Author: Tanya Maki

VPA Students and Faculty attend Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

By Visiting Assistant Professor Terry Dana Jachimiak

From January 9 to 13, several faculty and students from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts embarked on an exciting journey to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region III. This festival, widely known as KCACTF, stands as a beacon for emerging talent in the realm of theater arts. It’s a vibrant stage where students get to shine, compete, and nurture their artistic skills on a regional platform.

Behind the scenes, two VPA faculty members, Associate Professor Kent Cyr and Assistant Professor Jeff Sherwood, played integral roles in the festival’s planning and execution. Cyr, with a remarkable six-year stint as the Festival Technical Director, provided invaluable support to numerous college theater productions within the region. His expertise ensured the seamless execution of performances on the festival stages. Sherwood, in his capacity as Co-Vice Chair of Design, Technology, and Management, contributed to the festival’s success by overseeing various technical theater aspects, including the National and Regional Design competitions, Design Storm, and Stage Management Fellowship and Initiative. To add to their contributions, Sherwood, Cyr, Distinguished Professor Christopher Plummer, and Visiting Assistant Professor Terry Dana Jachimiak II led workshops for eager students hailing from Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and parts of Ohio.

For the attending students, this festival was a treasure trove of experiences. They had the opportunity to participate in professional workshops, attend juried shows, network with professionals from all corners of the country, and showcase their own work in various competitions. It was a whirlwind of creativity and camaraderie.

The accolades poured in for our Michigan Tech University students, validating their exceptional talents. Evelina Cremeens earned the Regional Sound Design award for her outstanding work on *Hamlet*. Conner Pierson, collaborating with a talented team from different colleges and universities, clinched an Honorable Mention in the Design Storm category. Sommerdai Kier and Riy Dalman dazzled everyone by winning multiple awards, including the Fastest Sound setup and the coveted Gold Award in Tech Olympics. Tara Estrada’s swift knot-tying skills also earned her a first-place finish in the Fastest Knots section of Tech Olympics.

Christopher Plummer was also recognized at the festival and received the 2024 KCACTF Region III Michigan Faculty Service Award.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival showcased the incredible talents of our students and highlighted the dedication and expertise of our faculty members. It was a celebration of creativity, innovation, and the thriving theater community at Michigan Tech.

The Rozsa Heats Up a Chilly Week, Announcing Three Hot Upcoming Shows

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is injecting a spark of excitement into this blustery week by announcing three thrilling events: a rollicking Mardi Gras feast fueled by New Orleans jazz, a play directed by Michigan Tech Theatre’s newest faculty member, and a bespoke museum experience crafted just for the Keweenaw. Tickets are on sale now!

Michigan Tech Music presents “Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday” — Get ready for an epic Fat Tuesday, fueled by live jazz and a New Orleans-inspired dinner hosted by Michigan Tech Jazz’s own Workshop Brass Band, freshly back from their NOLA tour! The party starts February 13 at 7:30 p.m. backstage at the Rozsa.

Michigan Tech Theatre presents “Imagining (Im)Possibilities: Museum Explorations” — Experience a captivating 30-minute tour through the world of immersive museum exhibits. Explore the magic behind museum design and dive into spectacular sets crafted by talented theatre students, each one transporting you to a unique space through interactive displays. Tours run February 15-17 from 7-9:30 p.m. in McArdle Theatre.

Michigan Tech Theatre presents “Purple Hearts” by C.S. Wallace, directed by Nich Radcliffe — Witness the heartbreaking, inspiring and sometimes funny story of three men who, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, find themselves trapped aboard the now-sunken USS West Virginia. Inspired by true events, this award-winning play directed by new Michigan Tech faculty member Nich Radcliffe (VPA) is sure to move you. Attend the show April 10-13 in McArdle Theatre.

Get Tickets
Don’t miss your chance to experience these exciting events! Tickets for all three are available online 24/7, or at the Rozsa Box Office in person or by calling 906-487-1906 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are part of this season’s new Pay As You’re Able ticketing.

To learn more, visit the Rozsa website, email rozsa@mtu.edu or call 906-487-1906.

Auditions for Purple Hearts – January 29 and 30

Auditions for Purple Hearts by Burgess Clark, Directed by Nich Radcliffe, will be held January 29, 30 with callbacks February 1.

Monday, January 29 – 6-9pm.
Tuesday, January 30 – 6-9pm.

Performance Majors: Prepare two contrasting monologues.
All Others: Prepare one monologue two minutes or less.

Don’t have a monologue? No problem! We’ll give you something to read. Email Nich Radcliffe <nradclif@mtu.edu> with question or to book an audition time!

Audio Engineering Society Student Recording Competition Finalists!

Three Michigan Tech Students were selected as finalists in the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Student Recording Competition. They will present their recordings at the AES Conference in NYC on October 26th.

Spencer Beasley (Audio Production and Technology) was selected as a finalist in the Modern Studio Recording & Electronic Music category for his recording “Glass Air”.

Matthew Fisher (Sound Design) was selected as a finalist in the Sound for Visual Media category for his recording “Alarm”.

Rowdy Vyverberg (Sound Design) also was selected as a finalist in the Sound for Visual Media category for his recording “RPG Audio Implementation”.

Finalists in the music mixing competition were students from major international universities, including the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins), University of Toronto, Hochschule Düsseldorf, McGill University, Indiana University, and Arizona State University. Michigan Tech was the only school with three student finalists in the competition. Congratulations!

Midwest Arts XPO Conference Report

Kier Birondo (Rozsa Marketing Manager) and Hannah Rundman Lowney (Rozsa Audience Manager) recently attended the Midwest Arts XPO in Indianapolis, IN. They served on four panels that tie directly to the mission of Michigan Tech: launching new technologies through innovation.

Traditional Media, Social Media, and AI: Rozsa digital programs were a popular topic of discussion. Many people were interested in connecting with Kier to learn more about the implementation and the performance of digital programs at the Rozsa Center.

Presenting in Rural Communities: A participant told Hannah after the session that the Rozsa Center and the many ways it operates and the things that are happening there was their primary takeaway from the entire conference, confirming the positive and noteworthy reputation of the Rozsa Center.

Ticketing Systems & Data Management: Many session attendees were there specifically to learn about the Pay As You Are Able (PAYA) ticketing initiative at the Rozsa Center.

Making Your Events More Earth Friendly: This session highlighted the sustainability strategic initiatives implemented at the Rozsa Center, resulting in paper and waste reduction and saving Michigan Tech thousands of dollars.

Christopher Plummer and Andrew Burton Presenting at Oct. 9 Research Forum

by Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Distinguished Professor Christopher Plummer (Visual & Performing Arts) and Distinguished Professor Andrew Burton (College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science) will be featured at the Michigan Tech Research Forum (MTRF) on October 9. The event will be held in the Memorial Union Ballroom A. The lectures will begin at 4 p.m. Networking and light refreshments will begin at 3:45 p.m. and will continue after the lectures.

Plummer’s presentation is titled “Sound as a foundation of our built and digital environments.”

Burton’s presentation is titled “Long-term ecological research – the gift that keeps on giving.”

Additional details can be found on the MTRF website.

The Office of the Provost presents the MTRF with support from the Vice President for Research Office. The forum showcases and celebrates the work of Michigan Tech researchers and aims to strengthen discussions in our community. All are welcome, including the general public.

New Music in the Mine Presented by Michigan Tech Music

Hard hats are required — and provided — to hear this exciting new music by contemporary composers in the Quincy Mine hoist building. This annual sell-out show will contain some of the best music you haven’t heard yet! View Digital Program in advance.

Here is this year’s lineup:

THURSDAY
Pat Booth, saxophone
conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers
Adam Hall, cello
Adam Meckler, trumpet
Stephen Rush, piano

FRIDAY
conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers
Susie Byykkonen, flute
Michael Christianson, tuba
Adam Hall, cello
Stephen Rush, piano

CONTENT GUIDANCE | instrumental and vocal new music; hard hats required
PRESENTER | Michigan Tech Music
VENUE | Quincy Mine No. 2 Shaft Hoist House
DURATION | Approx. 45 min
TICKETS | Pay As You’re Able ($20 Full Ticket Fee) What is this?
SEATING | General Admission

About

Michigan Tech Music has a long history of high-quality music ensembles open to students from all majors on campus. Its composition program, bands, orchestra, jazz, and choral ensembles expose students, faculty, and the community to the artistic and communicative values of music and the power it has to change lives. Each group performs regularly in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and in venues in the community.

Living composers, unusual instruments, and unique spaces are all at the forefront of the bold, delightful, and innovative experiences the Keweenaw has come to expect from New Music at Michigan Tech. Led by Dr. Libby Meyer, New Music invites you to experience concerts, workshops, speaking events, and masterclasses by some of the greatest living composers and classical musicians.

Libby Meyer is a composer whose work reflects the natural rhythms and patterns of the world around her. Her music, including chamber, orchestral, choral, wind symphony, film, dance and theater, has been commissioned and performed throughout the United States. An avid equestrian, kayaker and distance runner, Libby currently resides in Michigan’s beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula with her husband Evan, a Pyrenees Mountain dog, a secretive cat, and thousands of honeybees. She holds a DMA in Composition from Northwestern University and is a Teaching Professor in Music Theory/Composition at Michigan Tech University. Listen to recordings of Libby’s work.

Sponsors

Support for this event provided by the Janet Locatelli Fund, the Visual and Performing Arts Department, and its supporters. View current donors to the Visual and Performing Arts Department.

Pay As You’re Able Ticketing

The Visual and Performing Arts Department believes that the foundation of an equitable and inclusive arts culture requires making events financially accessible to all. So, we are offering Pay as You’re Able ticketing for all of our Michigan Tech Music and Michigan Tech Theatre events. Learn more.

Accessibility

Accessible Parking
There are accessible parking spaces in the Quincy Mine parking lot.

Accessible Entry
The 1984 Hoist House is accessible by an ADA-compliant ramp, and a lift is available to access the 1918 Hoist House, where the performances will take place.

Print and Digital Programs

Digital Program
The full program will be available online at least one day in advance for all devices and is compatible with most screen readers.

Limited Print Program
Print programs containing limited show information will be available at the door.

Large-Print Program
A large-print version of the limited print program is available in advance online. A limited quantity is printed and available at the door.

Additional Information

Box Office Information
Accessibility Services
Parking Information​
View All Upcoming Events
Volunteer at the Rozsa
Donate to support events like this

Listen to IPEC’s New Podcast Episode Featuring Libby Meyer

by Kendall Belopavlovich, Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture

In October’s episode of “IPEC Presents,” our guest and Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture (IPEC) executive committee member Libby Meyer (VPA) discusses her work as a composer, her guilty pleasure musical choices, and what it means to co-create with the world around us.

Meyer is a dynamic, insightful and well-rounded artist whose perspective on the world inspires us to deepen our relationships — and to liberate our idea of stealing to create.

Now streaming on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Listen now.

Layered in Between: Prints by Erin Hoffman Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Erin Hoffman is an artist and printmaker from Muskegon, Michigan, who deals primarily with political and social concerns. Through the presentation of mismatched ideas and assemblages, her art serves as a prompt for critical thought and new conclusions.

CONTENT GUIDANCE | war
PRESENTER | Michigan Tech Art
VENUE | Rozsa Galleries A-Space
EXHIBIT OPEN | September 15 – November 4
HOURS | M-F 8 A.M.-8 P.M. AND SA 1-8 P.M.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I feel that one experiences and draws conclusions about the world through the assembly of mismatched ideas and sensorial memories. Sometimes the associations of these ideas are seemingly random and other times there are lines that can be drawn between them that may lead to overarching truths or conclusions. I hope my work will lead viewers to new conclusions.

My work uses printed and hand drawn/painted imagery taken from historical references to reflect on current social and political issues.

About

Erin Hoffman has been involved in the art community since early childhood. She was first published at age six in a local Fort Wayne, Indiana newspaper, “The Sentinel” for her visual interpretation of “A Sunny Day.” She is currently a full-time tenured art instructor at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan teaching Printmaking, Art Appreciation, Drawing, Painting, Figure Drawing, Contemporary Art History and 2-d design.

She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2001 from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2005 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Both degrees are in printmaking.

Erin completed work at two artist residencies in 2018, the first being the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts in Skopelos, Greece and the second at Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington. She has exhibited work in group and solo exhibitions all over the US.

Her work mixes relief printmaking techniques with intaglio, lithography and hand-painted material. It uses historical and politically themed imagery to examine aspects of contemporary American society.

Interdisciplinary collaborations. Gallery exhibits. Community projects. There are many ways to experience Michigan Tech Art. Michigan Tech Art is part of the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department.

The Rozsa Galleries offer dynamic exhibits that showcase engaging work — from local to international artists. We strive to offer diverse programming that supports our students and our community. Our professional A-Space hosts two curated exhibits each year. A-Space strives for diverse, engaging, and thoughtful programming that supports contemporary artists and deepens our student’s learning. Local, regional, national, and international artists exhibit here. A-Space shares a wall with Gallery B, our student gallery classroom. This offers special opportunities for our students to observe and participate in the galleries year-round.