In Brief: Anti-war play “Mother Courage and Her Children” comes to the Center Stage

01/30/2014 12:00 AM

01/29/2014 4:16 PM

The nonprofit Center Stage Conservatory enters the last weekend of its production of “Mother Courage and Her Children.”

The show is a black comedy and antiwar statement. Set during Europe’s Thirty Years’ War of the 17th century, the play follows Mother Courage as she trails behind the warring armies across the battlefields and sells them items from her canteen wagon. The piece was written by Bertolt Brecht in 1939 and adapted from its original German by David Hare.

Heike Hambley, the founder and artistic director of the Merced ShakespeareFest, directs the play. Area actress Carin Heidelbach local plays Mother Courage and joins a cast of 13 other actors.

Closing weekend shows at Modesto’s Center Stage, 948 11th St. Lower Level Suite 1, are at at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $12, with $5 student rush seats available 15 minutes before showtime. Call (209) 846-0179 or visit

‘Celtic Nights’

The touring show “Celtic Nights,” from producers of the international Irish music and dance show “Gaelforce Dance,” high-steps its way into the Gallo Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Irish import features a 12-person ensemble including six male and female singers complimented by six step dancers. The show melds song and dance to tell the story of the Celtic experience. Tickets are $14 to $49. Call (209) 338-2100 or visit

MJC Civic Engagement Lecture Series

The Modesto Junior College Civic Engagement Project and and Literature and Language Arts Division will host the talk “American Muslims on Love and Relationships: A Discussion with Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi” Thursday on its East Campus.

The editors of “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” and “Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy” will read and discuss selections from the two anthologies. The authors also will answer audience questions.

The free event is at 7 p.m. in Forum 110 on East Campus, 435 College Ave.

Song of the San Joaquin

Hear live poetry at the Song of the San Joaquin on Saturday at the Stanislaus County Library.

Eighteen poets will read their works at the free community event, followed by an open mic after the presentation. Light refreshments will be provided.

The event is from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in Stanislaus County Library basement, 1500 I St., Modesto. Song of the San Joaquin is a poetry journal dedicated to the lifestyles of the California Central Valley. Call (209) 543-1776.

MUMFest songwriting competition

You only have a couple of days left to enter the Modesto Unplugged Music Festival songwriting competition.

The original song contest is new to the 2014 MUMFest, which will be held in April. Songwriters in the country, folk, bluegrass, Americana, acoustic rock and other genres not involving electric guitars are encouraged to enter their compositions.

Five finalists will be selected and invited to perform their song entry during the closing-night show of MUMfest onApril 6. There will be cash prizes for the Top 3 songs.

All entries, preferably submitted via CD with lyrics sheet and contact information, must be received by Feb. 1. There is a $10 entry fee. Also, please include a lyric sheet and contact info. Entries should be sent or delivered to Aaron Rowan, 313 Motor City Court, Suite A, Modesto, CA 95356.

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