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Bits & Pieces: New project


The August Wilson Red Door Project, which works to honor the famed late African-American playwright, has a new direction for 2016 — theater.

The group has been busy with the August Wilson Monologue Competition the past couple years, helping Portland-area students work on monologues of some of Wilson’s famous plays. The students also have worked with Russell Hornsby, of “Grimm” fame, the past couple years.

This year, the Red Door Poject will put on its first theatrical production, “Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments,” a powerful set of monologues commissioned by The New Black Fest in the wake of police shootings of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, and others. Seven black playwrights have been commissioned to write monologues that explore their feelings about the well-being of black people in a culture of institutional profiling.

The performance will be held at Cerimon House, Reed College and Artists Repertory Theatre, April 14 through 30.

The Red Door Project has postponed, until March 2017, the August Wilson Monologue Competition to work on “Hands Up” and other projects.

Attention gamers

A big international video game exhibition, “Game Masters,” will make its North American debut at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Feb. 13 through May 8.

It features more than 125 playable games in the 10,000 square feet and two floors of exhibition space, and the exhibit shows the evolution and design of gaming from the Missile Command and Pac-Man days, through Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Zelda on game consoles to the current fascinations of Real Racing 2, Minecraft, Machinarium, World of Warcraft, The Sims and Lego film-franchises tie-ins such as “Star Wars.”

“We’re honored to be the first museum in North America to host this visually stunning and relatable exhibit,” says Nancy Steuber, OMSI president and CEO, in a news release. “It’s fitting that a city as tech-forward and creative as Portland be given the chance to showcase the talent, ingenuity and design that brought so many beloved games to life.”

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne created “Game Masters.” For more: http://www.omsi.edu.

Bowie’s youth

The death of David Bowie saddened the music world. A West Linn man has some memories of the icon — from Patrick Malee’s story in the West Linn Tidings:

Some 50 years ago, when West Linn resident Tony Perry was working as an editor at the Beckenham and Penge Advertiser newspaper in South London, a skinny young musician walked through the door in search of some local publicity.

His name was David Bowie.

A native of the nearby borough of Brixton, Bowie had not yet achieved worldwide fame. As Perry recalls, Bowie was a young man looking for any way to get his name out in the world.

“He was well on the road (to fame), but he felt a little pub from the local paper would help,” Perry said. “I was happy to oblige. ... He was nice enough of a person: young, slim, but nothing else I can remember.”

At the time, Perry knew nothing of his music. The interview was conducted in the front office of the newspaper, though Perry said the article amounted to little more than “a few paragraphs.”

The memories, of course, were brought back when Bowie died Jan. 10 at the age of 69. “It’s very sad, his passing,” Perry said. “When people walk in the office, you never know what their future will hold for them.”

New director

The Oregon Zoo’s new director, Donald E. Moore, begins his new job Feb. 29. For the past 10 years, he has been the senior scientist at the Smithsonian National Zoo, and he has 40 years of experience in wildlife conservation, animal welfare and zoo management.

Moore says he is passionate about climate change and the actions people can take to help protect polar bears and other arctic animals. He has written a children’s book, Disney’s “Wonderful World of Animals.” He hails from upstate New York and lives in Maryland with his wife, dog and native plant gardens. He has done extensive conservation biology research in Spain, Malaysia and South America, among his past experiences.