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Cambria's Pewter Plough Playhouse stages reading of Julia Morgan play



Castle in the sky

The Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria will be staging a reading of the play Arches, Balance and Light, a bio-fantasy about the life of Julia Morgan, by playwright Mary Spletter.

Julia Morgan was born in San Francisco in 1872. During her lifetime, she designed more than 700 buildings in California, with her most famous being Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Morgan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in civil engineering. Additionally, she was the first woman to be admitted to the architecture program at l’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beau-Arts in Paris, and was one of the first women to become a licensed architect in California. The play is a combination of historical fact and fiction, and describes an encounter between the unmarried Morgan and a woman who may or may not be her daughter.

Directed by Kelly Howard, the play will run on Friday, Aug. 29, and Sat., Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee on Sun., Aug. 31, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit or call 927-3877.

In treatment

Fans of the Turner Classic Movie channel have their own local version of it right here in good ol’ San Luis Obispo. The Palm Theatre will once again host Take Two Live, with radio hosts Jim Dee and Bob Whiteford holding introductions and Q&A sessions. On Aug. 31, they will screen Bigger Than Life.

Released in 1956, Bigger Than Life was based on a medical article written by Berton Roueche in 1955, entitled “Ten Feet Tall,” that described a medical patient’s reaction to cortisone treatments. The film stars James Mason, Barbara Rush, and Walter Matthau, and tells the story of a family man with a fatal disease who gets addicted to cortisone and his subsequent psychotic episode that threatens to tear his family apart. Mason co-wrote the screenplay, and produced the movie as well. The film was directed by Nicholas Ray (A Rebel Without a Cause), and gives the audience an in-depth look at the fragility of this not-so-perfect 1950s family. At the time of its release, the film garnered considerable controversy as well as critical praise from the likes of French New Wave director Jean Luc-Godard.

The showing will start at 12:30 p.m.; tickets cost $10. For more information about Take Two Live, go to or call 541-5161.

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