Tag: Visual and Performing Arts

Play written by Tech Student Advances to Regional Festival

1481652024A play written by a Michigan Tech student has advanced to the regional finals of a national competition. “Leaving,” by third-year student Sarah Jo Martens, of Hortonville, Wisconsin, was chosen to participate in the final round of the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Martens is an environmental engineering major with a minor in theatre. She is a member of the Pavlis Honors College.

“Leaving,” inspired by Marten’s relationship with her sister Rachel, will be given a fully-staged reading, along with the four other finalists at the Region III Festival, Jan. 10-15 in Indianapolis.

College theatre students from schools in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana will attend the Region III festival to compete in acting, playwriting, design, theatre technology, stage management and other categories.

Two plays from the Region III competition will advance to the Finals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April where they will again be given a reading.

by Visual and Performing Arts


Handel’s “Messiah” Saturday at the Rozsa

Messiahby Bethany Jones

Tickets are now on sale for a concert that celebrates a glorious rite of the Christmas Season. The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Tech Choirs, along with renowned guest vocalists, present the beloved Christmas masterpiece, Handel’s “Messiah.”

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 10), in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Among the guest performers are: Baritone Nathan Herfindahl; Soprano Jennifer D’Agostino; Mezzo-soprano Sandra Loy; and Tenor Clark Sturdevant. The performance is conducted by Jared Anderson, chair of the department of visual and performing arts.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $6 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee.

For ticket information and more, read the full story.


Theatre Auditions Tonight

5e1a85bec4d270eac4578defc44bb93d63d6dda2Theatre Auditions Tonight

Tonight is the final night for the Tech Theatre Company’s public auditions for David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.”

Auditions will be held in the McArdle Theatre on the second floor of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Auditions are set to begin at 7 p.m. with actors asked to arrive at 6:45 p.m. Call backs as needed will be held tomorrow.

No preparation or previous acting experience is required. Rehearsals begin Jan. 9.


41 North Film Festival Opens Tomorrow

DSC_0006-e1415721740421Owen Suskind is a young man on the autism spectrum. As a child he was unable to speak until he and his family discovered a way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of Disney Films.

Owen’s inspirational story is the subject of the award-winning documentary “Life Animated,” one of more than 20 films featured in Michigan Tech’s 41 North Film Festival which opens its four-day run tomorrow in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Owen Suskind is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind on whose best-selling memoir “Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism,” the film is based. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, has won awards from numerous film festivals including Sundance, Telluride, Full Frame, Berkshire International and San Francisco International. Suskind and Williams will be in attendance when “Life Animated” is shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday. They will lead a discussion of the film following its showing.

Williams will also be on hand at 6 p.m. Friday for the showing of “Music by Prudence,” the documentary short for which he received the 2010 Academy Award.

Following “Life, Animated” on Friday, there will be a reception and party featuring music by the Kalamazoo band The Go Rounds.

Michigan native Jason Zeldes, an award-winning editor, will help kick off the festival with the showing of his directorial debut “Romeo is Bleeding” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The film follows poet Donté Clark as he attempts to mount an urban adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with the hopes of starting a dialogue about violence in his hometown of Richmond, California.

Director Brian Kaufman will participate in a panel discussion on his films “Predator/Prey: The Fight for Isle Royale Wolves “ and “Counting Wolves.”  Kaufman will be joined by researchers Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich. The film takes up the controversy around how to respond to the island’s dwindling wolf population.

Now in its 12th year the 41 North Film Festival offers a wealth of quality films at no cost. Tickets are free, with donations accepted.

As it has from the beginning, Michigan Tech’s Department of Humanities is a major sponsor of the festival. Humanities Department Chair Ronald Strickland says the department is proud of the way it has grown.

“In the Humanities we explore what it means to be human and it is reflected and sometimes defined through art, literature and other cultural practices,” Srickland says.

He says the films in each year’s festival are carefully selected by Festival Director Erin Smith, a principal lecturer in Digital Media and Film and director of the Humanities Digital Media Zone.

“Erin chooses the films and the invited filmmakers with a view to connect with the academic interests of Michigan Tech students and faculty and current popular topics of interest to members of the local community as well. It’s a four-day smorgasbord of culture with something for everyone.”

Smith says this year’s films cross a variety of topics and genres. “These are films that have been winning awards in festivals across the country and even around the world. While the topics in many of them are serious and thought-provoking, most open up discussion by telling great stories about some very compelling characters. ”

Also featured this year is “Sonita,” the 2015 Sundance-award winning story of a young Afghan refugee in Iran who seizes her destiny through music.

The Festival concludes on Sunday with the 7 p.m. screening of “Generation Startup.” The 2016 documentary follows six college graduates as they put everything on the line to start their own businesses in Detroit..

Film festival tickets are available by phone at 7-2073,  online at Rozsa@mtu.edu, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the Student Development Complex and at the Rozsa Box Office an hour before showtime.

A complete schedule of all films and their showtimes is available at 41northfilmfest.org.


Rozsa Gallery B Presents “Come In We’re Open”

OpenThe Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the first Rozsa Gallery B show of the 2016-17 Season: “Come In We’re Open,” an open house exhibition of the work of student scuptors’ work in progress, as a part of the “Project Learning Lab” alternative classroom project.

The show opens on Tuesday (Nov. 1) and runs until Saturday, Nov. 5. There will be two public receptions from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 and Friday, Nov. 4. These receptions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.


Aquila “Murder on the Nile” at the Rozsa

83820a4d79f71c191f67df1bcdec76017e507834Start with air raid sirens. Add WWII BBC broadcasts. Sprinkle on morse code and British actors during the time of Nazi-occupied Europe and you’ve got the 25th Anniversary National Tour of the acclaimed off-broadway Aquila Theatre Company, who are bringing Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile” to the Rozsa Center stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 27).

“Murder on the Nile,” by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature, features a masterful whodunit and Aquila’s clever signature style. Aquila’s production is set in the early 1940s during World War II at the BBC Home Service studios in London. Air raid sirens were a regular occurrence in London during this time as Great Britain was on constant alert to bombings by Germany. Members of the theatre troupe have arrived and are preparing for a live radio broadcast of “Murder on the Nile,” but another air raid has prevented the full cast from assembling and yet, the show must go on—somehow.

In Agatha Christie’s own staging of her famous novel, “Death on the Nile,” a paddle steamer is cruising the legendary Nile River in 1940’s Egypt. The passengers aboard are abuzz when the famous heiress, Kay Ridgeway, and her penniless new husband, Simon Mostyn board the ship.

Class, money, and reputation are all at stake in one way or another for the passengers and before they know it deceit, theft and murder quickly make waves on the river.

Spurned lover Jacqueline De Severac, protective uncle Canon Pennefather, a troubled German Doctor and a host of colorful and mysterious characters add to the drama and suspense of this classic Agatha Christie mystery.

Who can be trusted? Who holds the truth? Who is a suspect? Whodunit? Aquila Theatre brings its innovative touch to this deliciously dangerous murder mystery, with brilliant direction, superb acting, thrilling physicality and stunning designs. Aquila’s “Murder on the Nile” will be a classic all over again.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $10 for youth, no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech Fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the SDC Central Ticket Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. (Note: the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances).

By Bethany Jones


Backstage at Rozsa Celebrates 50 Years of Jazz at Tech

9d3fd38403e31e207286e7b17e99edcab2f979fc (1)Backstage at the Rozsa” again opens its doors to the groovin’ sounds of big band jazz to celebrate the 50th year of Jazz Studies at Michigan Tech.

The Research & Development Big Band and the Jazz Lab Band will present a program featuring both the old and new—vintage and contemporary. A wide variety of tunes will be featured; Latin, mainstream, funk, ballads, rock and swing.

The Rozsa stage becomes a pop-up jazz club, and the intimate club atmosphere is a perfect setting for the Research & Development  (R&D) Big  Band and the Jazz Lab Band to loosen the reins on creativity and capture the flow of jazz!

Join Jazz Studies Program Director Mike Irish and the Michigan Tech Jazz ensembles for Jazz Showcase, “Backstage at the Rozsa” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Oct. 21-22).

According to Irish, “There will be two ‘Backstage Jazz Series’ again this year, culminating in a finale concert on Saturday, March 25, featuring both big bands, guest artists and a return of the always popular Alumni Jazz Band.”

Elaborating about the history and excitement of Jazz, Irish says “Jazz was  born in the ‘tonks and joints’ of Storyville in New Orleans, and has always found a home in the small but lively entertainment venues throughout the  world—the “speakeasies” of Chicago, the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, Birdland in New York, Ronnie Scott’s in London, the Town Tavern in Toronto, the  A—Trane in Berlin, the Shaft in Istanbul, the Blue Note and Vanguard in New York and the Orpheum in Hancock.”

Irish says “Jazz is now enjoyed and practiced all over the world, and is  one of America’s greatest cultural exports. So sit back, and immerse yourself in the music. In the words of jazz legend Art Blakey, ‘Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.'”

Tickets for “Backstage Jazz at the Rozsa” 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 at Rozsa.mtu.edu, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


Tech Theatre’s “Silent Sky” Opens Tomorrow

VPA_AuditionsMichigan Tech Theatre Company’s first production of the new academic year, “Silent Sky,” opens tomorrow at the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center.

In “Silent Sky” playwright Lauren Gundeson tells the story of astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt. The play blends the discovery of how to measure the universe with the essence of the discoverer’s life story.

Set against the turmoil of the cry for social justice at the beginning of the 20th century, the chronicle of Leavitt counterpoints the power of a passion for work with the desire for love and family.

Join Tech Theatre for a play that contemplates the life, challenges and contributions to our understanding of the universe. Leavitt discovered the first way of measuring the universe, to demonstrate that heavens were larger than the Milky Way, the limit of creation in her day.

“Silent Sky,” will be performed six times over two weeks, Thursday – Saturday, October 13 – 15 and again Oct. 20 – 22, in the McArdle Theatre. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. each night.

According to Director Roger Held, “In spite of the confusion of everyday life with family, making a living, paying taxes, enduring schedules, surviving deadlines, coping with aged vehicles, navigating love and sex, being immersed in political realms of all kinds (science, arts and academia included) peopled with an over-abundance of unpleasant and damaged souls, we are buoyed by the passion for doing difficult things: Henrietta Leavitt is one of us; persons who throw a net, gathering in pieces of some realm of endeavor, envisioning the pattern of relationships within the flotsam they’ve caught and teasingly calculating an understanding of some small piece of a greater puzzle.”

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 by phone at 7-2073, online at Rozsa.mtu.edu, in person at the Central Ticket Office in the Student Development Complex or the night of the event, one hour before show time, at the McArdle Theatre Box Office.

by Bethany Jones


Pep Band Pre-Celebrates “50 Years of Be-striped Peppiness!”

173b3e1ec83385f368cc1ed7a32a5ab773e62927The Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band pre-celebrates 50 years of be-striped peppiness in its inimitable concert style at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct.) in the Rozsa Center.

Not yet experienced the sound and sight sensation that is the Huskies Pep Band? They are a true sensory extravaganza. The Huskies Pep Band is a Michigan Tech point of pride and one of the most lauded pep bands in the Midwest. Members dressed in “bumble-bee” stripes perform at concerts, athletic events, parades and special events all around Houghton and support Michigan Tech teams on the road as well.

The Huskies Pep Band is a nationally-known Division I pep band of nearly 250 members that performs at all home football, basketball and hockey games.

The band was selected as the host band to the WCHA Final Five Tournament in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

What can you expect at the concert? According to Director of Bands Michael Christianson (VPA), “… As the Huskies Pep Band becomes ‘almost golden’ as a ‘scramble band,’ they are ‘concerned’ about their ‘legacy’ of ‘music-making’ and ‘stylish dress’ and their ‘failure to yet achieve the gold.’ Please join us in our concert/therapy session as we loudly and flamboyantly try to work out ‘our issues’ in ‘our own special way'”

Tickets for Almost Golden at the Rozsa Center 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 at Rozsa.mtu.edu, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex.

by Bethany Jones


Music O Rama: Celebrating John and Biruta Lowther

82783a59e1337c6e3ea2a469b341525360d6b160The Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents “Music O Rama” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

“Music O Rama,” an annual musical variety concert, will be held this year in honor of a couple that has spent many years participating in the Arts at Michigan Tech. This concert is sponsored by John and Biruta Lowther, in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. The Lowthers and their family took part in many of Michigan Tech’s various music ensembles.

The celebration will feature performances by conScience, Superior Wind Symphony and Jazz Lab Band. According to John Lowther, “We wanted to celebrate our 50th anniversary and express our appreciation to the music department for the years of music our family has enjoyed. I played in the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra for a number of years. Our son played in the Pep Band and sang in the Concert Choir. Biruta and I enjoyed singing together in the Concert Choir.”

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 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.

by Bethany Jones