OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU stages free production of 'Birth Mark'

09/22/1999

CORVALLIS - Famed San Francisco clown Jeff Raz arrives in Oregon this October to present his solo show, "Birth Mark," which explores love, the Jewish faith and adoption.

Sponsored by Oregon State University, Birth Mark starts at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Corvallis' Majestic Theater, 115 S.W. 2nd St. The show is free and open to the public.

"Jeff Raz is really a fabulous presenter," said Larry Roper, OSU vice provost for Student Affairs. "We are offering this production as part of 'A Year of Compelling Learning' at Oregon State University."

Following the production, the audience can participate in a discussion with Raz regarding the issues arising from the show.

In "Birth Mark," Raz steps in and out of multiple characters, and takes on the emotional roller coaster of adopting a child. He builds the premise into a world peopled by social workers, birth mothers, rabbis, crazy relatives and crazier friends.

The character transformations are instant as Raz tries to woo a woman with gefilte fish, wistfully watches a Guatemalan orphan grow up on the World Wide Web, as well as questions faith and searches for identity.

Raz is known for his roles as an actor and ringmaster with The New Pickle Circus, and as a stage actor acclaimed for dramatic roles at Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks, the San Francisco and Marin Shakespeare Festivals, as well as appearing on Broadway and a t various regional and national theaters.

He has toured the continental United States, Alaska and Europe as a solo performer and with such groups as Vaudeville Nouveau and the Dell'Arte Players Company. In 1983 he helped create the famed production of "Comedy of Errors," (with the Flying Karam azov Brothers and Avner the Eccentric) which eventually became a PBS "Live from Lincoln Center" special.