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Marimba Concert and Poetry Night

A background of marimba and malletsWhat is a Marimba? Think of a very large wooden xylophone, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, and collaborator Zach l’Italian, who will read selections of Gordillo’s new poems (in Spanish and English) in a “Marimba Concert and Poetry Night” at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 23) in the Rozsa lobby.

This event was developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands. The Marimba Concert and Poetry event are free and all are welcome.

The Michigan Tech Marimbist Band will play several marimba selections, arranged by Christianson. This event is the closing reception for “ChickenBus: a U.S. Guatemalan Experience,” a Rozsa gallery exhibit by Lisa Gordillo.

Several poems in Hugo Gordillo’s collection inspired the art in this exhibit. The exhibit will be open before and after the concert.


Michigan Tech Choirs Present Benefit Concert: Music for a Sacred Space

4b28237239a321097593c2690bd79a0921788025Join the Michigan Tech Choirs for an evening of sacred choral music presented in its natural habitat, the local treasure that is the magnificent space of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden. The concert will feature music of many different countries and cultures, with devotional music ranging from South Africa, Germany, England, Canada and 19th-century America.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, Jared Anderson, conductor, present “Music for a Sacred Space” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19th, St. Joseph’s Church, Lake Linden.

Free-will donations in any amount are welcomed.


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.


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.


Play written by Tech Student Advances to Regional Festival

1481652024A play written by a Michigan Tech student has advanced to the regional finals of a national competition. “Leaving,” by third-year student Sarah Jo Martens, of Hortonville, Wisconsin, was chosen to participate in the final round of the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Martens is an environmental engineering major with a minor in theatre. She is a member of the Pavlis Honors College.

“Leaving,” inspired by Marten’s relationship with her sister Rachel, will be given a fully-staged reading, along with the four other finalists at the Region III Festival, Jan. 10-15 in Indianapolis.

College theatre students from schools in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana will attend the Region III festival to compete in acting, playwriting, design, theatre technology, stage management and other categories.

Two plays from the Region III competition will advance to the Finals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April where they will again be given a reading.

by Visual and Performing Arts


Handel’s “Messiah” Saturday at the Rozsa

Messiahby Bethany Jones

Tickets are now on sale for a concert that celebrates a glorious rite of the Christmas Season. The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Tech Choirs, along with renowned guest vocalists, present the beloved Christmas masterpiece, Handel’s “Messiah.”

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 10), in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Among the guest performers are: Baritone Nathan Herfindahl; Soprano Jennifer D’Agostino; Mezzo-soprano Sandra Loy; and Tenor Clark Sturdevant. The performance is conducted by Jared Anderson, chair of the department of visual and performing arts.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

For ticket information and more, read the full story.


Theatre Auditions Tonight

5e1a85bec4d270eac4578defc44bb93d63d6dda2Theatre Auditions Tonight

Tonight is the final night for the Tech Theatre Company’s public auditions for David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.”

Auditions will be held in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Auditions are set to begin at 7 p.m. with actors asked to arrive at 6:45 p.m. Call backs as needed will be held tomorrow.

No preparation or previous acting experience is required. Rehearsals begin Jan. 9.


41 North Film Festival Opens Tomorrow

DSC_0006-e1415721740421Owen Suskind is a young man on the autism spectrum. As a child he was unable to speak until he and his family discovered a way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of Disney Films.

Owen’s inspirational story is the subject of the award-winning documentary “Life Animated,” one of more than 20 films featured in Michigan Tech’s 41 North Film Festival which opens its four-day run tomorrow in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Owen Suskind is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind on whose best-selling memoir “Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism,” the film is based. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, has won awards from numerous film festivals including Sundance, Telluride, Full Frame, Berkshire International and San Francisco International. Suskind and Williams will be in attendance when “Life Animated” is shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday. They will lead a discussion of the film following its showing.

Williams will also be on hand at 6 p.m. Friday for the showing of “Music by Prudence,” the documentary short for which he received the 2010 Academy Award.

Following “Life, Animated” on Friday, there will be a reception and party featuring music by the Kalamazoo band The Go Rounds.

Michigan native Jason Zeldes, an award-winning editor, will help kick off the festival with the showing of his directorial debut “Romeo is Bleeding” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The film follows poet Donté Clark as he attempts to mount an urban adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with the hopes of starting a dialogue about violence in his hometown of Richmond, California.

Director Brian Kaufman will participate in a panel discussion on his films “Predator/Prey: The Fight for Isle Royale Wolves “ and “Counting Wolves.”  Kaufman will be joined by researchers Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich. The film takes up the controversy around how to respond to the island’s dwindling wolf population.

Now in its 12th year the 41 North Film Festival offers a wealth of quality films at no cost. Tickets are free, with donations accepted.

As it has from the beginning, Michigan Tech’s Department of Humanities is a major sponsor of the festival. Humanities Department Chair Ronald Strickland says the department is proud of the way it has grown.

“In the Humanities we explore what it means to be human and it is reflected and sometimes defined through art, literature and other cultural practices,” Srickland says.

He says the films in each year’s festival are carefully selected by Festival Director Erin Smith, a principal lecturer in Digital Media and Film and director of the Humanities Digital Media Zone.

“Erin chooses the films and the invited filmmakers with a view to connect with the academic interests of Michigan Tech students and faculty and current popular topics of interest to members of the local community as well. It’s a four-day smorgasbord of culture with something for everyone.”

Smith says this year’s films cross a variety of topics and genres. “These are films that have been winning awards in festivals across the country and even around the world. While the topics in many of them are serious and thought-provoking, most open up discussion by telling great stories about some very compelling characters. ”

Also featured this year is “Sonita,” the 2015 Sundance-award winning story of a young Afghan refugee in Iran who seizes her destiny through music.

The Festival concludes on Sunday with the 7 p.m. screening of “Generation Startup.” The 2016 documentary follows six college graduates as they put everything on the line to start their own businesses in Detroit..

Film festival tickets are available by phone at 7-2073,  online at Rozsa@mtu.edu, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the Student Development Complex and at the Rozsa Box Office an hour before showtime.

A complete schedule of all films and their showtimes is available at 41northfilmfest.org.


Rozsa Gallery B Presents “Come In We’re Open”

OpenThe Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the first Rozsa Gallery B show of the 2016-17 Season: “Come In We’re Open,” an open house exhibition of the work of student scuptors’ work in progress, as a part of the “Project Learning Lab” alternative classroom project.

The show opens on Tuesday (Nov. 1) and runs until Saturday, Nov. 5. There will be two public receptions from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 and Friday, Nov. 4. These receptions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.