Category Archives: Theatre

Auditions for Agnes of God Tonight

Auditions for Agnes of God will be held this evening, Wednesday, November 28th at 7:00 pm. in Walker 210.

The roles are for 3 women:

Mother Miriam Ruth — Actor able to play 40-60 yrs. old.  Devout.  Became a nun after having a family.  Wants to keep peace and (possibly) save face for the religious order.  Sincerely has Agnes’ best interests in mind as she tries to protect her from jail or the asylum.

Dr. Martha Livingstone — Psychiatrist, (Actor able to play 40-60 yrs. old)  She’s seen it all.  While she has a tough exterior, she struggles with personal demons.  Still, she is quite compassionate.  A chain smoker.

Agnes — Novice who denies giving birth.  Innocent.  Sings like an angel.  She was abused by her mother and is forced to face this reality at the show’s climax.

No preparation is necessary, but scripts are available to check out in the office of Visual and Performing Arts. The audition will be cold readings from the script.
Rehearsals will be next semester, with performances February 21-23, Feb 28-Mar 2.

Student Shares Theatre and Electronic Media Performance Experience

Callisto CortezIt’s not typical for a person to study Theatre and Electronic Media Performance at a university more known for engineering. As I thought about my education at Michigan Tech and this unique program, that not many people pursue in the Upper Peninsula, I realized how extraordinary my college adventure would be. I am a fourth-year Theatre and Electronic Media Performance major, minoring in Technical Theatre, and my name is Callisto Cortez.

Over the years I’ve fallen in love with my department and the people that have become some of my closest friends. The tight-knit community that is the Visual and Performing Arts department works as a family and all the students can get one-on-one discussions and attention from each of our professors. Within my first year and a half at Michigan Tech, I was able to complete my Acting Practicums. Each practicum was worth 1 credit, which means I had already acted in 3 productions with the Tech Theatre. It’s been an incredible learning experience, for the fact that I was able to immerse myself in the program right away. By the first semester of my second year, I was cast in my first leading role for the Tech Theatre, Silent Sky.

I have realized how extremely passionate I am about theatre and how fortunate I am to make my dreams into a reality by making my hard work pay off.

The major of Theatre and Electronic Media Performance at Michigan Tech caters to each student individually as artists. At first, my mindset was focused primarily on performance and enhancing my acting abilities. Then, I discovered my love for the technical aspects of theatre as well, which lead me to taking technical theatre courses. My second year, I helped to paint an entire set for The Irresistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and also stage manage the production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago During these two semesters, I was the lead in Silent Sky for the Fall semester and a dancer in West Side Story spring semester.

Now, I want to be able to act in a show, stage manage another, assist in any type of design, and just get to know the people who make an entire production happen.



Magic and Fun: ‘Pinocchio’ at Rozsa Saturday

Featured event photo for Pinocchio

The Rozsa Center welcomes the acclaimed theater troupe Tout à Trac, from Quebec, Canada, with their adaptation of “Pinocchio,” a magical theatrical production which takes us on another amazing journey into the heart of childhood and imagination.

Following their internationally acclaimed “Alice in Wonderland,” Tout à Trac returns with Collodi’s tale about the world’s most famous puppet: Pinocchio.

They will present two shows —2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 10). In addition to the performance, guests at the 2 p.m. matinee will be treated to “KC Bonker’s Gepetto’s Workshop” in the lobby, after the show, co-hosted by Trish Helsel (VPA), KC Bonker’s, the Portage Lake District Library and the Rozsa Center.

“Gepetto’s Workshop” will include an interactive puppet workshop, featuring an on-stage tour of the Pinocchio set, a shadow puppet theatre and a “sock-puppet creation-station” in the Rozsa lobby, complete with refreshments and puppetry-themed fun for all ages.

Calling all parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles! If you haven’t taken the children to see Pinocchio … yet, keep it in mind as a weekend option. Every detail is artfully executed in this disarming retelling of a classic tale. The sets, costumes and, of course, the puppets (including the boy with the nose), have a distinct, folkloric style. Gepetto is adorable. One of Pinocchio’s arms is a flute. The cat gets a laugh by simply singing one word from a famous feline musical. — Pat Donnelly, Reviewer

Tickets are on sale now, $16 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 at mtu.edu/rozsa, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


In the News – Haunted Mine and 41 North Film

The Visual and Performing Arts was in the news this past week for two different events.

Silhouettes of minersThe Haunted Mine presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts was covered by WLUC TV6.

Michigan Technological University VPA students installed 2,535 feet of speaker cable, 1,000 feet of microphone cable and 31 speakers to create the ultimate creepy soundscape for Quincy Mine’s annual haunted tour.

A half-mile in and seven levels below ground, the 15-by-15 dark tunnel awaits the brave souls who dare to enter for pre-Halloween tours Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 25-27. This is the second year Michigan Tech students in sound design and audio production and technology programs have collaborated on the project.


41 Film Festival logoThe upcoming 41 North Film Festival, beginning Thursday (Nov. 1) was covered by WJMN TV3. This year, the 41 North Film Festival will screen five films about history, issues and accomplishments related to STEM innovation in its lineup of more than 20 films.

 


VPA Students Learn Theatre Swordplay

2 females sword fightingThe Ring of Steel Stage Combat Workshop took place Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th in McArdle Theatre. The event was coordinated by Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society at Michigan Tech to provide an opportunity for its members, Visual and Performing Arts students, and the greater community to learn basic stage combat techniques.

The event officially began on Saturday morning with yoga and stretching provided by Ring of Steel’s instructor, Diane. Those that participated in the session were grateful for the chance to stretch before the intensely physical workshops to follow.  After stretching, the Falling and Rolling workshop began with discussions from instructor, Maestro Chris, on the “circle of strength” and martial arts influences on achieving believable falls without injuring one’s self.  The group then rolled out mats borrowed from Air Force ROTC and practiced basic rolls using the techniques taught by Chris.  Other topics that followed included back falls.

After Falling and Rolling, the workshop for Hand to Hand combat began with continuation of the circle of strength. In this workshop, partners were necessary and the six levels of safety practiced by Ring of Steel were introduced in order to protect the partner in the exercise.

For hand to hand combat, actions such as right hook, undercut, gut punch, blocks, and napping (creating the sound without physical contact with the partner) were displayed with their appropriate safety measures and then practiced in pairs.  A sequence was developed in order to create a story and full choreography to practice.

Once participants had been introduced to the levels of safety and basic physical movements, they were able to move on to swordplay.  For Saturday, training swords made from plastic or wood-like materials were used when learning the technique and basic movements.  Like the hand to hand combat section, a sequence was created to aid in learning and practicing all six levels of safety.  The swordplay section ended the long, physical first day for most participants.

In the evening of the first day, Ring of Steel gave an after dinner lecture for VPA students with technical theatre and management interest in general stage combat weapon safety, liability, and maintenance.  Students were given the opportunity to identify the differences between resin prop and blank firing weaponry and the safety measures that must be in place when using either on stage.  Additionally, attendees fired rounds of the blank training weapons to understand the proper etiquette and dangers when handling devices to remember when managing shows involving blank firing weapons.

I really enjoyed the safety aspect of the workshops because I think it’s important to know how to do things correctly, and it is something that will be very helpful in my future as a stage manager  – Makenzi Wentela, Theatre Entertainment and Technology Student

The workshop continued on Sunday with more advanced topics.  The morning consisted of review in Falling and Rolling and Hand to Hand Combat with more advanced moves added such as fainting, partner rolls, mid-roll twists to collect an object, weapon disarms, and hair and limb pulls. Following lunch break, a continuation of the sequence learned on Saturday for swordplay was done, this time with steel training rapiers. The group was able to move quickly into the new weapons and was excited to try. After completing the basic choreography set by the instructors, participants were able to then learn the choreography notation in writing and modify the basic choreography to make it unique to each pair.  The pairs performed their unique choreography and were critiqued and corrected by Ring of Steel in terms of safety and flow of the movement.

The event concluded on Sunday evening with the large group mass battle incorporating all the techniques learned throughout the weekend.  Participants further developed their unique choreography and were checked continually by Ring of Steel.  Finally, all pairs performed their choreography to the full group and were placed into specific locations on the stage for the mass battle.  Many, many practices followed before a clean performance of the full mass battle was done successfully. At the height of the event, eight pairs of unique combat choreography were spread across McArdle Theatre with 4 different cameras catching every moment. Videos of the event will be compiled soon!

It was an absolute blast to have the experience. I’m hoping we’ll get to bring them back in the future and possibly integrate more of these techniques into future shows  –  Tom Klonowski, Mechanical Engineering Technology Student

The event was generously sponsored by the Parents Fund of the Michigan Tech Fund, Public Safety, and Alpha Psi Omega. Special thanks to the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department, Air Force ROTC, Trish Helsel, Kent Cyr, Christopher Plummer. Photo Credits to Ethan Sommer, Christopher Plummer, and University Marketing and Communications.


Fundraiser Celebrates 25th Anniversary of VPA

Circle with Gala surrounded by colored splashesThis academic year, we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Michigan Tech. We will hold a celebratory 25th Anniversary Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Celebrate with an evening of cocktails, dinner and live arts entertainment. The VPA 25th Anniversary Gala will feature intimate performances in the lobby and on stage, and live auction supporting the Marian and John Irish Award for Environmental Art, the Visual and Performing Arts Department Theatre Scholarship Fund and the Rozsa Center’s Class Acts Program.

Come dressed for celebration. There will be a cocktail hour (cash bar), full dinner, live music throughout the evening both in the lobby and on stage, an auction of unique arts experiences, artists working during the gala and more.

Tickets for the evening are $75 per person. We will also be selling corporate tables (seating eight) for $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling the SDC Ticket Office at 7-2073 or following this link. More information can be found here.


Scary Ideas Sought for Haunted Mine Tour

Quincy Mine with Northern LightsThe Quincy Mine Hoist Association and the Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts Department are teaming up to offer the best Haunted Mine event ever. In preparation, the production team is looking for creative ideas for awesome and scary scenes. All are invited to toss ideas to the production team via an “idea pitch.”

Ideas will be selected based on feasibility and potential for the ultimate scare. Scenes will be under the direction of a professional theatre director and actors will be auditioned to fill the necessary roles.

This year’s theme is “Secret Portal to the 90th Level.” Tourists have been disappearing, only to reappear having passed through the eerie depths of the mine unseen for years. Tours will be Oct. 25-27. There will be some rehearsing this year that will require a few hours of commitment before the actual mine experience. Technical load-in will be Oct. 21-24.

There will be a mandatory meeting for all volunteers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 20) in McArdle Theatre, Walker 207.

For more information, contact Patricia Helsel, 7-3283.

Fill out an information form prior to attending the meeting.

The team is looking for a very brief description of a mini-plot or scenario that might take between one and five minutes. These scenarios are partly improvised situations where one or more individuals interact with each other and/or the customers who enter the mine during the tour. Envision costumes, lights, props, sounds, special effects, etc. Individuals, partners and groups are all invited to submit ideas. There is no limit to the number of ideas.

If your idea is chosen, you and two friends will be invited to a special sneak preview of the whole mine tour before the event opens to the public.

If you are interested only in being a part of the Haunted Mine experience, just answer the survey questions in the form.


Rozsa Calendars Now Available

A stack of Rozsa 2018-2019 season calendarsThe Rozsa Wall Calendars are here. Pick one up at the Rozsa Center or at any of the more than 120 Houghton and Hancock businesses who display and distribute them each year. For Michigan Tech faculty and staff, we make it easy for you to get your copies of the calendar. If you would like a calendar delivered directly to your campus mailbox, fill out this form. We will gladly send a calendar to you in inter-campus mail.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, more than 33 Visual and Performing Arts events including music, theatre and visual arts events, and the ever-popular 41 North Film festival.  From comedy, to dance, to all-around spectacle, you will enjoy the variety and over-the-top fun of the 2018/19 Rozsa Visual and Performing Arts Season.

We have so much ballet this year. Two nights to experience the magic of the “Nutcracker” in November and December, then the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in February. —Bethany Jones, Rozsa Center Marketing Manager

Season Ticket Packages are on still on sale, offering savings of 18-37 percent. The popular “Pick 6” Season Ticket Package has returned and is an even better value this year. We brought back both a “Pick 3” option, and the very popular “Family Pack” option that will help you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price. We hope there is a package that works for you. Thank you to all of our long-time season ticket holders, we’re holding your seats. For new season ticket buyers, welcome, we look forward to seeing you this season. Not interested in a Season Ticket Package? Single-ticket sales began last month.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), call 7-2073 or go online.


Olé at the Rozsa: Food, Music and Laughter on Saturday’s Menu

Three guitaristsGuitar playing and juggling require nimble fingers, and the audience will witness both when Parade of Nations headliner—the madcap international act Olé!—performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 15), at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The performance caps off a day of festivities that begin when the 29th annual Parade of Nations steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hancock. The flag-flying procession, including floats, horses, marchers in the traditional ceremonial clothing of their countries and the Huskies Pep Band, make its way across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge to Dee Stadium on the Houghton waterfront.

At the Dee, the Multicultural Festival features 11 international performances on the main stage and 22 food booths serving cuisine from around the world at affordable prices. Pony rides, a book sale and art projects from local youth add to the fun. Outdoor dining will again be available this year to ease traffic congestion, and a projection screen is designed to make viewing activities on the main stage more accessible. Trivia contests and prizes will be awarded throughout the day—the biggest of which is a drawing for a Chicago getaway package.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.