upbeat score of A Year With Frog And Toad bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical perfect for introducing theater to youngsters, while keeping adults entertained as well.

A Year with Frog and Toad Performances

Performances are May 20 – May 29, 2016 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 $14.  Youth and senior tickets are $10.  The May 21, @ 7:00 p.m. showing is a “family day” performance with all tickets $10 in advance per person.  Tickets for all performances will be $4 more at the door.

School Day Performances will be offered at 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25.  Tickets are $6 each for groups of 10 – 99 and $5 each for groups of 100 or more, with one free ticket for every 15 purchased.  Call 360.750.8550 to arrange to bring your class or home school group.

Public Performances

Friday, May 20 @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 21 @ 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 22 @ 2:00 p.m.

Friday, May 27 @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 28  @ 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 29 @ 2:00 p.m.

 

School Day Performances

Wednesday, May 25 @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

About Journey Theater Arts Group

Journey is the most dynamic theater arts community in the Portland/Vancouver area, offering dozens of classes in drama, dance, voice and more, as well as producing 12 shows in four locations during the school year and a professional-level community theater musical each summer.   Journey strives for excellence, while providing a welcoming and encouraging environment where kids ages 6 to 18 and their families can build life-long skills and friendships. Journey is a 501(c)3 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.

 

Frog

Frog

During the upcoming Spring Break, the Camas Public Library is playing five feature films on their big screen. Popcorn will be served, and admission is free.

The shows begin on Monday, April 4 and continue through Friday, April 8. Each film begins at 2 pm.

The following movies will be presented:

Spring Break movies

Wall-E. Image provided by Disney/Pixar.

WALL-E (Disney/Pixar)

Monday, April 4 at 2 pm. Rated: G

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, the curious and lovable WALL-E discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE.

1 hr. 38 minutes.

 

Spring Break movies

Goosebumps. Image provided by Columbia.

Goosebumps (Columbia Pictures)

Tuesday, April 5 at 2 pm. Rated: PG

Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.  1 hr. 43 minutes.

 

The Good Dinosaur (Disney/Pixar)

Spring Break movie

“The Good Dinosaur”. Image provided by Disney/Pixar.

Wednesday, April 6 at 2 pm. Rated: PG

“The Good Dinosaur” is a 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure buddy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Pictures.

Set on a fictional Earth in which dinosaurs never went extinct, the film follows a young Apatosaurus named Arlo, who meets an unlikely human friend while traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

Thursday, April 7, at 2 pm. Rated PG-13

Spring Break movies

“The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Part 2.”

Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with her closest friends, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow, who’s obsessed with destroying Katniss. What lies ahead are mortal traps, dangerous enemies and moral choices that will ultimately determine the future of millions.

 

 

 

 

The Peanuts Movie

Friday, April 8 at 2 pm. Rated: G

Spring Break movies

“The Peanuts Movie.” Image provided by 20th Century Fox.

Snoopy takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home to win the love of his life. Based on the comics by Charles Schulz. 1 hr. 28 minutes.

To learn more about upcoming Camas Public Library events, go to: http://www.ci.camas.wa.us/index.php/camaspubliclibrary

The Camas High School Drama Department ended its “Brigadoon” run Saturday night at CHS Theatre to an impressed audience.

The two-act play, written by Alan Jay Lerner, with music by Frederick Loewe, was directed by CHS Drama teacher, Sean Kelly, and was filled with a talented cast and crew. The Orchestra, directed by Richard Mancini, had its 15th musical production under his direction, and they, too, made an incredible difference to the play’s overall performance. The CHS choir introduced the play and has performances throughout the evening.

“We thought it was wonderful,” said Louise Wynn, a Camas resident. “They did a great job!”

The students have spent months in preparation for the play, which is a story about love and fear.

“After all,” says director Kelly, “To love someone is to take a courageous leap of faith and entrust another with knowledge of your truest self.”

The story involves two American tourists (Tommy Albright, played by Forrest Myers-Power, and Jeff Douglas, played by Omar Shaufiuzzaman) who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village which appears for only one day every hundred years.

The New Yorkers have traveled to Scotland on a vacation, but they quickly get lost. They begin to hear music (“Brigadoon”) coming from a nearby village that does not appear on their map. As they head over there to get directions, they find a fair in progress (“McConnachy Square”), with villagers dressed in traditional Scottish attire. Andrew McLaren (played by John Nelson) and his daughters arrive at the fair to purchase supplies for younger daughter Jean’s wedding to Charlie Dalrymple (played by Andrew Henson). Harry Beaton (played by Jonah Bates) is madly in love with Jean and is depressed at the thought of her marrying another. One of the girls asks Jean’s older sister Fiona when she’ll marry, and she says she’s waiting for the right person (“Waitin’ For My Dearie”).

Eventually, Tommy falls in love with Fiona (Brooke Moltrum), a young woman from Brigadoon, and the challenges ensue.

“And here we find the protagonist,” said Kelly. “An unsatisfied groom-to-be, Tommy, is at the very center of the struggle between succumbing to the modern world’s cynical attitudes and taking a leap of faith into the unknown. His best friend, Jeff, has already resigned the battle and takes solace in the way a young bachelor can. But Tommy just can’t let it go. There simply must be something better out there.”

The students, both on and off the stage, did a stellar job with acting, singing, dancing, set design, and timing. The orchestra was outstanding. The Drama Department didn’t disappoint.

In all, the acting team put on five performances of “Brigadoon” to mostly filled theaters.

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

“Brigadoon’s” History

The original Broadway production, directed by Robert Lewis and choreographed by Agnes de Mille, opened March 13, 1947, at the Ziegfeld Theatre, where it ran for 581 performances. The production enjoyed an extended North American tour.

The film adaptation of “Brigadoon” was directed by Vincente Minnelli and was released by MGM in 1954 with Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse in leading roles.

A TV film starred Robert Goulet as Tommy, Peter Falk as Jeff, and Sally Ann Howes as Fiona. It first aired in 1966.

The play continues to be performed onstage across the United States.

Brigadoon Singing

Tommy (Forrest Myers-Power) and Fiona (Brooke Moltrum) act a scene.

 

Theater

A scene from “Brigadoon.”

 

Theater

This is one of the early scenes in “Brigadoon.”

 

Brigadoon

Jeff, Tommy and Fiona listen to advice on the stage of “Brigadoon.”