Tag Archives: Visual and Performing Arts

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.


Meditation Circuit Combines Mindfulness, Public Art

Two men and a woman stand beneath a cloth banner in a pine tree grove.Imagine the sunlight slanting toward the forest floor, filtered through viridescent leaves and pine needles. Imagine walking slowly, meditatively, through the wedges of light, fully focused on the moment, completely present. Dust motes swirl in the light. Birds call to each other above. A fly buzzes by. Twigs and decaying leaves crunch under foot. From branches above, delicate hemp banners painted in many shades of green to mimic the landscape waft gently on the breeze.

Meditation, the practice of focusing solely on the present moment and letting go of the clutter of the mind, appears to have an increasing number of health benefitsAnne Beffel, professor of visual and performing arts at Michigan Technological University and director of Studio Here Now, intentionally looks for ways to create space for mindfulness within public art. Studio Here Now is a creative public art design studio and gallery located on campus in Wadsworth Residence Hall.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news


Yearning to Breathe Free: Free Outdoor Band Concert on the Rozsa Lawn

36a3759f5b9f1ed8feb3d9d1573255db7f254918Bring your lawn chairs, bring your blankets: The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present “Yearning to Breathe Free,” a free outdoor concert put on by Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands, with performances by the Superior Wind Symphony, in which they will celebrate the music of great composers who emigrated to the United States. Come spend a beautiful fall evening full of band music on Sunday, September 24th, 7:00 PM, on the Rozsa/Walker lawn. If it rains, the show will be inside, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Christainson, “Many of the great composers of iconic American band music came to the United States from overseas. They were drawn by the words of Emma Lazarus, inscribed in 1883 on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

We will perform mostly original works for winds by great composers who were immigrants to the US: Irving Berlin, Antonin Dvorak, Sergei Prokofiev, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky, Percy Grainger, Chen Yi, Tania Leon , plus a Sousa march dedicated to his overseas friends! Bring your blanket, your dinner, and spread out on the lawn as you enjoy a classic Band moment with Michigan Tech’s Superior Wind Symphony! Concert starts at 7:00PM, sunset starts at 8:01.”

For more information please visit us online at mtu.edu/rozsa


“Orchid Ensemble” Performs Saturday

maxresdefaultJoin us for a concert featuring the renowned Canadian group “Orchid Ensemble,” who will join conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber singers, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 1) in the McArdle Theatre, on the second floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

Established in 1997, the JUNO-nominated Orchid Ensemble is comprised of Lan Tung on the erhu/Chinese violin, Yu-Chen Wang on the zheng/Chinese zither and Jonathan Bernard on percussion.

The ensemble blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, creating a beautiful new sound. They have embraced a variety of musical styles to thier repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, world music, new music to jazz and creative improvisation.

The energetic yet endearing performance style of the ensemble consistently intrigues and delights its audiences. Acclaimed as “One of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene” (Georgia Straight), the Orchid Ensemble has been tirelessly developing an innovative musical genre based on the cultural exchange between Western and Asian musicians.

Students from conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers will join the ensemble for three selections in the concert.

Tickets are on sale now, $22 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 Calumet Theatre Box Office.


Marimba Concert and Poetry Night

A background of marimba and malletsWhat is a Marimba? Think of a very large wooden xylophone, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, and collaborator Zach l’Italian, who will read selections of Gordillo’s new poems (in Spanish and English) in a “Marimba Concert and Poetry Night” at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 23) in the Rozsa lobby.

This event was developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands. The Marimba Concert and Poetry event are free and all are welcome.

The Michigan Tech Marimbist Band will play several marimba selections, arranged by Christianson. This event is the closing reception for “ChickenBus: a U.S. Guatemalan Experience,” a Rozsa gallery exhibit by Lisa Gordillo.

Several poems in Hugo Gordillo’s collection inspired the art in this exhibit. The exhibit will be open before and after the concert.


Michigan Tech Choirs Present Benefit Concert: Music for a Sacred Space

4b28237239a321097593c2690bd79a0921788025Join the Michigan Tech Choirs for an evening of sacred choral music presented in its natural habitat, the local treasure that is the magnificent space of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden. The concert will feature music of many different countries and cultures, with devotional music ranging from South Africa, Germany, England, Canada and 19th-century America.

The Michigan Tech Concert Choir and conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers, Jared Anderson, conductor, present “Music for a Sacred Space” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19th, St. Joseph’s Church, Lake Linden.

Free-will donations in any amount are welcomed.


Play to be Presented in Game Show Format

6208281760_9d9ee08208_mDavid Mamet’s award-winning play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is given an inventive new staging by the Michigan Tech Theatre Company.

Opening Thursday in the McArdle Theatre, the play will be presented as a hilarious on-stage  “game show,” using mature and graphic language to reveal the awkwardness, heartache and humor of American sexual behavior.

The play opens tomorrow night, with additional performances Friday, Saturday and Feb. 23-25 at the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Performance time is 7:30 each evening.

According to Director Roger Held, the Obie (off-Broadway) Award-winning play “explores the nature of sexual relationships: Their awkward, unreasonable natures and how humans stubbornly cling to them in spite of heartache.”

In a fun twist to the game show theme, Tech Theatre is collaborating with Student Health and Wellness to help launch the new campus health initiatives, “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Sex-versations.”

Part of the play will present “commercial breaks” with information about the two health initiatives. The commercials were created by Wellness students, staff and Held. Wellness will also have a table with information about the initiatives set up in the lobby.

Tickets 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 online, by phone 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing office in the SDC and an hour before show time at the McArdle box office.


“Sexual Perversity in Chicago” Opens Thursday

5e1a85bec4d270eac4578defc44bb93d63d6dda2 (1)The Michigan Tech Theatre Company presents David Mamet’s award winning play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.”

The play, which explores the nature of sexual relationships, will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with additional performances Feb. 23-25 in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Fine Arts and Humanities Center. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. each evening.

First produced in 1974, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” continues to speak to generations of young adults in the unyielding clutches of sexual inelegance.

According to the New York Times, the play “takes funny and painful digs at the fantasies and distances of the contemporary sexual game.”

It has twice been adapted to film, “About Last Night … ” (1986) starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore and “About Last Night” (2014) with Kevin Hart and Regina Hall.

The Tech Theatre production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is under the direction of Roger Held. Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no cost for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech Fee.

Tickets are available online, at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex and by phone, 7-2073.


Russian National Ballet Theatre at Rozsa

Russian National Ballet bigThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents two magical nights of incomparable Russian ballet. Direct from Moscow, the Russian National Ballet Theatre, featuring fifty of Russia’s finest dancers, will perform three timeless ballet pieces, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Carmen” on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and “Giselle” on Wednesday, Jan. 25.  Shows start at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

According to Rozsa Center Director of Programming Mary Jennings, “… the Russian National Ballet Theatre is an institution in Russian Ballet. Legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko, the founder of the Russian National Ballet Theatre, has focused the company on upholding the grand, national tradition of the major Russian ballet works.”

On the first of two nights, they will perform the full-length “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergei Prokofiev based on Shakespeare’s play. Performed in one act, the ballet tells the story of Romeo and Juliet, the quintessential star-crossed lovers. Prokofiev’s music is paired with original choreography by Marius Petipa, the “godfather of Russian ballet.”

In the second act they will perform “Carmen,” a full-length ballet also in one act. Music by Rodion Shchedrin based on the classic opera by Georges Bizet with choreography by Alberto Alonso. Carmen, a passionate, free-spirited woman, is caught in a love triangle between Don José and a bullfighter. The impetus and cause for the creation of the ballet Carmen was the cherished dream of the celebrated Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya to depict the highly strung and riveting character of Carmen in a ballet.

On the second evening, the Russian National Ballet Theatre performs the full-length, tragic ballet “Giselle,” about a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.

“Giselle” was composed by Adolphe Adam, and is a romantic jewel of Petipa. “Giselle” was first seen in Moscow in 1843, just two years after its creation in Paris, and a year after it was staged in St. Petersburg.