Metro-East Living

Lifestyle briefs for March 30

‘The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’

The McKendree University Theatre Department will present “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the McKendree campus, The Hett Center for the Arts, 400 N. Alton Street, Lebanon. This play is about the murder of the 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard and society’s as well as the Wyoming legislature’s response during and afterward.

No admission will be charged for this event. Theater doors will open about a half hour before the performance begins. Information: 618-537-6863.

St. Louis walking tours

The 18th season of Downtown Walking Tours sponsored by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis kicks off at 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in any weather and will continue every Saturday until October 28. The walking tours cost $10 per adult and are free for children 12 and under. To see the different routes, go to

Dennis Stroughmatt at Espenschied Chapel

Dennis Stroughmatt, a western-swing fiddler, will perform “A Tribute to Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Espenschied Chapel, 317 County Road, Mascoutah. The two hour show features music influenced by Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Roger Miller, Johnny Paycheck and Buddy Spicher. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Information: 618-566-7425.

‘Masquerspayed’ ball

The Spay Neuter Illinois Pets Alliance will have its annual Masquerspayed Ball from 7-11 p.m. Saturday at Madison’s Team Room, Wood River. Dining, drinking and dancing will be presented by Carol House Furniture. There will also be raffles, a photo booth, silent auctions and games. Tickets cost $50. Information:

Drawing class

Belleville Parks and Recreation will have a cartoon drawing class from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday at Nichols Community Center, 515 East D. St. The cost is $45 per session and will continue on subsequent Mondays for four weeks. This class is appropriate for ages 8 and up. Information: 618-277-9785.

Optimist poster contest

The Belleville Optimist Club is having its annual poster contest for boy and girls in 4-6 grades. The theme is “Be a H.E.R.O. — Helping Everyone Respect Others” and the deadline for submission is April 21. The winner of the poster contest will receive $100, second place $75 and third place $50.

For additional information and contest rules, contact Jamie Mccloskey, 618-233-3798 or

Weekend hours for Belleville museums

For the first time in 6 years, a St. Clair County Historical Society museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of every month. The Emma Kunz House, 602 Fulton St., Belleville, or the Victorian Home Museum, 701 E. Washington St., Belleville will be open on a rotating schedule. In addition to weekend hours, the museum’s First Saturday events will feature special activities, demonstrations, displays and presentations. Visit the society’s Facebook page to see the monthly museum schedule and theme:

Monroe Actors Stage Company

The Monroe Actors Stage Company will present “Silent Sky” at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at 202 S. Main St., Waterloo. This stage performance is about Henrietta Leavitt, a female astronomer in the early 1900s. Similar to the movie, “Hidden Figures,” this play aims to both inspire and entertain. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors or students. Information: 618-939-7469.

The MASC will hold auditions for the last show of the 2016-2017 season, an old West comedy, “Wild Oats” at 7 p.m. Monday-Tuesday. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Contact director Brook Owen for more information:

SIUE Mass Communications week

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Mass Communications week will take place from Monday-Thursday, April 3-6. The theme, “Diversity Amidst Adversity,” will be discussed through various speakers, presentations, panels and films.

Jack Shaheen, an internationally known author and media critic and SIUE professor emeritus, will present a keynote address from 7-8:15 p.m. Thursday in the Dunham Hall Theater, SIUE campus. Another keynote speaker, Rohkaya Diallo, a French-Senegalese journalist, award-winning filmmaker and writer will speak from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday at the Morris University Center.

“This year is the first time we are bringing in higher profile speakers with international reputations,” Department of Mass Communications Chair Elza Ibroscheva, PhD, said on the school’s website. “The faculty chose this year’s theme in light of the political realities we are living in now. It’s a time when people feel more marginalized and isolated than ever before.”

All Mass Communication week events are brought to the SIUE campus through support of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Foreign Language and Literature. The programs are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of the many offerings, go to:

Child Abuse Prevention Month

A formal proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month will be announced at 10 a.m. Monday in front of the St. Clair county courthouse. Featured speakers at the Kick-off Ceremony include St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and Executive Director of the St. Clair County Child Advocacy Center, Carolyn Hubler. Homer, the support dog for child victims during forensic interviews will also be present.

After the ceremony, attendees are encouraged to participate in planting a pinwheel garden around 300 W. Main St. Blue ribbons and pinwheels are nationally recognized symbols of child abuse prevention. This event is open to the public. Information: 618-277-1134.

State Representative coffee hour

East St. Louis State Rep. LaToya Greenwood will host a coffee hour from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at McDonalds, 588 N. 24th St., East St. Louis. Greenwood will talk about current legislation that she supports as well as answering questions from constituents. Information: 618-646-9557.