Wednesday, April 18, 2018

See The Giver

This weekend, and this weekend only, JSU’s Alpha Psi Omega (APO) presents the stage adaptation of “The Giver,” Lois Lowry’s Newberry Award winning book. We asked student Director and APO President Alexis Loren Robinson to share about this upcoming production.

Tell me about APO and this weekend’s production selection.
We are a theatre honor society. We are a group of theatre artists dedicated to spreading theatre as far as we can within our community. Each year we do a children's show to reach local youth, and this year, that show is The Giver.

As President of APO, what do you love most about theatre & how did you get into JSU’s drama department?
I love that theatre has a story for everyone. I am actually a transfer student. I initially went to Berry College in Rome, Georgia, but never felt quite at home there, so I transfered here on word of mouth and never looked back!

As the director, what about “The Giver” story do you enjoy most?

I have always loved The Giver. I read the book around age 11 and have always held it dear to me heart. I think Jonas' determination to see the world change is what I love most about this particular story.

What do you want audiences to gain by seeing a performance?
I want them to understand someone else's perspective a little better after watching this piece.

What’s been your favorite element of production development for “The Giver?”
My favorite part has been watching my actors figure out this strange world in which the play is set. There are so many things, pieces of information, that paint a bigger picture that becomes pretty disturbing the more you look into it.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned through this production?
I have learned that all good things take time. This is my first mainstage show, and all of the technical elements have been theoretical up until recently. It is so rewarding to see something that you've seen in your head, for months, come to life before your eyes. It is pretty magical.

Why should visitors and residents come to Stone Center this weekend and see the show?
This show has heart. It is designed to make you look through a child's eyes at the promise of a new tomorrow. The messages in this show ring true for all ages.

Get your tickets for April 20-21 at 7:30 PM or April 22 at 2:30 PM at JSU's Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center, 11th Street NE, in Jacksonville.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

State Parks

It's called "Sweet Home Alabama" for a reason. From picturesque beaches to mountain panorama landscapes, Alabama is a great place to explore the great outdoors. Explore some of what Alabama has to offer at Desoto State Park & Cheaha State Park.

Cheaha State Park 
19644 Hwy 281Delta, AL 36258
256-488-5111First opened to the public in 1933, Cheaha State Park, with Alabama's highest point as the centerpiece, is Alabama's oldest continuously operating state park, surrounded by the Talladega National Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains The park gets its name from the Creek Indian name for the mountain, "chaha," meaning "high place".
From the long distance Pinhoti Trail to the Kentuck ORV-ATV Trail, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast at Cheaha State Park.

Desoto State Park 
7104 DeSoto Parkway NE
Fort Payne, AL 35967
The park, named for the 16th-century explorer Hernando de Soto, was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne atop beautiful Lookout Mountain, this family friendly spot offers beautiful waterfalls, more than 25 miles of hiking trails, camping, cabins and more accommodations.

More time to explore? Check out nearby State Parks! 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mountain Longleaf

The Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge has been working to preserve the local flora and fauna ecosystem since their establishment in 2003. The Longleaf Pine is the Alabama State Tree and therefore has a rich historical impact in the ecosystem of the area, much like the Refuge. Historically, the Longleaf Pine provided resources for the grazers and settlers in Alabama. Due to several invasive human actions, the local Mountain Longleaf Pine Forest now occupies a fraction of the vast land it use to. However, the Refuge has been able to work to conserve the remaining forest and wildlife over the last fifteen years. So where exactly are these forest? The Refuge occupies approximately 9,000 acres of what was once Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. Just look towards the east as you go over the Highway 431 Bypass, those beautiful hills in the distance covered in longleaf pines are preserved through the efforts of the Wildlife Refuge.
Under the management of Fish & Wildlife’s Sarah Clardy, they are able to do this through partnerships and prescribed burnings, which are essential to the growth of the longleaf species.
This area offers itself to visitors who want to enjoy the outdoors. They have several options for day hikes and trails with panoramic views of the area. They encourage wildlife viewing, bird watching, education of the nature around us, and even have options for hunting and fishing. Access can be found through Bain’s Gap Road for people to enter into the refuge and become encompassed in the nature and wildlife the Refuge has worked hard to preserve.

By: Rebecca Hearn
Student Jacksonville High School