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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 turningglassshakes@gmail.com

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 Vocealso 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.

shining livesMary 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.

JosefBolf_1 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.

basin_2013, acrylic and oil on canvasA 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.

The concert season at Mary Baldwin College will continue with a Broman Concert at 8 p.m. November 10 in Francis Auditorium, featuring the brilliant young Armenian clarinetist Narek Arutyunian, who will take the stage alongside award-winning pianist Yekwon Sunwoo.

These two Julliard-trained musicians have chosen an interesting and varied program, including the entertaining Fantasy on Themes from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” by Luigi Bassi, along with Prokofiev’s exciting Sonata in D Major (originally written for flute and piano).  In addition, they will perform Hebrew Melodies in the form of a Suite by Jacob Weinberg and the Sonata for Solo Clarinet by Russian composer Edison Denisov.  Arutyunian will further showcase his diverse musical interests by performing Paul Schonfield’s Sonatina for Klezmer clarinet and piano.

Arutyunian has performed extensively in the United States, Australia, and Asia, and in Europe, where he has appeared at such venues as the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa. By the age of 16, he had already won first prizes in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow. He was also a winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and The Washington Post has praised him as an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity.” His growing career has also included numerous educational outreach programs in New York City public schools and around the country.

A winner of the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition and the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition, Korean pianist Sunwoo has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Daegu City Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has given many recitals throughout France, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Morocco, and he made his New York City debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2009.

Tickets for the November 10 concert may be purchased at the door and are $20 for the general public, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students (MBC students free). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit www.mbc.edu/arts/musicatmbc.

The exhibition Chris Gregson: Works on Paper will be on view November 10–December 5 at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery.

Chris Gregson studied at the Studio and Forum of Stage Design and worked as a stage artist at various locations in New York City before devoting his time to painting. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe and appears in many distinguished corporate and private collections. In 2005, Gregson founded the Constructs Group, an abstract painting collective, devoted to providing an understanding of abstract and nonobjective art through exhibitions, publications, and symposiums.

Gregson writes the following about the work in this exhibition, “Over the last year, I have concentrated on working in watercolors, gouache, and ink. Prior to this commitment, I was working exclusively in oil on canvases and panels. The oil painting required a slow process of layering. Images emerged through a process [of] trial and error that took months. The water based works are a way of bleeding and blending both opaque and translucent mediums. The quickly drying water-based paint give me an opportunity to craft images based on first impressions. The images that emerge are a series of totems, botanicals, and architectural spaces. These images come from a world I embrace which is inspired from an ephemeral web of physical matter and mental images. My internal dialogue is about the intersection of complex terrains, manmade structures, the figure, forces of nature, and memory. I weave order but honor the unpredictable. My palette is rudimentary with a strong emphasis on incorporating black as a dominate element in this body of work. I use all these diverse perspectives in my paradoxical images to present a visual language of multiple perspectives, to evoke engagement and contemplation by the viewer.”

A reception will be held for the artist 4:30–6 p.m. on November 10 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 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2014–2015 academic year can be found online at www.mbc.edu/arts/huntgallery.

The Mary Baldwin College Music Department is excited to announce this season’s opening Carl Broman Concert, featuring the award-winning pianist Yael Weiss, at 8 p.m. on October 27 in Francis Auditorium on the Mary Baldwin College campus.

Many concert-goers are already familiar with Weiss’s compelling performances: as a faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute, she performs during the summer Celebrity Series. She is known for her visionary interpretations of surpassing depth, immediacy, and communicative power. Her discography encompasses piano works by more than a dozen composers, and her special projects include performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas.

Her program on October 27 reflects this passion for Beethoven, and she will perform Beethoven’s Pastoral sonata, op. 28, along with the great Appassionata sonata in F Minor, op. 57. In addition, she will play two recent works she has commissioned: Lera Auerbach’s Ludwig’s Nightmare and the world premiere of Joel Feigin’s Prelude to a Sonata. Also on the program is Chopin’s very beautiful Barcarolle.

“We are thrilled to be presenting Yael Weiss on the Broman Concert Series,” says Lise Keiter, professor of music at Mary Baldwin. “And her program is so inventive; just to hear her perform these great works of Beethoven would be exciting enough. But then with each of these new works she has commissioned, she asked the composer to write a piece that would pair with a specific Beethoven sonata. It’s such a creative idea.”

Weiss has performed across the United States, Europe, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and South America at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Moscow’s Bolshoi Hall, and London’s Wigmore Hall. Her New York recital debut, presented by the Metropolitan Museum, was acclaimed by the New York Times as, “remarkably powerful and intense … fine technique and musicianship in the service of an arresting array of music.” She has appeared as a soloist with many international orchestras and is also devoted to chamber music, touring worldwide with violinist Mark Kaplan and cellist Peter Stumpf as the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio. She is also in demand at international music festivals, such as Marlboro, Ravinia, City of London, Banff, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival.

The second Broman Concert of the season will feature the brilliant young Armenian clarinetist Narek Arutyunian on November 10. The series concludes on March 23, 2015 with the award-winning Ariel Quartet, an exceptional young string quartet praised for their effortless communication, brilliant playing, soulful interpretations, and youthful passion.

Tickets for Yael Weiss’s concert may be purchased at the door and are $25 for the general public, $20 for seniors, and $5 students (MBC students are free). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit the website.

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 the first show in their four-play season: William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will, directed by Sarah E. Blackwell.

Viola, the protagonist of Twelfth Night, is separated from her twin brother and shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria. She finds her new home inhabited by a love-sick duke; a beautiful countess deep in mourning; a pompous steward; and a couple of fun-loving, self-indulgent knights. Viola disguises herself as a boy, finds employment with the duke, and fends off romantic advances from the Countess while the Knights plot against the steward. One of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy about life, love, death, and the power of family. Set in Virginia and featuring Appalachian music, Turning Glass Shakespeare’s production of Twelfth Night will delight audiences, both young and old.

Twelfth Night will have its initial run at 8 p.m. on October 13 and 14 at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. Both performances are pay what you will and run for an hour. The October 14 performance will include a talkback, directly following the show.

After the initial performances, the production will go on tour to schools in the Shenandoah Valley area. As part of their educational mission, Turning Glass has created a series of workshops to accompany the production. The show and accompanying workshops will be available to Shenandoah Valley schools for booking by mid-October. To book Twelfth Night for an educational performance, please visit www.turningglassshakespeare.com. Also check out Turning Glass Shakespeare on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for more information, or contact Nora Manca, 630-853-8815 or turningglassshakes@gmail.com.

From October 6 to 31, 2014, the exhibition Puncture<portal<peephole<lens< by Matthew P. Shelton will be on view at Mary Baldwin College’s Hunt Gallery. This is his first one-person exhibition.

Shelton is an artist and educator living in Charlottesville, VA. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 and a BFA from Guilford College in 2004. During the winter of 2011–12, he facilitated an outdoor mural collaboration between 1708 Gallery and Offender Aid and Restoration clients in downtown Richmond, VA. In August of that year, Shelton participated in a weeklong collaboration with Trinidadian artist Nikolai Noel at the ICA at the Maine College of Art in Portland. Shelton’s photo essay “The Revenant” was published in the Fall 2013 issue of Southern Cultures, the journal of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South.

Since receiving his MFA, Shelton has taught 2-D design, drawing, digital printmaking and screen-based studio methods, and contemporary art history, as well as a self-designed course on art and activism called Good Art for Do-Gooders. In November, Shelton will be one of six American artists awarded a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the New York-based public art non-profit Creative Time’s fifth annual summit exploring the intersection of art and social justice.

Shelton writes the following about his art practice and creative research: “Memory presses against the present at once naturally and uncomfortably–like touching the bare skin of a stranger. I use my art practice as a space from which to pose questions, most often about the past, to explore how our understanding of memory relates to other aspects of consciousness: mind and body, subjective and collective, the self and the other, time, inheritance.

“My creative research consists of a call-and-response dynamic between digesting-time and making-time. Contemplation, reading, and journaling allow loose associations to form and dissolve between differing areas of interest (for instance, formation of the self; formal vs. informal histories; found versus handmade versus fabricated works; texture, its absence, and ramifications for the body; sense-memory and place), while in the workshop, gestural diversions explore relative harmony and/or enmity between various materials and processes. The quicker object-based work forms in the negative, unsurveilled spaces of its more cerebral twin, informing, distressing and ultimately shifting the line of inquiry. Then the questions re-form, demanding the materials and processes answer for themselves all over again.

“Neither method is less effective. It doesn’t matter how fast one is or slow the other. One settles, one releases. They are sibling, empathic, necessitating each other into existence.”

A reception will be held for the artist on Monday, October 6, 4:30–6 p.m. 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 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the college’s academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2014–2015 academic year can be found online.