That's entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area, Aug. 17-24, 2014

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area, Aug. 17-24, 2014

Upcoming events of interest in East Central Illinois:

Parkland faculty art showcase

CHAMPAIGN — The 2014 Parkland College Art and Design Faculty Exhibition will open Monday at the former Parkland Art Gallery, now called the Giertz Gallery at Parkland.

The annual showcase of works created by faculty runs through Sept. 20, with the opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. That event will include a ceremony at 6 p.m. to officially present the new name for the gallery, which honors Parkland College trustee Donna Hyland Giertz of Champaing for her 20-plus years of service to Parkland, in addition to her gift of $100,000 to the gallery.

Besides being a Parkland trustee, Giertz taught business courses at the college. The gallery will now be known as The Donna Hyland Giertz Gallery, or the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.

The festivities also will include a gallery talk by faculty member Kelly White, an art history instructor at Parkland and the executive director of 40 North 88 West, the Champaign County arts, culture and entertainment council. There also will be live music.

The exhibition features sculpture, painting, photography, metals, ceramics, graphic design and digital media.

The exhibiting faculty members besides White are Louis Ballard, Chris Berti, Lisa Costello, Marsha Daniels, Larry Ecker, Stacey Gross, Melinda McIntosh, Craig McMonigal, Laura O'Donnell, Denise Seif, Peggy Shaw, Phil Smith, Joan Stolz, Matthew Watt, Blaine Wright and Paul Young.

Fall gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed Sept. 1 for Labor Day.

Non-profit auction

CHAMPAIGN — The non-profit organization Walking with Angels will have a Silent Art and Jewelry Auction, plus cocktail hour, from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Indi Go Artist Co-op, 9 E. University Ave., C.

The Champaign-based Walking With Angels partners with grassroots leaders who work with people whose needs are overlooked by the international development community. The group formed about a decade ago, after community health workers asked for food and basic needs for the HIV/AIDS patients they helped in the slums of Kawangware in Kenya.

With modest donations, the founders of Walking with Angels helped establish a transportation fund for end-stage patients, to help them get to and from hospitals and drugstores and to allow them to die with dignity in their own villages. The donations also paid for Christmas and Easter food baskets for six years and malaria nets for patients.

For more on Walking with Angels, visit

Auditions for 'Leading Ladies'

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland Theatre will have open auditions from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday for the cross-dressing comedy "Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig, directed by Sandra Zelinski. The callbacks will be from 1 to 5 p.m. the next day, at the theater, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C.

Zelinski will cast eight male and female actors 18 and older in the play written by the same author of "Lend Me a Tenor" and "Moon Over Buffalo."

The plot: English Shakespearean actors Jack and Leo find themselves so down on their luck that they perform "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, Pa., is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as them to get the cash.

The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces. Romantic entanglements ensue, especially after Leo falls in love with the old lady's vivacious niece, Meg, who's engaged to the local minister. Meg knows there's a wide world out there, but it's not until she meets "Maxine and Stephanie" that she finally gets a taste of it.

People who audition will read from the script. Character descriptions and audition readings are at

No appointment is necessary to audition; the auditions are open to all members of the community, The play will be performed Oct. 2-12. For more information email or go to

Art exhibit

DANVILLE — The Danville Art League's group exhibit of 12-inch by 12-inch canvases in a variety of media and style will be on display through August and September, with the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

All of the art is available for purchase. The exhibit will be open during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Saturday at the Danville Art League building, 320 N. Franklin St. For more information call 442-9264 or visit

Poetry readings

SPRINGFIELD — Nationally recognized poets will read their work in the series "Poets in the Parlor" at the Vachel Lindsay Home and the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

The schedule:

— 2 p.m. today, Vachel Lindsay Home, 603 S. Fifth St.

Sarah Henning, author of the full-length collection "A Sweeter Water" and the chapbook "To Speak of Dahlias," has been praised for "edgy and haunted narratives" that ask questions "about the mysteries of body and spirit."

— 2 p.m. Sept. 21, Vachel Lindsay Home

Adam Clay and Ada Limn. Clay is the author of "A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World" and "The Wash." One critic wrote that Clay writes about everyday things in a way that suggests "magic is hidden everywhere." Limon has written "Sharks in the River" and the prize-winning "This Big Fake World," which has been called "part domestic fairy tale, part urban grit."

— 7 p.m. Oct. 28 Old State Capitol

Roger Reeves is the author of "King Me," which has been called "muscular, gritty, at times confrontational, but always rooted in human interactions and emotional life." His work was included in the "Best New Poets 2009" anthology; he received a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

— 2 p.m. Nov. 9, Vachel Lindsay Home

Jim Moore, author of eight poetry collections and the upcoming career retrospective "Underground: New and Selected Poems," a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. A New York Times critic says his "poems are an artful amalgam of humor and fierce attention."

— 2 p.m. Dec. 14, Vachel Lindsay Home

The "Fishbowl Open Mic" event gives Springfield-area writers a chance to share their latest work. Poets will be chosen randomly from a fishbowl and face a strict 5-minute limit. Approximately 11 spots are available.

Chicago Humanities

CHICAGO — The 25th Chicago Humanities Festival, with the theme Journeys, will feature 112 events on Oct. 6 and 21 and Oct. 25-Nov. 9. The presenters will include Mark Bittman, David Brooks, Chaz Ebert, Rene Fleming, Roxane Gay, Darlene Love, Eric Schlosser, Wallace Shawn, Patti Smith and Cheryl Strayed.

Lena Dunham also will give a pre-festival presentation that is already sold out.

To view the complete schedule, visit Tickets range from $10 to 50 and go on sale to festival members Sept. 2 and to the general public Sept. 8. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 312-494-9509 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival has been central to Chicago's cultural fabric," said festival artistic director Matti Bunzl, a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. "This year we're proud to underscore 'Journeys,' focusing not only on the festival's evolution, but also providing a platform for the world's most celebrated writers, artists, performers and scholars to share their personal and creative journeys."

Topics (3):Art, Books, Theater

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