college of liberal arts

Student-created plays one-act plays open May 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The 2012 Spring One-Act Festival, featuring plays written, directed and designed by Oregon State University students, comes to the Withycombe main stage starting Thursday, May 17.

The festival, which runs May 17-19 beginning at 7:30 p.m. and May 20 at 2 p.m., features six original one-act plays including an eclectic mix of comedy and drama from playwriting students. Withycombe Hall is located at 30th and Campus Way on the OSU campus.

“Jolly Jack Junior,” by Jeff Goode and directed by Sarah McKenney, is a swashbuckling farce complete with pirates, wenches, and sword-fights. The cast includes OSU students Sam Thompson and Alexa Johnston.

Christopher Durang’s “The Actor’s Nightmare,” directed by Davey Kashuba, is a comedy about an actor thrust into a nightmare of a show. This play features students Megan Haverman, Nicole Snyder, Mason Atkin, Chris Peterman, Chris Omerod, and Sam Thompson. Corvallis community member Eric Leman is also featured.

In Crane Johnson’s “Fear”, directed by Megan Grassl, a young woman is terrorized by a charming young man. This play features community members Jamie Bilderback and Jonathan Thompson.

Lanford Wilson’s drama “Your Everyday Ghost Story,” directed by Abbey Pasquini, is a tale about the destruction and devastation of AIDS and features OSU students Andrew Toyer and Alexander Johnston.

“Get Out of Your Cage,” by Mary Plowman and directed by Tucker Minnick, is a play dealing with the conflict between life’s duties and the desire for adventure. It features OSU students Alycia Olivar, Maira Rodriguez, Kimberly Wilson, Emerson Hovenkamp, Deborah Shapiro, and Troy Toyama.

Romulus Linney’s bittersweet comic drama “Paradise,” directed by Rowan Wolff Russell, explores the dynamics of a family trying to find its footing in Florida. It features students Irene Drage, Caleb Lewis, Ciana Ginochio, and Pat Purdue. Community member Ariel Ginsburg also stars.

Tickets are $8 general, $6 seniors, $5 for student/youth and $4 for OSU students. Information: 541-737-2784 or http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre.

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State Treasurer Ted Wheeler to deliver McCall lecture May 31 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler will deliver the annual Gov. Tom McCall Memorial Lecture at Oregon State University on Thursday, May 31.

His talk, “Investing in Oregon’s Future,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall of the LaSells Stewart Center. It is free and open to the public. A question and answer session and public reception will follow.

In his talk, Wheeler will address how, in an era of budget cuts and sluggish economic growth, the state of Oregon is targeting its resources by investing in education and in entrepreneurs and small business creation. According to Wheeler, tackling the state’s pressing issues – education gaps, an aging population, and constrained public resources – means finding solutions that blur the line of traditional government in order for Oregon to compete in a global marketplace and thrive. 

Before entering elected office as State Treasurer in 2010, Wheeler worked in the financial services industry. He was elected in 2006 as the chief executive of Multnomah County, where he oversaw a workforce of more than 4,400 and was responsible for reducing and balancing the budget.

Wheeler was born in Portland, and graduated from Lincoln High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia University and a master’s in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Wheeler is a longtime community volunteer leader who has worked with diverse organizations including Neighborhood House, Portland Mountain Rescue, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Oregon Sports Authority.

The OSU lectureship is named after Tom McCall, who was Oregon’s governor from 1967-75.

Notable speakers from different careers have included Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Washington Post columnists David Broder and William Raspberry; Oregon political analyst Floyd McKay; Dennis Dimick of National Geographic magazine, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The McCall Lecture is presented by the OSU College of Liberal Arts.

Media Contact: 

David Bernell, 541-737-6281

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Ted Wheeler
Ted Wheeler

Workshops on social change held May 11 and 12

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed singer/songwriters Carrie Newcomer and Libby Roderick will lead two writing workshops on social change May 11-12 in Corvallis. The workshops are sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.

Newcomer and Roderick will be in Corvallis to perform at the concert, “This Land Is Our Land: Music of Environmental and Social Change.”

Newcomer and Roderick have offered workshops around the country. Each workshop costs $20, or $10 for students, and is limited to 25 participants. To register, visit the Spring Creek website.

The workshops are:

  • Writing workshop with Carrie Newcomer: “Writing Mindfully: Exploring the Sacred Ordinary for Social Change,” Friday, May 11, 1-4 p.m., Memorial Union Room 211. Prose, poetry, essay, journal and song writers of all experience levels are welcome to explore writing in this workshop.
  • Songwriting workshop with Libby Roderick, “Singing for Our Lives: Songwriting for Social Change”, Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Troubadour Music, 521 S.W. 2nd, Corvallis. Bring examples of your favorite songs for social change and explore the role and process of writing songs that help transform the world.
Media Contact: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

OSU English instructor awarded Oregon Book Award

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University faculty member George Estreich was awarded the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction at a ceremony last night in Portland for his memoir, "The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit.”

Estreich’s book focuses on the first year of his daughter’s life following her diagnosis of Down syndrome. He is an instructor of English at OSU.

Marjorie Sandor, professor of English and director of OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, was nominated for her book “The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction.”

Two releases by OSU Press were also nominees: Glenn Anthony May’s book, “Sonny Montes and Mexican American Activism in Oregon,” and Portland author Brian Doyle’s book, “Mink River.”

The Oregon Book Awards is a program of Literary Arts, a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the importance of language.

Media Contact: 

Lawrence Rodgers, 541-737-4581

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George Estreich
George Estreich

Concert to highlight social and environmental change held May 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Music that motivates action on behalf of nature and social justice will be the focus of a special concert, Friday, May 11, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Corvallis High School theater.

“This Land Is Our Land: The Music of Environmental and Social Change” will feature noted singer/songwriters Carrie Newcomer and Libby Roderick, with an opening number by Corvallis High School’s a cappella group Spartacapella.

Reserved tickets ($12 adults / $6 students) are available at Grass Roots Books & Music, or online at http://Corvallistheaters.com. The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, with support from KLCC radio.

“All through American history, dramatic social change has been led by people walking hand-in-hand and singing,” said Kathleen Dean Moore, senior fellow with the Spring Creek Project. “Music can make the difference between a mob and a movement. We wanted to put on a big concert to celebrate that music, and to motivate social change.”

Newcomer has been described as “a soaring songstress” by Billboard Magazine and a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe. Her latest album, “Everything is Everywhere” blends American roots influences with the sounds of the Indian classical sarod. The album is a benefit project for the Interfaith Hunger Initiative.

Roderick is a singer/songwriter, poet, activist, and teacher, honored for her blend of passionate music, wry humor and incisive commentary on social and personal issues. Roderick’s folk classic, "How Could Anyone," has been translated into several languages, and was sung by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and thousands of others at the U.N. Conference in Beijing.

The concert will also recognize Corvallis-area musicians who are working, through their music, for cultural change. An action and information fair featuring regional environmental and social action organizations will take place in conjunction with the concert.

Media Contact: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

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Libby Roderick
Libby Roderick

Author to read from memoir on April 27

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Aria Minu-Sepehr will read from “We Heard the Heavens Then,” his debut memoir of a boy in revolutionary Iran, on Friday, April 27, at Oregon State University. The book will be available for sale with a signing to follow the reading, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda.

Published this month by Simon & Schuster, “We Heard the Heavens Then,” recounts the author’s privileged boyhood as a son of eminent general in the Imperial Iranian Air Force. Seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old with unusual access to the two poles of his society – modern and traditional – the tale describes the rising tension, collision, and eventual fallout of the country’s split as the family is forced into political exile.

“We Heard the Heavens Then” was selected as a Publisher’s Weekly “Top 10 Memoir” of Spring 2012.

Minu-Sepehr sought refuge in the United States following the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979. He has lectured on issues concerning Iranian culture and U.S. foreign policy, and created and directed the Forum for Middle East Awareness at Susquehanna University, where he taught world and Middle Eastern literature. He lives in Corvallis with his wife, the poet Karen Holmberg, and their two daughters.

Minu-Sepehr’s reading and book-signing is sponsored by the proposed OSU School of Writing, Literature and Film and Grass Roots Books and Music.

German a cappella ensemble Vocaldente to visit OSU on April 30

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The German a cappella ensemble Vocaldente will visit Oregon State University on Monday, April 30, for a free workshop in the Memorial Union Journey Room. The group will preview its concert repertoire, explain some of its techniques, and perform a few songs.

That same night in downtown Corvallis, Vocaldente will present a free concert at the Whiteside Theatre at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Vocaldente performs popular music from the past 10 decades in classical a cappella style, without microphones but with entertaining choreography. Its repertoire covers songs of every decade, including 1920s Charleston tunes, popular German styles from the 1950s, 1970s disco and recent pop songs and chart hits.

The event is organized by the German program at OSU, supported by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco, the School of Language, Culture and Society at OSU, the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at OSU, and the Whiteside Theatre.

Media Contact: 

Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957

Holocaust Memorial Week observed April 16-20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will observe Holocaust Memorial Week April 16-20 with a series of events, including an exhibit of letters from Holocaust survivor Sala Garncarz, a theatrical performance highlighting Garncarz’s struggles in a concentration camp, a talk about the genocide of native peoples and a concert by an acclaimed flutist.

This observance is the 26th in the annual series, which is a collaboration of OSU, the Corvallis/Benton County Public Library, the City of Corvallis, Beit Am, and School District 509-J.

The partners are undertaking the event “in the belief that educational institutions can do much to combat bigotry of all kinds, and to foster respect for diversity, by promoting an awareness of the Holocaust,” said Paul Kopperman, OSU professor of history and chair of the Holocaust Memorial Committee.

One of the highlights of this year’s program is a public exhibit based on a collection of more than 300 letters dating from 1940-45 from Holocaust survivor Garncarz. The exhibit, “Letters to Sala – A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps” will be at the Corvallis/Benton County Library throughout the month of April.

Ann Kirschner, the daughter of Sala Garncarz, will be at the exhibit from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, April 16, and will answer questions from the public.

For a complete schedule and descriptions of the events, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/holocaust/index.php

The program will also include the following events, all of which are free and open to the public:

Monday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Ann Kirschner will discuss the wartime experiences of her mother and the importance of the unique collection of letters that she saved and later passed down to her children. Kirschner is the dean of Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York and author of an acclaimed biography of her mother, “Sala’s Gift.”

Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m., Corvallis/Benton County Public Library

“Sala's Story,” Arlene Hutton's dramatic adaptation of Kirchner's book, “Sala's Gift,” tells the story of young Garncarz's experiences growing up in Nazi work camps. Much of the play's text comes directly from her letters. History and drama become fused together in this play, which is suitable for younger audiences, as well as for adults. OSU Theatre faculty member Elizabeth Helman directs.

Wednesday, April 18, 4 p.m., La Raza Room, OSU Memorial Union

Tomasz M. Giebultowicz will speak on “Operation Harvest Festival” - In the fall of 1943, the Germans killed 40,000 Jews in three camps of the Lublin District in Poland. This campaign of murder was given the euphemistic name of “Operation Harvest Festival.” Even given the enormity of the Holocaust, few if any massacres on this scale occurred in such a brief span of time. Among the prisoners at one of these camps was young Joseph Giebultowicz. Since he was a political prisoner and not Jewish, he was spared and eventually came to America. Years later, he told his son, Tomasz, what he had witnessed. Tomasz, a member of the physics faculty at OSU, will discuss Operation Harvest Festival and what his father told him of that massacre.

Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Concert titled “One Heart” by flutist Jan Michael Looking Wolf; followed by Benjamin Madley’s talk on “Genocide in America? The Assault on the Tolowa Tribe of Oregon and California.”

Madley, a postdoctoral fellow in history and Native American studies at Dartmouth, focuses on “frontier genocide,” or mass assaults on indigenous people. His talk will deal primarily with the campaigns against the Tolowa tribe, who lost more than 80 percent of their population between 1851 and 1856, but he also will place this history in the context of the wider assault on California Indians.

Prior to Madley’s talk, Jan Michael Looking Wolf will perform on the Native American flute. Looking Wolf teaches Native American flute at OSU and has released more than 20 albums.

Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Eric Sundquist will speak on “The Historian’s Anvil, the Novelist’s Crucible: Holocaust Literature and the Uses of History.”

Sundquist, Andrew W. Mellon professor of the humanities at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss the ways the Holocaust has been depicted in literature and examine the issue of imaginative recreation of an event that carries such a heavy moral burden to depict accurately. Sundquist is known for his scholarship on African-American and Jewish-American literature, as well as on the Holocaust, and his many publications include the award-winning book, “Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America.”

Media Contact: 

Paul Kopperman, 541-737-1265

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Oregon State University will observe Holocaust Memorial Week April 16-20 with a series of events including a public exhibit of letters from Holocaust survivor Sala Garncarz.
Jan Michael Looking Wolf

Documentary on human connection to the cosmos screens April 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Journey of the Universe,” a documentary exploring the human connection to Earth and the cosmos, will be screened on Monday, April 9, at Oregon State University. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the C&E Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center.

Narrated by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, and produced by historians of religion Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, “Journey of the Universe” weaves together the findings of modern science with cultural traditions of the West, China, Africa, India, and indigenous peoples to explore cosmic evolution as a process of creativity, connection, and interdependence.

The documentary premiered last year on PBS and has been shown around the world.

Filmed on location on the Greek island of Samos, “Journey of the Universe” invites viewers to become travelers on a journey that explores the origins of the universe, the emergence of life, and the rise of humans.

Sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, the event will also recognize the winners of the OSU Student contest, “The Great Work: Re-imagining Humanity as the Planet Changes.”

To view the trailer, visit www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

Media Contact: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

Poets Geri Doran and Maxine Scates to share a reading at OSU on April 20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon poets Geri Doran and Maxine Scates will read from their recent collections on Friday, April 20, at Oregon State University, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s La Raza Room (208).

The reading is free and open to the public; a book signing follows.

Doran will read from her second collection of poems, “Sanderlings” (Tupelo Press, 2011), which has recently been named a finalist for the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. Doran will be joined at the reading by Scates who will read from her recent book, “Undone” (New Issues, 2011), a poetry collection called “nuanced, mysterious, intimate” by Dorianne Laux.

Doran is the author of “Resin,” selected by Henri Cole for the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award. She has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Portland’s Literary Arts.

Scates is the author of three books of poetry including “Toluca Street” and “Black Loam.” Her poems have been published widely in such journals as “AGNI,” “Ploughshares,” and “The Virginia Quarterly Review” and she has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Oregon Book Award for Poetry, the Lyre Prize, and a Pushcart Prize.

The Literary Northwest Series is sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the proposed School of Writing, Literature and Film at OSU, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Rebecca Olson, 541-737-1648

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Sanderlings 300 dpi