Category: performance

Graduate Acting Ensemble: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

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Danny.pngThe Graduate Acting Ensemble in the department of theatre and film studies will present a two-night engagement Oct. 21-22 in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building - Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley:

A violent maniac and a neglectful mother walk into a bar, but the only punch lines are the scars they carry with them. Danny wants to fight his way out of this vicious world, and Roberta wants punishment for her awful life choices. When they cross paths one night in a dingy Bronx bar, they might be each other's last hope for redemption.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. The production contains adult content and themes, so discretion is advised. The Graduate Acting Ensemble is comprised of MFA students in the department and advised by professor Ray Paolino.

Spotlight on the Arts: Opera Theatre

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2014 spotlight.jpgWe'll be highlighting a few of the upcoming Spotlight on the Arts events, and first but not least is the UGA Opera Theatre production of 'Hansel and Gretel':

 University of Georgia Opera Theatre will present "Hansel and Gretel" in a three-night engagement Nov. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall.

The performance, part of both the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music's 2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series, also features the Georgia Children's Chorus, dance department and UGA Symphony Orchestra, conducted by professor Mark Cedel.

The quasi-children's opera is the best-known work of 19th century German composer Engelbert Humperdinck.

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UGA's production of the opera will be sung in English, using a libretto unique to the performance that draws upon several translations. Presented as a fully-staged concert production, the opera features Marisan Corsino as Hansel, Elisabeth Slaten as Gretel, Chalis Montgomery in the dual role of the mother and witch, Isaiah Feken as the father and Alexis Minogue as the Sandman and Dew Fairy, two spirits encountered by the children in the forest.

"Beyond beautiful singing, musical elements, melodies and an understanding of the text, I find the most important element in any opera to be the relationships between characters," Burchinal said. "You can dress things up in all manner of fantastic settings, but the characters' interaction is at the heart of whether or not we believe what is happening in the opera. The goal is to always find a way to create reality onstage."

That's what the spotlight is for - live performance on a stage, with music, costumes, singers and musicians. All with a great story. Come out and support our students and faculty in the Opera Theatre. It's a great experience, with extraordinarily skilled performers in a friendly environment. Step into the Spotlight. #UGASpotlight

Hodgson Wind Ensemble - selections from West Side Story

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WestSide.jpgThe Hodgson Wind Ensemble presents a special Second Thursday Scholarship Series concert on Oct. 9, with a program featuring selections from "West Side Story."

The concert also marks the Second Thursday debut of new director of bands in the Hodgson School of Music, Cynthia Johnston-Turner, with a program of music written entirely by American composers.:

 Selections include Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 2, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Slava!, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, both compositions by Leonard Bernstein.

“Jazz is America’s music, and the work of Bernstein and Adams tap into that genre,” said Turner, who began her position at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music this fall. “It’s exciting, gritty music with artistic value that appeals to this country’s aesthetic, and their inclusion makes for an uplifting, fun performance.”

The performance also features graduate conducting students Tyler Ehrlich and Jack Eaddy, Jr., as well as special guest soloist Pamela Mia Paul for the Georgia premiere of Steven Bryant’s Concerto for Piano.

The renaming of the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble to the Hodgson Wind Ensemble represents the new direction and vision Turner has for the group. In addition to this rebranding, Johnston Turner has changed the ensemble’s structure, reducing the number of performers to one-per-part.

“Excellence has its place,” said Turner. “These are the finest wind musicians here, and reducing the instrumentation encourages more ownership and responsibility, in addition to pushing students to be more sensitive musicians. It’s structured like a chamber ensemble—though that doesn’t mean we still can’t get quite loud when appropriate.”

Get your tickets today to enjoy a fantastic evening of music and welcome Dr. Johnston-Turner to the Second Thursday tradition. Bravo, Hodgson School.

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.