Category Archives: Theater

Finding Your Own Path to Activism

Over the past two weeks, since the Presidential Inauguration, everyone I know is unsettled. No matter who they voted for. Perhaps that is the upside of the upset. Perhaps this is what we needed. Even though it doesn’t feel good or satisfying, perhaps these benefits are worth it?

  • To be clear about how we feel on the issues.
  • To dialogue with those we disagree with.
  • For more people to take action to support what’s important to them.
  • For people to share their money in support of the causes they care about.
  • To be reminded that our point of view isn’t the only point of view.
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By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the film Overburden about Lorelei Scarbro who became a community organizer in the campaign to build an industrial wind farm along the ridges of mountain whose coal mine killed her husband.

I’ve used my work as a teacher, writer, and now as a marketing strategist to support the causes–and the people and businesses–I believe in.

I worked in Superfund clean up as a US EPA contractor because I believe in clean air and water and healthy ecosystems for people, for living things, and for the future of the planet.

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By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the documentary flm Overburden. Nonviolent protest on Coal River Mountain on a mountaintop removal preparation site.

I managed chemistry laboratories and taught environmental science at a State University training the future scientists, policy-makers, and planners that will lead us to problem-solving in future generations.

I worked in special education for little pay for years because I believe in the impact public school can have on the lives of special needs children.

I write about theater, music, the arts, environmental innovation, and buying local and supporting local businesses because I believe in their value–for myself, for my family, and for our communities.

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Bellingham Theatre Guild’s 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

My writing, my communication, and how I approach them are my activism. Perhaps all that’s going on in the world right now is a sign. A sign that its time to wake up, look outside ourselves, and find our own activism.

If we don’t hear the call, we just might lose the freedoms we’ve been taking for granted, the privileges given to us by the activists who came before us. Those activists were every day people. Writers, lawyers, teachers, cooks, students, parents, preachers, nurses, policemen, and even politicians. They are us and we are them.

3684396632_34a663e190_zAnother upside: the action is not hard to find anymore. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose your cause and pledge to yourself to do some small things. Now and from now on. Add your voice. We can do little alone, but together we are mighty.

Here are seven articles I’ve written so far in 2017 in support of the arts and human rights. Take a look, appreciate the arts, the environment, the rights you enjoy. Then find your activism and get involved.

Mount Baker Theatre Resident Ghost Judy is Blushing in Anticipation of The Irish Rovers and We Banjo 3 at Whatcomtalk.com

Resident Ghost Judy Can’t Wait for Mount Baker Theatre Education Shows at Whatcomtalk.com

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival Explores Critical Issues at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Art, Nature, History, and Fun at Whatcom Museum in Bellingham at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Celebrate the Tribute Act at Mount Baker Theater at Whatcomtalk.com

Join Whatcom County’s Vibrant Poetry Scene at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Appreciating the Poetry of Whatcom County at WhatcomTalk.com

 

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The Value of Independence

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You probably don’t see an obvious connection between independent film and politics, but right now, its all up in my face.

I wrote this Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about my community’s independent film theater, Pickford Film Center, for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism because it is one of the many things that makes my city great. It began, and remains, independent. Its programs, films, and decisions are made locally, by a non-profit board, for the betterment of film, the community, and education. The concerns of profit and shareholders don’t need to be included in decision-making, nor is their content dictated at a corporate level. These are among the many things I love about them.

Did I just go see a multi-billion dollar Rogue One Star Wars franchise film yesterday at the mega-plex and love it? Yes. My point is that we must preserve independent operations at the local level and not allow them to be overtaken by the big girls. Because individual choice–freedom–is among our highest ideals as a nation. If our choices become too narrow because of our profit motivations, then we, by default, are slowly losing that freedom. Will some of us be content eating only apples and oranges? Sure. But once the bananas disappear from the store front, once other options are removed from infrastructure, it will be a hell of an effort to get them back.

The meaning of the word ‘independent’ calls back to our earliest days as a country and today, our right, our duty, our responsibility to protect and preserve it is more relevant than ever.

 

Channeling a Ghost for the Holidays

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

I am honored to be a part of Mount Baker Theatre’s (MBT’s) brilliance. Since the fall, they have allowed their resident ghost Judy to channel her thoughts about the beautiful, historic theater through me.

This week Judy is helping Pacific Northwesterners cross a few things off their holiday shopping list by giving the gift of a MBT experience through my WhatcomTalk.com blog post.

I hope you’ll appreciate how much fun it is to be Judy. I’ve always wanted a writing gig like Dear Sugar where I can give advice and thoughts anonymously. For now, this is the next best thing.

The Kid in All of Us Loves the Circus

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Photos by Jorge Lausell.

Except for that one incident with too much cotton candy, most of my experiences with the circus have been so very positive. I saw things I never could imagine. By people so glorious and different from my world. The lights, the music, the dancing and laughter. I could go every year.

Luckily, in my neck of the woods, I can actually go every month, or every week if I want. Whatcom County is the home to the Bellingham Circus Guild. I can see a performance on the 15th of every month and take a weekly class. So can my children. We are so fortunate.

It was a delight to write my Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about them. Go read it and then figure out how to get more circus in your 2017.

Theater in Bellingham

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BTG’s 2008 production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

I love Bellingham and all it has to offer. We’re fortunate to have local original theater, improv, dance, and even nationally touring shows that stop by. I enjoy blogging for Bellingham Experience Whatcom County Tourism about the theater, music, and the arts that contribute to the culture and entertainment in our community. My hope is that by writing about them, I’ll bring them more attention, help them reach new audiences, and hopefully be appreciated more fully.

I got to speak with my friend Jeff Braswell, Bellingham Theatre Guild’s (BTG’s) publicity director, about all the exciting upgrades that are happening there, and just in time for their production of White Christmas. Please check out my blog post and then help BTG spread the word.

Expanding Theater in Whatcom County

idiom-move-sylvia-centerI’ve had the pleasure of performing in locally-written plays at the iDiOM Theatre for many years. It was my honor to perform in the first 48-Hour Theatre Festival at the new Sylvia Center for the Arts, and the home of the new iDiOM Theatre.

My Insider Blog for Bellingham Experience via Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism shares what felt like an historic experience, including a video recording of my performance, as well as all that’s happening at Sylvia as a result of the hard work of Artistic Director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao, the Board, and the volunteers in Bellingham’s incredible theater community.

Bringing Broadway to Small Towns

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Once

When I was in 9th grade, my high school English teacher Mrs. Garner (and other teachers and my school I’m sure) organized field trips to a Flint, MI theater so that those in advanced English class (that could afford it) got to see a couple of traveling Broadway shows. My first was A Chorus Line. My mother gladly paid the $15 to cover the ticket and the bus to get me there so that I could be exposed to the arts that never came to our tiny farm town.

I am also a big fan of the movies and I’ve lost count of the number of Broadway shows I’ve seen and sung along with in movie form. FAME is one of my long-time favorites.

So it was my pleasure to write and article for WhatcomTalk.com about A Day in the Life of Broadway Show Passing Through Mount Baker Theatre. I was fascinated by the sheer person-hours required to unpack, produce, perform, and pack up again in such a short time.

Although my children are more interested in anime than Broadway right now, I’ll do my best to continue to introduce them to an art form that has brought joy to so many. I’m just so thankful that Mount Baker Theatre is bringing them to my small town too.