Home»Culture»Art Watch»Your Cannabis Stories Conveyed: RiverStars presents: “The (w)HOLE, Beyond Boom & Bust”

Your Cannabis Stories Conveyed: RiverStars presents: “The (w)HOLE, Beyond Boom & Bust”

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Performer Kari Kvittem. Photo by Christopher Hall. Illustration by Isadora Millay

Years ago in the Illinois Valley, a school for dance began because of a shared belief in galvanizing youth voice and power using dance and theatre to create social improvement. This year, they’ve put together a piece defined by local concerns; namely, cannabis. The (w)HOLE is meant to be very personal to the Illinois Valley. 

“It really belongs to the people who were willing to share their words with us,” says Gina Angelique, RiverStars Founder.

And, what better way to find out how a community feels about an issue than to accumulate interviews from its local residents? 

“Those words tell us what to make and what to create,” says Angelique. “The name came out of this gorgeous quote from a woman cannabis grower who just broke our hearts open. She was so candid and expressive in her interview. Here she was sharing her heart with us, and that is what has informed the creation of the piece.” 

When the economic bubble pops, be it from gold, timber, or cannabis, “we don’t necessarily feel like we have agency in the systems in which we make and spend money,” expresses Angelique. “You can give people information, but art is the best, most effective way to change people’s hearts from the inside.”

After photographing a rehearsal, lighting designer Chris Hall says, “I felt presented with the moments on stage that were anywhere from deeply unsettling and deeply thrilling, to hilarious and funny, but the moment I was caught laughing, I had the rug pulled out from underneath me, realizing that everything had shifted, just as it does in our daily lives.” 

While many are apprehensive to share their feelings about the cannabis industry, it’s a huge part of the local economy. Angelique adds, “what happens on stage isn’t fake or make believe, but the performers are actually going through an intensely emotional and physical process.” This piece is thus is an opportunity to look at how things are and how they could be. 


The (w)HOLE, Beyond Boom & Bust
8 – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5
Mountain Avenue Theatre, 201 S. Mountain Avenue, Ashland
6 – 8 pm, Sunday, October 6
Takilma Community Building, 9367 Takilma Road, Cave Junction
$25, or pay-what-you-can


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