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Lehigh Valley Arts Council – Arts Alive Series!

Join us in exploring the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

Members Enjoy a Discount with Arts Alive Series Ticket

Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

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How Does Your Garden Show?

Saturday, April 29, 2017
11 am – 12:30 pm
Garden Design, Inc.

PURCHASE TICKETS

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Music of Friends

Saturday, June 17, 2017
11 am – 12:30 pm
Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross

PURCHASE TICKETS

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TheSwirl Collection by LorettaTryon

Wearable Sculpture

Sunday, October 15, 2017
11 am – 12:30 pm
Studio of Loretta Tryon

PURCHASE TICKETS

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Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Embarks On 37th Theatrical Season

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre at Muhlenberg College announces the lineup for its 37th summer season. The season will feature the revolutionary rock musical “Hair,” the classic “My Fair Lady,” and “Wild,” a new modern circus production for all ages.

“Hair” opens the season, running June 14 – July 2. A celebration of freewheeling 1960s youth counterculture, “Hair” commemorates the 50th anniversary of its original Broadway run.

“My Fair Lady,” running July 12-30, was the 1957 Tony Award-winning Best Musical. Lerner and Loewe’s beloved musical features a score that includes such standards as “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “The Rain in Spain.”

“Wild,” running June 28 – July 29, is a world premiere modern circus performance for audiences of all ages, featuring aerial acrobatics, clowning, spectacle, and a touch of magic. The show is recommended for adults and children ages 3 and older.

A free 45-minute circus-themed activity workshop follows each performance of “Wild.” Participation is limited, and advance registration through the box office is recommended. Evening workshops will focus on circus skills for all ages. Daytime workshops are geared toward children and will focus on storytelling and play through circus activities.

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

Join the Age of Aquarius and celebrate the freewheeling counterculture of the 1960s in “Hair.” Passionate, outspoken Claude must choose between submitting to the draft and continuing to fight the establishment through pacifist lifestyle. Joining him is a “tribe” of non-conformists who believe in the power of free speech and free love as they groove to the music, including beloved 1960s hits “Good Morning Starshine” and “Let the Sunshine In.” Director James Peck returns to MSMT following last season’s production of “In the Heights.” He is reunited with musical director Ed Bara and choreographer Samuel Antonio Reyes.

“My Fair Lady” tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl in training to become a lady of society. At first, her lessons with phonetics professor Henry Higgins could not be more frustrating, but their squabbles eventually foster an unlikely partnership — Eliza and Higgins realize they have a lot to learn from each other. MSMT founding artistic director Charles Richter will direct the production. Ed Bara serves as musical director, and Karen Dearborn choreographs.

Atlas Circus Company’s world-premiere modern circus production “Wild” presents the story of a boy who runs away on an adventure through the unknown. Throughout his journey, he meets unusual characters that teach him about love, family, and what it means to be home. The show is designed for audiences of all ages, and incorporates elements of aerial acrobatics, juggling, magic, dance, theater, and clowning.

Relaxed performances of “Wild” will be presented on Saturday, July 8th at 10 am and Thursday, July 13th at 1 pm. The relaxed performances will be followed by an interactive workshop. Relaxed 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.

Audio Description and Open Captioning will be available for all three productions: “Hair” on Sunday, June 25; “My Fair Lady” on Sunday, July 23; and “Wild” on Thursday, July 20, at 10 a.m. Call 484-664-3087 for tickets in the accessible section of these performances.

“Hair” runs June 14 – July 2; “My Fair Lady” runs July 12-30. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices for both “Hair” and “My Fair Lady” are as follows. For the first four performances: $35 regular admission; seniors, $31; students and children, $20. For the rest of the performances: $41 regular admission; seniors, $37; students and children, $24.

“Wild” runs June 28 through July 29. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. All tickets to “Wild” are $11 for the first week of performances and $13 for remaining performances.

Subscriptions and group rates are available at a discount. Contact the box office or refer to the website for details.

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

‘The Cherry Orchard’ At Muhlenberg

ALLENTOWN, PA — Anton Chekhov’s prescient drama “The Cherry Orchard” will soon take the stage at Muhlenberg College, illuminating the class struggles that permeated early 20th century Russia — which, in turn, illuminate the class struggles of today.

“‘The Cherry Orchard’ captures the full complexity of progress and what it means to live through changing times,” says director and Muhlenberg theater faculty member Matthew Moore. “It is at the same time ordinary and supremely poetic.”

The Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department will present “The Cherry Orchard,” in a new version by American playwright Stephen Karam, in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, April 26-29.

“I think the play is ultimately about the human condition and our resilience in the face of life’s disappointments,” says Holly Cate, another theater faculty member, who plays the role of Lyubov Ranevskaya.

As Russia hurtles toward revolution at the start of the 20th century, a widowed aristocrat returns home after years abroad to her family’s estate, which is on the verge of financial ruin. Faced with the prospect of losing their beautiful cherry orchard and the world it seemed to represent, she and her brother cast about for a path forward — but they are too deeply immersed in memories and lost dreams of their youth to take control of their shifting fortunes.

A bittersweet story of love, loss, and social change, Chekhov’s last play offers a rich tapestry of characters, interwoven with poignant nostalgia and wry commentary on a society on the brink of upheaval.

“Chekhov plainly foresaw the coming revolution,” Moore says. “His characters encounter the coming change with different attitudes — some with naive optimism, some with an entrepreneurial spirit, some in mourning.”

Moore believes the anxieties at the heart of this play are contemporary.

“This feels like today’s America in many respects,” Moore says. “It’s hard to know if things are getting better or if everything’s going to hell in a handbasket. Progress and catastrophe seem intertwined.”

One of Russia’s best-known playwrights, Chekhov wrote “The Cherry Orchard in 1903. It premiered in Moscow the following year, after his death, helmed by renowned director and theatrical innovator Konstantin Stanislavski.

Chekhov pioneered theatrical naturalism — having his actors perform the everyday instead of the fantastic; the Russian public was used to romanticism, in which a more fantastical style of performance was much more common. Chekhov wanted audiences to experience honesty and realism when they came to the theater.

“The idea that nothing happens in Chekhov’s plays is totally false. Everything happens,” says Cate. “It’s life onstage. Affairs begin and end, familial relationships are torn and then repaired, people die, they are mourned, and communities rebuild.”

While Chekhov incorporated elements of his own life into all of his work, “The Cherry Orchard” is his most autobiographical play. When he was a teenager, his family’s beloved cherry orchard was cut down — his mother was tricked by contractors into selling the family territory.

“Every day in rehearsal you discover something true about the play that you didn’t know,” Moore says. “There’s no imagining circumstances here, only excavating truths.”

The production uses a celebrated new version by award-winning playwright Stephen Karam, written in an American vernacular and style, which debuted last year on Broadway. This is the first collegiate production of Karam’s adaptation.

“It’s so much funnier and more alive in the body than it is on the page,” Cate says. “I hope people understand how amazing it is that we are able to work with this new version.”

Karam won a Tony Award for Best Play for “The Humans” in 2016 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for “The Humans” and “Sons of the Prophet.”

“‘The Cherry Orchard’ deserves a fresh presentation,” says Cate. “We are very lucky to be able to give it new life.”

“The Cherry Orchard” runs April 26-29. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. 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 Baker Theatre in Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance.

‘Dance Emerge’ at Muhlenberg

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg College dancers tell their stories through movement, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Departmentpresents “Dance Emerge,” a showcase for dance works created by emerging choreographers, April 19-22.

“Dance Emerge” will be performed in the college’s intimate Studio Theatre, a black box performance space with seating on three sides of the performance. Randall Anthony Smith is the artistic director for the concert.

 “This concert is configured where the audience is encapsulating the performance space,” Smith says. “From three distinct view points, each audience member is able to get a closer look at how the performers are moving and evolving. This year’s concert surely will have you thinking about who you are and how you relate to the world.”

“Dance Emerge” will showcase 7 choreographers and 37 dancers from the department’s dance program, which is among the most highly regarded programs of its kind. The concert features design work by the department’s acclaimed professional staff: costume designer Lex Gurst and lighting designer Paul E. Theisen Jr.

The seven original dances include contemporary, jazz, and modern works that investigate such topics as death, family relationships, and the convergence of past, present, and future.

“Dance Emerge” runs April 19-22 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

 Performances are April 19-22: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 22, 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 muhlenberg.edu/dance.

Free Grant Writing Workshops Offered By Lehigh Valley Arts Council In 2017

In an effort to assist applicants with the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream grant application process, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council will offer free grant writing workshops in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties in May of 2017.

“The PPA program initiative is a critical source of state and federal funding for eligible individuals, community groups and nonprofit organizations interested in conducting arts projects with a clear public component,” stated Randall Forte, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “As the regional partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, we have accepted as many as 60 requests in any given year, awarding grants to community projects including, but not limited to exhibitions, films and performances that impact a wide range of constituents from young children to senior citizens, regardless of ability, ethnicity, culture or socioeconomic status.”

The keys to successfully navigating the Project Stream application process lie in a deeper understanding of content, format and fiscal expectations set forth in the grant guidelines by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. By attending one of the workshops, applicants will gain a thorough understanding of review criteria, suggestions for constructing compelling and comprehensive narratives and guidance in building detailed project budgets.

Applicants are encouraged to RSVP and attend one of the following workshops:

May 4, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation; 20 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA, 18229

May 9, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lehigh Valley Arts Council; 840 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA. 18101

May 16, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Arts Establishment; 945 Broadway, Fountain Hill, PA, 18015

For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact:
Zach Kleemeyer, Community Engagement Coordinator
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
ppa@lvartscouncil.org | 610-437-5915

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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.

‘Wig Out!’ At Muhlenberg

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg College takes a stroll down the runway and into drag ball culture, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department presents Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Wig Out!,” March 30 – April 2. Rarely produced since its 2008 premiere, “Wig Out!” offers an outlandish and high-style glimpse into the tight-knit world of Harlem drag balls. Muhlenberg theater professor Troy Dwyer directs.

“I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like this on our stage,” Dwyer says. “It’s going to be an extremity of design — and a leap-of-faith undertaking for the department. It’s also an opportunity to accommodate our population of truly gifted students of color, who aren’t just actors, but a variety of theater-making artists.”

“Wig Out!” focuses on the intense personal connections of  “houses,” the family units at the heart of drag culture — families that typically include a mother, a father, and a group of “children,” while also upending traditional nuclear family roles in favor of something richer and more complex. At the core of “Wig Out!” is the fictional House of Light, with mother Rey-Rey (Cameron Silliman) and father Lucian (Alan Mendez).

“’Wig Out!’ is a quick Alice in Wonderland trip into this topsy-turvy world that’s nothing like ours but very much like ours,” McCraney says. “One of my professors who saw the original run said, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.’”

Drag balls trace their roots to Harlem in the 1860s, flourishing during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ’30s. Today’s drag ball culture took shape in the 1960s, as black drag queens began hosting predominantly black drag events. In 1990, the drag scene achieved mainstream recognition with the release of the documentary film “Paris Is Burning,” along with pop star Madonna’s drag-inspired hit “Vogue.” The balls themselves are extravagant competitions, in which contestants “walk” and are judged on a specific set of criteria, including the “realness” of their drag, their movement and dance abilities, and their fashion choices.

“What I think is so vital about ‘Wig Out!’ is that it not only makes visible sides of queer culture that aren’t typically part of mainstream culture,” Dwyer says. “It shines a more inclusive light than, say ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ which is about the extent of many people’s familiarity with drag culture.”

“Wig Out!” was first produced at the Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre in New York City, and the same year at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It has been fully produced only once since, in any venue.

Playwright McCraney’s film “Moonlight” received 2017 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was written by McCraney and director Barry Jenkins, based on McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play. McCraney was also recently appointed chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, beginning in July. His plays have been produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, among others.

McCraney got together with the Muhlenberg production’s cast and creative team in February, via Skype. He shared some insights, answered questions, and engaged with the actors’ responses to the play.

Dwyer has surrounded himself with an accomplished creative team — which he says has somewhat allayed his concerns as a white director about taking artistic leadership of this project, in which most of the characters are people of color.

“What feels risky to me is making sure my white male privilege doesn’t upstage the heart of the story,” Dwyer says. “I was committed to having the story told, thinking it was probably okay for me to be a creative leader, but not by myself. I’m so fortunate to have some really brilliant, passionate artists of color around me, who are significant creative leaders on the piece.”

The production team includes managing dramaturg Dr. Sharrell Luckett, a Muhlenberg theater professor; accomplished costume designer Andy Jean; and Broadway wig and hair designer Bobbie Zlotnik. Samuel Antonio Reyes, who choreographed last summer’s acclaimed Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre production of “In the Heights,” and a veteran of the ballroom scene himself, has created the show’s extensive choreography.

The show also features makeup design by Joe Dulude II, who designed make-up for the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of “Wicked” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Dulude is the Baker Artist-in-Residence for the 2016-17 academic year, thanks to a grant from the Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation. He says his own involvement in the drag scene heavily influences his approach to the work.

“My drag is often about playing with the masculine and feminine,” Dulude says. “Since my own experiences in drag and working with other drag queens is so diverse, that’s what I’m bringing to the show: not just one style of drag but a combination of styles.”

Muhlenberg Junior Evan Brooks, who plays Ms. Nina/Wilson, one of the children of the House of Light, says the production is a vital performance opportunity for theater students at Muhlenberg.

“At this moment in our nation’s history, being able to participate in this production is nothing less than a gift,” Brooks says. “I think it’s essential to provide theatrical and educational experiences for under-represented artists, who aren’t acknowledged in the same way as majority-identifying students — and that’s what the production is doing.”

Dwyer says the show’s second act will feature a drag ball performance for which audience members will be invited onstage to serve as the crowd for the ball. The production also will feature a lobby display about the history of drag, coordinated by Luckett, and a uniquely interactive intermission.

“We want the audience to leave with an appreciation for drag culture, in all its spectacular diversity,” Dwyer says. “The mainstream gets an exceptionally narrow version of queer culture, when they get any version at all — and often it comes at the expense of other, more marginalized versions. We want to broaden their horizons a bit.”

“Wig Out!” plays March 30 – April 2. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8. The production is recommended for mature audiences.

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

You’re Invited – Free Arts Education Event For The Whole Community!

Three YAA photos

Hello Lehigh Valley Families!

Back by popular demand, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to present the second annual Young at Art Expo on March 11, 2017. Won’t you join us?

Our goal is to connect families to the arts community in an expo-style event that’s both engaging and educational. Held at Penn State Lehigh Valley from 10:00am to 2:00pm, we invite children of all ages and abilities to enjoy an entertaining and creative day – FREE to Lehigh Valley families!

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. Information will be available for classes and camps that are perfect for creative learners.

Come dance, sing, create and play! Enjoy fun with the whole family!

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS AND EXPLORE THE ARTS WITH:

Allegro Dance Studios
The Art Establishment
Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley
Banana Factory Arts Center
The Baum School of Art
Community Music School
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
The IceHouse Performing Arts Consortium
Let’s Play Books!
Mayura Academy of Dance
Mikayla’s Voice
Nurture Nature Center
Penn State Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Puertorrican Culture Preservation
Roey’s Paintbox
School of Rock
The Swain School
TLC Charter Arts

Enjoy FREE face painting provided by Funtastic Faces and Body Art!

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Gertrude Stein’s challenging ‘Listen To Me’ finds Vivid Adaption On Muhlenberg College Stage, Feb. 22-26

Allentown, PA — “Listen to Me” is a bittersweet adventure by Gertrude Stein — a love story and a cerebral frolic, in the face of planetary crisis. Directed by James Peck, Stein’s evocative, rarely produced play will be presented at Muhlenberg College, Feb. 22-26.

Written in 1936, Stein’s play is a piece of experimental staged poetry, in which characters laugh, love, philosophize, and struggle heroically to hold onto hope as their prospects dim.

“It has these themes of environmental catastrophe and looming disaster,” says Peck, a theater professor at Muhlenberg. “It asks some questions about the ways in which romance, love, and art matter in the context of a dire planetary situation.”

Peck has directed Stein before, and has also published articles about her theatrical work. He calls her “one of the most original and important theater thinkers of the 20th century,” and says that he wanted to share the experience of working on her plays with students.

In a few words, according to Peck, “Listen to Me” is arguably, partly, possibly a love story at the end of the world — but he resists the effort to impose a synopsis. The play is unusual in several ways: it has only a couple of clearly defined characters; most of the text isn’t so much dialog as it is poetry; and its scenes unfold with only the suggestion of a linear course of events. But Peck says that audience members who have the idea that the play is difficult or inaccessible will be quite surprised.

“I want people to understand that it’s not just ‘weird,’” Peck says. “It’s very deeply felt, it really starts from feeling — that Stein is deeply concerned about how people treat each other and about fairness in human relationships. I want them to know how moving her plays are and how accessible they are once you start to put them on their feet and figure out ways to put the language into actors’ bodies and create stage pictures around the words.”

To that end, the cast of 15 have been collaborating and experimenting their way through the text, finding the moments and phrases that resonate, and exploring ways in which to communicate that resonance to an audience.

“It’s a cooperative process,” says Xavier Pacheco, who plays Sweet William, one of the show’s two named characters. “The only way to rehearse this play is to work consistently through it all together and see where we end up. It’s a brilliant cast. It feels good to be working with people in a way that we’re all in it together.”

Scenic designer Tim Averill has found a design solution that echoes both the circumstance of the play and the process of its creation. It’s a dock, extending off stage from the top of a sphere — the earth, perhaps — on which words and images will be projected. It suggests the last visible piece of a sinking ship, on which the actors perch apprehensively.

“It’s a desperate place where people are trying to live,” Averill says. “It’s about too many people and too much stuff and too much light.”

The production also features an original score by Doug Ovens, who also collaborated with Peck on last season’s “Ulysses in Nighttown.” Ovens says the score will feature a “virtual chamber ensemble” of prerecorded woodwinds, percussion, and piano, as well as a “celestial soprano” derived for samples from recordings of his vocal pieces.

“My music revisits Modernist styles while striving to amplify ideas of love as well as confusion, conflict, and, hopefully, survival,” Ovens says.

Peck says he hopes all these elements will come together in a theatrical experience that feels, on the one hand, cautionary and anxious, and on the other, hopeful and celebratory — because, in these days, that’s how he feels as an artist and global citizen.

“Can we feel love and existential dread at the same time?” he asks. “I think that’s what Stein wants to know. It’s what I want to know. How do those things fit together? I think we can; I think we have to. And that’s what we’ve set out to do.”

“Listen to Me” plays Feb. 22-26. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8. The production is recommended for mature audiences. 

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

Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Announces Open Audition Dates

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre will hold open auditions on Feb. 26 and 27. Performers will be cast for the season’s mainstage productions: “Hair,” performing June 14 – July 2, and “My Fair Lady,” performing July 12-30.

The following audition details can also be found online, at muhlenberg.edu/smt.

Preliminary vocal auditions will be held for both “Hair” and “My Fair Lady” on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 12 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 11pm, and Monday, Feb. 27, from 5 to 10 p.m. All auditions will take place at Muhlenberg College, at the Baker Center for the Arts and the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance.

All auditioners must register in advance and schedule an audition. Auditioners should visit the Summer Music Theatre website, at muhlenberg.edu/smt, and follow the link to the registration form. Auditioners without internet access may call the Theatre & Dance office at 484-664-3087, during regular office hours before Thursday, Feb. 23.

All auditioners should prepare a 32-bar song selection from a Broadway musical written before 1975. Auditioners should bring properly marked sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Dance will not be a part of the preliminary audition, but will be included in callback auditions. Auditioners should bring two copies of their resumes and headshots.

For “Hair,” performers ages 18-30 are encouraged to audition.  For “My Fair Lady,” the director will be casting actors ages 16 and up, and older auditioners are encouraged to attend. Auditioners may audition for both productions.

All actors participating in Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre productions are paid a stipend. Out-of-town actors are provided with free housing. We will consider casting Equity members on guest artist contracts.

Auditioners who live too far away from the Allentown area or who are unable to attend auditions may submit a preliminary video audition. The video should consist of one song (see guidelines above). Please send a link to a video hosted on the internet; e.g., YouTube or Vimeo. Do not send attached files via email.

Auditioners who receive a callback must attend in person to be considered for a role. Callbacks will include dance and acting auditions, reading from the script.

Callbacks will be held on Monday, March 13, for “Hair” and Tuesday, March 14, for “My Fair Lady.” Auditioners must attend callbacks in person (not by video submission) unless previous arrangements have been made.

“My Fair Lady” will be directed by Charles Richter, with choreography by Karen Dearborn and musical direction by Ed Bara. Rehearsals are June 20 through July 11, Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.  Performances are June 12 through July 30, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Hair” will be directed by James Peck, with choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ken Butler. Rehearsals are May 23 through June 13, Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m and 7 to 11 p.m. Performances are June 14-July 2, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Non-performing opportunities are available for technicians and costumers. Carpenters, electricians, props technicians, light board and sound board operators, and stage crew are needed for productions. Costumers, first hand, stitchers, and wardrobe running crew are needed in the costume shop.

The application deadline for technicians, costumers, and administrative personnel is March 9. Applications can be found online at muhlenberg.edu/smt. Completed applications can be sent to smtcompany@muhlenberg.edu.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017

Randall 2 crop

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

At only 46 cents per citizen, one has to ask “What does the National Endowment for the Arts actually do for the citizens of this country?” Surprisingly, a lot.

The 2016 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts was $148 million dollars. Annually, the NEA awards more than 2,200 grants and cooperative agreements exceeding $130 million, funding the arts in all 50 states and six U.S. jurisdictions, including urban and rural areas, and reaching civilian and military populations.

As determined by the Americans for the Arts in their Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States generates $135.2 billion dollars of activity annually. This activity supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion dollars in revenue to local, state and federal governments.

That’s quite a healthy return on investment at less than four bits.

Economics aside, public funding for the arts validates the important role that the arts play in our lives. Arts are the highest form of expression. They have the power to make our lives better, heal emotional wounds, and spark initiatives, As a citizen, I would gladly support $5 of my tax dollars toward increasing the budget for the NEA. It would go a lot further in bringing people together in this country than spending $30 billion dollars for a wall.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

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Save the Date for Young at Art!

Young at Art Face Painting pic

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
lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art
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.

Meet Our Exhibiting Artist

Blue Glass

THOMAS AUGUSTA

January / February

“As a painter, I am more interested in how the subject appeals to me. I paint what I think is pleasing or compelling to the eye. My watercolors are more detailed than others, I try to bring in the viewer in with color, composition and detail.”

Thomas is a watercolor painter currently living in Bethlehem, PA, painting plein air and in his “Crow’s Nest Studio” at home. His inviting watercolor landscapes and still lives capture light and color, creating a balanced and interesting setting that tells a story.

Thomas’s exhibit will be on display in our office until the end of February – stop by and see the collection!

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Arts Alive 2017

Arts Alive 2017

Engage Your Mind & Spirit!

Join us in exploring the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

SPECIAL MEMBER PRICING FOR SERIES TICKET
Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

How Does Your Garden Show? Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Garden Design, Inc.
PURCHASE TICKETS
Music of Friends Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross
PURCHASE TICKETS
Wearable Sculpture Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Studio of Loretta Tryon
PURCHASE TICKETS
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Upcoming Performances

MORAVIAN COLLEGE MUSIC INSTITUTE

February 18 at 7:30pm
Sounds of New Orleans
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 19 at 2:00pm
Gamelan Gita Semara
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 26 at 4:00pm
An Afternoon of Jazz
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 16 at 7:30pm
Expressionism – The Art & the Music
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 19 at 7:00pm
Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Combo II
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 24 at 7:30pm
Moravian College BIG Band
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 4:00pm
Early Music Ensembles
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 7:00pm
Celtic Ensemble – “Heather & Thistle – Music of Scotland”
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 31 at 7:30pm
Moravian College Dance Company
Foy Hall, Moravian College

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MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY

February 23 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 24 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 25 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 26 at 2pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

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PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA

March 5 at 4pm
An Afternoon with Mozart
Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown

Engage Your Mind & Spirit With Arts Alive 2017!

ARTS ALIVE 2017

Arts Alive 2017

Engage Your Mind & Spirit!

Each year, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council showcases the creative process of a working artist in the region by visiting them behind-the-scenes.

The 2017 series will explore the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

SPECIAL MEMBER PRICING FOR ALL THREE EVENTS!

Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

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Garden-Design-Inc-image

How Does Your Garden Show?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Garden Design, Inc.

The series kicks off with the How Does Your Garden Show? event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Garden Design, Inc., with award-winning landscape architect Frederick Learey. Whether you like to entertain outdoors or seek sanctuary in nature or provide a playground for your family, you can make your landscape a reflection of your personality. Mr. Learey’s extensive experience from designing formal estate gardens to outdoor living projects including full outdoor kitchens and roof-covered spaces with outdoor heaters, sound and video, will captivate and inspire you.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

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Music of Friends

Saturday, June 17, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, experience the Music of Friends as SATORI introduces classical music selections in the ideal setting for chamber music. This quartet of flute, violin, cello, and classical guitar will showcase selections from a variety of musical periods and introduce new instruments.

Janet and Malcolm Gross welcome guests into their lovely home to enjoy the intimacy of SATORI’s music. By removing the stage in a salon-like atmosphere, guests will engage in a unique experience between artist and audience. The performance will be followed by a light luncheon.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

Wearable Sculpture

Sunday, October 15, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Studio of Loretta Tryon

The final offering, Wearable Sculpture, is a visit to the Coopersburg studio of painter and metalsmith Loretta Tryon on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Tryon finds inspiration for her jewelry from the images in her abstract paintings, creating and embellishing three-dimensional shapes with patinas and engraving. Her process visually combines motion and gesture in metal. The studio tour will highlight the evolution of her thirty year career as an artist.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

Muhlenberg College ‘Master Choreographers’ Dance Concert, Feb. 9-11, Displays Talents Of Acclaimed Choreographers, More Than 70 Dancers

Allentown, PA — The Muhlenberg College dance program will showcase two iconic re-stagings and one original piece from three world-renowned choreographers, as well as four world-premiere works by accomplished returning contributors, in its annual “Master Choreographers” concert, Feb. 9-11.

This year’s “Master Choreographers” features restagings of “Radical Severance,” choreographed by Cristina Perera, and “When We Fly,” choreographed by Orion Duckstein. The concert also features an original balletic piece, “Without Words,” by Trinette Singleton, as well as new works by four Muhlenberg dance faculty: Heidi Cruz-Austin, alumna of the Pennsylvania Ballet; Shelley Oliver, director of Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers; Randall Anthony Smith, répétiteur and assistant to choreographer Donald McKayle; and Jeffrey Peterson, former dancer with Danny Buraczeski’s Jazz dance.

“This concert presents a spectacular evening of dance,” says Karen Dearborn, founding director of Muhlenberg’s dance program, and the concert’s artistic director. “We are thrilled to showcase new work from Trinette Singleton and guest works by Cristina and Orion, as well as our fabulous faculty choreographers.”

Perera’s piece is funded by a Mellon Choreographers on Campus grant. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation brings established and emerging choreographers to the classrooms, studios, and stages of area colleges. The collaborative program explores the use of dance as an art form and how its creative powers can be infused across a liberal arts curriculum.

Perera has performed as a soloist and principal dancer around the world, with some of the most notable figures in the performing arts. A veteran of the Alvin Ailey Dance School, she has choreographed ballets, concert dance pieces, dance theatre, musicals, film and music videos in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. In 2008 Perera became artistic director of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria.” Perera received the 2010 Aesthetics Interaction prize from the Brazilian National Arts Foundation FUNARTE for one of her production “Constructions.”

“You’re going to see the kind of movement and dancing that you do not often see,” says the Lansing State Journal, “What Cristina does is very unique. She has a strong choreographic style.”

Duckstein’s “When We Fly” was originally choreographed in 2006 for Adelphia University, where he is currently a member of the dance faculty. Duckstein danced for the Paul Taylor Company for 11 years, and before that with Taylor 2, the outreach and performance arm of the company. During his tenure he danced pivotal roles in nearly every major Taylor work and served as Taylor’s choreographic assistant for several major works. Duckstein has set his own works in New York and throughout the country.

Trinette Singleton was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet for nearly 20 years. She was thrust into national prominence in 1967, appearing in Robert Joffrey’s multi-media ballet “Astarte.” She was also the first dancer to appear on the cover of the national news magazine “Time.” Currently, Trinette is co-artistic director of Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown, and she serves on the dance faculty at Muhlenberg and at DeSales University, Center Valley.

The annual “Master Choreographers” concert features premiere dance performances in a diverse selection of styles and genres, ranging from classical ballet to contemporary jazz, pointe, modern dance, and tap accompanied by live jazz music.

Performances of “Master Choreographers” will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for patrons 17 and under. Performances are in the Empie Theatre, in the Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. Information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 or muhlenberg.edu/dance.

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 has 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.

Choreographer Bios

Heidi Cruz-Austin began her dance training at the age of four at the Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy in Allentown. She went on to study at the School of American Ballet and the Pennsylvania Ballet. Cruz-Austin received an apprenticeship with the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1994 and joined the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1995. She danced numerous featured roles in her tenure there including leads for various choreographers such as George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Ben Stevenson, Alvin Ailey, Margo Sappington, Christopher d’Amboise and Matthew Neenan. In addition to dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Cruz-Austin danced with the Philadelphia-based company Ballet X and has performed as a guest artist throughout the United States and Europe. Cruz-Austin currently teaches for the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Muhlenberg College, The University of the Arts, and Temple University. Heidi received a 2008 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for her choreography and is currently the co-artistic director and resident choreographer of DanceSpora dance company.

Orion Duckstein danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 11 years, and before that with Taylor 2, the outreach and performance arm of the company. During his tenure he danced pivotal roles in nearly every major Taylor work, such as “Company B,” “Esplanade,” “Cloven Kingdom,” and Taylor’s own role in “Aureole.” Near the end of his performing career with the Taylor Company, Mr. Taylor chose Duckstein as his choreographic assistant for several dances. Before dancing for Taylor, Duckstein danced for noted choreographers Sung Soo Ahn, Peter Pucci, Robert Wood, and Margie Gillis. He still performs professionally, most recently joining Take Dance NY with choreographer Takehiro Ueyama for their 2015 New York season and summer tour. Duckstein has set his own choreography on New York-based companies Mazzini Dance Collective and Patricia Kenny Dance Collection and shown his work in many venues in New York and beyond, including the Downtown Dance Festival and the Jacob’s Pillow International Dance Festival. Duckstein has been artist-in-residence at colleges in Texas, California, and New England.

Shelley Oliver is a Canadian-born tap dancer, choreographer and educator. She has appeared internationally with some of the legends of the tap world, including Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slide, and Chuck Green. She is a founding member of Manhattan Tap and served as a co-artistic director and choreographer with the company touring concert halls and festivals in Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.  Oliver was the artistic director of the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers for 15 years, touring with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group throughout the northeast. Her television appearances include “Tap Dance in America” with Gregory Hines and “Star Search.” A dedicated teacher and educator, Oliver has conducted lecture demonstrations for Lincoln Center, New York City Public Schools and various universities throughout the United States. On faculty at Muhlenberg College, she directs the Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble, providing community outreach in the Allentown area. Oliver has produced a series of Tap Music for Tap Dancers CDs that have become a standard pedagogical tool in the tap dance world. More recently as a soloist she toured as guest artist with the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh and with Le Sextet Clic-Clac-Cloc in Geneva, Switzerland. She is the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Dance Educator Award from the Lehigh Valley Dance Consortium.

Cristina Perera had her dance education in classical ballet at the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Salle Pleyel in Paris, France. Her modern and contemporary education started in London at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre School and continued in New York at Alvin Ailey Dance School with a full merit scholarship. Perera has performed as a soloist and principal dancer around the world with various companies, as she has worked with some of the most notable figures in the performing arts, including Frederick Ashton, Flemming Flindt, Ulysses Dove, Judith Jamison, Mark Morris, Peter Sellars, Robert Wilson, John Adams, Philip Glass, George Tabori, Marcia Haydee and many others. She has choreographed ballets, concert dance pieces, dance theatre, musicals, film and music videos in many European countries, in Asia, North America and South America. Perera was one of eight choreographers chosen by Ballet Builders in New York to present original works, debuting her piece “Under Time.” In 2008 she became the artistic director of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria.” In 2010, Perera received the Asthetics Interaction prize from the Brazilian National Foundation for the Arts, FUNARTE, for one of her productions in Brazil. As a teacher she has taught in the School of Performing Arts Vienna, Austria; dance Festivals such as ImPuls Tanz (Vienna) and Tanz Bozen/Bolzano Danza (Italy); Dance Theatre Bralen (Bratislava, Slovakia); SUNY Purchase; and many other schools in Europe and the United States alike. Perera has given workshops and master classes at the National Theatre in Weimar, Germany; Maxim’s Dance Company (Brno, Czech Republic); the National Theatre of the Czech Republic; and Duncan Dance Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic, among many others. Currently she is working on her own projects, teaching and choreographing in Europe, the United States and Brazil.

Jeffrey Peterson is an assistant professor of dance at Muhlenberg, teaching studio coursework in jazz, modern, partnering, composition, and Laban Movement Analysis. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a certification in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals from Integrated Movement Studies. Early performing highlights include works by Chris Aiken, Zvi Gotheiner, Bill T. Jones, José Limón, Doug Varone, and Johannes Wieland. Peterson began his professional dance career in national tours with JazzDance by Danny Buraczeski. Since then, he has performed in the work of Clare Byrne, Edisa Weeks, and Stephan Koplowitz, and with the Minnesota Opera, among others. His choreographic work, called “poetic precision” by the Minneapolis StarTribune and “moving and heart-racingly joyous” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has been commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research at Judson Church, and Rhythmically Speaking. His choreography has been seen in venues in Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and around the Lehigh Valley. At Muhlenberg, he has choreographed for the last four “Master Choreographers,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Chicago.” Peterson’s ongoing creative and scholarly work includes choreographic projects as well as research on the application of Laban and Bartenieff Studies to dance and life.

Trinette Singleton was a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet for nearly 20 years. She was thrust into national prominence in 1967, appearing in the multi-media ballet “Astarte,” created on her by her mentor, Robert Joffrey. Singleton was the first American dancer to appear on the cover of the national news magazine Time. Following her performing years, she was administrative assistant to Robert Joffrey and ballet mistress for the company from 1979 to 1984.  In 1984, Singleton joined the faculty of The Joffrey Ballet School, New York City, teaching until 2004. In 2008, Trinette appeared as a guest artist in the Joffrey Ballet Company’s Tudor Centennial, in Chicago. Since 2000, she has been on the faculty of The Joffrey Texas Workshop, in San Antonio. She is prominently featured in the documentary, “The Joffrey Ballet: Mavericks of American Dance. Singleton serves as a director on the Arpino Foundation; she is also a member of Cecchetti USA and an honorary member of Cecchetti International Classical Ballet.  In 2014, she served as a judge during the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. Currently, Singleton is co-artistic director of Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown. She is also on the faculty at Muhlenberg College and DeSales University, Center Valley. She holds her Licentiate, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London, England, and her Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, DeSales University.

Randall Anthony Smith is a current dancer with Armitage Gone! Dance (New York City), Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre (New York City), and the Megan Flynn Dance Company (Philadelphia). He  serves as a répétiteur and assistant to choreographer Donald McKayle, having performed for McKayle’s Etude Ensemble for four years. Smith earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of California, Irvine. He maintains a practice of performing, restaging, and interpreting McKayle’s repertory, creating his own dance works, and teaching dance nationally. In 2012, Smith performed with acclaimed ballerina and choreographer Jodie Gates in “Mein Zimmer.” Other recent performances include works by Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Shen Wei, and zoe|juniper, as well as “WOW” (2014), an experimental opera created by Joe Diebes, Christian Hawkey, and Adam Levin. Smith’s recent credits include a restaging of McKayle’s “The Fight” (from the musical “Golden Boy,” starring Sammy Davis, Jr.) for the American Dance Machine of the 21st Century (2015). Last summer Smith performed in Philip Glass’s opera “Witches of Venice,” commissioned by Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York. On May 12, 2016, Smith received a Distinguished Alumni Award at the 46th Annual Lauds and Laurels Awards Ceremony at the University of California, Irvine.

Three-Event Arts Alive Series

Arts Alive invites members who are eager to step behind the scenes of an arts experience and rub shoulders with the creative process. The 2017 series will explore the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. All three events will take place at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Seating is limited and preregistration is required at LVArtsCouncil.org. The admission fee for each event is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. There is special pricing of $60 for members only who purchase a three-event series ticket.

The series kicks off with the How Does Your Garden Show? event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Garden Design, Inc., with award-winning landscape architect Frederick Learey. Whether you like to entertain outdoors or seek sanctuary in nature or provide a playground for your family, you can make your landscape is a reflection of your personality. Mr. Learey’s extensive experience from designing formal estate gardens to outdoor living projects including full outdoor kitchens and roof-covered spaces with outdoor heaters, sound and video, will captivate and inspire you.

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, experience the Music of Friends as Satori introduces classical music selections in the ideal setting for chamber music. Janet and Malcolm Gross welcome guests into their lovely home to enjoy the intimacy of performance, followed by a light luncheon.

The final offering, Wearable Sculpture, is a visit to the Coopersburg studio of painter and metalsmith Loretta Tryon on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Tryon finds inspiration for her jewelry from the images in her abstract paintings, creating and embellishing three-dimensional shapes with patinas and engraving. Her process visually combines motion and gesture in metal. The studio tour will highlight the evolution of her thirty year career as an artist.

Whose Business Is The Arts?

Throughout 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has been gathering data for the Americans for the Arts national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity V. Once every five years the Arts Council participates in this research by collecting information from cultural nonprofits and their audiences in the counties of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton. Thanks to your participation, we were able to provide nearly 100 organizational surveys and 800 audience surveys from the Lehigh Valley.

Americans for the Arts will analyze the data over the next several months and provide our region with its own detailed report in June 2017. At that time, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Valley Partnership will co-host the Whose the Business is the Arts? public forum to release the results to the community and address challenges of mutual concern.

You are invited to serve on the planning committee for creating the agenda for the Whose Business is the Arts? Public Forum. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2017, from 4:00 to 5:30pm, in the 2nd Floor conference facility in the Butz Corporate Center, 840 Hamilton Street in Allentown.

Please RSVP your intention to attend to rforte@lvartscouncil.org by January 18, 2017. I look forward to working with you.

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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.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – December 2016

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DECEMBER 2016

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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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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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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!

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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

‘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.

Free Event – Meet The Artists Of Eternally Art!

cordially invites you to a free event…


Meet & Greet
the region’s emerging entrepreneurs

with Lehigh Valley LaunchBox
and the artists of Eternally Art

Michael Kehs | Peter Lewnes | Deborah Slahta | Dana Van Horn


Enjoy refreshments and learn about our newest Arts Council program
Eternally Art
preserving the memories of a loved one with
handmade vessels created by local artists

VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2016
5:00 to 7:30pm
Penn State Lehigh Valley
2809 Saucon Valley Rd, Center Valley
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the sole agent for Eternally Art, developed in partnership with Heintzelman Funeral Home, Inc. and Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, a signature program of the Invent Penn State Initiative that propels business startups.

‘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.