PENINSULA SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEKEND: Performers reveal personal stories in ‘Courageous Acts’

PORT TOWNSEND — The man onstage is peeling away his shell, to expose the story he’s living through. It’s about being a provider, and about his success and failure at it.

And now there’s a woman up there, an about-to-be-married woman figuring out how to be independent and interdependent.

“Even when I fall into loving arms, the fall is scary,” she admits.

These are two of the six “Courageous Acts: Revealing Solo Works” to unfold tonight and Saturday inside the Pope Marine Building at Water and Madison streets downtown. The performances are part of the Soulscape Theatre Project, a collaboration of Key City Public Theatre and the Mandala Center for Change.

The above-mentioned man is Brian Rohr, a well-known storyteller about town who’s up to something a bit different: taking his own inner tale and turning it inside out. Opening himself like this, being this vulnerable, is a bit scary.

But Rohr is going for it wholeheartedly because he believes in the power of such revelation. His solo act is about being the male provider, and all that the role entails for him.

Like any personal story, he believes, this is also a connector of people.

“These [stories] are all of us,” Rohr says. “All six of us are talking about themes that are universal. By us being up there and being honest about what we’re moving through, what we’re dancing with, the hope is that it opens up that exploration for other people, for their own lives.”

Zhaleh Almaee is the soon-to-wed woman in “Courageous Acts.” She’s also director of the production, which will feature one set of performing artists tonight and a different set Saturday. Curtain time is 8 p.m. and admission is $10, or $18 for both nights.

The solo performances include a song, a dramatic rant, an interpretive dance and a tale about technology’s place in one’s life. There are stories of growing older and of living a balanced life amid big changes in the environment.

Almaee, for her part, created a piece about love: wanting it to grow, but also about the unknown experiences the future holds. She’s engaged to Marc Weinblatt, with whom she works at the Mandala Center for Change; there are children in her life for the first time and she’s a first-time homeowner at the Port Townsend Eco­village.

“So many wonderful opportunities, but also a lot of big changes all at once that are rocking my emotional boat,” is how she describes her life right now. In her performance, Almaee explores how she can both honor her past and stay open to what comes.

Both Rohr and Almaee urge patrons to come to “Courageous Acts” tonight and Saturday, since the performers and acts will differ. This evening, these two are slated along with Aba Kiser and Anna Hansen, while Saturday’s program features Van Calvez, Leif Hansen and Almaee.

“If you want to see the whole enchilada, come to both nights,” Almaee quipped.

To find out more and to purchase tickets, phone the Key City office at 360-379-0195 or visit www.KeyCityPublicTheatre.org; information about the project and the Mandala center also awaits at www.MandalaforChange.org.

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