Historic Amateur Theatricals !
"Playing To -- and With -- Audiences To Bring History Alive"
Post Office Box 11045, Portland, Ore. 97211 - (503) 335-3876
NEWS RELEASEFOR RELEASE ON: Media Contacts:
Friday, December 8th, 2006 Al LePage, Living History Character & Performer, Historic Amateur Theatricals! / 503-335-3876
Sam Rascoe, Director of Marketing, Clatsop County Historical Society / 503-325-2203
David Hablewitz, Executive Director, Clatsop Community Action /
"Amateur Thespian" Gives Dramatic Readings of
Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" 1856-Style!
Time travel in Astoria with living history character "Englishman Thomas Hutchinson"
as he presents the timeless holiday classic of personal transformation and charity
readings of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" will be presented in
the style of the Victorian era to benefit the Clastsop County
Historical Society and Clatsop Community Action in Astoria,
Oregon. Al LePage, who has portrayed various characters of
Pacific Northwest history over the years, will perform as "Englishman
Thomas Hutchinson, Amateur Thespian" complete with English accent,
clothing of the period and other accoutrements. The first reading
will take place on Thursday, December 21st at 7PM in the Flavel House
at 441 Eighth Street, Astoria with all proceeds going to the Clatsop
County Historical Society, admission for the first evening event being
$15 for the general public and $8 for society members. The
second reading will take place as a matinee on Friday, December 22nd at
2PM at the Performing Arts Center at 16th and Franklin Street in
Astoria in partnership with the Arts and Ideas Program of Clatsop
Community College with all proceeds going to Clatsop Community
Action. The suggested donation for the matinee reading being $5
adults, $3 children and two cans of food per person, however, as long
as there are seats available no one will be turned away who does not
make a donation for whatever reason. Each program is expected to
be about 2 hours in length, the introduction will involve direct
interaction with, and participation by, audience members, and is best
appreciated by children 8 years of age and older.
"Bringing history to life by portraying people from past," begins LePage, "is a very powerful way to engage people, and connect them with the history of where they live or visit. Great stories can make people more aware of the reality that surrounds them, and connect them with others and within themselves for greater understanding and compassion. Live drama can bring these great stories to life in a way that provides both entertainment and insight. So, given all this and the themes of personal transformation and charity in Dickens 'A Christmas Carol,' it simply makes a lot of sense to donate my time and talents to benefit others through dramatic readings of this particular story."
LePage's mission of both "playing to -- and with -- audience members to bring history alive" will quickly become evident when you first encounter him before the performance. His love of improvisation combined with a highly interactive approach means that he may not only engage you in conversation, but also actually encourage you to join him on stage in the opening act! In fact, watch out! Since he's playful, likes to experiment and believes in seizing the moment, even he doesn't always know what's going to happen. This not only helps makes each performance unique, but also keeps it fresh and exciting. As Shakespeare wrote, ". . . one man in his time plays many parts . . ." and LePage's creative use of voice should shine through as he creates all 26 characters, both male and female, all within the span of about two hours. Yes, all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. So come, and play along with Al LePage. He'll begin by taking you back to Astoria in the year 1856, introduce "himself" in character as "Englishmen Thomas Hutchinson, Amateur Thespian", and then bring you both to laughter, and hopefully some tears, during his dramatic reading of Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol'.'"
"Clatsop Community Action is a private, nonprofit organization fighting poverty on the North Oregon Coast," states executive director David Hablewitz. "We're part of a statewide network of hunger-relief agencies and coordinate the Clatsop Regional Food Bank. Last year, 30 percent of Clatsop County residents needed to use one of our eight food pantries, six shelters and two meal sites, and children represent 38 percent of those served. Together with those local agencies the Clatsop Regional Food Bank distributed more than 700,000 pounds of food to those in need. The upcoming reading of A Christmas Carol at Clatsop Community College's Performing Arts Center will be a great way to both give and receive during the holiday season to those in need as all donations will be dedicated to our food bank program."
According to the Oregon Food Bank's 2006 Hunger Factors Assessment, a biennial survey of emergency food box recipients in Oregon and Clark County, WA, the area's strong economy is producing jobs, but many of these don't pay enough to cover basic living costs. Factors related to the need for emergency food include high fuel and heating costs plus the high cost of housing. When people need to choose between eating or taking care of their health, the result can either be delaying or not seeking medical care. Also, barriers to employment, such as having no phone or car plus the high cost of child care, can limit both a person's income and thus their ability to pay for food. The good news: For the first time in nine years, the number of emergency food boxes distributed to people who need food in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., did not increase substantially (less than 1 percent increase). The Oregon Food Bank Network's 357 emergency food pantries distributed 755,000 emergency food boxes during fiscal year 2005-06 compared to 751,000 emergency food boxes in 2005. The bad news: The amount of food available in the Oregon Food Bank Network for distribution to people in need decreased almost 5 percent, from 60.8-million pounds in fiscal year 2004-05 to 57.9-million pounds in FY 2005-06. That's a decrease of almost 3-million pounds of food in one year. In other words, although the number of food boxes distributed did not greatly increase, the amount of food available to distribute decreased, and therefore donations to food programs continue to be needed.
CAPTION for IMAGES: "Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Amateur Thespian" as
portrayed by Al LePage is sure to bring lots of laughter,
and hopefully some tears, during his upcoming dramatic readings of Charles Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol'.'"
Clatsop County Historical
Society, based in Astoria, serves both visitors and residents
through operating year-round the Flavel House Museum, The Heritage
Museum and Research Center & Archives, and the Uppertown
Firefighters Museum. Call 503-325-2203 for information for hours
of operation and admissions to these museums and other programs offered
by the Society.
Community Action, based in Astoria, helps serve the working
homeless and the near homeless of Clatsop County by assisting clients
in meeting their basic needs such as housing and food through programs
offering emergency food, energy and rental assistance, low-income
housing and lifespan respite referral. Call 503-325-1400 for
information on where to go in your community or to make donations of
food and other forms of support.