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22 July 4 - 17, 2009
Actor from Page 1
so from that point on,” Withers reminisces, “I said, at Scottsdale’s Greasepaint Youth Theatre, then last get to explore in real life,” he laughs. “You can say
‘I’m going to be an actor.’” month, rejoined the Tempe-based Childsplay, where things that maybe you wouldn’t say. You can explore
Instead of heading to Creighton University, the he worked for 20 years. different mentalities that maybe are not your own.”
Idaho transplant arrived at ASU, where he earned his There are a couple reasons Childsplay holds a Though he has performed for both children
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance. special place for the self-described “theatre artist.” and adults, youth-focused forays like Childsplay’s
Then the theatre jobs started rolling in. “It’s a group of actors who spend year after year productions always keep him on his toes.
Withers’ multifaceted resume includes a current with each other, and that’s very unusual,” Withers “The kids will just start fi dgeting, and you’ll know if
acting stint in Arizona Broadway Theatre’s “Bye Bye explains. “With the Childsplay actor relationships they’re not having a good time.”
Birdie,” which followed a recent role in Phoenix already established, acting is that much easier,” he According to Withers, a bored audience at
Theatre’s “Company.” He freelanced in numerous adds. “It’s also a steady salary with insurance benefi ts.” Childsplay is a rarity.
Valley productions, and future directing engagements Meanwhile, to Withers, the most intriguing aspect “We do pretty excellent work there.”
include “Rent” at Mesa Encore Theatre, “Johnny of theatre art is experiencing, albeit temporarily, new
Guitar” at Theater Works and “Dulce” for Cookie mindsets.
Sharon Schnakenburg is a freelance writer who can be reached
Company. “It allows you to explore all these different sorts
He just completed a one-year turn as artistic director of worlds and sides of yourself that maybe you don’t
Teachers bank on
donations for supplies
Ocotillo road work on hold
To help teachers reduce out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies –
estimated to be between $400 and $700 per teacher per year – SanTan Sun
area M&I Bank branches and others throughout the Valley are hosting supply
Improvements on Ocotillo Road between Arizona Avenue and McQueen
drives for neighborhood schools through the end of July. Each branch has a
will be postponed for about three years.
school wish list available upon request, which M&I Bank customers and local
Following a public neighborhood meeting in 2008, the City of Chandler had
residents can aim to fi ll.
been planning to widen the road to include two lanes in each direction, turn
“Teachers play a valuable role in our community that is often overlooked,”
lanes, bike lanes and a raised landscaped median.
says Dennis Jones, M&I Bank president and chairman. “Valley residents must
However, the City has reprioritized a number of street projects, and decided
take an active role by helping contribute the tools it takes to educate youth.
to postpone construction until fi scal year 2013. Questions and concerns can be
This year, some of the most frequently requested items include tissues, pencils
directed to Deputy Director of Public Works Dan Cook at 480-782-3400.
and hand sanitizer.”
To fi nd the nearest M&I Bank location, visit
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