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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Music, art, theater rev up for fall

By Annie Lindquist
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 1, 2004

With classes in full swing and campus life buzzing once again, the music, theater and art departments at St. Olaf are busy preparing and planning their fall events.

The St. Olaf theatre department, maintaining its schedule of two main stage productions per semester, will both premiere a new play and revive an older, but still-provocative show this fall. Regarding the former, Five Guys Theater Company will produce Perpetua by Vincent Delaney as part of the theater departments fall production season.

Perpetua was selected by the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis to debut in their annual PlayLabs festival. The Playwrights Center of Minneapolis is one of the most significant American organizations for new playwrights, Artistic Director and Artist-in-Residence Gary Gisselman said.

Perpetua centers on two sisters grieving the death of their father; the play focuses on the ways in which the sisters explore relationships and are affected by loss.

Delaney will attend the St. Olaf production of Perpetua and host a discussion following an evening performance of the show; he will also take part in several theater classes while on campus. Perpetua will be held Oct. 13-16 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 16-17 at 2:00 p.m. in the Ralph Haugen Theatre.

The plays Wintertime, by Charles Mee and Self-Torture and Strenuous Activity, by Harry Kondoleon will also be produced by the Five Guys Theater Company, rounding out Five Guys 2004-2005 repertoire.

Michael Wellers popular play Moonchildren, written in the 1970s, will be performed in November. This play conveys the reactions of college students to the Vietnam War in cleverly funny yet provocative ways.

When considering the current war in Iraq, this production may carry the same impact that the Laramie Project  a documentary the department produced two years ago  had at the time of its production (the play was written about and performed shortly after the death of a homosexual Wyoming man, Matthew Shephard). Associate Professor of Theatre and Director of Media Studies William Sonnega will direct Moonchildren.

Moonchildren can be seen Nov. 12-13 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Elizabeth Kelsey Theatre. All tickets are free for students, faculty and staff.

The theatre department is not the only campus organization preparing fun fall events. After a busy year celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the St. Olaf Music Department, this semesters full schedule is part of the regular excitement of music at St. Olaf, Professor of Music and Department Chair Dan Dressen said.

This semester, approximately 10 guest artists will perform on campus. Two recitals in particular will satiate audiences appetite for Norwegian culture. These include Karen Solgards hardanger fiddle recital on Oct. 3 and the Nordic Voices concert of early to contemporary music on Oct. 21. The Rose Ensemble, a group based out of the Twin Cities, will offer more early music at a recital on Oct. 1 in collaboration with St. Olafs own Early Music Singers.

Just as the music department is not lacking in activity, its guest artists are not lacking critical acclaim. The Rosalyra String Quartet, comprised of principal players from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, will hold a recital on Dec. 10. Also, vocalist Freda Herseth of the University of Michigan will perform in Urness Recital Hall on Oct. 18. Assistant Professor of Voice Anne Adams has been campaigning to bring Herseth to St. Olaf for years.

Showings in the art department this semester find resources across the globe, and faculty as well as student art. Flaten Art Museums current show, Body Maps, features paintings by South African women living with HIV. An improvisational dance piece led by Assistant Professor of Dance Sherry Saterstrom at the exhibits opening will be re-enacted in the Companydance Informal Family Weekend on Oct. 8.

Other upcoming events in Flaten include a faculty show comprised of drawings of Thai temples by Associate Professor of Art and Art History and Department Chair Mary Griep, and the puppets of Associate Professor of Art and Art History Irve Dell. A student gallery exhibit titled Voice Your Vote will run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 6, providing insights on politics by student artists. The gallery is accepting works until Oct. 15.

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