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Sunday, September 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Arts Wrap: EWU Theatre announces virtual fall production

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 3, 2020

The EWU Theatre program will produce its fall production, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms,” virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.  (Azaria Podplesky / The Spokesman-Review)
The EWU Theatre program will produce its fall production, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms,” virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Azaria Podplesky / The Spokesman-Review)

After the coronavirus led the Eastern Washington University Theatre department to cancel its winter production of “Silent Sky” after the first weekend, and the spring production entirely, the students and staff in the department regrouped and are planning on producing a virtual piece in the fall, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms.”

The play, which Qui Nguyen reworked for an online format in April, is about a teenage girl who, after the death of her sister, finds that sister’s Dungeons and Dragons notebook and, with it, a journey of discovery and adventure in an imaginary world.

“I really love the title of it and the journey of the protagonist,” Jeff Sanders, a senior lecturer in the theater department, told Inside EWU. “I feel like we all have our monster right now, and this journey of self-discovery and perseverance in the face of that monster, and ultimately killing that monster, is a story that I think we can all connect to.”

“She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” will be performed on a videoconferencing platform such as Zoom.

“In order to deal with the show being completely online, I think the most important thing for all of us will be constant communication,” senior Paige Pederson, who is stage managing the production, said. “This way everyone is on the same page, and we can try to avoid last-minute issues as much as possible.”

EWU Theatre plans to schedule four livestream performances of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realm” between Nov. 13-21. Exact days and times will be released in the coming months.

Registration open for free Bedtime Stories Bedtime Stories, the beloved annual fundraiser for Humanities Washington that features Washington authors reading work written specifically for the event, is going virtual this year. On Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m., tune in to hear stories from National Book Award winner Charles Johnson, scholar and author Beth Piatote and student authors, all of whom were given the task of writing a short story using the theme “Unheard Voices” as inspiration.

Traditionally, Bedtime Stories events take place in Seattle and Spokane each October. Past events have featured readings from Tom Robbins, Jess Walter, Sharma Shields, Ben Goldfarb, Jamie Ford, David Guterson, August Wilson and Garth Stein. The events also feature the presentation of the Humanities Washington Award.

The fundraiser is free, but registration is required. Visit app.mobilecause.com/e/wLuLxw?vid=b0uyi to register.

Museum Event Center shuts downThe Museum Event Center has closed its doors, owner Levi Steverding announced on Facebook on Monday.

The event center, located at 5225 N. Freya St., opened with a bang: a free “Back to the Future” party on Oct. 21, 2015, the same day Marty McFly visited the future in the second film.

But after nearly five years of hosting private parties, weddings, receptions, holiday parties, banquets, graduation parties, memorials, sports viewing parties, motorcycle rallies, quinceañeras and more, Steverding made the decision to close the event center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year has been more than rough on everyone in the event world, and you have to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em,” he wrote. “Special thanks to Lisa L. Bonser for all your help, and thank you to everyone who has held an event with us or been a part of anything we had going on. It was a blast!”

Steverding recalls hosting a Christmas party in the building in 2014. Unbeknownst to him, he would be signing a lease and working to create an event center the next year. As the event center’s calendar filled, Steverding brought his friend William Powers on board to help out.

“We never turned a huge profit, but we learned a ton about the event industry and what it takes,” Steverding wrote.

Chances are this isn’t the last Spokane has heard of Steverding. He closed his statement with: “This chapter is over, but we are not finished.”

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