Greek plays, An Unforgetable Art Installation, Arias in the Garden and More!

“The Odyssey,” directed by Ashley Albertson, a brand new adaptation of Homer’s epic, written by iDiOM Theater’s Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao. This modern retelling of the second-oldest work in Western literature tells the adventures and mishaps of Greek hero Odysseus’s 10-year voyage home to his wife and son after the end of the Trojan War, with Sirens, Cyclops, cannibals, an unruly crew, and the whims of the gods all set against him. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17 at the Sylvia Center for the Arts Lucas Hicks Theater, 207 Prospect St. Admission is $15 general, $12 members, $9 students.
“An Iliad” ends the summer season looking back at the events that started it all. Set in an empty theater in the present, Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s beautiful adaptation of the ancient Greek poet Homer’s epic story of Achilles and Hector turns an epic celebration of war into a haunting reminder of war’s human cost. “Every time I sing this song, I hope it’s the last time,” begins our tired storyteller, played masterfully by artistic director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao (giving one of his most electrifying and spellbinding performances ever, in my opinion). Fated to tell this story throughout history, he has told it through centuries of war, through endless ages, and has carried it to all parts of the world. His memory is fading, the muses have left him, but the oldest recorded story in Western civilization still moves through him with power, humor and poetry. The free performances are Aug. 22-24, 29-31 at Maritime Heritage Park on Central and Holly. Details at

“Say Their Names: the Anacortes Regeneration Project” is an artist-driven response to the phenomenon of mass shootings in America. Artists created 800-plus individual ceramic memorial stones, each displaying the name, event, date and age of an individual killed in 84 mass shootings throughout the United States, as well ceramic castings of guns collected in a public turn-in conducted during the past year where guns – including a World War II German officer’s gun bearing a Nazi insignia, and an AR15 rifle – were disabled on-site with the aid of a blacksmith’s forge. The installation is on display Aug. 2-4 at the Anacortes Arts Festival.
“Sadly, collecting the names of victims was the easy part: there are multitudes of them,” said project coordinator Natalie Niblack, an artist from Mount Vernon. She added that the project also memorializes 50 first responders from Washington State and 37 unnamed children who became victims of gun violence since Jan. 1 of this year. Over the course of the past year, artists worked together to sharpen the goals of the project and, as a result, focused on the victims themselves rather than the guns. With the concept in place, the group began the technical design of a memorial cairn, developed prototypes for the stones and reached out to a broader community of artists who made and inscribed the pieces by hand. Twenty-eight artists eventually participated in the project creation of memorial stones; two artists developed and constructed the internal structure of the cairn and other artists lent their support in other ways.
As part of the installation of the memorial cairn, a multi-media video production focused on gun violence will be showing in the installation at the festival, as well as an additional screen displaying Gun Violence Archive, a real-time representation of gun violence that also includes an interactive conversational component. Also, a three-dimensional sculpture by a Northwest sculptor using materials collected from the initial gun turn-in will be exhibited. Project organizers hope the memorial cairn installation will have a life beyond the festival itself and are currently seeking funding for it to travel to other communities where citizens, especially students, can host it to raise awareness of gun violence in the U.S. Details:

The Jansen Art Center’s annual summer fundraising event, Art in the Alley! runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 3 in the alley behind the arts center, 321 Front St., in Lynden. There’ll be live music by Rosewood  (Kathleen Dean and Sophia Van Zonneveld) and The Atlantics, art activities, demonstrations, raffle, a beer and wine garden, and a barbecue, in celebration of the arts in our community. Tickets are $25 and available online or in the Gallery Shop. A raffle ticket is included with entry ticket purchased.
Each of the J’s studios will participate in a special studio showcase in Judson Alley. You will have the opportunity to meet some of our studio instructors; some of whom will be working their magic and demonstrating live. It will be the perfect chance to become acquainted with a medium you have always wanted to try! There will be items available for sale and all the proceeds will benefit our studios.
Textiles Studio: There will be spinning demonstrations led by the talented Chris Paul.
Ceramics Studio: Beer steins, produced in the studio, will be available to purchase for $30 – yes, one beer fill is included!
Jewelry Studio: Gorgeous leather earrings and custom made pet tags will be available for purchase.
Details: 360-354-3600,

Paciific Northwest Opera’s sixth annual “Arias in the Garden” Summer Benefit will be at 4 p.m.  Aug. 4, at the home of Linda and Mac MacGregor on Samish Island. Don’t miss this fun event and special opportunity to support Pacific Northwest Opera! Tickets are $75 per person and include great food, wine and arias by some of the company’s favorite singers — and the opera-unity to support your local opera company. Email Pacific Northwest Opera at if you are interested in attending and for directions to the MacGregor’s.

Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy hosts a book launch happy hour party from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at Skylarks Hidden Cafe, 1308 11th St. to celebrate the publication of “Many Hands Make Light Work: A Memoir,” the rollicking true story of her family of nine children growing up in a college town (like Bellingham) in the ’60s and ’70s. Try the Midwest Killer Bee Cocktail, $8 (if you dare!) and  enter drawings for free giveaways from Skylarks, Village Books, and Bellingham Training and Tennis Club. McCarthy will read from her book and talk about her life at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

The legendary Chryslers play rock, soul, funk, and rhythm-and-blues from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 8 on the waterfront terrace at the Hotel Bellwether. Enjoy the reunion of Mark Clark, John May, Derek Koellman and Gary McKinney back line, along with four of the singers from decades past: Alicia, Shauna, Christine and Corrine!

Blaine Community Theater presents one of theater’s most beloved plays, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. The show presents all 37 of The Bard’s plays in a hilarious 90-minute whirlwind that the whole family can enjoy. Starring Alex Gheringer, Danielle Palmer, and Rossner Randolph and directed by Nick McDonald.
Performances are at 7 p.m. Aug. 9, 10, 16, and 17 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 11 and 18 in the black box theater in the new Blaine High School building.  Tickets are $15 general, $13 students and seniors. For details, visit or email

Join Bellingham USA Dance at The Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. on Aug. 16 in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock (even though the planned anniversary show of the real event has been canceled). Skeeter Smith will be DJing the event. A lesson will be taught from 7:15 to 8 p.m. with the dance party from 8 to 10 p.m. Come out and have fun hearing music that perhaps you haven’t heard in a long time. Everyone is welcomed regardless of your age and dancing ability. This is a great time with fun and friendly people. Admission is $10 general, $7 members and students. Phone 360-734-5676 or email: for details