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Day: November 10, 2014

Feeling Reckless? MHS has just the play for you

Cole Juran, Carina Myrand and Jaida Watson share a scene during rehearsals of Reckless at McNary High School. The show opens Friday, Nov. 14. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Cole Juran, Carina Myrand and Jaida Watson share a scene during rehearsals of Reckless at McNary High School. The show opens Friday, Nov. 14. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Dark secrets fuel McNary High School’s production of Reckless opening next week in the Ken Collins Theatre.

The play opens Nov. 14 and continues with shows Nov. 20 to 22.

Tickets are $5 and curtain time is 7 p.m. each night.

Carina Myrand plays the lead, Rachel, who is cozying up to her husband on Christmas Eve when he reveals he’s taken out a hit on her life and encourages her to flee.

“Your husband would not hire a hitman and then tell you to run away. The absurdity of that situation is fun to play with,” Myrand said.

She is rescued from the cold and taken in by social worker Lloyd, played by Cole Juran. Lloyd’s wife Pooty, played by Jaida Watson, is deaf, mute, paraplegic and as overwhelmed by Lloyd’s niceties as anyone else in the cast of characters. The action comes from the revealing of numerous secrets during the course of the play.

For Juran, the role was an opportunity to delve into something he’d been toying with for a long time.

“I’ve always wanted to learn sign language,” he said. “Because there are certain lines that have to be spoken in sign, I got the chance to do that. Then I went through the rest of the script and figured out what else I could do.”

Watson agreed about the challenges of learning a passable second language in a little more than a month, but said the bigger difficulties come in blocking the scenes.

“I spend the entire play in a wheelchair, so it adds another element to hitting your mark each time,” she said.

As the play unfolds, Rachel meets a small army of quirky characters who, in their own ways, pull her outside the comfort zone she had been living in. For Myrand, the joy of the role has been in the way Rachel is dogged in her pursuit of companionship.

“One scene I really like is when Rachel gets a job and she has a co-worker who doesn’t like her, and Rachel is like a little puppy going after her to try to be friends. I really love the connection that happens in that scene,” Myrand said.

Juran and Watson both mentioned a scene near the finale that they found both touching and difficult to navigate emotionally.

“I have a central role in that scene and it has to come off completely naturally,” said Watson.

Juran suggested bringing along some tissues, just in case they’re needed.

The absurdist realm the play inhabits means the play is something of an emotional roller coaster, said Myrand, but there is a larger message.

“Life will just happen,” Myrand said. “That’s something Rachel says a lot in the play while she is learning to roll with the punches.”

Reckless is rated PG-13 for scenes of mild violence.

Questions delay funding

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

After questions were raised about a lack of bidding for services, Keizer city manager Chris Eppley announced last week funding for a project is on hold.

The Keizertimes started asking questions Oct. 30 after looking through the agenda packet for Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting. One of the items under administrative action was transferring $15,800 from the Contingency category under Public, Educational or Governmental (PEG) funds to Materials and Services.

Councilors had previously approved $4,900 for a two-month experiment for Rex Robertson and David Dahle to do social media videos with K23 and KeizerTV.com. Robertson and Dahle gave an update at the Oct. 6 meeting, with councilors giving favorable response.

“We love you,” mayor Lore Christopher said to Robertson and Dahle. “We’ll give you money.”

Given the $15,800 figure, Eppley was asked if the service had to go out for bid.

“It does from time to time and we’re preparing the RFP (Request for Proposal) for the entire K-23 production gig as we speak,” Eppley said. “It should go out before Christmas.”

Eppley added the social media aspect didn’t have to go out to bid but would be included as part of the RFP as one of the services to be provided in a new proposal package.

“We didn’t bid out the social media piece because it’s really an added service under our existing arrangement with Rex (K-23),” Eppley said. “If it were to be a completely separate service with a new and independent vendor, we’d certainly solicit proposals.”

Eppley said rules regarding the use of PEG funds aren’t different than other funds in terms of when items need to be sent out to bid.

“In general, professional services above $5,000 need to be bid out, with some exceptions,” he said. “This was a little different in that the new service was proposed to us through an existing contractor instead of us deciding to add a new service and then go out and look for it. Should we have bid it out once the Council decided they liked the test project? Possibly, though it’s a bit of a question.”

Eppley further indicated a need to talk with city attorney Shannon Johnson about the topic.

“I think it’s possible you could have something here and I may check with Shannon to see if we should tell K-23 to stop providing the social media service until we go through the overall bidding process,” he said.

A few minutes later, Eppley had a different tune.

“After discussing more closely with Shannon, we both think it’s borderline enough that we’re going to tell K-23 to nix the social media service until we can run the full RFP,” he said. “We’re going to leave the budget adjustment in place so we have appropriate (funds) to cover this new service for whoever gets the K-23 contract. Thanks for questioning. We try to do things right here but obviously can miss asking ourselves the question if something falls under the state bidding rules or not.”

Eppley did not bring up the discussion when the K-23 production costs came up Monday. Councilors unanimously approved the motion.

Eppley confirmed afterwards the money is not being spent until the city goes out with its RFP. On Tuesday, a legal sent out by the city indicated proposals must be submitted to city recorder Tracy Davis at city hall by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3. Proposals will be opened the following morning.