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SHSU Update for Week of October 17

Fine Arts Foliage

Like the foliage in many parts of the United States, fine arts will be at a fall peak this week at Sam Houston State University, with drama, orchestra, and chorale performances and the opening of an art exhibit.

Chorale Features Haydn, Canadian Wilderness

The Sam Houston State University Chorale, under the direction of Brian Miller, will present their fall concert on Tuesday (Oct. 19) at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Methodist Church, 1016 Sam Houston Ave.

The Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic eras will be represented by sacred works of Jacob Handl, Antonio Lotti, and Franz Liszt. The cornerstone of the program is Salve Regina, composed by classical composer Franz Joseph Haydn.

Featured in the second half of the program will be a contemporary set of "choral images" by Canadian composer Stephen Chatman, entitled Due North. Comprised of five brief movements entitled "Mountains," "Trees," "Woodpecker," "Varied Thrushes," and "Mosquitos," Due North provides the audience with aural pictures of various scenes that the composer associates with the Canadian wilderness.

Concluding the program will be an arrangement of the spiritual "All My Trials," and "The Promise of Living," from Aaron Copland's opera, The Tender Land.

Admission is $5 for general admission, $3 for senior citizens and children, and free to Friends of Music and high school choral students.

A Doll's House

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present Frank McGuinness's translation of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," at 8 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 20) through Saturday (Oct. 23) in the Mainstage Theatre, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee.

Based on a true story, "A Doll's House" depicts the journey of Nora Helmer (freshman theatre major Sofia Gomez), a young woman who struggles to find herself in a life that is based on lies and deceit. In the tradition of the times, her husband Torvald Helmer (senior theatre major Todd Porter) keeps a strict watch over his household and his wife to assure that their family presents a respectable image.

Secrets pervade Nora's relationship with her husband, and when all is revealed, she hopes that "something glorious is about to happen," that honesty and respect might be restored to her marriage. When this does not occur, she is left with no alternative but to escape the confines of the life-size doll house in which society has trapped her. She leaves her family in search of the one thing she has never known--true independence.

The first production of "A Doll's House" in 1879 was met with much criticism. Audiences of the time were sympathetic to Helmer's point of view, but Nora's controversial transformation left some audience members thirsty for more. Amid the stir surrounding the play were lasting efforts supporting feminism and women's rights. The McGuinness adaptation won four Tony Awards in 1997.

The production is directed by guest director Mark Ramont, the artistic director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. Ramont has also served as the associate director and casting director at the Circle Repertory Company in New York. In addition, he was the artistic director of the Capitol City Playhouse in Austin from 1993-1995.

The cast also includes senior musical theatre major Heather Hodnett, senior theatre majors Corby Sullivan and Davy Tyler, junior theatre major Melissa Miller, and freshman theatre majors Kent Yeomans and Shavon Wagner. Senior theatre major George Curry stage manages the show.

Department of Theatre faculty member Jerry Hooker designed the set, while Thomas F. Soare formulated the lighting design. Kristina Hanssen created the costumes.

Tickets are $10 or $8 with a senior citizen or SHSU student I. D. For more information call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 409-294-1339.

Orchestra Offers Diverse Program

The Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Carol Smith, will perform its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 23) in the Beto Criminal Justice Center Killinger Auditorium.

Not only does the music promise to be spectacular, but the stories behind the selections are interesting. Consider:

  • A look at historical development of the overture will be provided by the orchestra's performance of the Preludio from Verdi's La Traviata.

  • The great Russian poet Pushkin wrote Russlan and Ludmilla but was killed in a duel over the supposed infidelity of his wife before he could prepare a libretto. Mikhail Glinka's Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla will be performed.

  • Pietro Mascagni's father forbade him to study music, intending instead that he become a lawyer. Pietro took lessons secretly and had a productive and interesting life in music and politics, but spent his last years in poverty. The orchestra will perform his Itermezzo from Cavalieria Rusticana.

  • Also performed will be Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, written after Tchaikovsky fell in love with, became engaged to and was jilted by a French singer. Opinions differ on the effect this had on his treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy.

Tickets are $5 general admission, $3 for students, and free admission for faculty/staff and students with proper SHSU identification.

Gaddis Geeslin Exhibit

The two-person exhibit featuring the photographs of Washington state artist Mark Abrahamson and the digital imagery of Florida artist Maggie Taylor opens Monday (Oct. 18) in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery. The exhibit will run through Nov. 5, with the opening reception Thursday (Oct. 21), 5-7 pm. Admission is free.

"Mark Abrahamson's photographs are grounded on the design and compositional aspects of visual imagery," said Ken Zonker, SHSU associate professor of art. "They are very clear photographic observations of the city and landscape but viewed from an abnormal angle or height. These visual documentations of a polluted and decaying urban environment are also intriguing abstract compositions."

Many of the large format cibachrome prints come from a series Abrahamson calls his "Watershed Investigations," said Zonker. In Abrahamson's words, "since 1990, I've photographed rural watersheds. At low altitude from helicopters and airplanes, I create narrative abstractions....From this perspective one sees a landscape continuously redefined by development and the forces of nature. The photographs are visual documents of a rich and highly developed, yet heavily polluted and slowly decaying urban environment."

"The photographs are deceptively beautiful imagery," said Zonker, "but at the same time clearly illustrate and underscore Abrahamson's message that 'the right to a safe, healthy environment has become a core American value.'"

"While Abrahamson's world is abstracting the concrete 'real' world, Maggie Taylor's digital imagery is a surreal and dreamlike world made to appear 'real,'" said Zonker. "Soft edges, muted, rich colors and enigmatic figures fill her compositions."

In Taylor's words, "While the images suggest narratives, they allow the viewer to respond on an individual basis. I wish the viewer to experience a convergence of factual memory and fictional daydream. These images are my attempt to unravel the ways in which my thoughts, memories and dreams intermingle."

Taylor's process of working requires the use of photographic imagery, most of which she does herself. She says that she has drawers and shelves filled with all kinds of objects and text. She will usually sort and arrange a few things indoors before taking them outside into the yard where she will photograph them with an old view camera and natural light. Later these images will be pieced together through the use of the computer.

Taylor's works are all Iris ink jet prints, a process which sprays nearly four million droplets of ink per second onto the print paper.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is located in Art Building F in the SHSU art complex at 1028 21st Street on the southwest corner of the SHSU campus. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Nurse Hired, Flu Shots Offered

Jeanne Freitag, a family nurse practitioner, has been hired by the Sam Houston State University Health Center, and flu shots are being offered free to SHSU faculty, staff and students.

Freitag is nationally certified and registered with the state of Texas as an advanced practice nurse, which enables her to independently obtain health histories, perform physical examinations, diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications.

David Millspaugh, Health Center director, said the center is emphasizing prevention as well as treatment.

"The new approach is a more holistic view of the Health Center's patients," said Millspaugh. "The addition of the nurse practitioner, who by training is more broadly based, allows the Health Center to combine the wellness and the medical models."

He said the center has been moving in that direction for several years.

"When a student comes to us," said Millspaugh, "we will continue to treat the immediate evident symptoms of the student's illness, following the medical model, but we will also attempt to explore any potential lifestyle, environmental and hereditary factors that might present themselves as roadblocks to the student's overall well being, the wellness model.

"We will be trying to help students maintain health and wellness on the broader scale, while we are helping them with their current illness."

In the past year, Millspaugh said, nurses have been more involved in treating individual patients, there has been more staff training, more written material available, and more counseling offered on health concerns.

The free flu shots are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (with the exception of 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) They are offered to all staff, faculty and students while supplies last.

Groups Aid Good Shepherd

At least two Sam Houston State University groups have responded to the Good Shepherd Mission's drive to replenish food supplies.

The Sociology Club began a drive Oct. 12 that runs through Oct. 26. Non-perishable food items may be left in the sociology office on the third floor of Academic Building 1, or a drop box near the information booth on the 2nd floor of the Lowman Student Center.

The Sam Houston athletic department is also collecting food at Bowers Stadium gates during Bearkat football games, and at the stadium field house from 8-5 weekdays.

Dave Smith, director of the Good Shepherd Mission, said that a number of campus organizations have indicated that they would like to help on various projects, but they need to contact him at the mission or by e-mail at mission@lcc.net to get assignments.

Preparing for Spring Registration

Sam Houston State University's Spring 2000 Schedule of Classes booklets may be picked up in the Registrar's Office in White Hall. Students may also call ext. 1048 with questions.

Registration for the spring semester is Nov. 5 through Nov. 11.

The Office of the Registrar also reminds students that if they are subject to mandatory advisement, they will not be permitted to register until they complete the advisement process.

Assessment by Rubrics

"Rubrics: An Alternative Form of Assessment" is the topic of a presentation by Steve Stork, Department of Health and Kinesiology, at 2 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 19) in the Academic Enrichment Center, Newton Gresham Library room 116.

For more information and to reserve seating contact Patricia Williams, coordinator of the Across-the-University Writing Program, at 409-294-1143.

Children's Barnyard

The Annual SHSU Children's Barnyard will be held this Wednesday and Thursday at the Indoor Arena. Over 1000 local kindergarten and pre-K children are scheduled to attend the event, sponsored each year by the SHSU Block and Bridle Club.

Block and Bridle is an organization consisting of students interested in studying and promoting animal agriculture. Stanley Kelley, associate professor of agriculture, serves as sponsor of the organization.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
October 17, 1999
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