Category Archives: Theatre

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.


Air Play at the Rozsa Center

Described as a “visual poem, using no words,” Air Play will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This fun-for-all ages circus-style event includes flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen.

Air Play brings to life the very air we breathe. The circus-style adventure follows two siblings’ journey through a surreal wold, transforming ordinary objects in uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti turns into the night sky and an enormous canopy of hovering silk forever alters their future.

Tickets for Air Play are on sale now at $16 for adults, $6 for youth and free for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC, by phone at 487-2073 or at the Rozsa Center Box Office the evening of the performance.

Note: The box office opens two hours prior to the start of the show.


‘Agnes of God’ Opens Thursday

Questions of faith, motherhood and determination arise as three women with vastly different ideologies are faced with a supposed virgin birth.

The investigation of the nun who was found to have given birth, and ensuing controversies and debates over the possible miracle — and subsequent death of the infant — are explored as Tech Theatre presents John Pielmeier’s 1979 play “Agnes of God.”

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts, presents six performances of “Agnes of God,” tomorrow through Saturday (Feb. 21 – 23 ) and Feb. 28 to March 2.  Performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

Pielmeier’s dramatic script poses challenging questions for its three characters — Dr. Livingstone, an atheistic psychiatrist, the pius Mother Superior and young Sister Agnes, mother of the deceased child she claims to have immaculately conceived.

The cast of three experienced performers is directed by Patricia Helsel (VPA).

Tickets are on sale now, $15 for adults, $5 for youth and 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 one hour prior to show time at the McArdle Theatre the night of each performance.


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to Perform at the Rozsa

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The all-male comedy ballet company, beloved internationally since 1974, sacrifices comfort to perform en pointe, tutus and all. Confirming why audiences flock to see them year after year. The “trocks” are witty, fun and above all, masterful in the art of ballet.

The Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo is performing at the Rozsa Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. This event is made possible with support from WGGL Minnesota Public Radio, Keweenaw Pride, and with funding from the Michigan Humanities Council — an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and 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.

Tickets for adults are $28 and  youth $12. Michigan Tech Students are no charge with the Experience Tech Fee.

Tickets are available by phone at 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. Note: the Rozsa box office opens two hours before performances.


Visual & Performing Arts Students Receive Numerous Awards at Theatre Festival

Sound and Theatre students from the Visual and Performing Arts Department recently attended the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival (Region III) in Madison, Wisconsin. Started in 1969 by Roger L. Stevens, the Kennedy Center’s founding chairman, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States. The KCACTF has grown into a network of more than 600 academic institutions throughout the country, where theater departments and student artists showcase their work and receive outside assessment by KCACTF respondents.
Visual and Performing Arts students presented their work to a jury of professionals and received a number of awards.  Top award winners in the design competition will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national festival design competition.
The award recipients were as follows:
Jason Bates: Recipient Regional Sound Design Competition top prize
Joseph Styers: Honorable Mention Regional Sound Design Competition
Makenzi Wentela: Honorable Mention Regional Lighting Design Competition, Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Don Childs Award
David Brown: Honorable Mention Allied Design and Technologies Award
Sarah Calvert: Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Don Childs Award, Finalist for the National Award for Theatrical Design Excellence, Honorable mention team for Design Storm for their design of Chicago
Students also participated in the Tech Olympics, team competitions showcasing skills in areas of technical theatre.  Michigan Tech Students took top prizes in a number of categories:
Overall first place: Lexa Walker and Zep Elkerton
First place Sound: Lexa Walker and Zep Elkerton
First Place Props: Lexa Walker and Zep Elkerton
First Place Costumes: Lexa Walker and Zep Elkerton

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.