Category: News

VPA and Omega House Team Up

Carol Pfefferkorn , Mads Howard A team including Michigan Tech student co-curators Mads Howard and John Hughes, Omega House Marketing Coordinator Carol Pfefferkorn and Anne Beffel (VPA) are creating an exhibition of mindfulness-based photographs. The Omega House Hospice of Houghton will host a series of images by students of Beffel’s Art and Nature studio course now through May 2.

A series of 32 photographs taken almost exclusively with cell phones, utilizing no zoom or editing, demonstrate the power of simply slowing down and paying attention to life as it unfolds from one moment to the next.

Students mindfully framed the experience, working independently and intuitively in the field to make the images. In tandem, they participated in rigorous critiques in the studio classroom, applying theories of visual art and culture to understand why some photographs resonated more so than others.

The result is a thoughtful and inspiring exhibition including both photographs and written statements by the artists. The exhibition is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Studio for Here and Now, where the exhibition was designed, is a studio space in Wadsworth Hall where students are free to drop in and join conversations and projects about putting art in spaces frequented by the public for the purpose of supporting a more empathetic and inclusive environment, and experience mindfulness-based art practices. The Studio for Here and Now makes art for the social good. 

Student artists represented: Liz Adams, Bernie Alkire, Maria Corona, Jake DeVries, Dusty Haxton, Mads Howard, Brett Howland, John Hughes, Gabriel Lamer, Alex Osterholzer, Jake Peterson, Alex Pohl, Julia Smit, Maddie Steger, Paul Vogt, Anrea Zubke.


Rozsa and Tech Theatre In the News

Two students hold hands while one other stands behind during a practice of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Image courtesy of TV6 News.

Local TV6 Upper Michigans Source Fox UP covered Tech Theatre preparing for their performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream“. They interviewed the actors and ran a brief segment. The actors also discuss how their performance is brought to life through sound. Also, TV6 ran an article reporting the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts was named as one of the top 35 best university performing art centers by Clickitticket.com.

Tech Theatre presents the classic Shakespeare comedy of love, magic and mixed signals, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” for three nights, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 12-14) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for are on sale now, $15 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 is only open one hour prior to performances.


Tech Theatre Presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Woman holding a glowing crescent moon with a tree behind on stage.Love abounds. Trickery and magic reveal lovers and fools. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings together some of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters in a romantic and hilarious adventure.

Tech Theatre presents the classic Shakespeare comedy of love, magic and mixed signals, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” for three nights, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 12-14) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

Lysander loves Hermia, but Hermia loves Demetrius. The trouble is Demetrius loves Helena who believes she loves Lysander. This is what happens when a love potion gets into the wrong hands. How does it end? Happily, of course. But the mad romantic romp won’t end until magic restores the lovers’ senses.

Director Patricia Helsel (VPA) says the production features actors from all across campus, as well as community and staff members. “Christopher Schwartz (KIP), plays Oberon, the King of the Fairies. Mark Wilcox (UMC) joins the cast as Quince, leading the comedic troupe of artisans.”

The play features original music by Libby Meyer (VPA) and student, Devin Deal. The fairies sing beautiful harmonies and the show has lovely incidental music composed by Deal. The forest comes alive with a robust ambiance created by student Sound Designer, Samantha Palumbo.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is sure to delight with spectacle, sound, love and humor.

Tickets for are on sale now, $15 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 is only open one hour prior to performances.


Rozsa Center Listed Among Best in US

Rozsa Center exterior in the summerMichigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts has been named one of the best university performing arts centers in America.

The 1,067-seat venue was among “The 35 Best University Performing Arts Centers in the US” as chosen by the website ClickitTicket.com.

The centers were listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order.

In listing the Rozsa, the website said, “This awe-inspiring facility schedules performances by both national and University performers in the mediums of dance, theatre, music and film.“

The venue’s ability to withstand harsh Keweenaw winters did not escape notice. “This 80,000 square-foot facility might be the toughest building on our list. Its roof can hold 450 pounds of snow per square foot.”

The listing also includes a photograph of a “Backstage at the Rozsa” performance. The Rozsa Center was the only university performing arts center in Michigan to make the ClickitTicket list.


Career Services Spotlight: Audio Production and Technology Student Henry Sendek

Henry Sendek at sound board during a performanceAll Michigan Tech students have one thing in common: Tenacity. They know how to work hard and be successful. Among them is Henry Sendek, an Audio Production and Technology student. Adding on to his full class schedule and on-campus events, Henry’s major requires him to attend four conferences throughout his time at Michigan Tech: two as an attendee and two as a presenter. These conferences are incredible networking and learning opportunities. They are the job fairs of Visual and Performing Arts departments around the country.

Learn more about Career Service’s featured VPA Student, Henry Sendek.


Sound Design Student Samantha Palumbo Shares Her Story

Samantha Palumbo seated at a sound board in an equipment room talking with another technicianTaking advantage of her sound design major with a focus in productions, Samantha Palumbo worked on eight (and counting!) productions in the past three years at Michigan Tech.

She says, “One of the great things about Tech’s undergraduate program is the Visual and Performing Arts Department allows students to work hands-on from the beginning…  That’s why I love going to school here. You can have a wide range of jobs on different productions.”

Samantha has worked a variety of positions – from hanging lights to being in charge of painting sets. After taking the Scenic Art and Illustration class, Samantha was the Scenic Charge Artist for Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

Read more about Samantha’s experience through Career Services.


Acoustics and Noise Control Workshop on Rozsa Center Stage

Lily WangLily Wang will lead a workshop on “Designing a Modular Stage Shell Ceiling” on the Rozsa Center Stage. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, March 1. In the afternoon, students will form teams and come up with design ideas for the modular ceiling. The workshop will continue from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, March 2, when student teams will present their design ideas. Students, faculty and community members are invited to attend the workshop.

Wang will also present a lecture on “Theater Design Considerations.” Her visit is co-sponsored by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer Scholar Series (VWMLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative, and the departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Visual and Performing Arts.

Wang is a professor in the, and associate dean for graduate programs and faculty development in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Her primary research interests are in room acoustics and noise control. Wang’s research group’s work on human perception and performance in noise, classroom acoustics, uncertainty in acoustic measurements and room acoustics computer modeling has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, among others.


Legendary Ailey II Dance Company Coming to the Rozsa Center

Dancer in the center of the stage with other dancers surroundingThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will present the legendary Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 27), as a part of its 32-city US tour.

The Alvin Ailey dance spirit shines in Ailey II, known for its exhilarating and timeless performances nationally and internationally. Ailey II has been hailed as “second to none” by Dance Magazine, and noted for its “off the charts energy” by The New Yorker.

The acclaimed 12-member ensemble will inspire audiences in cities across the U.S. and also reach international audiences in France and Spain. The troupe will return home for its annual New York season, taking place at the Ailey Citigroup Theater March 14 – 25.

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. One of the most popular dance companies in the country, Ailey II combines a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

The program at the Rozsa will include the iconic “Revelations,” first premiered by Alvin Ailey in 1960. Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, says, “Alvin was making a statement about African-American cultural experience, saying, ‘Hey, this is who we are, we live here, we were born here,’ It was a brave action. Civil rights were roaring, and our protest was our performance.”

For more information on the tour, visit alvinailey.org.

Tickets are on sale now: $22.00 – Adult, $10.00 – Youth, no charge for 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. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.


Carnival of the Animals Concert Saturday

Art with pigs, cow, chickens dancing to a squirrel playing a violinThe Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra presents “Carnival of the Animals,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 24) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the great zoological works in the orchestral canon, “Carnival of the Animals,” by Camille Saint-Saëns, includes humorous depictions of elephants, donkeys, lions, hens, roosters, tortoises, kangaroos and the famous “swan” for solo cello.

This concert also features two Russian masterworks: Dimitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available online, by phone at 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance. The Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.

This concert is sponsored by a gift from John and Biruta Lowther.


Peace Activist Reverend Sharon Washington Risher to Speak Tomorrow

Reverend Sharon Washington Risher speakingWith the latest horrific mass shooting in Florida just last week, and the national outrage ongoing over more senseless gun violence in yet another of our schools, nothing is more relevant than a discussion with peace activist Reverend Sharon Washington Risher.

Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the Charleston, South Carolina shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

Her beloved mother — the church’s sexton — Ethel Lee Lance, was killed along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend. Since that horrific tragedy, Sharon has been very outspoken about the nation’s gun laws and is one of the national spokespersons for the grassroots advocacy groups Everytown and Moms Demand Gun Sense.

Audiences nationwide are saying that Risher’s talks are incredibly powerful, emotional, riveting, raw and authentic, and each of her talks cover her personal experience losing loved ones to gun violence, race, racism and hate in America, as well as the path to forgiveness and an offering of hope for tomorrow.

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, as a part of the Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture/Scholar Series, have partnered to present this lecture at 7:30 tomorrow (Feb. 20) in the Rozsa Center.

This lecture is free; however, tickets are required. 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 lecture. Note the Rozsa Box Office opens two hours prior to performances.