By Brooke Schelly
As the new school year starts, class work can become overwhelming; it may seem as if there is no end in sight. Look no more! The Galvin Fine Arts Center is here on campus to give everyone a well deserved break from their daily life. Every year the Galvin Fine Arts Center at St. Ambrose University announces the theme for its upcoming season. During last year’s season we “expected the unexpected,” with musicals like Spamalot and a visit from award-winning jazz singer Shemekia Copeland. This year show goers can “take a break from reality” with an entirely new lineup of visiting artists and theatrical performances.
To start the visiting artist season off, “Dwelling in Minutiae” takes the stage. Anaitte Vaccaro, a digital scenographer, brings a blend of dance, music, film, and storytelling to the Galvin main stage. Her unique blend of real life and digital images will have anyone guessing at what is real and what is digital.
Vaccaro joins Ambrose in a weeklong residency. She’ll spend the week working with students at the Figge Art Museum as well as art students here at Ambrose. Her performance takes place Sat., Sept. 13.
Break in Reality, brings a group of cello players to the main stage in October. Their music style ranges from classical to contemporary. Recently their cover of the “Game of Thrones” theme has created a lot of buzz on Youtube. Break in Reality writes their own music as well as perform covers of songs from popular mainstream groups such as Radiohead, Passenger and Metallica.
Break in Reality will also take up a weeklong residency in the Quad Cities. They plan to tour schools and teach workshops to students interested in performing music. Break in Reality performs at the Galvin Fine Arts Center on Sat., Oct., 25.
Galvin’s third visiting artist is Ensemble Español. This dance company’s mission is the “presentation, preservation and promotion of the classical, folkloric, flamenco and contemporary dance and music traditions of Spain.” Each dance promises exciting costumes and movements sure to keep the Spanish spirit alive. Ensemble Español performs Sat., Jan. 31.
Finally, St. Ambrose University is visited by Andrea Gibson. Gibson’s thought-provoking slam poetry about gender, global, politics, and justice issues is not necessarily for the faint of heart. Most of Gibson’s advertisements state that her performances are for those 18 and older, due to potentially offensive language. Gibson wraps up our visiting artist season on Fri., Mar. 27.
Eileen Eitrheim, director of Marketing for the Galvin Fine Arts Center, had a hard time choosing who she was looking forward to seeing the most.
“I would have to say Anaitte Vaccaro. For me, when I saw her in New York, it was so different from what I was used to going to see, such a twist,” she explained, “It was all these old things that we’ve used combined with all these new things we’re just starting to explore in terms of expression, that it was so vibrant, and I left really excited about what I’d seen. It had my brain thinking.”
The theatre department has also announced its season. Six shows will be performed, four on the main stage and two in the studio theatre.
The first show is a musical written by Stephen Schwartz called Working. The production follows a group of middle class workers and tells their stories through music. Working runs Oct. 3-5. Following the musical is St. Ambrose’s children’s show.
Cat in the Hat opens Dec. 6-7 and will be performed for thousands of young students the week prior. The show tells the well-known story of the cat, his hat and all of the silly antics he encounters. The third show in St. Ambrose Theatre Department’s season switches gears.
Glengarry Gle Ross is a play brought to popularity by David Mamet. A group of desperate salesmen in Chicago real estate try to get by in their hard world. In typical Mamet nature, the show is uncensored. See Glengarry Glen Ross Feb. 20-22.
Closing the 2014-15 theatre season is a new production created by Professor Dan Rairdin-Hale and his troupe of actors. This will be a celebration of an old acting style called Commedia Dell’arte. The storyline is filled with improvisation and acrobatics, clever jokes and witty dialogue.
“It gives a lot of power and creativity to the actor,” Eitrheim says about the upcoming Commedia production,” which is very different then how we traditionally direct.” Join in the laughter and fun Apr. 17-19.
Performances on the Galvin Fine Arts Center main stage are free for all Ambrose students. To reserve tickets, call 563.333.6251 or visit the box office Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.