Season preview: Fine arts schedule jam-packed for school year

Lifestyle Reporter
The Performing Arts Center will soon be hosting seasons and projects from the theater, music and dance departments.

The Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance plans to showcase a variety of performances during the academic year. Students should be on the lookout for concerts, plays, operas, exhibitions and collaborations within departments.

Theatre Department

The theater department is set to host a multitude of main stage and black box productions this year.

View from the Bridge, a one-act drama written by Arthur Miller and directed by Melissa Utley, theater graduate student, will run from October 6-11 as the department’s season opener.

J. Robert Moore, Evita director and theater graduate student, said musical theater at the university has grown immensely over the past few years.

“The musical theater program has specifically blossomed,” Moore said. “The talent level coming out of Texas State is equal to some of the major performing arts universities in the United States.”

Moore said Evita, which runs November 17-22 in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre, is sure to leave an impression on audience members of all ages.

“It’s going to be a big splashy Broadway musical,” Moore said. “The music is recognizable and also very emotional and stirring. This is a show that I don’t think people would leave and say, ‘I thought that was boring.’”

Amelia Bahr, director of Romeo and Juliet and theater graduate student, said the department will end its season with the Shakespearian play April 19-24.

Bahr said this particular show should be familiar to audiences because of its multiple retellings throughout history.

“This is a story that everyone knows, even if they think they don’t know it,” Bahr said. “Romeo and Juliet has become a part of our mythology.”

Bahr said she hopes to see the community take advantage of every production this season.

“We have such a great season this year,” Bahr said. “I am not too sure which one I’m the most excited for because they are all great names, and I hope people enjoy seeing and hopefully go to all of them.”

Music Department

The Texas State School of Music will have an abundance of showcases throughout the year, including their ensemble, faculty artist and guest artist series.

In addition to showcases, the department will also be putting on two operas. Samuel Mungo, H.M.S Pinafore director, said the show will run Oct. 22-25.

Mungo said the comedic opera’s many relatable moments make it entertaining and enjoyable for all audience members.

“It is going to be an absolute blast,” Mungo said. “It is really silly, and people are going to have a great time at it. Many people may hear the name and not know it, but they’ll know the music.”

Carlos De los Santos, exploratory sophomore, said he has looked forward to the music departments new season ever since he saw his first production last year.

“I saw a guest artist show last semester, and I really enjoyed it,” Santos said. “I would tell anyone to go see a show put on by the music department. It’s so easy to access.”

Mungo said the opera will include collaborations between the musical theater, dance and music departments.

“We all try to make art and we all try to put on some art,” Mungo said. “Our art students will learn the craft and the art of what that they want to do, and they understand that everybody has to play a role.”

Dance Department

The Texas State Dance Division will open their season with Dancestry Sept. 11-12. LeAnne Smith, dance director, said the showcase will take audiences though a brief history of dance using student choreography.

“It’s exciting,” Smith said. “Dance has been around for centuries, and it’s nice to see how some of it has originated and how they are all tied together.”

Smith said it is important to have dance students choreograph their own productions.

“We teach our students the tools they need to know,” Smith said. “I like to see how the tools we have given them come into play when they get a chance to choreograph for themselves.”

Jenn Barragan, respiratory care freshman, said she is excited to see more showcases this season.

“I used to dance, and I was blown away by the student showcase I saw,” Barragan said. “It just shows they take it seriously and put on a good show.”

Smith said she has seen the department flourish into one of the state’s largest dance programs during her 30 years at Texas State.

“I was one of the few,” Smith said. “I was a physical education major with an emphasis in dance, and now we have hundreds of dance students representing our department.”

Follow Denise Cervantes on Twitter at @cervantesdenise.