Orpheus and Eurydice from Metamorphoses
Mary Baldwin College opens its 2015 spring season with Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, directed by MBC professor Doreen Bechtol. Performances are held in the Fletcher Collins Theatre in Bertie Murhpy Demming Fine Arts Center at Mary Baldwin College. The show is at 7:30 p.m. from February 11 to 14 and at 2 p.m. on February 15.
Based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Zimmerman’s award winning play is a modern re-telling of several ancient myths, which feature archetypal characters that undergo extraordinary transformations. Through her unique brand of poetry, humor, and evocative imagery, Zimmerman captures a common emotional thread that links these classic tales to modern audiences, as she states, “These myths have a redemptive power in that they are so ancient. There’s a comfort in the familiarity of the human condition.”
Erysichthon and Ceres’s tree from Metamorphoses
Working with MBC’s ensemble cast, guest director Bechtol highlights Metamorphoses’ theme of transformation and change through imaginative physical storytelling that takes on acrobatic proportions. Bechtol works with a group of talented actors from both the undergraduate drama department and the graduate program in Shakespeare and Performance. Graduate actors Patrick Harris, Justine Mackey, Catie Osborn, Shane Sczepankowski, and Molly Seremet join undergrad actors Will Campbell, Myra Diehl, Eliza Hong, Emily Hurst, Marianna Moynihan, Layla Teears, Toni Thinnes, Skye Walker, and Tiffany Waters.
Parking in the Student Activities Center lot is available and a shuttle service runs from parking directly to the theatre entrance for the convenience of our patrons who need to avoid the steps. Please call the box office at 7 p.m. (or 1 p.m. on Sunday) for shuttle service. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 540-887-7189 (open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) or online. Single show tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.
The exhibition Imago Corporis Impressa: New Work by Jim Sconyers Jr. will be on view February 9–27, 2015, at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery. Sconyers is associate professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History at MBC, where he teaches design and all levels of photography and printmaking. Currently in his twelfth year at the college, he is an artist working in a variety of media, including printmaking, photography, digital media, and sculpture.
In 2002, Sconyers received the MFA in printmaking with distinction from Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. Since that time, his work has been selected for both national and international exhibition. His recent bodies of work include transition (memory) and contingency. Contingency made its debut at Hunt Gallery in January 2009, and it was also shown in a solo exhibition at Main Art Gallery, Richmond, Virginia, in May 2010. In October 2012, he exhibited a site-specific installation of his sculpture The Shadow of a Greater Structure That Cannot Be Experienced at Blue Ridge Community College as a part of the show From the Hill: The Studio Art Faculty of Mary Baldwin College. In November 2012, Sconyers exhibited his intaglio print titled “32-bit string” in a group exhibition at the Mid-America Print Council Biennial Conference at Southeast Missouri State University. A large-scale work titled Aposematic was shown the summer of 2013 at the Beverly Street Studio School. In the fall of 2013 he received a commission from the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for Aposematic 2, a scaled down tabletop version of Aposematic.
Sconyers’s latest body of work — photography and photography-based sculpture — will be on view at Hunt Gallery. Incorporating the scaled-down design of Aposematic 2, the sculptures are a series of highly-crafted structures that fuse the artist’s digitally photographed subjects with inventive uses of other media. Inspired by the forms and textures of roses, these structures explore curious intersections of organic and geometric form, affording experiences of perceptual and conceptual transformation.
Sconyers says the following about this work: “The images were collected in rose gardens during visits to the south. The sculptural pieces were created through a process of cutting up the photographs and reassembling them as randomly-placed, tessellated pyramids mounted on wooden circles. Like vanity mirrors, the circles capture reflected portraits of beauty and decay in fleeting moments. The patterns that emerge through the random method of their composition create a space for reflection.”
An opening reception will be held for the artist from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on February 9 in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the College’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2014–15 academic year can be found online at: www.mbc.edu/arts/huntgallery.
The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin College continues on February 1 with violinist Steffany Shock, cellist Ryan Hoffman, and pianist Luis Gonzalez. They will perform some of the great works of Beethoven, along with an appealing piano trio by Astor Pizzaolla. The concert is at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium.
Gonzalez and Shock will open the program with Beethoven’s monumental “Kreutzer” Sonata for Violin and Piano, which Shock describes as “especially appealing because of the broad range of emotions conveyed throughout the piece.” Gonzalez agrees, adding that “every beat in the piece is full of life and energy, and it is a very rewarding piece to play.” He goes on to point out that “the final jig-like movement shows that after a struggle there is the opportunity for cheerfulness and joy.”
He and cellist Hoffman will continue the Beethoven theme with the Sonata in A Major, op. 69. “This piece is truly a dialogue between equals,” remarks Hoffman, explaining that the composer’s earlier works for the two instruments were more dominated by the piano. He goes on to point out that the sonata, dated 1808, is “a good example of Beethoven’s ‘middle period,’ written around the same time as his 5th and 6th symphonies, as well as the ‘Ghost’ trio.”
The three musicians will join together for Piazzolla’s Four Seasons. “Piazzolla has created a unique style of music, which comes from years of traditional tango playing,” observes Gonzalez. “I think tango music can be considered urban music, which often reflects people’s passions and sorrows at nighttime. In this piece, the listener has the chance to enjoy the magic and passion that Piazzolla’s music conveys, through the intimate setting of the piano trio.”
All three young musicians have recently completed the doctorate of music at James Madison University’s School of Music. Gonzalez also holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Costa Rica. He is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin College, where he accompanies the college choir, and he is the organist at Hebron Presbyterian Church in Staunton. Shock, an Ohio native, maintains a private violin studio in Harrisonburg and performs with several area orchestras. Hoffman is also a regular with a number of area symphonies, and he is on the faculty at Bridgewater College and at the Shenandoah Valley Academy in New Market.
Tickets for the February 1 concert may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for seniors and non-MBC students. For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit http://www.mbc.edu/arts/musicatmbc.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 25 in Francis Auditorium, soprano Anne Wick and pianist Clement Acevedo will present a wonderful afternoon of art song and musical theatre selections. Their program consists of Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs, I Never Saw Another Butterfly by American composer Ellwood Derr, Antonin Dvorak’s Gypsy Songs (sung in Czech), and several entertaining musical theatre selections.
“Berg’s Seven Early Songs have such rich color and texture. It seems the more I spend time with these pieces, the more I enjoy them and the more I discover,” says Wick. “The lush harmonies and mix of simplicity with intricacy is fascinating, and the texts are highly evocative, yet subtle, often incorporating elements of nature — shifting clouds, rustling reeds, or a rose-scented breeze.”
She goes on to describe Ellwood Derr’s I Never Saw Another Butterfly, which is set to the poems by children who were incarcerated in the Nazi ghetto for Jews in Terezín, Czechoslovakia (1942-44) and who died in Auschwitz before the end of October 1944. Wick explains that the music depicts imagery such as “a butterfly ascending into the sky, the stomping of Nazi boots, or the weeping and wailing cries of the oppressed.” She also points out that “the voice, piano, and alto saxophone perform as equals, taking turns telling the story.” (The duo will be joined by saxophonist Jon Stapleton for this part of the program.) Interestingly, Derr was Wick’s theory professor at the University of Michigan.
The seriousness of the first two works will be balanced with Dvorak’s beautiful Gypsy Songs, which include the familiar and well-loved “Songs My Mother Taught Me.” Wick welcomed the challenge of singing these works in Czech. “Though they were originally written in German, I liked the idea of singing in Czech, the language of the gypsies,” she said.
The duo will also perform some musical theatre selections; Wick is well-known to area audiences for her work in this style, having appeared or served as musical director with Waynesboro Players, ShenanArts, Oak Grove Theater, Blue Ridge Theater Festival, and “Broadway and Beyond.” They plan to end the program with a comical song sub-titled “Tone Deaf.”
“This often-requested piece not only pokes fun at an opera singer, but shows off the importance of a talented and intelligent collaborative pianist,” Wick said. “It is thrilling to work with Clement, who is able to help bring this music to life with technical proficiency and, just as important, a sense of joy.”
Wick’s varied performing career includes recent performances with the Middle Saxony Orchestra (Freiberg, Germany), the University of Michigan Opera Theater, Luray Opera Theater, Wolftrap Opera, Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, and Staunton Ovation Singers. She is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin College and also teaches at James Madison University, where she is completing the DMA. Award-winning Filipino pianist Clement Acevedo has performed throughout the United States, as well as in the Philippines and in China. He is currently a doctoral student at James Madison University.
The Sunday Recital Series also includes performances by pianist Luis Gonzales, cellist Ryan Hoffman, and violinist Steffany Shock on February 1; pianist Lise Keiter on March 15; and the Terra Voce Duo on April 12.
Tickets for the January 25 recital may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for seniors and students (MBC students are free). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit the Music at MBC page.
Sunday evening Claudia Brind-Woody ’77, vice president and managing director of IBM Global Intellectual Property Licensing, returned to Mary Baldwin College to speak about how her experiences as a student athlete taught her many of the lessons that have made her successful in her business career.
“Having the opportunity to hear Claudia Brind-Woody speak was fantastic,” said Amanda Johnson ’15. “As an athlete and a business woman, her advice really spoke to me. My favorite part of her presentation was the statistics and facts that she showed us because it is mind-blowing how many top business women were athletes.”
Brind-Woody not only explained the importance of athletics to her individual development as a professional, but she also cited a recent study by EY Women Athletes Business Network and ESPNW to show that she is not the only business woman who has benefited from a background in sports. The research report, Making the Connection: Women, Sport, and Leadership, found that:
- The majority (52 percent) of C-suite women (CEO, CFO, or COO) played sports at the university level, compared to 39 percent of women at other management levels.
- Just 3 percent of C-suite women have not played any sports, compared with 9 percent of women at other management levels.
- Seventy-two percent of the women surveyed agreed that people who engage in sports at some level participate more effectively within business teams than those who have not, because of their experience working in a team environment.
Brind-Woody explained the similarities between athletics and the business world. For example, business professionals and athletes take risks and have their successes and failures publicly presented. Participation in sports builds characteristics that are vital to success later in life. To this end, one of the student athletes asked if being described as competitive was a positive attribute. In her response to the question, Brind-Woody again cited the study: 75 percent of respondents said that competitiveness is an asset to their leadership style.
Brind-Woody is in the top row, third from right.
“Claudia was inspirational and extremely empowering to me as well as the other student athletes, coaches, and athletics staff. I truly enjoyed learning how basketball has impacted her past and current career decisions and how I might apply soccer to my future aspirations and opportunities,” said Bailey McWilliams, a freshman soccer player.
Brind-Woody also addressed the topic of communication, explaining the difference between “richer” and “poorer” sources of communication. Her key point was to “match the medium to the message.” For example, richer media, such as in-person conversations, should be used in situations that are not routine, such as explaining how someone’s job responsibilities will change. Other routine types of messages, such as a reminder about a scheduled meeting, can be communicated through text message or email. This part of her discussion seemed to break down a generational barrier to help the student athletes improve their communication skills.
“Claudia’s words for the student athletes and the athletic staff were relevant, thought-provoking, and full of direction for each one of us to be a better athlete, coach, or athletic administrator,” said Athletic Director Sharon Spalding. “We are fortunate to have a world-renowned speaker and high-level executive — and former MBC Fighting Squirrel — come and spend time with us. She took time out of her busy schedule to really listen to us and find out our struggles. Now the real work comes in what each of us does with what we heard.”
Claudia Brind-Woody earned a JD at Georgia State University, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MS from the University of Tennessee, where she worked as assistant athletics director and assistant basketball coach of the Lady Vols under head coach Pat Summitt. In 2011, she was included in GO Magazine’s list of “100 Women We Love.” Brind-Woody was also honored as one of the inaugural inductees into the MBC Athletics Hall of Fame, recognizing her accomplishments in basketball and equestrian competition.
Turning Glass Shakespeare, the 2014–15 MFA company of Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Performance graduate program, in association with the American Shakespeare Center, announces their small-scale touring show: William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, directed by Mara Sherman.
Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague, the children of feuding families in Verona, fall in love and are secretly married. Joy turns to tragedy, however, when Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, kills Romeo’s friend, Mercutio, and Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge his friend’s death. Romeo is banished and Juliet faces marrying an unwanted suitor.
Romeo & Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and presents a mixture of tragedy, romance, action and bawdy comedy. As a small-scale tour, Turning Glass Shakespeare’s production tells Shakespeare’s story using only six actors and minimal props and costumes. This imaginative approach, combined with an early 1990s setting, makes the production an exciting take on a classic play.
Romeo & Juliet will open at 8 p.m. on December 6 in Francis Auditorium at Mary Baldwin College and on December 8 at the Blackfriars Playhouse. Running for an hour and a half, performances are pay what you will. After the initial shows, the production will go on tour in the Shenandoah Valley area. To book a performance,please visit www.turningglassshakespeare.com. Also check out Turning Glass Shakespeare on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr for more information. Or contact Nora Manca at 630-853-8815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turning Glass Shakespeare company members: Sarah E. Blackwell, Nicola Collett, Amy W. Grubbs, David M. Loehr, Nora Manca, Sarah Martin, Emma Patrick, Ashley Pierce, Mara Sherman, and Rebecca Wright
MLitt/MFA Faculty: Doreen Bechtol, Ralph Cohen, Mary Hill Cole, Matthew Davies, Paul Menzer, and Janna Segal
The Music Department at Mary Baldwin College is pleased to announce its Fall Choir Concert: “Every Voice in Concert Ring,” 7:30 p.m. November 17 in First Presbyterian Church. The event is free and open to the public and features the Mary Baldwin College Choir, together with a cappella ensembles Bella Voce and Baldwin Charm.
The concert showcases a diverse selection of music, including part of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, Paul Chesnokov’s Salvation, and the beautiful What Sweeter Music? of Eleanor Daley. “Our concert celebrates this year’s college-wide theme of ‘Roots,’” explains Linell Gray Moss, director of the college choir. “Through the rich tradition of the African-American spiritual, along with the music of American composers Leonard Bernstein, Eleanor Daley, and Ellen Keating, we explore our American roots. And as we sing music from South Africa and Zimbabwe, and European Gregorian chants, we may explore our ancestral roots.” The choir’s final work, the rousing Hope for Resolution by Caldwell and Ivory, combines Medieval Latin chant with a Zulu folk song.
Moss holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Iowa, and Macalester College. She is active in the American Choral Director’s Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and she has taught for colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and New York.
Bella Voce, also directed by Moss, will also feature a variety of styles and languages, including two Hebrew works and a Ndebele folk song. Baldwin Charm, the college’s pop a cappella group, will perform the current hit “All about that Bass,” along with an arrangement combining “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night.” Baldwin Charm is directed by Kathleen Bell, who holds degrees from Miami University and Florida International University and also teaches at the Shenandoah Conservatory.
For more information call 540-887-7294 or go to www.mbc.edu/arts/musicatmbc.
Mary Baldwin College continues the 2014–15 arts season with the These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich. The play is directed by Virginia Francisco, former chair of the MBC theatre department, and produced by Terry Southerington, professor of theatre. It runs November 19–23, 2014. Performances Wednesday through Saturday are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Fletcher Collins Theatre, Deming Hall.
Set in the 1920s and 30s outside Chicago, These Shining Lives explores a time when women were first permitted to hold well-paying factory jobs, and it reminds audiences of the limitations on women’s rights and the severe consequences of workplace hazards that were disregarded at the time. The play follows four women who are among the first in the nation to hold factory jobs at the Radium Dial Company, where women are paid to paint numbers on iridescent watch faces, though the paint they use contains radium. As radium poisoning sets in and their bodies begin to succumb, the sickest of them finds a lawyer who will take their case.
The women are played by Tiffany Waters, Sara Beth Watkins, Bridget Burner, and Toni Thinnes. James Cramer plays the attorney, and William Campbell completes the cast as Catherine’s husband, Tom Donohue. Actors also play additional roles.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for students of any school and senior citizens. They may be bought with a credit card at 540-887-7189, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at www.mbc.edu/theatre. Patron parking is available in the college parking lot at the intersection of Kable Street and Deming Drive (off of Prospect Street). For the convenience of patrons, shuttle service is available from the parking lot to the entrance of the theatre, less than a block away. Please call in advance to reserve the shuttle.
For further information, contact Professor of Theatre Terry Southerington at 540-887-7192.
Internationally-acclaimed artist Josef Bolf will present this year’s Firestone Lecture in Contemporary Art at Mary Baldwin College. The lecture — free and open to the public — will be at 7:30 p.m. March 17, 2015, in the James D. Francis Auditorium, which is on the Mary Baldwin campus at the corner of Coalter and Frederick Streets.
One of the most highly respected contemporary artists in the Czech Republic and central and eastern Europe, Bolf lives and works in Prague. A figurative painter, he often uses his psychologically and emotionally compelling paintings to explore his experiences growing up in Prague during the Cold War when then Czechoslovakia was under communist rule by the Soviet Union.
Born in 1971 in Prague, Bolf studied drawing and painting at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the studios of J. Naceradský, V. Kokolia, and V. Skrepl from 1990–98, as well as at the Kongsthögskolan in Stockholm (1995) and Akademie der bildende Künst in Stuttgart (1996). During his studies, he was an active member of the artist group BJ (Bezhlavý jezdec/Headless Horseman), which was active between 1996 and 2004, with fellow academy students Jan Šerých, Ján Mančuška, and Tomáš Vaněk.
A prolific painter and draughtsman, Bolf has exhibited extensively in Europe, as well as in China and the United States. He has been nominated for and is the recipient of numerous grants, stipends, and awards over the years, and has work in the Czech National Gallery and Prague City Gallery collections, as well as in regional museums and prominent public and private collections throughout the Czech Republic and abroad. He was voted 2010 Artist of the Year in the Czech Republic for his exhibitions Personal Disposition at Hunt Kastner Artworks in Prague and I Won’t See You Anymore at a former funeral chapel in Volyne, and for the realization of his designed mosaic for the facade of the historic Jurkovic Villa in Brno that was commissioned by the Moravian National Gallery. Bolf is represented in Europe by Hunt Kastner Artworks (Prague), Galerie Dukan (Paris and Leipzig), and Arthobler Gallery (Zurich).
The Susan Paul Firestone Lecture Series in Contemporary Art is made possible by the generosity of donors in honor of the creative work and professional accomplishments of Susan Paul Firestone ’68.
The exhibition “Passing Strange: New Work by Adria Arch” will be on view January 12–30, 2015, at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery. Arch lives and works in Arlington, Massachusetts, where she is a mixed-media artist whose work features strong graphic elements and vivid color. She combines an abiding interest in shape with a fascination in unpredictable or unexpected sources such as doodles or paint spills.
Her recent efforts in site-specific, collaborative murals may be viewed at Stonehill College, Lesley University’s Porter Square building in Cambridge, MA, and Danforth Art in Framingham, MA. Arch is also a technical consultant for GOLDEN Artist Colors. She teaches privately and at local museums and art centers.
Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited throughout New England and nationally at a variety of venues, including Bromfield Gallery (Boston, MA), Danforth Museum of Art (MA), The Art Complex Museum (Duxbury, MA), Joseph Gross Gallery (Tucson, AZ), Helen Day Art Center (Stowe, VT), and the Long Island Beach Foundation for the Arts and Sciences (New Jersey). Arch’s work is in numerous public, corporate, and private collections, including the Boston Public Library, the Library of Congress Collection of Prints, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Interested in the creative possibilities of working randomly and with chance, Arch says the following about the work in this exhibition: “I look at the edges of things: the eccentric and unpredictable shapes found in unexpected places such as the puddles and pools of spilled paint and the overlooked doodle found in the margins of a notebook, or the swooping lines of tar patches on asphalt after a hard winter … I begin each piece by pouring and pooling paint onto thin plastic, allowing the colors to disperse and blend naturally. When the puddles dry, I cut out the most interesting shapes. These forms become central to my work and I respond to them with additional painting and collage. A narrative is suggested but not pinned down.”
A closing reception will be held for the artist from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on January 28 in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2014–15 academic year can be found online.