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items tagged with St. Ambrose University

"Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects on Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-07-02 12:00:00

Lauren VanSpeybroeck, courtesy of Nick West PhotographyAs with many things in life, it can be blamed on a friendly purple dinosaur.

“I used to be obsessed with Barney,” says area actor Lauren VanSpeybroeck of her pre-school interest in performing. “I always used to pretend I was on Barney [& Friends], so I guess that’s where it started. And then I would see, say, The Wizard of Oz or something, and for that week, I would be Dorothy Gale from Kansas. My mom would take me to the grocery store and people would say, ‘Oh, you’re so cute – what’s your name?’ ‘Dorothy Gale from Kansas.’

“That,” says VanSpeybroeck with a laugh, “was probably when my mom was like, ‘Hmmm ... maybe she wants to play characters ... ?’”


Read More About "Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects On Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career...


One-Hundred-Word Moments in Time: Thom White, and a Few Others, on the Year in Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2013-12-23 12:00:00

Cara Chumbley, Lora Adams, Brad Hauskins, and Rachelle Walljasper in Things My Mother Taught MeAnother year of area stage productions has come and gone, and wanting to try something different this December, Reader theatre reviewer Thom White and I thought we’d bypass our traditional, end-of-year postmortem in favor of an alternate approach: requesting 100-words-or-fewer submissions from our readers on what people found particularly memorable about the 2013 stage scene. “It’ll be something new!” we thought. “It’ll be exciting! It’ll be filled with fresh voices that aren’t ours!” And, I must admit, we were dazzled with the overall response.

Well, “dazzled” may be overstating it.

Hmmm ... what’s the word I’m looking for ... ?

“Mortified,” maybe ... ?


Read More About One-Hundred-Word Moments In Time: Thom White, And A Few Others, On The Year In Theatre...


Personal Science: Sandra Steingraber, October 22 at St. Ambrose University
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Environment

2013-10-16 18:49:00

Sandra Steingraber. Photo by Dede Hatch.

Sandra Steingraber has bachelor and doctorate degrees in biology and a master’s in creative writing. “I had long been a biologist by day and poet by night,” she said in a phone interview earlier this month. “I kind of kept my writing world and my science world separate.”

And that was her intention when she set out to write the book that would become Living Downstream. “It was going to represent my best attempt as a biologist to summarize the links between cancer and the environment,” she said.

But the poet in her ended up transforming the project into something unusual: a deeply personal story intertwined with a scientific one, as Steingraber discusses her own cancer in the context of the troubling relationship between chemical pollution and the disease. The hook of the book, she said, is “the life behind one of the data points in the cancer registry, namely my own.”

Steingraber will be speaking at St. Ambrose University on October 22 as part of the school’s Sustainability Project, which includes events throughout the academic year. Her lecture, she said, will apply the “conceptual theme” of Living Downstream (originally published in 1997, with a second edition and film adaptation released in 2010) to fracking – induced hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas and petroleum.


Read More About Personal Science: Sandra Steingraber, October 22 At St. Ambrose University...


At the Intersection of Bluegrass and Brazil: Quad City Arts Visiting Artists Matuto, September 21 at the Galvin Fine Arts Center
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-09-10 18:50:00

Matuto, photographed by Vincent SoyezDepending on the source, the English-language equivalent of the Brazilian slang term “matuto” appears to be “country boy” or “bumpkin” or “hillbilly.” What it absolutely isn’t is “critically lauded ensemble selected as American Musical Ambassadors for the U.S. State Department.”

Yet that is indeed a fitting description for the capitalized Matuto, the sextet of touring musicians appearing locally as Quad City Arts’ latest Visiting Artists. After a week spent conducting workshops and performing for area students, these dynamic, adventurous artists and educators will present a September 21 concert at St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center, where they hope to excite many more listeners with the infectious thrill of Brazilian bluegrass.

That’s right: Brazilian bluegrass. Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of it.


Read More About At The Intersection Of Bluegrass And Brazil: Quad City Arts Visiting Artists Matuto, September 21 At The Galvin Fine Arts Center...


Beauty from Different Angles: Ethel, April 12 at St. Ambrose’s Rogalski Center
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-04-03 11:25:10

Ethel. Photo by James Ewing.

The string quartet Ethel refers to itself as a “band” and uses amplified classical instruments and improvisation. It’s called a “post-classical” ensemble, and the group has toured with Todd Rundgren and appeared on guitarist/songwriter/singer Kaki King’s 2012 album Glow.

Ethel is the very definition of “crossover,” and if all that doesn’t scare you, try this sample from Pitchfork.com’s (strongly positive) review of Heavy, its 2012 record: “The violins peel off into glass shards, and the cello starts moaning. It’s a relief from the opening melee, but only insofar as scalp-prickling fear that there is a serial killer lurking in your home is technically preferable to the certainty of being stabbed to death.”

At Ethel’s April 12 performance at St. Ambrose University, don’t expect quite that level of eclecticism. Or violence.

But the Present Beauty program Ethel will play still covers plenty of territory on the theme of “what it is to experience beauty from different angles,” said violinist Tema Watstein in a phone interview last month.


Read More About Beauty From Different Angles: Ethel, April 12 At St. Ambrose’S Rogalski Center...





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