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Cheap Thrills

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You be the judge. Shakespeare fans won't want to miss an opportunity to see and hear high school students competing for a shot at a trip to England.

The students, from more than 30 Southern Arizona high schools, will be trying to impress judges in the 17th annual Shakespeare Monologue Competition.

The winner will receive an all-expensea-paid trip to New York for the national competition in April. The winner there receives a trip to Oxford, England, to study Shakespeare in the Bard's home territory.

The event starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Laboratory Theatre, UA Campus, southeast corner of Park and Speedway. Admission is free. For more information, call 743-0519 or visit www.arts.arizona.edu/theatre.

Hey, ding-a-ling. Sonoran Bells, Tucson's only community bell ensemble, is performing, and you can catch the show for free. It's part of Chimefest, a workshop and mini-concert on Saturday at St. Mark's United Methodist Church

The workshop, for any age or level chimers, is from 8 to 11:30 a.m. The concert follows at 11:45 a.m.

St. Mark's is located at 1431 W. Magee Road. For more information, call 797-3124 or email sonoranbells@webtv.net.

Of death and dying. If you're squeamish about the idea of crapping out, you may want to pass on this one.

Ancient Skins, a new exhibition at the Tucson-Pima Arts Council Community Gallery, digs around in the themes of aging, death and rebirth. The show, featuring Tucson artists Michael Cajero, Catherine Nash and Robert Renfrow, will feature sculpture, alternative photographic processes, environmental installations and artist books.

As a group, the work explores the ephemeral and impermanent aspects of nature. The process of time, decay and dying are embodied in paper and fabric. The artists agree that work made from the organic fibers of dead plants and recontextualized into a new form is an appropriate media symbolically for exploring expressive ideas about the human condition and a vehicle to understanding mortality.

Ancient Skins will be a series of works, both two- and three-dimensional, that address aging, death and rebirth. The idea is that humans are born into the cycle of growth, death and decay interconnected with all life. Exploring the cycles of existence, this body of work transforms a medium that is derived from dead plants and recycled materials into a visual content that illuminates the underlying unity of all life.

Ancient Skins runs through April 4. An opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The gallery is located at 240 N. Stone. (One block north of the Main Library. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 624-0595, ext. 26, fax 624-3001, or visit www.tucsonpimaartscouncil.org.

A downtown deal. Looking for an outing that won't break your budget?

Art Square --Art in the City may be the ticket and the price is right: free. Fine artists and artisans will display their art, and musicians will perform in a casual, outdoor atmosphere.

The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Art Square, 172 E. Broadway. Families with children welcome. For more information, call 624-9977.

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