Faculty, Students Win at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

IMG_1272.JPGKent Cyr was recognized at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region III with a faculty service award for Innovative Teaching. The KCACTF Region III festival was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, January 9-14 at the University of Indianapolis. The goal of the festival is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs.

Also, a number of our Visual and Performing Arts students were recognized. Congratulations!

Design Storm!

Student consults with other designers, dramaturg, and director to create a key scene in a play, prepare initial sketches, basic ground plan/rendering, and discusses how the design illustrates personal ideas and production intention/concept.

  • Hunter Storie (Scene Design) and Ethan Troyer (Dramaturgy) Most Wretched Deathbed Dreams of Edgar Allen Poe

Regional Design Projects

Regional Design Projects are intended to serve Region III student designers with the opportunity to showcase their work for non-realized design projects, and to receive a response to their work that will help them improve their design skills and grow as designers. Seven students presented in Sound Design and two in Costume Design.

  • Sarah Calvert (Winner), His Dark Materials, Sound Design
  • Noah Schumaker (Finalist), Insurrection, Sound Design
  • David Brown (Finalist), Galileo, Sound Design

Realized Design Projects

National-eligible for consideration in all design areas. Winners are invited to present at the Kennedy Center National Festival in April.  Three students participated and two were finalists.

  • Chris Wilson (Finalist), Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Music Composition
  • Alex Weber (Finalist), West Side Story, Lighting Design

Tech Olympics Individual Best Times

Performance is judged on time and/or accuracy in setup, skill, and performance.

  • Kity Williams and Brendan Espinosa, Sound
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Stori, Lighting
  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Knots
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, Costumes and Props

The Games of The Technological Olympiad Overall

  • Alex Weber and Jack Horrigan, Third Place
  • Ryan Nickolas and Hunter Storie, Second Place
  • Lexa Walker and Jason Scott, First Place

Scrap Arts Music Presents “Children of Metropolis” at the Rozsa

Musicians standing in a circle beating drumsScrap Arts Music, Canadian-born and globally enjoyed, has performed in more than fifteen countries on five continents for audiences of all backgrounds, with a family-friendly presentation of music and movement. Innovation. Energy. Rhythm.

If you’re looking for a feel-good, adrenaline-packed experience—look no further. Take some scrap, transform it through the arts with welding, sculpture and choreography, and then—with five extraordinary and athletic percussionists—create beautiful music. The result? Musical works that are intricate, playful and powerful, and that delight the eyes and the ears.

The Rozsa Center is proud to present the US debut of their latest production, new in 2018, “Children of Metropolis,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.

Scrap Arts Music is deeply rooted in an eco-friendly sensibility: all their instruments are hand- made from industrial scraps. Often compared to STOMP and Blue Man Group, Scrap Arts Music’s philosophy is a bit different—they insist on building full-blown artistic instruments from literal pieces of scrap. Each instrument is a one-of-a-kind creation that doubles as both music-maker and artistic sculpture.

High energy original choreography makes artistic director and instrument maker Gregory Kozak’s nuanced compositions powerfully come to life—performed with passion by Scrap Arts Music’s five award-winning multi-instrumentalists. Each production is a rich blend of serious, sophisticated ensemble percussion music paired with humorous moments that fill theaters with laughter.

Tickets for Scrap Arts: “Children of Metropolis” at the Rozsa Center are on sale now, $22 for adults, $10 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa box office the night of the show. Please note that the Rozsa box office opens only two hours before performances.

Jazz Legend Fred Hersch Headlining Michigan Tech Jazz Festival

Fred HerschThe three-day festival celebrates more than 50 years of jazz at Michigan Tech. Things get started Thursday, March 22, with the showing of the film “The Ballad of Fred Hersch,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Rozsa Center. The documentary recounts Hersch’s role as a jazz pianist icon — he’s led and co-led more than 30 albums and received eight Grammy nominations — and his experience coming out as gay and HIV-positive in the early 90s. The New York Times described Hersch as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz — a jazz for the 21st century.”

The Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Festival will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23 in the Rozsa Center. The festival features the Research & Development Big Band and the Jazz Lab Band. According to Mike Irish, director of jazz studies, “Don originated the Jazz Lab Band in 1967, and since then, it has grown into one of the most respected non-major jazz programs in the country.”

The festival will conclude with a performance by the Fred Hersch Trio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, offering a chance to see “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” in action, as per Vanity Fair magazine.

Tickets for the film “The Ballad of Fred Hersch” are free; tickets for the Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Concert are $15 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets for the Fred Hersch Trio concert are $22 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

Tickets are available by phone 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

Career Services Spotlight: Audio Production and Technology Student Henry Sendek

Henry Sendek at sound board during a performanceAll Michigan Tech students have one thing in common: Tenacity. They know how to work hard and be successful. Among them is Henry Sendek, an Audio Production and Technology student. Adding on to his full class schedule and on-campus events, Henry’s major requires him to attend four conferences throughout his time at Michigan Tech: two as an attendee and two as a presenter. These conferences are incredible networking and learning opportunities. They are the job fairs of Visual and Performing Arts departments around the country.

Learn more about Career Service’s featured VPA Student, Henry Sendek.

Sound Design Student Samantha Palumbo Shares Her Story

Samantha Palumbo seated at a sound board in an equipment room talking with another technicianTaking advantage of her sound design major with a focus in productions, Samantha Palumbo worked on eight (and counting!) productions in the past three years at Michigan Tech.

She says, “One of the great things about Tech’s undergraduate program is the Visual and Performing Arts Department allows students to work hands-on from the beginning…  That’s why I love going to school here. You can have a wide range of jobs on different productions.”

Samantha has worked a variety of positions – from hanging lights to being in charge of painting sets. After taking the Scenic Art and Illustration class, Samantha was the Scenic Charge Artist for Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Read more about Samantha’s experience through Career Services.


Rozsa gallery b Presents “Come In We’re Open” and Alvizures Residency

GLS-2015-Reception2The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) presents the Rozsa gallery b show “Come In We’re Open,” an open-house exhibition of student sculptors’ work in progress, as a part of the Project Learning Lab alternative classroom project.

The show opened Monday and runs until Saturday (March 10). There will be a public reception at 5-6:30 p.m. tomorrow (March 8), is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday and  1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Also ongoing is the Rozsa Gallery A-Space exhibition “Always Room for Rain,” presenting the work of artists Raquel Alvizures and Ross Chaney. The public is welcome to experience the progress of visiting artist-in-residence Alvizures, who is painting a mural for the Rozsa Center during the week in the Rozsa North Mezzanine.

Visiting hours to see Alvizures at work are 1-6 p.m. today and tomorrow (March 7/8), and 1-4 p.m. Friday (March 9).

For more information, contact Lisa Gordillo (7-3096).

Acoustics and Noise Control Workshop on Rozsa Center Stage

Lily WangLily Wang will lead a workshop on “Designing a Modular Stage Shell Ceiling” on the Rozsa Center Stage. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, March 1. In the afternoon, students will form teams and come up with design ideas for the modular ceiling. The workshop will continue from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, March 2, when student teams will present their design ideas. Students, faculty and community members are invited to attend the workshop.

Wang will also present a lecture on “Theater Design Considerations.” Her visit is co-sponsored by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer Scholar Series (VWMLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative, and the departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Visual and Performing Arts.

Wang is a professor in the, and associate dean for graduate programs and faculty development in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Her primary research interests are in room acoustics and noise control. Wang’s research group’s work on human perception and performance in noise, classroom acoustics, uncertainty in acoustic measurements and room acoustics computer modeling has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, among others.

Legendary Ailey II Dance Company Coming to the Rozsa Center

Dancer in the center of the stage with other dancers surroundingThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will present the legendary Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 27), as a part of its 32-city US tour.

The Alvin Ailey dance spirit shines in Ailey II, known for its exhilarating and timeless performances nationally and internationally. Ailey II has been hailed as “second to none” by Dance Magazine, and noted for its “off the charts energy” by The New Yorker.

The acclaimed 12-member ensemble will inspire audiences in cities across the U.S. and also reach international audiences in France and Spain. The troupe will return home for its annual New York season, taking place at the Ailey Citigroup Theater March 14 – 25.

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. One of the most popular dance companies in the country, Ailey II combines a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

The program at the Rozsa will include the iconic “Revelations,” first premiered by Alvin Ailey in 1960. Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, says, “Alvin was making a statement about African-American cultural experience, saying, ‘Hey, this is who we are, we live here, we were born here,’ It was a brave action. Civil rights were roaring, and our protest was our performance.”

For more information on the tour, visit alvinailey.org.

Tickets are on sale now: $22.00 – Adult, $10.00 – Youth, no charge for students with the experience tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.

Carnival of the Animals Concert Saturday

Art with pigs, cow, chickens dancing to a squirrel playing a violinThe Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents “Carnival of the Animals,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 24) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the great zoological works in the orchestral canon, “Carnival of the Animals,” by Camille Saint-Saëns, includes humorous depictions of elephants, donkeys, lions, hens, roosters, tortoises, kangaroos and the famous “swan” for solo cello.

This concert also features two Russian masterworks: Dimitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available online, by phone at 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.

This concert is sponsored by a gift from John and Biruta Lowther.

Peace Activist Reverend Sharon Washington Risher to Speak Tomorrow

Reverend Sharon Washington Risher speakingWith the latest horrific mass shooting in Florida just last week, and the national outrage ongoing over more senseless gun violence in yet another of our schools, nothing is more relevant than a discussion with peace activist Reverend Sharon Washington Risher.

Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the Charleston, South Carolina shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

Her beloved mother — the church’s sexton — Ethel Lee Lance, was killed along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend. Since that horrific tragedy, Sharon has been very outspoken about the nation’s gun laws and is one of the national spokespersons for the grassroots advocacy groups Everytown and Moms Demand Gun Sense.

Audiences nationwide are saying that Risher’s talks are incredibly powerful, emotional, riveting, raw and authentic, and each of her talks cover her personal experience losing loved ones to gun violence, race, racism and hate in America, as well as the path to forgiveness and an offering of hope for tomorrow.

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, as a part of the Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture/Scholar Series, have partnered to present this lecture at 7:30 tomorrow (Feb. 20) in the Rozsa Center.

This lecture is free; however, tickets are required. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the lecture. Note the Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.

Tech Theatre Presents “When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?”

Old fashioned cafe sign graphicThe Tech Theatre Company presents Mark Medoff’s Obie Award-winning play “When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?”

The action involves the employees and customers of Foster’s Diner in Hope, New Mexico, in the 1970s. Their daily grind is disrupted with the arrival of two couples, the upscale Richard and Clarisse, and the younger and wilder Teddy, an unbalanced Vietnam War vet and Cheryl, his hippie girlfriend. Complications arise when illegal drugs and guns enter the picture, and Teddy resorts to inflicting physical, mental and emotional torment. Emotionally charged and unpredictably brutal, the play plunges from the mundane to frightening.

Performances of “When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?” are Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Feb. 22-24), and March 1-3 in the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. each evening.

Tickets at $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC and at the McArdle Theatre prior to the show.