RiverStars Performing Arts celebrates 5 years with QUAKETOWN

by | Mar 27, 2019 | Community Strategic Plan, Culture, Nonprofit, Schools, Youth

Performances are Friday, April 12, at 7:00 PM; Saturday, April 13 at 7:00 PM; and Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 PM, at the Lorna Byrne Cafe Theatre.  Premiere seats can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets (https://quaketown.brownpapertickets.com) for $20 adults, $12 youth and Group Discounts available. Walk up tickets are pay-what-you-can, starting 20 minutes before show time.

Quaketown is a post apocalyptic fable about teenage resilience in the face of adversity.  The story, influenced by ArtStar student creators and written by Lead Educator Gina Angelique, follows the lives of 6 teens who are trapped in the Illinois Valley after the ‘big one,’ hits in 2083.  They are left alone as their parents and everyone over 18 have been ‘extracted,’ to serve as “Radio’s” workforce. Quaketown is the 5th show in RiverStars’ Cavetown series, which annually presents an original show about place based leadership and investment in our local community. This show features performances by the ArtStars (advanced youth artists), with guest appearances by the ArtNovas (beginning teen and preteen artists), EverStars, (beginning artists ages 7-10) and TwinkleStars (beginning artists ages 4-7).  Energetic dances and physical scene work abound in this compelling story of teens rising from the ashes.

Quaketown is the 10th original work by RiverStars, who will be celebrating the end of their 5 year inaugural work building a comprehensive performing arts program for the Illinois Valley.  RiverStars cultivates youth voice and power, using dance and theatre to galvanize community action. Performances are original works creatively influenced by the advanced ArtStars about issues relevant to Josephine County. The show is set to music by Brandi Carlile, Michael Franti, and Black Violin and features choreography by Gina Angelique, Kari Kvittem, and a debut by graduating RiverStar, Isadora Millay.

This year RiverStars will graduate two outstanding young artists.  Owen Dwyer joined RiverStars in 2017, and has played such memorable roles as Madasso in Red Gold and Russell the Brussel in Candyland. He is a college bound senior and his final performance is as Gueron. Isadora Millay has performed in every show since RiverStar’s incarnation.  Memorable performances include Levante in Red Gold, Gracie the Ground Cherry in Candyland, and Orpheus in Cavetown Underground. The precocious 13 year old will be heading away for high school next year and her final performance is as Scintilla.

In Quaketown, teens are struggling with how to survive.  Their world has been largely decimated, first by the earthquake, then by drought, and now by an oppressive government regime called “Radio.”  Their parents have been removed by helicopter, and they have been left to fend largely for themselves. A group of “rats” serve as antagonists to the teens, spying on their plans and reporting their misconduct to Radio.  Scintilla is a reclusive teen who has adopted the younger children of Quaketown, who live with her deep in underground caves. She is suffering extreme trauma from watching her mother disappear in the post earthquake’s raging Illinois River.  She eventually sets off a series of events that decimate Quaketown. But, using Scintilla’s mother’s words as inspiration, the teens rally together again in the face of devastation, and recover through the art of dance.

Lindsey B Jones, Arts Educator for RiverStars says “We watched the best auditions we have ever seen for this show.  The growth of these artists makes my heart swell. The valley should be so proud of the talented young artists who call Cavetown home!”  Gina Angelique says, “We are blessed with young artists who can really develop a quality dramatic experience for our local community, and a community that increasingly loves and embraces the opportunity to come together and applaud the discipline and dedication it takes to create quality original theatre.” Kari Kvittem, arts educator says, “I am particularly excited about the young talent we have coming up from EverStars!”

RiverStars is a program of the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization and has enjoyed the support and partnership of the Three Rivers School District, Scott Polen and Lorna Byrne, Dave Regal at Evergreen Elementary, and dancefarm.  We receive generous support from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and the businesses, clubs and citizens of the Illinois Valley.

Contact info: Contact: Lindsey B Jones, [email protected] or 541-649-2333

Press is invited to attend performances.

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