The Essential A&E Picks for Sept. 1-7 

College Football, Storytelling Festival and more

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THURSDAY 9.1
Double Dose of College Football

It might be hard to believe that summer is already coming to a close, but college football is back—and with all five Beehive State Division I schools seeing action this week.

As exciting as the season's first games are, however, University of Utah and Brigham Young University fans have Sept. 10 marked on their calendars as the day that the "Holy War" resumes. Although the two teams met in the Las Vegas Bowl last year, this is the first regular season contest since 2013. The 97th edition of a series that started in 1896 takes place in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m., and is already sold-out.

Meanwhile, Utah—featuring pre-season All-American candidate defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei (pictured)—kicks off its season Thursday night by hosting Division I-AA Southern Utah. It's the first of six home games, including PAC-12 match-ups against University of Southern California, Arizona, Washington and Oregon.

BYU opens its independent schedule at a (nominally) neutral site in Phoenix against Arizona on Saturday. The Cougars open in Provo on Sept. 17 against UCLA and are also holding home contests with Toledo, Mississippi State, Southern Utah and University of Massachusetts. BYU closes the season at home against Utah State.

Utah State opens on Thursday with a home game against Division I-AA Weber State, and is hosting a non-league contest in Logan against Arkansas State on Sept. 16 as well. The Mountain West Conference home schedule includes Air Force, Fresno State, San Diego State and New Mexico. (Geoff Griffin)
Southern Utah vs. Utah @ Rice-Eccles Stadium, 451 S. 1400 East, 801-581-8849, Sept. 1, 6 p.m., $18-$63. UtahTickets.com

Weber State vs. Utah State @ Maverik Stadium, 899 E. 1000 North, Logan, 435-797-0305, Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m., $12-$105. UtahStateAggies.com/Tickets

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THURSDAY 9.1
Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

For three days, in the shadow of one of Utah's biggest mountains, storytellers from around the country bring with them some amazing tales.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival turns 27 this year, and features a mix of local writers and nationally established names—all designed to celebrate the traditional folk art of storytelling. The festival provides a large space for people to listen to amazing dramas and lore from other people and cultures, helping bring people together and build a bigger community.

On a grander level, the festival helps promote the idea of sharing thoughts and one's own knowledge in an effort to promote better communication. At a time where we find ourselves conveying our thoughts through text messages and using emojis to express feelings, the art of storytelling is slowly being lost to an entire generation. Events like this can preserve the heritage of passing on tales.

Among the confirmed storytellers are Geraldine Buckley, whose stories have often focused on her work as a prison chaplain, and Kevin Kling, a regular on NPR's All Things Considered.

"Story is a powerful thing," the institute's Executive Director Eliot Wilcox says. "We hope that people not only feel a sense of shared humanity prompted by the stories they hear, but also that they are inspired to share their own stories with the people they love."

Tickets can be purchased individually, in sets and in family packs; check out the festival's website for pricing details. (Gavin Sheehan)
Timpanogos Storytelling Festival @ Mt. Timpanogos Park, U.S. 189, Orem, Sept. 1-3, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., $8-$12 daily, $30-$150 packages. TimpFest.org

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FRIDAY 9.2
Classical Greek Theatre Festival: Herakles

Psychedelic rock and the electric guitar accompanies the ancient tale of Herakles—this year's selection for the annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival.

This rarely performed ancient play by Euripides has been updated to the 20th century, using the backdrop of the Vietnam War and its aftermath rather than the villas of ancient Greece. In this production, Herakles is a veteran, comes home from his labors to rescue his family from being killed by an unlawful ruler. But despite this initial victory, he is unable to save them from the vengeance of the goddess Hera.

Hugh Hanson, the production's director, says setting this play in the not-so-distant past gives it a safe but relevant platform to talk about the psychological damage of warfare. "The idea of post-traumatic stress disorder was an issue that was dealt with through the arts in ancient Greece as well as now," Hanson says. "I wanted to comment on the horror that war does to those who have to fight, and this play does that better than most any other play that I know."

While updating its setting and adding contemporary music, this performance retains the mythic elements of the original, using giant puppets to represent the gods and the chorus. This use of puppetry is rarely employed by the company, according to James Svendson, founder of the festival.

Prior to each performance, Svendson plans to give a 30-minute lecture about aspects of Greek tragedy foreign to modern audiences, such as the role of the chorus, and provide background on the play. (Kylee Ehmann)
Herakles @ Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East, Sept. 2-3, 801-832-2457, 7:30 p.m., free, additional dates, times and locations online. WestminsterCollege.edu/Greek_Theatre

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SATURDAY 9.3
A Celebration of Cultural Diversity

Salt Lake City as a whole has become more and more culturally and ethnically diverse—in no small part due to the influx of refugees from all over the world. For almost 15 years, Utah nonprofit organization Salaam (Salt Lake American Muslim) has provided resources for refugees, and this year continues their annual sponsorship of the Celebration of Cultural Diversity—a family-friendly festival.

The festival focuses on the performing arts—particularly dance—with groups from the Balkans, central Asia, Peru and Ireland, to name a few. Performances include taiko Japanese drumming (pictured), live music from Mariachi America and a Native American childrens' dance group. Even the jazz music that gave our city's basketball team their name gets its due. Music always seems to be a force that brings people together in harmony.

In addition to the performers, another highlight is the guest speaker, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Craft Lake City and Run4Refugee are among the vendors at the festival, and if you happen to be visiting the Downtown Farmers Market, it's just a few steps south of the rows of booths of heirloom produce and designer cheeses. If not, it's worth the sojourn to make new friends and learn about what this cultural infusion has added to the richness of our small local community.

Now, if we could only solve the world's political conflicts by dancing it out. (Brian Staker)
A Celebration of Cultural Diversity @ Pioneer Park, 350 S. 300 West, September 3, 9:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m., free. SaltLakeAmericanMuslim.com

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