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Theater to perform for hurricane relief

Photos and Story by

Michael Najjar

Michael Najjar watched the TV news coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and was frustrated by what he saw. So, Najjar decided to do something about it.

As a response, the theater arts instructor has coordinated "PCC for Relief: An Afternoon Performance for Gulf Coast Recovery" from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Performing Arts Center on the Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave. Donations will be accepted at the door and all proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

"It feels great to be a part of an agent of change," Najjar said. "My girlfriend is a nurse who went to the Houston Astrodome to help treat evacuees. It was great to see her help on a hands-on level. I thought we could do the same by raising awareness and money."

Najjar is no stranger to new ideas. The Albuquerque, New Mexico native founded the Riverside Repertory theater in his hometown and is touring his theater productions around the PCC district, a first for the department.

The hurricane relief show is just the latest progressive idea for this second-year theater director. And, already many staff, faculty and students have stepped up to lend a hand, including PCC Sylvania Interim Campus President Paul Hill, Theater Instructor and Manager Dan Hays, and Najjar’s theater students. The show will feature many local artists and PCC students will perform monologues, dance and music pieces, and show a video montage.

"The performances will reflect on their personal responses to the disaster," Najjar said, who plans to have 10 performers. "We’re doing it the best way we know how by reaching out to the community. It’s a great college event that will raise awareness and I’m proud of that."

For more information on "PCC for Relief," please contact the box office at 503-977-4949. For more information about the American Red Cross, call 1-800-HELP-NOW, or email

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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