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'Things We Do'

Oregon Stage Works will present "Things We Do," a series of plays about the Israeli- Palestinian crisis and the human cost of armed conflict.

The series will preview at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, May 11-12, at the theater, 191 A St., Ashland. The shows will open at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, and will run at 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 31.

"Things We Do" will be presented in two parts, with two plays showing each night. Part one includes "Masked" and "My Name is Rachel Corrie." Part two is "The Jewish Wife" and "A Tiny Piece of Land." A fifth play, "Anxious State," will be read one night only at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 17, and requires a separate ticket. Post-play discussions are planned.

Part One is set against the backdrop of the first Palestinian uprising or Intifada. "Masked," by Jewish Israeli playwright Ilan Hatsor examines the effect the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has on three Palestinian brothers. Directed by Peter Alzado, the cast features Clinton Clark, J.R. Storment and Robin Downward. The play raises complex questions about loyalty and duty and about obligations to one's family, one's country and oneself. Hatsor noted that the same story has played out in Ireland, Bosnia and now Iraq.

Adapted from the writings, e-mails and diary of Rachel Aliene Corrie by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner, "My Name is Rachel Corrie" is a one-woman show directed by Peter Alzado and featuring Shayna Marie.

Corrie, an American college student from Olympia, Wash., became a member of the International Solidarity Movement and travelled to Gaza during the second Intifada. While protesting with other members of the ISM against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli Defense Forces, Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. The details of the events surrounding Corrie's death are disputed.

Part Two. "The Jewish Wife," a short piece by Bertolt Brecht, takes place in Berlin in the mid 1930s, and focuses on a middle-class doctor's wife. Realizing that she is a liability to her gentile husband and in grave personal danger herself, she decides to leave Berlin alone. Alzado and Evelyn Hansen direct Barbara Rosen and Brian Wallace.

"A Tiny Piece of Land," by Mel Weiser and Joni Browne-Walders, tells the story of an Israeli family who lived in Gaza, but are now being resettled in the Negev. Alzado directs, and the cast includes Isabelle Alzado, Shayna Marie, Sam King and Jeff Golden. Weiser and Browne-Walders will be in Ashland for the play's opening.

"Anxious State," is a one-act play by local playwright and rabbi, Marc Sirinsky. It will be read by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Anthony Heald and be directed by Lenny Neimark. The play is adapted from the book, "If A Place Can Make You Cry," by Daniel Gordis, a rabbi and a scholar of Jewish studies.

Gordis left Los Angeles in 1998 with his family and moved to Israel. He started sending e-mails to friends and colleagues about his and his family's lives in Israel and their loss of innocence.

Production manager for the shows is Tyler Malavoz, the sound designer is Jackson Campbell, props are by J.C. Cook and set construction is by Rowdy Yates.

Tickets are $20 and are good for all four shows. Patrons are encouraged to attend on consecutive nights. Tickets for "Anxious State" cost a suggested donation of between $10 and $20. See, oregonstageworks.org, or call 482-2334.

Clinton Clark, J.R. Storment and Robin Downward in a scene from “Masked,” one of the plays featured in “Things We Do” at Oregon Stage Works. - Oregon Stage Works