CENTER STAGE – Members of the Sheet'ka Kwaan Dancers enter the stage Saturday at the Performing Arts Center during the Pack the PAC event. The show, which raised money to support the facility, also included performances by the Sitka Gymnastics Academy, the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Young Performers Theater, Sitka Cirque, Fireweed Dance Theatre, GSAC Sitka Community Theater and the Sitka High Drama Debate and Forensics team. The Mt. Edgecumbe High School Yup'ik Dancers, a Sitka High foreign exchange student, Blatchley Middle School jazz band and the Sitka Studio of Dance also performed. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

March 28, 2014 Community Happenings

Work Parties Set
    On SJ Campus
    Saturday volunteer work parties continue  March 29 on the SJ Campus, focused on finishing Allen Hall and improving the historic quad buildings and Yaw Chapel.
    Participants meet at Allen Hall at 9 a.m., break for a hot lunch at noon, and continue until 3 p.m.
    Volunteers will paint in Allen, pressure wash quad buildings and work on refurnishing Yaw Chapel. All are welcome to join at any time. Call Sitka Fine Arts Camp office,747-3085, with questions. 

    Active April at
    Hames Center
    Several active classes are being offered at the Hames Center in April, including zumba, pilates, tabata, spin/TRX combo and ‘‘Get It On with GIO.’’
    Classes can be modified for  all levels. Learn more at hamescenter.com.

    Parent Power
    Hour on Tap
    Parent Power Hour is being offered at the Hames Center in April.
    Hours have been expanded for parents to work out. On Tuesdays and Thursdays parents can have Isaac, Xaver and Laurne watch their children while they work out between 8:15 to 10 a.m. Kids will be experiencing large motor skill development with all the games in the gym and smaller eye/hand coordination with arts/songs in the playroom.
    Parents who purchase eight sessions will receive one free. For further information call 747-5080 or visit hamescenter.com.

    Tot Gym Slated
    Tot gym at the Hames Center, with the tunnels, scooters, toys and a big open gym, are available 9:30-10:30 a.m. Mondays and Fridays. The family price is $5. Go to hamescenter.com  or call 747-5080

    Unitarians Gather
    At Sunday’s Unitarian Fellowship meeting Tess Giant will speak on “Filling the Void: an exploration of why we fill our lives with unnecessary habits, addictions, and avoidances.’’
    Fellowship begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10:45 a.m. A children’s program is provided.  Soup and bread will follow the program at noon. The Fellowship Hall is located at 408 Marine Street, with parking behind off Spruce Street.

    STA Health
    Panel to Meet
    The STA Health Committee is set noon-1 p.m. April 4 at the STA Social Services building, 429 Katlian Street.
    A new community member will be nominated at the meeting to join the STA Health Committee. Those interested in joining the STA Health Committee can call 747-7293.


    On Dean’s List
    Berklee College of Music announces that Kirsten Stockel of Sitka has earned placement on the dean’s list for the fall semester of the 2013 academic year.
    To be eligible for this honor, a full-time student must achieve a grade point average of 3.4 or above; a part-time student must achieve a grade point average of 3.6 or above.
    The 2013 Sitka High graduate is the daughter of Grechen and Dan Stockel.

    Presentation for
    Athletes on Tap
    Free presentations for athletes and the active community are being offered 6 p.m. April 8 and 9 at Sitka Community Hospital in the downstairs classroom.
    The Alaska chapter ACSM will present Brent C. Ruby, Ph.D, FACSM, director of the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism, who will offer the two free public lectures.
    Ruby focuses on endurance athletes, as well as heat regulation and diet during exercise. He works closely with the military, Forest Service and fire departments. Anyone involved in these areas, or who are interested in general health, are welcome to attend.
    The April 8 presentation is titled “How do humans cope with heat? What are the impacts of temperature, work, and hydration?” On April 9 the topic will be “understanding the upper limits of human endurance for work and play.”
    For more information contact Alicia at 928-607-4845 or www.alaskaacsm.org.

    Fine Arts Camp
    Offers Workshops
    The Sitka Fine Arts Camp will offer new workshops and classes for adults starting in April.
    Basic and advanced digital photography, painting and illustration, senior ballet classes, and others, will be offered. A list of classes is available online at fineartscamp.org. Sign up by calling the Fine Arts Camp at 747-3085, or stop by the office in the Rasmuson building on the SJ Campus.

    After-School Arts
    Classes on Campus
    After School Arts, presented by the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, is offering several classes starting in April.
    Among the classes are paper mache animal masks, painting, book illustration, photography and celtic dance. A list of classes is available online at fineartscamp.org. Sign up by calling the Fine Arts Camp at 747-3085, or stop by the office in the Rasmuson building on the SJ Campus.

    Fill the Bistro
    Benefits CLT
    The Sitka Community Land Trust is participating in a Fill the Bistro fundraiser at Ludvig’s Bistro 5-9 p.m. April 9.
    The Sitka CLT is a project of the Sitka Community Development Corporation. For more info contact Mim at 747-2860.

    Democrats Plan
    District Convention
    House District 35 Democrats will hold their district convention 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 5 in the Blatchley Middle School library.
    Business will include: election of officers and delegates and alternates to the Democratic State Convention in Nome May 15-18; consideration of changes to the party plan and party platform; and any resolutions to forward to the state convention.
    Young Democrats are especially invited to attend, organizers said. For more information call 747-6743.

    Better Breathers
    Club to Meet
    Gail Schiemann, MPH, and senior manager of health education of the American Lung Association of Alaska, will speak at the Better Breathers Club 1-2 p.m. April 11 at the Swan Lake Senior Center.
    The American Lung Association-sponsored club is a support group for people with chronic lung disease, especially COPD, but also asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer, their families and friends.
    For more information call Rose Manning at 747-5167.


    Cast Getting In Character
    For GSAC’s ‘Parfumerie’
By Megan Pasternak
Special to the Sentinel
    Rhiannon Guevin has a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. Her specialty, and first love, is opera. Her role in the upcoming Greater Sitka Arts Council presentation of “Parfumerie” is Miss Amalia Balash, a clerk in the bath shop. Does it have music? Not a note. But that hasn’t stopped Guevin from putting her all into her first full-length “straight” theater, even though she does miss not getting to sing.
    Guevin’s first role was at the age of 7. She played a flower in “The Snow Queen,” a musical performed in Davis, Calif., where she grew up. And she hasn’t stopped giving vocal performances since.
    Guevin moved to Sitka about a year ago and landed the job of program manager for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. One of her accomplishments since then was musical director for last fall’s camp production of the popular “The Adventures of Beatrix Potter and Friends.”
    Clerk Balash has a large number of lines and a couple of major speeches. When asked if learning lines was harder than learning an aria, she replied, “Yes.  Much, much harder!”
    Unlike Guevin, Ira Snelling grew up in Sitka and has lived here most of his life. He plays George Horvath, the senior clerk at Hammerschmitt’s Parfumerie, and also Miss Balash’s secret pen pal.
     The first memory Snelling has of being in a play was “Hagar the Horrible” at Blatchley Middle School. But that’s a pretty fuzzy memory, he admitted. When he got to high school, Snelling was in choir and when the opportunity arose to audition for the musical “My Fair Lady,” he figured it was just a natural progression since he knew he could already sing. Since then, Sitkans have been treated to the many characters Snelling has portrayed on stage from “Anything Goes” to GSAC’s Alaska Day melodrama a couple of years ago. He has also directed a production, last year’s reader’s theater rendition of “Paris of the Pacific,” another GSAC melodrama that is scheduled to be on stage as a regular production this summer. Snelling is mulling over whether to direct it again.
    When asked what his theatrical aspirations are, Snelling said he “wants to fly” in the Sitka Performing Arts Center. “The theater has the capabilities for it. You know, something like Peter Pan would be great,” he said.
    Snelling is currently between jobs, doing some part time work for the Daily Sitka Sentinel, and looking for permanent employment in town.
    He said he’s enjoying his current role as George and thinks that the character would probably hang out with some of the others he’s played as they have so much in common – easy going, sincere and truly nice – traits Snelling himself possesses.
    Working hard behind the scenes coordinating the many aspects of a stage production is Shannon Haugland whose day job is reporter for this paper. She, too, has had a lot of experience with theater productions. She took a year of drama in high school in Seattle with most of her drama work in the production and technical side, including working the spotlight for “West Side Story” and Sitka Fine Arts Camp. “Parfumerie” is the fourth play in Sitka she’s worked on.
    The play, which is being directed by Sotera Perez, will be at the Sitka Performing Arts Center 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 18, 19 and 20. Tickets are $10 and $8 for students and senior citizens and available at Old Harbor Books.

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