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Uncommon Women and Others captures a transformative era

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The University of Lethbridge drama department opens their season, Oct. 19 with their production of  Wendy Wasserstein’s “Uncommon Women and Others.”
(l-r) Chelsea Woolley, Makambe Simamba, Danielle Funk, Lindie Last, Ali DeRegt . Photo Submitted

“The play takes place during an era of tremendous change for women,  but the fundamental theme of students figuring out their place in the world remains relevant and recognizable,” says Dr. Shelley Scott, director of Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein. Playing Oct. 19 – 23 at 8 pm in the University Theatre, this often funny, often reflective play transports audiences into the 1970’s to share the struggles, challenges and joys of five independently uncommon women.

“Uncommon Women and Others” is the debut Broadway play written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein. This compelling drama opens as the women meet at a restaurant in 1978.  
 
A flashback transports the action back six years and shows the women while they were students at a prestigious, all-female college, forming the friendships and making the choices that shape their destinies. 
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For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again full of laughter, melodrama and deep thoughts

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If you have a mother, especially a loud, brash, opinionated mother, then you will love  New West Theatre’s new

Nana’s exaggerations make  the play. Photo by Richard Amery

 production of Michel Tremblay’s  “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again,” which premiered at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Sept. 30 for a sold out crowd.

 

The two actors, Marek Czuma and Karen Johnson-Diamond, making her New West Theatre debut, bond throughout the play, the more they talk , just as if they were mother and son, crack  each other up on occasion while making the audience identify and sympathize with them.


The comedy of the play centres around Nana’s exaggerations as Nana quickly turns the ice throwing incident  into  a lifetime in prison, reform school and two dead family members, not to mention Aunt Gertrude being completely pulled through an old fashioned clothing wringer.

 

Her son has trouble maintaining a straight face throughout Nana’s melodramatic  rants, which only raise her ire all the more. It brings back the memories of similar childhood lectures.

 

You can see the two grow closer as he grows up, starts reading and asking some pretty mature questions, Nana doesn’t know how to answer deep thoughts on blue bloods, nobility and the divine right of kings or why God didn’t tell her Cree ancestors in Saskatchewan that they could be kings  too, just as well as European kings.

 

 Other conversations aren’t as intellectual such as the discussion of Aunt Gertrude and Nana’s roast beef dinners could  have happened over any typical family’s dinner table.

 

I can picture my own dearly departed mother giving me  a similar  “when will you settle down talk”  to the one which concludes this production on a more serious note.

 

And while the ending is pretty unusual and surreal, you grow to love these characters because you know these characters. Chances are you are these characters or part of them.

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Youth plan to ignite change by talking human rights

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LETHBRIDGE — An Edmonton-based non-profit organization, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC), has partnered with several Lethbridge groups and individuals, including the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge, Amnesty International Lethbridge, the Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge, Gay And Lesbian Alliance of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Family Services, and Lethbridge Immigrant Services to deliver a human rights youth conference to be held in Lethbridge on October 6, 2010.

The Rural Youth Forum (RYF) is a day of dialogue, workshops and presentations on human rights that highlight resources and organizations that youth can utilize to create positive changes in their community.  

The one-day event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Coast Lethbridge Hotel, 526 Mayor Magrath Drive South. There is also no charge to attend, but space will be limited so registration is recommended.

Who should attend? The program will be geared towards 13-25 year olds with the goal of connecting people who are interested in finding out more on local issues and projects with the organizations and individuals who are advocating equality in Lethbridge and surrounding communities. The RYF also promotes active citizenship and the event will close off with a panel discussion featuring several mayoral candidates. Though the RYF takes place in Lethbridge, the organizers are working to bring in delegates from areas around the city as well.

The RYF is preceding a conference hosted by the City of Lethbridge and Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) on Celebrating Diversity in our Community, which runs from October 7th-8th at the same location.

The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights is a non-profit human rights organization located in Edmonton, Alberta dedicated to human rights education. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Lorinda Peel
403-758-6713 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

— Submitted to L.A. Beat

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Hoodoo Voodoo is a violent and hilarious hoot

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If Kevin Smith and View Askew productions (Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)  produced an action film, the result would be something like local action film “Hoodoo Voodoo,” which has been screened at the university over the past week and which concludes tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m.


The premiere last Thursday, Sept. 21, was sold out and featured most of the cast and crew in the audience, who cheered wildly as every name flashed across the screen.


Hoodoo Voodoo, produced by Rambunxious Skuter Productions Inc.,  directed by Aaron Kurmey and written with star Ryan Hatt and Kevin Johnson,  starts simply enough with a stakeout which is followed by a multiple shooting at the hands of a pair of corrupt cops, who are likable, yet homicidal policemen, who trade Tarantino meets Kevin Smith style  dialogue.


Unfortunately the murders are witnessed by a washed up detective, played by New West Theatre veteran Scott Carpenter, which is where things start to get bloody as the detective records the incident.
Cut to the badlands, and this is where the action begins.

While there is no justifications for the original murders, that doesn’t matter, it’s the action that counts.

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