Creative Collateral EWU faculty produce original works
The eight stories in Half as Happy (Engine Books, 2014), Gregory Spatz’s book of short stories, reveal their characters’ secrets, losses and desires. These insightful portraits of the darkness and light within us reverberate long after they’ve ended. The stories include a grieving couple who rent a desperate landlord’s house in an effort to recover lost intimacy, twins who are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control, and a nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath that forge human connections no one could anticipate. Spatz is the author of Inukshuk, Fiddler’s Dream and No One but Us, and the story collection Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines and he has published numerous book and music reviews for The Oxford American. He is the winner of a 2012 NEA Literature Fellowship, as well as a recipient of a Michener Fellowship, an Iowa Arts Fellowship and a Washington State Book Award.
Eastern’s annual Jazz Dialogue Festival hit a magnificent musical milestone this year with a concert featuring musicians from around the world performing together, in real time, over a computer network. Moments before featured musician Robin Eubanks took the festival stage, 1,400 people watched as the EWU Concert Jazz Ensemble led this trailblazing experience, utilizing the high-speed network and Internet2 at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in downtown Spokane, Wash. The Jan. 12 concert, Jazz at the Speed of Light, featured the jazz ballad Body and Soul, performed by EWU Director of Jazz Studies Phillip Doyle and Charles “Chip” McNeill on piano inside a music room at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. McNeill could be seen via a theater-size screen on stage and was thrilled to collaborate on the project. Two additional musicians, Ari Braggi and Eythor Gunnarson, also participated in the event, but from even further away, at the University of Reykjavík in Iceland. This real-time musical cyber performance is part of the Metropolitan Area Network Optimized Music Environment (MANOME) Project at Eastern, one of the few universities in the country to actually utilize this groundbreaking technology.
Sara Goff, assistant professor of theatre, has received multiple awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). This national theater program involves 18,000 students from more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, and serves as a catalyst in improving the quality of collegiate theater in the United States. Goff was presented with an award for Excellence in Program Development at the KCACTF Region VII Festival in Fort Collins, Colo., in February 2012. She also received two Certificates of Merit for Direction for the productions, The Things They Carried (fall 2011) and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (spring 2012). The original adaptation of Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, was selected as the alternate production to perform at the February 2012 festival. Only four productions from the ninestate region (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada) are selected to perform at the Region VII festival. Goff was also invited to give a workshop on the adaptation process at the festival.