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items tagged with St. Ambrose University

O Holy Nightmare: "A Cadaver Christmas," May 29 at the Establishment Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-20 17:00:00

Ben Hopkins, Hanlon Smith-Dorsey, Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Yosh Hayashi, Andrew Harvey, and Jessica Denney in A Cadaver ChristmasLast month, the locally produced zombie comedy A Cadaver Christmas was named Best Professional Feature at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, and given its title, you’d rightly expect the movie to have its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek. Most likely, after being gnawed off and spit out by the groaning, lumbering undead.


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Talking Outside the 'box: Kim Furness Discusses the Curtainbox's 10-Year History
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-04-05 16:35:31

Kimberly Furness[Author's note: The following was written for TheCurtainbox.com, the Web site for our area's Curtainbox Theatre Company, of which I've been a proud member for nearly a year.]

 

Recently, Curtainbox Theatre Company founder Kim Furness and I sat down over a glass of wine – all right, maybe a couple of glasses – to celebrate her company's 10-year anniversary. She had recently taken over the directing position for the Curtainbox's latest production, Speed-the-Plow (in the wake of original helmer Philip W. McKinley’s recruitment as new director of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), and during our conversation, was happy to share her thoughts on the company’s history. (The David Mamet comedy Speed-the-Plow – featuring Erin Churchill, Dan Hernandez, and myself – runs at the Village of East Davenport’s Village Theatre from April 10 through 23, with preview performances April 8 & 9.)


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Out of His Own Way: William Campbell, April 28 at St. Paul Lutheran Church
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-03-23 14:09:54

William Campbell. Photo by Renee Meyer-Ernst.

William Campbell can’t recall why he became a composer, but he does remember his piano lessons as a youth in Tucson, Arizona.

In an interview last week, Campbell recounted the questions he asked of his Julliard-trained teacher: “‘Why didn’t Beethoven do this?’ And I’d play a little something. And he’d be like, ‘Well, that’s not what this piece is. Did you learn this passage?’ And I’d play the passage, and I’d say, ‘Yes, but why didn’t he do this?’ ... I’d ask about motives and things.”

That instructor was good at many things, Campbell said – “He instilled in me a sense of how to emote on the instrument ... , technique, and also to try your best no matter what” – but he didn’t do much to encourage his pupil’s creativity. The student brought in a piece that he’d composed, and his mentor played a Rachmaninoff prelude as a response.

The 41-year-old Campbell said that he never presented another original composition to that teacher, but three decades later, he is certainly getting more affirmation. An associate professor of music theory and composition at St. Ambrose University, he’s releasing his first solo-piano album, Piano Songs – an event that will be marked by a March 26 concert at the Galvin Fine Arts Center. On April 28, he’ll debut his Piano Quintet with the Maia String Quartet at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport. And in its 2011-12 season, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra will perform Campbell’s Coyote Dances in one of its Masterworks concerts.


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True Academic Theatre: St. Ambrose Explores a National Tragedy in "Columbinus," February 18 through 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-02-09 18:27:58

Anthony Stratton, Nick Jensen, Kayla Jackson, Andrew Bradford, Michael Kline, and Keaton Connell in ColumbinusFor his first directorial effort at St. Ambrose University, Daniel Rairdin-Hale in April staged the ancient-Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex. This month, however, finds the school’s assistant professor of theatre tackling a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

“I remember where I was when Columbine happened,” says Rairdin-Hale, referring, of course, to the April 1999 massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School. “It was right between my junior and senior year [at Pleasant Valley High School]. So I got to experience how everything changed. My first three years of high school were one way, and then this happened, and in senior year, everything was different. You couldn’t have backpacks, doors were locked, you couldn’t leave the building, we had bomb drills ... . It was very strange to be there during that transition.

“I mean, I’m sure there are things that high schools do now,” he continues, “where students just assume, ‘This is how it’s always been.’ You know, cameras, metal detectors – whatever. But there was a time before that.”


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Theatre Highs in 2009
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Whether you attend stage works sporadically or, like me, you saw 85 shows in the past year, anyone who enjoyed even one will understand that feeling of leaving a venue thinking, "Wow ... that was really good." I experienced that sensation numerous times this year, and while this list is hardly exhaustive, it'll hopefully give you an idea of just what you've been missing if you missed out on 2009's offerings.


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