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04 Broadcaster Press May 29, 2012 www.broadcasteronline.com Gordon-Bland: Festival prep at ‘full throttle’ Spotlight On By Travis Gulbrandson travis.gulbrandson@plaintalk.net Preparations for the first annual South Dakota Shakespeare Festival are at the “full-throttle stage.” That’s what the festival’s artistic director, Chaya Gordon-Bland, who added that rehearsals for the show – “As You Like It” – are taking place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. so they’ll be ready for the festival on June 8-10. “We have a four-week contract that we have actors under, so about a three and a half week rehearsal period, and then tech and dress performances in the park,” she said. “So we are near the end of our second week of rehearsals. … We’re rolling right along.” The festival, which will take place in Prentis Park, has grown in scope and momentum at a rate its organizers had not anticipated. “It’s been a tremendous investment of time, energy and resources to make things go,” Gordon-Bland said. “It’s wonderful that we have that challenge, that there’s just been so much enthusiasm for it.” This won’t be the first time Gordon-Bland has helmed a Shakespearian play. In the past she has directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night” among others. She said she has participated in the various aspects of theatre most of her life, but did not think it would be a career path. Then, during the summer after her junior year in college – where she had a double major in chemistry and dance – Gordon-Bland took an internship with a New York City theatre company. “When I got to the end of my undergraduate career, I had some difficult choices to make, because I did love science, and I do love science,” she said. But the internship was “a really great experience,” and led her to decide to move to New York and pursue being an artist. For the next nine years she was involved in lots of different projects, either as a dancer or actor, after which point she returned to the college setting and earned her master’s degree in theatre arts from the University of Pittsburgh. Following two years at Michigan State, GordonBland came to the University of South Dakota, where she serves as an assistant professor in the theatre department. Her teaching interests include movement and Shakespeare. “In terms of teaching, I teach the full movement curriculum for actors, which is basically a threesemester curriculum,” she said. “It begins with a course entitled ‘Fundamentals of Voice and Movement’ that all of our performance majors take as sort of a gateway course into their other technique classes.” She also instructs a twosemester movement curriculum that works with physical characterization, as well as Shakespeare and period style courses. “I’m very happy to say (USD) was an excellent fit for me,” Gordon-Bland said. “I have the opportunities here to work in areas that I’m passionate about and interested in, and to work with wonderful, gracious and hungry students.” Gordon-Bland said she enjoys many aspects of her job, but most important for her is the creative space it allows. “There’s a lot of creativity that goes into the teaching work, there’s a lot of creativity that goes into the designing curriculum. I do a lot of mask work with my students, I get to introduce them to ideas, approaches that they haven’t necessarily worked with before,” she said. “It’s very, very creative work, whether I am performing or directing or in the classroom. “There’s a lot of room for me to explore creatively, and I feel that I have tremendous support here to pursue those creative ideas, and have my own creative identity and make my own contribution here,” she said. The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is organized by Coyoteopoly. For more information, visit http://orgs.usd.edu/coyote opoly/ShakespeareFestival/ Transient vendors: Get the facts before you buy Transient vendor season is underway in South Dakota, a time when out-of-state vendors roll into the state to sell their products and services. While many of the vendors are legitimate, the South Dakota Department of Revenue advises people to take common-sense steps to ensure vendors are reputable before doing business with them. If you’re considering hiring a person to provide repair or construction services, the department advises you to: • Ask for a price quote, in advance, in writing. • Question the contractor about a permanent address and telephone number, and don’t assume that if the information they provide is local, they’re a local business. Transient vendors often have business cards printed with local mailing services or motel addresses and telephone numbers. • Ask for a list of local references and check them before making a decision. • Ask if the contractor has worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. If vendors are not properly insured, homeowners may be liable for accidents that occur on their property. • Be careful about paying for work in advance; before making final payments, make sure transient vendors have paid their local suppliers or you may be held liable for unpaid materials. • Make sure you’re completely satisfied with the work before paying the bill, and don’t pay more for the job than originally quoted unless you’ve given written approval for the additional work or cost. Out-of-state vendors often travel to South Dakota to sell items like fruit, seafood, meat packages, paintings, magazine subscriptions, rugs, T-shirts, sunglasses, household cleaners, furniture, stuffed animals, and asphalting and roofing services. Asking the right questions when approached by those vendors can help you avoid making a purchase you may regret: • Question the salesperson about the product, warranties, guarantees, etc. • Get something in writing with the company’s name, address and phone number. • Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires everyone selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license. To verify if the license is valid, call the Department’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-8299188. All sellers must provide you with a contract or receipt at the time of sale showing the date, merchant’s name and address, and a statement informing you of your right to cancel the contract within three days. After proper cancellation, the seller has 10 days to refund your money. If you have doubts about the vendor or think you may have been the victim of a scam, call your local police department or county sheriff ’s office immediately. You can also contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-3001986 or by email at consumerhelp@state.sd. us. Be prepared to give as much information as you can about the vendor, including the name of the company and salesperson; company address and telephone number; and make, model and license number (if possible) of the vehicle the vendor was driving. Without tips from the public, law enforcement officials may not be able to catch illegal vendors before they move on to the next community. For more information on transient vendors, contact the South Dakota Department of Revenue’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-8299188. SUMMER SALE Tour – Womens New Styles Journey – Mens PRECISION PAINTING A17407 INTERIOR • EXTERIOR COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL Quality Workmanship, Reasonable Rates Since 1983 CLINT TUCKER • 624-4621 Addicted to Pain Meds? 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