Fanfare: Winter 2008
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: January 18, 2008

Audience reaction of female impersonators at Darcell XVQueens of Heart

DARCELLE XV, the oldest drag club in the United States, is a Portland institution. When people enter they leave society's rules and gender restrictions at the door and act as they never would in their day-to-day lives.

A documentary exploring audiences' reactions to the club (see photo) and what those reactions say about society premiered in Los Angeles this fall. Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag is directed by Jan Haaken, PSU professor of psychology. She had the help of PSU graduate students and the full cooperation of Darcelle—Walter Cole—the club's owner and main attraction.

Filmmakers Gus Van Sant and Eric Edwards, and musician Thomas Lauderdale with Pink Martini contributed to the documentary, which was produced by Kwamba Productions of Portland. Queens of Heart is being shopped around to other film festivals and is under consideration by public television.

On Campus

Rushdie book brought to stage

While in hiding, author Salmon Rushdie wrote a bedtime story for his 10-year-old son. The resulting tale became a children's book, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and was eventually adapted for the stage.

Portland State Prof. Karin Magaldi directs Haroun and the Sea of Stories in Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park, February 22-24 and February 27-March 1. All performances are at 7:30 p.m., except for a 2 p.m. matinee on February 24. Tickets are available at the PSU Box Office, 503-725-3307, or through Ticketmaster.

"Set in a city so ruinously sad that it has forgotten its name," Haroun takes the audience on a young boy's journey to find the Sea of Stories so he can help his father, a famed storyteller, regain his ability to devise intricate stories. The fairy tale is told in singsong poetics and is intended for older children and adults who are young at heart.

New film major: That's a wrap

HITCHCOCK, THE ROAD MOVIE, Vietnam on Screen—these are a few of the elective courses available through the new film major in the Theater Arts Department.

"The demand for this degree has been here for a long time," says Sarah Andrews-Collier, Theater Arts chair. "There was not a week that would go by without someone walking in and asking why we didn't have a film major."

The new bachelor's degree offered this fall includes courses from 14 departments. Students will study all forms and genres of the moving image, ranging from the silent film era to present day cinema, television, and digital video production. The faculty is committed to providing strong emphasis on written, oral, and visual expression; critical thinking; an international perspective; and the creative experience.

The human side of welfare reform

Just Don't Get Sick cover imageBOB, 33, FEELS his diabetes is terminal because he has no health insurance and cannot afford medication. Sarah, 32, has put her dreams and aspirations on hold as she and her seriously disabled eight-year-old son work daily to survive with no insurance.

Vivid stories of Oregonians' need for health insurance coverage as they transition from welfare to work are told in Prof. Karen Seccombe's new book, Just Don't Get Sick.

Seccombe and co-author Kim Hoffman assess the ways in which welfare reform affects the well-being of adults and children. They drew upon data and in-depth interviews with over 500 families in Oregon. Ironically, the low-wage jobs that people in transition typically get provide few benefits; yet often disqualify them and their families from receiving federal aid.

Seccombe is a professor in the PSU School of Community Health, and Hoffman is a senior research associate at Oregon Health & Science University. The two social scientists present a compelling argument for assuring security, stability, and well-being for poor families through health care.

New Works

Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts
by Andrew Bernhard '02
T & T Clark International, 2007

The Alton Gift
by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross MS '73
DAW Hardcover, 2007

Fort Clatsop: Rebuilding an Icon
by the Daily Astorian
PSU Ooligan Press, 2007

Identity Crisis! 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands (includes PSU)
by Jeff Fisher
HOW Books, 2007

Yoga Calm for Children: Educating Heart, Mind, and Body
by Lynea Gillen MS '93 and Jim Gillen
Three Pebble Press, 2007

Red Hot and Rollin': A Retrospection of the Portland Trail Blazers' 1976-77 Championship Season
edited by Matt Love '86
Nestucca Spit Press, 2007

by Roland Smith '86
Harcourt Children's Books, 2007

Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburo, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan
by Nancy K. Stalker '84
University of Hawaii Press, 2007

Good Friday
by Tony Wolk (English faculty), PSU Ooligan Press, 2007

Pablo Picasso sketch

Picasso's Guernica: The 42 Preliminary Studies on Paper is on display at the Littman Gallery, 250 Smith Memorial Student Union, February 7 through March 26. The sketches show Pablo Picasso's process for creating his famous painting depicting the violence, brutality, and helplessness of war. The studies, published in 1990 in an H.N. Abrams exhibition catalog, are part of the PSU Library's Special Collections.

ABOUT THIS PAGE: We want to hear about your books and recordings and your future exhibits, performances, and directing ventures. Contact the magazine by e-mailing, sending a fax to 503-725-4465, or mailing Portland State Magazine, Office of University Communications, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751.