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Tim Holt usually makes stage appearances with a musical instrument, as in his tribute to the songs of Pete Seeger.  But this time around, Tim finds music in the words themselves. 

He celebrates the poetry of Walt Whitman with a work he wrote himself, "Walking With Walt."  The play is about a man inspired by Whitman's poetry to walk the country. 

Tim Holt walks to a phone to tell us about putting the work onstage at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, this weekend and next.

Tayo Aluko can't get enough of Paul Robeson.  The singer/actor/activist sang "Old Man River" like nobody else, and left his stamp on American politics as well. 

Tayo Aluko gets to slip into the skin of the great performer in the one-man play "Call Mr. Robeson," which Aluko brings back to Ashland August 12-15. 

Acting may be fun and rewarding work, but it requires a lot of the actor; preparation, audition, rehearsal, and more. 

Theatre professionals Jackie Apodaca and Michael Kostroff shared an advice column for working or nearly-working actors for a decade in "Backstage," a trade paper.  They compiled some of their best work in the book Answers from "The Working Actor": Two Backstage Columnists Share Ten Years of Advice

Jackie Apodaca is a professor in the theatre department at Southern Oregon University.  Michael Kostroff is an actor and a teacher as well. 


Audiences have drawn sharp breaths upon seeing some of the plays and operas directed by Peter Sellars, a professor at UCLA.  And upon occasion, the sharp breaths are followed by people walking out. 

Sellars pushes the boundaries, staging plays in swimming pools and in complete darkness, among other settings. 

He visits Southern Oregon University to talk about Shakespeare and the interpretation of his and other plays.

The biggest circus in the country may have shut down, but there's plenty of circus left to enjoy. 

In fact, the Rogue Valley is home to a circus academy, Le Cirque Center. 

The center and Ashland's Flying Actor Studio are putting on the first-ever Lunacy Festival, this weekend and next in Ashland.  Circus acts, physical comedy, and music are among the attractions. 

New Plays See Light Of Day In Ashland

Oct 18, 2016
ANPF Facebook page

It's not as famous as Ashland's BIG theatre festival, but the Ashland New Plays Festival is plenty influential. 

Playwrights from across the country submit plays to be read by experienced actors, and just four plays are chosen for performance. 

Beth Kander is back for a second straight year with a new play called "Hazardous Materials." 

Cthulhu Sings... With Puppets

Oct 13, 2016

We had a practice a bit just to be able to say the name "Cthulhu." 

It's a character from a horror story by H.P. Lovecraft... and now the central figure in a musical!  With puppets! 

"Cthulhu: The Musical" is being presented at an Ashland tavern (Oberon's) by the wonderfully named troupe "Puppeteers For Fears." 

"Spoon River" Helps Fund Real Cemetery

Oct 6, 2016

The play version of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" features the characters telling their stories from the graveyard, after death. 

So it seems appropriate to use the play as a fundraiser for a graveyard. 

And that's just what's happening, as the Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery mount a production of "Spoon River" to bring in money for cemetery upkeep. 

David Gordon provides musical accompaniment for the play. 

Man Of A Thousand Voices (Dozens, Anyway)

Aug 24, 2016

You might listen to Jake Wardle and not even know it.  Because the guy can speak English in a huge variety of accents. 

Meryl Streep might have trouble keeping up with him. 

He makes films and seeks voice acting work; Wardle already has a huge following on YouTube

Community Theater About The Community

Jul 21, 2016

There may be nothing that excites a performer more than performing on a new stage. 

So excitement is likely rampant at Random People Theater Project in Humboldt County. 

The group, composed of amateurs and old pros, performed for years at the Mateel Center in Redway, but just moved to a new home in Garberville. 

It's not just theater IN the community, it is theater ABOUT the community... Random People encourages stories from the region, written by local people about local people.

Hip-Hop Poetry On The Shakespeare Stage

Apr 1, 2016

Just because your middle name is "Shakespeare" doesn't mean all your work has to be hundreds of years old. 

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival commits art in a number of avenues, including hip-hop. 

The Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic Nights started several years ago at OSF.  The next, coming tonight (April 4), features Dahlak Brathwaite, who has gained a national reputation for his work (it's free!). 

"Red" And Red Wine, In One Room

Mar 4, 2016
Ashland Contemporary Theatre

A couple of Rogue Valley theatre heavyweights join forces for the staging of the play "Red." 

The play, opening March 11th, brings Ashland Contemporary Theatre Artistic Director Jeannine Grizzard and Oregon Stage Works Artistic Director Peter Alzado as co-directors, with Alzado as the lead actor. 

The play concerns the art of the abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, and explores his art and his life and the implications of each. 

"Red" is also the first production on a new stage at Grizzly Peak Winery near Ashland. 

Packing The House In Grants Pass

Mar 1, 2016

With a title like "Urinetown," a theater group had better be prepared to convince audience members that they made the right choice. 

No trepidation there for the leaders of Barnstormers Theatre in Grants Pass. 

The group claims to be Oregon's oldest continuous community theatre, making crowds laugh and cry since 1952. 

February! First Friday Arts

Feb 4, 2016

After a hiatus forced by January 1st (a holiday) falling on a Friday, First Friday Arts returns to The Exchange!

The first Friday of any month has become a day to celebrate the arts around our region. 

Several communities hold First Friday art walks, and some hold similar observances on other weekend days. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month. 

Fa La La First Friday In The Arts

Oct 1, 2015

Start warming up your voice.  Friday is here, and with it, the return of our First Friday Arts Segment.

And we'll be singing a cappella with the Rogue Valley Harmonizers, our featured guests in our First Friday Arts segment. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.

Making Money At Comedy, No Joke

Jun 18, 2015
Chronicle Books

Everybody knows somebody who is just truly funny. 

But does ANYBODY know somebody who can make a living being funny?  You will now: Joe Randazzo is a former editor of "The Onion," and he's been making comedy for a living for years. 

He tells the story of his successful career in the book Funny On Purpose.

World Premiere: "A Question of Words"

Feb 3, 2015
Camelot Theatre

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is known for the occasional world premiere of a new play. 

But this time a smaller community theater is the one trotting out a new work. 

Camelot Theatre in Talent is the first company to put on a fully-staged version of Richard Manley's "A Question of Words."

The play has been heard in the Rogue Valley before... it was one of the plays in the 2013 Ashland New Plays Festival, as a staged reading. 

Jenny Graham

The two comedies anchoring the 2014 season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival put the accent on zany shenanigans. The Cocoanuts, by Irving Berlin and George S. Kaufman, was created as a vehicle for the legendary Marx Brothers—vaudeville veterans with a bottomless bag of comic shticks. And the title of Shakespeare’s early The Comedy of Errors says it all: mistaken identities, compounding misunderstandings, escalating farce.

Greg Eliason

The frustration in crafting this column is the long lag-time between deadline and publication date. Add to that the tradition of orienting December articles to holiday subjects, and my enthusiasm for the Southern Oregon University production last November of The White Fugue, devised and directed by James Donlon, becomes almost a why-bother-mention-it-now?

Ashland New Plays Festival Rolls Out Readings

Oct 21, 2013

Just as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival approaches the end of its long season, its hometown plays host to a smattering of plays that may grace stages in the future.

The Ashland New Plays Festival returns this week, giving audiences a chance to see and hear readings of plays by playwrights both established and new.