Fall 2014 at the UMaine School of Performing Arts

imageHey, the 2013-14 previews of the UMaine School of Performing Arts calendars were so much fun, we figured we’d come back for more! From music to theatre to dance, performed by students, faculty, and guests, you don’t need to look much further than the 04469, or even the Class of 1944 Hall, for your on-campus culture fix. As always, the full calendar is online at the SPA’s website, and tickets are free with a MaineCard (and not very expensive without one…)  So read up and get in the know about the performing arts in Orono.



October 9 & November 13, 7:30PM. Emerging Dance. Minksy Recital Hall.
I have no idea what this is, but I wish I did. It sounds pretty cool. If it’s anything like this, it’ll be worth it in spades.

October 24-26, 30-31, & November 1, varying times. Little Shop of Horrors. Hauck Auditorium.
You know the story… You know the show (or the movie, perhaps?) But you don’t know it like Marcia Douglas (Director of last year’s ‘Metamorphoses‘) will be directing it. As with ‘Metamorphoses,’ Marcia’s shows are quite ambitious, as she challenges not only the actors but especially the talented tech crew at UMaine right now. I’m looking forward to this one. Plus, rumor has it that Ben McNaboe is the Musical Director. I don’t often say to go to a show for the Musical Director (sorry, Musical Directors…), but Ben was the standout in February’s ‘Grease‘ orchestra, and I’d be excited to see what he’s got up his sleeve. Or baton? Either way.

November 8, 7:30PM & November 9, 2PM. University Singers. Minsky Recital Hall.
University Singers concerts are always a good time – they have a little bit of fun with things, and they’re talented, to boot. If you don’t mind mingling with parents coming to see their kids perform, it’s certainly worth the price of admission. Plus, it might be one of the only places to be guaranteed a Dr. Dennis Cox sighting, following his retirement last year…

November 14, 7:30PM. Loadbang Ensemble. Minsky Recital Hall.
What am I gonna do, NOT preview something called Loadbang Ensemble?!? Loadbang Ensemble is a New York-based chamber group that, despite drawing on centuries’ worth of musical tradition, is firmly rooted in the 21st century. They look like hipsters and sound like the soundtrack to a particularly off-kilter Terry Gilliam film. (This is neither a compliment nor an insult.) They are certainly very talented, and I personally like what they’re doing to introduce new music. But you would be advised to have a listen for yourself before getting that ticket.

December 7, 2PM. Yuletide Concert. Collins Center for the Arts.
Before you cram for finals or head out to a holiday party, get in the jingle bell mood with all your favorite Christmas carols, from O Holy Night to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. (OK, maybe not that last one, but you never know…) If they’re taking requests, I’m asking for this:

December 8, 7:30PM. Underdog Showcase. Cyrus Pavilion.
The Underdog Showcase is one of the cooler events of the Theatre Department’s semester – short plays (10-15 minutes) directed by students, acted by students, produced/designed by students… Students from every major, not just theatre kids, get into the act, here. You get the picture. I even directed one of these, back in the day. (It wasn’t very good. I’m much more of a stage manager than director…) But we’re not talking about me, here – it’s for the students! Spend a couple of hours taking in some fun short plays, and maybe you see that gal/guy you’re crushing on from Bio 101 acting in a slapstick comedy and you’ll have something to talk about, what do I know?

December 11-13, 7:30PM. Fall Dance Showcase. Hauck Auditorium.
As I’ve said before, this is a phenomenal show that doesn’t get the love it should. Go for the music. Go for the creative expression. Go for the tremendous athletic ability. Go for the tight bodies, if that’s where your head’s at (male and female, now, folks…Equal Opportunity Blogger, here.) It’s worth it. Just trust me.

There you have it. The cream of the crop from our performing Black Bears this fall… Stay tuned in January or so for our Spring Preview. Now, I don’t want to hear you saying there’s nothing to do… Go get some culture!



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