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Tribute to a Teacher

A Class by Themselves

On display through Oct. 8

Tucson International Airport

Lower Link Gallery

7250 S. Tucson Blvd.

573-8187;

tucsonairport.org

There are countless art exhibits hanging on walls around Tucson—but A Class by Themselves, at the Tucson International Airport, is a very special exhibit, due to the fact that the students of Larry Wollam designed the show to show appreciation for their teacher.

Wollam has been instructing students for 38 years, and is known for his popular classes offered through the Pima County Parks and Recreation Department. He offers his pupils not only knowledge, but an appreciation for art. Some students have been taking his classes for more than 20 years. He was a 2009 Tucson Pima Arts Council Lumie Award Nominee.

"We have (had art on display at) a wide variety of venues in the past, but this is the first time we have done an art exhibit that was in a tribute form," Wollam said. "My students were the ones who put this all together, and they decided to make it a tribute to me. I'm very honored and touched that they put this whole thing together."

There are a number of different types of artwork on display, including watercolor paintings, graphite drawings and colored-pencil work—all done by Wollam and his students.

The artwork can also be purchased, with the prices ranging from $300 to $2,000.

"For the people who attend, they can expect a number of different types of artwork. There are 34 pieces of art on display that my students have done, and about 14 pieces of my own artwork," Wollam said. "The students pick their own art that they want to be put on display."

Admission to the art exhibit, of course, is free. The airport is open 24 hours. —D.O.


Inner Strength

Hercules

1 p.m., Sunday, through Oct. 10

Live Theatre Workshop

5317 E. Speedway Blvd

327-4242;

www.livetheatreworkshop.org/attcurrent.html

Greek mythology has been enjoyed by people for centuries—and the All Together Theatre at Live Theatre Workshop is now using Greek mythology to entertain kids.

We all know the story of Hercules: He is the strongest man in the world, because his father is Zeus, the King of the Gods. But at LTW, the story Hercules goes beyond his supernatural strength—and focuses on the type of person Hercules is becoming.

Christopher Johnson, the play's writer and director, said he believes that Hercules will be both entertaining and educational to children.

"The play begins with Hercules at a young age, and he has an enormous ego," Johnson explained. "Zeus sends him to a trainer—not to help his son on his physical strength, but to teach him how to become a better person. We wanted to do a play about Greek mythology, because it is a topic that can be educational for the kids. We do a lot of fairytale plays, but with this one, the children can have fun and learn at the same time."

Johnson said that children's plays offer theater producers a special challenge—because kids are not that easy to entertain.

"The kids that attend our plays have a great time, because the shows are interactive," Johnson said. "In Hercules, there is a part where the kids can get on stage to do an arm-wrestling match with him. I believe that children's audiences are the hardest to please, because they have to be engaged while watching a play. It's a good feeling to be able to put on a good show and see all the kids have an enjoyable experience."

Admission to Hercules costs $5

to $8. —D.O.


Opera Intro

Mignon

7 p.m., Friday and

Saturday, through Aug. 28

Red Barn Theater

948 N. Main Ave.

622-6973;

www.theredbarntheater.com

Let's face it: While Tucson is blessed with countless productions mounted by a variety of theater companies, some of the offerings can be ... well, repetitive. Thankfully, the Red Barn Theater is putting on a show that promises to be different—from the time you take your seat until the final curtain.

The piece is Mignon, a French opera written by Ambroise Thomas. Mignon tells the story of a child who is kidnapped after her mother dies. Her father then roams Europe to find his lost daughter. The opera is set in the 1800s and is filled with beautiful costumes, lovable music and creative dance numbers.

Putting on an opera show is no simple task, according to the Red Barn's Rosemary Snow, who has been doing theater for about 11 years.

"Creating this world for the play was not as easy as it seems. The most difficult part was finding people who could actually act and sing, to put on a great performance," Snow said. "There are a number of different types of ballads in Mignon. ... Our main focus is for the audience to appreciate the music and enjoy the opera."

Snow said she is pleased to be a part of the production, because there are not many theaters doing opera.

"This is my first year being a part of an opera show, and I believe ... opera has not really been explored by Tucson theaters. With this show, we are planning for it to be an introduction to opera for the people who have not seen one before."

Admission to Mignon is $5. Call for more information. —D.O.


Up With Culture

Up With People: A Song for the World

7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 21;

2 and 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 22

Mountain View High School Auditorium 3901 W. Linda Vista Blvd.

(218) 355-0239;

upwithpeople.org/marana

Up With People, a community/cultural organization featuring people from around the world, is returning to Tucson with an all-new show, A Song for the World.

Dru Svoboda, one of the young Up With People cast members, says the event will offer a wide variety of entertainment for the entire family. A Song for the World features more than 90 performers and staff members, representing 20 different countries.

"When people attend this event, they can expect a number of performances, including popular urban music, full cast productions, nice choreography and creative costumes honoring different cultures around the world," Svoboda said. "We are also going to get the audience involved by bringing them on stage to dance with the staff. We want to make this event fun and exciting for the people. They can expect high energy."

The Up With People cast also wants to use the event to show the community their main focus: giving back to the community.

"We go to different middle schools to talk the children about culture and diversity in a positive way," Svoboda said. "Making a positive impact in the community is very fulfilling, and we plan to show everyone what it is that we are doing."

Admission for A Song for the World is $20 for adults, and $14 for students and children. Visit the website to purchase tickets or get more information. —D.O.

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