City Week

Organic Obstacles

"Taste Film, Talk Food"

3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20

Starts at the Screening Room

127 E. Congress St.

Local grocers want you to know that organic food doesn't just magically appear on the shelf.

This Sunday, the Food Conspiracy Co-op and Slow Food Tucson are joining forces with the Screening Room and Borderlands Brewery to present the second annual "Taste Film, Talk Food."

The event features a screening of The Greenhorns, directed by farmer and activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming.

"The Greenhorns investigates some of the obstacles that young organic farmers face," said Coley Ward, marketing and membership manager at Food Conspiracy Co-op. "You've got all of the usual challenges on top of the fact that it's not something that a lot of young people are getting into. It's not an easy job."

There will also be a screening of a short film about some of Tucson's own young local farmers, from Sleeping Frog Farms, Ward said.

Following the screenings, the event will move to Borderlands Brewing Company, where attendees can sample three kinds of local fare: Conspiracy Coffee, roasted by Tucson's Exo Roast Co.; Conspiracy Beer, brewed by Borderlands; and food from the Conspiracy Kitchen.

Ward said the event is an opportunity for people to learn more about their food. People can "gain some insight into just what is involved in growing organic food," he said, and "gain a new appreciation of where the Food Conspiracy's produce, which is all organic, comes from."

The event will also show that organic farming is no walk in the park, Ward added. "It's a lot of long hours and cold winters and hard work that goes into growing the kale and the turnips and the lemons and the sprouts."

Tickets are $15 and available for purchase at Food Conspiracy, 412 N. Fourth Ave. —K.M.

Will Act for Pizza

Short Attention Span Theatre

8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 17-19; 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20

Harold Dixon Directing Studio

UA Drama Building, Room 116

1025 N. Olive Road


Short Attention Span Theatre is not a typical theatrical show. In fact, said director and UA teacher Laura Lippman, the audience is expected to participate.

The UA theater students' latest production was modeled after the conceptual work of Chicago's Neo-Futurists, who embrace collective ideas of short-form plays and bended genres, among other things, Lipmann said.

The students have prepared 30 short plays that they are challenged to complete in an hour. If they do, they get to eat pizza—but if they don't, the audience gets to feast instead.

Add to that the Neo-Futurists' "idea of chance," Lippman said, where the "audience decides what play they want to see in what order, and then the cast puts it on. Every night, you have a different (show)."

This competition and randomness might seem like chaos, but it's all about the concept.

"It's definitely a concept that the Neo-Futurists work with; it's sort of this fusion of theater and sport, because you're racing a timer; you're giving yourself pressure to work under," Lippman said.

This production is the product of a semester of hard work, Lippman said. Students were challenged to write about what mattered to them—which is why there's a disclaimer regarding adult content and themes.

"I really let the doors open wide to let them say what they wanted to say," Lippman said.

Overall, this has been a learning experience for both the teacher and the students.

"I was blown away by the scope of material, by the depth of ideas that they had—and most importantly, they're so nice to each other. They can work together and can criticize each other's work in a constructive way," she said.

Tickets are $7. —K.M.

Peace Following Abuse

Our Souls Dwell in Hope

7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19

Rincon/University High School Auditorium

421 N. Arcadia Ave.


There were times when Beth Braun thought she couldn't follow through with her idea to create a dance performance that would strive to bring peace to people who have had experience with childhood sexual assault or abuse.

"There have been many points when I felt terrified and (thought), 'I'm not going to do it; it's too big.' But I kept going; I couldn't let go of it. If it gets people talking, then it's a success," she said.

Braun founded the Esperanza Dance Project two years ago and choreographed each of the five dances in Our Souls Dwell in Hope. The dancers include some of her current and former University High School students.

"I've created a multimedia performance piece," Braun said. "My medium is dance, so while it is very dance-oriented, there is also narration, video and music."

The performance's first act is meant to be more upbeat and includes two hip-hop pieces. The second act is Our Souls Dwell in Hope, and Braun hopes to eventually take it to every high school in Tucson.

Braun, who has been teaching dance at UHS for eight years, said she founded the project after personal experiences with childhood sexual abuse.

"I'm a teacher and a mom and a choreographer, and the issue has really touched my life very personally," Braun said. "Esperanza means hope in Spanish—that is our mission."

Braun says that many abuse victims grow up without ever discussing what they endured.

"People don't understand that it's so prevalent to not talk about it—how victims end up going through their lives without talking about it, and succumb to things like drug addiction and eating disorders."

Admission is $8, or $15 for two. —D.H.

Start Your Robot Engines

CRUSH 1011 Robolympics

9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 19

Sonoran Science Academy Gym

2325 W. Sunset Road


Weighing in at 120 pounds and standing at 28 by 36 inches, "Twitch," a full-scale robot designed by high school students, is hoping to sweep away other competitors in a friendly robot-to-robot competition.

This weekend, at the Crush 1011 Robolympics, Sonoran Science Academy, Flowing Wells High School and Mesa's Red Mountain High School are presenting robot designs that were first entered in competitions last year.

Each team needed to create a robot within six weeks for the spring competition. Now, the robots and their builders are coming out again for fun and games at the Robolympics.

Fiona Hanlon is a senior at the Sonoran Science Academy and is participating with her team "CRUSH," which consists of 20 boys and 10 girls.

"This year, we have robot tug-of-war, (an) obstacle course and robot bowling," said Hanlon, who plans on going to the University of Arizona next year to study business. She's been doing robotics since her sophomore year and wants to come back after she graduates to mentor the team.

Full-scale robots aren't the only creations in the competition. Each team also built mini-bots during the spring competition. "Petrie" will be representing Team CRUSH in a race to get to the top of a pole before the other mini-bots.

Teams Toxic and T-Rex will be on hand to present their robots, but won't be joining in the games. Instead, these sixth- through ninth-grade team members will be simply showing off their designs.

"We want to get the audience involved, too," Hanlon said. "We will have trivia games and 'people bingo' so (attendees) can interact with the teams as well," Hanlon said.

Admission is free. —D.H.