Category: News

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.


Auditions for “On the Verge” Tonight and Tomorrow

Silhouette of a person's head with test "Auditions" in the backgroundThe Michigan Tech Theatre Company will hold auditions for “On the Verge” by Eric Overmyer at 6:50 p.m. today and tomorrow (Sept. 11/12) in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

On the Verge” has roles for three women and up to eight men. This is an open call; no preparation is required. “On the Verge” is a whimsical comedy featuring three determined women, who set off to explore the remaining unknown territories of Africa, South America, the Himalayan Mountains and the ice-bound poles of the earth in the 1900’s.

They encounter strange people: the crew of a German dirigible expedition, a mysterious Dragon Lady, and an abominable snowman to name a few. To their surprise, they discover they are not only exploring the wilds of space but the slippage of time. By the end of the play, they find themselves in a Las Vegas Nightclub circa 1955, courted by bikers, dancing the Tango and tumbling toward the 1970s.


Heather Abbott to Appear at Rozsa Tomorrow

Heather AbbottThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion present Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott. She will present “Disabilities in Today’s Workforce: How Trauma Shaped One HR Executive’s Business Practices,” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 12) at the Rozsa Center.

At the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, Abbott enjoyed a high-powered career as a human resources executive with a Fortune 500 company. Little did she know that one day she would become the very kind of employee she was entrusted to protect.

On April 15, 2013, on what is referred to as Marathon Monday in Boston,  Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, set out on an annual tradition with six friends. They would attend the Red Sox game, followed by a walk over to the finish line to watch the runners. But that day changed her life forever.

Abbott was struck by shrapnel from the second of two bombs, severely injuring her left foot. After three surgeries in four days, Abbott was faced with an agonizing decision—should she try and save her left foot or amputate her leg below the knee. With the help of other amputees, and the support from thousands around the country, Abbott made the difficult decision, at the age of 38, to live her life as an amputee.

Abbott has remained a model of strength and resilience and is determined to help other victims of limb loss. She is a certified Peer Counselor for the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as others helped her. By starting the Heather Abbott Foundation, she has another chance to continue to pay it forward for all amputees.

This lecture is presented as part of the Social Justice Lecture Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series. Tickets to this lecture are free, however, due to limited seating tickets are required, and are available by phone, 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 night of the show. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances.


Olé! Tickets on Sale Now

Three guitaristsTickets are now on sale for Olé!, the headline act for the 2018 Parade of Nations. Sponsored by the Parade of Nations and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Olé! will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 on the Rozsa Center stage.

Olé! is a spectacular international comedy and music presentation featuring the exhilarating rhythms of flamenco, salsa, swing, blues and jazz, combined with hilarious slapstick comedy, full of surreal invention and fun. Paul Morocco, Guillermo de Endaya and Marcial Heredia perform together in a zany, unpredictable and spectacular show.

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for children and no charge for students who have paid the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box office the night of the show.

Note: The Rozsa Box Office is only open two hours before performances.


Faculty Attend Conference

Kent CyrThe entertainment industry continues to increase its need for technologically advanced knowledge to realize complex scenic, lighting, and technical effects. Michigan Tech’s Visual and Performing Arts Department faculty know this.

Kent Cyr attended an entertainment engineering conference over the summer. The conference was an opportunity to compare notes with other theatre technology educators and industry leaders about the skills needed to succeed in the entertainment technology field. It provided some much-needed discourse about the type of skillsets that are coming out of degree programs, along with a better understanding of how those skillsets can be utilized. They also discussed the educational requirements of colleges and universities in an effort to help the industry understand what to expect from new graduates.

There were many take-aways from the conference for me… not the least of which was increasing my contact with the companies who hire our students. I am looking forward to the next conference and an opportunity to examine and refine the information and skills in which we train our majors.

Cyr brings back knowledge to further VPA’s theatre and entertainment technology degree program. The BS in Theatre and Entertainment Technology pairs well with any of the following BS degrees: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, as well as the School of Technology applied engineering degrees.


Two Exhibits Open Concurrently at the Rozsa Center Gallery Friday

WW1CC logo with Quincy MineAmerican and French Propaganda Posters” and “Shell-Shocked: Footage & Sounds of the Front,” are two separate exhibits that are meant to be seen together.

Both are part of the community-wide centennial commemoration of the “Great War, World War I & the Copper Country,” running through Nov. 11.

During the gallery opening reception, Stefka Hristova (HU) will give a talk entitled, “Iconography & War.” World War I called for broad public participation through multiple avenues: joining the military, buying liberty bonds or saving stamps, conserving food, taking up a public job. Everyone was expected to do their part, and new modes of propaganda were key to ensuring society’s “total mobilization.”

“American and French Propaganda Posters,” reflects numerous appeals to mass mobilization, resulting in some iconic images from the American campaign, for example, James Montgomery Flagg’s “Uncle Sam” and A.E. Foringer’s “Greatest Mother in the World” for the American Red Cross.

Hristova’s talk will take a closer look at the posters to reveal patterns of representations of men, women and children that tie into changing norms of social propriety.

In contrast to the patriotic rhetoric of propaganda posters, the immersive multimedia display of “Shell-Shocked” brings to life the reality of soldiers who fought the war, inviting visitors to experience soldiers’ journey from training to combat, from life at the front to demobilization and return home, if they survived the war’s abuses.

An installation space featuring a custom circular steel truss equipped with six 40” screens, twelve loudspeakers and 6,000 watts of available amplified power, “Shell-Shocked” recreates the sounds to accompany historic silent film footage of the war.

The installation was crafted by Kent Cyr (VPA) and Christopher Plummer (VPA) with sound-design assistance from students Luke Johnson, Brendan Espinosa and Noah Budd from the Visual and Performing Arts Department, Sound Design-BA program.

“American and French Propaganda Posters” are on loan from the permanent collection of the Marquette Regional History Center. The exhibits are made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC), an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the WW1CC program do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH or MHC.

Light refreshments will be served at the opening reception, 5-7 p.m. Friday (Sept. 7). The exhibits will run until Oct. 2, during gallery hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.


Steve ‘N’ Seagulls in Concert Wednesday

Circle line logo Steve 'n' Seaguls

Take well-known rock and metal songs, play them in a bluegrass style and add a decidedly Finnish perspective and you have Steve ‘N’ Seagulls, one of the best Finnish bands to visit our area in decades.

Steve ‘N’ Seagulls bring their marvelous musical abilities, humor and unique mix of country and bluegrass at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 5) to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

The five-man band from Jyväsjtkä, Finland gained notoriety through YouTube videos. Especially popular was their bluegrass rendition of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” Steve ‘N’ Seagulls have released two albums —  “Farm Machine” and “Brothers in Farms,” which feature covers such as Guns N Roses’ “November Rain,” AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” the Offspring’s “Self Esteem” and Metalica’s “Nothing Else Matters.”

Tickets for Steve ‘N’ Seagulls are available online at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by calling 7-2073 or at the Rozsa Center box office starting two hours before the concert.