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Bee Bantug and Nancy Graham featured at Art du Jour Gallery

Art du Jour Gallery
213 E. Main Street
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 770-3190 (Tues – Sat., 10-4)
Nancy Graham exhibit at Art du Jour.  Roy Musitelli photo 4/9/18

Nancy Graham exhibit at Art du Jour. Roy Musitelli photo 4/9/18

Advance Release for May 2018:
During the month of May Nancy Graham’s work will again be featured in the Salon and Bee Bantug will be the featured artist on the feature wall at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main in Medford.

Guest Artist

Nancy Graham featured Salon artist at Art du Jour Gallery for the months of April and May.

Nancy has always been passionate about art in all forms and styles, as evidenced by the variety of subjects she likes to paint, and the varied approach to each. She was always encouraged by her mother, who was a well-known artist in California and an art instructor at Dominican College in San Rafael a number of years ago.

Although her background is painting with oils and acrylic, her current passion is teaching watercolor at Scrappy Craft in Phoenix, where her classes remain full year-round. She tells us that the real thrill comes from the delight her students find when the composition comes together and there is a sudden spurt of confidence. She pushes strong value shifts of light and dark, telling her students over and over, “The deeper the shadows, the stronger the light will be.”
She teaches that there is more to a successful piece of art than the basic fundamentals of art theory, and she likes to experiment with a variety of styles and approaches as evidenced by the selection of pieces that will be showing at Art du Jour. Florals, landscapes, abstracts, still life’s and even a motorcycles engine are the subjects she’s chosen to show. She’s always excited to try something new and is challenged by the possibilities that watercolor brings to her artwork. However, if one were to ask her what she likes to do best, she would probably reply that she likes to paint “close-ups” where she can use her small brushes to bring out the finest details of her subjects.
Nancy holds a secondary teaching credential and art degree from UC Davis, and is a member of Southern Oregon Society of Artists, the Rogue Gallery, a past President of Josephine County Artists Association and a juried member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon.

Featured Artist for May

Bee Bantug
As the featured artist for the month of May at Art Du Jour Gallery, Bee Bantug presents “As the bee flies’’.   Not quite enigmatically titled, this body of work is part of a series celebrating the beauty and boundless bounty of Mother Earth.  And, in seemingly synchronistic timing, through this work Bee pays homage to her beloved mother and all mothers.
Technically and conceptually, her intention is to create evocative imagery using her camera as her brush and the objects and world around her as her palette. And then, pointedly never manipulating her images after the moment of creation.  Aesthetically, she likes abstracting the real and manifesting ideas that intimate at the dynamics between expressionism and impressionism to deliver a distinctly different perspective.
When asked to share how she feels about her artwork, Bee in a poetic stanza shared how “art-making lights up her inner fire: becoming, being a part of her true essence.” Completely self-taught, her work has been jury-selected at international art competitions, exhibitions and auctions the past 5 years since she began sharing her artwork publicly
Recently, Bee Bantug was featured as a Selected Artist at Artrooms Fair 2018 London, one of only two US artists among 70 international others.  Please come and enjoy creative imagery paying homage to all mothers!

Photography Contest

People's Choice Photography Contest at Art du Jour during Art in Bloom
Art du Jour will begin accepting entries for our second “Peoples Choice” Photography Contest during the last week in April.  Prospective participants should take special note that the contest will be part of our Art in Bloom exhibit, as visitors to the gallery vote for their favorite art work. Top vote getter will win $50 and a prize ribbon.  The contest artists will also be honored at our Medford Third Friday Art Walk and Reception on May 18.  There is a $20.00 entry fee.  Call the gallery to register or come by to pick up an entry form. Space will be limited. Like our Facebook page for more info or contact us at (541) 944-1933.

Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art now through June 2018

 

Gelli Printing

with Karen O’Brien

Saturday, April 14th
10:30 am – 1:30 pm
This is a fun exploratory class in printmaking using commercial and homemade gelatin printing plates. We will experiment with color, plant materials, stencils, masks and texturing materials to make complex papers that can be used as collage for mixed media projects or framed as art. I will also cover how to make your own stamps and stencils to use for printing.
$45. Includes all materials.
Recommended by Karen:
Bring along some soft leaves, so they do not dig into the plate surface and any of your favorite stencils and texture materials ex: bubble wrap, lace…

Paint like Van Gogh

with Kristen O’Neill

Saturday, April 21st
1 – 4 pm
  • All materials provided
  • Leave with an acrylic painting
  • Learn about post-impressionism and Van Gogh
  • Study a master’s work, a time-honored tradition to improving your art skills
  • Have a fun afternoon!
  • All skill levels are welcome
  • Each person copies a work of their choice (Not a follow-the-leader format)
$30. All materials included.
Recommended to bring a color photocopy of your favorite Van Gogh as a reference.

Paint like Picasso

with Kristen O’Neill

Saturday, April 28th
1 – 4 pm
  • All materials provided
  • Leave with an acrylic painting
  • Learn about Picasso and his immense influence on many periods of art
  • Study a master’s work, a time-honored tradition to improving your art skills
  • Have a fun afternoon!
  • All skill levels are welcome
  • Each person copies a work of their choice (Not a follow-the-leader format)
$30. All the materials are included.
Recommended to bring a color photocopy of your favorite Picasso painting as a reference.

Living a More Inspired & Heartfelt Life

with Janet L. Stanley, M.A.

Saturday, May 5th
1 – 4 pm
Are you the ‘You,” you long to be?
Are you following your heart’s deepest desires?
Are you nourishing your soul?
I invite you to join me to explore what gets in our way and how we can overcome those obstacles.
Please bring a journal, a blanket and pillow. If you have a drum and/or rattle, I invite you to bring it/them along.
Janet L. Stanley is a spiritual guide, mentor, teacher, and shamanic healer.
$25.

Sketching from Life: Fun with Flowers

with Kristen O’Neill

Saturday, May 12th
1 – 4 pm
  • Learn or develop your skills in drawing from life.
  • We will sketch fresh flowers
  • We can use pencils, pens, or charcoal.
  • Work on creating good values, realistic lighting
  • Improve composition
  • All skill levels welcome
$30. All materials provided.

Paint like Alex Katz

with Kristen O’Neill

Saturday, May 19th
1 – 4 pm
Contemporary painter Alex Katz is a master at simplifying compositions. His artwork has been exhibited over 700 times and he is one of the most famous living painters. In this class we will:
  • Have fun learning tricks to simplify a painting to make it stronger
  • Learn to plan our colors ahead of time
  • Beginning students can copy one of his works, and more intermediate, advanced, or adventurous students can bring in a photo and we will paint it in Katz’s style.
  • Leave with an acrylic painting
$30. All materials provided.

Animal Drawing

with Bobbi Baldwin

Saturday, June 2nd
10:30 – 4
Paint your beloved pet or favorite animal, open to all mediums (except oil). Dogs, cats, horses, tigers, cows, wild animals. Whatever your favorite fur or feather animals are!
We will work on learning the anatomical structure of bodies and faces as well as how to best portray them.
We will also work on composition, color theory, techniques, and painting.
Beginners through advanced artists—all are welcome.
$85. Materials list to be sent to you. (Most materials available for use at the Museum if needed).

Art Journals

with Karen O’Brien

Saturday, June 16th
10:30 – 3:30
In this class we will learn how to begin our own art journal* with simple supplies. I will share plenty of ideas and approaches to begin filling your journals. We will create a journal spread.
All you need to bring to class is:
  • Blank journal that can handle water media: 90-140 lb paper
  • OR
  • Old book : thin spine, no larger than 9″ x 12″, no shiny, slick or glossy pages
*What is an Art Journal? It’s a place to record your thoughts, memories, and emotions through images, art and words.
Why do it? It is an easy way to use your creativity every day. It can be done with simple tools. It is portable, requiring very little space to do it. It can be used to document life, travels, plan you art, express your feelings, test out new art products and techniques. It can be personal – only for you, or you can share it with others.
$45.

Advanced Figure Drawing

with Bobbi Baldwin

Friday, June 22nd &
Saturday, June 23rd
10:30 – 4
Bobbi returns by popular demand!
An in-depth study of how color theory applies to the human form. This class is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about how to draw the human form. It will also apply color theory to the way you draw the figure – including how shadow and light can make your work far better. You will leave with a stronger knowledge of how to apply light and shadow, keep them separated, and how to draw anyone in any position.
$150. Materials list will be sent to you.

How to Paint Waves

with Kristen O’Neill

Saturday, June 30th
1 – 4 pm
  • Learn how to paint convincing waves
  • Where it the light in the wave?
  • What colors make a convincing wave?
  • Learn about transparent vs opaque colors
  • Learn about the difference between Mineral Inorganic colors and Modern Organic colors – finally find out what all those crazy paint names are about!
  • Great color theory class that will apply to other subjects too!
$30. All materials included.
Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G StGrants Pass, OR 97528

Student Featured Artists, Nancy Graham and People’s Choice Contest

Art du Jour Gallery Medford, OR April 2018

Nancy Graham's painting Duke of the Desert

People’s Choice- Mixed Media

Art du Jour is now accepting entries for the “People’s Choice” mixed media contest. March 31 is the deadline.  Visitors to the gallery vote for their favorite art work. The winning art work will win $50 and a prize ribbon.  Call the gallery to register or come by to pick up an entry form. There is a $20.00 entry fee.  Please call for further information.   The contest artists will be honored at our Medford Third Friday Art Walk and Reception on April 20, 5 to 8 pm.  Due to a light turnout, the Oil and Acrylic contest schedule for March had to be canceled.
May will be our popular photography “People’s Choice”  and potential contestants should take special note that the contest will be part of our Art in Bloom exhibit. Space will be limited. Like our Facebook page for updates on entry rules and guidelines.

Student Featured Artists

April’s featured wall at Art du Jour will be a presentation of area student artists. The show will exhibit students (ages 10-19) of professional artist Charity Hubbard.  It promises to be impressive and inspiring. The reception will be a unique opportunity to encourage young and budding artists.
This is Charity’s 10th year of offering classes, rotating in subjects of study. These classes are offered to youth and adults. Her philosophy and teaching methods take a classical approach as it builds study and skill upon each other, beginning with foundational concepts.
Plan to drop by our gallery in April and enjoy this unique show featuring so many accomplished, passionate and dedicated young artists!  Most artwork will be for sale.

Nancy Graham is the featured Salon artist at Art du Jour Gallery for the months of April and May.

Nancy Graham at Art du Jour
Nancy has always been passionate about art in all forms and styles, as evidenced by the variety of subjects she likes to paint, and the varied approach to each. She was always encouraged by her mother, who was a well-known artist in California and an art instructor at Dominican College in San Rafael a number of years ago. Although her background is painting with oils and acrylic, her current passion is teaching watercolor at Scrappy Craft in Phoenix, where her classes remain full year-round. She tells us that the real thrill comes from the delight her students find when the composition comes together and there is a sudden spurt of confidence. She pushes strong value shifts of light and dark, telling her students over and over, “The deeper the shadows, the stronger the light will be.”
She teaches that there is more to a successful piece of art than the basic fundamentals of art theory, and she likes to experiment with a variety of styles and approaches as evidenced by the selection of pieces that will be showing at Art du Jour. Florals, landscapes, abstracts, still life’s and even a motorcycles engine are the subjects she’s chosen to show. She’s always excited to try something new and is challenged by the possibilities that watercolor brings to her artwork. However, if one were to ask her what she likes to do best, she would probably reply that she likes to paint “close-ups” where she can use her small brushes to bring out the finest details of her subjects.
Nancy holds a secondary teaching credential and art degree from UC Davis, and is a member of Southern Oregon Society of Artists, the Rogue Gallery, a past President of Josephine County Artists Association and a juried member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon.

Project Space Inaugural Show and Studio Opening May 6 & 7, 2017

Please join us for the inaugural show and studio opening

Persimmons by Sarah F Burns
Becoming a Mother/Losing a Mother

New work by Megan Headley and Sarah F. Burns

Megan, mother of a young child, explores the transformation and sacrifice involved in procreation using the inspiration of the octopus.

Sarah lost her mother suddenly in September 2016 and she journals her grief and memories through paintings.

They both embrace the epic and the mundane, the beauty and the hurt in these biggest of life’s transitions that all of us have experienced, or will experience.

Opening Party!

Join us 10:00 am – Noon on Saturday, May 6 at Project Space, 106 Talent Avenue Studio #5, Talent, OR 97540.

  • See the Show, Meet the artists
  • A representative from Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice will share practical information about end of life care.
  • Midwife Jessica “Veege” Ruediger of Moonstone Midwifery will share practical information about transitioning into motherhood.
  • Enjoy botanically mixed spring beverages by Kristie Gaul

The show will be on view one weekend only, Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7 from 10 am – 4 pm.

For more information about classes and events at Project Space, visit www.artprojectspace.com
Project Space logo

Ashland Gallery Association's May 2017 Spotlight Exhibits

Bruce Bayard: Video Projections

Bruce Bayard continues his exploration into time-based imagery with video collages created for installations and performances. The video compositing process he uses is similar to that of the Photoshop process used in all his still images, interjecting stressed surfaces and multiple layers of interacting images. The resulting video clips are further combined in a program that randomly selects and runs portions of the clips in constantly changing sequence.

This batch of work contrasts trains, airplanes, forests and calm water surfaces. No soundtrack exists for the videos, but are created improvisationally in the moment using a Buchla Music Easel, and additional modular electronic sound sources.

During the First Friday Artwalk the projections will run continuously, with a combination of pre-recorded and improvisational soundscapes.

Bruce Bayard Boatman
Image caption: “Airplane,” video still by Bruce Bayard

Ashland Art Works

Michael Gibson’s Paintings 

This month Ashland Art Works features new work by Michael Gibson: Surrealistic “Winescapes” with homage to Dali and Chirico. “I had fun with this series,” says Gibson. “I got into their heads, appreciating the originality of their compositions, use of color and love of life.

Michael’s style is unique and at the same time inspired by works of post-impressionist artists. He received his BFA from Houston Museum of Fine Arts and has worked as a designer, art director, and taught life drawing, illustration, painting, graphic design and photography at Art Institute of Houston and the Art Institute of Seattle.

5 GALLERIES AND THE SCULPTURE GARDEN:

As always, you will be more than pleased by our selection of Fine Art and Crafts.

  • AAW is home to these outstanding local artists…
  • Elin Babcock’s assemblage, jewelry, & paintings
  • Marydee Bombick’s functional and garden pottery
  • Suzanne Etienne’s joyful paintings
  • Michael Gibson’s painting in post impressionists’ style
  • Cheryl Kempner’s jewelry, garden art & Crazy Clay Birds
  • Claudia Law’s textile creations
  • Daniel Loch’s photography
  • Bonnie Morgan’s decorative and functional pottery
  • George Popa’s dimensional wire sculptures
  • Lorene Senesac’s raku sculpture & wall reliefs
  • Connie Simonsen’s handpainted silk scarves
  • Angelique Stewarts functional and stylish weavings
  • John Weston’s fine woodwork & cutting boards

Surrealistic Winescapes

Image caption: “Surrealistic Winescapes” by Michael Gibson

American Trails

Alebrije or Animalistas

In May, American Trails Gallery we will be featuring the woodcarving folk art out of Oaxaca, Mexico. Fanciful carvings called alebrije or were first done by artist Pedro Linares Lopez in Mexico City in the 1930’s. He made elaborate piñata’s, carnival masks and religious figures out of paper mache and cardboard. This caught the attention of prominent gallery owners who began to market the pieces. Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo began commissioning the fanciful alebrijes, which means monsters. Linares returned to Arrazola in Oaxaca and began sharing his designs with fellow artisans. Manuel Jimenez Ramirez was the first to carve the colorful creatures out of copal wood in the 1970’s. The art form exploded in the 1980’s with folk art galleries in the US becoming more and more interested. Today, there are three main villages that the carvers reside; Arrazola, the pueblo of Manuel, San Martin Tilcajete, and La Union Tejalapam. We are proud to have over 80 families represented in our gallery.

American Trails Gallery proudly features the art and crafts of the indigenous peoples of the America’s. Weavings from the Navajo’s and Zapotec’s, carvings from the Hopi, Zuni, Haida, Kwakiutl, Inuit and Oaxaca, ceramics from many of the pueblos in the Southwest, Acoma, San Ildefonso, Zuni, Cochiti and the Mata Ortiz of Mexico, handmade historic and contemporary jewelry from the Pueblos, Zuni, Santo Domingo, Navajos as well as from Taxco. The largest selection of Historic Basketry in the Pacific Northwest including Pomo, Maidu, Hoopa, Karok, Wintun, Shasta, Modoc and many more. We also feature Regional artists depicting the Wildlife and Landscapes of the area. When you purchase a gift from American Trails you are helping to support hundreds of families who are working hard to keep the traditional Arts and Crafts of their communities alive and well.

The American Trails Gallery which for 23 years was located at 250 East Main Street on the Plaza in Ashland is being reopened at a new location 250 East Main street.

Open 10 am to 6 pm everyday excluding holidays

“Animalistas” woodcarving folk art

Image caption: “Animalistas” woodcarving folk art

Hanson Howard Gallery

Wataru Sugiyama & Lewis Anderson, ceramic sculptures & digital photography

The influence of the aesthetics and imagery of Asian art will be strong in our May exhibition.  Wataru Sugiyama slyly infuses a contemporary charm and, at times, humor into what we recognize as traditional Japanese motifs in his ceramic sculptures.  Lewis Anderson digitally blends photographs of the Pacific Northwest into landscapes that exist in a world of his own invention but have distinctive undercurrents of traditional woodblock landscapes.  Large in scale, at times up to 80” wide, these landscapes have the ability to draw you in and hold you. Show runs May 4th-30th.  Join us for an artist reception on First Friday, May 5th, 5-8 p.m.

Wataru Sugiyama has cultivated an appreciative audience for the Haniwa type imagery in his sculpture. Elements of Japanese history and mythology are almost the exclusive focus of Wataru’s creations.  He interprets imaginary and existing objects and gives them a modern twist by bringing his personal vision to these subjects.  His sculptures are truly inspirational, have a powerful presence, sense of humor, and make a strong impression on his viewers.  Besides historical elements, extremely fine detail and exquisite facial expressions are featured on his sculptures.

Lewis Anderson accurately describes his art as being somewhere between photography and painting, somewhere between East and West, somewhere between contemporary and ancient. The images invite the viewer to explore quiet moments in diverse landscapes full of light and shadow and symbology.  An ancient river winds through tall foreign mountains, full of soft golden light and blue fog. A single silhouetted figure in a small boat appears to be slowly rowing into the unknown in one of the three scroll-like panels of Boatman. This timeless image, like the others in Lewis Anderson’s Dynasty collection, emanates a strong sense of peace, solitude and mystery.

Boatman by Lewis Anderson

Image caption: “Boatman,” digital print on aluminum by Lewis Anderson

Ashland New Plays Festival Presents CONSTELLATIONS

On May 8 Ashland New Plays Festival Presents a Dramatic Reading of CONSTELLATIONSAshland New Plays FEstival Constellations

A romantic exploration of one relationship in multiple universes by British playwright Nick Payne

 

“In the quantum multiverse, every choice, every decision you’ve ever and never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes.” – CONSTELLATIONS

 

>From London, to Broadway, to Ashland! Join us for this special, one-night-only dramatic reading of the “spellbinding, romantic journey” of CONSTELLATIONS. What begins as a simple encounter between a man and a woman then delves into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and asks us to think about the difference between choice and destiny.

 

ANPF’s staged reading is directed by ANPF’s Associate Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca and stars Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Alejandra Escalante and Daniel José Molina, who also starred together as the title characters in OSF’s 2012 production of ROMEO AND JULIET. This season at OSF you can see them in HENRY IV, PART ONE and TWO.

 

“I feel lucky to be able to explore this text with our wonderful cast in what are sure to be honest and nuanced performances. Not only will they need to live through their characters’ stories, but to live them repeatedly, variably, as the story flitters between universes,” says Apodaca.

 

CONSTELLATIONS is about the mystery of time, the multiplicity of our choices, and the minutiae of life’s many paths. Playwright Nick Payne has gathered those themes into scenes from a single relationship, spread out over numerous tracks in multiple universes. “It’s hard to explain,” Apodaca says, “but easy–I think–to understand.”

 

For Apodaca, the play’s focus on time is something she thought a lot about when her young son became interested in physics and string theory. “We watched a lot of Nova and Brian Greene specials. The irony of learning about time while watching time change my son was not lost on me,” she says. Referring to the parent’s adage, ‘It goes so fast!’ Apodaca continues, “It’s true…except when it drags. Time, like anything worth understanding, is shrouded in mystery.”

 

The dramatic reading will be held on Monday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street, in Ashland. Tickets are $20 and are available online and at the door.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ANPF’s website at www.ashlandnewplays.org.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Words in Red Art Exhibition

Masterpiece Christina Fine Arts Foundation logo and header image

Never were or will there be again
words like  His…

Words in Red logo for the art exhibition presented by Masterpiece christian Fine Arts Foundation in 2017
The Direct, Uncensored, Provocative Words of Jesus

45+ Paintings and sculptures
19 artists  :   7 Cities

Experience a gallery of inspirational,  soul-enriching fine art in Portland.  Works by 19 contemporary artists from across the country including Ron DiCianni, Tim Botts, Chris Hopkins, Michael Dudash, Frank Ordaz, Glenn Harrington, Mick McGinty, Dan Chen, Melanie Cardinal and more

March 23 – 26th
Lakewood Center for the Arts – Lake Oswego, Oregon
Thurs.,  March 23rd
Opening gala event at  7 pm
$10  Advanced gala tickets online/ $12 at the door
Friday,  Sat. & Sunday admission  is free
Fri., Sat  10- 8 pm,  Sun. 12 – 4

And at
Concordia University Library
April 3rd – 30th.
April 9th – Reception 2 – 4:00 p.m. (free)
Guided Tours available for groups call 503-493-6370
Admission is free
For more information see www.mcfineartsfoundation.org or call 541-601-7496

 

Coming soon to:
Eugene May 5 – 27th at Pacific Rim Gallery
Ashland July 1 – 23rd – Rogue Coworks

And experience the Music!
Listen now to the cinematic-esque original music score for the Words in Red exhibit by international composer Willem Van Wyk

Sanctus takes you on an imaginative journey with a blend of fusion and ethnic world/folk music, rich with haunting vocals (Clara Sorace, Celica Soldream and Victor Sordo) and orchestral grandeur that speaks to the heart. Inspired by the Words of Christ, these musical tracks accompany the Words In Red. Listen now!   And use coupon code: wordsinred and proceeds from the CD sales will help the travels of the Words in Red exhibit on its tour

Nature Sketching & Journaling - Table Rock Hike Saturday, May 6

Rogue Gallery News & Announcements

Rogue Gallery News & Announcements

Rogue Gallery summer art camps 2016. Medford, Oregon

Summer Art Camps at the Rogue Gallery are now
available for young aspiring artists! 

This summer camps include painting, sculpture, clay, tie-dye, and much more.
For camp information and to register, visit http://roguegallery.org/art_kids.html

A fun Studio Spirits session you will not want to miss! 

Brews and Beads taught by Nicki Dollard on Friday, May 27, 6-8pm

Studio Spirits classes are for adults 21 and over
For class descriptions and registration, visit www.roguegallery.org/adult_classes.html

ROGUE GALLERY CALLS TO ARTISTS

Rogue Gallery will be accepting submissions for our 2017 Community Gallery and Berryman Gallery. Deadline for submissions for both galleries is June 14, 2016. For complete guidelines please see our website.

Abstract Expressionism: Celebrating 70 years of Throwing Paint. All Rogue Gallery Members are invited to bring one piece for this non-juried exhibit. Details available on our website. Drop-off during gallery hours on June 30, July 1 or 2.

Local playwright Scott Kaiser talks about his play NOW THIS

anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF

Ashland New Plays Festival (ANPF) Interviews Scott Kaiser

Local playwright, author, teacher and Shakespeare scholar
talks about his play NOW THIS

Ashland, Ore — Scott Kaiser, the multi-talented member of the artistic staff at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for the past 26 years and its current Director of Company Development, was interviewed by ANPF’s Mary Silva about his play, NOW THIS, which will be presented as a dramatic reading in Ashland later this month. Kaiser talks about the play, his motivation and his history as a professional playwright, author, actor and teacher.
ANPF will present NOW THIS on Monday, May 23 in the Great Hall at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street beginning at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Sara Becker, the play features a cast of 14, including Kaiser, ANPF artistic director Kyle Haden, several noted actors from OSF and a few visiting artists in this compelling look at the destructive influence of consumerism on American society.
These talented actors bring to life the troubled and troubling characters of the fictional town of Purple Mountain, where young Joey Adderall takes us on an unforgettable ride through his final days of a life coming apart at the seams and his fatal response to a place where everything is less than he wants and more than he needs.
$15 tickets are available at Paddington Station and at the door the evening of the performance, subject to availability. For more information: www.ashlandnewplays.org

anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF

The Interview:
MS: First of all, I’d like some background: a bit about where you grew up and where you’ve lived and worked, your educational experience, and what drew you to life in the theater. Anything in your life that you feel contributed significantly to your taking this direction.

SK: Like so many theatre people, I struggled to find a niche for myself in high school, but the theatre kids accepted me with all my awkwardness and quirks when no one else would. So I stuck with it. As a teenager, I did summer stock all over New England. In my twenties, I earned three degrees in theatre, which, to be honest, is a bit ridiculous: a BA from the University of Michigan, an MFA in acting from the University of Washington, and a voice studies degree from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. In my thirties, I joined the artistic staff at OSF. And now I’m in my fifties, and still at it.

MS: What might you have done for a living if you hadn’t gone into the theater?

SK: When I was a young man, I wanted to be an architect. I’ve always loved looking at buildings and learning about how they were designed and constructed. And to this day, when I see a bit of unfamiliar text—a poem, a speech, a play—I look at it the same way I look at a building, peeling back the facade in my mind to examine the foundation, the framing, the walls, the stairs, the doors.

MS: After directing/acting/overseeing the work of other actors, when and why did you begin writing plays of your own?

SK: My first full-length play was a four-person adaptation of the Huck Finn story narrated by Frederick Douglass called Splittin’ the Raft. That play enjoyed a couple of professional productions—one at the Marin Theatre Company and another at People’s Light and Theatre Company in Pennsylvania. The script was developed
in collaboration with a handful of actors at the Festival in what I proposed and
piloted as “the 12th slot model” back in 1998, which has since become the Black Swan Lab for New Works.

MS: What motivated you to write Now This?

SK: Years ago, the characters in this play starting talking to me in my sleep, so I began writing down what they had to say to me on little scraps of paper. And eventually, I’d collected hundreds of scraps of paper—words, phrases, speeches, and dialogues— written out in complete darkness in the middle of the night. The material on all those scraps, after a great deal of shaping and polishing, with some guidance from the poet Dylan Thomas, became this play.

MS: What is it that you hope people will think about/take away from the play? What one thing would you like people to be thinking about when they leave the performance?

SK: I’d be pleased if people would become more conscious of how American consumer culture effects nearly every aspect of their lives.

MS: Now This seems to draw a strong connection between consumerism and gun violence, an idea that I hadn’t really thought about before. How would you describe this connection?

SK: I won’t pretend to know what goes on in the hearts and minds of individuals who choose to carry a weapon to a public place and slaughter fellow human beings. But thiscountry has a serious problem with guns, and I believe the root cause has something to do with a consumer culture that incessantly promises that love and contentment can be bought.

MS: How do you feel about having Now This chosen to be read by the Ashland New Plays Festival? Even though the play has already been produced, what new or different aspects do you think this reading might bring to the play?

SK: Purple Mountain, the small town depicted in NOW THIS, has a lot in common with the City of Ashland, so I’m very pleased that the play, at long last, will be read here in my home town, and by a fantastically talented group of actors.

MS: You’ve been a long time Ashland resident. What do you like about life here? What drives you crazy? What do you do when you’re not doing theater-related stuff?

SK: I travel a lot for work, which is a privilege because I get to see how other people live in this country. And life is much tougher out there. So it’s always good to come home to Ashland, where life is slower, where we enjoy tall trees, and open space, and clean water, and fresh air—precious things that, sadly, millions of Americans don’t have in their lives. So I do a lot of walking, many miles every day.

MS: I know there are a lot of things I haven’t asked you, but for purposes of this piece, is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t asked?

SK: If you miss Now This, you can see my newest play, entitled Shakespeare’s Other Women, at Southern Oregon University in the winter of 2017.

 anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF