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Advocate - Lake Highlands (October 2009)

Grab-Bag

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In 1933 France, two lovely young maids savagely murdered their employer in a fit of madness. “My Sister in This House”, a production that opens Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the White Rock Bath House, is based on the true story of the murderous Papin sisters. Neighborhood resident CATHERINE DUBORD plays Christine Papin, the sister who initiated the slaughter. DuBord tells us what it’s like to get into this dark, disturbed character. Tell us a little bit about the play and your role. It echoes a famous play by Jean Genet called “The Maids”, which is based on the infamous Papin sisters from Le Mans, France. “My Sister in This House” [written by Wendy Kesselman and directed by Marjorie Hayes] is about two sisters who come from a broken home and who have been sent away, against their will, to live a life of servitude. The employer and her adult daughter are rigid and abusive toward the sisters, Christine and Lea (played by Whitney Wilson) who have only one another to cling to. The pressure builds throughout the play and leads to a disturbing end. I play Christine, the older sister. What is it like playing Christine? I actually find it fun to play a character like Christine because it forces me to allow myself to go to those dark places within. Sue Sargeant, who plays the employer whom I Kill, makes me feel safe in going there. Playing this type of role allows you to connect with the audience on a more subliminal level. It’s challenging for me, especially when the character is a real person — you want to do your best representation of them. HOW DID YOU GET INTO ACTING? It was dumb luck, really. When I was in seventh grade, a friend of mine was taking a theater class, and as part of the curriculum, she had to go to a real audition. I tagged along with no plans of auditioning myself, but then the teacher encouraged me to try out, too — that was when I realized my love for acting. I practiced theater during my junior and senior year of high school and then majored in theater at SMU. SO, HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO STAY BUSY ACTING? I am fortunate — I stay pretty busy, and I love what I do. I am usually in about four or five plays per year. I also work as an agent. I do voiceover work. I do readings —I’ve done a few at the Bath house, which I really enjoy — and I help with the marketing for my family’s real estate company. IS THE WHITE ROCK AREA A GOOD PLACE FOR A THEATER PRO TO LIVE? I love this neighborhood. After a show, it’s nice to have a place to relax and hang out, and there are so many great places to do that around here. The Bath House is a wonderful cultural gathering place. It’s sort of a place at which all the activity at the lake merges — I’ve seen runners walk in for a drink of water, for example, and they notice the art exhibit for the first time. And as a performance space is nice and intimate. —CHRISTINA HUGHES BABB What gives? Small ways that you can make a big difference for neighborhood nonprofits THIS MONTH, ATTEND A CONCERT ... ... featuring country music singers Steve Holy and Deryl Dodd at 8 p.m. October 3 at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm Street. Tickets are $20 at the door and the proceeds benefit Wings for Wellness, a charity recently founded by neighborhood resident Shelly Shook to help women struggling with postpartum depression. Learn more about Shook and her Wings for Wellness partners at wingsforwellness.org. OR ENTERTAIN YOUR PUP ... ... at the Woofstock music festival and Million Mutt March at White Rock Lake on Friday, October 30. Vendors along Mutt Midway will peddle crafts, gifts and food, and will hand out canine-friendly tricks and treats (mostly treats). Join in a fun run/walk for adults, kids and pets, and jam to live music from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Admission is $15 for all events or $10 for Woofstock music festival only. Proceeds from the event benefit local animal rescues such as DFW Pug Rescue, Metroplex Mutts, North Texas Basset Hound Rescue, Second Chance SPCA, and Tails of Hope Pet Rescue. Know of wa ys that neighbors can spend time, attend an event, or purchase or donate something to benefit a neighborhood nonprofit? Email your suggestion to launch@advocatemag.com academic edge for LHHS No, money can’t buy you study skills, work ethic, creativity, geometry genius or mastery of the English language, but it sure can open doors to such desirables. That’s where “Wild for Cats”, Lake Highlands High School’s academic booster club, comes in — to date, since its 2005 launch, “Wild for Cats” has pumped more than $500,000 from 250 donors into materials, equipment and personnel for the neighborhood high school. Specifically, school administrators have used the funds for cameras, computer equipment, books, academic-recognition breakfasts, TAKS preparation, AP tutoring and the AVID college preparation program, to name a few. This year “Wild for Cats” cash also will support a new position for a College and Career Transition Counselor at the school. The volunteer-run organization “makes a difference and provides the support and resources that retain great teachers, engage all students in a rigorous education, and transition students into colleges and careers,” says high school principal Walter Kelly. Throughout the school year, “Wild for Cats” will host meetings and events, at which supporters will have the opportunity to contribute. Learn more or make donations online at wildforcats.com. A guide thro ugh the ma ze of city -relate d questions Here’s the most important thing to remember when you want to repair a sidewalk: The City of Dallas will help you fix it, but it will not foot the entire bill. (Unless you live in a low-income area or the city is repairing the utilities beneath your sidewalk or curb.) But knowing that, if you still want your sidewalk to be walkable, here’s how it works: 1. The city gives residents two options: the fast-fix program and the cost-share program. 2. The fast-fix program, as the title suggests, gets the job done more quickly. Citizens pay $4.60 per square foot of sidewalk, plus additional charges for any curb repairs and grass replacements. City staff and contractors will inspect the sidewalk and provide cost estimates, and repairs must be made within two months of the request to protect the price. The payment is made to contractors, who work through Dallas Water and Utilities, and work should be completed within two weeks of payment. 3. In the cost-share program, citizens pay for half the costs — $2.80 per square foot of sidewalk — and the city pays for the other half. The costshare program usually involves an entire street, block or neighborhood and typically takes one or two years. The city determines an area that needs sidewalk repairs, sends out letters to residents living in that area to find out if they want to go ahead with repairs; if so, residents have 30 days to pay their half of the cost. After the letters have been sent and money collected, it takes eight to 12 months to get a contract set up. 4. Even though the city mostly relies on residents to take the initiative in sidewalk repairs, residents can still be cited by the city and possibly fined for having damaged sidewalks, because of the risk of someone becoming hurt and both the city and homeowner facing a civil suit. 5. For information about either program, contact James Dowdy with the city’s public works and transportation department at 214.948.4287.

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