Sucked In to Story

Eleven female playwrights hit you with their best shorts

In a sort-of reprise of last January's Women's Voices Theater Festival, local thespian Talia Pura and her Blue Raven Theatre company have morphed the effort into Fearless Female Voices, a one-afternoon event of readings of 11 new short plays by Santa Fe playwrights.

The short form is a great opportunity to try out new things. Case in point: Dale Dunn's contribution, a romantic comedy from the writer that often pens more serious scripts. Dunn (whose new drama The Big Heartless receives the full production treatment next month at Warehouse 21) tells SFR, "My work usually has to do with social ills that I'd like to see remedied, but this is just a fun piece about love and language … and letting the light come in through poetry."

The day will be a mix of drama and comedy. Another featured writer, Lisa Foster (who recently appeared in Oasis' production of The Shawl), explores the long-term ramifications of assault; and Kita Mehaffy presents Sister, which focuses on disenfranchisement and marginalization, and how bad fortune can befall anyone. For those playing along at home, Mehaffy is also riding high on her purchase of Santa Fe Improv on the first of the year, so talk to her about classes if you desire.

As for the virtues of a staged reading—perhaps foreign to those who haven't been to one—there are many. "I think storytelling on any level is really important," Mehaffy says. "We really learn through stories; in a [fictional] story, we can relate directly," instead of the separation inherent in learning someone else's nonfictional tale.

Dunn points out the lack of distraction; it's about "just hearing the story," she says. "If you do it well … it is a really clear way to see into a piece, rather than get lost in the shuffle of set pieces and all that movement."

(Charlotte Jusinski)

Fearless Female Voices
1-5 pm Sunday Jan. 27. $10 suggested donation.
Warehouse 21,
1614 Paseo de Peralta,
989-4423

Faster Veronica; Kill! Kill!

If there's a negative to be found in Full Speed Veronica's upcoming album June 31st—and it's honestly more of a positive for some—it's in its unabashed '90s-ness. We actually love this, and wouldn't have expected anything less from a band whose pedigree includes former Santa Fe acts like The Hollis Wake and Cold Cold Bitches. We're sensing a bit of a Tom Petty vibe by way of Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard as well, though more in subtle homage than outright emulation. Regardless, Full Speed Veronica wears its influences proudly and without irony. Special note must be made of bassist Sarah Meadows' creative lines and rhythms; they're almost always unexpected and really round out front man Malcolm June's guitar licks and thoughtful vocals and lyrics. Worth it? You bet. Local rock outfit Sunbender opens. (ADV)

Full Speed Veronica Album Release:
8 pm Friday Jan. 25. Free.
Second Street Brewery (Rufina Taproom),
2920 Rufina St.,
954-1068.

…And a Damn Fine Cup of Coffee

Courtesy IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts/Kent Monkman

IAIA's Museum of Contemporary Native Arts has grown into one of the most respected institutions in the nation, and a lot of it has to do with the risk-taking bravery and know-how of its various staff and guest curators. It's not unusual to see art work from living masters, up-and-comers and the legends that came before—and with a cohesive vision and constantly rotating exhibit schedule featuring creators both near and far, it's a stop that should be on anyone's cultural list. For extra insight, pop by MoCNA's Curators + Coffee event this week to hear from curators Candice Hopkins (Tlingit, citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation), Mindy N Besaw (from Crystal Bridges, y'all!) and Chief Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man. You'll learn something about the current exhibits and bask in greatness, we promise. (ADV)

Curators + Coffee: 
10:30 am Saturday Jan. 26. Free with admission.
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts,
108 Cathedral Place,
983-8900.

The Old-Fashioned Way

When was the last time you opened your mailbox and felt the anticipation that accompanies personal handwriting on an actual envelope? The thrill of opening it up to find—gasp—a real letter? Or maybe the question is, when was the last time you wrote one yourself? Take the evening to slow down and put pen to paper at the Santa Fe Public Library's Lost Letters event at the main branch. Surprise an old friend or flame; start a pen pal relationship with someone in prison or serving overseas. It's much more meaningful than boring old email, and organizers have all the pen pal information, stamps, stationary and clip art you might need. (Leah Cantor)

Lost Letters: Riving the Lost Art of Letter Writing: 
6 pm Monday Jan. 28. Free.
Santa Fe Public Library Main Branch,
145 Washington Ave.,
955-6781.