Category Archives: Theatre

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.


Tech Theatre and Sound Students Present “A Haunted Mine: The Lost Labs of Dr. Z”

Quincy Mine at nightThe Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association present their spooky Halloween collaboration “A Haunted Mine: The Lost Labs of Dr. Z”

Tours will run from 6 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow (Oct. 24/25) and from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 26) in the Quincy Mine on U.S. 41 north of Hancock. Ages 13 and up are $12 per person, 12 and under are $6.

Tours after 6 p.m. are not recommended for small children. All children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Footwear for muddy, snow and bloody conditions is advised.

Students are the performers in the mine and have designed sound, lighting, props, scenery and costumes for this one-of-a-kind Halloween scare. All proceeds will benefit the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

For more on how we haunt a mine read our article in Michigan Tech News.


‘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.


Participate in Haunted Mine Tour

Quincy Mine with Northern LightsAre you interested in working on the annual Quincy Haunted Mine Tour? We need actors, crew, builders and overall ghouls, ghosts and goblins who want to help us scare people silly. The Haunted Mine will begin building very soon, installs will start Oct. 20, and runs October 24, 25, 26 in the evenings.

If you want to get involved, email Professor of Practice Josh Loar (VPA).

Note: VPA students already involved do not need to email again, unless you haven’t signed up yet.


42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels Saturday

From the inventive Cirque Mechanics who brought us “Pedal Punk” in 2016, comes 42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels. At the center of every circus rests a 42ft ring full of thrills, laughs and excitement.

42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, is the latest invention from the creative minds of Cirque Mechanics. The company dares us to leap into the circus ring and experience the timelessness of this evolving art form. The show’s unique mechanical interpretation of the traditional, and its story full of the lore of the historic one-ring circus, create a welcoming place, like a big top, where we can be amazed. The action in 42FT is full of theatricality and a modern sensibility, showcasing a galloping mechanical metal horse and a rotating tent frame for strongmen, acrobats and aerialists.

Cirque Mechanics 42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels comes to the Rozsa Center stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 28). Tickets are $25 for adults, $12 for youth, discount family packs are available and at no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


3rd Annual GeekU.P. Mini- “Comic-Con” Charity Event

GeekU.P. LogoJoin us for a fun-filled geektastic charity event!  GeekU.P. is a mini-con charity event celebrating geek culture offering an artists’ alley, vendors, cosplay contest, celebrity Q&A’s, autograph sessions, and more!

To be held September 14th at the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Ballroom in Houghton, MI. from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Tickets are available at Black Ice Comics, 403 Lakeshore Drive in Houghton or at the door. $10 for adults, $5 kids 14 and under, and $5 for students with ID.

The 2019 charity recipient is ‘Don’t Do It Yourself’ (D.D.I.Y) which serves as an emergency funding source for the people of Houghton and Keweenaw counties that are facing a financial hardship due to a medical crisis. For more information regarding DDIY, please visit ddiyup.org.

With the help of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and local businesses, GeekU.P. has an exciting celebrity guest line-up this year:

Dean HaglundActor/artist Dean Haglund is known the world over as “Langly”, one of The Lone Gunmen, a role he played for nine seasons on the hit Fox TV series The X-Files and its spin-off series, The Lone Gunmen. Other television credits include Bones, V.I.P., Sliders, Home Improvement, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and The Commish. In addition, Dean is a long-time improvisational comedian having performed with the Groundlings and Second City. He is a regular performer at the Improv in Los Angeles.

 

 

Jerry DeCaireMarvel artist, Jerry DeCaire, is one of the original artists for the comic book character Deadpool and is known for his illustrations in Thor, Wolverine, X-Men, and Hawkeye. He will also reveal his forthcoming comic, “Which-When-Man”, to be released in 2020. Jerry will do a real-time demonstration of his drawing techniques in a live performance.

 

 

 

Patricia SummersettPatricia Summersett is known for providing voice and motion capture for several video games, most notably the voice of Princess Zelda in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (worldwide 2017 Game of the Year) but also Rainbow Six: Siege, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and the Assassin’s Creed Franchise. Patricia was raised in L’anse, MI, and graduated from Houghton High School before pursuing her acting career in LA and Montreal.

 

All three celebrities will take part in Q & A sessions and autograph signings for attendees. Northbound Saga, an independent film company, is going to be with us and will be bringing actors, awesome props from their production, and some exclusive footage to share during a Q&A session.

We’re very excited about what we have in store for GeekU.P. this year, we want to welcome folks of all ages, especially our students, to Geek.U.P. to come have a great time. Even if it’s been years since you read a comic, or you’ve never played a video game, we can’t wait to share the fun, have folks meet some celebrities and help us raise money for DDIY! —Shana Porteen, GeekU.P. co-founder and owner of Black Ice Comics

I’m thrilled to celebrate local arts and culture in the community I grew up in! I certainly hope to inspire and provide insight for budding artists who may be thinking of a related career path, Shana and I dreamed up this event two years ago and I’m amazed how the festival has evolved so considerably. I’m excited to imagine how it may grow and expand in years to come!Patricia Summersett, GeekU.P. co-founder and guest celebrity

More information and the developing schedule can be found at our website www.geekup906.com.

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.


Auditions for Tech Theatre’s First Fall Production, Black Comedy

Auditions for Tech Theatre’s first fall production, Black Comedy, is set for September 4 and 5, at 7:00 pm, in McArdle Theatre. In this hilarious fast-paced comedy, lovesick and desperate sculptor, Brindsley Miller has embellished his apartment with furniture and object d’arte “borrowed” from the absent antique collector next-door, hoping to impress his fiancée’s pompous father and wealthy art dealer. Everything goes wrong when a fuse is blown leaving the apartment in total darkness. Only we, the audience, are privy to the riotous antics that happen when the lights go out.

The play calls for 3 women and 5 men.

Here is a link to the script: Black Comedy

The play is set in 1960s London England and we will be going for British accents. The director is looking for potential for acquisition of the accent, so please bring an open mind and willingness to try! To assist in preparation, here is a link to a tutorial on a Standard British Dialect.

The production opens earlier this year than in past years, so the rehearsal schedule may be more demanding for a shorter rehearsal period.

The performances will be: October 11-12, and October 17-19.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script and comedic physical improvisation. (It’s a farce, after all!)

Hope to see you Wednesday or Thursday!


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


VPA Student Receives Honor

A Michigan Tech student was recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). As a result of eight regional festivals held in January and February, theatre students from around the country have been recognized for outstanding works.

Makenzi Jo Wentala received a scholarship to the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILV). Select students were awarded one-week or multi-week scholarships to the SILV. Summer master classes at the SILV include rigging, digital drafting SFX, automation and “Movers, Media and Rock-n-Roll.”


‘Sunday in the Park with George’ Opens Today

Performers on stageThe Rozsa Center, Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Tech Theatre Company present the VPA 25th Anniversary Season theatre finale, “Sunday in the Park with George,” Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 11-13) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

The musical features junior computer science major Jonah Schulte as George One and George Two. Katy Gula, a junior environmental engineering major, plays the role of Dot.

“Sunday in the Park with George” is a fully staged musical with live orchestra. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s lyrical celebration of art, love and children merges image, music and performance to explore the depths of human understanding.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and staged around the world, “Sunday in the Park with George” explains the simple essence of life we can all understand.

When considering what to program as the musical theatre offering this year, ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ kept coming to my mind as a work that represents the department in special ways—a musical about two artists, separated through many years, but intimately connected by their desires to connect through art and to create something new.—Jared Anderson, Chair VPA

Director Roger Held (VPA), describes the play in terms of an intersection and relations between parents, children and art. “Steven Sondheim and James Lapine suggest that, in the end, life comes down to children and art. They mean this, I think, in the broadest sense. In ‘Sunday in the Park …’, you’ll meet two Georges who are artists trying to understand the nature of light in aesthetic experiences.”

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, through the date links (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) , in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the night of the show. The box office opens two hours prior to the performance.