How the News Ends Up in Novels
"Snatched From the Headlines: How Current Events Inspire Arizona Mystery Writers"
2:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30
3146 E. Fort Lowell Road
Join local mystery writers at a book-signing as they discuss the inspirations behind their news-themed novels.
At Clues Unlimited, owner Chris Burke holds book-signings throughout the year. In cases such as "Snatched From the Headlines," when several writers have novels that follow the same theme, she brings them together for a signing that also includes a discussion of their novels and how they relate to that theme.
"So many of the local mystery writers use what is happening here in Tucson," Burke said. "So I got together some of the people who do have books here and decided we should show that mysteries are good to read, but also very timely."
News that inspired the writers to create their novels includes stories about young Mexican immigrants who grew up in America, but were unknowingly in the country illegally and deported to Mexico—for example, see author Elizabeth Gunn's 2010 novel, Kissing Arizona.
"The young woman I speak of in the book came here as a young child, and when she was 15 or so, her mother gets picked up at work, and they both get deported. Her younger sister, who was born here, got to stay," Gunn said. "Because all of this is an interesting conundrum that's hard to figure out on which side justice fits on, I thought it was perfect for a novel. It describes a situation that's happening around us in real life."
Other authors slated to speak at "Snatched From the Headlines" include J. Carson Black and J.M. Hayes.
The event is free. —S.V.
Tales From the Average Joe
7 p.m., Thursday, July 5, Aug. 2 and Sept. 6
Fluxx Studio and Gallery
414 E. Ninth St.
Odyssey Storytelling shows, now in their eighth year, have a new home at Fluxx Studio.
The shows, produced by the nonprofit organization Story Arts Group, consist of six local storytellers who have 10 minutes each to tell a story that relates to the night's theme. For July's show, for instance, the theme is "The Customer Is Always Right." Storytellers must relate their personal experiences, either from the customer's perspective or from the employee's perspective.
Storytellers set for the July show are UA lab coordinator Ray Moody; artist and geologist John Wakefield; poet, writer and teacher Elizabeth Tilley; Realtor Pat Archie; Erin Russ, a pastor and past program coordinator for Wingspan's Southern Arizona Gender Alliance; actor and construction-supervisor Jon Bromfield; and Shannon Snapp as guest curator.
Adam Hostetter, associate producer of Odyssey, said he enjoys the atmosphere of the event and the fact that it promotes the tradition of storytelling.
"Really, all of us are doing it because we believe in storytelling and that storytelling is an art we need to keep alive," he said. "Every person on the street has a story to tell, and it connects the community. Connecting people is all we are about. That's why people like listening to the shows. A lot end up wanting to be storytellers."
During intermission, audience members who are inspired to tell a story of their own that relates to the night's theme can have their names entered into a drawing. Those selected will then go onstage to tell their stories.
The themes for the August and September events, respectively, are "Happy Campers: The Great Outdoors" and "At the Movies."
Tickets are $8 online with a guaranteed seat, and $7 at the door. —S.V.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
1 p.m., Sunday, through Aug. 12; no performance on July 15
5317 E. Speedway Blvd.
Fans of Lewis Carroll's character Alice can follow her down the rabbit hole again in Live Theatre Workshop's production of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Presented by the workshop's All Together Theatre, this version of the classic tale incorporates real-life situations into the performance. Amanda Gremel, director of All Together Theatre, said the show emphasizes the importance of the arts to a community.
"As Alice goes on this journey, she learns that being creative through the arts can help you in your everyday life," Gremel said. "The main theme in the play is how we get stuck in our day-to-day lives. ... We miss looking outside of the box."
Leslie Miller, writer and director of the adaption, wanted to keep the basic idea of Carroll's story, but put a different spin on it.
"I created the idea of Alice being a very logical girl, who loves science and math, entering into a world where things don't always make sense, and she would have to make sense of it in some way," Miller said.
Sophia Duclo, 11, will play Alice. She is a student at LTW.
"We like to give our young, upcoming kids a chance to be onstage in front of a live audience and show their growth in the program. We have had actors anywhere from ages 8 and up," Gremel said.
Miller worked with Duclo last year when she played Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk.
"It is really fun to see her do a whole different part," Miller said. "It was really amazing to put something down on paper and to give it to actors, and have them go beyond what I thought these characters would become."
Tickets are $5 to $8, with discounts available.—R.C.
Cats and Vino
Fine Wine and Felines
4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, July 1
3063 N. Alvernon Way
Indulge a love for good wine while helping to save the lives of some of our feline friends at this special wine-tasting.
Proceeds from the tasting will benefit Tucson's Hermitage Cat Shelter. Six wines will be available for tasting, along with gourmet cheeses. A silent auction will include items such as a gift card for a car-detailing, and vouchers for cruises, said Jennifer Reeves, administrator at the shelter.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Reeves said. "There are a lot of prizes ... and they're all donated from local businesses. All the money from the silent auctions will go straight to helping rescue more cats and kittens."
Music will be performed by Craig Market. The Nashville-based singer and songwriter is a talented bluegrass artist as well as an avid cat-lover, Reeves said.
"It's a great way to go out and have fun with people," Reeves said. "And because it's a fundraiser, you're out with the people who care about the same things you do."
The Hermitage Cat Shelter was founded in 1965 by Sister Theresa Seraphim, a Russian Orthodox nun. The shelter was the first no-kill, no-cage cat sanctuary in Arizona.
Even today, the no-cage, no-kill shelter concept is atypical, Reeves said. She added that not using cages is a healthier option, because cooped-up cats are more prone to getting depressed and sick.
"When confined to cages, they get a little stir-crazy," Reeves said.
The shelter usually houses 150 to 200 cats at a time, and about 30 are adopted each month, Reeves said. All of the cats have indoor and outdoor areas where they can roam.
The event costs $20, and reservations are recommended. —H.M.