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ALL IN THE TIMING OPENS ON APRIL 19TH!

 

GUNNISON, CO (March 28, 2017) – All in the Timing, written by David Ives and directed by Western students and faculty, will be presented by Peak Productions April 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd at 7:30 pm and April 23rd at 2 pm in the Western Studio Theater of Taylor Hall.

 

All in the Timing is a series of six one-act plays by David Ives that hilariously explore high concepts about time, language, and communication. Enter the mind of this comedy playwright genius where monkeys write Hamlet, Philip Glass tries to buy a loaf of bread, the universe resets itself until two would-be lovers get it right, Philadelphia (or is it New York?) isn’t quite what you thought it was, a universal language exists, and Trotsky’s place in history is, or maybe isn’t, set into stone. Peak Productions brings you this hilarious collection of plays, directed by both students and faculty.

 

Admission is $5 for Western students with ID and $7 for general admission. Tickets are available at Western’s Bookstore or a half-hour before the performance in the Studio Theater lobby. For advance ticket reservations or for more information contact Peak Productions at (970)-943-3013 or by emailing peak@western.edu

 

St. Patrick’s Day Variety Show

 

Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day… unleash your inner Leprechaun with this one-of-a-kind, fun filled evening of Irish song, theater, dance and don’t forget the green beer! Filled with acts from your local favorite celebrities, this show is family friendly and is exciting for everyone. One night only on St. Patrick’s Day Friday, March 17th. Doors open at 7, Curtain 7:30 pm. GAC Black Box Theatre.  Tickets: $15/adults, $12/kids, snrs, members. Box office  at gunnisonartscenter.org, 102 S. Main St or by calling 970-641-4029.

 

Clay & Chardonnay

Come get dirty for this month’s AND Series Event on March 16! Pull up a stool, grab a glass of wine, some clay and join us for a unique evening of ceramics and socializing. Make unique wine bottle stoppers out of clay in the GAC Clay Studio. Projects will be kiln fired and available for pick up after the event. 6:00 – 9:00 pm. $40/person includes all supplies, two drinks, light apps and fun! SPECIAL: Sign 4 up for price of 3. Pre-registration is required. Instructor: Lynn Cudlip. Pre-register at gunnisonartscenter.org, 102 S. Main St or by calling 970-641-4029.

 

Women’s History Month empowers women and men at Western

Western celebrates women on campus and in the community

Bethany Eveleth/Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Mar. 7, Western celebrated Women’s History month on campus. Hosted by the Western Cabinet, the event welcomed guest speakers to campus to encourage and empower women (and men)! Tom Burggraf, director of the Western Foundation welcomed all of the guests in attendance, and shared an anecdote about his mother, in which he reminded women to not limit themselves to “what man can do,” but to challenge themselves as individuals and achieve what they personally can do.

Keynote speaker Stephanie Dawes spoke about her experiences in the fashion industry, and her challenges as a business owner. Dawes graduated from Gunnison High School in 2005, and moved away for several years to pursue a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California. Three years ago, Dawes took over “The Toggery,” her family’s long-time business. After renovation, Dawes reopened the store as “Toggery Elevated,” which is located on Main Street in Gunnison. A business owner, mother of two, and wife to a full-time student, Dawes addressed the pressures and stresses of being an entrepreneur while raising a family, and reminded everyone that with hard work and determination, anyone can accomplish their dreams.  

“I was fairly nervous,” Dawes said. “I had been contacted just the week prior, so I was a little intimidated at the idea of speaking for 30 minutes! Once I began though, I felt more comfortable and really just tried to share my experiences in a way that would be encouraging to those in attendance.”

Dawes attended the event last year and was pleased to see the improvements, and hopes that it continues to gain popularity in future years.

“It felt very empowering to be a keynote speaker for a Women’s History Month celebration!” Dawes said. “I really did enjoy everyone who spoke and it always is a lovely event.”

Between speakers, recent Western graduate Sara Coblentz kept everything moving and introduced the line-up as the MC of the event.

“The atmosphere when you walked into the ballroom was empowering, sassy, classy, and beautiful all in one,” said Coblentz. “And that was all because of the community that attended.”

Not only was the event about recognizing women at large, but recognize women at Western’s campus. History professor Heather Thiessen-Reily was recognized at the event for her leadership on campus. She was introduced by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department administrative assistant, Donna Holden, who gave audience members who were not familiar with Thiessen-Reily a snapshot of what exactly she does for her students and colleagues on campus. Thiessen-Reily has been with Western since 1995, and added new fields to Western’s history program: Borderlands History and Public History.

“It was inspiring to hear a local woman speak about her struggles and successes in the pursuit of her dream,” said Western student, Brooke Gilmore.

The event ended in social time for congratulations, old hellos, and new acquaintances for all that attended.

SonofaGunn “National Buffoon’s Staycation”

The joys of taking a picture perfect family vacation… the wide open road, new adventures, and family togetherness… What could go wrong? Come find out and enjoy the annual SonofaGunn production of “National Buffoon’s Staycation.” Watch Lark Growsbald and his wacky family run into many surprising obstacles. Oh, the places they will TRY to go… Be sure to get your tickets early for this funny GAC benefit. Running March 2-4 and 9-11 doors open at 7, curtain at 7:30 pm. Written & Directed by Shelly Pierson. Tickets: $20 Thursday Nights and $25 Friday & Saturday Nights. Join us for Dinner & a Play on closing night provided by The Blue Table Restaurant beginning at 6 pm. Tickets are $43 includes play ticket, dinner and dessert. Box Office: gunnisonartscenter.org, 102 S. Main St or 970-641-4029.

Film Review: Moana

Computer animated musical offers laughs and heart for all ages.

Sam Thornley / Staff Writer

Moana is the latest animated musical feature released by Walt Disney Pictures and offers entertainment as wondrous as the ocean the titular heroine travels. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the film stars the voices of Auli’i Cravahlo and Dwayne Johnson with Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, and Jemaine Clement rounding out the cast. Filled with music by Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Opetaia Foa’i, the film was released in theaters on Nov. 23 and will arrive on home media platforms on Mar. 7.

The film revolves around Moana, the teenage daughter of a Polynesian tribe’s overprotective chief, who is about to pass the title on to her. When the life on the tribe’s island starts to decay, Moana is sent on a quest by the gods and her dying grandmother to find the legendary demigod Maui and restore balance to the ocean.

What really makes Moana work is the phenomenal voice acting that drives the film through the main protagonists. Newcomer Auli’i Cravahlo is excellent as Moana, capable of hitting the entire emotional and musical range required of the character, along with having some great chemistry with Dwayne Johnson’s Maui. Dwayne Johnson does an equally commendable job as Maui with a careful application of his trademark wit balanced out with some tenderness during the more emotional scenes of the film.

The supporting cast of the film also delivers some great performances that help power the film’s emotional core. Temuerra Morrison and Rachel House in particular convey a lot of pathos as Moana’s father and grandmother respectively, making the most of their screen time in the film. Finally, Jemaine Clement delivers an over the top and enjoyable performance as the thieving coconut crab Tamatoa and provides a catchy musical number to match.

The most excellent part of Moana is the music, which is bound to remain with the viewer long after they leave the theater. In particular, the songs feature an excellent combination of English, Samoan, and Tokelauan lyrics that are catchy and simultaneously awe-inspiring, which manage to make the film feel more dramatic and sweeping.

Another excellent part of the film is the animation, which involved the development of new rendering technology to create the hair and water featured prominently throughout the film. The sand and water are rendered in incredible detail, along with the hair of the characters as it gets wet and blows in the wind. Additionally, the film features some well-done hand-drawn animation work for Maui’s sentient tattoos that add a creative flair to the computer animation.

Finally, the film has a wonderful amount of humor and emotion all mixed together. The film features funny interactions between Moana and Maui as they try to work through each other’s differences before exchanging pep talks and advice. Often, the film does this within scenes and succeeds at it marvelously thanks to the excellent voice acting.

If there are any real flaws with the film, it’s that the plot doesn’t stray too far from the usual Disney formula for their musicals. It still retains an animal sidekick and the villain has more to them than it seems at first sight, along with a saving-the-world plot and optimistic outlook. There are also some minor moments of repetitive humor that may get tiresome for some viewers.

Additionally, while remaining a funny character throughout the film, Moana’s pet chicken Hei Hei feels somewhat superfluous to the narrative. Since he cannot speak and has the intelligence of a rock, he mostly just sits around in the background while occasionally popping up for a quick joke. Considering he does not have much of a personality or arc behind him, he feels a little tacked on to the film in contrast to previous Disney sidekicks.

Overall, Moana is an excellently made animated film that will charm both adults and children with its emotion, music and, humor. While it has some flaws, its strengths more than outweigh them, and it manages to be an all-around strong film worthy of standing with the best that Disney has to offer.

Kierstin Bridger: A Contemporary Writer

Poet comes to Western to discuss her work

Kennedy Sievers/Senior Staff Writer

Kierstin Bridger after her poetry reading. Photo by Kennedy Sievers.

One line of Kierstin Bridger’s poetry reads, “Stepping out into the wild, the river talks too.” The river talks, and Kierstin Bridger helps it. Bridger, a Colorado native, came to read her poetry on Feb. 23, 2017 in the West Wing of Western’s library.

Bridger has published two collections of poetry: All Ember and Demimonde. Both collections came out in 2016. Among other accolades, she won the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio Prize, is the editor of Ridgway Alley Poems, and has poetry in several anthologies.

Many people turned up for her poetry reading on Feb. 23 and her craft talk on Feb. 24. She read excerpts of poems from both of her books, including poems such as “Manifest,” “Caretaking,” “Demimonde,” and “Hey, You There.”

Bridger talked about her roots in Colorado, specifically Buena Vista, Telluride, and Ridgway, where she currently lives.

She also discussed the themes of her two books. All Ember leans towards the autobiographical, whereas Demimonde is a collection of persona poems focusing on prostitution in the early days of mining towns like Telluride and Aspen.

During her explanation of her writing processes and inspirations, Bridger focused on the ideas of passions; some of hers are giving voices to the voiceless and women’s issues. She said she feels Demimonde centers around those passions, and encouraged other writers to find their own obsessions and write to them.

Bridger came to Western as a part of the Contemporary Writer Series, which is hosted by the English department. Throughout the semester, the Writer Series hosts a variety of contemporary authors who read and discuss their work, which is free for students and the community to attend.

Watch out for future writers coming to Western this semester as a part of the Contemporary Writer Series!

CASTING CALL

CASTING CALL Western film student need actors for their short fictional films to be produced this February and March.

Film students need several young adult men and women actor for their narrative films being produced late February through March.  Students’ original scripts involve subject matter that ranges from coming of age, self-reflective, existentialist narratives to a not-so-innocuous crime mystery.

“We’re seeking several 18 to 32 year old actors, or those that want to be actors, willing to act in a film and take direction from one of our talented young filmmakers.  No experience necessary, though if you have acting experience, we’d sure appreciate it.” said Lucido.  There is no compensation involved, just good experience to be gained.

CASTING CALL dates are Tuesday February 21st 3:30-4:30 PM and Wednesday February 22nd 6:00-7:00 PM.  Both of these casual, come as you are, audition sessions will be held in 118 Taylor Hall on the campus of Western State Colorado University.  No monologue or other audition preparation is necessary.  Please come join us.

More information on Western’s film program:

http://www.western.edu/academics/film-studies

 

Kids Art Classes

Extracurricular art classes have been proven to enhance cognitive development, social interaction, and higher attention span for kids and teens. The GAC has many opportunities for kids this winter! Arting Around for ages 6-12 is on Mondays afternoons from 4:15 – 5:15 pm ongoing weekly until March 27 with a new art project each week! Art Start for toddlers ages 2-5 is every other Friday from 2:30 – 3:15 pm, parents are encouraged to join in on this class. Pre-register and more info at gunnisonartscenter.org, 102 S. Main St. or by calling 970-641-4029.

 

The Art of Fly Tying w/ Merne Judson

Discover the art of fly tying! Merne Judson, a Whitling Farms Pro Instructor with 40 years’ experience will instruct this exciting art form twice a week at the GAC. In each 2-hour class, students will start and finish tied flies ready to head out fishing with. The beginner’s course will take students through each step of how to tie both wet and dry flies. The intermediate/advanced course is suited for the more advanced tier and will introduce techniques and materials to improve their ability to tie more advanced patterns. GAC Adult Art Studio. All supplies included. 5 student min. Instructor: Merne Judson. Register at gunnisonartscenter.org, 102 S. Main St. or by calling 970-641-4029.