• Crazy Janes & Ephemory

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We feature music and memory from musicians Cynthia Stillman Gerdes and Susan Alexjander about a concert with the women of Cascadia Composers called  “Crazy Janes Collaborate!” And we’ll hear from playwright Miriam Feder about ‘Ephemory’ her play that mixes memory with the ephemeral. 

‘Crazy Jane’ is the name of an earthy character invented by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats and based on a real person that Yeats admired for her audacity, lust for life and satirical eye. She is a passionate old woman who flies in the face of convention and propriety to speak her mind about love, war, character and freedom.

The women of Cascadia Composers adopted “Crazy Jane” as a muse because her bold spirit and fearlessness in expressing herself can be an inspiration to women composers – a group that has been marginalized throughout Western musical history.

Some of the older composers grew up during a time when women were barred from playing in professional orchestras and what few female musicians, and especially composers and conductors, who had existed barely merited a footnote in traditional music education.

Crazy Janes Collaborate! performance of music and dance is Friday, November 9, 7:30 PM at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stevens Street, Portland. Tickets: $5, students; $10, Cascadia members/seniors; $15, working artists; $20, general admission. More info here.

Composers include: Susan Alexjander, Amelia Bierly, Elizabeth Dyson,  Renée Favand-See, Cynthia Gerdes, Lisa Marsh, Bonnie Miksch, Jan Mittlestaedt, Sydney Stevens, and Jennifer Wright with collaborators

Included in the concert are dancers Courtney Allen, Michelle Fujii, Lavinia Magliocco and visual artists Suzy Kitman; Marilyn Maricle; Bonnie Meltzer.  Poets: Claire Sykes, Sherrill Roberts, Zayra Yves.

Musicians include Renee Favand-See, mezzo sop., Bonnie Miksch, voice;  Paloma Griffin, violin; Elizabeth Dyson, Amelia Bierly and Sherill Roberts, cellos, Rosemary Roberts, harp; Jennifer Wright, toy piano;  Sydney Stevens, Connie Titterington and Lisa Marsh, piano; Mitch Iimori, oboe and English horn; Bonnie Miksch, live computer; Susan Alexjander, synthesizer.


And in the latter part of the show, we hear from Miriam Feder about her new play Ephemory, a new play by Miriam Feder, is a story of aging, caregiving, immigration, war, and love

The story of Ephemory: While packing her mother Carole to an assisted living facility, Ruth begins to hears her mom’s stories. She hears about her mom immigrating to New York in 1938, losing track of her family as war swept the continent, and finding, reuniting. The stories come to life on stage and the play and the daughter seesthe resourcefulness and magnificence of her mother, even as Carole’s faculties diminish.

Ephemory opens November 9 at the Headwaters Theatre in Portland and runs November 9, 10, II, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 (Wednesday,) 23,24 and 25. Shows are at 7:30, except for Sundays, at 2 pm. The Headwaters is located at 55 NE Farragut, 97211.

Miriam Feder


[DIRECTIONS: From N. Vancouver Ave. turn Rat NE Farragut (3 blocks north of Lombard. Landmark=electric sub-station on N.E Comer.) At end of Farragut (~blocks) turn L into parking lot. Entrance is on the “track” side.]

TICKETS: Tickets are $15, gen. admission. Discount available for groups of 10 or more. For more info visit: https:llwww.boxofficetickets.com/enter Ephemory. (cash or check at the door only.)

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