NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS -Through the course of half a century, the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University has expanded what began as a two-event series of nationally acclaimed artists to the current University Series, a collection of five national touring events, four College of Fine Arts productions and four free art exhibitions.
"We proudly invite the Greater East Texas community to join us in our year-long celebration of the University Series' golden anniversary by taking advantage of the great line-up of artists we have booked for our Season 50!" said Dr. John W. Goodall, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts.
The season begins Friday, Sept. 10, with the opening of the annual "SFA Faculty Exhibition" at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House. This exhibition of recent works of art by SFA studio faculty enables East Texans to see the vast and diverse pool of talent within the School of Art, explained Christian Cutler, SFA director of galleries. The show runs through Saturday, Oct. 30.
On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the internationally acclaimed Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra will present a program that includes featured piano soloist Gabriela Imreh performing Bach's Concerto in D minor. Known for its innovative programming, the Philadelphia Virtuosi is directed by Daniel Spalding, a former member of the SFA music faculty.
The SFA Wind Ensemble will present "The Music of Michael Daugherty" on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Daugherty, who is one of the nation's most frequently commissioned, programmed and recorded living composers, will be present for the concert featuring SFA's premiere band and SFA Associate Professor Christopher Ayer on clarinet.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird will perform a concert of contemporary classical music. Hailed by the New Yorker as "friendly, unpretentious and highly skilled," the group will be presenting its kinetic program, "The Only Moving Thing," which includes "Double Sextet" by Steve Reich and "singing in the dead of the night," a collaborative effort of several composers and choreographer.
"Storm Chaser," a collection of photographs by extreme weather photographer Jim Reed, will open at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House on Friday, Nov. 5, and run through Saturday, Jan. 15. Lectures about severe weather and a display of artifacts from Hurricane Katrina and the Category 5 tornado that hit Greensburg, Kan. will accompany the exhibition.
The SFA Schools of Theatre and Music will present the Pulitzer Prize and seven-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" Tuesday, Nov. 16, through Saturday, Nov. 20. This delightfully irreverent comedy follows the rise of a lowly window washer up the corporate ladder where power, sex, ambition and greed are the norm, explained director Jack Heifner, SFA playwright-in-residence.
Vast optical glass-tiled murals that appear to come to life, change and move as the viewer passes by are included in "Rufus Butler Seder: Lifetiles" which opens Thursday, Dec. 2, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House. The installations created by the optical artist, inventor and filmmaker can be over 70 feet long and are made up of 8-inch square LIFETILES. The show runs through Saturday, March 26.
Pops sensation Steve Lippia and his band will present "Simply Sinatra Christmas" on Friday, Dec. 17.
"In this wonderful blend of holiday cheer and memories, Steve will sing Christmas favorites such as 'Let it Snow' and 'White Christmas' as well as 'Come Fly With Me,' 'New York, New York' and other Sinatra standards, all in the style of Ol' Blue Eyes himself," Goodall said.
SFA is the first stop for a traveling exhibition, "The Edge of Life: Forest Pathology Art," which opens Friday, Jan. 21, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House. The show includes works by SFA and ecological artists and has a three-part goal: to inspire culture through art, present a wide range of innovative approaches for making art, and educate viewers about forest pathology. It runs through Saturday, March 26.
On Friday, Jan. 28, The Reduced Shakespeare Company, (aka Bad Boys of Abridgement) will present "The Complete World of Sports (abridged)" in which the three-man comedy troupe "sprints through the world's great sporting events at record-breaking speed," explained Sylvia Bierschenk, SFA director of Arts Information. "The evening is packed with tricky wordplay, acrobatic puns, and physical gags that will delight both sports lovers and sports haters."
The SFA School of Theatre will transport the classic comedy of misunderstandings, "She Stoops to Conquer," to Texas' old west on Tuesday, March 1, through Saturday, March 5. SFA Professor Alan Nielsen directs the play in which a perceptive rancher's daughter finds a unique way to get her shy, would-be suitor to fall in love with her.
Tuesday, March 31, through Saturday, April 2, the SFA School of Music will present one of the masterpieces of operatic literature, sung in English. The production (title to be announced in the fall) will include an orchestra, set and costumes, and, of course, beautiful music and voices, Bierschenk said.
The 2010-2011 University Series will close on Thursday, April 7, with "American Bluegrass Masters Tour," a concert featuring Grammy winner J.D. Crowe, Grand Ole Opry legend Bobby Osborne and some of the hottest singers and pickers on the planet, according to Goodall. "The entire family can enjoy an evening of traditional bluegrass presented by these amazing performers!"
All concerts and staged productions on the University Series will begin at 7:30 p.m. in W.M. Turner Auditorium, and all seats are reserved. Art openings begin at 6 p.m. Regular hours for The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House are 12:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Season tickets for the University Series are now on sale through the Fine Arts Box Office. They range from $125 to $185, with discounts available for seniors, students, youth and SFA faculty and staff.
"These are fantastic prices for quality entertainment, " exclaimed Diane Flynn, Fine Arts Box Office manager. "Season tickets provide a 25-percent savings over single tickets, and patrons can have their same seat throughout the season."
"Plus, we offer two season ticket options," she said. "The classic package includes one ticket to each of the nine performances, and the TixMix package allows the patrons to create their own nine-ticket season."
Single-event ticket purchases for the University Series or any of the other performances presented through the College of Fine Arts can be made beginning Monday, Aug. 16.
For more information on the 2010-2011 season, visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211B of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.