Fall arts incoming

Oct. 24—MOSES LAKE — A two-actor look at retirement, a group touring local schools to celebrate Hispanic heritage, music and dance honoring the culture and history of Ghana, a theater camp for children. Those are among the performances scheduled for the 2023-24 Columbia Basin Allied Arts season, which opens Friday.

Performers span the range of the arts, from dance to drama, and CBAA director Shawn Cardwell said that's by design.

"We really are striving to have diversity in the shows. Something for everyone," Cardwell said.

The opening performance of 2023-24 is "Assisted Living: The Musical," a two-person play detailing life at Pelican Roost, a home for the retired — but not dead. The two actors play 18 different characters, residents and staff alike.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wallenstien Theater, 6989 College Parkway NE on the Big Bend Community College campus.

"It's a mature comedy for an immature audience," Cardwell said.

Local assisted living facilities have been alerted about the show, she said, and some are making a field trip.

"It's just so healthy to laugh at ourselves," she said.

"Assisted Living" is the first of four performances in CBAA's Premiere series. There's a separate Green Turtle series specifically for children.

The Green Turtle series sponsors visits to schools throughout the region by actors and musicians, along with theater camps. "Bienvenidos" is the first program of the season, featuring the stories of writers and performers from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. The visit is scheduled for this fall.

The Portland Cello Project performs in concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Wallenstien Theater. The company's website said its goal is to bring cello to places it wouldn't normally be seen, and play music not normally associated with cello. Cardwell said the group is bringing at least six cellos, a percussionist and vocalist.

The Silhouettes dance ensemble performs in concert March 1 at the Wallenstien. The ensemble performs behind a screen, a technique called shadow dancing. The troupe has performed on the show "America's Got Talent" and in Las Vegas.

The Silhouettes will perform "Love Happens," which looks at different types of love, from friends to pets to families, its joys and some of its sorrows.

Dance can be a little difficult to relate to, but the troupe makes it easier with their technique, she said.

"We're trying to make the theater arts accessible for everybody," Cardwell said.

Cellist Gideon Freudmann brings "Cellobop" to local schools in spring 2024 as part of the Green Turtle series. Freudmann will be playing selections on both the acoustic and electric cello.

The Green Turtle theater camp is scheduled for the week of April 1. Participants will rehearse and perform "Peter and Wendy," based on the classic tale of Peter Pan.

Dancer and musician Okaidja Afroso tells a story of his native Ghana in "Jaku Mumor," appearing at the Wallenstien on April 27. Afroso focuses on the traditions of the Ga-Dangme region, where music is part of the preparation for going out to sea for local fishermen.

Cardwell said she'd heard Afroso in concert, and it didn't matter that he sang in the Ga language.

"Something about the music told me the story just as much as the words did," she said.

Ticket prices remain the same as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, and are available for the season or for individual shows. Tickets for individual shows range from $15 to $30, and season tickets are available for three or four shows, starting at $100.

Tickets can be purchased on the CBAA website, www.cba-arts.org.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.