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Alley Repertory Launch Party, Idaho Gets New Performing Arts

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Alley Rep Comes Clean

Alley Repertory Theater, housed at Visual Arts Collective, has a crisis of identity. In a bid to become a respected, but unique, member of Boise's theater community, it has been sticking its performance fingers in a number of pies. ART is not professional theater, it's not community theater, it's not experimental theater and it's not a theater workshop--it's all of those things.

What ART is, and what it does can be a bit confusing--a description that company co-artistic director Hollis Welsh doesn't argue with.

"Alley Rep has these three pillars of creativity: Alley Mainstage, which would be like Love Person; Alley New Works, in which we have a new storytelling program partnering with The Cabin, and the Story Initiative with Boise State ... [New Works] fosters local and national artists to put on new and innovative works that cross cultures and are collaborative in spirit and bring in different art disciplines; and Alley Underground," Welsh said. "Our first full-length play [under the Alley Underground pillar] will be Sex a.k.a. Wieners and Boobs," she added.

In order to help theater-goers sort out and understand ART's mission, the founders are holding a launch party, titled Collective Souls, which will provide an opportunity to explain and show what they do, on Friday, Sept. 11.

The night includes video introductions to the three pillars, along with examples of each. An excerpt of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women will serve to show Mainstage, Landlocked by local poet, musician, illustrator and first-time playwright Heather Bauer will serve to exemplify the New Works pillar and Skit/Skit, a short piece by local cartoonist (and regular BW contributor) E.J. Pettinger will be an example of what people can expect from Underground performances.

Two 15-minute vignettes from Bauer's as-yet-unfinished play with music, Landlocked, will bookend the night with added narration by Bob Neal to provide exposition. Music in Landlocked was composed by Bauer and Thomas Paul and instrumentation comes in the form of piano, cello, percussion and accordion.

Sasha (Luke Massengill), a dark damaged young man sees his life upended when Tilly (Sarah Gardner), a delusional wingnut, moves in next door. Though in the high desert--the play is set in Boise--Tilly believes she lives on the coastline. Both Tilly and Sasha must deal with their separate perceptions of the world as well as come to terms with each other's.

Bauer wanted to bring all of her disciplines together and get them in front of people. Landlocked seemed the way to do that.

"I picked up a book The Playwright's Guidebook and thought, 'I'll do that,'" Bauer laughed.

Bauer's Landlocked has not been added to ART's repertoire and may never see full production on the VAC stage. But she absolutely intends to complete and stage it. And if the excerpts work the way she hopes they will--as a 30-minute trailer--those who see them are going to count on it.

Friday, Sept. 11, show at 8 p.m., tickets are $5-$15 sliding donation, post-show music by Thomas Paul and Eric Ingersoll. Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, 208-424-8297, visualartscollective.com.

Eagle Gets Artsy

After sending out a survey in 2006 asking Eagle residents if they wanted a new performing arts center, the Eagle Arts Commission was met with an overwhelming response: 82 percent of those surveyed said "Hells yeah." Now, three years and one feasibility study later, Idaho Performing Arts has arrived. With a noble mission of connecting "the citizens of the Treasure Valley with the power of the arts to transform lives and build community," the IPA hopes to draw more music, theater and dance acts to the area.

For their inaugural event, the IPA will bring the swinging Glenn Miller Orchestra to Northwest Nazarene University's Brandt Center on Monday, Sept. 21.

$24 adult, $12 students, 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, NNU Event Center, 623 Holly St., Nampa, 208-467-8011. For more information, call 208-863-8475 or visit nampacivic.com to purchase tickets.

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