Category: performance

2014-15 University Theatre Season

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Fine_Arts.jpgThe richness of cultural choices - programming, in the common parlance - in our campus community instills a great sense of contact, exploration and inspiration. The new University Theatre season is an extraordinarily thoughtful repertoire of new and old that promises many great nights on its venerable stages:

[The] 2014-2015 lineup, which includes the 2012 Tony Award Winning "Raisin in the Sun" spinoff "Clybourne Park," a stage adaptation of literary and film classic "The Great Gatsby" presented as part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival, Shakespeare's classic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" and the biting satire "Mein Kampf."

This year's season offers new and old classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and adaptations and spin-offs of classic literature. It also contains new offerings, such as Catherine Trieschmann's "Hot Georgia Sunday" and George Tabori's "Mein Kampf," a satirical sendup of Adolf Hitler's failure as an artist that led him to pursue his other dream—of taking over the world. "A Lesson Before Dying," based on the Ernest Gaines novel examining the life of an innocent man on death row in 1948 Louisiana

The literary sensibililty of this roster alone has tremendous appeal. I already have my favorites. Get your season tickets today.

Image: Fine Arts Theatre by Cassandra Wright.

'Mafia on Prozac' production begins July 23

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An unusual summer theatre production begins its international run at the university next week:

"Mafia on Prozac," the hit off-Broadway comedy by Edward Allan Baker, July 23-25 at 8 p.m. in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building.

The company will move to Atlanta's Hangar Theatre for a performance July 26 from 8:50-9:35 p.m. and then on to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland Aug. 1-2 and 4-9.

The production is a collaboration between two long-time colleagues at separate universities: Ray Paolino, UGA's director of theatre, and Barry Pearson, provost of the State University of New York Purchase College. The two pooled resources to bring a professional-level production to the Edinburgh Festival with Pearson serving as the play's director and Paolino as a lead actor in the role of Tee.

Also on board from UGA is department of theatre and film studies faculty member T. Anthony Marotta in the lead role of Jay; master of fine arts in theatre graduate student Zack Byrd as the stage manager; and alumnus Michael Stille in the role of Matt. The production and tour are funded by the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the President's Venture Fund, a Provost's Summer Research Grant and the Purchase College Foundation.

A late July treat that is not to be missed. Get your tickets the evening of each performance at the Fine Arts Theatre box office.

Betrieten sie die UGA Hodgson Singers für ihre Europa-Tour 2014

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pic stitch of choral groupOr alternatively: Join the UGA Hodgson Singers for their 2014 European Tour! And if you can't make it to Salzburg Castle or Prague, follow the ensemble via the great travel blog they have set up, hodgsonsingers.wordpress.com/

The UGA Hodgson Singers are the major choral ensemble in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, directed by professor Dan Bara. World tours by our performance students, a kind of hybrid study abroad/promotional good will endeavor that, no matter how many times they travel the world individually, create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the group. What a very fun time and what better ambassadors for the Franklin College and UGA than this group. We're very proud of you. keep those blog posts coming!

Image: UGA Hodgson Singers in a performance in the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, Prague, Czech Republic.

Spring Awakening

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Spring-Awakening-Ware-Brockmeier.jpgUniversity Theatre winds up its season with the Broadway musical "Spring Awakening':

[T]he sexually charged rock musical "Spring Awakening," composed by Duncan Sheik with book and lyrics by Steven Sater, on April 10-12 and 15-18 at 8 p.m. with matinees April 13 and 19 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre.

The production is directed by Richard Garner, co-founder and artistic director of Georgia Shakespeare.

A recent hit on Broadway, "Spring Awakening" adapts German playwright Frank Wedekind's "1891 Spring Awakening: A Children's Tragedy," which was a commentary on the era's climate of sexual repression.

Garner calls Wedekind's work "a landmark play in the history of modern drama that gave us a pained look into the confused youth who had to make their way through a claustrophobic world that denied them a satisfactory understanding of the storm that was raging within their own adolescent bodies."

University Theatre and the department of theatre and film studies announced that the Grammy and Tony award-winning composer Duncan Sheik will be present for the performances and host a Q & A on Friday April 11 after the 8 pm show. A great opportunity to interact with and hear directly from one of the artistic forces behind the musical - a strong way to end up the season, and one that sums up University Theatre's commitment to audience, our students and the community.

Image: Senior theatre major Ashley Ware of Dacula plays the part of Wendla in the University Theatre performance of "Spring Awakening" along with senior theatre and English major Connor Brockmeier of Woodstock as Melchior. (Credit: Kristyn Nucci/UGA)

University Theatre: The Bakkhai

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Bakkhai with studentsUniversity Theatre is in session throughout this weekend with a contemporary take on the ancient Greek classic tragedy "The Bakkhai" by Euripides, translated by Robert Bagg:

Performances will be in the Cellar Theatre March 25-30 at 8 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. matinee March 30.

Tickets are $12, or $7 for students, and can be purchased at www.drama.uga.edu/box-office, by phone at 706-542-4400, in-person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office, or at the door before the show.

The original production of "The Bakkhai" in the fifth century B.C. combined drama, dance and music to honor the god Dionysos. The UGA production is directed by Marla Carlson, associate professor in the department of theatre and film studies.

New Orleans-born percussionist and composer Louis Romanos has created an original score for this production, and Carlson has taken on the role of choreographer in addition to that of director.

"Movement structures are developed through rehearsal, with considerable room left for improvisation even within the performance," Carlson said. "Like Dionysos, their rhythms move us as embodied individuals and draw us into a collective response regardless of our rational thought processes."

The ancient is modern this weekend in the Fine Arts Building. Make your plans to attend a performance.

UGA Ballet 20th anniversary performance

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UGABalletMark your calendar for a special night of ballet March 22:

The special concert, featuring both classical and contemporary ballet works performed by current company members with special appearances by ensemble alumni, will be in the New Dance Theatre in the Dance Building located on Sanford Drive.

Four pas de deux (dance for two) will be performed during the event: the classic "Aurora's Wedding" pas de deux from Act III of "Sleeping Beauty;" the famous pas de deux from Don Quixote performed by alumna Kristin Grubbs and her partner Samuel Chester, both with the Carolina Ballet Theatre; the virtuosic Russian pas de deux "Spring Waters;" and an original work "Awakened," created by alumnus John Streit.

A ballet program that began in 1994 seems quite young by any standard; its persistence over that time period, however, seems like a great feat. Congratulations to the UGA Ballet program and the department of dance, and best wishes on your continued success providing these refined artistic opportunities for our students (and audiences).

Image: UGA students Amanda Rostin of Cumming and Kalela Massey of Atlanta and alumna Kristin Grubbs of Greenville, S.C., rehearse a scene from the UGA Ballet Ensemble's 20th anniversary performance.

2nd Thursday to feature UGA Symphony Orchestra

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UGASO on stageBecause of spring break, the March 2nd Thursday Concert in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will be performed on March 6 at 8 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. The concert, featuring the UGA Symphony Orchestra performing Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major, is not to be missed:

Trained as an organist, Bruckner’s works are noted for their powerful and grand style, using the full scope of the orchestra to evoke the sound of his primary instrument. Thursday’s performance marks the first time the UGASO and conductor Mark Cedel have performed one of Bruckner’s symphonies at UGA. To commemorate the occasion, musicology Professor David Haas will present a special pre-concert lecture on the composer and his seventh symphony at 7:15 in the Performing Arts Center.

The concert will also feature Joseph Haydn’s Oboe Concerto in C major with UGA oboe professor Reid Messich.

Reid Messich joined the Hodgson School faculty in 2010, and holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and Florida State University. He has performed extensively throughout the United States and Japan, often under the direction of such conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi, Christoph Eschenbach, Otto-Werner Mueller, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Simon Rattle, and Mstislav Rostropovich. He is a current member of the Georgia Woodwind Quintet.

Proceeds from these concert support scholarships in the Hodgson School. Get your tickets here and come out and enjoy some great music.

Image: The UGA Symphony Orchestra from 2011 - old photo but with some of our very favorite student musicians.
 

Jordan is So Chilly

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To mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of "Strange Fruit," Lillian Smith's best-selling novel about interracial love, the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries presents "Jordan is So Chilly: An Encounter with Lillian Smith," a solo performance drawn largely from unpublished autobiographical writings by the author.

The performance title "Jordan is So Chilly," comes from the name of an African-American spiritual and was Smith's original title for "Strange Fruit."

"The title calls up for me the image of the difficult times faced by anyone in crossing over to the ‘promised land'," [Atlanta actress Brenda] Bynum said. "Lillian Smith faced so many trials and tribulations in her life and her work it seemed quite appropriate to me."

Nancy Smith Fichter, the author's niece, approached Bynum about doing a reading, perhaps from Smith's published letters, as an event at the Lillian E. Smith Center for Creative Arts in connection with the 2013 Southern Literary Trail.

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"No Southerner was more outspoken in expressing moral indignation about the region's injustices and inequities during the pre-civil rights era than Lillian Smith," said UGA history professor John Inscoe, an expert on the 19th century South and winner of the 2012 Lillian Smith Book Award, presented by the UGA Libraries and the Southern Regional Council.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is on Saturday Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.

Dancing about the Universe

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Interdiciplinarity has long been a buzzword in higher education - and all the while it's been much more than that. Bringing expertise from different disciplines together allows to researchers, scientists and artists to reach far deeper into wide-ranging questions and phenomena than they might alone. Just because a term gains currency doesn't disallow its essential truth.

Similarly, the departments of dance, physics and astronomy, and theatre and film studies have developed a collaboration that represents so much more than the sum of its extraordinary parts:

 

 

DAAP Stellar and the Dream Chasers! 2014 featuring performances by CORE Concert Dance Company, Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 26-March 1, at 8 p.m. in the New Dance Theatre.

A large-scale collaboration by Franklin College units, the show will feature aerial, dance, film animation and spoken passages delivered by "morphed alien scientist" DAAP Stellar, a fictional composite based on UGA expertise. Ten UGA physics and astronomy professors will expound ideas reflecting leading-edge scientific research including astrophysics and black holes (Loris Magnani); elementary particles (Kanzo Nakayama); spin waves (Uwe Happek); galactic clouds (Robin Shelton); quantum levitation and superconductivity (Heinz-Bernd Schüttler); nanotechnology (Yiping Zhao); molecular dynamics (David Landau); electromagnetic spectrum (William Dennis); extra solar planets (Inseok Song); and "the search for truth in the universe" (Richard Meltzer).

Film, dance and science... a great example of working together by our very creative and motivated faculty. See you there. Tickets.

Bray's Plays shorts - University Theatre

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Brays cartoonBeginning tonight in the lovely Seney-Stoval Chapel on Milledge Avenue, University Theatre presents an evening of short works by theatre and film studies lecturer and award-winning playwright John Patrick Bray:

Fairy godmothers, the bluegrass bar that birthed punk, the government's secret Department of Extraterrestrial Findings and other oddities come to life in a series of original short plays by Bray.

"Bray's short, quirky works are sure to delight," said David Saltz, head of the department of theatre and film studies at UGA.

Seven faculty and graduate students direct the series of selections designed to make spectators laugh a lot, cry a little and perhaps scratch their heads once or twice.

The production runs all week with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 9. Get your tickets here.