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News Roundup -- Adult acting classes slated/Environmental films in woods

Adult acting classes slated

There’s finally an outlet for those bathroom mirror-performing Hamlets and Blanche DuBois on Second Stage, an actor’s workshop for adults offered by Bainbridge Performing Arts.

“My goal is to have an excellent performance at the end, not people talking about theory of acting, said Paul King, who will lead the workshop. “It’s about an entertaining evening for people.”

Whether one is a seasoned actor who’s always wanted to play a certain role or an amateur who has always wanted to act on stage but was too busy for a multi-month commitment, Second Stage offers an outlet for those theatrical passions.

King will direct three workshops of five-weeks each – the first begins Oct. 10 – meeting twice a week at the Playhouse each culminating in two performances with minimal sets and props.

“You don’t have to have a full-blown production to get at the essence of theater, the magic of theater,” King said. “What we’re doing is very elemental: actor and audience.”

As director, he sees his role as the “surrogate audience” who can “accurately communicate what he sees to an actor.”

The goal is to find “dramatic truth.”

“The thing that touches me personally about theater is when I see a person living lives on stage in a way that I believe,” King said. “Most of what I see (today) is glitz and training, but I don’t see the truth very often. I come to the theater to be swept away, not to be impressed by fantastic training.”

When he first moved to Bainbridge from Bend, Oregon this January, with his wife Trish King, who now heads up Island School on the island, he says “my theater circuit had been dimmed for a few years,” yet he wasn’t quite ready for retirement.

The last 25 years, he has been director of Magic Circle Theater, a community college-sponsored community theater, where the final exam shows were packing in crowds in recent years.

King came to theater via debate. He was attending Southeast Oklahoma University on a debate scholarship. A falling-out with the debate team led him to cross the hall to the drama department, and he never looked back.

As a graduate student at Louisiana State, King studied with Barry Kyle from the Royal Shakespeare Company and playwright Martin Esslin, who invented the term “theater of the absurd.”

Since arriving on the island, he has been to every theatrical production since “The Recollection of Flight” in January and the glimpses of “truth” he has seen revived his spirits.

“I was impressed by the talent on the island...it’s a very deep pool of talent for such a small place,” King said. “There were all these people here to ‘play with.’ It seems like an opportunity to me to do a professional level of work.”

For the workshop, King will select pieces based on the mix of actors.

“The primary skill of a director is casting. You can’t change a person, but (can) forecast what words on a page will look like when somebody breathes life into them,” he said. “I enjoy both comedy and tragedy. When I see (tragedy) well done it touches my soul; I remember it forever. Comedy entertains us, but seldom changes us.”

Second Stage, an actor’s workshop, will hold three five-week sessions to develop short plays and other theatrical works for performances on Nov. 10-11, Feb. 2-3, 2006 and June 1-2, 2006, with admission of $10.

Sessions are for ages 18 and up and begin Oct. 10, Jan. 3, 2006 and May 2, 2006 at the Playhouse from 7-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Cost is $50 to cover royalties and library development. No auditions are necessary. To register, call 842-8569.

—Tina Lieu

Environmental films in woods

The IslandWood Film Series is part of IslandWood’s new free or low-cost programming that it is introducing this school year to further open up the campus to the greater community.

“The hope is to bring together a community to discuss these issues and instill energy and ideas over how to make a difference at home,” said Katie Jennings, a filmmaker and IslandWood’s director of film and video.

The series opens up tomorrow night from 3:30-6 p.m. at IslandWood with “Silent Killer” by iconic Northwest filmmaker John De Graaf, which examines hunger all over the world from Africa to Brazil. A post-film discussion is led by De Graaf and Jim Harmon of Bainbridge Island-based Seashare, which provides seafood to hunger-relief organizations.

The next six screenings, which run through April 23, 2006, will each feature a post-film discussion led by the filmmaker and an expert in the film’s topic.

The programs run 3:30-6 p.m. with a suggested donation of $5 and a canned food donation for “Silent Killer” and come with light refreshments. Childcare is available for $10 with a 10-day advance reservation. Call 855-4300 to register.

• Three films by youth groups are featured Nov. 13: “Native Lens,” a Swinomish High School project about the Native youth reclaiming their cultural identity maligned by Hollywood; “Landimation” by students of animator Wendy Jackson Hall to create a history of Port Blakely’s cultural and geological changes; “What We Get From Nature,” a video in which kids answer the question “What do we get from nature?” Instructors and filmmakers lead the discussion.

• ”Broken Limbs” will be screened Dec. 11, looking at filmmaker Jamie Howell’s journey to find out why Wenatchee apple growers — including his father — are going out of business. A member of Trust for Working Landscapes will lead the discussion.

• ”Heroes of the High Frontier” looks at the mysteries of life in the rainforest canopy on Jan. 15, 2006. Canopy researcher Nalini Nadkarni and the Kids Discovery Museum will lead the talk.

• ”Teachings of the Tree People” on Feb. 12 looks at the spirituality of the Twana people of the Hood Canal. Filmmaker Katie Jennings and co-producer Tracy Rector lead the discussion.

• On March 19, 2006, ”Being Caribou” follows migrating caribou into and out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Joe Scott of Conservation Northwest and a member of Bainbridge Island Land Trust will lead the talk.

• ”Oil on Ice,” shown April 23, 2006, is about U.S. energy policy and the conflict with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Anita Burke, former senior advisor of sustainability for Shell Worldwide and a member of Bainbridge Graduate Institute will lead the discussion.

—Tina Lieu

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