Seven things that are happening this week.
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What's Happening This Week

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State of the Arts
URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery
80 Washington Street, Providence

State of the Arts is an annual exhibit featuring work by students, faculty, and alumni from the state’s three public colleges. URI closed its Fine Arts Center in Kingston back in 2008, and the school’s Providence gallery is actually a half-baked series of disjointed hallways, which is a sad commentary on Rhode Island's academic arts facilities. Nevertheless, this year’s exhibit covers a lot of territory; there are moccasins and costumes from a production of Hedda Gabler and memorial paintings of Maya Angelou and Robin Williams. Highlights include RIC alumni Michaela Busse’s band-aid colored monoprints and professor William Martin’s wood and steel Top, as well as URI professor Gary Richman’s outsider-ish book Dr. Dogwit's Last Lecture at Etemenanki.

Tuesday - 7:30PM

The Wilbury Group, 393 Broad Street
$5 [suggested]

The Wilbury Group's New Works program allows audiences to witness the entire birth cycle of a play, from readings and rehearsals through workshops and eventual production. The latest drama in the series is age/sex/location by Pawtucket playwright Holly Jensen. A thirty year old woman is trapped at a dead end job. While her unemployed husband becomes fixated on a much younger performer, she inadvertently makes a new friend online. (The catch: the friend thinks she's fourteen.)

Wednesday - 8:00PM

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld
Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway

Montreal saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld have a pedigree that’s either impressive or horrifying, depending on how you feel about Arcade Fire. Neufeld was in the band for seven years (and still tours with them), while Stetson has also toured with the polarizing Canadians. Both artists have well-regarded solo careers, but as a two-piece Stetson and Neufeld make expansive, experimental but oddly appealing music. Never were the way she was, their first album together, is out now and worth a listen.

Thursday - 8:00PM(ish)

Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Grant's Block (Westminster & Union Streets)

I always wondered what happened to Elizabeth Daily, the actress who plays Dottie in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. (Dottie is one of the best parts of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, although really that could be said about most parts of Pee Wee's Big Adventure.) It turns out that she’s been doing voice work for decades now. She voiced Tommy Pickles on Rugrats and Buttercup on The Powerpuff Girls, and she also worked on Eek! The Cat and Duckman, that show where Jason Alexander was a widower private eye and also a duck.


Ocean State Summer Writing Conference
University of Rhode Island, Kingston

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Tracy K. Smith (Life On Mars, 2011) and fiction writer Antonya Nelson (Funny Once, 2014) headline URI’s ninth annual Ocean State Summer Writing Conference. Smith recently published her first book of prose, Ordinary Light, which Publishers Weekly describes as “a nuanced memoir with a quiet emotional power.” Beginning with the loss of her mother and working backwards, the book chronicles Smith’s growth as a writer and as a woman. Both keynotes (Nelson’s at 12:15, Smith’s at 4:30) are free and open to the public.

Saturday - 6:30PM

This Land Is Our Land
Roger Williams National Memorial
248 North Main Street

Now in its twelfth year, Manton Avenue Project works with children in Olneyville to write short plays which are then produced by a rotating cast of adult volunteers. It’s a nice reminder that children can sometimes be interesting people, and there’s a surreal quality to each show that’s really entertaining. This Land Is Our Land is a suite of plays written by ten third-graders from William D’Abate Elementary School, and each relates in some way to the importance of public parks.

Sunday - 9:00PM

Tica Douglas
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street


Singer-songwriter Tica Douglas makes folky, guitar-propelled songs that are crooned quietly in the singer's distinctive, vulnerable voice. The artist’s second album, Joey, deals pensively with issues of gender. It’s extremely intimate, not necessarily in detail but in the way that it sounds like someone in their bedroom writing melodies over snippets of diary entries. It’s not really everyday listening unless you’re super into, say, early Cat Power. Douglas shares the bill with the livelier Double King and Pixels.
Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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