Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields brings the classics to Sangamon Auditorium

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s premier chamber ensembles, with a reputation built on over 50 years of high-quality musicianship. The group was founded in London in 1959, and the name came from the location of its first concert, the St. Martin in the Fields church in Trafalgar Square. Originally a small string ensemble, the group has expanded over the years to include winds, but the exact make-up remains flexible to suit the music. The group has recorded for many classical labels and can be heard on several soundtracks including Amadeus and The English Patient.

The performance at Sangamon Auditorium will feature four classic works:

Grieg - Holberg Suite
Beethoven arr. Tognetti - Violin Sonata No.9 in A major “Kreutzer” for solo violin & string orchestra
Schubert arr. Tabakova - Arpeggione Sonata for Viola and Strings
Piazzolla arr. Desyatnikov - Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Tickets are still available for the performance at Sangamon Auditorium on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Call the Ticket Office at 217.206.6160 or 800.207.6960 or visit our website.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chic Gamine

Chic Gamine.
This fabulous vocal quartet (plus drummer) stir audiences with their wonderfully arranged tunes. And listeners to their debut album of the same name can sense this group's powerful singing and arranging.
Hailing from Canada (Montreal and Winnipeg to be exact) this almost a capella group infuses gospel, soul, French chanson and many other genres into their performances and recordings. They use their voices as instruments ranging from string orchestras to rhythms that harmonize effectively.
Of the several awards and honors following their self-titled debut, they have earned the prestigious Juno in 2009 for traditional/best roots music.
Come and witness this groups powerful performance at Sangamon Auditorium on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 8 p.m. Tickets for adults are $32 and child/student tickets are $17.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Julian Rachlin and Academy of St. Martin are Coming to Sangamon Auditorium

  Julian Rachlin, one of the best violinists in the world, will appear with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields here at UIS Sangamon Auditorium on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m.

            As a premiere musician, Rachlin travels the world to perform with various great orchestras and ensembles and as a solo artist. But, to him, music is not the end of the experience. Rachlin feels the need to do more.

  “I’ve never wanted to be just a violinist,” said Julian Rachlin, in an AP interview in 2007.

           And it looks as though his life is larger than any common violinist. In January, Rachlin became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for his home country, Lithuania. In 2007, Rachlin was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

 Rachlin earned these titles by playing for peace and benefiting the young through his music. Playing in Yugoslavia when it wasn’t popular became a way “to revive cultural activity,” in the words of Rachlin.  He also played in Israel while conflicts with Arabs were ongoing.

     So, as Rachlin and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields travel towards UIS Sangamon Auditorium, they bring a larger than life talent and a charismatic ambassador of Goodwill to the stage.

  Tickets start at $32 for “Audition” and are priced at $52 and $57 for regular adult seats.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Step Afrika Coming to UIS Studio Theatre

World-renowned Step Afrika will perform at the UIS Studio Theatre on April 6, 2010 at 9:30 p.m. As cultural ambassadors and award-winning dancers, this troupe has performed around the world for over a decade. Step Afrika was founded in 1994 and is "the first professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping" according to their website.
They take an annual tour of 50 college cities. UIS will be one stop on a long tour for these experienced dancers. 
And, their April performance at the UIS Studio Theatre will be free! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unique Collaboration with the Illinois School for the Deaf

For the recent performance of Nobody’s Perfect on the Class Acts series, Sangamon Auditorium was very pleased to partner with the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) in order to make the experience of the performance richer for both the ISD students as well as the hearing students in attendance.

On Sunday, March 21, MacMurray College in Jacksonville hosted the actors and technicians from the Kennedy Center’s production of Nobody’s Perfect at a cookies-and-punch reception with the community. Presentations from ISD staff touched on the highlights of understanding deaf culture as well as content from Marlee Matlin’s book, Nobody’s Perfect, and its adaptation to the musical play as presented by the Kennedy Center. The personnel from the Kennedy Center visited with the community members in attendance following the presentations.

On the morning of Monday, March 22, high school students from ISD arrived early to lead American Sign Language (ASL) learning activities at ten tables in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby. Third through seventh grade hearing students who attended the performance were treated to the opportunity to visit these tables and learn up to 100 ASL signs in the hour prior to the performance. About 250 students participated in this learning opportunity.

At 10 a.m. in Sangamon Auditorium, Nancy Kelly-Jones from ISD gave a presentation about deaf culture to all those in attendance for the performance, which included more than 300 students and staff from ISD as well as 550 hearing students from other local schools.

Following Ms. Kelly-Jones’ presentation, the audience was treated to the main event, the performance of Nobody’s Perfect, based on a children’s book by Academy Award® winner Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God). The performance – simultaneously performed in spoken English and ASL – is centered around Megan, a fourth grade student busy planning her “positively purple” birthday party. Megan finds herself at odds with new student Alexis. To Megan, Alexis has it all: beauty, brains, and athletics—she’s practically perfect in every way. Though Megan tries to be nice to her, Alexis is anything but friendly, making Megan wonder, "Does she not like me because I'm deaf?" When they’re forced to collaborate on a science project, Megan discovers Alexis’s secret.

Following the performance, students from ISD were treated to a post-show question-and-answer session with the performers. Of special reciprocal appeal were the questions and answers exchanged between the students and Tami Lee Santimyer, the actress who plays Megan and who is deaf herself.

It was a great day for partnerships and learning! Many thanks to all the individuals from ISD and the Kennedy Center who helped make all these special opportunities possible. We have already received this great feedback from one of the teachers who was in attendance:

This was the BEST performance I have attended at Sangamon Auditorium and I have attended one every year for the past 12 years. The activity centers at the beginning were fabulous, and the characters were fabulous! They delivered an important message in a way that connected to ALL students!! Excellent performance!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts on educational activities with The Acting Company

On March 4 and 5, Sangamon Auditorium was pleased to host a visit by The Acting Company which included some immersive educational activites in addition to a fabulous production of Romeo & Juliet. Thursday included two workshops led by Acting Company members and presented in collaboration with UIS Theatre. An afternoon UIS class was treated to a Stage Combat workshop and an evening group of UIS students, cast members, and community members was treated to a workshop entitled "Acting Clues in Shakespeare".

Regarding the workshops, theatre faculty member Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson said the following:

"It was great that the movement workshop, in particular, reinforced ideas & concepts that have been introduced in class. The students also said in class last week that they really felt it helped them "bond" together as a class. They also got a kick out of seeing ME participate (rather than always lead). All of them said they LOVED the workshop (aside from the incredibly sore thighs for a couple of days afterwards!)

I was very impressed with how Isaac structured the workshop in such a way as to easily bring inexperienced students into the world of acting/performing. He was very inclusive, encouraging, and accepting. After participating in his workshop, I plan to incorporate some sort of brief combat "mini-workshop day" into my Principles of Acting class in the future.

These types of workshops complement and enhance our students' experiences. They can take what they are learning and experiencing in the classroom, and be exposed to concepts & ideas from outside sources that support what they are learning."

On Friday, March 5, 1100 high school students attended a matinee performance of Romeo & Juliet, part of the Auditorium's Class Acts Performing Arts Series for Youth, followed by an evening performance for the public.

Acting Company member Myxolydia Tyler posted a blog about the company's experiences in Springfield on the Acting Company's Facebook page. As it turns out, the value of these educational experiences was as rich for the Acting Company members as it was for our local participants. We're glad Sangamon Auditorium can be a part of these experiences for artists at all levels.

Read Myxolydia's blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pre-Show Discussion tonight for Ballet Folklorico

Before tonight's performance of Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, the organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), led by President Ricardo (Ricky) Montoya Picazo, will feature 2 performers from the ballet in a pre-show discussion.
Guests Jenelle Ayom and Carlos Antumez from the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico cast will discuss the ballet with anyone interested from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Residence Hall Great Room, located just southwest of the Auditorium lobby.
An auditorium usher will be available to show the way to the pre-show discussion from the auditorium. Thanks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Temporary Website Interruption Saturday, March 13

On Saturday morning, March 13, the Sangamon Auditorium website will temporarily be off-line from 9 a.m. to noon. Web ticket sales will not be available at that time. We thank you for your patience!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Have you noticed the new handrails at Sangamon Auditorium?

University of Illinois Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium patron and friend Pam Reyhan made a substantial gift to Sangamon Auditorium to enable the construction and installation of handrails. This helpful addition to the facility has made Sangamon Auditorium much more accessible to a wider range of patrons. We are all grateful for the gift!

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico: Mexico's History and Culture on Stage

Ballet Folklorico, or “folkloric dance” will feature Mexican culture and history in dance routines at Sangamon Auditorium on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Developed in the early 1950s, what is now Ballet Folklorico de Mexico began as a dance troupe of 8, after Amalia Hernandez learned dancing from Mexican Academy of Dance. Soon enough, a Mexican TV station invited the dance troupe, Ballet Moderno de Mexico, to perform and the group increased to 20, filming a dance routine every week for 67 episodes on the TV program “Funcion de Gala.”

 After some initial touring in the late 1950s, a turning point came when the dance group became cultural representatives of Mexico at Chicago’s Pan-American Games. The 50-strong dance troupe performed well and catapulted to the success that would make them iconic.

 It all began with the simple dream of 8-year-old Amalia, when she said, “Dad, I want to Dance.” Amalia wanted to express herself in dance. But, her dance troupe idea grew exponentially to represent so much more. Ballet Folklorico now expresses the history, culture and identity of a whole nation.

 In the words of the creator, Amalia Hernandez:

A México with bundle of tassels. And engraved silver

A México with ears of corn, brown-skinned people.

A México, of fairs, of candy skulls.

Tame, quiet, wild, incongruous, strident, lighthearted.

The México of ancient ruins, churches made of gold and shadows. And gardens of bougainvillea and tropical flowers.

The México from yesterday and today, of beautiful songs and dances, born from ruins created between the black braids of the natives, screams, weeping, silence, songs.

Pure expression of our roots, that convert themselves into reality though the sentiment of a great lady . .

Come and enjoy!  Ticket are on sale at 217.206.6160 or online at www.Sangamon

"Audition" ticket prices start at $19 for adults and $11 for youth. Regular ticket prices start at $32 for adults and $17 for students and children. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Star-crossed lovers come to Springfield in 'Romeo and Juliet'

The plays of William Shakespeare have been performed so many times, and are such a large part of the English-speaking world’s cultural heritage, that it can be a great challenge for a modern actor to make the story — or even a character — unique.

The professional production of “Romeo and Juliet” coming Friday to Sangamon Auditorium, a joint production of The Guthrie Theater and The Acting Company, is no exception.

Director Penny Metropulos has set this version of the play in 1912 as a way to present the production to younger audiences and to those who have not had much exposure to Shakespeare

Article by Brian Mackey

The State Journal-Register

Read the Full Article

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Romeo and Juliet!

Romeo & Juliet returns to Sangamon Auditorium this Friday, the 5th, at 8 p.m. Set in the early 1900s, but bearing the same tragic romance as the original, this production of Romeo & Juliet is by The Acting Company. Co-founded by the likes of Kevin Kline and host to Patti LuPone, Jesse L. Martin, Frances Conroy, David Schramm, David Ogden Stiers and Jeffrey Wright, The Acting Company performed 133 plays for over 2 million people. And the great acting continues today. So come and visit Sangamon Auditorium this Friday, March 5th, at 8 p.m. and witness a great performance of Shakespeare's classic, Romeo & Juliet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Doobie Brothers are Coming to Sangamon Auditorium, but who is ELEW?

The DOOBIE BROTHERS are coming to town on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. Terrific Friends, or those who have donated $100 or more to Sangamon Auditorium, can buy tickets NOW before they go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 15 at 10 a.m. The Doobie Brothers, after chart-topping success in the 1970s will travel, with their grooves, to Sangamon Auditorium, UIS to perform.
The opening act for the Doobies, ELEW, is somewhat shrouded in mystery. But to the hip, Eric Lewis is already known as a great innovator in music, coming up with his new mixture of jazz experimentation. Playing innovative piano at important performances, Lewis, aka ELEW should provide a good introduction to the smooth grooves of the Doobies. While ELEW is eclectic  and experimental, he provides inspiring entertainment to a great many, not just the avant-garde.
Here are some links to YouTube videos of ELEW. Hope you enjoy!