Category: News

New Funding

Libby Meyer is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $3,800 public service grant from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Mary Jennings is the Co-PI on the project, “Minnesota Ballet Performance.”

The Minnesota Ballet offers productions ranging from full-scale broadway-style productions to small-scale, intimate repertoire dances. The Minnesota Ballet has a bountiful selection of full-length story ballets such as Coppélia, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Dracula, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and—of course—the holiday tradition of  The Nutcracker!


Gallery Exhibit in McArdle Theatre

Lisa GordilloThe work of artist Lisa Gordillo will be on display in a one-day gallery exhibit in McArdle Theatre. The exhibit, “Tal vez un cuerpo (maybe a body),” will be shown from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. tomorrow (July 31), in the McArdle Theatre (Walker 207).

Gordillo has transformed the theatre into a pop-up gallery space for her recent works inspired by U.S.–Latin American relations. Several pieces in the exhibit were shown last summer in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, while others are new.

The theatre will be open for guests to stop by at any time and view the exhibit. All are welcome.


Web Series Seeks Talent for Aug. 11 Filming

The filmmakers behind the Michigan-based Northbound series are seeking actors to be extras in an upcoming film shoot at the Great Lakes Research Center (GRLC) on the Michigan Tech campus.

Auditions can be done either by submitting a video or in person at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. In-Person auditions will be done on Sunday (July 22), in room 120 at the Rozsa Center.

The actual filming will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. The GLRC will be portrayed as a medical research facility. The extras will be playing a large group of characters who die, after a mysterious outbreak.

The team is looking for 25 to 30 extras in total. Three will be interacting with the main actors, without dialogue. An additional four actors are needed to play military guards, and will be needed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 11. The majority of extras will play doctors, nurses or lab technicians. All adults are welcome to audition. There are no age or gender preferences.

Northbound is a post-apocalyptic webseries made in the Upper Peninsula, that began in early 2014. To date, there are two seasons currently available exclusively on the online streaming platform Seeka TV, which you can view for free by clicking this link.

The upcoming shoot is intended for the first episode of Season 3, which will also be the final season of the series, and will lead into a feature film called Northstar. This is a community-driven project that has found an audience around the world. The filmmakers are seeking actors to become part of their ongoing effort to bring the UP to a wider audience.

How to Audition:

  • Send a Video
    • Fill out a Talent Form by Sunday (July 22)
    • The form requires an upload of a MP4 video – deadline 5 p.m. Sunday (July 22)
    • You may use the scene provided, or use your own material, so long as the video is no longer than 1 minute.
  • Audition in Person
  • Fill out a Talent Form by Sunday (July 22)
  • You will be sent a 30-minute audition slot between 3 – 5 p.m. Sunday (July 22), in Rozsa 120 (choir room)
  • Using the provided scene, you will read or improvise for a video recording.

For more information, email Patricia Helsel.


Rozsa 2018-2019 Season Tickets on Sale

Two Les Ballets Trockadero dancersThe Rozsa Center announces its 2018-19 season ticket sale. Season ticket packages are on sale early this year, in fact starting today, with the best discounts available on all the season has to offer.

There are four season ticket package options this year, offering savings of 18 to 37 percent off single-ticket prices. A full season ticket package—a pass to all the arts at Michigan Tech—gives you the biggest discount available off the single-ticket price on all Rozsa and VPA events. The popular “Pick 6” Season Ticket Package has returned and is an even better value this year.

We continue to offer the “Pick 3” option, and we have brought back the very popular “Family Pack” option that will let you bring the whole family to a big show at an affordable price.

We hope there is a package that works for you. To all of our long-time season-ticket holders, we’re holding your seats, now through Aug. 1.  For new season ticket buyers,  we look forward to seeing you this season.

Featured this year are 12 Rozsa Presenting Series events, including 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. Visit our Calendar of Events for a complete list of all our 2018-19 season events!

Not interested in a season ticket package? Single ticket sales also begin early this year, on Aug. 1. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Michigan Tech Ticketing Services at the Central Ticket Office (SDC), call 7-2073 or go online.


Research Excellence Fund (REF) Awards Announced

Light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, one is lit.

The Vice President for Research Office announced the 2018 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards and thanked the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

This year we congratulate, Lisa Johnson de Gordillo, Ann Beffel, Libby Meyer, and Patricia Helsel for receiving Scholarship and Creativity Grants (SCG).

The REF Scholarship and Creativity Grant (SCG) provides support to encourage faculty to engage in scholarly research, learning, and creative activities to enhance professional development.


Christopher Plummer Featured in Dean’s Teaching Showcase

Jared Anderson presenting an award to Christopher Plummer

This week, the Dean’s Teaching Showcase recognizes Christopher Plummer (VPA). Plummer joined VPA in 2002, developed the sound design program and was inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence in 2011.

College of Sciences and Arts Dean Bruce Seely chose to recognize Christopher Plummer for his commitment to the professional success of students. Seely says Plummer’s approach matches that of other successful faculty recognized this year—gain the trust of students.

Christopher knows that change comes too quickly for students to learn everything. Therefore, for students to succeed, they must possess enough knowledge to ask the right questions and the ability to listen and then research the best answers. ‘How I teach is as important as what I teach.’

Plummer says, “I must model good listening and communication skills. Students need to know I am interested in their success and that I teach to help them.”

He tells students about his course design choices and teaching strategies, and thereby gains rapport with the students and enhances their accomplishments.

Plummer also notes that at one time, he tended to step away from these discussions once classes were in place, figuring things were working. “I was wrong, and both the achievement of the students and my student evaluations reflected the importance of the open dialog.”

This “dialog” creates not only rapport with the students, but also a buy-in that improves learning and the quality of student work. “This also encourages them to view the process as something they are part of rather than something done to them,” Plummer says.

Christopher PlummerPlummer wants students to be invested in their studies and internally motivated. “Students must believe their work really matters, that they have an audience beyond a professor grading an assignment.”

Many arts projects have broader community audiences—VPA faculty often bring in outside professionals to campus as reviewers. Since many class projects lack those audiences, VPA expects students to develop a portfolio of projects that add value to the students.

For example, in the loudspeaker design class, students lay out technical specifications, design and build a set of loudspeakers they keep. Plummer says, “One measure of student investment in assignments is if they share them on social media. Are they proud of their work? Do they want to share it? When students have an emotional engagement, they search for information and remember it long after the test. Loudspeakers are all over social media from early stages to completion.”

VPA also believes students’ investment is facilitated by feeling part of a community of learners connected by a culture of collaboration and support for each other’s success. For Plummer, collaboration extends beyond the department to include introducing students to relevant regional or national professional conferences, as well as bringing professionals into the classroom and lab, in person or through video conferences.

As an example, Plummer “started a project where students create audio stories with professional actors, significantly raising the stakes in students’ projects by introducing professional standards of communicating.”

Collaboration and support continue after graduation as alumni frequently help each other find jobs or solve problems, elevating the success of all VPA students and the profession. The fruits of these efforts are visible when VPA students transition into professional life.

Our students and graduates work on the largest, most complex entertainment events, tours and installations in the world including Cirque du Soleil, Lady Gaga, Disney, Radio City Music Hall, Taylor Swift, Metallica and various projects at The Smithsonian.

Stephan Villet, co-founder of Smart Monkeys, Inc., (a consulting firm in show design and production), commented, “Michigan Tech students can talk to clients and designers about meeting their goals as well as about making Smart Monkeys a place I want to work, with people I enjoy working with.” Clearly, Plummer’s efforts to encourage student investment in an education occurring within collaborative environments seems to be working.

Plummer will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members. He is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer, recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning


KSO Wraps Up Tour at Rozsa

KSO On Tour The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Joel Neves, wraps up its current tour at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The Tchaikovsky’s Fifth program features Tchaikovsky’s triumphant “Fifth Symphony” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “liturgical Russian Easter Festival Overture.”

The KSO began the concert tour Thursday (April 19), at the Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls, with additional stops in Algoma, Wisconsin and Ironwood.

Our orchestra tour provides a special opportunity to highlight the impressive quality of the arts at Michigan Tech to a wider community. Our musicians embrace the chance to perform some of the greatest orchestral music to underserved communities in the U.P. and Wisconsin. — Joel Neves

Tickets for the concert at the Rozsa Center are on sale now. Tickets are $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, online, 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.


Superior Wind Symphony Celebrates Contemporary Composers

Three rows of eight of people silhouettes The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts present a concert by the Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band under the direction of Mike Christianson (VPA).

The concert, “Right Now,” is a celebration of music written by contemporary composers. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 21) in the Rozsa Center.

The Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band once again combine for their year-end wind concert, ‘Right Now,’ the music of living composers. These 14 composers are people who walk among us and who you could conceivably meet. Join us for a fresh and invigorating evening. Two have been on this campus, two are jazz bassists and they range in age from 33 to 94.

I have met five of them and performed with two of them. They write in a wide range of styles, so there is bound to be something you will love. The composers include John Mackey, Shelley Hanson, Chris Brubeck, Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty, Fred Hersch, Rufus Reid, Esperanza Spalding, Radiohead, Bjork, Andrew Boysen, Jr., Tan Dun and Sammy Nestico. – Mike Christianson

Tickets for “Right Now” 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 87-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance.

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

Can’t make the performance? You can listen via our live-streaming!


Michigan Tech Choirs Present “Beyond the Veil”

Singers in a choir during a performanceThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Department of Visual and Performing Arts present “Beyond the Veil,” a concert by the Michigan Tech Choirs: conscience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Friday (April 20) in the Rozsa Center.

Jared Anderson, chair of VPA and the choir’s director, says, “The choirs at Tech have been working hard to prepare a concert that includes a number of interesting themes. The title of the concert refers to themes that seem to be opposites as if on two sides of a veil: love and loss, life and death, health and sickness, slavery and freedom, youth and old age.”

Anderson says there will be something for everyone at the concert, “love songs, spirituals, folksongs and sacred motets.”

Tickets for “Beyond the Veil” 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 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

Can’t make the performance? You can listen via our live-streaming!


“From There to Here” Student Art Exhibit

Maze drawing chalk on chalboardThe Rozsa Center and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts present “From There to Here,” featuring works of art created by Michigan Tech students participating in Project Learning Lab, an innovative arts classroom based inside of Rozsa gallery b.

Work on display was created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s Traditional Sculpture, Advanced Sculpture and 3-D Design classes. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including Materials Sciences, English and Theatre Arts.

Students in Traditional Sculpture study traditional ways of making art around the globe, including Guatemalan kites, Zimbabwe-Shona carving and metal casting, with help from Michigan Tech’s department of Materials Science.

Students in Advanced Sculpture are encouraged to work with the gallery’s architecture and to create large-scale installations in the gallery.

Students designed and built a tree house for a local, three-year old client in the in 3-D Design class.

The exhibition runs April 18-20. A reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the gallery. The reception is free and all are welcome.

Student artists represented: Shane Arnold, Rebecca Barkdoll, Jalen Beck, Jessica Boelcke, Alyssa Cinder, Scott Davison, Holly Eyrich, Charlie Heckel, Mads Howard, Aaron Kruzel, Alex Kuehn, Haylee Lakenen, Miles Lefevre, Dakota Lowrance, Michael Miller, Adam Mitchell, Evan Monko, Zack Nelson, Neal Nordstrom, Via Ouellette Ballas, Justin Pearl, Ted Smith, Matt Tascarella, Gabe Toczynski, Makenzi Wentela, Kitty Williams and Amanda Wils.