College of Fine Arts News Archive

May 2019

  • SFA's SummerStage Festival to feature popular favorites

    SFA's SummerStage Festival to feature popular favorites

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    The annual SummerStage Festival presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will run June 17 through July 12 and will feature the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and the beloved children's story “The Reluctant Dragon."

    May 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The school year is winding down, and East Texas residents are making plans for summer vacations and entertainment opportunities for their families. Among those plans should be visiting the Stephen F. Austin State University campus to enjoy the annual SummerStage Festival presented by the SFA School of Theatre.

    This year's festival runs June 27 through July 12 and features the musical comedy "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and the beloved children's story "The Reluctant Dragon." The festival is sponsored in part by Tipton-Ford-Lincoln.

    With its laid-back approach, SummerStage is designed to provide less formal, fun and easy-going live theatre experiences for East Texas audiences, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the SFA School of Theatre.

    "SummerStage is not only an excellent opportunity to beat the summer heat, but it's also a destination for the families of Nacogdoches County to have some fun and laughs together," House said. "Even our show times are more flexible during the summer to accommodate families from all walks of life."

    "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material by Jay Reiss and originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine, is about an eclectic group of sixth graders who make their way through a spelling competition where each, eager to win, reveals his/her hopes, struggles and passions through hilarious, touching and catchy songs.

    Theatre professor Angela Bacarisse directs the show. She encourages audience members to show up early to become part of the fun.

    "The show involves audience volunteers," she said. "Make sure to arrive at the theatre at least one-half hour before the show if you would like to put in an application to take part in the spelling bee. As long as you can spell 'cow' or 'bug,' you are eligible. But don't be surprised if we give you 'diethylamide.'"

    All ages and experience levels are eligible. Four audience members will be chosen to participate in each performance.

    "The Reluctant Dragon," based on the book by Kenneth Grahame and adapted by Mary Hall Surface, is the charming tale of an unlikely friendship between a young boy and a peace-loving dragon, and it's about overcoming prejudice and fear in a small medieval domain.

    "The show will be bright and fun with lots of acrobatic dragon movement, sword fights and warm-hearted storytelling," according to Dr. Slade Billew, assistant professor of theatre and the play's director.

    "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. July 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11, and at 2 p.m. July 9 and 12. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students/youth. This show has some adult themes and is recommended for mature audiences.

    "The Reluctant Dragon" will be presented at 10 a.m. June 27 and 28 and July 5, 8, 10 and 11; at 2 p.m. June 27; and at 6:30 p.m. July 12. General admission tickets are $8.

    Pay-what-you-can performances for both shows are on July 8.

    All performances are in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu/.

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  • SFA School of Theatre prepares for another performance at Scotland festival

    SFA School of Theatre prepares for another performance at Scotland festival

    May 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre is once again preparing to perform at the prestigious International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    For the third time, SFA theatre students will tour a play that will be seen at the largest performing arts festival in the world during a two-week trip to Edinburgh in August. This year, SFA dance students will be among those performing.
    This year's play is "Tales of Neverland," a stage adaptation written by School of Theatre professor Angela Bacarisse based on the book "Peter Pan," J.M. Barrie's most famous work. The tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up remains one of the most beloved children's stories ever written and features the famous characters of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook and more.

    Although Bacarisse is a seasoned director and costume designer, this was her first attempt at writing a play. "Feedback has been good so far," she said.

    The play's choreography is by Heather Samuelson and fights and lifts (to represent flying) will be staged by Haley Jameson. Samuelson and Jameson are dance program directors in the SFA Department of Kinesiology and Heath Science.

    Since 2015, the School of Theatre has made a biennial journey to Scotland to perform at the festival. Begun in 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of several festivals that will take place in Edinburgh while the SFA students are there, has become the largest international theatre arts festival in the world. During festival season, which is three weeks in August, the International Festival, the Festival Fringe, jazz festival, art festival and book festival all take place in Edinburgh, bringing the city alive with all forms of art, Bacarisse said.

    "I want our students to be exposed to the many different performance styles that are prevalent in Europe and other parts of the world," Bacarisse said. "In the past two trips, the students have been just over the moon about the work they have experienced as audience members and by the feedback they have received on their work."

    In addition to acting in the show, SFA students will house manage, run the light and soundboards and stage manage for their performances. Students will get experience touring a show at an international festival and learn organizational skills while being exposed to art, music, theatre and dance from around the world, Bacarisse said.

    "The students will be acting and performing technical roles for the production," Bacarisse said. "Many other universities as well as American high schools will see the show. We always hope for a good local audience also. This will show the world how well our students are trained."

    The School of Theatre is looking for people who may want to help sponsor students and pay for trip expenses or participate in the trip.

    "We're hoping to raise money to help defray the costs for students," Bacarisse said.

    The cost is approximately $4,500 per student for airfare and two weeks in Scotland. The School of Theatre usually raises about 30 percent of the cost through fundraisers, and the goal is to exceed that this year, Bacarisse said.
    A $25 donation can pay for five daily student bus passes; a $35 donation pays for one student to take a musical workshop; a $50 donation pays for about seven breakfasts; a $100 donation pays for rental of standard scenic pieces; a $500 donation pays for tickets for 10 students to attend the Royal Military Tattoo; and a $1,000 donation pays for housing for one student.

    "This trip has been described by past students as 'life changing,' and I understand that sentiment," Bacarrise said. "Every minute is valuable."

    For information on supporting the students, contact Bacarisse at abacarisse@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-1126. Tax-exempt donations can be made at sfasu.edu/giving by clicking on the "give online" tab and writing "Scotland trip" for special instructions.

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  • SFA Music Prep offering summer lessons, camps

    SFA Music Prep offering summer lessons, camps

    May 7, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Registration is underway for summer lessons and camps offered by the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

    Lessons are offered in piano, jazz piano, voice, guitar, flute, Suzuki violin and other instruments. Private lessons begin the week of June 3.

    Guitar Camp, with Larry Greer as instructor, will be from 2 to 3 p.m. June 11 through 14 at the Music Prep House. The lessons are designed for students ages 10 and up. Tuition is $50, and guitar rental is $10. Lessons are provided in rock, country, classical and jazz. Class size is limited to 10 students.

    Dr. Mario Ajero will direct the Kids Summer Piano Camp for children in first through third grades. Classes are 10 a.m. to noon July 15 through July18 in Room 223 of the Boynton Building on the SFA campus. Tuition is $100, and class size is limited to 16 students. Registration deadline is June 3.

    Dr. Ping-Ting Lan will instruct a six-week adult intermediate piano class from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, June 17 and 24 and July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 in Room 223 of the Boynton Building. Tuition is $110, and class size is limited to 16 students.

    Registration forms and more information can be accessed at http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep, or contact Music Prep director Pat Barnett at pbarnett@sfasu.edu or musicprep@sfasu.edu, or call (936) 468-1291. The Music Prep House is located at 3028 Raguet St.

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  • SFA's A Cappella Choir to present 'Odyssey'

    SFA's A Cappella Choir to present 'Odyssey'

    May 3, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The A Cappella Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its final program of the semester, "Odyssey," at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    "Odyssey" features choral music that chronicles intellectual, spiritual and physical wandering of the heart and mind, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA and the choir's conductor. Joining the choir will be Dr. Ron Petti, director of collaborative piano at SFA, and Jacob Rivas, graduate conductor.

    The program will include the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Andrew Smith (North American premiere), Mari Esabel Valverde (Southwest U.S. premiere), Eriks Ešenvalds, James MacMillan, Stacey Gibbs, Joseph Flummerfelt and more.

    The concert is a presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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  • Stunning performance of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' continues through Saturday

    Stunning performance of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' continues through Saturday

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    May 2, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Only a few more opportunities remain to see the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre's presentation of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." The show runs nightly at 7:30 through Saturday, May 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Pictured are Frisco senior Aubrey Moore as Maggie and Waxahachie freshman Adam Lamb as Brick. Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for youth. Tickets for SFA students are $5. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.theatre.sfasu.edu.

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  • Tickets still available to Villalobos Brothers concert at SFA

    Tickets still available to Villalobos Brothers concert at SFA

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    May 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Tickets are still available to the May 9 concert of the Villalobos Brothers at Stephen F. Austin State University. The final show of the 2018-19 College of Fine Arts' University Series, this concert features today's leading contemporary Mexican group performing music that blends intricate jazz and classical harmonies and rock-and-roll energy with the traditional sounds of the brothers' native country. Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Fine Arts Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. This 7:30 p.m. performance is sponsored in part by BancorpSouth.

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  • SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle award recipients honored

    SFA College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle award recipients honored

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    May 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Receiving their framed certificates and other gifts as the 2019 College of Fine Arts Dean's Circle award recipients are, from left, Travis Wattigney, music major from Fort Worth, receiving the Naioma Shannon Dean's Award in Music; Sarah Bone, art major from Richmond, receiving the Ed and Gwen Cole Dean's Award in Art; Piero Fenci, professor of art, receiving the Dean's Circle Endowed Professor award for 2019-2022; Aubrey Moore, theatre major from Frisco, receiving the George and Peggy Schmidbauer Dean's Award in Theatre; and Matthew Mitchell, music education major from Huffman, receiving the Dr. Robert G. Sidnell Memorial Dean's Award in Music Education. The ceremony was held at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Stephen F. Austin State University's historic downtown art center.

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  • SFA Steel Band to perform spring concert

    SFA Steel Band to perform spring concert

    May 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Steel Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present its annual spring concert when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Steel Band, directed by Dr. Ben Tomlinson, percussion adjunct faculty, will perform traditional calypso selections from Trinidad and Tobago as well as additional tunes from around the world.

    Among the selections will be "Morning Dance" by Spyro Gyra. The piece takes the band outside of its traditional soca and calypso roots, according to Tomlinson.

    "The tune 'Morning Dance' was one of the breakout hits of the jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra in 1979," Tomlinson said. "This is one of the more technically challenging pieces for the band as there are many complicated melodies and interesting harmonies."

    The band will also perform the crowd-pleaser "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing" by Stevie Wonder from his 1973 hit album "Innervisions."

    Another program favorite will be "Mambo Mindoro" by Cal Tjader.

    "Fast and upbeat, 'Mambo Mindoro' is a Latin chart that features our 'Engine Room' section," Tomlinson said. "The 'Engine Room' includes drumset and a percussionist playing 'irons,' and it is the rhythmic force that propels the band forward."

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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