Germany tries a new approach to theater
JOACHIMSTHAL, Germany, May 20 (UPI) -- A new approach to art is being tested in Germany where actor David Barlow asks his audience to consider planting potatoes in a field to be theater.
The New York Times reported on Bauerntheater, or Farmers' Theater, a production by David Levine, an experimental director from the United States. The idea of this unique project is to blend the lines between acting and working by having the actor spend most of his waking hours in character.
Barlow plays a potato farmer circa 1950. He dresses in period costume and tends to a 1 1/2-acre field in the rural, former East German town of Joachimsthal. Barlow spends his days -- from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- planting potatoes in his field. The audience can come and go. The Times reported the price to watch Barlow for any amount of time is 1 euro (about $1.35).
"It's a project that's really about the process, about displaying and reveling in the process," Levine said, adding it's "very concerned about the nature of theater -- what it is and what it should be."
However, the Times reported, some have looked down on the project, calling it elitist.
'Wonderland' mural a nightmare for owner
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 20 (UPI) -- The decision by a smoking supply store owner to place an "Alice in Wonderland" mural on the side of his Colorado business has become a living nightmare.
Ever since Mike Mahaney had two murals created, including one of the hookah-smoking caterpillar from the classic Lewis Carroll story, the Englewood businessman has been besieged by complaints, the Rocky Mountain News said Sunday.
City officials deemed the murals too large and neighbors complained they promoted drug use.
While Mahaney was given two weeks to remove the offensive paintings, the store owner said Friday he will fight to keep his artwork.
But city officials said it is the size of the murals that violates a city ordinance regarding a locale's street frontage, not any questions about characters they contain.
"It doesn't make any difference what he painted," Deputy City Manager Mike Flaherty told the newspaper. "He could have painted a 10-foot 'Mona Lisa.' It would have been just as illegal."
Mom sues baseball coach for bad coaching
NEW SPRINGVILLE, N.Y., May 20 (UPI) -- A New York mother is suing her son's baseball coach for not teaching him to properly slide into a base.
The lawsuit, filed May 4, stems from an episode three years ago when the woman's son, Martin, attempted to slide onto a base and suffered "serious bodily injury" that resulted in "permanent scarring and disability," according to the suit she filed in Staten Island Supreme Court.
The New York Post reported the woman as saying her son was encouraged by his coach to run from first base to second, where the injury allegedly occurred. The lawsuit did not specify the dollar amount the coach is being sued for.
News of the lawsuit shocked the local Little League community, with some parents calling the action frivolous and unnecessary, the Post reported.
Alaskan bears to endure hair dye jobs
SOLDOTNA, Alaska, May 20 (UPI) -- Officials from Alaska's Department of Fish and Game are set to give bears a chance to change their image through the use of various hair dyes.
The Anchorage Daily News said Sunday that by giving each species of bear in the region different colored fur, wildlife officials effectively will be labeling the animals.
The planned dye jobs give state biologists an easy way to identify which bears have been consistently threatening humans in the region. Due to those threats, some animals have been ordered executed.
Since bears likely have little interest in a visit to the hair salon, wildlife officials plan to tranquilize the animals before applying each species' specific color scheme.
Officials told the newspaper they did not want to embarrass the animals, but felt the hair-dying was necessary to ensure the bears' safety.