Malibu performances

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Speaker series honors women

The Speaker Series is in its 7th year.

By Vive Decou / Special to The Malibu Times

The Malibu Library will host the 7th annual Saturday Speaker Series in honor of Women’s History Month beginning this month. Every Saturday of the month a chosen actor will present a show commemorating the accomplishments of women today and in history.

Organizer Kathleen Sullivan said the response in past years has been very positive.

“[The series] has become kind of a tradition,” Sullivan said. “It caught on and took on a life of its own.”

Sullivan said the series is beneficial to Malibu in many ways.

“Very few people get to see live theater unless they drive into town,” she said. ” It is important to me to bring support to our library and enhance the image of the library as a cultural center.”

This year Sullivan brings both fresh and veteran talent to the series, each with a wealth of experience in the performing arts.

Opening the series on Saturday is solo dramatist Roberta Randall. The actress will perform her original work, “Stars of the Silver Screen”, in which she portrays some of the most famous actresses in film, including Betty Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. Randall has been performing her “One-Woman Theater” to audiences for more than 30 years, as well as working in movies, television and theater. Randall has performed for hundreds of organizations in California and the Midwest, but it will be her first time at the Saturday Speaker Series.

March 11 brings storyteller Barbara Clark to the library with an event called “Should We Care?” involving stories from the sixties civil rights movement that touch on issues still relevant today. Clark transitioned to storyteller after working as a librarian for more than 30 years.

“I had to have something to do when I retired,” she said. “Before I knew what was happening I was a professional storyteller.”

Clark’s stories are original and include anecdotes drawn from her personal experiences. She brings her stories to many organizations and also works in charitable pursuits. She works with the Literacy Council to promote literacy for preschool children and was recently honored by KCET for her work teaching senior citizens how to become storytellers. Clark performed last year for the speaker series and is back by popular demand.

Artist and philosopher Leigh McClosky will present “Adam Reborn @ Eve Restored, and the Emerging Myths of Sophia-a Visual Adventure” on March 18. Using his own artistic creations, McClosky will reexamine the myths that are so ingrained in our history.

“It is narrative poem in two parts that tells the story of Genesis re-envisioned,” McClosky explained. “It is a bit like an archaeologist looking at the story and realizing that there is more depth.”

McClosky has been a student of history, philosophy and religion for many years and believes the stories passed down through generations are very relevant today.

“Our myths of origin are fundamental to how we construct our world view,” McClosky said.

McClosky is a Malibu native and is the son of Joseph McClosky, founder of the Malibu Art Association. He was a professional actor for 30 years and now lives with his family at their home in West Malibu where he practices his many arts, including painting and writing.

McClosky has published books through his own publishing company, Olander Press. Olander is also the name of his home.

Closing this year’s series on March 25 will be actress Kres Mersky who will perform a series of comic sketches called “Vignettes from the Codfish Balla.” Mersky is a veteran of the speaker series and will be participating for the fourth time.

“It is really a fun thing to do,” Mersky said. “There is a nice turnout with a lot of local people. They seem to enjoy the pieces a lot.”

Mersky writes her own material and also performs in film and television. She currently brings her one-woman show to many colleges, libraries and museums. Her show fits well with the celebration of Women’s History Month.

“The character pieces are very offbeat,” Mersky said. They are about very eclectic and interesting women.” The performance this Saturday begins at 3 p.m. in the Malibu Library Community Room, 23519 Civic Center Way. Admission to all programs is free. More information can be obtained by calling 457.6438