With plans of having this first “Dock Party” become an annual event, the Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania unveiled its 2011–2012 seasons on the stage of Fisher Auditorium on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. The event, attended by nearly 125 contributors and supporters, included announcing the events of Ovations!, IUP’s new touring performing arts series.
David Werner, IUP’s interim president, addressed the group, stating that the university is fully committed to providing quality arts for the community while making sure that “the students remain at the center of all we do.” He went on to say that the College of Fine Arts is uniquely qualified to provide the vehicle for delivering culture and entertainment so that everyone may benefit.
Gerald Intemann, IUP’s vice president of Academic Affairs and provost, stated that the missions of the university and the Lively Arts are “inextricably connected. They work together to ensure that everyone shares in the resources, the expertise, and the commitment to the arts that we have to offer. We are proud to share this with you.” He added that “we are committed to being good neighbors and to offer all our audiences the best we possibly can. This, we promise.”
Speaking on behalf of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau, Director Penny Perman said, “The past, present, and future performances encompassing music, theater, dance, and visual arts, the mission that the Lively Arts has set forth to accomplish, is succeeding. What a great opportunity for a county tourist bureau to also have such an infinite series of performances to promote.”
The inaugural season of Ovations! will open with previously announced Tony Award-winning performer Bernadette Peters. She will perform on September 15 May 4, 2011 as the year’s Helwig Distinguished Artist, with a twenty-eight-piece orchestra to be assembled by IUP. [Please note: Due to a scheduling conflict, the date for the Bernadette Peters performance has changed.]
Holding to the promise of also presenting Broadway musicals, Ovations! will feature two productions produced and managed out of New York City. The first, to be presented October 21, will be four-time Tony Award-winner In the Heights. In addition to the show’s awards in 2008 for Best Musical and Best Score, it also won a Grammy Award for best cast album that year.
Closing the Ovations! inaugural season will be the highly popular Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks. This fun, bawdy, musical comedy is based on the dryly humored movie of the same name. It will be presented April 17 16 in Fisher Auditorium.
Nine other performances will be offered in the series, including the theatrically spectacular Yamato: the Drummers of Japan; the simultaneously talented and hilarious Austrian-based septet Mnozil Brass; the return of the popular Sacred Song Sacred Dance by the Mystical Arts of Tibet; and a tap dance performance titled “India Jazz Suites.”
The season also includes an Irish Christmas performance by award-winning Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers performing with her band, Immigrant Soul. This concert will also include a performance with Ivers and Indiana’s popular gospel choir Voices of Joy.
Two other bands in the lineup include the bluegrass and jazz fusion group the DePue Brothers Band and the Louisiana-based Cajun band Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole.
Classical offerings on the series call for the return of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; the chamber ensemble Cordis, performing newer classical music; and Spanish-born clarinetist José Franch Ballester, whose performance will include a duet with David Martynuik, IUP professor and director of the Marching Band.
Kipp Gallery also announced its plans for 2011–2012. Kyle Houser, a faculty member of the Department of Art who directs gallery activities, listed several exhibits planned. The offerings include one by sculptor Bonnie Collura; artworks by Joelle Dietrick; and an exhibit curated by Houser featuring eight contemporary ceramacists.
Michael Hood, dean of the College of Fine Arts, provided the announcement of University Museum plans, which begin with the annual gala titled “Eine Kleine Kit Kat Klub.” Exhibits include a fifty-year retrospective of visual artist Paul Binai in the Fall and works by IUP Art faculty members in the Spring.
On hand to announce the theater, dance theater, and music theater series presented by the Department of Theater and Dance and the Department of Music were Theater chairperson Brian Jones and IUP Dance Theater director Holly Boda-Sutton.
Combined, these groups will present seven productions, including a new drama, Lindsey’s Oyster; Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters; and the restoration comedy The Gentleman Dancing Master.
Dance Theater will present two productions, including “The Alan Parsons Movement Project” in October and “Dance Winds,” a collaboration with the IUP Chamber Winds, in April.
Music Theater will present a double bill of one-act operas by Gian-Carlo Menotti in December, including The Old Maid and the Thief and The Telephone. In February, Music Theater will team up with Theater-by-the-Grove and present the rock-scored musical of gamesmanship, Chess.
Music Chairperson Jack Stamp announced the four concerts of the Sound Choices series, which showcases the premiere events of the students and faculty. In addition to Music’s collaboration with Dance Theater on “Dance Winds,” concerts include a performance by the Litton Quartet, the popular Band in Review, and a vocal concert titled “The American Art Song.”
In closing, Hank Knerr, director of the Lively Arts, stated, in the early stages of planning for this new series and the season, “we promised to present Broadway musicals, to announce a season of shows earlier than we can ever remember, and to significantly increase our already active arts-in-education outreach.”
He added, “We promised an experience filled with diversity of cultures, genres, and ideas. And we promised offerings that, in combination with events at the Kovalchick Complex, would provide the students and the community with a full spectrum of cultural and entertainment events greater than IUP has ever offered. We are thrilled to report that these promises have been kept.”
The Lively Arts is also on target to send out its season brochure by the middle of June, which will include an order form. Anyone who has joined the Premiere Club, a group of individuals who have donated to the Ovations! series, by June 1 will receive advance notification of final dates, prices, subscription packages, and the like.
Anyone joining the Premiere Club at the Designer level or higher before June 1, which starts at $250, will receive at least a ten-day window to reserve seats in advance of all other subscribers.
For more information about the Lively Arts or to be placed on its mailing list, call 724-357-2547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.