Wilde Lake drama troupe leaves next week for festival in Europe


July 31, 1996|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WILDE LAKE High School's drama troupe will be off to Europe on Tuesday. The group of 39 teen-agers and 11 parents and teachers will stop off for two days in London before going on to Scotland to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"This is the largest arts festival in the world," said Tracy Adler, Wilde Lake's drama director. "It attracts over a million people. We are one of over 1,500 productions." The students are scheduled to give four performances of "SMILE," a 1 1/2 -hour play about a beauty pageant.

"It's a great show to take," Adler said. "It has glitz and glamour. It also it makes poignant comments on our society."

The Wilde Lake troupe is one of 10 groups from around the country that were chosen to perform in the American High School Theatre Festival, a 2-year-old festival within the larger Edinburgh festival. Many of the youngsters will be sporting T-shirts with the American festival's official logo, a design created by Wilde Lake's Tom Kurzanski.

"The kids worked very, very hard to raise the money they needed to go," said Liz Factor, mother of one of the aspiring actresses. They held carwashes and sold items ranging from holiday pasta to T-shirts.

"We've got great voices and great talent," Adler said. "This is a bunch of very deserving kids."

Recycling bicycles

Recycling took an international twist at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center recently as Tom McCarthy and John Reilly of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church coordinated a collection of used adult bicycles. The church collected 69 bikes, which are being sent to El Salvador through the nonprofit group Pedals for Progress.

"The bikes are making a major impact on the quality of their lives" in El Salvador, noted McCarthy. "Now they won't have to walk miles to get water or to go to the market or the health clinic."

The church began by collecting bikes for children in Baltimore City. "We were collecting and repairing about 30 bikes a year," said McCarthy. But many of the adult bikes given to older children ended up being stolen.

Enter Pedals for Progress, a group started by former Peace Corps volunteers. The group ships the bikes overseas and also works with organizations in the recipient countries to train people to repair the bikes.

"Some people end up with jobs repairing bikes," McCarthy said. "It's helping the local economy." He added that the church hopes to do it again next year.

Centers get face lifts

Two of the oldest neighborhood centers in West Columbia -- Faulkner Ridge and Swansfield -- are getting face lifts this summer, thanks to funding approved by the Columbia Council. The projects are scheduled to be completed by the beginning of school.

Faulkner Ridge, which was budgeted for $118,650 in renovations, houses the Wilde Lake Children's Nursery, the oldest co-op nursery school in Columbia.

"We are ecstatic," said Erika Victor, president of the school. "We think it will attract people to the school." She added that the school is renovating its playground. The first phase, a climbing structure with double slide, should be finished by late August or early September.

Middle Patuxent Nursery School uses the Swansfield center, which is getting $128,850 worth of changes.

"This is exciting," said Bernice Kish, Wilde Lake's village manager. "The buildings were in dire need of updating. I think the community will be pleased with what they're doing."

Both centers will have similar designs, including more defined entryways, skylights and low-maintenance exteriors of brick and vinyl. Interior changes include new carpeting and improved storage that will make the buildings more flexible for adult groups using them in the evenings. The bathrooms are being improved and will be accessible to the disabled.

'Go for the Gold'

Parents will have a chance to see what their children have been up to when Running Brook Elementary School holds its Family Night at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The event comes at the end of the school's four-week summer program, directed by Assistant Principal Corita Oduyoye.

The theme for this year is "Go for the Gold." The free program, which combines academics and recreation, is designed for children who could not otherwise attend summer school or camp.

Sign up to swim

There's still time to sign up for the final session of free swimming lessons offered to Columbia residents and Columbia Association members. The half-hour Beginner One classes start Monday and meet eight times over the two-week session. Children must be at least 6 years old and at least 48 inches tall.

Participating pools are Clary's Forest, Clemens Crossing, Dorsey Hall, Faulkner Ridge, Hawthorn, Hobbit's Glen and River Hill. The group lessons are held in the mornings.

Other classes, including Wigglers for preschoolers, more advanced lessons for children and individual lessons, also are available. Fees are charged.

Farmers go west

While you're out and about, don't forget to check out all the goodies at the Farmer's Market, now held at Harper's Choice Village Center from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

A similar market was so popular at Oakland Mills that the new market was added to serve Columbia's west side. Many of the same folks are offering their goods at Harper's Choice, filling some of the void left when Valu Food closed its store in the village center last December.

Wendy Tzuker, Harpers Choice village manager, said: "It seems to grow every week. For local residents who have trouble getting around, it's a welcome respite for getting fresh fruits and vegetables."

The market is scheduled to continue every Tuesday through mid-November.

Pub Date: 7/31/96

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