CCC Upward Bound Students Present Shakespeare’s Women at ASOC

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UBSA staff, project leaders, instructors and student participants in this year’s program.

Nine high school students from Astoria, Warrenton, and Seaside in the Upward Bound program at Clatsop Community College will be presenting a free performance of Shakespeare’s Women on Tuesday July 31st, 2012 at the Astor Street Opry Company Playhouse, 129 West Bond Street, Astoria.  Admission is free and all are welcome.

Shakespeare’s Women is a theatre piece devised by Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s former director, Libby Appel, which takes the audience on a journey through a dozen Shakespeare plays, highlighting the best scenes and monologues for women.  In an hour of laughter, love, and heartache, the great women of Shakespeare’s plays stand center stage.  Ophelia, Gertrude, Juliet, Beatrice, Viola, Isabella, Helena, Kate, Lady Macbeth, Desdemona and others explore the nature of woman using Shakespeare’s memorable words.  “Frailty, thy name is woman”?  Hardly!  These strong women revel in their “infinite variety” and strength.  No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary for enjoyment of this unique theatrical event.

Upward Bound at CCC is a TRiO pre-college program of the U.S. Department of Education. It provides advising, tutoring, mentoring, cultural enrichment and academic instruction for students in 9th through 12th grades. The program’s Summer Academy is a college-simulation experience to promote success in education beyond high school.

The Upward Bound Shakespeare project, directed by Meg Patterson, the former Artistic Director of the Warehouse Repertory Theatre and Mendocino Shakespeare Festival, is in its second year.  In 2011 it produced a 90-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Performing Arts Center.  The focus this year is on touring live theatre to the community, and there will be four other performances for local nonprofits and educational groups.  The July 31st show is the only performance open to the general public and is a first-time collaboration between Upward Bound and the Astor Street Opry Company.

Just as Shakespeare’s actors did, each member of the cast is playing multiple roles in this whirlwind sampler of Shakespeare’s “greatest hits” for women.  Chrissy Alexanderplays Viola and Juliet, as well as Stage Managing the production.  Lainnie Alexanderportrays Katherina (the “Shrew”), Hamlet, and Othello.  Adam Buchananplays Demetrius and Romeo (with a short stint as Thisbe), while Heather Floresplays Helena and Queen Gertrude.  Aleah Hobbsnarrates and also plays Olivia, and JoJo Milleralso narrates as well as playing Lady Macbeth and Claudio. Ariel Stallsworthplays Ophelia and Emilia.  Alex Still plays Isabella and Desdemona, while Derick Watson plays Macbeth, Benedick, and Petruchio.

Admission is free,and is on a first-come basis.  Doors open at 7pm for the 7:30 show. Donationsare welcome and will benefit the Astor Street Opry Company building fund.  Information is available at (503) 338-2370.  One performance only on Tuesday July 31st, 2012 at 7:30pm at the Astor Street Opera Company Playhouse at 129 West Bond Street in Astoria.

Clatsop Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. ADA accessible facility. Clatsop Community College’s Upward Bound program is 100% funded by a federal grant in the amount of $273,709.