Since You Asked: A stage by any other name

When I went to what was then Southern Oregon State College, the Department of Theatre Arts named its theater the Dorothy Stolp Center Stage after a beloved professor who had taught since the time of Angus Bowmer.

Yet I see it called Center Stage in the paper. What gives? Did they take away the honor they bestowed on Dorothy Stolp?

— Mark H., Medford

Stolp it Mark, you're killing us!

We are the guilty ones. But there's nothing nefarious afoot.

The venue's full name comprises several words and a bunch of syllables. These days we often tend to shorten such names. When the Dorothy Stolp Center Stage Theatre becomes the Center Stage, it's not only less of a mouthful, it's distinguished rather symmetrically from SOU's smaller, more intimate Center Square.

You mentioned Angus Bowmer. Same deal. We might say the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Angus Bowmer Theatre occasionally, but often it's just the Bowmer. Similarly, the Ginger Rogers Craterian Theater is often the Craterian, and the Britt Pavilion on county-owned land in Jacksonville is often just plain Britt.

And nobody, but nobody, calls the Medford airport the Rogue Valley-Medford International Intergalactic Airport.

OK, we were kidding about the intergalactic part.

By the way, a quick check shows that since 2000 we've called the stage in question the Dorothy Stolp Center Stage more than 20 times.

Finally, if anybody would like his own name attached to the stage, Theater Arts Chairman Chris Sackett says it can be arranged. Have your credit card ready.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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