What’s not to love about Opera and Stories?

June 25 is just under a month away and we are beyond excited to be able to preview some of the artists who will be performing and displaying their fantastic work at Stillwater Artsapalooza.  Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, June 25 from 6-10p.m. for an awesome night of the arts in downtown Orono!

The Church of Universal Fellowship has graciously agreed to be a venue for Stillwater Artsapalooza and will  host four performances in its sanctuary.  One of the performers at the Church of Universal Fellowship from 8-8:40 p.m. is Lauren Onsrud, an Orono High School graduate, and well known by many for her starring role as the infallible Sally Bowles in Orono High School’s production of Cabaret. Read on to learn more about this stunningly talented young woman.

Emerging soprano Lauren Onsrud is known for her captivating stage presence and strong, flexible voice. While completing her degrees in Voice Performance at the University of Missouri- Kansas City and the University of Southern Maine, she gained performance experience through her involvement in opera, concert, and musical theatre. She also gained professional experience as an emerging Young Artist with PortOpera in Portland, Maine and the Halifax Opera Workshop in Nova Scotia, Canada. Ms. Onsrud was most recently seen in Kansas City Metro Opera’s Production of Charlotte’s Web playing the character of Templeton. Of the performance, KCMetropolis.org said, “Lauren Onsrud played Templeton the Rat with an endearing abrasiveness…Her vigorous acting and strong voice made her a stand-out.”

In addition to her operatic background, Ms. Onsrud is an accomplished recitalist and concert soloist, and was recently a finalist and winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Missouri Advanced Division. Lauren has also forayed into musical theatre, most recently being seen as Grace in Annie at Theatre in the Park, a production that drew over 10,000 audience members.  To read more about Lauren Onsrud please visit: http://www.onsrud.org/lauren

Story Slam Bangor is a fantastic community building program that started here in the Orono area with the goal of giving people a time and space to tell their story.  Story Slam Bangor will be featured in Stillwater Artsapalooza at Verve from 8:40p.m. to 9:40p.m.

Story Slam Bangor happens one night a month in the Orono/Bangor area and was started by Anya Rose, Jesse Moriarity and Zack Pike who were brought together by a shared love of NPR’s The Moth. The concept is simple: 50 or 60 people get together each month at a local venue and tell stories based on a theme. Not everyone tells a story, some folks just come and listen.  Those who opt to tell a story throw their name in a hat and 10 names are chosen at random to tell their story. There is a 5 or 6 minute time limit and at the end the audience gets to vote for their favorite story of the evening. The winner receives a fabulous prize.  Story Tellers have come from all walks of life to share their stories.  The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always very poignant.  This event brings about a better understanding of ourselves as people, and builds an amazing sense of community, so what’s not to love about that?  To learn more about Story Slam Bangor please visit: www.bangorstoryslam.org

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