Coming to a theater (very) near you
Runnals is home to multiple performance spaces, where students will be able to find several exciting options for entertainment this spring.
- Colby Museum to reopen in July
- Senior follows artistic passion
- Chamber present Charpentier’s “Actéon”
The many theater and dance enthusiasts on campus are working tirelessly to put up shows for the final seven weeks of the academic year. From a dance show to a musical extravaganza, the performing arts schedule at Colby is still filled with a diverse host of productions to suit every palate.
Associate Professor and Department Chair Lynne Conner asserted that her role is to encourage students to push the envelope and to take their performances to new levels. “When I came [to Colby] in 2008, I had a mandate that we would offer a season of work which would excite the community and benefit the students,” she said.
With only a few weeks left in the semester, it is time to mark up those calendars and make your way to Runnals. The following is a list, according to date, of what’s coming up:
Broadway Musical Revue April 5-6, 7:30 p.m. Page Commons
Planning to reel in the laughs is Broadway Musical Revue (BMR), with their spring shows coming up on April 5, 6 and 7 in Page Commons. The production will feature a variety of numbers from Broadway musicals, some well-known and others more obscure. Songs from Chicago, Follies, Pippin, Big River and Legally Blonde: The Musical, among others, will be showcased.
BMR member Julie MacLean ’15 talked about the process of selecting numbers for the show: “Our directors [Trip Venturella ’12, Kendall Hatch ’13 and Sarah Fensore ’13] went through what has been done in past semesters,” she said.
“All members are allowed to give some input, although the directors do come up with the final set list. I think we picked really good numbers [that are] not overly done,” she added.
The show will also feature choreography by Lindsay DiBartholomeo ’14, Emilie Jensen ’15 and Ryan Winter ’13. Be on the lookout for beloved BMR traditions, such as the Colby number, where lyrics to a song are changed into something Colby-related, and the senior number, to be performed by the graduating members of the group.
This Time April 13-14, 7:30 p.m. Strider Theater
Coming up on April 13 and 14 in the Strider Theater is “This Time,” the department’s spring dance concert. The show will feature the works of a number of professional choreographers, including Colby’s own Assistant Professor of Dance Annie Kloppenberg.
The concert will showcase the work of her dance improvisation company, “Like You Mean It.” The dance form Kloppenberg’s company practices allows for more room to exhibit the performers’ creativity, as all the movements are created in the moment.
“This Time” will also feature the work of guest choreographer Paul Matteson, “a hot, young choreographer in the national scene.” Matteson’s dance will involve Colby students who auditioned for a chance to work with him and learn from his extensive experience in the industry.
Powder and Wig Presents: Don Juan in Chicago April 20-21 Mary Low Coffeehouse
To cap its 2011-12 season, Powder and Wig will be showcasing Don Juan in Chicago, penned by one of America’s best comedic playwrights, David Ives. The play will be put up on April 20 and 21, in the Mary Low Coffeehouse, and will be directed by Joshua Rothenberg ’14.
“It’s a comedy about sex, and is loosely based on the Don Juan myth of a man who goes around sleeping with numerous women,” Rothenberg said, “however, we also investigate the meaning of life, but do so in a comedic manner.”
In the play, Don Juan, acted by Venturella, hits a mid-life crisis in 1599. As a result, he sells his soul to the devil to acquire immortality, under the condition that he sleeps with different women each day before midnight. In the process, wacky hijinks ensue. “It’s a small, intimate show with just eight people in the cast,” Rothenberg said, “The space is atypical. It’s fun; it’s the kind of show where no matter how many times you watch it, the jokes are still funny.”
Performance Lab Series: Move April 26-28, 7:30 p.m. Cellar Theater
The last week in April, the department will present the inaugural season of their Performance Lab Series (PLS). Conner was very excited about this show, which she called a “student-centered performance laboratory.”
This year’s PLS production is titled, “Move: A Summer in 1963.” The show was conceptualized and is heralded by student dancer and choreographer Delaney McDonough ’13. The piece is about racial issues during the 1960s, as experienced by a couple of movers (hence, the pun in the title).
To choose the show, Conner said, “[The faculty] got proposals from Theater and Dance majors and we chose the strongest proposal. We give the students resources, space and faculty mentorship to put up the production. In turn, they get to explore the rigor of the theater and dance fields with the help of faculty members who have professional careers in these fields.”
Conner could not help but feel pride for the success of the department’s current season. “I feel proud of my colleagues and all the students who have been involved in our shows this season,” she said. “I feel especially proud of that fact the our shows are so well-attended by Colby students, faculty, staff and members of the Waterville community. We get to put these different groups together to reflect on important issues. When I see that happen, I say to myself, ‘I’ve been successful; this is good work.’”
Rothenberg is also very proud of the community spirit that has become associated with the theater. As the Publicity Chair of Powder and Wig, Colby’s student-run theater group, Rothenberg has been involved in many productions and has seen the diversity of the people who come to see their shows.
“We put on shows, partly because we enjoy it, [but also] partly because it’s wonderful to see the faces of people you don’t necessarily see as often,” he said. “You take a risk when you come see a show. You say to yourself, ‘I’ll try this and see what happens.’”