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Auditions • Author Tracy Kidder's book on the struggle for medical and social justice

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Theater productions are in full swing around town and need budding young actors and actresses or seasoned professionals to help get them to the stage.

CAN-ACT is holding auditions for their upcoming rendition of the romantic comedy, The Philadelphia Story. The original 1940 film based on a Broadway play starred Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart in a love triangle. CAN-ACT needs nine men and six women approximately 13-60 years old. No experience necessary. Auditions will be held Feb. 26-28 at CAN-ACT; play opens April 13 and runs three weekends. For more information, call Barbie at 208-602-5668.

CAN-ACT Community Theatre, 1509 Caldwell Blvd. (upstairs in the Karcher Mall), Nampa, 208-442-0676,

ComedySportz, the new G-rated improv club in town is looking for actors to join in the fun. Auditions are Feb. 22 and Feb. 24. Call 208-629-3759 for an appointment.

Comedy Sportz, Boise Spectrum at Overland and Cole,

Prairie Dog Productions, those proliferators of parody, present Pirates of the Caribbean! Part 2: Show me the Booty! to the stage. Auditions are March 10 at 1:30 p.m., and possible players need to be prepared to sing, dance and improvise. The show runs April 27-June 2.

Prairie Dog Playhouse, 3820 Cassia St., Boise, 208-336-7383,

--Amy Atkins

Author Tracy Kidder's struggle for medical and social justice

We often feel powerless against the tidal wave of worldwide poverty and disease. It is a rare individual who gives over his or her entire existence to do something about this condition, let alone attempt it one person at a time. Dr. Paul Farmer of Boston is such an individual.

Author Tracy Kidder has written a gripping biography of Farmer in the book Mountains Beyond Mountain: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, and will speak as part of the Common Reading Program.

In Mountains Beyond Mountains, we learn that Farmer is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on public health and infectious diseases and is an advocate for poor people worldwide, often defying conventional wisdom and treatment.

Farmer rose from modest beginnings, and after studying anthropology at Duke University, attended Harvard Medical School, where he attained both a medical degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology. While working on attaining his degrees, Farmer went to Haiti, where he did some anthropological surveys to discover the level of health care available to the poor. What he discovered was that Haiti had the worst health care system for the poor in the western hemisphere.

Through an astounding history of finagling, cajoling, begging and borrowing, Farmer created a health clinic in the central plateau of Haiti, one that he staffed, manages and often visits so he can practice medicine on a one-on-one basis as he has done for over 20 years. While continuously improving his Haitian facility's capabilities, he has become one of the world's foremost experts on tuberculosis and AIDS. He has helped institute national treatment programs in Peru, Mexico and Russia, as well as managing a clinic for the poor in Boston, Massachusetts.

Farmer considers himself a practitioner of liberation theology, which believes, among other things, that the poor have a divine right to be free of social oppression. Kidder elucidates how Farmer feels about his long fight to deliver adequate and free health care to the poor with the following quotation from Farmer: "I have fought the long defeat and I have brought people on to fight the long defeat and I'm not going to stop because we keep losing. Now I actually think we may win. I don't dislike victory."

--Betty and Ken Rodgers

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