Thursday, February 28, 2013

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown: Behind the Scenes with Buddy Todd

Photo by Pierce Provonost
As we approach the debut of the upcoming Edmonds CC musical, ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,’ May 16-19, we want to give folks an inside look at the cast and crew who are making this production possible.

In our first ‘Behind the Scenes’ installment we interviewed Buddy Todd; Buddy is the choreographer and playing the famous Charlie Brown in our spring musical, he’s also the ArtsNow/uLearn Programming Assistant for the Edmonds Conference Center and the Acting Basics Instructor for ArtsNow/uLearn.  Sounds like a jack of all trades!

Want to learn more about Buddy? We did too. Here’s what we found out: 

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
"Send Me on My Way" by Rusted Root and "Psycho Killer" by The Talking Heads. What can I say? I'm a little twisted.

Who's the funniest person you know?
One of my best friends, Angela Snyder. However, it's usually unintentional-but I get a kick out of her. She is also really good at getting me to laugh at myself.

Who do you admire and why?
This sounds cheesy, but I truly admire the "Charlie Browns" in the world. Life isn't always fair; life isn't always kind. As nice as it would be to have some great cosmic equalizer to make life easier, I really admire those who take another shot at kicking the day..."Lucy" won't move it away fast enough, and, MAN, that thing is going to soar! 

What actor/actress/performer past or present do you wish you could interview and why?
Robert Downey Jr.: He has an amazing body of work and has managed to resurrect his career multiple times. I feel that, despite his current commercial success, he is still underrated as the emotional, soulful, performer that he is. 

Who was the last person you hugged?
Um...some stranger that liked a karaoke song I sang last night. 

What makes you unique?
I can see humor in virtually any situation. I am the world's easiest laugh-er.

What are 3 things you cannot live without?
Honestly? Food, water, and a clean place to go to the bathroom. 

What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island?
A boat. Unless it has to be something I can carry, which would either be a map of the island or instructions on how to build a boat from things you'd find on a deserted island.

What did you wanna be when you were a kid?
An actor. I've always been hardwired for this. Although, there was a phase when I was three and I wanted to be God, which is why I like to direct too.

Why did you decided to audition for Charlie Brown?
My decision to work on the show was based on my desire to perform in the gorgeous Black Box space and to collaborate with Jennifer Matthews.

What are most looking forward to about the show?
I absolutely love the rehearsal process - especially when there is a strong ensemble of actors who bring interesting and bold character choices with them. I can't wait to develop on-and-offstage relationships and mold them into a fun and compelling story for our audiences. 

What do you hope to learn from this process?
 I don't have a specific educational goal with this particular production. However, being a part of the cast, as well as the creative team, I anticipate a lot of learning and growing.

Tickets for ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown' are now on sale! 


$15 General Admission
$10 Students, Youth (17 and under) and Seniors (65+)


May 16-19, 2013
Thur., Fri., Sat.: 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sun.: 2:00 p.m.

* For questions, to purchase tickets over the phone or to inquire about group sales, please call the Box Office (425) 640-1448. Advance reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited and some shows will sell out. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Solar Sized Savings

The sun is closer, and more lucrative, than you think. ArtsNow/uLearn’s two upcoming classes: “Solar for Your Home?” and “Solar Home Design”, are geared to take the mystery out of harnessing the powers of the sun.
The Puget Sound may be known for its rain, but we receive 3.8 peak sunlight hours in a day (compared to Germany, whose whopping 44% of their energy production comes from the sun, receives 3.2). According to Chris Herman, President of Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative, “Seattle gets 70% of the annual solar radiation that Los Angeles receives.”
The following items were revealed in the Seattle Times on February 10:
Solar power and solar energy used to be something that only the extremely wealthy or the extremely “green” could harness. Not anymore, according to Martha Rose, vice president of the Master Builders Association, “We’re at the sweet spot in the history of solar power. With a federal tax credit totaling 30 percent on material and installation costs, along with state [incentives] that increase if materials are purchased from Washington state manufacturers, a solar energy system can pay for itself in five to 10 years”.
Clearly, now is the time for area residents to take advantage of this affordable and sustainable energy source.
So, what is the first step? Educate yourself: Herman, will be teaching “Solar for Your Home?”, with ArtsNow/uLearn, on February 23. He will show what improvements can be made on your home, and assist your journey into sustainability and living green. For a more in-depth look at solar power for your home, Herman will be teaching “Solar Home Design” on March 10.
For more information on these, and other ArtsNow/uLearn classes, visit or call 425-640-1243.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vote for the 2013/2014 Edmonds CC Community Read book

The 2012/13 Edmonds CC Community Read with author Jaime Ford of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and sweet" was a huge success thanks to campus and community support! To keep this momentum going, we want to give you the opportunity to vote on which book you’d like to see as the Community Read for next year.

How do you vote? It's simple! Please take a few minutes to read each description and then click on the link below to vote.

1)    We Are Absolutely Not Okay: Fourteen Stories By Teenagers Who Are Picking Up the Pieces, Marjie Bowker (Editor), Ingrid Ricks (Editor), 2012, 80 pages
Imagine being asked to pull a gun on a stranger. Or having a gun shoved in your face by the man you call step dad  Envision feeling so depressed you cut yourself repeatedly or down a bottle of pills to make the pain go away. Consider what it takes to tell your parents that you are transgender, or what it feels like to have the dad you love addicted to meth. We Are Absolutely Not Okay is a collection of unsparing true stories written by fourteen teenagers who have experienced life at its darkest but have made it through and are now picking up the pieces. By writing and sharing their stories, they are coping with their past and seizing their future. They are also reaching out to other teenagers-to let them know that they are not alone and that even if their life now is Absolutely Not Okay, they have the power within themselves to make it better.

2)     Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, 2007, 529 pages
The central character is Cal Stephanides, who is raised a female but around age 15 realizes that something is very different about her. It turns out that she actually is a hermaphrodite, and Cal decides to live from then on as a man. Middlesex could have simply portrayed this story as Cal's fictional autobiography, but the story digs much deeper than that. Author Jeffrey Eugenides uses Cal's transformation as a metaphor for the entire immigrant experience in America as seen through multiple generations of the Stephanides family. Not simply about sexual roles in society, Middlesex is about the immigrant experience in the United States and the forging of new identities. 

3)     The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollen, 2001, 297 pages
Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

4)     The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, 2010, 384 pages
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.

5)     The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, 2008, 339 pages
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fuk├║—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

6)     The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, 2011, 336 pages
The Happiness Project is one of the most thoughtful works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject. Rubin weaves together philosophy, scientific research, history, analysis, and real-life experiences as she explains what worked for her—and what didn’t. Her conclusions are sometimes counter-intuitive – for example, she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent correctly – but they resonate with readers of all backgrounds. Filled with practical advice, sharp insight, charm, and humor, The Happiness Project manages to be illuminating yet entertaining, profound yet compulsively readable. But The Happiness Project isn’t just an engaging and provocative book. Gretchen’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project. Gretchen has a wide, enthusiastic following, and her idea for a “happiness project” no longer describes just a book or a blog; it’s a movement. Happiness Project groups have sprung up from Los Angeles to Enid, Oklahoma to Boston, where people meet to discuss their own happiness projects.

7)     Wolves in the Land of Salmon by David Moskowitz, 2013, 336 pages
The author is a principle investigator for the Cascade Wildlife Monitoring Project that provided for the first indisputable documentation of the return of wolves to the state of Washington five years ago. Up to a dozen different packs are now found throughout much of Washington, even in Teanaway near Cle Elum, just a 90 minute drive from heart of Seattle. Dave takes readers on the journey of a wildlife tracker and photographer to see first-hand the wolf packs that have reestablished themselves not just in Washington but throughout the Pacific Northwest. The book is an adventure narrative with compelling photographs, combined with a scientific overview of the ecological role of wolves in various ecosystems, and an intriguing analysis of the controversy provoked by the return of North America's iconic social carnivore to our landscapes. Dave provides narrative and photographic evidence of wolves fishing for salmon and scavenging marine mammals, illustrating that an up close and personal study of wolves in the land of salmon adds significantly to our understanding of this carnivore on a global scale.

Thank you for voting! If you have additional ideas for our Community Read, feel free to nominate a book choice of your own here.  We would love to hear from you!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Washington State Studio Network Showcase highlights local filmmakers

The WSSN Showcase, March 1, highlights Washington state cinema produced by local citizens and shown in local venues.

The Washington State Studio Network (WSSN) and the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College present the WSSN Showcase, a selection of Washington state’s finest cinematic talents, 7 p.m., March 1, on the Edmonds CC campus—20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. Tickets are $7 and available online or at the door.

The WSSN has teamed up with Bellingham Film Festivals (BFF) to pioneer this rare opportunity in independent film distribution. "Independent film too often goes unseen and unheard, sitting in the basements, closets, and hard drives of their creators,” said John Baunsgard, head operator for WSSN. “This is a chance for Washington citizens to see what their neighbors are creating."

Currently, submissions are being accepted until Feb. 22. Selected submissions will be shown in Bellingham and in Lynnwood at the Black Box Theatre. The showcase will include films in categories such as animation, documentary, music videos, commercial, experimental, and amateur (17 and under).

The objective of the WSSN is to establish a working relationship for film distribution with college campuses and art house theaters. The WSSN also provides a co-op structure for local film companies to pool resources and cooperatively bring their individual visions to fruition, all while pioneering independent distribution.

St. Patty’s Day Swing Dance March 13 features The MoodSwings

Photo by Pierce Provonost

The Holiday Swing Dance was so popular this past December, the Black Box Theatre is bringing it back!

Join Edmonds Community College for a St. Patty’s Day Swing Dance and concert, featuring The MoodSwings — a Northwest-based all-female big band — 6 p.m., March 13, in the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now at 425.640.1448, online, or at the box office on campus in Mukilteo Hall.

Festivities kick off with dance lessons at 6 p.m. Then, The MoodSwings will get your toes-a-tapping from 7-9 p.m. with the sweet sounds of big band legends like Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Hoagy Carmichael.

The MoodSwings, a nonprofit group of musically-minded women, are dedicated to enabling female musicians of all ages to develop skills in the jazz music genre. They are renowned throughout the Northwest for their versatile repertoire of jazz, Latin, and swing tunes.

The evening also includes a dance demonstration and other entertaining activities. Refreshments will also be available for purchase throughout the night.

Proceeds benefit the Edmonds Community College Foundation. Established in 1982, Edmonds Community College Foundation supports access, success, and excellence for students, faculty, and staff at Edmonds Community College.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jamie Ford at Edmonds Community College on Feb. 27

Read about the upcoming Edmonds CC Community Read with author Jaime Ford in The Herald's article "Seattle-set novel broken down at EdCC lecture"

Also, check out this article from My Journal magazine's "Jamie Ford at Edmonds Community College on February 27."

Jaime Ford will speak in the Black Box Theatre on the Edmonds CC campus on Feb. 27, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Humanities Washington brings engaging conversation series to Edmonds

Lecture series exploring media and entertainment at Edmonds Community College

Humanities Washington presents Hazel Miller Conversations in the Humanities, a lecture series designed to invite participation from new audiences and encourage exploration of new topics.

All six conversations begin at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood, WA 98036, and are free and open to the public.

Speakers will facilitate discussions on a range of topics, including the state of journalism, female superheroes in pop culture, baseball and its history, world literature, and more. The series is a result of a partnership between Humanities Washington; the Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement program at Edmonds CC; and Sno-Isle Libraries.

Hazel Miller Conversations in the Humanities will feature members of Humanities Washington’s 2012-14 Speakers Bureau, a cohort of presenters who facilitate conversations about humanities topics. For more information and videos about each of these presentations, visit

The Hazel Miller Conversations in the Humanities lineup includes:

  • Feb. 12: Acclaimed Asian-American author Shawn Wong presents “How to Write a Novel in Only 30 Years,” a reflection on the writing process.

  • March 12: Veteran journalist Claudia Rowe presents “The New Front Page: 21st Century Journalism and What It Means for You,” a conversation about how the news business is changing — and what that means for us as readers, viewers, and listeners.

  • April 9: Historian Bill Woodward presents “Coming Home: Baseball’s America,” a talk about baseball’s grip on America, using metaphors of hope and homecoming to trace the history of the game and our nation.

  • May 21: Pop culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller presents “Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology,” a conversation examining the significance of the heroine in popular culture.

  • Oct. 8: University of Washington professor Anu Taranath presents “The World in Washington: An Exploration of Literature and Our Lives,” a discussion about the powerful literature written by a wide range of Washingtonians, focusing on issues of racial difference and cultural diversity.

  • Nov. 12: Film critic Robert Horton presents “The End of the Trail: How the Western Movie Rode into the Sunset,” a consideration of Western movies of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and what these films say about the culture of that period.

Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. For more about Humanities Washington, visit

Unexpected Productions presents 'Comedy of Love' Feb. 15-16

Stumped on what to do in the wake of Valentine's Day? Celebrate in the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds Community College--  20000 68th Avenue W. Lynnwood-- with a special Valentine's Day themed improv show, Comedy of Love, Fri., Feb 15 and Sat., Feb., 16, at 8:05 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available online or at the door.

Presented by Unexpected Productions, Comedy of Love explores the passions of the holiday through hilarious comedy improv. Watch as veteran improvisers take on love, lust and everything in between, all based on audience inspiration. All ages are welcome. Comedy of Love has been a hit since 2005. The six performers are couples themselves.