Tag Archives: Theater
Deaf and hearing communities will raise its hands together for “Deaf Puppy Dog Follow,” a two-man comedy presented exclusively in American Sign Language.
The play combines sketches, poetry, solo stories, comedy and folk tales that parody contemporary themes in deaf culture.
Linfield adjunct professor of American Sign Language, Heath Goodall, will be hosting this event with Patrick Fisher.
Goodall became Deaf shortly after birth, but wasn’t introduced to ASL until his senior year of high school.
Goodall completed his undergraduate at the University of New Mexico and graduate work at Western Oregon University.
Goodall also teaches ASL courses at Portland Community College and Chemeketa Community College when he is not at Linfield.
Goodall is a master storyteller, performer, actor, and ASL poet.
Along with his other artistic outlets, Goodall enjoys drawing with pencil, charcoal, and ink.
Patrick Fischer, Goodall’s partner for the show, has been involved in a variety of artistic positions as an artist, board member, actor, director, producer, teacher, and consultant. Fischer has done storytelling, poetry, emcee, skits, and comedy all around the U.S. and Canada.
When Fisher is not in the theatre, he teaches American Sign Language and currently is a certified ASLTA professional instructor at Portland Community College.
He is a director of artistic Sign Language at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and is also a professional artist and owner of a freelance design business. Fischer launched a theatrical business in 2005, providing various services to those who want to learn more about theatre through the experiences of those who are deaf.
In July 2013, Fisher was awarded the Stephen M. Ryan Teacher of the Year award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Deaf culture and humor in deaf studies presented by American Sign Language Teachers Association.
The English Language and Culture Program, the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, the Department of Modern Languages, and the Linfield Offices of Academic Affairs and Multicultural Programs sponsor this performance.
The play is free and open to the public, for more information call the Theater Department at (503) 883-2802 or visit www.linfield.edu/arts. “Deaf Puppy Dog Follow” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14 in Ice Auditorium.
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Photo Courtesy of Natalie Gunn
Faculty members and friends (from left) Sarah Maines, Natalie Gunn, Susan McDaniel and Erin G. McCarthy will perform at 4 p.m. on March 16 in Ice Auditorium.
A total of 18 students from Linfield’s Theater Art program traveled to Idaho last week for the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF).
Students passionate about theater arts from universities all over the Northwest gathered for an intensive week full of workshops, auditions, performances and interviews.
This was senior, Jenny Layton’s, fourth year attending KCACTF.
Layton has had the opportunity to participate in both the acting and the technical sides involved in theater at this conference.
Seeing the crossover between the two, Layton said that one thing never changes, the energy.
“It is an awesome opportunity to collaborate with people who share the same passion for theater. There is a great level of supportive energy and an awesome atmosphere back stage,” Layton said.
Layton took home an award for dramaturgical research this year.
After turning in a notebook chalk-full of research completed on a particular script, a professional dramaturge reads through them, giving feedback to all the applicants and chose Layton as runner-up.
Freshman Madilyn Betchel had the opportunity to visit workshops on both acting and tech.
“It was really exciting to hear the people giving the workshops talk about how they got into the field,” Betchel said.
Betchel will be attending the SCI Las Vegas Summer Institute after receiving a Meritorious Achievement Award in stage management.
Betchel said she will be involved in more intensive stage managing workshops, informational sessions and backstage tours during this program.
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The spotlight may shine on actors, but Linfield’s theater program has numerous offstage opportunities that are equally important.
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Resident Director Janet Gupton welcomes anyone who is interested in theater, and encourages students to get involved.
“We are a friendly approachable bunch that loves to spread our love of theatre to others,” Gupton said.
Students are not required to be a theater major or minor to participate in the plays, which makes getting involved in the program easy.
“Auditions for parts are open to the campus. If you want to work backstage, we look for a responsible and conscientious attitude because we are a highly collaborative art form,” Gupton said.
Positions span a wide variety of skill sets and interests.
Students can work in the shops on sets or costumes, stage-manage productions, or even volunteer as an usher.
Volunteer ushers get to see the show that night for free.
Other behind-the-scenes are necessary to theater productions, and “[Theater] also need[s] stage managers, assistant stage managers, properties running crews, costume and make-up running crews who help out during the actual run of a production,” Gupton said.
These jobs within the department provide a way for students to participate in theater without acting onstage.
Gupton is enthusiastic about the chance for shy students to join the program, and said, “I have seen plenty of introverts join on the production team and become part of our family.”
Students who want to engage in the department can contact Gupton or Rob Vaughn, sound expert and technical director.
Additionally, students can talk to set and lighting designer, Ty Marshall.
Layton has worked in the costume shop, been the student production coordinator, and worked with the publicity team.
Our majors and minors are required to do a little but of everything in productions and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to do so many different things.
“We’ve definitely had a lot of non-theater major students who’ve done really well with lighting design and other jobs,” Layton said.
Layton commented on the ability of students to get involved with theater in a non-major capacity, stating that some students use theater as an artistic outlet.
“I think our faculty is awesome about helping students identify their interest, and helping them do that,” Layton said.
Overall, the theater department is full of openings for students to partake in productions and offers an opportune way for students to step out of their comfort zones.
“It is a college experience that you are not likely to forget,” Gupton said.
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After approximately six weeks of preparation, Marshall Theatre put on “Ajax in Iraq,” written by Ellen McLaughlin and directed by Janet Gupton.
The play is centered on the tragedies of war, telling the story of Ajax, the infamous Greek soldier who lost his mind and a paralleling story about a group of soldiers in modern day Iraq.
“One of the reasons we selected the play was that we were looking for a play that would fit with the PLACE theme, ‘Legacies of War,’” said Brenda DeVore Marshall. Marshall is the department chair and professor of theatre and communication arts.
“The other reason was that this is a year we normally do a classical Greek or Shakespeare, and as we were looking at the way the other things, this season we’re unfolding this show.
“It sort of worked because it has characteristics of, and borrows from, Greek theatre, including the character Ajax. It has some of the format of the Greek theatre, along with contemporary, very contemporary theatre.”
A significant theme in the production is how gender affects the soldiers’ experiences in the military.
Everyone in the production gave breathtaking performances, but no one more than Allison Halley, who portrays A.J., a female soldier.
From the moment that Halley stepped onto the stage, she immediately stole the scene through subtle, and extremely believable, emotion. Halley’s character is very complex and could only have been played by a powerful actress.
I would like to say that this was Halley’s performance of a lifetime, but I shall refrain for that statement until she, inevitably, wins an Academy Award.
“Everyone has had to work really hard on this show because it is so meaningful. The themes discussed in ‘Ajax in Iraq’ speak to experiences of both active military and veterans.
“As a PLACE event, it really discusses what war means and examines it from different perspectives.
“I hope that people will come away with some type of personal understanding or new ideas,” said junior Sammi Palmer, who portrays the role of Gertrude Bell/Judy.
When watching the play, it is hard to believe that the show was only cast in the end of September.
Rehearsals began in October, where the actors and production team worked tirelessly to put on a spectacular program.
“I thought that the show for an actor is very hard and it would be very hard for them to portray these characters and they completely sell it a thousand percent, and it’s very believable and that’s what makes it so powerful,” freshman Conner Wells said.
“Ajax in Iraq” contains strong language and disturbing situations, so it may not be appropriate for children or the faint of heart.
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The production “Legacies of War Ontsage in Three Acts” was held Sept. 20-21 at the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall. The three act play consisted of two acts with a discussion of the production at the end.
Claire Lebowitz, an actor, director and play writer from New York City, and Jerry Goralnick, from The Living Theatre in New York, collaborated to write the three act production.
Gorlalink wrote Act I: called “NO SIR”. This act examines military recruitment, specifically for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The act is also performed in front of a military requirement commercial. Jackson Miller, professor of communication arts and director of forensics, said that this act was originally performed in on the giant screen in Times Square to protest war.
Act II, called “Bradass87” was produced by Lebowitz for the Whitsleblowers Theatre. This play investigates the actions of WikiLeaks whitslebower, Bradley Manning, private first class, who exposed private information to the U.S. public. He was put into solitary confinement at Quantico Marine Corp Brig in Quantico, Va. This act was composed from chat logs, trial transcripts and interviews from Manning’s case.
Act III consisted of a dialogue or discussion with Lebowitz and Goralink. The panel also featured Ronnie Lacroute, Linfield College trustee and arts benefactor, and Erick Shuck, professor of economics, who is also a third generation naval officer.
The discussion was also open to the audience and actors from the play to share their opinions and ask questions.
In the dialogue Shuck portrayed the complications of war from a soldier’s standpoint. “The moment you begin killing people outside of arms reach, things become much more complicated,” Shuck said.
Senior Angie Aguilar, who starred in the ensemble, “Stop the War,” to the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner” in Act I was emotionally intense. “What would people do if they actually listened [to the song]?“ Aguilar said.
“I felt mixed emotions [about the production] because my dad is from the navy,” senior Samantha Javier said, whose father has encouraged her to join the U.S. armed forces before. “But how do I enter this job, but the people of the country don’t like what you’re doing?”
“Legacies of War in Three Acts” affected the audience members and those who participated in the production in various ways.
However, Lacroute was there to remind the audience during the dialogue that it is the use of the arts, whether it is in a play or in music, it brought controversial issues to light.
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