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WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day to Include Food Competitions

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Local residents are invited to enter their honey and home food products in “A Gathering In,” the traditional foods competition held annually at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day.

The 37th annual festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, will feature contests for canned goods, baked goods and “heritage foods,” the Best in the West Berry Recipe contest, and a competition for extracted honey with categories in light, dark, and comb.

The recipe contest will highlight the importance of berries in the regional diet, said Peter Koch, education associate at the museum. “The recipe does not have to be original, but the entry must be made from scratch and must include berries,” he said.

The foods contest is coordinated jointly by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service’s Jackson County Center and the Mountain Heritage Center.  Ribbons will be awarded to the top three entries in youth and adult divisions, and a grand champion will be selected from each of the divisions of canned goods, baked goods, heritage foods conservation, and honey.

Food entries will be accepted at the Mountain Heritage Center at specific times during the week leading up to the festival. Canned goods, honey, and heritage foods can be dropped off at the museum between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Baked goods and berry recipe contest entries should be brought to the Mountain Heritage Center between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.

Winners will be announced at Mountain Heritage Day. All entries must be picked up from the Mountain Heritage Center by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

For more information about the foods contest or to obtain a contest guideline booklet, call Cheryl Beck at the Jackson County Center at (828) 586-4009 or Peter Koch at the Mountain Heritage Center at (828) 227-7129, or visit www.MountainHeritageDay.com for a downloadable booklet and entry form.

WCU Announces Lineup for 2011-12 Mainstage Season

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Western Carolina University will soon kick off its University Theatre’s Mainstage season.

The 2011-12 season includes four shows – two musicals and two comedies.

This season will open with the play “I Hate Hamlet,” directed by faulty member Claire Eye and written by Paul Rudnick. The New York Times describes the play as “unapologetically silly and at times hilarious. … Affectionately amusing about the theatre.” The play tells the story of hot, young television star Andrew Rally, who finds his career in limbo when his series is canceled. After relocating to New York, he is offered the role of Hamlet on stage. His life gets more complicated after meeting his roommate, the drunken ghost of John Barrymore.

Show dates for “I Hate Hamlet” are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 5-8, in Hoey Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, faculty, staff and seniors. Student tickets are $7 if purchased in advance.

Next on the playbill is “Sweeney Todd,” a musical written by Hugh Wheeler with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Terrence Mann, WCU’s Plemmons Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, will direct. “Sweeney Todd” is the winner of eight Tony Awards and two Golden Globe Awards and is acknowledged as one of the most acclaimed theatrical works of the 20th century. In the play, Sweeney Todd returns to the seedy underworld of 19th-century London. His savagery soon finds its equal in Mrs. Lovett, who wastes nothing of the barber’s recently deceased clients.

Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 10-12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for faculty, staff and seniors. Student tickets are $10. Tickets purchased early by students are $7.

The third show of the season, “Music Is” by George Abbott, is based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” The play features music by Richard Adler with lyrics by Will Holt. A guest director has yet to be announced. The production, a tangled comic mayhem of mistaken identity and ever-shifting affection, will be the first revival in the world since the Broadway premiere in 1976. The play is based on a score among the vast files of the Rodgers and Hammerstein archives at the Library of Congress.

Show dates are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, with a matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Both showings will be in the Bardo Center. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for faculty, staff and seniors. Student tickets are $10. Students can buy their tickets in advance for $7.

Wrapping up the Mainstage season is a modern retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare, directed by faculty member D.V. Caitlyn. This loud and bawdy version of the Bard’s classic comedy has been billed as “Shakespeare meets ‘The Sopranos.’” Petruchio, on the hunt for a wealthy wife, sets his eyes on the fiery-tempered Katharina, and while he may be able to win her for his wife, he struggles to win her heart.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, March 22-24, and a matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25, in the Bardo Arts Center. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for faculty, staff, seniors and students. Students can purchase tickets for $7 in advance.

Mainstage season subscriptions for all four shows cost $50 for adults, $40 for seniors, faculty and staff and $20 for students (a 30 percent savings over individual prices) and will be available Aug. 16 to Oct 5.

In addition to the Mainstage season, the School of Stage and Screen will present two special events: a radio adaptation of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and the fourth annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival, featuring student films, on Friday, April 27. All seats for both shows, to be held at the Bardo Arts Center, are $10. These events are not included in the subscription price.

To order tickets, or for more information about the season, call the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.

Production Filmed on WCU New Motion Picture Stage

Monday, July 11th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The recent filming of mask-and-music theater group Whimzik marked the first production on a Western Carolina University’s new motion picture stage in Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

“The Whimzik production allowed us to get a sense of the space and how to use the new equipment,” said Arledge Armenaki, associate professor of cinematography.

Last year, an underutilized TV recording venue in Ramsey Center was retrofitted into a modern 30-by-30, 18-foot tall motion picture stage. Jack Sholder, director of the WCU Motion Picture and Television Production Program, said then-Chancellor John W. Bardo had first talked to him about adapting the studio in Ramsey seven years ago, and the project won approval for $160,000 in funding last year.

“In terms of square footage, it’s not a big stage – not a Hollywood stage – but it’s a real movie stage,” said Sholder. “It’s big enough for us to build a set, and has a separate classroom and tools students can learn to use. This fall, students will build a cabin in the woods on the stage for part of a movie filmed for a senior project. We are excited. It’s fantastic.”

The facility has more capabilities than the Killian Building teaching stage and features equipment and lighting systems more typical of today’s movie sets, said Armenaki.

“The stage truly offers a higher level of training for our students,” said Armenaki. “The lighting system alone enables us to do lighting effects on camera that were not possible on the Killian stage, such as changing levels quickly and having multiple lighting setups at one time.”

In June, three motion picture and television production students – senior Josh Hartigan from Cullowhee, senior Trey Campbell from Wilmington and junior Kevin Slamon from Winston-Salem – filmed Whimzik with Armenaki; David Brewin, who recently retired from WCU; and Del DeLorm, technical director with the School of Stage and Screen.

Slamon, who was operating one of the cameras, said he was eager to check out the new space and take part in the production. “Aside from getting a chance to get a feel for the stage, it has just been a fun and creative project,” he said.