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Troupe's final play about end-of-life.

Byline: The Register-Guard

A play about end-of-life issues, a Woody Allen comedy, a Broadway musical and an evening of one-act plays are headed for area stages this weekend.



Terra Nova Theatre

Friday through Feb. 19

Spokane playwright Brian Harnetiaux's new play covers the last five years in the life of Vesta Pierson, a vibrant and feisty widow. Without a degree, Vesta rose to become circulation manager of the university library, becoming the go-to person when students had questions about language.

"Ask Vesta," they always said. Before she retired the university gave her a well-deserved honorary degree.

Her retirement is filled with activities until the day she has a stroke, which brings her family back into her daily life. How Vesta and her family adjust to each other as Vesta's health deteriorates forms the heart of the play, which is being produced by Eugene's Terra Nova Theatre for Hospice of Sacred Heart. Proceeds from the production go to support Hospice programs and Courageous Kids.

Directing is Jonathan Siegle.

"I told Sacred Heart I don't do message plays, but plays about old people, about families dealing with end of life - these are rare," he said. " 'Vesta' provides a good opportunity to tell a story that is largely ignored by the entertainment industry."

Rebecca Nachison plays Vesta. She is well-known to Eugene audiences for her many roles with the Lord Leebrick Theatre.

Nancy Hopps, also a veteran of Lord Leebrick productions, plays Vesta's stiff daughter, Carol. Also performing will be Alex Elkin, Jessica Ray and Ron Judd.

The play will be in Upstart Crow Studio's improved theater at 855 W. First Ave. Curtain is 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Feb. 10-11 and 17-18, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Feb. 19.

Tickets are $15 at 541-242-8755. Seating is limited at Upstart Crow; reservations are recommended.

This will be the last production by Terra Nova Theatre, which was founded by Dorothy Velasco, Phil Dietz and Jonathan Siegle; the group has donated its equipment to Upstart Crow Studios, a performing arts group for youth.

Don't Drink the Water

Cottage Theatre

Friday through Feb. 19

Cottage Theatre kicks off its 30th anniversary season this weekend with a reprise of Woody Allen's first professionally produced play, "Don't Drink the Water."

This was Cottage Theatre's first play in 1982, produced under a parachute on the lawn of the Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove. Things went well for that production, the story goes, until a gust of wind blew the parachute away.

The show, which opened on Broadway in 1966, takes place in the American Embassy in an unnamed European country behind the Iron Curtain. The ambassador has been called away and leaves his inept son in charge. The son's inability to rise to a crisis involving some American tourists leads to hilarity.

The show is directed by Reva Kaufman and stars Ken McClintock, Karen Snyder and Hannah Quigg as a family of American tourists. DJ Luna plays the ambassador's son.

Curtain is 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 19. The theater has added a single Thursday evening performance at 8 p.m. Feb. 16. Cottage Theatre is at 700 Village Drive, Cottage Grove.

Tickets are $16, $14 for seniors and students, at and 541-942-8001.


Rose Children's Theatre

Friday through Feb. 12

The orphaned Oliver Twist, in this musical version of the Charles Dickens classic, escapes a workhouse and heads to London, where he meets the Artful Dodger and a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the evil Fagin.

This production by Rose Children's Theatre puts on plays with a mixed cast of adults and children: Evan Hopper-Moore, Kyra Siegel and Richard Leebrick.

Evynne Hollens directs, with vocal direction by Debi Noel and choreography by Megan Lenhardt. Costume design is by Dody Hansen, set design is by Skip Hubbard, sound by Jack Pendell and Wayne Strong and lighting is by Kathy Catherwood.

Tickets are $8-$12 at and at the door. The show will be presented at Sheldon High School Auditorium, 2455 Willakenzie Road.

Winter One-Acts

Willamette High School

Today through Saturday

Students at Willamette will be presenting an evening of three one-act plays: "An Actor's Nightmare" by Christopher Durang, and "A Little Box of Oblivion" and "Fate's Threads" by Stephen Bean, in three performances this weekend.

In "An Actor's Nightmare," a man finds himself in a theatrical anxiety dream, having wandered onstage in a play he doesn't know and finding out he is to be the star.

In "Fate's Threads," the ghost of a woman tries to reconcile herself to the fact that she was murdered by her husband.

And in "A Little Box of Oblivion," a man confronts a very contemporary threat: What on earth is that package that someone just gave him with instructions not to jiggle it?

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday in Willamette High's Powers Auditorium, 1801 Echo Hollow Road. Tickets are $5 at the door, $3 for students.
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Title Annotation:Arts and Literature
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Theater review
Date:Feb 2, 2012
Next Article:Salzburg ensemble to perform at UO.

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