SOU’s theater program is bursting at the seams
Daily Tidings April 30, 2013
Illegal immigrant will get driver’s license and “full-ride scholarship” to SOU’s Honors College
Mail Tribune May 1, 2013
Conference at SOU will explore generational differences and bias in the workplace
Mail Tribune May 2, 2013
Celso Machado this Saturday in SOU’s Music Recital Hall
Mail Tribune May 2, 2013
SOU recognized for commitment to sustainability
The Siskiyou April 29, 2013
SOU Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Development Erin Wilder says preschools need better funding
KOBI 5 April 29, 2013
Raiders wrap football practice with annual spring game Friday night
SOU Raiders April 30, 2013
Raiders offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht thinks Tim Tebow still has a career in the NFL
Sporting News April 30, 2013
Full version of print clips
SOU theater program bursting at the seams
Popular program has no problem attracting talented students
By Vickie Aldous
Ashland Daily Tidings
April 30, 2013 2:00 AM
Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Arts Program is garnering praise from theater professionals, even as it turns away students because of a lack of space.
Built in 1982, the Theatre Arts building was designed to accommodate 60 students.
The building now hosts 250 theater majors, said Program Coordinator Deborah Rosenberg.
Each year, 120 students want to get into the program but only 65 are admitted, she said.
“We only have two actual classrooms. We teach in the lobby. Kids rehearse in the bathroom,” Rosenberg said.
The theater program needs $11 million to remodel its building and add classrooms, bathrooms, rehearsal space and other facilities, she said.
But with tight state funding for higher education needs, faculty members and students don’t have high expectations that the money will come through.
The university is also seeking donors for the building remodel, Rosenberg said.
In the meantime, theater professionals in Ashland are praising SOU’s students and a program that turns out well-rounded graduates.
“They are hard-working young people,” said Oregon Shakespeare Festival Director of Company Development Scott Kaiser, who crisscrosses the country scouting universities for theater talent. “Most are putting themselves through school by working. They take classes by day and do shows at night.”
Veteran OSF actor Michael Hume, who has directed students in SOU plays and taught in classrooms, said the students are hard-working, focused and savvy.
Last year, several aspiring stage managers in the SOU program asked him to write letters of recommendation, he said.
“I was able to say, ‘These will be professional stage managers,'” Hume said.
Rosenberg said students are required to study multiple aspects of theater.
“We expect every student to understand all of theater,” she said.
That helps break down the cliques and hierarchy that can develop in a theater company, and also creates multi-skilled graduates, she said.
“We have actors learning to sew for the first time. We have costume designers take acting and understand how scary it is to be on stage,” Rosenberg said.
Some students who come into the program expecting to focus on one area, such as acting, discover they have talents in another specialty, such as costume design, she said.
The students take classes and also work on the six plays that SOU produces each year, Rosenberg said.
In a recent makeup class, aspiring actors, lighting designers, costume designers, technical directors and singers all practiced how to apply makeup to transform themselves into animals.
In a previous class, they became aliens, and in an upcoming class, they will replicate the blood and gore of wounds.
Senior Alex Groveman had dark circles around his eyes and had created the look of fur with makeup. He held up his source of inspiration, a photo of a snarling raccoon.
His classmates offered critiques of the results, with instructor Rosenberg guiding the discussion.
“Good luck with that rabies,” Rosenberg told Groveman.
“Thank you,” he responded. “I’m heading to the vet later.”
Senior Laurel Livezey had given herself a wrinkled muzzle and brow, replicating the look of a pug dog.
She said acting is her main focus, but she’s gained experience in all aspects of theater.
“Theater is so much more collaborative than people tell you,” Livezey said. “You really have to know what each side goes through. I’ve been up in the catwalks adjusting lights. As an actor, I know how much work went into this one light that’s hitting me. I know how much pressure everyone is under. It’s empathy — knowing what everyone is going through and respecting that.”
Senior Delaney Matson had turned herself into a “Planet of the Apes”-worthy chimpanzee.
She said she is learning the intricacies of a variety of jobs, including costume design and stage management.
“I love it here. It’s really great. I like that they’re training us to be professionals, even though we’re students,” Matson said. “They expect us to be just as professional as they are.”
The next productions to take the stage at SOU are “Avenue Q,” from May 16 through June 2, and “The Illusion,” from May 23 through June 2.
For more information, visit http://www.sou.edu/theatre/patronres.html.
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSF and SOU forge theater links
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Arts Program have forged a relationship that sends dozens of students and theater professionals back and forth between the two institutions.
Students are funneled into internships and acting roles at OSF, while actors, directors, stage combat experts, voice instructors and others teach classes and help with SOU plays.
OSF Director of Company Development Scott Kaiser — who scouts universities across America for theater talent and also heads OSF’s actor training program — said SOU is unique.
“It’s our local feeder department. We have relationships with schools all over the country, but we have a special relationship with SOU because they’re right down the street,” Kaiser said.
He said he auditions SOU seniors who are ready for a significant commitment to OSF.
Many universities in large urban areas have ties to their local professional theater companies. SOU is able to have ties with a world-class theater company even though it’s not in a big city, Kaiser said.
That ends up benefitting SOU students, he said.
“We’re building a bridge for them between college experience and a professional career or graduate school,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser has directed at SOU, making him one of many OSF company members who has directed or taught at the university.
“Not only do they come to OSF, we go down the street. It goes in both directions,” he said.
OSF actor Michael Hume, who has directed productions at SOU, said in the 1990s, there were only a few SOU students at OSF.
“Now we have 30 or 40 kids down here,” said Hume, noting that they can be found working in stage management, acting, design, dramaturgy, lighting, sound, carpentry, the costume shop and many other areas.
Hume credited the community-oriented focus of OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch for much of the increase.
Rauch became artistic director for OSF in 2007 and is co-leader of the theater company with new Executive Director Cynthia Rider.
Hume said OSF company members enjoy having the SOU students around because of their youthful energy and enthusiasm.
With the two institutions in such close proximity, it makes sense to build ties, he said.
“To me, it’s the perfect marriage,” Hume said.
A license to drive
Driver’s card bill for illegal immigrants passes Oregon House, expected to be signed by governor
By John Darling
for the Mail Tribune
May 01, 2013 2:00 AM
A driver’s licensing program for illegal immigrants that passed the Oregon House of Representatives Tuesday would have been a welcome gift for Luis Ayala of Medford — if it had come a couple of years ago.
Ayala has to walk, take buses and grab rides with friends, but will finally get his license and a small, inexpensive car when he turns 18 in July. At the same time, he will be preparing to start his studies at Southern Oregon University’s Honors College.
A perfect 4.0 student at South Medford High School, he was awarded a full-ride scholarship by SOU. He plans on a medical career and hopes to become an optometrist.
“It’s hard for me to get places. I have to ask for rides. I walk a mile to school. I’m too close for the school bus,” Ayala said Tuesday, following a driving lesson with his cousin. “It’s unfair. A license is a right in this country. It’s like something was taken away from me. I felt less than others.”
Ayala came to America in the sixth grade and, he said, was determined to excel in school, make friends, volunteer and master English in two years. He accomplished all those goals.
“I came here for self-improvement,” he said. “I didn’t have many friends. I put so much effort into the language and school. I mentored and tutored language at Kids Unlimited.
“We come to this country to work and get better schooling, not to make problems — and we need to drive to have a better life.”
Ayala will be able to get a driver’s license this summer, a half-year before the new driver’s cards will be available, because he was accepted into a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a federally authorized pathway to work permits and driving for children of illegal aliens.
The driver’s card bill, which earlier passed the Senate and on Tuesday passed the House, 38-20, is expected to be signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber. It grants driving rights for four years for a fee of $64. Supporters from both parties say it will make streets safer because applicants have to learn the rules of the road and pass a driving test — and the card makes it possible for them to get insurance.
Opponents have said the bill provides a benefit that should be available only to those in the country legally and ignores the immigrants’ law-breaking.
The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, opening the way for up to an estimated 110,000 unlicensed drivers to get cards in the first 18 months. Those applying must have proof of residency and have lived here for a year.
The card cannot be used to register to vote, board a plane or purchase a firearm. The restricted driver’s license would be marked “Driver’s Card” to distinguish it from a standard Oregon license.
The driver’s card will guarantee more drivers on the road are trained and insured, said Medford State Farm agent Oscar Rodriguez, a 26-year legal immigrant.
“That’s the big issue, rather than who’s a legal immigrant,” he said. “They have to make sure and pass the tests so they’re going to have to learn to drive properly.”
The bill wipes out the 2008 state rule requiring proof of legal residency in the country for a driver’s license, an act that made it difficult for many immigrant families to get to work, school or shopping, said Dagoberto Morales of Unete Center for Farmworker Advocacy in Medford.
“This is a big relief for everyone,” said Morales. “We’ll be able to get to work and take the children to school. It will be big revenue for the state. People have been driving in fear, afraid to lose their car if they’re driving without a license. … Now, they’ll be able to feel more secure and comfortable. It’s a really good thing for people.”
His wife, Kathy Keesee, a Unete worker, said the 2008 law caused “a lot of suffering,” including deportations. Previously licensed illegal immigrants could not renew or replace an expired or lost license under the law, she said, and some were sold fraudulent insurance.
“Now, hopefully, all this is going to change,” she said.
Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said illegal immigrants without licenses will continue to be cited if stopped by police until they get driver’s cards in January. Police do not check drivers for immigration status during traffic stops, he added.
All opposing votes on the bill in both chambers were Republicans, though several supported it.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland. “It makes sure everyone on the road in Oregon is licensed, insured and driving legally. It’s been fascinating to see the change of opinion in Oregon, where agricultural interests say they need these people here and they need them driving safely.”
The son of legal immigrants, Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, opposed the bill.
“They broke the law getting in the country, broke the law working, broke the law driving and broke the law by being uninsured. … I don’t see where the card makes them buy insurance. Let’s face the facts. They’re not going to buy it.”
After polling constituents online, Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, said he found himself torn.
“The issue is: Are we promoting illegal action for people who are already breaking the law? It’s not a black-and-white world anymore. You’re dealing with real people with real families, but if they crash (under present law), they’re off the hook and our premiums go up.”
When driver’s cards were made legal in Utah and New Mexico, they chopped uninsured driving by one-half and two-thirds, respectively, according to Richardson’s online message.
Richardson voted against the measure.
Most of the new revenue from driver’s cards — $4.7 million — will go toward hiring six full-time workers and 58 temporary workers to handle applications in the first 18 months.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Conference explores generational differences and bias in the workplace
The free, daylong workshop is set for May 10 at Southern Oregon University
By Paul Fattig
May 02, 2013 2:00 AM
Melissa Wolff is an astute person who keeps tabs on generational changes and social bias.
After all, she is a member of the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Diversity Committee for Jackson and Josephine counties. She is also the department’s local program manager for self-sufficiency.
But she recently got a lesson in communications etiquette from the younger generation.
“I was informed the other day by one of my children that, ‘Mom, it is so rude that you call me — you interrupt me,’ ” Wolff said. “From my perspective they should pick up the phone right away. From their perspective, they would prefer that I text them when they are in the middle of a college class or whatever.”
The incident illustrates the generational differences we all experience, observed Wolff, 41, a member of Generation X. Her children, ages 18 and 20, are of the text-savvy Millennial Generation.
Those differences are among many issues to be tackled in “Unconscious Bias and Generational Differences in the Workplace,” a day-long conference scheduled for Friday, May 10, at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.
The free event in Stevenson Union will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is from 8 to 9 a.m. that day.
The workshop will feature Carol French and April Lewis, educators and diversity trainers who engage audiences with humor, fun and provide an interactive learning experience, according to organizers.
The morning workshop will focus on unconscious bias, including how to lessen its impact on personal and professional levels. The afternoon workshop will explore generational differences, both personally and organizationally. Participants will learn how to develop strategies for improving inclusion, harmony and synergy in a multigenerational working environment.
The conference is being organized by the Oregon Department of Human Services, ACCESS, Rogue Community College, SOU, United Way of Jackson County, Southern Oregon Goodwill, OnTrack, Jackson County Health and Human Services and RCC’s Diversity Programming Board.
About 400 participants are expected, although there is room for 500, Wolff said.
“We encourage anyone interested in the different generations to attend to learn more about the differences and how unconscious bias plays a part in how we interact with each other,” she said, noting that most workplaces represent a myriad of values, beliefs and work ethics.
A bias against a group of people can be very detrimental in a workplace, she said.
“It is the way we are as human beings to organize information and make decisions quickly based on that,” she said. “It is normal to have bias.
“However, in order to be open to people, we have to be aware we might be acting on some sort of bias that is either conscious or below the level of consciousness,” she added.
Understanding the point of view of others improves workplace efficiency and cohesion, she said.
Events in a person’s life shape that person’s view of the world, she noted.
“If you are working with somebody from a different generation, you need to be aware of that to be able to work effectively together,” she said.
“Let’s say I’m a member of the Silent Generation (those born from 1920 to 1942) and have generalized feelings about Millennials (those born from 1983 to 2000) coming into the workplace who are maybe more collaborative and not as interested in hierarchy as I am,” she said.
“If you develop a personal relationship with somebody from the Millennial Generation, that helps you let go of that bias,” she added.
To register for the conference, call Margaret Wales at 541-776-6172, ext. 705. Although there is no charge for the conference, participants are requested to bring three cans of food to be donated to ACCESS.
Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celso Machado at Southern Oregon University
May 02, 2013 10:50 AM
Composer, guitarist and percussionist Celso Machado will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.
Machado’s music is a mix of European, African, Portuguese and Brazilian styles of jazz, classical and folk. Rooted in Brazilian rhythms, it also reflects his fascination with other world-music traditions. He finds similarities in the music of southern Italy and northeast Brazil; Egyptian maqsoum and Portuguese baiao; Moroccan rhythms and the Brazilian instrument afoxe and samba dancing. He blends all of these influences into his own sound, creating a unique contribution to the evolution of Brazilian music.
“If there ever was one person who could be described as being music, it is the Brazilian Machado,” wrote Tom D’Antoni, contributing editor for Oregon Music News, about Machado’s 2010 performance in Portland. “He played guitar, ngoni, drums, flutes and other assorted little instruments. “… He created a rainforest in the theater, complete with bird calls and a rainstorm. “… He isn’t a one-man band, he’s a one-man symphony.”
Drawing on his study of classical guitar, Machado composes for solo and ensemble. He has performed in music halls around the world for 40 years.
Tickets cost $15 general admission, are free for students, and may be purchased at the SOU Performing Arts box office on South Mountain Avenue, online at www.sou.edu/performingarts or by calling 541-552-6348.
SOU coordinator: Tebow still has NFL future
Raider offensive coordinator remembers Tebow form high school days in Florida
By Ken Bradley
April 30, 2013 2:00 AM
The New York Jets don’t think Tim Tebow has a future with them, and certainly there are a number of other teams and coaches who feel the same way.
But Tebow has picked up plenty of believers along his career path, and there’s at least one who still thinks the 25-year-old lefty has a future in the NFL: Southern Oregon University offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht.
“The day I met him and saw him throw the first time — even sitting down for the first time and talking ball with him — I knew he was going to be an NFL football player … at quarterback,” said Fasnacht, who was Tebow’s offensive coordinator at Nease High School.
Under head coach Craig Howard and Fasnacht, SOU led the NAIA in scoring (52.8 points) and total offense (642.0) in 2012.
“I still think he should be a quarterback in the NFL,” said Fasnacht. “I just think that league is spoiled, doesn’t coach those guys. If he’s not ready to go, if they have to work on something, they don’t want to fix anything. They want him already ready to go. I knew he’d play quarterback in the NFL and I still think he can.”
Fasnacht and then-Nease head coach Howard put the St. Augustine, Fla., high school on the map with their high-powered, throw-it-all-over-the-field offense led by Tebow.
Tebow arrived at Nease as a sophomore, and Fasnacht said it was obvious from Day 1 that he was a different sort of athlete.
“The kid wanted to be a quarterback since he was a little kid,” said Fasnacht in an interview prior to Tebow’s release Monday. “Football was not his sport — playing quarterback was his sport. He was a very focused individual.”
Tebow led the Panthers to their first state title in 2005 as a senior. In three seasons at Nease, he threw for 9,810 yards and 95 touchdowns and ran for 3,186 yards and another 62 scores.
Fasnacht says those numbers and those wins didn’t come with luck. He recalled the first time he watched Tebow throw before spring practice of his sophomore season in 2003.
“He’s out throwing balls, having fun, and we have nine kids that think they can play receiver at that point and none of them are very good at the time,” Fasnacht said. “He’s throwing balls, and I remember that I don’t think I saw a kid catch one because they were coming in so hard, zipping in like a real quarterback, bouncing off kids’ chests. I told coach that we needed to find some receivers because this guy can throw it.”
And despite being released Monday by the Jets and traded by the Broncos to make room for Peyton Manning prior to last season, Fasnacht doesn’t think that’s it for him.
“They talk about an elongated throwing motion, and he has a little bit of a pitcher’s delivery, but he didn’t throw like that in high school,” he said. “He was a very tight delivery guy. I think part of it is because (Florida) had an offense where he was such a good runner. He threw for a lot of yards at Florida, too. … Percy Harvin caught a lot of touchdown passes. All those guys caught balls in that system.
“But I think you let bad habits form because he was such a runner and nobody paid attention to coaching him on the passing game and I still think it’s that way in the NFL.
“Part of it, too, is they over-coach it. Leave his throwing motion alone — just make him go through reads and progressions, throw the ball on time and some of that stuff fixes itself. There’s so much attention brought to it that it’s even in his head now. I think if one guy just said, ‘Timmy, you’re going to be a great quarterback,’ he’d be fine.”