Bits 'n' Pieces: Vancouver native participates in out-of-this-world play

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter

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Trekkies are packing tighter than tribbles into Portland's Cathedral Park this month for the fourth annual "Trek in the Park: Journey to Babel."

For the uninitiated, "Trek in the Park" is a free outdoor play of an original "Star Trek" episode performed by actors from Atomic Arts, which includes Margaux Hash, a 2006 graduate of Mountain View High School.

This is the fourth summer that Hash, 24, has performed in "Trek in the Park. Hash," who earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater from Western Washington University, said, "I naturally fell into acting. I've always loved performing and making people laugh."

Hash is not donning a Starfleet uniform this summer and does not have a speaking role in "Trek," but she opens each performance by standing at a microphone and singing a solo of the "Star Trek" theme, and she is an extra in the banquet scene.

"Trek in the Park" has become such a Portland phenomena that it has been featured in the Independent Film Channel TV show "Portlandia."

In addition to her "Trek" gig, Hash dances with a burlesque troupe, the Frim Fram Foxies, which performs once a month at the Funhouse Lounge, 2432 S.E. 11th Ave. in Portland.

"Trek in the Park: Journey to Babel" begins at 5 p.m. Aug. 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26 at the park at North Edison Street and Pittsburgh Avenue near the St. Johns Bridge. Admission is free. Bring your own picnic and blanket. Arrive early — at warp speed — for good seats.

Find out more about the troupe at http://on.fb.me/Nh74Dl

Kiggins to show Clark College graduate's short film

Cinematographer Nathan Mielke, who is not related to Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, is bringing his film project home to Vancouver for two screenings Monday at Kiggins Theatre.

Mielke, a 2005 Prairie High School graduate and North Hollywood, Calif., resident, served as director of photography for "Cardboard Dreams," a 30-minute family-friendly film that he described as being "about two kids and the importance of imagination and friendship." It's Mielke's seventh short-film stint as director of photography, or DP, as it's known in the film biz.

After graduating from Clark College, Mielke received a bachelor of arts degree in cinema and media arts from Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.

"I went to film school to become a director. But I fell in love with light and composition, and the collaboration a DP has with the director."

"Cardboard Dreams" was the thesis project for Mielke and a team of other students. They spent two years and $15,000 making the film.

At his day job at Panavision in Woodland Hills, Calif., he helps camera assistants prepare camera gear for TV shows, films, commercials and music videos. "It's a great environment to learn some of the technical knowledge I need as a DP."

After hours, Mielke pursues his own film projects. In the works are a music video and a low-budget independent feature about zombies.

"Cardboard Dreams" will be shown at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Kiggins, 1011 Main St. Tickets are $4 for adults and teens; ages 12 and younger are free. To learn more, visit http://www.cardboarddreamsmovie.com.

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.