Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

College of Liberal Arts News

Students host televised viewings of presidential debates on campus

To promote public discourse on the 2012 presidential election, rhetoric and media studies students at Willamette University are hosting the DebateWatch Project in October.

On Oct. 3, 16 and 22, Salem and Willamette community members are invited to join the students as they watch televised broadcasts of President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, who are expected to debate issues ranging from the economy to the national deficit.

The goal, says Devin Leonardi ’13, is to give people a forum to articulate their viewpoints, hear others’ opinions and potentially develop new ideas on current issues and policies.

“This project seeks to remove us from the secluded private realm and to place us into the public forum,” he says. “Here, deliberation creates common concern.”

The debate watches and following small-group discussions will run from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m. each day. The first event will take place in the Montag Den, while the following two are scheduled in the Alumni Lounge at the University Center.

Award enables professor to produce, perform her play at a Portland theatre

Andrea Stolowitz, visiting English professorAndrea Stolowitz, visiting English professor

Visiting English professor Andrea Stolowitz has been awarded $25,000 to commission a script that will be produced and performed at Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre.

The Fowler/Levin Prize will support the writing of Stolowitz’ script, with the world premiere scheduled for the 2012-13 season.

Stolowitz says she values the unique opportunity to have the world premiere within only a year of the first written draft.

“This is an extremely quick turn around time and very atypical to life in the American theater, where a play waffles for years — often with only workshops and readings and no productions,” Stolowitz says.

Stolowitz’ concept was the unanimous choice of the Artist Repertory Theatre. The play will explore the life of a woman Marine who served in Afghanistan and her subsequent re-entry to civilian life, drawing from interviews with veterans and their families. 

“I wanted to write about the war through a lens I could learn from and try to understand, that of a woman soldier,” Stolowitz says. “[This is] a play for our times about war, friendships, guilt, being human and staying alive.”

Entering its 30th year, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theater company in Portland. Artists Rep explores the strengths, frailties and diversity of the human condition primarily through regional premieres, commissioned works and selected classics appropriate to contemporary issues.