Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – December 2016

Arts-Advocate-Header-MadMimi

DECEMBER 2016

Randall 2 crop

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season will shine a little brighter because I will be witnessing it through the eyes of my new grandchild. He teaches me about wonder and renews a sense of hope for the future. What a piece of work is a child. The beauty of the world.

Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

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Joy-to-the-Arts

The most wonderful time of the year…to enjoy the Arts and Culture of the Lehigh Valley! These festive months are full of chances to celebrate, creating memories to last a lifetime. Catch a holiday themed dance or theatre performance, listen to the songs of the season, shop handmade for cherished gifts, or create a holiday craft perfect for giving.

Here’s your guide to get into the spirit of the season with the Arts!

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FINAL-2017-Young-at-Art-Logo

Save the Date for Young at Art!

You won’t want to miss this year’s day of creative fun for the whole family!

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm
Penn State Lehigh Valley
free admission for the community
The day will be jam-packed with hands-on activities and performances from the participating groups, from dance routines and theatre workshops to arts demonstrations and craft projects. Kids of every age and ability will find a way to sample the arts in all forms, while parents can gather information about classes and summer camps.

Join us as an Exhibitor!

The deadline for early registration is Friday, December 2nd!

Advertising is available for our full-color program!

Our event brings in local families with children of all ages – reach this target audience with an affordable ad, while supporting arts education in our region!

Young-at-Art-FB-Marionette-with-Kids-Photo

Kiddos enjoying an interactive performance with Mock Turtle Marionette!

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Upcoming Performances

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BACH & HANDEL CHORALE

December 3 at 12pm
Christmas Concert
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

December 3 at 3pm
Christmas Concert
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

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MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY

December 1 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 2 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 3 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 4 at 2pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

Muhlenberg College ‘New Visions’ Festival Showcases Directorial Talents, Nov. 30 – Dec. 4

Allentown, PA — Two talented Muhlenberg College senior directing students will present their work in Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance’s “New Visions Directors’ Festival: Falling,” Nov. 30 – Dec. 4.

The evening includes 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde’s “Salome,” based on the biblical tale of the beheading of John the Baptist, and 20th century playwright Sam Shepard’s ominous exploration of Cold War anxiety, “Icarus’s Mother.”

“Despite the fact that ‘Salome’ is classical in style and ‘Icarus’ uses American vernacular, the plays complement each other,” says “Icarus’s Mother” director Karina Fox. “They are both about identity and self-acceptance in a judgmental universe.”

Oscar Wilde’s “Salome,” directed by Simon Evans, tells the biblical story of Salome, Princess of Judea, stepdaughter of Herod, the lecherous ruler. Salome’s affections lie with the prophet Iokanaan (John the Baptist), who rejects her sexual advances. To Herod’s delight, Salome finally agrees to dance the infamous Dance of the Seven Veils. When Herod offers her anything she wants in return, Salome makes a startling and gruesome demand.

In a departure from theatrical tradition, all of the characters in this production of “Salome” are performed by female actors.  

“We are creating a sort of parallel universe where men do not exist and female queerness and sexuality can be celebrated,” Evans says. “I want to explore how women can be empowered through their bodies and through their actions.”

Evans says he hopes to create a world the late playwright would have been proud to experience.

“I think the queering of the tale is really true to Wilde’s vision,” he says. “I’m trying to pay tribute to a really brilliant man who had some really awful stuff happen to him.” Oscar Wilde died destitute and humiliated after his imprisonment for homosexuality.

Evans says he hopes to create “beautiful stage pictures while really allowing the bodies onstage to tell the story.” He sees this production as a collaborative effort among himself, the production team, and the show’s 13 actresses.

“I’m really interested in working with my collaborators and finding what feels best for everybody,” he says. “I’m definitely open to new things, and allowing for work to go in directions I never expected.”

Collaboration is a value Evans shares with “Icarus’s Mother” director Karina Fox.

“I love to work directly and collaboratively with actors because the show belongs to all of us,” she says.

In “Icarus’s Mother,” by Sam Shepard, a lazy picnic develops into a surreal nightmare. While a group of young picnickers waits for the fireworks, they start acting bizarrely — sending smoke signals from the barbecue, playing cruel mind games, and play-acting disasters. The group dynamic spins into chaos, and the disastrous fantasies somehow become a fiery reality.

“In this piece, Shepard takes a seemingly perfect world and allows it to devolve into something mysterious, complex, and even terrifying,” Fox says.

Like Evans, Fox draws a lot of inspiration from her playwright.

“I chose this play because of Shepard,” she says. “I think he’s one of our most insightful modern playwrights. He creates really complicated dramatic worlds that explore what it means to be human in new and inventive ways.”

“Shepard is widely produced and well-beloved,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity to work with one of his earlier, less-produced works because I have a chance to really make it my own.”

Fox’s actors have spent the past few months of rehearsal digging deeply into the world of the play, examining group dynamics and trying to figure out what they would do in the face of crisis, she says.

This play was written in 1965, in the shadow of the Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Kennedy assassination were recent memory, and anxieties ran high. Fox says the play’s uneasiness comes across as very contemporary in today’s similarly tense environment.

“I’m excited for the audience to experience the raw, human emotions that Shepard has created on the page,” she says. “It’s a fun play, but it’s also full of mystery and suspense. You will laugh as much as you are terrified.”

“New Visions Directors’ Festival: Falling” plays Nov. 30 – Dec. 4. Recommended for mature audiences. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8.

Tickets and information are available online at muhlenberg.edu/theatre or by phone at 484-664-3333. Performances are in the Studio Theatre in Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 West Chew St., Allentown.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, PA., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Muhlenberg offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review ranked Muhlenberg’s theater program in the top twelve in the nation for eight years in a row, and Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

$9.99 RUSH For Contemporary Choreography At The Williams Center

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE!
Last Minute Discount…Only $9.99!
Friday, November 18, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Williams Center for the Arts
Lafayette College
317 Hamilton Street
Easton, PA 18042
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From ballet to Breaking, internationally acclaimed choreographers are creating dance’s next wave right here in the Lehigh Valley!

This exceptional showcase offers up-to-the-minute, state-of-the-dance work in Nora Gibson’s 2^57,885,161 -1, an abstract ballet about the beauty and opacity of prime number theory, and in Land Bridge, French-Canadian artist Helen Simoneau’s meditation on traversing dualities, inspired by the endangered caribou. From the perspective of a mature artist in the form, 2016 Guggenheim Fellow Raphael Xavier explores the notion of sustainability in Breaking, a highly physical idiom associated with youth, in Point of Interest.


View an excerpt of Land Bridge on YouTube

 

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!

(price of regular General Admission ticket is $23.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office
Please Note:
** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49).

**For admittance, please present the Rush Ticket print-out sheet to “will call” in the lobby.

For additional information, please visit the Williams Center for the Arts website or call: (610) 330-5009.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.orgwww.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
 

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
www.lvartscouncil.org/RushTicketing.html

RUSH For $9.99 Tickets To Aliens, Immigrants And Other Evildoers!

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE!
Last Minute Discount…Only $9.99!

Touchstone Theatre presents

Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers
an original show by José Torres-Tama


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016

8:00 p.m.


Touchstone Theatre

321 East Fourth Street
Bethlehem, PA
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Award-winning performance artist José Torres-Tama returns to the Lehigh Valley for his sixth visit since 1998 to present Aliens, a sci-fi Latino Noir Multimedia Solo. The performance, the second in a planned trilogy, satirizes the status of Latino immigrants as aliens and explores the trends in hate crimes against immigrants across the United States.

Torres-Tama deftly shape-shifts into a variety of ‘aliens’ — from a Swamp Shaman to a Nicaraguan woman to a Mexican Methodist Minister — who expose the hypocrisies of a system that vilifies the same people whose labor it readily exploits.

“Torres-Tama is both a versatile writer who can be lyrically evocative as well as bitingly humorous, and an impressive performer.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Torres-Tama treads that dangerously vague turf of performance art gracefully… He takes Latino life on a magical mystery tour with dexterity and daring.”
The Village Voice (New York)

Run time: 80 minutes, talkback with artist follows the show after a brief pause

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!

(price of regular General Admission ticket is $25.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office


Please Note:
** Rush Tickets are available for GENERAL ADMISSION seating only.

** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49)

Tickets or more information: www.touchstone.org / 610 867-1689
Follow Touchstone Theatre on Facebook!

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.org | www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.

MCCC Student Theatre To Present “Slip Shot” – Nov. 10, 11 And 12

slipshot-470-w-textPottstown, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Slip/Shot,” a drama by Philadelphia playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger. Show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. with a special afternoon performance Friday, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the College’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, PA.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit

https://www.mc3.edu/arts/student-performance or call 215-641-6518.

During this mesmerizing drama, a rookie police officer finds even an accident can have paralyzing consequences when his gun goes off in an encounter with a young African-American man. Did his gun slip, or was it shot? A heartbreaking performance about violence, fear, and our need to move forward. This production contains adult themes and language.

“Slip/Shot” earned the Brown Martin Award and the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play. Additionally, it was named one of the “Top 10 Productions of 2012” by “Philadelphia Weekly.”

“This is thoughtful and engaging work that encourages us to talk to each other,” says West End Student Theatre Advisor Tim Gallagher.

Directed by Samantha Clarke and stage managed by Morgan Carrasquillo, the cast includes James Rodgers, Maliah Buxton, Hailee Tyson, Erik Reyes, Zach Clark, Jeff Chernesky, and Phoebe Johnson. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the Theatre Production Workshop and West End Student Theatre, which includes Derek Peterson, Kayla Velasquez, Toby Taylor, Morgan Carrasquillo, Erika Blue, Maliah Buxton, Quin Newman Zachary Clark, Joe Donley, Tess Devlin, under the guidance of Chris Kleckner.

‘Moving Stories’ At Muhlenberg College, Nov. 10-12

‘Moving Stories’ dance concert showcases innovative work by student choreographers in a nationally acclaimed program

 

Dance performance Nov. 10-12 displays talent of nine young choreographers and faculty member Teresa VanDenend Sorge, with more than 60 dancers

 

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg College dancers tell their stories through movement, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department presents “Moving Stories,” a showcase for dance works created by emerging choreographers, Nov. 10-12 in the College’s Baker Theatre.

 

Artistic Director Megan Flynn says the program represents a diverse and sophisticated approach to dance-making.

 

“Drawing from their liberal arts education, the choreographers have created innovative dances that deeply examine and illuminate the human experience,” Flynn says.
The concert will showcase the work of nine student choreographers as well as guest choreographer and faculty member Teresa VanDenend Sorge. It will feature more than 60 dancers from the department’s dance program, which is among the most highly regarded programs of its kind. The concert features costume and lighting designs by the department’s acclaimed professional staff.

 

The ten original dances include contemporary jazz, tap, modern, and hip-hop infused works that investigate, among other things, memory and nostalgia, the cycle of life, the concept of waiting, and the experience of distrust. Choreographers have drawn inspiration from such sources as their dreams, their interpersonal relationships, and experiences abroad.

 

Choreographer Marissa Finkelstein ’18 worked with her cast throughout the rehearsal process, pulling from the dancers’ own memories to create a personal narrative behind the movement.

 

“Through discussions of our experiences, my cast and I have been working to build a collective memory,” Finkelstein says. “The dancers will fade in and out of this collective memory throughout the piece.”

 

“Moving Stories” runs Nov. 10-12 in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

 
Performances are Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10-11, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for patrons 17 and under, and $8 for students, faculty and staff of all LVAIC colleges.  For groups of 15 or more, tickets are $13. Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/dance.

‘Pirates Of Penzance’ At Muhlenberg, Oct. 28 – Nov. 6

Muhlenberg’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’

features high seas and high Cs,

Oct. 28 through Nov. 6

Samuel Reyes’ choreography, Charles Richter’s direction

propel Gilbert and Sullivan’s 136-year-old comic opera

out of the past and into the mainstream

Allentown, PA — Fresh direction and choreography will paint a new face on a classic Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta this fall, as the Muhlenberg College theater and dance department presents “The Pirates of Penzance,” Oct. 28 – Nov. 6.

“Expect a night of great family entertainment,” says theater professor Charles Richter, who directs the production. “It’s a work of comic genius and a real pleasure to direct.”

Music director Ed Bara and choreographer Samuel Antonio Reyes add a modern spin while also highlighting the original conventions of the play. Reyes choreographed Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, this past July. Bara, a member of the music department faculty, also played the lead as a guest artist in the 2014 Muhlenberg production of Kurt Weill’s American opera, “Street Scene.”

“Ed has been a mainstay of the music department for years, and is an expert at coaching students to produce the sort of sound that this show demands,” Richter says. “Sammy is our hip-hop teacher. His choreography is very spunky — really different and interesting.”

Reyes says he loves “Pirates” as much as he loves working with Richter, and that he expects that audiences will be excited by his choreography.

“It’s challenging to perform opera while you’re also moving to very specific stylized movements, gestures, and rhythms,” Reyes says. “This show features such amazing young talent.”

“Pirates” tells the story of an accidental pirate’s apprentice named Frederic and his swashbuckling misadventures on the high seas. Along the way, he encounters the beautiful Mabel, the deceitful Ruth, the powerful Pirate King, and the absurd Major-General Stanley, who patter-sings the famous “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” towards the end of the first act.

“It’s a right work out,” says Nicky Rosolino, one of the two actors who will play Major-General Stanley, of his big song. “There is nothing quite like standing on top of a barrel and boasting about your range of talents to a crowd of pirates and adopted daughters.”

Jake Parisse, the other Major-General, says, “Charlie makes sure that the comedic rhythm of the character is maintained while encouraging Nicky and me to make very different and unique choices.”

Two sets of principal actors will alternate performances to allow vocal rest between shows — and to showcase the talents of the theater and dance department. The cast performs the show’s demanding score with a 21-piece orchestra — and without benefit of microphones.

“I’d think about coming twice,” Richter says. “The show is different with each cast. I think both of them have some really great comics and some really great singers. There are bright futures here.”

Between the Mainstage season and Summer Music Theatre, this is Muhlenberg’s fifth production of “Pirates.” Members of past productions are invited to return to campus for a reunion reception after the performance on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The last production, in 2005, featured what Richter calls “an all-star cast” of actors who have gone on to high-profile success, including Frankie J. Grande (“Rock of Ages,” “Mamma Mia!” on Broadway), George Psomas (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “South Pacific” on Broadway), and Michael Biren (national tour of “Billy Elliot”), among others.

“The Pirate King was one of my favorite roles at Muhlenberg,” say Psomas, who played the fierce but loveable rogue in Richter’s last production. “Who doesn’t want to sing that incredible music, lead a band of pirates, and carry a sword? The experience taught me so much about playing into the unique style and comedy of Gilbert and Sullivan, and it also taught me that I am capable of growing mutton chops.”

Along with “HMS Pinafore” and “The Mikado,” “The Pirates of Penzance” stands the test of time as one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most widely produced and well-received operettas, Richter says. Its wry humor, clever lyrics, and catchy tunes make it popular even 136 years after its premiere.

“The play was written by the best comic writer of his time and the best composer of his time,” Richter says. “It’s a parody of 19th century melodramas and 19th century grand opera. All kinds of zany plot devices happen. Modern audiences have the best time with it. It’s opera for people who think operas are ridiculous.”

The production is family friendly, and young audiences are encouraged to attend. Children who attend the matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 6 dressed as pirates can attend for just $4.

Thursday, Nov. 3 will be an Accessible Performance, with Open Captioning for patrons with hearing loss and Audio Description for patrons who are blind or low-vision. Please reserve tickets in advance for the accessible section of the performance by calling Jess Bien at 484-664-3087 or emailing boxoffice@muhlenberg.edu.

“The Pirates of Penzance” will be performed in the Empie Theatre, in the Baker Center for the Arts. Performances are Friday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m.; Nov. 3-5, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. Regular admission is $22. Youth and student tickets are $8, and groups of 15 or more can purchase discount tickets for $16. Tickets and information are available at muhlenberg.edu/theatre or 484-664-3333.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, PA., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Muhlenberg offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review ranked Muhlenberg’s theater program No. 1 in the country in its 2017 edition, and has consistently ranked the program in the top twelve in the nation. The Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

RUSH To Get Tickets To Showtune For $9.99!

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE!
Last Minute Discount…Only $9.99!

Act 1 DeSales presents

SHOWTUNE:

Celebrating the Words and Music of Jerry Herman


Saturday, October 22, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Schubert Theatre
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
 
 
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A BIG AND BRASSY SLICE OF MUSICAL THEATRE HEAVEN
Celebrating the remarkable songs of Broadway tunesmith Jerry Herman, Showtune features 40 of Herman’s biggest hits from such shows as Mame, Mack & Mabel, La Cage aux Folles and, of course, Hello, Dolly! Featured songs include “Time Heals Everything,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” and “Before the Parade Passes By.” “A great big bouquet of memorable tunes!”– The Journal News. Ages 6+
Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!
(price of a regular ticket is $23.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office


PLEASE NOTE:
** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49)

For additional information, please visit Act 1, DeSales University’s Website or call: 610-282-3192.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.orgwww.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
 

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
www.lvartscouncil.org/RushTicketing.html

Arts Advocate – October 2016

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Despicable Me

Data collection and analysis are essential advocacy tools. It requires a certain amount of ruthlessness however, to collect information from the arts community.

Every five years the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has undertaken research to track the state of the arts in the region and compare the results to national trends. The findings from the 2012 Arts & Economic Prosperity study of the region’s nonprofit arts industry revealed a $208 million industry—one that provides 7,114 full-time jobs and generates $21 million in state and local taxes annually. Very impressive, don’t you think?

Currently, the Arts Council is in the midst of gathering data for the 2017 study. Throughout 2016, I have been urging cultural nonprofits to complete an organizational expenditure survey, as well as assist me in surveying audiences at 16 various performances or events. We now have 40 groups onboard and 500 audience surveys completed. That leaves another 60 groups and 300 audience members to chase down.

The more data we collect will translate into a bigger story about how the region’s nonprofit arts industry boosts our economy. Heads up! I’m coming for you!
Randall Forte, Executive Director

ARTS COUNT: Get fired up for Arts Count at Smooth-On!

“What’s the deal with this place, Smooth-On?”

It’s okay to wonder what Smooth-On, Inc. is and how it relates to our upcoming event, Arts Count! We’ve received a few inquiries about this company and it’s location with a huge warehouse in Macungie (formerly Day-Timers) that doesn’t appear to be a place to host a celebration. However, when you see the work of Smooth-On products, it will all make perfect sense! The entrance alone is sure to wow our guests.

Trust us, you won’t want to miss the Arts Count fun!!

Head over to Smooth-On’s Facebook page and you’ll get a taste of how their products are used for movie props and characters!


ARTS COUNT
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
5:30–7:30 PM
Smooth-On, Inc., 5600 Lower Macungie Road, Macungie, PA

Don’t forget to RSVP at 610-437-5915 by Friday, October 14th!

MEMBERS FREE
NONMEMBERS $10

PURCHASE TICKETS

AUDIO DESCRIPTION TRAINING: Two-Day Workshop Opportunity
INCREASE YOUR JOB SKILLS!
BUILD YOUR RESUME!

Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers, educators—are invited to enroll in the upcoming audio description training session and acquire new performance skills.


Audio Description Training

Two-Day Workshop
NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 2016
9am to 4pm (both days)
Muhlenberg College | Allentown, PA

As an introduction to the training, students of the workshop will enjoy an audio-described performance, Pirates of Penzance, on
Thursday, NOVEMBER 3, 2016
8:00pm
Trexler Pavilion | Muhleberg College | Allentown, PA


MEMBERS $35
NONMEMBERS $50
 
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER FEATURED ARTIST: Dattatreya Phadke

We are pleased to have our newest Featured Artist’s work displayed through the end of October.

Dattatreya Phadke is a local pathologist by training, but he also has an artistic side that he dedicates much of his free time to producing beautiful, intricately constructed work – ALL IN FABRIC! His work is quite mesmerizing – at first glance it appears to be a painting, but when the viewer steps forward, the thousands of tiny fabric scraps (some brought over directly from India) are visible. His work is truly a must-see!

Come visit our office and view Dattatreya’s work during normal business hours until the end of October. Our parking lot is open for visitors now (it had previously been under construction)!

To view images of Dattatreya Phadke’s work, visit his Exhibiting Artist page!

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF BETHLEHEM presents:

Aizuri Quartet
October 14, 2016 at 7:30pm

Foy Hall | Behtlehem

Modigliani String Quartet
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Cathedral Church of the Nativity | Bethlehem


MORAVIAN COLLEGE MUSIC INSTITUTE presents:

“A Boo-Roque Hallowe’en II” – Baroque & Monteverdi Ensembles
October 23, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Behtlehem

Moravian College Celtic Ensemble & Guitar Ensemble
October 30, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Vocal Ensemble
November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Combo I & Jazz Combo II
November 5, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Flute Troupe – Saxophone Quartet – Woodwind Ensemble
November 6, 2016 at 4:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Delta Omicron Musicale
November 6, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

M.I.M.E. – Moravian Improvised Music Ensemble
November 9, 2016 at 9:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Community Orchestra
November 13, 2016 at 7:00pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Salon Ensemble
November 14, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College BIG Band
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Trombone Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble
November 21, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem


MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY presents:

Murdered to Death


PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

not-just-Art Auction
October 21, 2016 at 7:00pm
Brookside Country Club | Macungie

Enchantment Times Three
November 19, 2016 at 7:30pm
First Presbyterian Church | Allentown

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

MCCC To Celebrate 30 Years Of Arts Excellence With 2016-17 Lively Arts Season

Blue Bell, PA —Montgomery County Community College will celebrate three decades of bringing world-class entertainment, soul-enriching music, peerless comedy and thought-provoking discussion to the community through its 2016-17 Lively Arts season.

Since 1986, the Lively Art series has connected the community through electrifying musical, dance and theater performances, stimulating workshops and lectures, Young Arts Explorers events and meet-the-artist receptions. This year’s season promises even more with its family series and a new film series. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

The series continues with a host of musical, theater and comedy performances, including:

·      The Capitol Steps (Oct. 16) – The popular, award-winning group will share its special brand of satirical political humor – just in time for the presidential election – through song parodies and skits that play off recent headlines.

·      Repertorio Español’s Production of “El Quijote” (Oct. 22) – The classic story of the Man of La Mancha is told in Spanish with English captions by experienced and emerging Latino theater artists.

·      The Joey Alexander Trio (Nov. 6) – Child prodigy Joey Alexander, a 13-year-old self-taught Indonesian jazz pianist who released his first album in 2015, has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton and at prestigious jazz festivals.

·      Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland (Dec. 4) – Venerated Memphis-born jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd, who has played with such legends as B.B. King and Bobbie “Blue” Bland and has recorded with The Doors and the Beach Boys, brings his mastery of tenor saxophone, flute, piano and more to audiences in a blend of jazz, world music and other genres.

·      Aaron Diehl Quartet featuring Warren Wolf (Feb. 11) – Diehl, a Juilliard grad and Cole Porter jazz fellow who has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is joined by Berklee-trained multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Warren Wolf for an evening of jazz blended with hip-hop, funk, rock and world music.

·      Cyrille Aimée (Feb. 18) – The jazz vocalist and French native, who has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “astonishingly creative…with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas [and] impeccable rhythm,” brings a gypsy sensibility to her singing.

·      James “Blood” Ulmer Odyssey Trio (Feb. 25) – Ulmer, a jazz and blues guitarist, singer and recording artist, applies his southern roots in gospel toward a highly individualized sound described as “a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield.”

·      Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit “Chord Nation” (Mar. 4) –Philadelphia-native guitar expert Monnette Sudler will present “Chord Nation,” featuring M’OUD Swing Moroccan Oriental Jazz, Paul Bollenback Portraits of Space and Time Quartet with Orin Evans, Mike Boone and Byron Landham, Gloria Galanta Harp Jazz Ensemble featuring Monnette Sudler and introducing Nasir Dickerson, soloist bringing his African melodies on the African harp-Kora.

·      Sébastien Lépine (Mar. 12) –  Lépine – the award-winning Canadian cellist, chamber musician, conductor and composer who breathes new life into classical music – will join forces with 4 Ailes, a string quartet that has performed all over Quebec and shared the stage with Ingrid St.-Pierre and other accomplished artists.

·      Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (Apr. 1) – The Grammy-winning pianist, composer and founding artistic director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance performs with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has preserved the music of his father, the legendary Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill.

·      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Apr. 7) – Known as the “bad boys of jazz,” this troupe of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago formed a group as children under their trumpet-playing father, Kelan Phil Cohran, and has played with everyone from Prince to Mick Jones of The Clash.

·      Koresh Dance Company (Apr. 29) – Now in its 25th year, this acclaimed dance company led by Israeli founder Ronen “Roni” Koresh has toured extensively and been praised for its “rich, multicultural blend of intensity and physicality” offering “all the finesse and grace of a ballet with the athleticism of an Olympic sport.”

New this year in honor of the Lively Arts’ 30th anniversary, the College will debut a film series sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation On Screen/In Person. Films include:

·      You Belong to Me (Oct. 18, 3 p.m.), an expose of what it meant to be an African American in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s as seen through the lens of a bizarre sex- and race-related murder.

·      Love thy Nature (Nov. 8, 4 p.m.), a cinematic journey narrated by Liam Neeson about the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

·      Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save our World’s Children (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.), which profiles the man who led a revolution in vaccine innovation that saved millions of young lives.

·      Real Boy (Mar. 21, 7 p.m.), a coming-of-age story about a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man.

·      States of Grace (Apr. 13, 3 p.m.), an award-winning portrait of devotion and trust that documents one woman’s fight to restore her life with her partner and teenage daughter after a tragic accident results in a seven-week coma and a dozen surgeries.

In its annual Young Arts Explorers series, the College will engage children through highly entertaining, educational performances, including:

·      Janet’s Planets (Jan. 26), a live performance from Janet Ivey of the popular TV show in which she explores science, technology, engineering, art, math and the wonders of the galaxy through an imaginative, interactive learning adventure

·      Seussical (Jan. 27), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs

For its new Family Series, the College will engage audiences of all ages with:

·      Seussical (Jan. 28), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs ·

Okee Dokee Brothers (Mar. 11), the Grammy-winning performers who use family-oriented Americana folk music to inspire kids to go outside, be creative and gain a greater respect for the natural world and their communities

The Lively Arts Series events are held in the Science Center Theater at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts.

$9.99 RUSH TICKETS: Charley’s Aunt, Presented By Act 1 DeSales L

Act 1 DeSales presents

Charley’s Aunt

Friday, September 30, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the
Labuda Center of the Arts

2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
 
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ONE OF THE MOST SENSATIONAL FARCES EVER WRITTEN

Charley’s Aunt is set during the Victorian era at Oxford University, in the quarters of two undergraduates who frantically search for a way to express their love to their soon departing sweethearts. The solution to their problem comes in the form of Charley’s aunt who is visiting from Brazil. With her acting as a chaperone, the boys can invite their lovers to an official lunch and finally pop the question. However, all goes wrong when a message arrives informing the boys that the aunt is delayed and won’t make it in time. In a last ditch effort the young lads coerce their friend to don a dress and become “Charley’s aunt.” Throughout the afternoon the troublesome trio fumble through spastic conversations, unexpected suitors, cat-and-mouse meet-ups, and the occasional teatime mishap. Charley’s Aunt is a frenzied farce filled with so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY
$9.99!

(price of regular General Admission ticket is $25.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office


Please Note:
** Rush Tickets are available for Orchestra seating only.

** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49)

For additional information, please visit Act 1, DeSales University’s Website or call: 610-282-3192 .

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.orgwww.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
www.lvartscouncil.org/RushTicketing.html

ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEMBER RALLY AND GRANT AWARD CELEBRATION

ALLENTOWN, PA – Dragon sightings are on the rise in the Lehigh Valley and that is exciting news for our arts community! On the big screen, movie-goers are enjoying the performance of Allentown child actor Oakes Fegley in the title role of Pete’s Dragon. Another fire-breathing beast greets visitors at the entrance of the new manufacturing facilities of Smooth-On, Inc. in East Texas. Dragons are powerful, mythological creatures that epitomize courage, vigor, and unbridled imagination—vital attributes for risk-takers like artists.

In homage to the dragons in our midst, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council invites you to ignite your imagination at ARTS COUNT 2016, the annual arts rally and grant award ceremony. The magic happens on October 19, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Smooth-On, 1725 Willow Lane, East Texas, PA 18046.

“We are very grateful to Smooth-On for hosting this event,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “This international arts business is a giant in the realm of special effects.“ Smooth-On’s technologies and materials have been used to make movie figures and props for Star Wars, The Hobbit Trilogy, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and many other films and TV shows. (As a special treat, the Smooth-On staff will be on hand to give you scars, bruises, and bloody gashes.)

ARTS COUNT also serves as the occasion for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council to distribute grant awards to the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream recipients in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Project Stream is open to individual artists and community groups who apply for support of an arts-related project with strong public impact. More than $34,000 in state funds will be awarded to 22 applicants for activities held from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017.

“ARTS COUNT celebrates the public/private partnerships that fuel the arts in our region,” says Executive Director Randall Forte, “and features local business and foundation leaders giving testimony on the value and impact of the arts.” Locally elected officials are invited to present checks to the grant recipients from their districts. In keeping with the spirit of fellowship, Arts Council members are encouraged to bring a guest and rally for the arts.

The October reception is free to Arts Council members and grant recipients; the cost to guests and nonmembers is $10. Refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. to 610-437-5915 to attend.

For more information about the PPA grant application, contact PA Partners in the Arts Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at ppa@LVArtsCouncil.org.

List of 2016-17 PPA Grant Awardees:
Allentown Public Theatre
Anthony Smith
Arts Academy Charter School
Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission
Buchanan Elementary School
Concord Chamber Singers
DanceLink
Emmaus Recreation & Entertainment Commission
Fairfield Duo
Friends of the Allentown Parks
Jennie Gilrain
Jim Thorpe Film Festival
Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange
Marilyn Hazelton
Moravian College
Pennsylvania Jazz Collective
Puertorrican Cultural Preservation
Sarah Steele
Summit Hill Heritage Center
Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation
WDIY 88.1 FM
West Park Civic Association

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About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.

Muhlenberg College’s Acclaimed Theatre & Dance Department Announces 2016-2017 Season

ALLENTOWN, PA — Muhlenberg College’s nationally-ranked Theatre & Dance Department announces its 2016-2017 mainstage season. Highlights include classics by Gilbert & Sullivan and Anton Chekhov, a dance-theatre performance based on Harlem drag ball culture, a rarely produced Gertrude Stein play, and works by acclaimed guest choreographers.

The season features six fully mounted theatrical productions and three mainstage dance concerts, running from September 2016 through April 2017.

The season begins with “Attention: New Visions Directors’ Festival,” Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, featuring two short plays directed by senior Muhlenberg directing students: “The Imaginary Audience,” by Maddie Brickman, presented in its world premiere, directed by Emma Steiger; and “Oh, the Humanity, and Other Short Plays,” by Will Eno, directed by Sarah Bedwell.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic swashbuckling comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance” is presented Oct. 28 through Nov. 6, directed by Charles Richter, with choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara.

“Moving Stories,” Nov. 10-12, features original choreography by the department’s upper-class dance majors, in a variety of genres and styles. The concert showcases dance as storytelling, narration in human form, addressing themes as broad ranging as the students’ own diverse backgrounds.

“Falling: New Visions Directors’ Festival” continues this season’s series of short plays, with classic short works directed by talented senior directing students. The evening’s plays include “Salome,” by Oscar Wilde, directed by Simon Evans, and “Icarus’s Mother,” by Sam Shepard, directed by Karina Fox. The festival runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 4.

“Master Choreographers,” Feb. 9-11, will feature major restagings and original works in ballet, contemporary dance, tap, and jazz, showcasing work by nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists and faculty. Guest choreographers include Orion Duckstein, Cristina Perera, and Trinette Singleton.

Gertrude Stein’s “Listen to Me,” directed by James Peck, is a rarely produced avant garde play — a cerebral frolic in the face of planetary crisis, in which characters philosophize, laugh, and struggle heroically to hold onto hope as their prospects dim. The show runs Feb. 22-26.

“Wig Out!,” up-and-coming playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s tell-it-like-it-is look at the Harlem drag ball scene, is presented March 30 through April 2. The production is directed by Troy Dwyer and features choregraphy by Samuel Antonio Reyes.

“Dance Emerge,” April 19-22, showcases the ideas and talents of our brightest young choreographers. The intimate Dance Studio Theatre is the backdrop for innovative, explorative dance pieces. Jeffrey Peterson serves as artistic director.

The season concludes with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s classic “The Cherry Orchard,” a bittersweet comedy about love and loss, playing April 26-29. Matthew Moore directs, with a faculty spotlight performance by Holly Cate.

The mainstage performance series is produced by Muhlenberg College’s acclaimed Theatre & Dance Department, currently ranked the No. 1 production program in the country by The Princeton Review. The Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States.

Discounts are available for packages of four or more productions. Tickets and information: 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre&dance

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected pre-professional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Training Workshop For Audio Description, Presented By The Lehigh Valley Arts Council‏

On November 4 and 5, 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in cooperation with Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance, will present a two-day workshop, “Audio Description for the Theatre,” from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. As an introduction to the training, attendees will also experience an audio-described performance of The Pirates of Penzance on Thursday evening, November 3rd at 8:00 p.m. in the Baker Center.

Audio Description assists patrons who are blind/low-vision to access the visual elements of stage productions through narration provided by trained describers. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

The Arts Council has contracted Mimi Smith, former Executive Director of VSA Pennsylvania, and her husband Steve Smith to provide the training. Both of them have been describers for more than two decades and were cofounders of Amaryllis Theatre Co., a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly hired theatre artists with disabilities. They will introduce the class to the foundational skills—Observation, Analysis, and Communication—necessary to audio describe stage productions.

$35 for members; $50 for nonmembers. For additional information on location and registration, visit LVArtsCouncil.org.

***
About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – August 2016‏

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: What I Did This Summer

This summer I have been out front in the Lehigh Valley more than usual, surveying audiences at various arts events. The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity V, is part of a national study to determine the economic impact of the nonprofit arts industry.

Sounds dry, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s been fun to mingle with arts patrons and bump into old friends at the theatre or a concert. It is too early to tell, but attendance at these events seems very strong.

The data collection continues through 2016, and the results of the analysis will be released in Spring 2017 at a public forum, Whose Business is the Arts? For the past twenty years, the Lehigh Valley region has enjoyed double-digit increases that are far above the national average. The previous study in 2012 determined that arts and culture was a $208 million industry. It will be fascinating to see what the numbers tell us this time. Maybe I am turning into a data-geek!
Randall Forte, Executive Director

SAVE THE DATE! Arts Count 2016

Arts Count celebrates the essential public and private partnerships that fuel the arts, engages business and foundation leaders as well as elected officials to be advocates for arts and culture, and acknowledges the year’s grant recipients.

Free to members of the Arts Council and grant recipients, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council event honors the Project Stream and Program Stream recipients awarded state arts grants through the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.


SAVE THE DATE!

ARTS COUNT 2016

October 19, 2016
Smooth On
5600 Lower Macungie Road
Macungie, PA 18062

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

Valley Vivaldi
August 21, 2016 at 7:30pm

Wesley Church, Bethlehem

Trio Solisti
September 16, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Hall, Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

‘In The Heights’ Brings Latin Rhythms, Stories To Muhlenberg Summer Stage

Allentown, PA — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights” — the precursor to his blockbuster Broadway hit “Hamilton” — runs July 13-31 as the second production of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre season.  The show tells a story that many of its cast hold close to their hearts: the story of families and cultures that have been transplanted from far away.

Many of the show’s 20 actors and dancers can tell you a story about their families coming to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico, or Cuba, or the Dominican Republic. For some, that story is not so long in the past. Wilma Rivera, for example, is a professional actress, a Muhlenberg College alumna, and a first-generation American. She says “In the Heights” is the story of her family.

“When I saw ‘In the Heights’ on Broadway, there was this moment when the music of the first number started, and it captured so beautifully the experience of what it’s like to be a Latino,” says Rivera, who plays Camila. “It’s that struggle to maintain an identity and also to assimilate — especially in New York City.”

“In the Heights” was a hit when it opened in 2008, running more than a thousand performances and bringing its composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to the attention of theatergoers. Miranda’s innovative score melded the rhymes and rhythms of hip-hop with the Latin-style music of salsa and merengue, and, together with Quiara Alegría Hudes’ book, captured the sights, sounds and stories of the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was short-listed for a Pulitzer Prize the following year. Miranda also won the Tony for Best Score. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director Alex Lacamoire also won Tony Awards for their Latin- and hip-hop-inflected choreography and orchestrations. The three would reunite with director Thomas Kail to create “Hamilton.”

“Miranda is deeply versed in ’90s hip-hop,” says James Peck, who directs the production for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. “He picks up beats and rhythm structures and song structures from hip-hop, and he incorporates salsa, merengue, and other Latin styles — but he’s also a musical theatre fanboy from the age of five. The results are really a musical tour-de-force.”

MSMT’s production features choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara. John Raley designed the set, Lex Gurst designed costumes, John McKernon designed lights, and Patrick Moren designed sound.

Peck credits choreographer Reyes as a driving force behind bringing the show to the MSMT stage.

“Sammy is a hip-hop dancer, a theater artist, and a Puerto Rican. He has a deep understanding of the cultural dynamics at work in this piece,” Peck says. “I wouldn’t have had the temerity to the play without him. It was Sammy saying, ‘I’ve got to do “In the Heights”‘ that made it come together.”

 “In the Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood — a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

Miranda himself was born in Washington Heights, and grew up in Linwood, one neighborhood over. His parents had moved to New York from Puerto Rico, and every summer, he visited his grandparents back on the island.

Wilma Rivera’s classmate at Muhlenberg, Gabe Martínez, also remembers feeling like he was watching his own family’s history on stage when he first saw “In the Heights.” Martínez saw the show for the first time a year to the day after his grandmother passed away.

“The actress who played Abuela Claudia was the spitting image of my abuela,” says Martínez, who stars as Usnavi, the role that Miranda played on Broadway. “As soon as she walked out on stage, my father and I started weeping. We were at the matinee; I bought the cast recording on the way home and had it memorized by the time I went to bed.”

Martínez’s grandparents moved from Puerto Rico to New York in the 1940s, shortly after his grandfather returned from service in World War II.

“They wrote to each other every day, planning their move to New York, the American dream,” Martínez says. “When the war was over, he hadn’t been home a week when they bought a plane ticket and headed to the Bronx.”

Rivera has a similar connection to the material. Her father immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1970s. Her mother was born in East Harlem, but moved to Puerto Rico as a small child. Both came from poverty, she says. Her mother was the only one in her family to go to college. When Rivera went off to Muhlenberg to study acting, she was the first in her family to attend college on the mainland — and, like Nina in “In the Heights,” she almost gave it up after her freshman year. Department chair Charles Richter talked her into staying.

“‘We need you here,’ he told me.”

Rivera and Martínez were the only two Latino students in the theater program at the time. Neither of them ever had the chance before now to play a Latino character on the Muhlenberg stage — and the opportunity is what drew them back. Both of them have worked steadily as actors since graduating — Rivera in 2009, and Martínez in 2010 — but they have had to be flexible in order to do it.

“I’ve spent my entire professional career praying to see a casting call saying ‘ethnically ambiguous — slash — Latino,'” Martínez says. “We were the only two Latino kids in our class, and now there are lots of kids, and this is their first professional gig, and we’re just so happy for them to start out this way, that these kids are having this opportunity.”

Rivera echoes his enthusiasm.

“This department has really embraced students of color and encouraged their talents, and really raised them up,” she says. “I’m very proud of this college and to be an alumna of this college, and I just hope it continues to grow.”

Martínez and Rivera’s deep connection to “In the Heights” is a common thread through the entire cast, Peck says.

“When people have a chance to be part of a show that speaks to their own experience, they make a significant personal investment in that show,” he says. “It’s rare that these stories get told, and when people have the chance to be a part of these stories, they grab onto that chance.”

In fact, Rivera’s connection to the show runs so deep that she got a tattoo of one of its lyrics, “Paciencia y fe,” a song sung by Abuela Claudia. The lyric reminds her of her own abuela, who died in January.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose that matriarch of a Latin family,” Rivera says. “She’s the stone and we’re all the ripples of what she leaves behind. It holds weight, I think, in this world, that we remember who we are and where we’re from. Gabe and I are very lucky that we have that image of our parents and remember the struggle.”

The actor who plays Abuela Claudia in the production — jazz vocalist, scholar and activist Roberta Meek — agrees. Meek had only one grandparent growing up, and ike Abuela Claudia — and like Rivera and Martínez’s abuelas — she was the keeper of the family’s stories.

“My grandmother was literally the historian of the family,” Meek says. “Her father was born into slavery, and he had been searching for his mother ever since. My grandmother was the griot,” the person who maintains the oral history tradition in many West African cultures. “You came to her for school.”

“In the Heights” is Meek’s first musical theater performance, although she has been performing as a jazz vocalist in the Lehigh Valley for more than 20 years. She also contributed stories and songs to the Touchstone Theatre project “Another River Flows: a Celebration of the Lehigh Valley Black Experience.”

One of the things that “In the Heights” gets right, Rivera says, is the sabor — the flavor of Latin culture and of the Washington Heights community.

“This show is packed full of sabor,” she says.

Some of that flavor is visual; much of it comes from the rhythm and choreographic energy that choreographer Samuel Reyes has brought to the project.

“The blend of salsa, hip-hop and contemporary movement is very exciting for me as a choreographer — and we have found such a dynamic, crazy talented cast,” Reyes says. “This show is going to punch a hole in the wall, both visually and emotionally. I’m just so damn proud to be part of it.”

“In the Heights” plays July 13-31 at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. Performances take place in the Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre, in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices for the first four performances are $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. Prices for the rest of the run are $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20.

Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/smt or 484-664-3333.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council Releases 2016-2017 ARTix‏

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council announces to the community the release of the new ARTix Passport to the Arts, a buy-one, get-one-free ticket to eighteen arts and cultural venues through June 30, 2017. Dance, musical, theatrical, and historical offerings are just some of the travel destinations offered by the passport.

“This year marks the 18th anniversary of this successful arts marketing promotion,” says Randall Forte, Arts Council Executive Director. “The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to provide regional leadership that advances the arts in this growing community.”

Over the years, the Arts Council has increased the circulation of ARTix and opened the door wider for all people to enjoy the arts. Real estate and corporate relocation offices give passports to new residents relocating to the Valley. Local health networks encourage volunteers to enjoy the arts as part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the social service sector offers ARTix to their clients with disabilities, allowing them affordable access to disability-friendly events. There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy—from symphonic to folk music, fine arts to vintage cars, Shakespeare to Broadway musicals—fun and entertainment for the entire family.

The most direct way to receive your very own ARTix Passport to the Arts is simply join the Arts Council. An Individual Membership is reasonably priced at $40 annually. With passport in hand, start planning your itinerary today and build your circle of arts friends. Members also receive discounts to workshops and conferences, subscriptions to the bimonthly Inside the Arts, / Arts Calendar and Lehigh Valley Style, and free admission to the annual spring and fall membership receptions.

ARTix Passport is made possible through the support of Christmas City Printing, The County of Lehigh, and The Harry C. Trexler Trust.

Lehigh Valley Arts

‘GROWL!’ At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre‏

Allentown, PA —For the past two seasons, the theatre company Doppelskope has created world-premiere musicals for young audiences at the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. In 2014, they presented “Gruff!” a troll’s eye view of the story of the three billy goats Gruff, and last season it was “Grimm!” a tale of the storytelling Brothers Grimm and their quest to chase down their escaped stories with the help of a rambunctious little girl.

This season, MSMT and Doppelskope will complete the “Grilogy” with another new show, “Growl!” — playing June 29 through July 30. “Growl!” brings Doppelskope’s energetic, innovative puppetry, lively music, and interactive theatrical spirit to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Co-authors Ora Fruchter and Christopher Scheer describe “Growl!” as a “zany reinvention” of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which a group of woodland creatures has come together to solve a series of break-ins by a certain mysterious blonde figure. They are led by an imaginative young bear who likes to be known as Danger Bear, and who has no time for breakfast while the world needs a hero to make freedom sing in the hearts of all animal-kind.

“Our inspiration always comes from a lot of different sources,” Scheer says. “For ‘Growl!’ we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what made us laugh as children, and what still makes our inner-children laugh now. So as we got ready to write the show, we spent some time researching the cartoons we grew up watching — Chip and Dale, Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny, and lots of other classic cartoons. We like to create comedy that works on at least two levels, so that we can engage adults just as much as we engage kids.”

The eight-member cast of “Growl!” plays an ensemble of woodland animals, who in turn present the story of Goldilocks and the Bear family through puppetry. The cast members also play all the music themselves, on instruments ranging from washboard and stand-up bass to banjo and accordion — all while selling the audience a variety of woodland merchandise such as Hats, Buckets, Porridge, and Four-Month Energy Drink (the alternative to hibernating).

“We want our audiences to laugh in a deep, satisfying way,” Fruchter says. “And we want them to walk away amazed by the possibilities of live theater, puppetry and imagination.”

“Growl!” features a script by Fruchter and Scheer, with music composed by Tony Singer, who also serves as musical director. Fruchter, Scheer and Singer also made up the core creative team for both “Gruff!” and “Grimm!” The team’s show has evolved from recorded musical accompaniment, the first year, to live piano accompaniment last year, to this year’s approach of letting the actors accompany themselves.

“Toby has created this super-catchy, playful score for us,” Scheer says. “And because of our actor-musicians, we’re able to have fantastic live music throughout the show.”

Scheer says that the group’s puppetry has also evolved, both in the design and in performance. The show uses both tabletop puppets, created by Fruchter, and detailed shadow puppetry, projected on giant screens to create “surprisingly cinematic moments” throughout the show.

“We’re really exploring and innovating what’s possible with puppetry on stage,” he says. “We’re learning quite a lot as we experiment, with some really exciting results. Ora’s puppets are beautiful and hilarious. They’re like cartoon characters come to life, and they create this fantastic connection with the audience.”

Young audiences members can participate in a free 45-minute Imagination Workshop, following every performance of “Growl!” Participants will join members of the cast to explore the themes of the show through movement, storytelling, and creative play. Participants can register in advance through the box office or on the MSMT website.

Cast members are available after the show to meet the audience and sign autographs.

A Sensory-Friendly Performance of “Growl!” will be presented on Saturday, July 23 at 1 p.m. The performance will be followed by an interactive Imagination Workshop. Sensory-friendly performances are designed for children with autism and other sensory challenges. At these performances, sound levels are reduced, and startling sounds are avoided; lights remain on at a low level during performance, and strobes and other flashy lights are omitted; patrons are free to talk or leave their seats during the show; and attendance is limited. Social stories will be available in advance from the MSMT website, and the theater staff and cast will receive special training in meeting the needs of patrons with autism and sensory issues.

American Sign Language interpreters will interpret the 10 a.m. performance on Saturday, July 23. The interpreters will be available prior to the show and following the show at the meet-the-cast session and Imagination Workshop. All patrons are welcome to attend.

“Growl!” runs June 29 through July 30 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. All tickets to “Growl!” are $10 for June performances and $12 for July performances.

Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/SMT or 484-664-3333.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – June 2016‏

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

On Tuesday, June 14, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community, in cooperation with the Williams Center for the Arts, present Red, White & Blue, an evening of laughter and fellowship with comedian Josh Blue. The event marks the culmination of the yearlong commemoration through the arts of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Arts & Access has been a remarkable journey-expanding cultural accessibility through community collaboration. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and foundations for their time, expertise and financial support.

The Lehigh Valley has a rich and diverse arts culture, but too often those experiences were closed to people with disabilities. Thankfully, that has begun to change. During this inaugural year, the attendance and the number of disability-friendly events exceeded goals by 25% –demonstrating both a strong need to expand services and a willingness to participate. Thirty cultural organizations teamed up with social service agencies to present sensory-friendly performances for children with autism; dance classes for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers; audio-described and open-captioned theatrical performances; lectures; exhibitions; poetry readings; film screenings; and public meetings. (589 people with disabilities attended fifty disability-friendly events, accompanied by 705 family members and friends.)

There is really so much to be proud of! The scope of the initiative and the breadth of support speak to the power of the arts to bring people together. And I am pleased to announce that the Arts Council Board of Directors voted at their March meeting to make the program a permanent one, Arts & Access Always.
Randall Forte, Executive Director

WORKSHOP ADDED: Last Call for a Free PPA Grant Workshop!

Calling all artists, community groups and arts organizations of the Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties!

Applications are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania Partners of the Arts(PPA) Project Stream Grant, which awards up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects which have a significant public component.

The deadline for all applications is June 20, 2016!


FINAL GRANT WORKSHOP
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
800 Hamilton Street, Suite 201, Allentown, PA 18101

Registration for the final Project Stream grant writing workshops is recommended but not required. To register, please email the Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s new PPA Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at PPA@LVArtsCouncil.org.


A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION! Red, White & Blue

Tuesday, June 14th will certainly be a night to remember! Our Red, White & Blue event, welcoming comedian Josh Blue to the Lehigh Valley, will celebrate the community and reflect on the successes of Arts & Access.

Tickets are now being mailed to those people who have submitted RSVPs for the event. These tickets are necessary for entry!

Some things to note for our guests:

  • The event will take place at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College at 7:00 p.m. (317 Hamilton Street, Easton, PA 18042).
  • If you require any accommodations, please arrive at least 40 minutes before the event (6:20 p.m.) so we may seat you comfortably. Your driver may drop you off in front of the theatre, and a greeter will usher you to your seat.
  • Please bring your tickets; they are necessary for entry!
  • Directions to Lafayette College
  • Campus Map

    PARKING:

  • Please park in the Markel Parking Deck, Lafayette’s primary parking deck, located behind Markel Hall on North Campus Lane. This parking deck is only a short walk to the Williams Center.
  • Accessible parking will be available along Hamilton & High Streets in front of the Williams Center. If you’ve replied that you require an accessible parking space, this will be reserved for you.

We are looking forward to those of you who can join us for this evening of laughter and fellowship!

ARTS ALIVE: A Personality of a Collection

The final 2016 Arts Alive event is proving to be most popular, but there are still a few seats available!

Join us at the home of art enthusiasts Bruce and Pamela Loch, as they lead a private tour of their fine art collection and share stories about a few favorites.

Read about the Lochs’ modern home in Lehigh Valley Style’s featured article, ‘Home is Where the Art Is.’


Date: June 25, 2016
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Location: Home of Bruce & Pamela Loch
Fees: $15 for Members of the Arts Council; $25 for Nonmembers

PURCHASE TICKETS


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

VALLEY VIVALDI SERIES

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

‘Gypsy’ Kicks Off Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Season, June 15 – July 3‏

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s 2016 season will feature some familiar faces for fans of last summer’s “Hello, Dolly!” Mia Scarpa and Jarrod Yuskauskas return this summer for “Gypsy,” the beloved musical the New York Times calls “the greatest of all American musicals.” The show runs June 15 through July 3.

“Gypsy” kicks off a summer season that will also feature the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “In the Heights,” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of the current Broadway smash “Hamilton,” playing July 13-31. The season also features the world premiere family musical “Growl!” an irreverent adaptation of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, created by the theatre company Doppelskope. “Growl!” plays June 29 through July 30.

Arguably one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, “Gypsy” adapts burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee’s sensational autobiography into a sultry, campy tour-de-force about show business, ambition, and motherhood. The score, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, features such classics as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Together Wherever We Go.”

Mia Scarpa returns to the MSMT stage to play Mama Rose, the most notorious of all stage moms, after an acclaimed run in the title role of last summer’s “Hello, Dolly!” She plays opposite Jarrod Yuskauskas in the role of Herbie. Last summer, The Press Newspapers noted that “the repartee between Scarpa and Yuskauskas is priceless.”

In the starring role of Louise — based on Gypsy Rose Lee herself — recent Muhlenberg graduate Lillian Pritchard takes the stage following a turn as Roxie Hart in this season’s sold-out run of “Chicago” on the Muhlenberg stage.

The production also features MSMT mainstay Neil Hever, returning to the role of Pop that he first played in the 1993 MSMT production of the show.

Also featured in the cast are six young actors from the Lehigh Valley Community: Jenna Seasholtz as Baby June; Anna Edwards as Baby Louise: and ensemble members Elijah Albert-Stein, Aaron Finkle, Robert Pierno, and Robert Stinner.

“Gypsy” also reunites the production team from “Hello, Dolly!” — director Charles Richter, choreographer Karen Dearborn, and musical director Michael Schnack. Richter, the founding artistic director of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, is in his 36th season with the festival.

Audio Description and Open Captioning will be available at the Sunday, June 19 performance of “Gypsy.” Call 484-664-3087 for tickets in the accessible section of this performance. Open Captioning displays lyrics and dialogue via electronic text display visible to the side of the stage, for the benefit of patrons with hearing loss. Audio Description uses the natural pauses in the play to provide a narrative that translates the visual image into an audible form for patrons who are blind or low-vision. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

“Gypsy” runs June 15 – July 3; “In the Heights” runs July 13-31. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Both productions are in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance.

Ticket prices for both “Gypsy” and “In the Heights” are as follows. For the first four performances: $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. For the remaining 11 performances: $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20. Subscriptions to both shows are available.

“Growl!” runs June 29 through July 30 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Performances are Wednesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, and Saturday at 10 a.m. only. All tickets to “Growl!” are $10 for June performances and $12 for July performances.

Tickets and information are available at www.muhlenberg.edu/SMT or 484-664-3333.