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Archives: April 2009

April
30th

Ten August Wilson plays over five years, beginning Saturday

Playwright August Wilson. Photo courtesy Broadway Center.

August Wilson is one of the late 20th-century’s best playwrights. He was a Seattle resident for the latter part of his life. But are his plays performed in Tacoma? Not much.

Which is why three local arts groups are partnering to present readings of Wilson’s 10-play “Pittsburgh Cycle” over the next five years: two plays per year. The first one, “Gem of the Ocean,” is on Saturday night.

“He’s arguably the finest American playwright in the last 50 years,” says Bryan Willis of the Northwest Playwrights Alliance. The NPA is part of the Wilson series partnership: They supply directors and actors, the Washington State History Museum is supplying the theater, and the Broadway Center for Performing Arts is handling marketing and contributing financially to ensure everyone gets paid. The cycle is also produced in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. It’s a great thing for Tacoma, Willis says.

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April
29th

Coming soon: The free FLaSh Film Festival

For three years now the foreign language department at Pacific Lutheran University has put on its annual film festival featuring short, foreign language films with English subtitles. Formerly called Hong International, it’s now the FLaSh Film Festival.

It’s free and it’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 in the Mount Tahoma Auditorium at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.

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April
29th

Tacoma Reads (and eats) Together

This year’s selection for Tacoma Reads Together is Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” – the novelist’s first nonfiction narrative. In it, she tells the story of how she and her family spent a year as “locavores,” eating food grown either by themselves or by farmers near their Virginia home. The book explores ideas related to sustainability, and it reveals how the change in eating habits changed Kingsolver’s family, making them more aware of what they consume.



The Grand Cinema
is getting in on the action this weekend with the showing

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April
29th

May art classes in Auburn

May is Arts Education Month, and to honor that the City of Auburn Arts Commission is beginning a series of year-round art classes through the City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation.


From the press release:

“Art with Artists is an opportunity for participants to experience individual artists’ processes, techniques and inspiration while also learning the basic skills of a particular medium. Artist instructors will provide and explain examples of their own work, demonstrate their own creative process and inspiration, and lead participants to create their own artwork.”



There are two four-week May

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April
28th

“This American Life” encore performance


Ira Glass, host of Public Radio International’s “This American Life”


Last Thursday I caught a cinematic presentation of the best radio show on the air, Public Radio International’s “This American Life“.


The hour and a half live show was broadcast from New York City to 400 theaters around the country including Seattle, Federal Way and Olympia.


Titled “Return To The Scene Of The Crime,” it featured a moving performance from The Stranger’s Dan Savage on rediscovering (in his own way) religion after his mother’s death, cartoons by Chris

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April
28th

May Day is comin’ up–better iron your ribbons

Okay, here’s a confession: I’ve never, ever danced around a Maypole. I’ve sung plenty of May songs, yes–several years in a madrigal group will do that for you–and even made daisy chains. But the ribbon-pole-dance thing, no. And it’s my outside guess that most of you haven’t either.

So here comes a golden opportunity: the Puget Sound Revels May Day celebration this Friday (of course) in Tollefson Plaza downtown. Apart from shouting a hurrah whenever that desolate piece of urban paving is given a good use, you’ve got to hand it to the Revels folks for reviving traditions that, while admittedly a bit embarrassing, are good plain fun. And dancing around a Maypole is one of them.

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April
27th

Glassroots needs your help

Summertime…and the festivals are comin’…


Arts festivals, that is. There’s Siteworks, Art on the Ave, Urban Art Festival, Showcase Tacoma–and the Glassroots Festival. Low-down and funky, Glassroots has been running every August for three years in the narrow streets near Embellish Salon for three years now. It’s featured everything from glassblowing to graffiti. But now it needs help.


A week or so ago, co-organizer Angela Jossy put out this plea on the Tacoma arts listserv:


“As some of you may know…Tacoma Arts Community is no more. The officers of that group were tired and felt that

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April
27th

Poet Laureateship changes hands THIS Thursday

I apologize: I got it wrong. I previously listed this reading last week, but of course it’s this week: April 30.


What am I doing this Thursday evening? Listening to Bill Kupinse read for the last time as Tacoma’s Poet Laureate, and find out who’s going to fill his shoes next year.


Kupinse, a professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, has been in the laureate job for one year now–the inaugural Urban Grace Poet Laureate of Tacoma. It’s a tough job, involving lots of reading (and, presumably, writing) poetry, leading workshops and raising the standard

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