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Arts Wrap: Gonzaga Dance opens 2022-23 season, Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour, Gonzaga theater students produce ‘30 Plays in 60 Minutes’, UI theater dept. announces ‘First Bite’ readings

Sept. 22, 2022 Updated Thu., Sept. 22, 2022 at 2:53 p.m.

Gonzaga Dance will kick off the 2022-23 season with a performance featuring artist residency guest Ashley Menestrina at the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center’s Coughlin Theater (211 E Desmet) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. This performance is free and open to the public, but organizers recommend reserving seats ahead of time. For information, visit gonzaga.edu/ticketcenter or call the box office at (509) 313-2787.

Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour

The 15th annual Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Hosted between five local studios, this year’s event will showcase 48 artists specializing in a variety of mediums and mixed media. Participating studios include Collista K Studio, 21415 N. Panorama Road in Colbert; Denise Steen Studio, 15409 N. Little Spokane Drive; Victoria Brace Studio, 15413 N. Lantern Lane; Gina Freuen Studio, 15205 N. Shady Slope Road; and Jill Smith Studio, 15221 N. Shady Slope Road. For information, visit littlespokanestudios.com.

30 Plays in 60 Minutes

Emphasizing “fun amidst the reemergence of live theater,” Gonzaga will feature a student-led production of 30 plays in 60 minutes during their fall family weekend showcase from Oct. 6-9.

Following in the footsteps of the long-running off-off-Broadway Chicago show, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” the production features a selection of 30 neo-futurist plays, varying based on audience input. In the tradition of the Chicago show, if a performance sells out, the entire cast, crew, and audience will be treated to pizza.

“I want the audience to know that this is going to be a super fun, interactive show, where they’ll be able to see a wide variety of different genres,” the show’s director, sophomore theatre arts major Luke Motschenbacher said. “They’ll also have a chance of being part of the show itself and be up onstage with the cast. And, of course, if we sell out, then there will be free pizza!”

Held at the Harry and Colleen Magnuson Theatre located at the east entrance of College Hall (502 E. Boone Ave.), performances are Oct. 6-7 at 8:30 p.m.; Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.; and Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10.

For information, visit gonzagaperformingarts.evenue.net or call (509) 313-2787. Tickets will also be sold at the door, but organizers recommend ordering online.

Free staged readings of two new plays at UI

UI theatre department will present two free staged readings of new plays written by master of fine arts playwrights during September’s “First Bite” series.

Written by Sarah Hartwig and directed by Aileen Zeigler, “Breaking the Bell Jar” follows Esther, a college senior trying to get an internship at a newspaper. Esther’s well on her way to applying, but her professor refuses to write a letter of recommendation unless she finishes reading Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and completes the accompanying project. Esther agrees, but chaos ensues when Plath suddenly comes to life. “Breaking the Bell Jar” contains adult language and situations. Attendees should register in advance to view “Breaking the Ball Jar” readings at 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Written by Lauren Groves and directed by Chaz Wolcot, “Silver Belles” is a comedy focusing on residents of the Silver Meadows Retirement Home. The ladies prepare for what could be their last Christmas together before the property converts into a luxury hotel. Attendees should register in advance to view “Silver Belles” readings at 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday .

“It’s always a thrill to hear these new plays for the first time,” UI department of theatre chair Robert Caisley said. “Some of the most exciting work we produce is the original work created by our students. There’s a special pride that comes with ushering a new work into the world for the first time.”

Cast and crews will participate in question-and-answer sessions immediately after each show.

For information, visit uidaho.edu/events/arts or call (208) 885-6111.

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