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Notes from the arts and theater beats


Lots of stuff to pass along to readers:

OFF TO BRAZIL: Andreas Werz, artistic director of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series at Fresno State, is one of nine judges at the 2010 Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition, which will be held Oct. 21-30. He writes:

The 20 pre-selected competitors come from the US, Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, and other countries around the world. I am looking forward to hearing many high level performances and am pleased to announce that the first prize winner will appear in recital during the 2011-2012 season of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series.

The next Keyboard Concerts performer is Barry Douglas, who performs Oct. 31.


: Amy Querin and her Fresno Dance Collective, or NOCO, have been busy recently. The company in September performed at the i-Dance Festival in Dallas where it premiered one of Querin’s new works, “Lilac Tree,” a rough-draft version of which was previewed at NOCO’s August event at the Fresno Art Museum. In October, Querin traveled to Cincinnati, where she set her newest work, “Intermittent Restraint,” on the Mam-Luft & Co. Dance company. There will be a double premiere of this work on Nov. 6, when Mam-Luft performs at a festival in Louisville, Ky., while NOCO performs in Fresno at the Central Valley Dance Festival at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The next public NOCO performance is 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fresno Art Museum when it presents a lecture/demonstration titled “Games You Can Dance To.” Tickets are $6.



LOOKING FOR YOUTH ORCHESTRAS OF FRESNO ALUMS: As it celebrates its 60th anniversary season, the Youth Orchestras of Fresno is looking for as many alums as it can find to help celebrate. The celebration concert, at 7 p.m. May 29 at the William Saroyan Theatre, will feature all three orchestras as well as a “super-orchestra” including alumni. The entire weekend will be devoted to specialactivities for alums. If you’re an alum or know of any, contact


DINNER AT THE LIBRARY: An annual tradition, the “Dinner in the Library” fund-raising event is sponsored by the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library. This year’s event is Nov. 7. Tables are scattered throughout the first floor of the library as hosts engage guests in conversation on topics of shared interests as they dine. The dinner is $75 for members, $90 non-members. The reservation deadline is Oct. 22. Details: (559) 431-7681.



KIRSTEN ON AMAZON: Fresno pianist Shirley Kirsten, who divides her teaching between Fresno and San Francisco, writes that she has two albums available for sale at “A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert and Chopin,” and “Scarlatti and Chopin.” Both albums are available for MP3 download at $8.99 each, and individual tracks can also be purchased.


SUMMER ARTS FINAL STATS: A total of 420 students enrolled this season at the California State University Summer Arts progam hosted by Fresno State, earning from 3 to 6 transferable undergraduate or graduate units. Guest artists and students represented seven nations: Austria, Denmark, Canada, India, Israel, Italy, and the United States. The oldest student enrolled was 79 years old and the youngest was 15. $248,538 was raised in scholarship funds and assisted 72% of Summer Arts students with financial aid.

Summer Arts program returns to Fresno State June 26-July 23.


SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY THEATER ALLIANCE: A group of interested thespians representing different theater companies in the area gathered Oct. 7 for an inaugural meeting to forge some common bonds. Organizer Heather Parish reports:

It was a very productive discussion with, I believe, some positive seeds sown. Hopefully, we will reap greater goodwill and productivity with each other in the long run … Right now, it is simply a commitment from us that we will cross-promote and communicate with each other more often and in a more positive manner.

Ideas discussed included:

  • An overall campaign to which all local theater companies commit — a constant message of “Support Local Creativity”– in order to broaden public interest in theater attendance and to bolster confidence in local theatrical productions.
  • The possibility of a central website for local productions, auditions, events, and promotions.
  • Sharing publicity and business resources/knowledge and making the time to create good art and committing to market it well.
  • All companies that have an e-newsletter commit to listing other local theatrical events in order to cross promote and encourage habitual theater going from our contacts.
  • Set up of a Facebook Group for representatives of theater companies to post in a central place for e-newsletter editors to pull from and for Alliance participants to schedule events.

On the topic of peer relationships, the group came up with some concepts:

  • Local support of other theater artists requires committed respect for what we’re all trying to do — whether or not the process and product is to our own tastes.
  • Requires trust and bridging the isolation between producing bodies.
  • Requires a respect for the work we do ourselves, a commitment to value it well, and a positive focus on our own work without destructive attitudes towards others.
  • All of the above require us to know each other better in order to work together better. More face to face meetings. A greater commitment to seeing each others’ work and treating it fairly.

A second discussion in the form of a casual mixer will be scheduled for early December.

Attending the meeting were Mike Peterson (ART), Jeff White (MTF), Lorie Ham (Kings River Life Mag), Laura Vogt (WSF), Julie Lucido, Joel Abels (StageWorks), Jaguar Bennett, Thomas Nance, Chelsea Bonilla, Kristin Crase, Brandi Martin (GCP), Michael Emo, Ann Vermel (Sunday Shakespeare), Genie Silva, K..P. Phagnasay (Actor’s Gym), Brandy Steiner (Broken Leg Stage), Jay Parks (Rogue Fest) and Heather Parish (The Ensemble).

Responses to "Notes from the arts and theater beats"

kiel says:

Is that what Bryan Harley looks like in a bow tie?