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Former COD Student Stars in Play

Bryan Bosque, a former COD student, stars in “The Skriker” at the Red Tape Theatre.

Most students use the college as a starting point to transfer to a university, but Bryan Bosque was working towards an Associate of Arts degree in 2005 and planning to major in theater before leaving to move to the city.

He had plans to go to school there but just started working right away. His character is “one of a number of different boogeymen from British/Irish folklore and evil spirits.” He’s an “evil water horse.” One of his first performances after the college was at a Shakespeare festival’s production of “Taming of the Shrew” and he attributed that to his Shakespeare class.

“(It was) focused on metered scripts and classic language,” he said. “(It was cool to be) using what I learned in class right away in a production.”

Bosque now has a starring lead in the Red Tape Theater’s production of “The Skriker.”

This is a haunting fairytale about an ancient shape shifter who is trying to destroy the lives of two impressionable young mothers. Bosque describes it as an evocative, dark script by Carol Churchill.

This play is performed promenade style, which gives you a seemingly interactive experience. The audience walked in and formed a semicircle around the actors and for most of the show the actors are only about 2-3 feet away from you. There are also times when it seems as though the characters are speaking directly to you.

As the show progresses, the walls around the audience are on wheels and are constantly changed to create new scenes.

The theatre is very dark with only a few spotlights to give the overall performance a gloomy and scary vibe.   He also said the theater department at cod isn’t as widely known as it should be.

“It’s immense, great, and varied.” He said. “(I want to) express to fellow COD students how interesting it will be to see the new arts department and amazing talent that are the faculty. I gained so much from my time in the department.”

Bosque says The Skriker is a “sensory-oriented, great theater experience” and a “really interesting show to do.” It is running from September 20- October 20, 2012 at the Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, Chicago. Tickets are available at www.redtapetheatre.org or at the Red Tape Box Office.

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Alter Ego’s Jam on the Side program features bands performing in the cafeteria

Alter Ego Productions sponsored some live music in the cafeteria on Monday. This is part of a production they call Jam On the Side. Arthur Liceaga, a producer at Alter Ego, said, “This will hopefully be an ongoing event, but we need to hear confirmation from Sudexo. Last year we were not able to do it but this year we plan to have a performer once a month.”

The band that performed on Monday was called Blue Jay and the Red Robins. They also performed at the last Open Mic, also hosted by Alter Ego Productions.

The cafeteria is not very large but “so far the sound levels have not been a detriment to the workers and students at COD. Jam On the Side was created to enhance the community college atmosphere instead of diminishing it,” said Arthur.

Anyone who is interested in performing at Jam On the Side can attend any of Alter Ego’s Open Mics, which are held the first Wednesday of every month. For more information, contact Arthur at AEP.arthur@cod.edu.

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MAC Gets a Makeover

The McAninch Arts Center building will be undergoing renovations until Spring 2014.

After 25 years of continuous use, the McAninch Arts Center is being renovated. This update will include a new canopy over the entrance, clear glass panels replacing the tinted ones, and a new location for the ticket office. Cummins also stated that in addition there will be “a new concession and bar area in the lobby [that] will provide a visual connection with the Waterleaf fine-dining restaurant in COD’s Culinary & Hospitality Center, located next door to the MAC.”

Inside the 800- seat Main stage, all the seats and wall treatments are being replaced, a new HVAC system will be installed, and the acoustics will be improved to reduce exterior noise. As for classroom renovations, improvements will be made to studio spaces for graphic and fine art. Additionally all hallways will be brightened “to encourage collaborative gathering and critique spaces. Other major infrastructure changes include a new roof, upgrades and integration to building automation systems, and replacement of the skylight systems.”

Since construction just began this fall, it will not be completely finished until Spring 2014. As for the costs of this project, it will cost “$35 million and is funded by the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010.” The college also received a seven-figure gift from DuPage County native and Glen Ellyn resident, Cleve Carney. “The gift will be used to establish the Cleve Carney Art Space in the McAninch Arts Center and the Cleve Carney Art Space Endowment Fund to support the exhibition of contemporary art and provide funding to purchase artwork for the College of DuPage Permanent Art Collection.”

Photography, jewelry, ceramics, motion picture television, sculpture, and music technology programs are still housed in the North east wing of the MAC but other classes will be held in the K building, OCC building, and other classrooms on COD’s main campus.  The college theater and Buffalo Theatre Ensemble productions will be held in the K Building Theater.  Many of the college music performances will take place in COD Turner Conference Center SRC 2000 and Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. The New Philharmonic performances will be held at Wheaton College and Dominican University. The ticket Box Office is in the MAC lobby until September 18 when it will move to OCC 151. Ticket Office hours are Tuesday-Friday 12pm-5pm, Saturday 10am-12pm, and at the door one hour prior to a performance.

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2013.

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college of dupage courier

Buffalo Theatre Ensembles’ New Production Portrays A Day in the Life of Ann Landers

The Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s 26th Season is kicking off with The Lady With All the Answers, a comedy about Ann Landers written by David Rambo. It will run from September 7-23, 2012.

Connie Canaday Howard, BTE’s Artistic Director, is directing the one-woman show starring COD’s Associate Professor and Associate Artistic Director of BTE, Amelia Barrett.

Connie Howard said the mission of BTE is “about giving stories life and exploring human relationships.” The reason BTE chose to put on this play is of course, because it is an interesting and funny story but also because they picked pieces that could be “produced well in temporary space” since the MAC is currently under construction. The performance will take place in the K building commons in room 160 where they built a theater. Upcoming student shows will also be performed here later in the semester.

The star of the show, Amelia Barrett, says her favorite part of the show is “reading the letters” and when her character polls the audience. This is a completely new experience for Amelia, who has never performed in a one-woman show before and also says this character is a very new role compared to previous roles she has played. Connie Howard, the director, also said that “Students love Amelia and lots of people come to see BTE for Amelia.”

Ann Landers was a well-known advice columnist who had millions of readers. In the show, she is facing a dilemma of her own one night in her Chicago apartment. Ann is putting together letters and columns to create her book “Best of Ann Landers.”

Connie also is very knowledgeable about Ann Landers. She said Ann “believed in the positive in people and that life goes on.” Amelia and Connie also described her as “a force to be reckoned with” and a “political force,” so she is not your average advice columnist.

The show has something for everyone so make sure to get your tickets for any of the performance dates that run September 7-23. Tickets for the show may be arranged through the McAninch Art Center Box Office at 60/942-4000. Group and student rates are available.

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2013.

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Student Produces Short Film Nominated for Award at Naperville Independent Film Fest

“Going Strong” is a short film that was produced by current students and alumni that was nominated for Best Student Film at the Naperville Independent Film Festival.

Current student of the college, Mike Bussan, and two past college students, David Reyes and Emilio Morrone, produced the film. Reyes, who was also the director of the film, graduated last December.

The festival will take place from Sept. 15 through the 22 and will showcase many short films in many different styles.

“Going Strong” is a comedy with raunchy humor similar to the popular American Pie series of movies. The producers were inspired by old school slapstick humor and 80’s movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Bussan, the executive producer, has previously worked for NBC and FOX and enjoys working with other students at the college to create professional short films. He said the three of them came up with the idea for the film when “trying to figure out a concept that was different. We wanted to do something that we haven’t seen before and I think that’s what makes our film stand out from others.”

This film was created for a class, which gave them a three-week time limit. Bussan said “David Reyes did a great job under that kind of pressure, handling every aspect of every position.” He also said “anyone would enjoy this film that enjoys slap stick comedy.”

Something that makes this film stand out is that the typical gender roles in a relationship are switched and the film explores the relationship between the two main characters, Vince (played by Mike Devane, a theater student) and Anna (Corinne Nowicki,).

Vince seeks advice from his best friend Jack (played by Andrew Trygstad, a theater student) that accounts for the majority of funny lines in the film. The film contains all original music and was also submitted to the Chicago International Film Festival.

It will premiere at the Naperville Independent Film Festival Classic Cinemas on September 16 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $5.

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2012.

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A Look at Free Upcoming Events Around Campus Hosted by Alter Ego Productions

Alter Ego Productions kicked off the school year with inflatable games and guest DJ’s from B96 behind the cafeteria August 22 & 23. If you missed this, don’t worry, they have many more events planned throughout the rest of the year.

Alter Ego is a group of students who bring entertainment to the college and support local music. They have a few paid positions called producers and the rest are part of the Alter Ego crew. They put together events such as the open mic nights which are the first Wednesday of every month. Dan Solon, tech producer, welcomes everyone to come “sing, dance, play guitar, read poetry, and show off your talents.” The sign-up sheet is located at the Student Life Office.

Several trivia shows will be hosted by Alter Ego this fall and the first one is on September 17. Students should register in teams up to 4 people to compete for a grand prize of $200. There are also additional prizes for second and third place in the competition.

Other events in September will include a visit from a hypnotist and an Oktober Fest Party which in the past has included brats, coleslaw and a traditional German band. (No alcohol allowed). In October, they will host a Halloween party and December includes an End of the World Party.

Maggie LaChance, Alter Ego’s special events producer, said “Our job is to put everything together and make sure it goes smoothly.” She also divulged that they may be looking for a new tech producer in the spring and people who are interested in the position should get involved now to be trained. To become a crew member, all you have to do is attend two meetings a month which take place from 3-4pm on Mondays in the Alter Ego Lounge (located in the SSC right under the Starbucks) and help out with the events.

To get involved you can just show up at a meeting or event. This offers great experience in event planning and booking acts. It’s also an easy way to meet new people, especially if you’re new to the college and can be a great networking opportunity as well.

Additional inquiries can be sent to aep.tino@cod.edu and you can keep up with the events by liking their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/alteregoproductions.

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2012.

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COD student’s art is Too School For Cool

If you haven’t had the chance to view artwork from some of the most talented art students at C.O.D., stop by the Wings gallery located in the Student Service Center in Room 2210. The exhibit currently on display is called Too School For Cool including works from Ashley Pegeron, Steve Burkett, Jaymes Doyle, Joe Mazzone, Daniel Quiroz, and Irene Aponte. Some interesting pieces are close-ups of different parts of a guitar and a sculpture of a shoe. Ashley, whose piece is a collection of 25 unique skulls, said her assignment requirements were to use 25 items and include “a part of you in your work.” The exhibit will be on display until September 20 and is open for viewing on Monday and Wednesday from 12pm-6pm with varying hours on Tuesday and Thursday.

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2012.

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Spotify to Increase Musicians’ Profit

When I first tried Spotify, a Sweden-based music streaming service that recently became known in the U.S., I expected it would be a tragedy for the music industry. How could any artist ever expect to make a profit when this program allowed anyone to listen to millions of songs for free?  Spotify already has around 15 million songs and is continuously growing by about 10,000 new songs a day. There is a Premium membership which costs $9.99 a month, benefits including the removal of the advertisements that play in between every few songs or so, unlimited streaming, and Spotify for mobile.

After a little research, I saw this program as beneficial for the musicians. In this day and age, we are all about convenience. No one wants to get in a car and drive to a store just to search for the CD when they can just go online and download or stream their favorite artists right away.

Spotify pays artists minimums based on their stream count which means more revenue for the artists. The artists will begin to make the money on their music that they had lost for years due to illegal downloading. The music industry loses over $12.5 billion per year due to piracy, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. As people stream music, the record companies will be paid, which allows them to in turn, pay the musicians. There are many ways to purchase music online including I-Tunes and Amazon. It was hoped that these types of options would decrease the number of illegal downloads, but Spotify has the best chance at creating a real decrease by offering completely free music.

Now with all this free music available at our fingertips, we won’t even have to wait the few minutes of download time to hear our favorite artists. Spotify also makes it easier to share music with friends by creating public playlists or sharing music choices on Spotify through Facebook or Twitter. It is not only a large database of free music but also a type of social-networking site which broadcasts your music on Facebook as you are listening to it. For people interested in discovering new music, there is even a “New Album Releases” playlist created by Spotify that you can subscribe to stay updated.

The effects of internet downloading and streaming are visible in stores. Best Buy’s CD section has significantly reduced its size to a very minimal collection of artists. Vinyl albums are usually difficult to find anywhere but sometimes can be purchased directly from the artist’s online merchandise store.  Now even if someone did want to go to a store to find a hard copy of an album, it would be unlikely to find it unless the musician or musical group is widely known.

Internet downloading and streaming allows for record companies to save money on the production of album covers, CDs, tapes, and vinyl records. By using Spotify, you are supporting your favorite artists while not paying a dime and with a statement like “Millions of tracks, any time you like. Just search for it in Spotify, then play it. Just help yourself to whatever you want, whenever you want it,” how can anyone resist?

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier Student Newspaper, 2013.

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lake park perspective

Evolution of Art, Take It to the Streets

The way I first discovered the world of street art was surprisingly, not on the street. It was when I walked into a bookstore one day and saw a book entitled “Icepick: Icelandic Street Art.” The front cover was full of strange, abstracted, but strangely realistic pieces of “street art” so I judged this book by its cover and purchased it. For the next several days I became totally obsessed with every aspect of the book and began to research this secretive form of art. I even began trying to recreate some of the pieces I saw or work off the photos to create some designs of my own. It was the most inspiring thing I have ever come across.

Then just the other day I was at Blockbuster renting a movie and I saw a film called “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” It is a documentary about street art and includes interviews with the most famous street artists alive. So of course, I excitedly checked out this movie and watched a man who knew nothing about street art, create his very own pieces and sell a million dollars’ worth of art in only a few months. This is when I realized how big this type of art is getting. Banksy, the most well-known and celebrated artist, had celebrities like Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, and many others show up to his first gallery in the United States. One of his exhibits included a full grown, painted elephant. Art is evolving. Banksy is transforming art by using many different forms, painting elephants, and basically decorating our world. As with any kind of art, street art has many different forms. This can include: stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheat pasting, street poster art, street installations, video projection, and many others.

The question is: Is this vandalism and should it stay illegal in the U.S.?

I say no. Street art is very difficult to control so why keep trying? If it is appropriate for all ages and not offensive material (which it generally is not), it is not hurting anyone. There are a lot of people like me who would love to see street art driving to work or just walking down the street. I strongly believe in freedom of expression and I really think if people just knew more about this topic, they might feel the way I do about it. If it cannot be legal, I think it should at least be tolerated in more places.

However, people who are against street art may not understand the difference between the terms “graffiti” and “tagging” in comparison to “street art.” “Tagging” refers to writing a name on a building and “graffiti” tends to be more offensive and gang related. Street art however, is something much more tasteful and appreciated by the masses. Street art is free art. You don’t have to pay to see it in a museum; it’s right on the street where you live. There will always be parents worried about what their children will be exposed to but street art is usually not used to portray offensive material. It is an abstract form of art. In some places, it is not even enough to have the property owner’s permission to display street art on their building but the artist also might also need to apply for a permit.

For more information on street art, the film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” films many well-known street artists on the streets and contains interviews as well. To see some of Banksy’s art, visit his website, http://www.banksy.co.uk/menu.html.

*Published in Lake Park High School’s Perspective student newspaper, 2010.

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes: large, small, round, square, triangular, trapezoidal, and all those in between. Beauty is an interpretation, so why should everyone’s be the same? Beauty is unique. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Thanks to today’s media, anyone can open a magazine and see a plethora of excessively thin, similar looking models. Women are especially subjected to this unrealistic expectation of how to dress and how to look.  Modern society seems to have an obsession with looking attractive and perfect. But what is perfect? Is perfection an extremely thin, blonde-haired, straight-teethed, big-eyed, smooth-skinned model with long legs and a flat stomach? What about the people who don’t have those genes and who don’t look like that?

Sometimes they are discriminated against. This discrimination starts as early as middle school when cliques form. Perhaps people working in media are unaware that what is shown on television and in magazines can have huge effects on the lives of teenage girls. Many young girls feel pressured to look and dress a certain way. This causes them to have extremely low self-esteem when they look in the mirror and don’t see a model. These girls do not think they are beautiful because of what they see every day in the media.

There are direct and indirect consequences of the media’s portrayal of beauty. The direct consequence of beauty in an advertisement is people are more likely to purchase that product because they want to achieve the same beauty. It is a natural human behavior to want to belong to a group. An indirect consequence of beauty in the media may result in unhealthy behavior. Teenage girls striving to look like unhealthy models may turn to eating disorders or even suicide as a result of their increasingly low self-esteem. I would dissolve this universal image of beauty, because we need to teach young girls what beauty really is. We need healthy sized people in the advertisements and normal, everyday people’s beauty to be shown for what it is, unique. It’s their unique sense of style and personality that makes them beautiful and different. We need to show young people what really matters: personality and intelligence. If this expectation of beauty created by the media didn’t exist, maybe people would see that and young girls wouldn’t be ashamed to wear glasses, or have braces!

This is why I really love what Dove is doing with their new campaign and showing real beautiful women in their ads. If only more companies and designers would follow in their footsteps…

*Published in Lake Park High School’s Perspective student newspaper, 2010.