Category Archives: Theatre

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk Tomorrow at Rozsa

043-CM15-PP-MS_MS33620-Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk” is a Steampunk-inspired performance where the audience can experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes and he repairs more than broken pieces.

He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk.

“Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 22) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German wheel artist, Chris Lashua, after the success of his collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco, Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil”.

Tickets are available online, by calling 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Center Box Office an hour before show time.



“West Side Story” Opens at Rozsa

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WLUC TV6 ran a story on the Michigan Tech Theatre Company’s production of “West Side Story.” The show opened last night at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts with additional performances tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Watch the TV6 story.

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra bring the musical “West Side Story” to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The legendary musical opens today with additional performances Friday and Saturday. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

West Side Story” changed the very nature of American musical theatre. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim, the play was grounded in a distinctively modern sound with a passionately poetic statement — place where everyone can grow beyond the confines of hate and poverty, a safe and beautiful place.

A modern adaptation of a quintessential tale of star-crossed lovers, “West Side Story” isn’t performed often for a very good reason. According to director Patricia Helsel, “It’s simply a very difficult play to perform. The show requires many different dance styles ranging from jazz, to 50s “hipster beat,” to Latino and ballet. The music is also challenging with complex rhythms and styles for the ensemble, matched with a call for operatic technique for the young lovers. Overall, this is not your typical, run-of-the-mill golden era musical comedy.”

The subject matter is highly charged with racial tension, fear, hate and love — some pretty intense emotion that is intricately woven in textures throughout the play, taking the audience on a meaningful journey.

Comedy plays a matching role in the show, with memorable numbers like “Officer Krupke” and “America.”

Tickets are on sale now, $19 for adults, $6 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 the night of the event, one hour before show time, at the Rozsa Center Box Office.


STEAM Event for Youth at Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk

043-CM15-PP-MS_MS33620-All faculty, staff and community members with children in middle or high school are invited to sign students up for “STEAM Punk: The Science Behind the Cirque.”

Mind Trekkers, the Rozsa Center, FIRST Robotics, and Cirque Mechanics are teaming up to show area 6-12 graders the science behind the Pedal Punk show.

Cirque Mechanics describes themselves “Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant.  The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around.”

Not only will this be a show that the whole family will enjoy, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the show.

Students will meet the pro-BMX biker and creator of Pedal Punk during a behind the scenes visit. They will also spend an hour with Mind Trekkers and FIRST Robotics engaging in hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) demonstrations. A pizza dinner and a ticket to the show is included.

The event begins at 3:30 Saturday, April 22 with a backstage tour of the Rozsa. After this is when we will have our STEAM demonstrations with Mind Trekkers and FIRST Robotics.

Then the students can enjoy a pizza dinner right before the show starts at 7:30pm. Parents are asked to drop their students off for the STEAM part (students only), and can meet up with their children for the start of the show.

More information and ticketing info is available here.

(Note the event is now open to 6th-12th graders not just 6th-8th graders as stated on the flyer)


“Sexual Perversity in Chicago” Thursday – Saturday

6208281760_9d9ee08208_mMichigan Tech Theatre Company’s production of David Mamet’s award-winning “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” continues this weekend.

With performances in the McArdle Theatre, the play is presented as a hilarious on-stage “game show,” using mature and graphic language to reveal the awkwardness, heartache and humor of American sexual behavior.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday and Saturday (Feb. 23-25), in the McArdle Theatre. Tickets are available online, by phone 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing office in the SDC and an hour before show time at the McArdle box office.


Play to be Presented in Game Show Format

6208281760_9d9ee08208_mDavid Mamet’s award-winning play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is given an inventive new staging by the Michigan Tech Theatre Company.

Opening Thursday in the McArdle Theatre, the play will be presented as a hilarious on-stage  “game show,” using mature and graphic language to reveal the awkwardness, heartache and humor of American sexual behavior.

The play opens tomorrow night, with additional performances Friday, Saturday and Feb. 23-25 at the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Performance time is 7:30 each evening.

According to Director Roger Held, the Obie (off-Broadway) Award-winning play “explores the nature of sexual relationships: Their awkward, unreasonable natures and how humans stubbornly cling to them in spite of heartache.”

In a fun twist to the game show theme, Tech Theatre is collaborating with Student Health and Wellness to help launch the new campus health initiatives, “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Sex-versations.”

Part of the play will present “commercial breaks” with information about the two health initiatives. The commercials were created by Wellness students, staff and Held. Wellness will also have a table with information about the initiatives set up in the lobby.

Tickets are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available online, by phone 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing office in the SDC and an hour before show time at the McArdle box office.


“Sexual Perversity in Chicago” Opens Thursday

5e1a85bec4d270eac4578defc44bb93d63d6dda2 (1)The Michigan Tech Theatre Company presents David Mamet’s award winning play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.”

The play, which explores the nature of sexual relationships, will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with additional performances Feb. 23-25 in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Fine Arts and Humanities Center. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

First produced in 1974, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” continues to speak to generations of young adults in the unyielding clutches of sexual inelegance.

According to the New York Times, the play “takes funny and painful digs at the fantasies and distances of the contemporary sexual game.”

It has twice been adapted to film, “About Last Night … ” (1986) starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore and “About Last Night” (2014) with Kevin Hart and Regina Hall.

The Tech Theatre production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is under the direction of Roger Held. Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no cost for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech Fee.

Tickets are available online, at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex and by phone, 7-2073.


Friedrich finalist in Distinguished Teaching Awards

image45288-persThe William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on more than 50,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2017 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in deliberation.

Mary Carol Friedrich is a finalist in the Associate Professor/Professor Category


Russian National Ballet Theatre at Rozsa

Russian National Ballet bigThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents two magical nights of incomparable Russian ballet. Direct from Moscow, the Russian National Ballet Theatre, featuring fifty of Russia’s finest dancers, will perform three timeless ballet pieces, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Carmen” on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and “Giselle” on Wednesday, Jan. 25.  Shows start at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

According to Rozsa Center Director of Programming Mary Jennings, “… the Russian National Ballet Theatre is an institution in Russian Ballet. Legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko, the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, has focused the company on upholding the grand, national tradition of the major Russian ballet works.”

On the first of two nights, they will perform the full-length “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergei Prokofiev based on Shakespeare’s play. Performed in one act, the ballet tells the story of Romeo and Juliet, the quintessential star-crossed lovers. Prokofiev’s music is paired with original choreography by Marius Petipa, the “godfather of Russian ballet.”

In the second act they will perform “Carmen,” a full-length ballet also in one act. Music by Rodion Shchedrin based on the classic opera by Georges Bizet with choreography by Alberto Alonso. Carmen, a passionate, free-spirited woman, is caught in a love triangle between Don José and a bullfighter. The impetus and cause for the creation of the ballet Carmen was the cherished dream of the celebrated Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya to depict the highly strung and riveting character of Carmen in a ballet.

On the second evening, the Russian National Ballet Theatre performs the full-length, tragic ballet “Giselle,” about a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.

“Giselle” was composed by Adolphe Adam, and is a romantic jewel of Petipa. “Giselle” was first seen in Moscow in 1843, just two years after its creation in Paris, and a year after it was staged in St. Petersburg.


Auditions for “West Side Story” Next Week

254a42cd70982e5151df3abca8f4ae95128f4b9dThe Tech Theatre Company will hold auditions for “West Side Story” next week. Auditions for singing, dancing and chorus roles will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday (Jan. 16) and Wednesday (Jan. 18) in Rozsa 120 (choir room).

Auditions for non-singing roles is 7-10 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 17) in Rozsa 120.

To be assigned an audition slot, you must fill out a registration form.

You may sing a song from the show, or from another similar style production. Limit your selection to three minutes. An accompanist will be provided. If you sing something other than West Side Story, bring a copy of your music for the accompanist.

Wear comfortable clothes for dancing. You will sweat. If you have character shoes, bring them, otherwise sneakers are appropriate.

Callbacks will be Thursday (Jan. 19). A callback list will be sent out via email to all who auditioned following the Wednesday evening auditions.