SOAC + School of Art & Communication
SOACtivities banner
October 2011

"Matt Johnson" opens next week in the University Gallery

Tacoma artist Matt Johnson, a visiting instructor in the Department of Art & Design, explores the details of everyday life in his upcoming exhibition. Join SOAC and the University Gallery for the opening reception of “Matt Johnson” with light refreshments Wednesday, October 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The exhibition, which will remain open until November 9, 2011, focuses on the relationships we take for granted because of the convenience of cell phones. The exhibition revolves around Johnson’s dependence on his cell phone as a communication device and as a link to personal memories.

“I feel this represents my reliance on my phone to stay connected,” Johnson says.  “I am more likely to call/text/email someone than to actually visit with them face to face.“

The drawings and paintings of towers are portraits of friends in his phone book; he substitutes the cell phone towers for their visual likenesses. The portrait paintings come from the theft of Johnson’s phone this summer when he realized he still has a very strong connection to these visual likenesses and tried to reclaim the stolen images on the phone as his.

“I am trying to reconnect with family and friends on a more personal level again,” Johnson says. “This body of work has helped me to realize this need.”

Johnson will showcase approximately 18 works.  The exhibition will combine drawing, painting and small sculpture. Most drawings are done in charcoal with some in graphite and watercolor; paintings are oil on canvas and board while sculptures are created using greenware (unfired clay).

Johnson’s work will be displayed and open for public viewing Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October 12 to November 9 in PLU’s University Gallery; cost is free. 

New piano chair looks forward to a new chapter at PLU

oksanaAfter more than 25 years performing piano, Oksana Ezhokina opens a new chapter of her life as an Assistant Professor of Music and Chair of Piano Studies at PLU.

Ezhokina performed in Lagerquist Concert Hall as a guest artist in 2000 for the very first time and says she was immediately taken with the school and the collaborative environment. 

“It was the spirit of the faculty, the spirit of the school,” Ezhokina says. “It was very amazing how invested the student body was - that was really a draw for me.”

This fall Ezhokina teaches private lessons where she can assess student’s individual needs and work with them as they hone their craft. She also teaches a First Year Experience class: Intro to Music, which brings together 18 students from a variety of backgrounds and majors.

“The students in this class are very willing to take on new challenges and rise to the occasion,” Ezhokina says. “It’s actually very much a highlight of my semester.”

Ezhokina says she’s looking forward to working with her colleagues and building upon PLU’s great music tradition. She hopes to help the music department continue to become one of the most coveted places to come and study piano and music in general. 

Ezhokina was formerly with Cornish College of the Performing Arts where she taught for four years as an adjunct professor. She has also served as Co-Artistic Director of Icicle Creek Music Center for the last several years. The Icicle Creek Piano Trio, an ensemble she performs with, recently recorded two CDs on Con Brio label, which were reviewed with much acclaim and featured on multiple live radio broadcasts.

Professor of Communication returns from sabbatical

warJoanne Lisosky, PLU Professor of Communication, returned from sabbatical this fall after completing a manuscript for her book and traveling and teaching in Azerbaijan. 

In the summer and fall of 2010 Lisosky completed the manuscript for a book titled, “War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists.” The book activity was developed and completed along with 2007 PLU graduate and Fulbright alum, Jennifer Henrichsen. The book is an 80,000-word text offering historical background on coverage of conflict around the world as well as current international policies to protect journalists who risk their lives to tell the stories of war. Lisosky and Henrichsen interviewed more than 60 stakeholders from around the world to include their opinions on who should be responsible for journalists’ protection. 

In addition, Lisosky traveled to Azerbaijan in January 2011 to teach journalism as a Fulbright Scholar; she remained there until June 2011.  While there she taught four courses and seminars and assisted in the development and writing of several grants to advance journalism education in Azerbaijan. Because of a grant written in the spring, Baku colleagues recently learned they are the finalists for a $60,000 grant from the International Press Institute in Austria.  This was Lisosky’s second Fulbright experience teaching journalism. Her first was in 2003 in Uganda. 

Lisosky will be signing her book at Garfield Bookstore on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. and she will be part of PLU Homecoming’s Author Event along with her co-author at Garfield Bookstore on Oct.14. It is also available on

"The Fantasticks" opens Friday Oct. 14  

The Department of Theatre presents “The Fantasticks” by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones and directed by Jeff A. Clapp, at PLU’s new Studio Theater, Friday October 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. and October 23 at 2 p.m. 

This comical musical tells the story of a young boy and girl who fall madly in love at the hands of their meddling parents, but soon grow restless and stray from one another. The audience is left wondering if their separation will provide a deeper appreciation for the love they once shared or create a permanent gulf between them. The original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical. “The Fantasticks, an essential piece of musical theater history. Long may it run.” --David Horiuchi

“The Fantasticks” kicks off PLU’s School of Arts and Communication Theatre season, which has five featured productions along with numerous student produced shows.  

Watch the Trailer!


Full Calendar of SOACtivities:


7: MUSIC- IWO Flute Quartet @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Lyric Brass Quintet @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Carpe Diem String Quartet @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Erik Steighner, Faculty Saxophonist @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, 


MUSIC- Michael Unger, Guest Organist @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall,  $15 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizen, $5 PLU Community, Alumni


MUSIC- University Symphony Orchestra @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- University Jazz Ensemble @ 8pm, Chris Knutzen Hall


ART- Matt Johnson Exhibition, Opening Reception @ 5-7pm, University Gallery, FREE


ART- Matt Johnson Exhibition, University Gallery, FREE


MUSIC- Keyboard Student Recital @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


THEATRE- “ The Fantasticks” @ 7:30pm, Studio Theatre


MUSIC- Annual Orchestra Invitational - All day event - Concert at 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- University Wind Ensemble @ 2:30pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall

16: MUSIC- University Wind Ensemble - Grahm-Kapowsin High School @ 5pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall
16: MUSIC- Danish Brass Band @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall 


MUSIC- Fall Choral Concerts @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


THEATRE- “The Fantasticks” @ 7:30pm, Studio Theatre


THEATRE- “ The Fantasticks” @ 2pm, Studio Theatre


MUSIC- Early & Baroque Concert @ 3pm, Trinity Lutheran


MUSIC- Camas Wind Quintet @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, 



MUSIC- Mary Baker Russell Music Scholars Recital @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall

8: MUSIC- Regency String Quartet @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Piano Ensemble Recital @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- PLU Opera Series: “Gianni Schicchi” @ 8pm, Eastvold Auditorium


MUSIC- Erin Chung, Pianist & Quintin Morris, Violinist @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- PLU/UPS Saxophone Student Recital @ 5:30pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Mark Brombaugh, Guest Organist @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, $15 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizen, $5 PLU Community, Alumni


MUSIC- PLU Opera Series: “Gianni Schicchi” @ 3pm, Eastvold Auditorium


MUSIC- University Jazz Ensemble @ 8pm, Chris Knutzen Hall


MUSIC- University Symphony Orchestra & University Singers @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- University Men’s Chorus & University Concert Band @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


ART- Juried Student Exhibition, Opening Reception @ 5-7pm, University Gallery, FREE


ART- Juried Student Exhibition, University Gallery, FREE


MUSIC- Slovvinden Flute Ensemble @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Choral Union @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, $15 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizen, $5 PLU Community, Alumni


MUSIC- Guitar Ensembles @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- University Wind Ensemble with Oksana Ezhokina, Faculty Pianist @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Jazz Combos in the Cave @ 5:30pm, University Center Cave, FREE


MUSIC- Percussion and Steel Pan Ensembles @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE

Ticket Prices, unless otherwise noted.

MUSIC events: $8 - General Admission, $3 - Alumni & PLU guests, FREE - PLU Community & Children under 18
For tickets please call 253-535-7787

THEATRE events: $8 - General Admission, $5 - Senior, PLU Community
For tickets please call the Concierge Office at 253-535-7411