Recently in Performing Arts Category
Written by Joran Sakal
Willimantic, Conn. - The Eastern faculty and students will present "Magic, Myth and Mozart" -- opera suitable for children and families "--on Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room in Eastern's Student Center.
The concert features two operatic selections from Mozart -- "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Magic Flute"; Engelbert Humperdinck's classic "Hansel and Gretel"; and John Rutter's operetta "The Reluctant Dragon," based on the beloved children's story by Kenneth Grahame.
The event is directed by Professors David Belles and. Emily Riggs of the Music Department. Admission is free, but donations of a new or gently used book to be given to deserving children would be appreciated.
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department and Drama Society will present "The Skin of Our Teeth," written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder, in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall. The play, directed by adjunct professor Jerry Winters, will run from Nov. 19-23 at 7:30 p.m., with a 4 p.m. matinee on Nov. 24. The public is invited. Admission is $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.
A social and political satire on the indomitable American spirit, Wilder wrote the play immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Winters has modernized the production to consider a contemporary audience. The human dilemma and human spirit are presented boldly and bravely in the struggles for survival of the wildly wonderful characters of "The Skin of Our Teeth."
"The audience will experience the stage performance, as well as live 'framed moments,'" said Winters, who conceptualized the stage set up with set designer Kristen Morgan. "These moments will create a subtle through line about how the media both frames and manipulates our perception of disasters."
To reserve tickets for "The Skin of Our Teeth" call the University Box Office at (860) 465-5123. The box office will open one hour before showtime. Please note, reservations will be held until 15 minutes before the start of the show. Unpaid tickets may be released at that time for purchase by other patrons.
Writtenby Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Drama Society and Performing Arts Department will present a staged reading of "The Little Sisters of Frontstalag" at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Student Center Theatre.
Written by alumna Nicole Panteleakos and directed by senior theatre major Corey Welden, the play is based on the true story of Panteleakos' great aunt and her experiences as a Nazi prisoner during WWIIwhen she was a novice nun in France.
Following the play will be a feedback session with the cast, playwright, director and audience. From the feedback, Panteleakos will rewrite the script and submit it to The Juilliard School for admission into their graduate playwriting program.
The play is open to the public and admission is free. For more information, please contact Ellen Brodie, director of theatre, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Music Society will host the Connecticut Collegiate A Cappella Sing-Off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Betty R. Tipton Room.
This annual event features a capella groups from Connecticut colleges who will present vocal arrangements of popular songs to compete for the honor of becoming the sing-off champions.
Groups featured in the sing off include University of Connecticut's Chordials, Extreme Measures and Rolling Tones, Central Connecticut State University's TGFI and Fermata The Blue, Western Connecticut State University's Parallel Fifths, University of Hartford's L'Shir and Connecticut College's Co Co Beaux. There will be intermission performances by Eastern's own a capella groups, Fallin' Flat and Key of She.
For more information about the event, contact the Music Society at email@example.com.
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - Anthony Piccione, theatre student at Eastern Connecticut State University, will present a stage reading of his play "We the People" at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Student Center Theatre.
Set in an alternative reality, "We the People" tells the story of the second American Revolution in the 21st century, and how far one man is willing to go to save his family from suffering. The play describes how when society is given the right amount of unrest and turmoil, a large populist movement could easily lead to a revolution in the United States of America.
The event will last roughly 2 ½ hours, and will include a straight read-through of the full-length play by community and professional theatre actors. Following the play will be a brief open discussion, during which the audience will have an opportunity to provide feedback.
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's music program will present "The Music of Latin America and Spain"--a series of three events--on Oct. 11-12 to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.
The student brown bag recital will take place at noon on Oct. 11 in Shafer Hall Auditorium. The concert will feature music students performing works by composers from Latin America and Spain. Bring your lunch and join us for this informal concert. This event is free and open to the public.
Guest lecturer Diana Sáez will present "Choral Music of Latin America" at 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Student Center Theatre. This interdisciplinary lecture will focus on the development of choral music in Latin America and Sáez's own experiences in using music to strengthen communities and bridge gaps in cultural understanding. The lecture will be followed by a reading session of repertoire appropriate for choirs of varying levels of ability. The event is free and open to the public.
The faculty recital "Ritmo y Melodía: The Music of Latin America and Spain" will take place at 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Shafer Auditorium. Faculty artists include Rebecca Calissi, piano; Jeff Calissi, marimba; Okon Hwang, piano; Eric Ouellette, piano; Emily Riggs, soprano; and David Ballena, piano. The program will involve audience members as a celebration of the rich folk song tradition of Latin America. This event is free and open to the public.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn -- Eastern President Elsa Núñez, along with more than 100 students, faculty and staff, greeted Connecticut State Universities and Colleges (ConnSCU) Board of Regents President Gregory Gray to campus on Sept. 18. The new president of Connecticut's Board of Regents for Higher Educatonis in the midst of touring the 17 schools that make up the state's public higher education system. Gray took over as president on July . He oversees the Board of Regents, which governs 12 community colleges, four state universities, and Charter Oak College, the state's on-line institution.
Nunez praised Gray for his vision; his goal of restoring integrity to the system and for finding opportunities for more collaboration between community colleges and the four-year universities.
Gray, noting that Eastern students were already fortunate to have a beautiful, physical setting, said, "Pristine is all around you here. Knowing that you were so dedicated to having such a beautiful campus tells me this same dedication must be taking place in the classroom as well." He said his primary goal is to improve the learning environment on campuses, "making it go from very good to great."
Gray said he believes that by working together with faculty members who have a deep-rooted passion for excellence, ConnSCU will become a world-class system of higher education. To achieve this long-range goal, Gray wants to (1) restore trust and integrity to the system; (2) make the system more efficient and productive; (3) develop a plan to benefit current and future students.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have to get it right. I want to develop a plan that will positively impact student 25 years from now." He said online education courses; a unified calendar for all system colleges and universities; and seamless transfer of credits will better serve students. "Saving money is important, but that is not the primary goal. We want to provide access and focus on what we should focus on a student's purpose for being here, which is to learn. We then, want tell the world about it."
Gray said he wants board meetings to focus on student presentations about their achievements, and to see more scholarship celebrated on campus through academic fairs showcasing faculty books and student-published articles. He believes his plan will identify areas of efficiency, producing a more clearly-defined niche for each university.
During a question and answer period, Gray told students who want to be assured their voices are heard to "speak up, but get your facts straight. I assure you I will do all I can to support the integration of teaching, learning and service to our students. I say let's improve the overall efficiency of the system; improve the learning environment; give the governor and the legislature a good plan; and get it funded."
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, CT - - Brad Roth, lecturer of performing arts at Eastern Connecticut State University has been given the Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA) 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award in Dance.
The award is given to those who represent the depth and breadth of excellent dance experience available within the dance community of Connecticut.
Roth began studying modern dance when he was a junior at Cornell University in 1973. He continued with ballet and modern dance at the Hartford Ballet and the Syracuse Ballet and became a member of the chamber Ensemble as well as performing the Nutcracker.
During the 1980's, Brad studied at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies (LIMS) in New York City, and became a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA). Brad began his teaching career at the Hartford Camerata Conservatory, and taught Laban studies for nine years at the School of the Hartford Ballet. In 1988, he began teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern.
"I am honored to receive the Distinguished Achievement Award for 2013 from the Connecticut Dance Alliance," says Roth. "It's hard to say what exactly is the distinguished achievement- perhaps still dancing, teaching, and performing at 61 years old! Having started dance training in college, this is now my 41st year in the field. An award is like a still shot from a movie, or a number of stills, like the promotional material. Slices of a dance life. I'm glad it is adding up, and more glad to still be dancing and teaching, still making the movie."
PHOTO: Roth dancing with a shared ability dance student from Bulkeley High School in Hartford.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: Eastern Connecticut State University has been included in the latest edition of the "Public Colleges of Distinction" guidebook. Eastern is the only public college from Connecticut listed in the guidebook. The guide says the colleges and universities listed excel in four distinctions --Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities and Successful Outcomes.
"Engaged students" learn the skills they need to succeed in life -- the ability to think flexibly and address problems hands-on -- not just being able to memorize facts and follow orders. Instead, Eastern students learn to communicate, think critically, and solve problems as they explore the world through study abroad, internships, community service projects and undergraduate research.
"Great teaching" occurs in an atmosphere where feedback and encouragement are the norm. Faculty interaction is crucial to learning. "Colleges of distinction" encourage an atmosphere of exciting thought and action, led by professors who care about helping students learn to think for themselves. Academic innovation goes hand-in-hand with personalized learning.
"Vibrant communities" are campus communities that offer activities and events that help students learn even after the books are closed, creating social opportunities for students to develop friendships, and providing students a wide range of intellectually, thought-provoking speakers, seminars, unique films and artistic events.
"Successful outcomes" describes schools that produce students who can think, write, speak and reason, get a job, and most importantly, are also good citizens who can work together with diverse groups of people.
Colleges of Distinction are considered "hidden gems" of higher education, according to the panel of academicians, guidance counselors and parents that made the selection, officials said.
The guidebook describes a College of Distinction as being:
• nationally recognized by education professionals and honored for the excellence of its programs;
• strongly focused on teaching undergraduates, where students are taught by real professors, not by graduate students or teaching assistants, in vibrant classrooms where the faculty keep their students challenged and interested;
• home to a wide variety of innovative learning experiences, from study abroad and scientific research to service learning and internships;
• an active campus with many opportunities for personal development. Whatever their passion, students find plenty of encouragement to help them pursue it; and
• highly valued by graduate schools and employers for its outstanding preparation.
The Public Colleges of Distinction are currently featured on the newly redesigned Colleges of Distinction website and will be featured in the Public Colleges of Distinction eGuidebook available this fall.
Written by Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn. - The Theatre program at Eastern Connecticut State University is pleased to announce its fall 2013-spring 2014 Harry Hope Theatre performance schedule. The first production of the season, "Dancing At Lughnasa," written by Brian Friel and directed by J. J. Cobb, will run Oct. 10-13 and Oct. 15-16, 2013. Showings are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m. and Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. All shows are in the Harry Hope Theatre.
The play "is set in County Donegal in 1936, and explores five sisters at a crossroads in their lives," said Performing Arts Department Chair David Pellegrini. "Through humor, colorful dialogue and beautifully-drawn characterizations, this Tony Award-winning play delves into the bonds of sisterhood, faith and social change in Ireland between the two world wars."
Frank Rich, New York Times theater critic, in his 1991 review of the play's Broadway production after successful runs in Ireland and London reported that "... this play does exactly what theater was born to do, carrying both its characters and audience aloft on those waves of distant music and ecstatic release that, in defiance of all language and logic, let us dance and dream just before night must fall." It is no wonder that Director Cobb calls this "one of my favorite plays of all time!"
"The Skin of Our Teeth," written by Thornton Wilder and directed by Jerry Winters, will run Nov. 19-24, 2013. Showings are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Harry Hope Theatre. "'The Skin of Our Teeth' is an American classic by Thornton Wilder, who also penned 'Our Town' and won Pulitzer Prizes for both," said Pellegrini.
As envisioned by guest director and long-time Eastern faculty member Jerry Winters, this social and political satire on the indomitable American spirit, which Wilder wrote immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, is updated to consider more recent historical contexts.
When initially conceptualizing the play with Set Designer Kristen Morgan, Winters offered the following observation, "The audience will experience the stage performance, as well as live 'framed moments,' which will create a subtle through line about how the media both frames and manipulates our perception of disasters."
"'The Skin of Our Teeth' stands head and shoulders above the monotonous plane of our moribund theater -- an original, gay-hearted play that is now and again profoundly moving, as a genuine comedy should be," said New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson. Ellen Brodie, professor and director of theatre, agreed: "Decades later, it (The Skin of Our Teeth) has continued to tickle our funny bones as it incites our intellect."
"Prelude to a Kiss," written by Craig Lucas and directed by Gloria Trombley, guest director and part-time faculty member, will open the spring 2014 season and will run Feb. 27-March 2 and March 4-5. Showings are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m. and Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., all in the Harry Hope Theatre.
Charles Isherwood, New York Times Theater critic, in his 2007 review of a recent revival stated, "So while it ends as fairy tales tend to, "Prelude to a Kiss" is steeped in the ache of loss and a sorrowful awareness that life's joys can be as fleeting as its hardships are unavoidable. It is a romantic comedy of an oddly brokenhearted kind."
Director Trombley says "This magical story of lustful, youthful, romantic love requires the audience to take an imaginary leap into a bewitching fantasy. The audience along with the characters takes an extraordinary journey of wild twists and turns that carries us along an emotional roller coaster that challenges and transforms our sensibility about the power of love."
The Harry Hope Theatre season concludes with the bi-annual "Directors' Showcase of International One-Acts," written by globally acclaimed playwrights and directed by the Theatre program's' most advanced directing students, which will run April 24-27 (Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m.). Please stay tuned for more details regarding this production.
Tickets for Harry Hope Theatre shows are $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public. For reservations, please call the Box Office at (860) 465-5123.