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UT, Toledo Symphony to present ‘Midsummer Night Mysteries’

The University of Toledo College of Communication and the Arts celebrates its annual Arts & Humanities Festival in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony and its production of “Midsummer Night Mysteries,” Friday and Saturday, March 27-28.

UT students and faculty will take part in the symphony production at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, and the college will present a related lecture on Main Campus.

Stephan Sanderling will conduct the Toledo Symphony, and Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, will direct as well as portray the dual character Egeus/Bottom in “Midsummer Night Mysteries.”

Irene Alby, UT lecturer in theatre and film, will play Hippolyta/Titania, and UT theatre students in the cast are Ian Davis as Demetrius, Jeffrey Burden as Oberon/Theseus, Nolan Thomaswick as Lysander, Victoria Zajac as Hermia, Keely-Rain Battle as Puck, Elif Ertürk as Helena. The students will double up and play other roles, such as the mechanicals and fairies.

For the production, Daniel Thobias, UT assistant professor of theatre, designed costumes; lighting is by James S. Hill, UT professor emeritus of theatre; and set design is by Gabara.

Tickets range from $36 to $55 and are available at tickets.toledosymphony.com. Student rush tickets are $5 at the door; cash preferred, $3 fee for credit/debit cards.

In addition to the performances, Dr. Matthew Wikander, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of English, will give a free, public talk titled “Mendelssohn’s Music, Reinhardt’s Diaphanous Damsels, Shakespeare’s Fairies” Wednesday March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

Exhibit spotlights top student artwork

The 2015 Juried Student Exhibition is on display in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus through Wednesday, April 1.

A wide range of media is included in the free, public exhibit.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Students with works selected for the juried event are Reem Barakat, Samantha Bell-Koch, Aaron Brandt, Mike Budyka, Tara Byczynski, Matt Dangler, Kayla Dopfer, Sarah Emch, Nikka Geiermann, Faith Goodman, Katelyn Greenhill, Samantha Heinze, Nicole Hinson, Victor Lewis, Cameron McLeod, Abhishek Mutha, Joseph Okoyomo, Sara Orzechowski, Grace Parr, Brandy Save, Kelsey Telquist, Crystal Terry, Michelle Trivisonno, Janelle Watkins and Mark Yappueying.

“Fragile,” acrylic on board, by Samantha Bell-Koch

“Fragile,” acrylic on board, by Samantha Bell-Koch

“Jerry and Sandra,” acrylic, by Grace Parr

“Jerry and Sandra,” acrylic, by Grace Parr

“Forlorn,” bronze, wood and acrylic, by Janelle Watkins

“Forlorn,” bronze, wood and acrylic, by Janelle Watkins

UT Student Filmmakers Showcase to screen March 21

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present a public screening of its students’ best work in the 2015 UT Student Filmmakers Showcase Saturday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

This still is from William Weppler’s “The Next Big Step,” which will be shown at the UT Student Filmmakers Showcase.

This still is from William Weppler’s “The Next Big Step,” which will be shown at the UT Student Filmmakers Showcase.

Chosen in juried competition, entries include film, video and animation projects created as part of the curriculum.

The UT Film and Video Society, a student-run organization, and the UT Department of Theatre and Film are co-hosting the event. The society is providing free concessions during the screening and hosting a free after-party following the showcase.

Door prizes will add to the evening’s festivities.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors 60 and older. Advance tickets are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box Office Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

“I’m so pleased to showcase diverse creative work, ideas and techniques that embody the spirits and intellects of our students. Our program improves every year, and the showcase delivers evidence of those accomplishments to the big screen,” Holly Hey, UT associate professor of film, said.

“Our students develop as filmmakers because they are challenged every semester to make festival-ready work,” she added. “The scope of the work ranges from traditional narrative to the abstract sensory and experiential. We use a juried entry process so that our students have an actual understanding of professional recognition.”

“Ultimately, the purpose of a showcase is to build a stronger sense of community, presenting philosophies only feasible through the collaboration of the film students themselves,” Lynne Samman, president of the UT Film and Video Society, said. “Each film will have you inspired, with an itch to create, seeking what defines the definable.”

Works to be screened in this year’s student showcase were created by James Aponte, Melissa Byrd, Andy Collings, Crista Constantine, Meghan Dietz, Jacob Hannah, Alex Hotchkiss, Marcus Jordan, Shawn Loofbourrow, Tanasio Loudermill, Stephen Mariasy, Lydia Messer, Chelsea Phillips, Clayton Riddel, Cory Vail, David Watson and William Weppler.

Museum director to discuss visual language at Honors College Distinguished Lecture

Just one look — it’s an eyeful everywhere these days.

Kennedy

Kennedy

“We live in a visually saturated world,” said Dr. Brian Kennedy, president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art. “We take in up to 90 percent of our information with our eyes. Did anyone ever train you to use them?”

He will give a talk titled “Do You Speak Visual? Learning Visual Language” as the finale of the 2014-15 UT Jesup Scott Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

Tickets for the event are free and available here.

Kennedy oversees the Toledo Museum of Art’s 36-acre campus and its art collections in three architecturally significant buildings. He arrived in the Glass City in 2010, bringing extensive experience in senior leadership positions after working at art museums in Ireland, Australia and the United States.

He has led the development of a strategic plan for the Toledo Museum of Art that focuses on sustainability through alternative energy sources, building staff capacity, introducing new technologies, and establishing an initiative to promote visual literacy.

The art historian and curator has written seven books, including Sean Scully: The Art of the Stripe (2009) and Frank Stella: Irregular Polygons, 1965-66 (2010).

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy studied art history and history at University College in Dublin, where he received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

“We are excited to have such a respected figure in the art world share his thoughts with the UT and Toledo communities on how to enhance our visual language skills,” UT Interim Provost John Barrett said.

UT Opera Ensemble to present Puccini’s comic ‘Gianni Schicchi’ March 6-8

The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble will perform Giacomo Puccini’s comic opera in one act, “Gianni Schicchi,” Friday, March 6, through Sunday, March 8.

UT Opera Ensemble members performing Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” are, front row, from left, Anne Valade, Lauren Kerr, Meridian Prall, Julian Vaughn (stage manager), Alex Marcano, Sonjia Fry, Lena Miller and Andreea Lee (accompanist); and back row from left, John Pearse (orchestra director), Nadia Oselsky, Kyle Trek, Spencer Wilhelm, William Floss, Mike Vanderpool, Devon Desmond, Nnenne Edeh and Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini (UT Opera Ensemble director).

UT Opera Ensemble members performing Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” are, front row, from left, Anne Valade, Lauren Kerr, Meridian Prall, Julian Vaughn (stage manager), Alex Marcano, Sonjia Fry, Lena Miller and Andreea Lee (accompanist); and back row from left, John Pearse (orchestra director), Nadia Oselsky, Kyle Trek, Spencer Wilhelm, William Floss, Mike Vanderpool, Devon Desmond, Nnenne Edeh and Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini (UT Opera Ensemble director).

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. It will be held in Doermann Theater with the audience seated on the stage with the performers, so spaces are limited.

Greed will take center stage as a wealthy dying man’s relatives swarm like vultures as his time nears. After he dies, their “sorrow” turns to rage when they realize they have been cut out of the will. Since Gianni Schicchi, a local peasant, could easily pass for the dead man, they devise a plan to use him to help change the will. But wily Schicchi turns their selfish plan into a clever trap.

Cast members are UT students Anne Valade as Gherardino and Guccio; Devon Desmond as Gianni Schicchi; Nnenne Edeh as Zita; William Floss as Gherardo; Lauren Kerr as Lauretta; Alex Marcano as Spinelloccho and il Notario; Nadia Oselsky as Ciesca; Meridian Prall as Zita; Mike Vanderpool as Marco; and Kyle Trek as Pinellino. They are joined by 2013 UT alumnus Spencer Willhelm as Simone, 2014 UT alumna Lena Miller as Nella, and Patrick Conklin as Rinuccio.

Advance tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors 60 and older. Visit utoledo.tix.com.

Shakespearean comedy ‘Twelfth Night’ up next

A little midsummer madness will warm up winter when the UT Department of Theatre and Film present Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” this month.

TwelfthNightCornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, will direct the production. He has extensive experience acting in and directing the bard’s work.

He said the humor of “Twelfth Night” reflects the timeless search for love and how appearances can be comically deceiving.

A shipwrecked Viola, believing herself alone in the world, dresses as a man in order to earn a living. Humorous and inevitable complications arise when she falls in love with a man who doesn’t know she’s a woman, and a woman who thinks she’s a man falls for her.

UT students appearing in the play will be Keely-Rain Battle as Antonio, Sarah E. Bittner as Maria, Davion T. Brown as Sir Toby Belch, Jeffrey A. Burden II as Orsino, Richard A. Clever as second officer/sea captain/priest, Ian Davis as Curio, Nicholas M. Finsel as first officer, Sarena K.M. Jackson as Valentine, Andrés A. Medina as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Olivia M. Pierce as Olivia, Christina M. Pinciotti as Viola, Khara N. Sims as Fabian/ Fabiana, Cory R. Sprinkles as Malvolio, Nolan M. Thomaswick as Sebastian and Victoria L. Zajac as Feste.

The play will open Friday, Feb. 20, and run through Sunday, Feb. 22, and from Friday through Sunday, Feb. 27-March 1, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 for faculty, staff, alumni and seniors; and $7 for students. They can be purchased online at utoledo.edu/boxoffice, by calling 419.530.2375, or by visiting the Center for Performing Arts Box Office.

Student artwork appearing on area digital billboards through February

In collaboration with Lamar Outdoor Advertising, the UT College of Communication and the Arts is displaying the work of some of its students on digital billboards in the Toledo area through February.

2014_15_BILLBOARDS_SHORT_LOGO14Barry Whittaker, UT assistant professor of art and coordinator of the project, said this is the third year Lamar Outdoor Advertising has invited art students to have their work displayed.

“This is a chance for them to share their artwork with the city and see it in a format not as frequently accessible by students and artists in other areas of the country,” he said.

To see images in this year’s exhibition, visit the online photo album UT Art Student Billboards 2015 on the Art Department’s Facebook page.

Student artists participating in this year’s exhibition are Aaron Brandt, Nikka Geiermann, Kayla Kirk, Victor Lewis, Michael Miller, Abhishek Mutha, Shaun Nagle, Blake Ody, Grace Parr, Brandy Save, Rebecca Solomon, Michelle Trivisonno and Mark Yappueying.

Their works can be seen at Reynolds Road at Glendale Avenue, Anthony Wayne Trail at City Park Avenue, Alexis Road at Lewis Avenue, Monroe Street at Laskey Road, Byrne Road at Airport Highway, and Monroe Street at Douglas Road.

Zooming in on winners of Lake Erie Photo Contest

After receiving more than 200 photos, the Lake Erie Center has announced the winners of its 2014 photo contest.

David Tidrick’s shot of the sunrise received the People’s Choice Award for receiving the most votes on the Lake Erie Center’s Facebook page.

David Tidrick’s shot of the sunrise received the People’s Choice Award for receiving the most votes on the Lake Erie Center’s Facebook page.

The contest’s theme, “The Nature of Our Region: From Oak Openings to Maumee Bay,” invited camera enthusiasts to submit up to five photos featuring various nature scenes throughout northwest Ohio.

Submissions were separated into categories: youth, teen, adult, and special needs adult.

First-place winners received a $50 Visa gift card and will have their winning entries framed and displayed in the Lake Erie Center.

Listed by category, the winners are:

• Youth — Nico Francis-Emonds, whose photo titled “Bug Berries” is a close-up of an insect crawling across red berries with green foliage in the background;

• Teen — Clyde Swander, who took a black-and-white photo of a Canada goose observing the sounding area;

• Adult — Jeff Jellinger, whose photo titled “Rad Tad” captured a mature tadpole hiding in the autumn leaves underwater; and

• Adult special needs — Marc Arnett, who photographed a red-winged blackbird peeking out of green leaves.

The contest also featured a People’s Choice Award, which went to the shot that received the most votes on the Lake Erie Center’s Facebook page.

That honor went to David Tidrick, who snapped a shot of a sunrise over the horizon of the foggy Lake Erie water.

Go to facebook.com/lakeeriecenter to see more photos that placed in the categories.

This shot of a red-winged blackbird by Marc Arnett was first in the adult special needs category.

This shot of a red-winged blackbird by Marc Arnett was first in the adult special needs category.

“Bug Berries” by Nico Francis-Emonds was the first-place winner in the youth category.

“Bug Berries” by Nico Francis-Emonds was the first-place winner in the youth category.

This photo of a Canada goose by Clyde Swander was the top shot in the teen category.

This photo of a Canada goose by Clyde Swander was the top shot in the teen category.

“Rad Tad” by Jeff Jellinger, first-place winner in the adult category

“Rad Tad” by Jeff Jellinger, first-place winner in the adult category

Grammy Award winner to play Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Feb. 17

Jazz pianist Alan Broadbent will perform at the Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Broadbent

Broadbent

He also will present a free master class that day at 2 p.m. in the recital hall.

Broadbent played piano and was the arranger for Woody Herman’s band and was the studio key man for Nelson Riddle, David Rose and Johnny Mandel.

In addition to his successful solo career, Broadbent is known for collaborating with other artists, most notably Natalie Cole. He worked on her 1991 Unforgettable disc and toured with Cole as a pianist and conductor. He wrote an orchestral arrangement for “When I Fall in Love,” which featured her late father, Nat King Cole, and won a Grammy Award for best orchestral arrangement accompanying a vocal.

As a member of Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, Broadbent won another Grammy for the arrangement of “Lonely Town” from the 1999 disc The Art of the Song.

The composer from Auckland, New Zealand, also is the conductor for Diana Krall’s orchestral concerts, including her Live in Paris 2002 CD.

Most recently, Broadbent was the arranger for Glenn Frey’s 2012 disc, After Hours, and he also wrote six string arrangements for Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom 2012 CD with the London Symphony. That same year, Broadbent released a solo disc, Heart to Heart.

At UT, Broadbent is expected to play some original songs and jazz standards, according to Gunnar Mossblad, UT professor of music and director of jazz studies.

“Alan Broadbent is an extraordinary and versatile jazz pianist, composer and arranger,” Mossblad said. “We are honored to welcome Alan to campus to perform and work with students, and the faculty members are looking forward to performing with him. It should be an outstanding concert with lots of memorable moments.”

Tickets for the concert are $10 and $5 for students and seniors 60 and older and can be purchased at the door or at utoledo.tix.com.

Proceeds from the concert support scholarships for UT students majoring in music, especially jazz, with preference given to African-American students. The scholarship was established in 1994 and endowed in 2002 by various donors, including the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Society.

Senior lecturer directing Village Players’ ‘Venus in Fur’

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, The Village Players will serve up David Ives’ two-person play, “Venus in Fur.”

John DuVall and Christina D’Amato rehearsed a scene for “Venus in Fur.”

John DuVall and Christina D’Amato rehearsed a scene for “Venus in Fur.”

John DuVall plays Thomas Novacheck, a writer and director searching for the perfect leading lady for the theatrical adaptation of Venus in Fur, the 1870 sadomasochistic story by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. And Christina D’Amato is Vanda Jordan, a brazen, desperate actress, vying for the role.

In the play within the play, the two read the script with fun, flirty and erotic results.

“The play is a sexy comedy perfect for a Valentine’s celebration,” Jennifer Rockwood, UT senior lecturer of theatre and director of the production, said. “Critics have called it a revenge comedy.”

“Venus in Fur” will be performed Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7, at 8 p.m. at the Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave.

Tickets for the Village After Dark production are $10 and are available at the box office the night of the show.

For more information, go to thevillageplayers.org.