All posts by Tanya Maki

Famed Radio Show “Selected Shorts” Comes to the Rozsa Stage Saturday

The Rozsa Center is pleased to present an evening of warmth, holiday cheer, and storytelling by the tour of Public Radio International’s hit radio show “Selected Shorts” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 7).

Selected Shorts, a weekly public radio broadcast, has a simple approach: great actors read great fiction in front of a live audience. The acclaimed national radio program airs on 150 public radio stations in 29 states, attracting over 300,000 listeners each week through the live show and podcast. Featured actors include Mike Doyle, Boyd Gaines, and Kirsten Vangsness. Part of this special evening of storytelling will include a showcase reading on stage by one of the featured actors of a local writer’s “UP Winter Story” who is the winner of the “Selected Shorts Story Contest.”

Mike Doyle has appeared on screen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Green Lantern, A Gifted Man, Jersey Boys, The Invitation, Conviction, Odd Mom Out, The Accidental Wolf, The Romanoffs, Narcos: Mexico, City on a Hill, and New Amsterdam. Recent stage credits include The New Century at Lincoln Center and Betrayed with the Culture Project. Doyle wrote and directed the forthcoming romantic comedy Sell By, starring Kate Walsh, Patricia Clarkson, and Scott Evans.

Boyd Gaines is a four-time Tony Award-winning actor for his roles in The Heidi Chronicles, She Loves Me, Contact, and the 2008 revival of Gypsy. Additional Broadway credits include Cabaret, Twelve Angry Men, Journey’s End (Tony nomination), Pygmalion, Driving Miss Daisy, and An Enemy of the People. He has also appeared in numerous films, including Fame; Porky’s; The Sure Thing; I’m Not Rappaport; Lovely By Surprise; No Pay, Nudity; and The Independents. His television credits include One Day at a Time, L.A. Law, Fraser, The Good Wife, and American Odyssey. Gaines can currently be seen in the film The Goldfinch.

Kirsten Vangsness is best-known as Penelope Garcia on the CBS drama Criminal Minds; however, she can be found in other places, including a few podcasts (Selected Shorts and Voyage to the Stars), the film noir spoof Kill Me Deadly, and Curtains, the animated short she created, which will be released in 2020. She was nominated for Playwright of the Year by LA Weekly and is a company member of Hollywood’s Theater of NOTE. Vangsness recently returned from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where two of her plays, Mess and Cleo, Theo and Wu, were performed at Assembly Rooms. In her spare time, Vangsness buses tables at the Blinking Owl Distillery, which she co-owns, in Santa Ana.

To enhance the holiday mood of the evening, a handbell choir will play in the Rozsa lobby prior to the show. Tickets to Selected Shorts are on sale now: Adult: $22.00, Youth: $10.00, and Michigan Tech Students at no charge with Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available by phone, (906) 487-2073, online at mtu.edu/rozsa, 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 the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances.

This event is made possible with funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.


‘Stars of American Ballet’ Comes to Houghton

Acclaimed Dancers of the New York City Ballet at the Rozsa Saturday

Ballet at the Rozsa Center is always a major event. This year, the Rozsa is proud to host a very special performance of “Stars of American Ballet,” bringing the nation’s top ballet dancers from the New York City Ballet to the Rozsa stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 26).

“Stars of American Ballet” travels to cities nationwide and offers top-notch choreography with principal and soloist-level dancers from major American companies. Founded and directed by New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht, who works alongside Executive Director Andrew Robertson, “Stars” also sponsors dance education programs, consisting of masterclasses, pre-performance lectures and community outreach projects, to build better awareness and overall experience with the art form.

This event is made possible with funding from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.

With performances billed as “An unapologetic showcase of virtuosity.” —The Boston Globe and “An intoxicating evening even for the non-dancers” — The Pittsburgh Star-Tribune, the event promises sheer athleticism and beautiful artistry by principal dancers, soloists and members of the corps de ballet from the New York City Ballet: Daniel Ulbricht , Brittany Pollack, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Unity Phelan, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Alec Knight, and Baily Jones. Featuring works by Balanchine, la Cour and Knight.

There will also be a master class for local dancers, held at the Superior School of Dance when local dancers will have the opportunity to work with “Stars of American Ballet” dancers on Saturday afternoon. For more details about the master class, contact the Rozsa Center administrative offices at 906-487-2858.

Tickets to Stars of American Ballet are Adult: $25.00, Youth: $12.00, and Michigan Tech Students no charge with Experience Tech Fee, and are available by phone, 906-487-2073, 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 the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances. Also, in celebration of World Ballet Day on Wednesday, October 23, the Rozsa Center will offer a special limited-time “Buy One Get One Free” ticket promotion, for one day only: From 11:59 p.m today (Oct. 22) to 11:59 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 23)  Use “BalletDay” promo code and select at least two tickets, to receive one free. This applies to both adult and youth tickets, and there is no limit on the number of BOGO tickets purchased.


Pioneer Pilot Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio Presentation

Pioneer pilot Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio will present “Querer es Poder: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” at 6:30 p.m. today (Oct. 21) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Custodio, who after being turned away from flight school because she was a woman, became a pioneer as the first woman — and Latina — to complete United States Air Force military pilot training and become a USAF pilot, and later the first Latina commercial pilot for American Airlines. Now retired, she continues to lead and inspire, championing STEM and motivating women and girls to pursue aviation and male-dominated professions.

This event is part of the Social Justice Lecture Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series. Tickets are free, but required for all public events at the Rozsa. Tickets are available by phone at 906-487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or the night of the event at the Rozsa Center box office. Doors open one hour prior to performances.


Music-O-Rama Saturday at Rozsa Center

Join us for Music-O-Rama, an annual musical variety concert, celebrating the diversity, history and variety of music at Michigan Tech. Performers from many of the major Michigan Tech music ensembles such as Jazz Lab Band, Superior Wind Symphony, conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir; will appear throughout the hall, playing music from around the globe.

Music-O-Rama will be presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, (Oct. 5) at the Rozsa Center. The concert is an annual crowd favorite. Come and listen to new music composed by Tech students as well as performances by Tech students and community members.

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 by phone at 487-2073, online at mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or the night of the show at the Rozsa Box Office, which opens two hours prior to performances.


Rozsa 2019-20 Single Event Tickets on Sale Now

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce their 2019-20 single event tickets are on sale today (August 1)! Discount season ticket packages went on sale July 1, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer, and now you can buy single tickets to every event! For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, opening with a circus on the Rozsa stage in September. From the incredible Cirque Mechanics in “42FT—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels,” the latest invention from the creative minds of Cirque Mechanics, to the final Rozsa Presenting events in April with the brand-new “Surround Sound Music Festival”—A festival celebrating cultural diversity and encouraging listening in new ways, featuring Audiopharmacy, a Native American hip hop/reggae fusion band from the Bay Area; Vieux Farka Touré, a traditional guitarist and singer from Mali; and keynote speaker Evelyn Glennie, a virtuoso percussionist and TED speaker—In addition, there will be Stars of American Ballet, broadway theater with Aquila’s “1984,” five distinguished lecturers, and more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theater, and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival. This season promises to deliver spectacle and excitement, beauty and creativity, as grand as any in the Rozsa Center’s history. For full season details and to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), at 906-487-2073, or go online at mtu.edu/rozsa.


Contemplative Forest Art Walk at Ford Center

A self-guided tour, Contemplative Forest Art Walks is a series of mindfulness meditation stations in the Ford Center Forest. Each station is marked by a hand-painted, nine-foot-tall banner installed among the trees.

Public reception free and with refreshments on (Wednesday) July 31 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Short remarks by artist Anne Befflel, Professor in Visual and Performing Arts, about the project at 6:15 p.m.

More information and a map can be found at www.annebeffel.com


Summer Puppetry Workshops for All Ages

hand puppets with sunglassesAssociate Professor of Theatre in Visual and Performing Arts, Trish Helsel, will be offering a week of puppetry workshops in partnership with the Copper Country Community Arts Center and sponsorship by K. C. Bonker’s the week of August 12-17.

The workshop is the culmination of research and work made possible from a REF grant. The Puppet Project is an initiative to introduce and establish the art of puppetry into our local culture through education and performances.

Students of all ages will learn to construct and manipulate various types of puppets. With themes provided by local poets Hugo Gordillo and Kelsey Carriere, the puppets will come to life telling stories of plants, animals, and music!

Classes are carefully designed for the age groups/school grades designated. Please register your child for the appropriate group. Grades are “rising,” meaning the grade they will enter this fall. A parent or guardian must be present for classes and the recital for children younger than Kindergarten age.

Classes are offered in the Ballroom at the Copper Country Community Arts Center, 126 E. Quincy Street, Hancock. Dress for mess! We recommend you bring a water bottle, especially for longer sessions.

The Saturday Recital (and rehearsal) will be at Michigan Technological University, in the McArdle Theatre, 2nd floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Wear dark clothing to make your puppets stand out better!

Registration:

To Register, go to the SDC Ticket Office or register online.

Registration fees cover materials and instruction and vary by age group.

$20 – Toddlers: Monday/Wednesday 9:15am – 10:00am
$20 – Preschool (3-4 years): Monday/Wednesday 11:00am – 12:00pm
$20 – K-2nd Grade: Monday/Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:30 pm
$25 – 3rd-5th Grades: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 9:00am – 11:00am
$25 – 6th-8th Grades: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 1:00pm – 3:00pm
$25 – 9th-12th Grades: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 4:00pm – 6:00pm
$30 – Adults: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 6:00pm – 8:00pm

All registrants must sign a Michigan Tech waiver form.

For more information, contact Trish Helsel: (906) 487-3283, helsel@mtu.edu


New Director of Jazz Studies

Visual and Performing Arts announces Adam Meckler as the new Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Jazz Studies.

Mr. Meckler is the third director of the Jazz program that has a 52-year history of Jazz in the Midwest. Originally founded in 1967 under the direction of Don Keranen and continued under the direction of Mike Irish from 1991-2018 the non-major Jazz program at Michigan Tech has thrived at a school largely known for its STEM curriculum.

Dr. Michael Christianson, Director of Bands at Michigan Tech says, “Adam Meckler is a top-class performer and composer, but we were really impressed with his teaching: a great mix of modern and old-school!”

Professor Emeritus Mike Irish also comments, “I am very excited about the hiring of Adam Meckler as the new Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan Tech. He is a young, energetic, and extremely talented teacher/performer who will build on our strong tradition and take it to new levels of achievement. His pedigree is outstanding. I am really eager to have him in town and await the great performances that will ensue!”

© Tim McG Photo & Video

Mr. Meckler expresses his excitement for the post,

“I am humbled and honored to join MTU’s esteemed Faculty, and work with the gifted and bright Visual and Performing Arts students at MTU. I am thrilled to carry the torch forward, striving for the high level of excellence established by my predecessors.”

Mr. Meckler holds degrees from Lawrence Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. A trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN, Meckler is an Edwards Instrument Co. Performing Artist and Clinician, and leads The Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO), an 18-piece big band that plays his original compositions. The AMO’s debut album ‘When the Clouds Look Like This’ was listed among 2014’s Best Jazz Releases by iTunes.

Mr. Meckler will come from faculty positions in trumpet and Jazz at Macalester College, MCTC, and MacPhail Center for Music. He tours and records with The Hornheads (Prince), Youngblood Brass Band, and Nooky Jones, and plays regularly with a host of bands around the Twin Cities including Lulu’s Playground, The Jana Nyberg Group, Jack Brass Band, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, and The Pete Whitman X-Tet.

His latest release Magnificent Madness is available via Ropeadope Records, and on all streaming platforms May 3rd, 2019.


VPA Student Awards

A number of students have received awards at the Visual and Performing Arts end-of-year student awards banquet that was held Tuesday, April 24th in the Rozsa Lobby.

The well attended ceremony was MC’d by VPA Department Chair, Jared Anderson, who raffled off fun and inspiring prizes for the students as we wished them well.

MUB pasties and celebratory cake were served – a good time was had by all.

Here is the list of this years award recipients:

Department Scholar: Sarah Calvert
Woman of Promise: Makenzi Wentela

Henry Sendek – Sound Award

All Arts:  Samantha Palumbo
Art:  Alexander Pohl
Music:  Katya Klebba
Sound: Henry Sendek
Theatre: Hunter Storie
Milton Olsson Music Award: Giselle Ulep

Congratulations and best wishes to all of our graduating seniors.

Rock, Paper, Scissors in gallery b

The department of Visual and Performing Arts announces its semi-annual student showcase, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” featuring works of art created in Project Learning Lab by Michigan Tech students.

Project Learning Lab is an innovative arts classroom based inside Rozsa gallery b. The exhibition runs through 8 p.m. today (April 22).

The works on display were created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s Traditional Sculpture Studio. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including business, math, engineering and theatre. Students in the class study sculptural traditions from around the world, and create three-dimensional works using those traditions as a guide.

This year, the class focused on Guatemalan cultures, and created barriletes (giant kites), nawales (personal symbols informed by the Mayan calendar) and Estelas (large carvings).

The student artists are:

  • Ben Baize
  • Nate Evink
  • Abby Kirk
  • Aaron Kruzel
  • Jared Mcdowel
  • Alex Ordakowski
  • Laurel Payne
  • Piper Schlaeppi
  • Brett Schnabelrauch
  • Hunter Storie
  • Traven Thai
  • Alexandra Walker
  • Alex Weber
  • Isobel Wentworth
  • Kitty Williams