Thursday, April 22, 2010

UIS Chamber Orchestra to present Early 20th Century Dance Music Program

WHAT: The UIS Chamber Orchestra will perform turn-of-the-century dance orchestra music from the John Robichaux collection.

WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: Dana-Thomas House, 301 E. Lawrence Avenue, Springfield, IL 62703

DETAILS: Robichaux established himself as the premiere dance orchestra leader in New Orleans, from 1891 into the 1930’s. The John Robichaux Orchestra was active at the time of early jazz in New Orleans.

UIS Chamber Orchestra director Todd Cranson also directs the UIS Bands and serves as the Artistic Director of the Vintage Brass Band in Springfield, IL. His interest in 19th century American band music and the Creole Romantic composers of New Orleans sparked the idea to perform dance music from the Robichaux collection at Springfield’s Dana-Thomas House which was built in 1904. According to Cranson, “this event will allow our community a special opportunity to experience an exquisite intermingling of music, dance, architecture, and history.”

The UIS Chamber Orchestra is open to students, staff, faculty, and local community musicians. For information about getting involved, e-mail music@uis.edu and visit uis.edu/music.

Deborah Hyland of St. Louis will offer period dance lessons during the evening, so that the music may be enjoyed as it was originally intended. Hyland is a folk dance educator, who has taught dance to a wide range of audiences in the St. Louis area and beyond since 1991.

Admission of $5 per person at the door; includes music, dance lessons and refreshments. No advance reservations required. Lawn chairs welcome if the evening weather is pleasant.

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Senior visual arts majors showcase their representation of what "Art Is"

WHAT: Fourteen senior University of Illinois Springfield visual art majors will showcase their representation of what “Art Is” during an end of the year exhibition.

WHEN: Exhibition runs April 29 through May 13, 2010. The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. beginning in the Visual Arts Gallery and concluding in the Access Gallery.

WHERE: UIS Visual Arts Gallery located in the Health and Sciences Building, Room 201 on the UIS campus

DETAILS: Prepare to see many unique works of art by the talented visual arts majors. The seniors are Kaitlyn Bitner, Rachel Book, Kimberly Bretz, Willa Campbell, Lauren Cooper, Michael Curry, Adrian Hebert, Aby Lee Hood, Shannon Lubben, Ashley Moore, Valencia Robinson, Veronica Sparks, Emily Welch and Jennifer Yakes.

Each student has their own media, intention and style and the works are a summary of the inspiration and abilities they have acquired during their experiences at the university. The exhibit includes paintings, ceramics, digital media, screen-printing and installations of mixed media. “Art Is” describes the philosophy that art is anything and everything. It is a state of being that is not characterized or explained… it just Is.

For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UIS Theatre's season concludes with Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield will conclude its 2009-2010 season with the play The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt, opening Friday, April 23. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS - on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 23, 24, and 25, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 29, 30, and May 1. All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. except the Sunday performance (April 25), which will begin at 2 p.m.

The Runner Stumbles is set in 1911 at a remote northern Michigan parish where a young nun, Sister Rita, mysteriously dies. Her superior, Father Rivard, is charged with the crime. As the trial unfolds four years later, the story alternates between the past and the present, revealing a conflicted relationship between the young nun and the priest. Sister Rita tries to inject color and life into the rural, drab town, bringing more tension to the surface. Part courtroom drama, part memory play, part romance, the play explores conflicts between duty to the church and duty to self, forbidden passions, and divisions between strict traditional morality and complex human emotions.

The cast is made up of 4 men and 5 women. Cast members include Dug Hall* (Father Rivard); Ben Gold* (Guard – Amos); Jennica Danner* (Erna); Ben Beams* (Lawyer – Toby); Ellyn Thorson* (Sister Rita); Nancy Cole@ (Mrs. Shandig); Dwight Langford* (Prosecutor); Jim Bonacum^ (Monsignor – Secretary); Kaitlyn Best* (Louise). * denotes a UIS student, @ a community member, and ^ a faculty member.

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 65+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current I-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

For more information, contact Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-8307 or email mthom1@uis.edu.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Explore and make music history at the UIS Music Spring 2010 Showcase Concert

The UIS Music Spring Showcase Concert will be held in Sangamon Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2010 and feature the Chorus, Chamber Orchestra, and Concert Band.

Many of the selections performed at this year’s UIS Music Spring Showcase Concert illustrate the evolution of music that is still popular, decades and in some cases even centuries after it was first composed. The Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Graf, will open the evening performing songs from a variety of cultures and eras, including “Ahe Lau Makani (There is a Breath)” by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii; “Fire, Fire,” a polyphonic English madrigal by Thomas Morley; “The Erie Canal,” an American folk song accompanied by piano and fiddle; “Oleana,” an American folk song accompanied by violin; and “Blackbird,” a classic Beatles song. Todd Cranson will add to the chorus’ performance of “Blackbird” with a solo tuba rendition of the classic tune.

The Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Todd Cranson, will follow, performing selections from John Robichaux’s 19th Century New Orleans Dance Orchestra. Robichaux, a jazz bandleader, drummer and violinist, wrote more than 350 songs and many orchestral arrangements, which are now housed at the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University.

Following a brief intermission and presentation of student awards, the Concert Band under the direction of Todd Cranson will take the stage. The Concert Band performance will include a number of selections, including “Galop from Genevieve De Braban” by Jacques Offenbach, from which the U.S. Marine Corps Hymn was later extracted; the landmark “Fantasia for Band” written by Vittorio Giannini; and “Clash” by Ryan Main, an interesting pieces filled with dissonant sounds.

Doors will open for the concert at 7:20 p.m., and refreshments will be served in the lobby after the performance.

The Showcase Concert is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome and will be used to benefit the UIS Music Student Merit Award. For more information visit www.uis.edu/music/ or contact Todd Cranson at rcran2@uis.edu or 217/206-7549.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Sustain" exhibition now on display at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery

WHAT: The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield presents an exhibition of fine art entitled "Sustain." This internationally juried exhibition features the selected works of 13 artists.

WHEN: Open now through Thursday, April 22. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

WHERE: Health and Sciences Building, Room 201 on the UIS campus

DETAILS: Art has always been a forum for change. The artists’ work addresses the three issues of sustainability resource conservation, social justice and economic equity.

Please join us for a closing reception as part of the campus' celebration of Earth Day on April 22 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. in the gallery. Along with the exhibition, Terry Tempest Williams, environmental activist and author, will give a speech entitled "The Open Space of Democracy" at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium.

For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

UIS to hold inaugural symposium for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield will hold its inaugural symposium for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The event, which will feature student and faculty oral presentations and poster exhibits, is free and open to the public to attend.

WHEN: Friday, April 9, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Presentations will be held in Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library and in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) lower level conference rooms C and D on the UIS Campus.

DETAILS: The keynote presenter will be Dr. Michael Burlingame, holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. He will be speaking on "The Joys of Conducting Original Research, or What New Can Be Said about Abraham Lincoln?" Burlingame’s presentation will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, with a reception following.

This event showcases research and writing projects of UIS undergraduate and graduate students across disciplinary lines in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Presentations will cover a variety of topics, such as the rhetorical meaning of comedic humor, the history of the Civil War, and the interpretation of a 19th century diary through song. The intent is to share the rewards of original research with students and faculty, as well as with Springfield and surrounding area communities. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be served.

For more information visit www.uis.edu/clas/students/symposium.html or contact Deborah McGregor at 217/206-7439 or email mcgregor.deborah@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Speakers Series presents the Reality of the Improbable: Science Fiction as Social Commentary

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents The Reality of the Improbable: Science Fiction as Social Commentary. Author Edward Beekman-Myers will be the featured speaker for this presentation.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Conference Room G, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center (PAC) on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

(The event will be available via video on demand at http://www.uis.edu/technology/uislive.html)

DETAILS: Within most works of science fiction and fantasy there exists a basis in present day and/or historical reality. A number of authors have used the genre to comment on particular social problems and injustices by placing them in an otherworldly setting and exaggerating them in order to raise awareness. Looking at various works of sci-fi and fantasy in literature, film, and television, we can see how something that seems improbable can often be all-too real.

Beekman-Myers is the author of several short stories, plays, and novels, including the first volume in a sci-fi/comedy series, The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat!, which was recently published through CreateSpace. He serves as an instructor for UIS’s Speaker Series and as an English instructor for various other colleges in the Springfield area. www.beekmanmyers.com

A book signing will follow the discussion.

For more information and a list of other speakers series events visit http://illinois.edu/goto/speakerseries or contact Kimberly Craig at 217/206-6245 or craig.kimberly@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

UIS chorus to perform at Vachel Lindsay Home

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Graf, will perform at the historic Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, 2010. The Vachel Lindsay Home is located at 603 S. 5th Street in downtown Springfield. This will be the vocal group’s first performance of the semester and its second performance at the historic home of poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay.

The event will feature songs from a variety of cultures and eras, including “Ahe Lau Makani (There is a Breath)” by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii; “Fire, Fire,” a polyphonic English madrigal by Thomas Morley; “The Erie Canal,” an American folk song accompanied by piano and fiddle; “Oleana,” an American folk song accompanied by violin; and “Blackbird,” a classic Beatles song. Todd Cranson will add to the chorus’ performance of “Blackbird” with a solo tuba rendition of the classic tune.

In addition, Dr. Graf will lead a brief discussion of the songs and will provide information on the UIS Music program and upcoming events.

The current UIS chorus program began in 2001 and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as Springfield community members, all with a variety of skill levels. After the Vachel Lindsay event, the next Chorus performance will be at the UIS Showcase Concert, which features the Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Concert Band and will be held in Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus on April 9, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Information about these and other events is available at uis.edu/music.

Anyone who is interested in joining the UIS Chorus may contact Dr. Sharon Graf by emailing music@uis.edu or calling (217) 206-6240.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

UIS Visual Arts Gallery hosts exhibit by Felicia Olin

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Visual Arts Gallery will be hosting an exhibit by Springfield resident Felicia Olin. Olin’s exhibit will focus on portraits that are inspired by the past, relics from nature, oddities, anatomy, books, animals and botanicals.

WHEN: A reception and artist talk will be February 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: The Visual Arts Gallery, room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus.

DETAILS: Born in 1977, artist Felicia Olin has lived in Springfield most of her life. She received her associate's degree from Springfield College in Illinois and her BFA in painting from Illinois State University. Felicia is a member of the Prairie Art Alliance and participates in area shows.

The Visual Arts Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information, contact Ken Pease at 217/206.6506 or email gallery@uis.edu.

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UIS to hold symposium on arts, humanities and social sciences

The University of Illinois Springfield will be hosting the first annual Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Symposium on April 9 in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus.

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, in the arts, humanities and social sciences are invited to submit abstracts for the symposium. The due date for the submission of abstracts has been extended until March 8.

The purpose of the research symposium is to showcase student research and student/faculty reciprocity in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Members of the community are invited to attend, and students from other campuses also may participate or attend.

Michael Burlingame, Naomi B. Lynn Chair of Lincoln Studies, will present the keynote address,"The Joys of Conducting Original Research, or what new can be said about Abraham Lincoln?" There will also be poster sessions as well as oral presentations, and prizes will be awarded.

Potential participants should visit http://www.uis.edu/clas/students/symposium.html for forms and information on abstract parameters and poster board sessions as well as general information about the symposium.

For more information, contact Deborah McGregor at mcgregor.deborah@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UIS Theatre to hold open auditions for spring production

UIS Theatre will be holding open auditions for the spring 2010 production of The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt, directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson. All theatre artists are invited to audition for roles or apply for work offstage.

The auditions will be held Sunday, January 31 and Monday, February 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center (PAC). Callbacks will be held Tuesday, February 2. Performance dates for the production will be April 23, 24 and 25, and April 29, 30 and May 1.

During auditions, actors are asked to fill out the audition form upon arrival. Auditions will consist of "cold readings" from the script. Prepared monologues and resumes are appreciated but are not required. Roles are available for four women and five men.

Scripts are available for reserve check-out in Brookens Library, and also for check-out with a $10 refundable deposit in the Communications Department office, located in University Hall 3010.

Those interested in working backstage (stage managers, props crew, sound research, costumes, dresser and running crew) are asked to attend one night of auditions to fill out an audition form and indicate an area of interest. Thibodeaux-Thompson will take a few moments to meet with those interested to discuss the area of interest.

For more information, contact Thibodeaux-Thompson at mthom1@uis.edu or 217/206-8307.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Visual Arts Gallery hosts 2010 biennial alumni exhibition

WHAT: Every two years, the UIS Visual Arts Gallery hosts a juried exhibition of the work of outstanding alumni of the UIS Visual Arts Department.

WHEN: Thursday, January 21, 2010 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Visual Arts Gallery, Room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building

DETAILS: The alumni artists selected for the 2010 show are William Crook Jr. (1982), Merlin Foltz (1990), Patrick Messamore (1990), Deborah Smith (2001), Michael Bliss (2002), Dave Kube (2007), Megan Rigoni-McCormic (2007), Adam Perschbacher (2007), Ryan Sponsler (2007), and Jeremy Wilburn (2007).

The Visual Arts Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

The reception and exhibit are open and free to the public.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

UIS Theatre presents student-directed scenes

UIS Theatre will be presenting student-directed scenes on Tuesday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Admission for the event is free, and it is open to the public.

The scenes will be from contemporary American plays and directed by UIS Theatre students. The scene presentations are part of the final project for students enrolled in the course "THE/COM 476, Directing for the Theatre."

Scenes will be presented from the following plays:

Proof by David Auburn, directed by Jessica J. Fraser

Fences by August Wilson, directed by Bianca Shaw

Lone Star by James McLure, directed by Matt Craven

The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Carol Schulte

Butterflies are Free by Leonard Gershe, directed by An Mowers

Apartment 3A by Jeff Daniels, directed by Ben Beams

Women of Manhattan by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Karina Diaz

Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute, directed by Dug Hall

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Visual Arts Gallery holds benefit and silent auction

The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield will be holding its 2009 Benefit and Silent Auction on December 9 through 11.

The annual auction offers a wide range of donated art from national and local artists and collectors. The items featured this year include photographs, original paintings, prints, pottery and a signed catalog by internationally-known artist and philosopher Arthur Danto.

There will be a reception to close the auction on Friday, December 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery. Bidding will end at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided, and the reception and exhibit are open and free to the public.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, and all proceeds benefit future gallery programming.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The gallery will be open on Friday December 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, go online to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents sculptural installations by Khara Koffel

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery will host a reception with Jacksonville, Illinois sculptor Khara Koffel.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a presentation by Koffel beginning at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center, Conference Room "G" followed by a reception at the Visual Arts Gallery

DETAILS: The artwork is inspired by personal stories, relationships, and memories that relate not only to the life of the artist, but to the viewer as well. Khara Koffel is a faculty member in the Art Department at MacMurray College, and has exhibited her work at galleries across the country. The at some point exhibit will be on display in the gallery from Thursday, November 5 through Wednesday, November 25, 2009.

There will be food and refreshments provided at the November 18, 2009 reception. The artist’s talk, reception, and exhibit are free and open to the public.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Theatre open auditions for Student-Directed Scenes

WHAT: Students who are currently taking THE/COM 476, Directing for the Theatre will be holding open auditions for their final project scenes.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 28 from 3:45pm – 6pm and Thursday, October 29 from 2pm – 4:30pm in the University of Illinois Springfield VPA Room 170.

DETAILS: Everyone is welcome to audition; auditions will consist of cold readings from the various plays directed by the students.

For more information contact Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson at mthom1@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

UIS Chorus to perform at Springfield's Vachel Lindsay Home

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Graf, will perform at the Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield.

WHEN: Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: 603 South 5th Street, Springfield, Illinois

ADDITIONAL INFO: This will be the vocal group’s first performance of the semester and the first ever at the historic home of poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay.

The event will feature music from a variety of countries, cultures and historical periods. Highlights include songs from Russia, China, and a selection sung in Swahili.

The current UIS Chorus program began in 2001 and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as Springfield community members, all with a variety of skill levels. After the Vachel Lindsay event, the next Chorus performance will be at the UIS Showcase Concert, which features the Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Band and will be held at the PAC Studio Theatre at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus on December 4, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the UIS Chorus or the upcoming performance contact Dr. Sharon Graf at 217/206-6240 or by e-mail at music@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homecoming 2009: Mashed Potato sculpting



University of Illinois Springfield students got creative with a popular mashed vegetable during Homecoming Week 2009.

Assistant Director of Student Life Beth Hoag came up with the idea for mashed potato sculpting last year. The event was such big hit she decided to bring it back again with a few rules. Students had to design something based on UIS or the homecoming theme “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”.

UIS Food Service prepared 25 pounds of “extra stiff” potatoes for students to use. They decorated the mashed wonders with everything from food coloring to feathers and glitter.

“It’s almost like play doh just a little softer,” said junior business major Baily Meek. “I wouldn’t have expected it to be like that”.

Volunteers judged each design on creativity and theme. The winner of the contest was rewarded with a $50 gift card.

Click Here for a full list of Homecoming 2009 events.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

PAPS: Anne Feeney & David Rovics in Concert

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield presents Political Art and the Public Sphere featuring folk singers, songwriters, and activists Anne Feeney & David Rovics in concert.

WHEN: Monday, October 5, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS

ADDITIONAL INFO: Anne Feeney and David Rovics share an interest in using their music to raise questions about social and political issues, to share with listeners some of the history of the diverse struggles of the impoverished, marginalized and exploited, and to inspire people to work together for social and economic justice.

With her conscience and consciousness shaped by the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, Anne Feeney has been called the best labor singer in North America. Rovics, who writes journalism pieces periodically as he tours the world, has been called the musical voice of the progressive movement in the US and the musical version of Democracy Now! Accomplished musicians and songwriters, both allow their music to be downloaded and shared with organizers, other activists and myriad fans.

For more information contact Richard Gilman-Opalsky at 217/206-8328 or rgilm3@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

UIS and Benedictine to host co-exhibit with internationally acclaimed Russian artist

The first North American solo exhibition of the artwork of Sergei Chepik is being announced by Benedictine University at Springfield and the University of Illinois Springfield, co-exhibitors. This first-ever co-exhibit by the two Universities will display forty lithographs by the internationally acclaimed Russian artist who currently resides in Paris. The prints were inspired by the novel The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov and were commissioned in 2006, with an initial exhibit held in 2008 at the Bulgakov Museum in Moscow.

Displaying remarkably powerful images of the Russian Revolution, the Chepik co-exhibit will begin October 1, 2009, at both the BUS Becker Library Gallery and the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, running through November 5 and October 28, respectively.

An opening reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. on October 7 in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery with a gallery talk by associate professor Rosina Neginsky, personal friend of the artist and author of Sergei Chepik: Between East and West, published by Benedictine University at Springfield.

A closing reception will be held from 6:30–8:30 p.m. on November 5 in the Brinkerhoff Home on the Benedictine campus with a gallery talk by Neginsky. The November 5 closing reception will occur together with the 2.2 release gala for Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program, published and produced by Benedictine University at Springfield and NPR member WUIS. Quiddity 2.2 includes Sergei Chepik as a featured artist.

For further information, please contact:
Marianne Stremsterfer
Benedictine University at Springfield
mstremsterfer@sci.edu
(217) 525-1420, ext. 518

Liz Murphy Thomas
University of Illinois Springfield
thomas.elizabeth@uis.edu
(217) 206-7547

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speakers Series: Shakespeare Behind Bars

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents Shakespeare Behind Bars film viewing followed by a discussion moderated by Shakespeare theater director Curt Tofteland.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center (PAC) Studio Theatre at UIS

ADDITIONAL INFO: Take Shakespeare's final play The Tempest with its violent seas, windswept island, crucial connection to nature, and underlying theme of forgiveness, and bring it into a prison, the ultimate venue of confinement. The result is an extraordinary story about the creative process and the power of art to heal and redeem--in a place where the very act of participation in theatre is a human triumph and a means of personal liberation.

In Hank Rogerson's revelatory trip into and around this prison production, we embark on a year-long journey with the Shakespeare Behind Bars theatre troupe. Led by Shakespearean volunteer director Curt Tofteland, the prisoners cast themselves in roles reflecting their personal history and fate. Their individual stories, including information about their heinous crimes, are interwoven with the plot of The Tempest as the inmates delve deeply into the characters they portray while confronting their personal demons. http://www.shakespearebehindbars.com/

For more information and a list of other speakers series events visit http://illinois.edu/goto/speakerseries or contact Kimberly Craig at 217/206-6245 or craig.kimberly@uis.edu.

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Speakers Series presents Arthur Danto: Prints

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents Arthur Danto: Prints gallery of the artist’s work and discussion.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS

ADDITIONAL INFO: Arthur C. Danto is considered one of the most important philosophers of art in the world. His undeniable influence on modern art criticism has affected the way that art is thought of and discussed around the world. Danto will talk about his work, as well art and aesthetics.

While many people are familiar with Danto as a philosopher and critic, Danto was also an artist early in his career. An exhibit of Danto’s work will be featured in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery from August 27 – September 23, 2009. This work, a series of woodcut prints produced from 1956 through 1963 has not been exhibited publicly since 1960. For more information on the exhibit visit: www.uis.edu/visualarts/gallery.html

Click here to visit an online slide show of Danto prints on display.

For more information and a list of other speakers series events visit http://illinois.edu/goto/speakerseries or contact Kimberly Craig at 217/206-6245 or craig.kimberly@uis.edu.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

UIS Theatre Program holds auditions for fall 2009 production

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield will hold open auditions for the first production of its 2009-2010 season – Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things – on Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9, beginning at 7 p.m. both nights in the Studio Theatre, located on level one of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. Call-backs will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 10.

Auditions are open to anyone, with or without experience. Auditions will consist of “cold readings” from the script, and prepared monologues and resumes are appreciated but are not required.

The Shape of Things is set in a liberal arts college, in a conservative Midwestern town. In the production, four characters struggle to find their voice in matters of love and art. After a chance meeting in a museum, Evelyn and Adam become embroiled in an intense affair. Before long, Evelyn steers Adam toward a new appearance and character. The final, shocking exhibition reveals Evelyn’s true intentions and challenges long-held ideas about art and love.

UIS Associate Professor of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct. Production dates are November 13-15 and 19-21. Beginning with this production, evening curtain times will be changed to 7:30 p.m., instead of 8 p.m. as in the past. Sunday performances remain at 2 p.m.

Those interested in working backstage (stage managers, props crew, sound research, costumes, dresser, running crew) are asked to attend one night of auditions to fill out an audition form and indicate area of interest. Thibodeaux-Thompson will meet with those interested in working backstage and discuss the area of interest.

For more information about auditions, the play, or helping behind the scenes, contact Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-6613, or go to www.uis.edu/theatre.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Visual Arts Gallery presents artwork by Arthur Danto

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery will be presenting a series of woodcut prints by world-renowned author, philosopher and artist Arthur C. Danto. The artwork, which was last exhibited in 1960, will be on display in the gallery from Thursday, August 27, through September 23.

Danto is the author of more than twenty books and is currently the Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University.

There will be a presentation by Danto on September 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library. The presentation will be followed by a reception, including food and refreshments, until 8 p.m. at the Visual Arts Gallery. The artist’s talk, reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Theatre Program announced schedule for 2009-2010 season

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Theatre Program has announced the schedule for the 2009-2010 season with productions that tell the stories of conflicted relationships.

The fall production is The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute. Set in a liberal arts college, in a conservative Midwestern town, four characters struggle to find their voice in matters of love and art. After a chance meeting in a museum, Evelyn and Adam become embroiled in an intense affair. Before long, Evelyn steers Adam toward a new appearance and character. The final, shocking exhibition reveals Evelyn’s true intentions and challenges our most deeply entrenched ideas about art and love.

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct. Production dates are November 13-15 and 19-21. Open auditions will be held September 8-10, from 7 to 10 p.m. each day, in the Studio Theatre at UIS.

The spring production is The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt. The setting is in a remote northern Michigan parish in 1911, where a young nun, Sister Rita, mysteriously dies. Her superior, Father Rivard, is charged with the crime.

As the trial unfolds four years later, the story alternates between the past and the present, revealing a conflicted relationship between the young nun and the priest. Sister Rita tries to inject color and life into the rural, drab town, bringing more tension to the surface. Part-courtroom drama, part-memory play and part-romance, the play explores conflicts between duty to the church and duty to self, forbidden passions, and divisions between strict traditional morality and complex human emotions.

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct. Productions dates are April 23-25 and April 29-May 1. Open auditions will be held on January 31-February 2.

Beginning with the fall 2009 production, evening curtain times will be changed to 7:30 p.m., instead of 8 p.m. as in the past. Sunday performances remain at 2 p.m.

For more information about auditions, the plays, or the Theatre Program at UIS, go to www.uis.edu/theatre .

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UIS Music presents Spring Showcase Concert

University of Illinois at Springfield Music will present its annual Spring Showcase Concert on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

A live webcast of the event will also be available.

The concert will feature the UIS Band, Chorus and Chamber Orchestra. The UIS Band will present a program designed to kick off the summer concert season, presenting works by Henry Fillmore, D’Arcangelo, Andrew Boysen Jr., and Percy Grainger.

In addition to their individual repertoire, the Chorus and Chamber Orchestra will also combine and perform Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs.

The program is free and open to the public. Donations benefiting the UIS Music Student Merit Award will be accepted.

For more information, contact Todd Cranson, director of the Chamber Orchestra and Band, at 217/206-7549.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

UIS Theatre’s 2008-2009 season concludes with Shakespeare’s "As You Like It"

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will conclude its 2008-2009 season with the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, opening Friday, April 17. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS - on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 17, 18, and 19, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 23, 24, and 25. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance (April 19), which will begin at 2 p.m.

As You Like It is set in France, where Duke Senior and his followers are hiding in the Forest of Arden after Duke Senior is usurped and exiled by his brother, Duke Frederick. Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is permitted to stay at court because she and Frederick’s daughter are close. But when Rosalind falls in love at first sight with young Orlando, and after Orlando is forced to flee persecution by his older brother, Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden, and Rosalind disguises herself as a man.

As is common in many of Shakespeare’s plays, confusion and mistaken identity ensue, lovers pine for each other, and Duke Senior and his followers search for meaning while in hiding in the Forest of Arden.

Characters in the play include Duke Frederick; Duke Senior; Rosalind, daughter to Duke Senior; Celia, daughter to Duke Frederick and Rosalind’s cousin; Orlando, youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; Oliver and Jacques, his brothers; Adam and Dennis, servants to Orlando and Oliver respectively; Touchstone, a court Fool; Charles and Le Beau, part of Duke Frederick’s court; and Jacques and Amiens, lords attending to Duke Senior. Other characters are Corin and Silvius, shepherds; Phoebe, a shepherdess; Audrey, a goatkeeper; William, who is in love with Audrey; and Sir Oliver Martext, a parish priest.

Eighteen actors are playing 23 roles in the production. The cast is Dwight Langford* (Orlando); Ben Beams* (Oliver); Matt Craven* (Jacques the brother/Dennis); Patrick O’Brien (servant/Sir Oliver Martext); Aasne Vigesaa (Rosalind); Ashley Warren* (Celia); Joey Cruse* (Touchstone); Kevin Purcell (Duke Frederick/Corin); Larry Smith (Charles/William); Karina Diaz* (Le Beau); Kevin Cline (a lord); Tom Hutchinson (Duke Senior); Ted Keylon (Jacques the lord); Nick Teeter* (Amiens); Nicole Butts (a lord); Roger Boyd* (Silvius); and Sarah Clinch* (Phoebe).* denotes a UIS student.

UIS Associate Professor and Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 65+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current I-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

For more information, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-6613.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

UIS hosts 6th annual U of I Communication Collaboration Conference

The Sixth Annual University of Illinois Communication Collaboration (UICC) Conference will be held at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Friday, April 10.

The conference will take place in University Hall Building, room 2008, on the UIS campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Communication students from all three University of Illinois campuses will participate in an academic forum where they are able to present their planned, in-progress and finished work.

Guest speaker Dr. Sandra Metts will speak on “The Role of Emotion Experience and Expression in the Development and Maintenance of Close Relationships” at 11 a.m.

The conference is free and open to the public. Attendees of the conference must register by Wednesday, April 8. For more information or to register, contact conference organizers at uicc2009@gmail.com.

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UIS to hold Symbolism conference in Monticello

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be holding a three-day conference called “Symbolism, Its Origins and Its Consequences” from April 22 through April 25 at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois.

The purpose of the conference is to explore the origins of Symbolism, a variety of Symbolist manifestations in art, literature, music and philosophy, its consequences in art and literature, and to understand how ideas moved from one European country to another.

Symbolism was based on a certain world view that expressed itself in different genres in different countries. European Symbolism was a complex movement that started in England, then moved to France, back to England, and then finally into Russian culture.

The keynote address for the conference will be given by Geneviève Lacambre, general honorary curator of the patrimony at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and is titled “Toward Symbolism: Gustave Moreau and the Masters of the Past and his Contemporaries.”

Each day of the conference will be comprised of various sessions focusing on Symbolism, with breaks for meals. Registration fees are $180, and $90 for students.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Strategic Initiative Grant from the UIS Provost’s Office and UIS’ Information Technology Services, Visual Arts Department and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Lodging can be booked at the Allerton Retreat Center by calling 217/333-3287. For more information or to register for the conference, go online to http://www.uis.edu/hosted-orgs/conferences/symbolism/index.html or contact Rosina Neginsky, organizer and coordinator of the conference, at 217/206-7431.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Central Illinois: Patchwork of People resumes with second program

“Central Illinois: Patchwork of People”, a thought-provoking, three-session educational series examining the people and cultures that have influenced life in central Illinois, continues on Tuesday, April 21 at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The program will be held in the Public Affairs Center rooms C/D and will focus on “How They Lived at Home.” Speakers will be Dr. Stacy Pratt McDermott, Assistant Editor of Papers of Abraham Lincoln, who will speak on “Domestic Law, Matrimony and Divorce in Sangamon County: 1837-1861,” and Dr. Stacey Robertson, Director of Women’s Studies at Bradley University in Peoria, who will speak on “Myths and Realities in the Lives of Frontier Women.”

UIS alumnus William Furry, Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society, is the moderator of the series. Sponsors of the event are the UIS Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.

A hot buffet luncheon is available at 11:30 a.m., and the presentations are from 12 to 1:30 p.m. The presentations are free and open to the public, but there is a cost of $20 for those with lunch reservations.

Paid reservations are required for the luncheon by Tuesday, April 14. Pre-registration is also requested from those attending the presentations but not eating lunch.

To register or for more information, visit www.uiaa.org/uis or contact the Office of UIS Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395 or alumni @uis.edu.

The Central Illinois Patchwork of People series will hold its final program on Tuesday, May 19, and the topic will be “How They Made a Living.” Speakers will be Taylor Pensoneau, Retired President of the Illinois Coal Association and Illinois author, and Dr. Debra Reid, Associate Professor of History at Eastern Illinois University.

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"The Lazarus Project" author to hold reading and Q&A session at UIS

As part of the Verbal Arts Festival and the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Aleksandar Hemon, author of the 2008 novel The Lazarus Project, will be holding a reading, presentation, and question and answer session on Friday, April 3, at 7 p.m.

The program will be held in the Studio Theater, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. It is free and open to the public.

Hemon, a native of Bosnia, is also the author of Nowhere Man and The Question of Bruno. The Lazarus Project was one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction.

For more information, contact Michael Gammon at mgamm01s@uis.edu or 217/206-7460.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Smithereens' lead singer to perform at WUIS studio

Pat DiNizio, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Smithereens, will appear in Springfield on Thursday, April 9 for a benefit “living room” concert at 7:30 p.m. for WUIS, the public radio affiliate based at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus.

DiNizio is currently traveling around the country doing a series of living room concerts in people’s homes. He will perform in the WUIS Suggs’ Performance Studio, which will take on a living room motif for the show, for an audience of up to 50 people.

DiNizio will showcase acoustic versions of Smithereens songs, along with performances from his tribute to Buddy Holly released this year on the 50th anniversary of Holly’s death.

“The show will allow DiNizio and fans to interact, and proceeds will go to the fund dedicated to the performance studio. It will also be recorded for later broadcast,” said Bill Wheelhouse, WUIS General Manager.

Admission is $50 per person, with proceeds going to the WUIS Suggs Performance Studio Fund. For more information or to make a reservation for the show, call WUIS at 217/206-6516.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Day for "Celebration of Animals and Nature in Myth and Legend"

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be hosting an event called “Celebration of Animals and Nature in Myth and Legend” on Tuesday, April 7. The event is presented by UIS’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of Undergraduate Education ECCE Speaker Series, along with the Lincoln Memorial Gardens and Illinois’ Nature in Legend and Story.

The event will feature seasoned storytellers, who will explore some of the ways in which cultures define themselves through unique relationships to fauna and flora. The program will look at ways in which nature and culture combine in the construction of human, as well as tribal, identity, so that social issues are inseparable from environmental concerns.

The keynote presentation, “Celebration of Animals & Nature in Legend & Myth,” will be held from 10 to 11:45 a.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. ECCE Speaker Series students will receive academic credit for their attendance at this event only.

A Nature Storytelling Workshop for Educators will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., also in Brookens Auditorium.

From 7:30 to 9 p.m., a Storytelling in the Round, Author’s Reception and Book Signing event will be held at Lincoln Memorial Gardens’ Nature Center, Council Ring 3. The cost to attend the evening event is $5; students with a UIS I-card will be admitted at no cost. Due to limited seating, pre-registration is required for this event by calling the Lincoln Memorial Gardens Nature Center at 217/529-1111.

Speakers include James Bruchac, nationally-known cultural educator and author; Dr. Boria Sax, UIS adjunct professor of the course “Animals and Civilization”; Betsy Irwin, education coordinator at Lincoln Memorial Gardens; and Cathy Mosley, president of the Illinois-based Nature in Legend and Story.

For more information, go online to www.uis.edu/clas/animalsandnature.html or contact Holly McCracken at 217/206-7421 or hmccr1@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Visual Arts Gallery hosts Vogele print collection

Highlights from the Vogele Print Collection will be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 22. An opening reception will be held in the gallery, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17.

The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The reception will be held in conjunction with UIS’ Arts Night.

The gallery is proud to present work from a collection of more than 20 prints by leading American contemporary artists donated by Robert and Ruth Vogele to the University’s permanent collection. Included in the collection are prints by Jim Dine, Sol LeWitt and Philip Pearlstein, among others. The Vogeles are alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Early birthday party to be held for Lincoln

By Nick Rogers, for the University of Illinois at Springfield



Fire stoked in a belly or fear struck in a heart isn’t a traditional measure of success for a piece of music. For Jay Ungar, that essence is inherent to the hits of the ‘60s.

The 1860s, that is.

“Without recordings and radio and all that, many more people played an instrument, and everybody sang,” says Ungar, a fiddler and mandolin player. “It was part of the fabric of the culture. Music also had an effect during the war, when a powerful song like ‘Battle Cry of Freedom’ was said to actually affect the outcome of battle.”

The Civil War, and its preceding tensions, dictated the emotions behind much of America’s popular music from the 1840s to 1860s. However, those tunes echoed not just a tumultuously changing society or combat’s chaos, but also a trans-generational importance of home comforts, family milestones and community togetherness.

In that more joyous spirit, the University of Illinois at Springfield will host “An Early Birthday Party for A. Lincoln” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 in Sangamon Auditorium.

Headlining this musical bicentennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birth will be Ungar and his wife, Molly Mason, who plays mandolin, guitar and piano. The duo is best known for “Ashokan Farewell,” a haunting instrumental immortalized in popular culture by its memorable use in “The Civil War,” Ken Burns’ 1990 PBS documentary. Ungar and Mason will perform that, along with many 19th-century tunes.

Accompanying them will be two Springfield arts groups with UIS connections – the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Band and the Springfield International Folk Dancers. Including those groups, says Sangamon Auditorium director Robert A. Vaughn, continues the auditorium’s ongoing mission to foster local collaboration and expand outreach.

“We’ve made great strides to improve that sense of university ownership while further strengthening collaborative ties with civic arts organizations,” Vaughn says. “It provides the opportunity to see the auditorium as more than just a place that people can go and see performances, but as a tool to enrich curriculum.”

For this artistic complement to Lincoln’s bicentennial birthday on Feb. 12, Vaughn purposely avoided scheduling it at the same time as other planned celebrations.

“I thought it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to try to crowd the calendar at that time, but to have a more modest celebration out on campus,” Vaughn says.

Modest, perhaps, but its deep fidelity to the time period is, in one instance, literal icing on the cake. Shortly after its mustering in 1861, the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry became one of few such regiments to have its own 12-member band. Today, the band is a 25-member group of central Illinois musicians who wear Civil War-style cavalry uniforms and play antique brass instruments and re-produced drums.

Conducting the cavalry band is Todd Cranson, assistant director of co-curricular music at UIS and director of the UIS band and chamber orchestra. Cranson’s polished-ebony baton, inlaid with silver, once belonged to the leader of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry Band, which frequently performed for Abraham Lincoln.

Cranson also has collaborated with Ungar and Mason on adapting their existing arrangements to include the cavalry band’s instrumentation. Although string groups and brass bands of the day often played the same songs, they rarely played together. Modern amplification has simplified blending the instruments, Cranson says.

Among the folk dancers joining the cavalry band onstage during “The Mary Lincoln Polka” will be Amy Zepp – a UIS graduate student in public administration and a graduate assistant at Sangamon Auditorium.

“People were just starting to learn the traditional polka that we think of today,” Zepp says of that selection’s period-specific choreography. “It will be similar to what people are familiar with now, but somewhat more traditional. The positioning of the couple will be farther apart, as such close dancing was considered inappropriate.”

Lastly, in the auditorium lobby after the performance, complimentary birthday cake – from a Mary Todd Lincoln recipe – will be served, along with punch and coffee.

When selecting Ungar and Mason to perform, Vaughn was particularly stricken by the suitability of “Ashokan Farewell.” Ungar composed the piece in 1982 as an elegy for the end of a musically memorable summer. Eight years later, Burns used it numerous times during “The Civil War,” and the tune propelled the soundtrack to a 1991 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Ungar says he may have “unintentionally Americanized” the Scottish lament style with “Ashokan Farewell.” But it since has become synonymous with both the era’s musical style and a general sense of human sadness or longing.

“We hear from a lot of people who’ve not ever seen the ‘Civil War’ series who write me almost in shock, asking, ‘Why am I crying when I hear this tune?’ It’s gratifying to know it touches many people in that way,” Mason says.

“I thought it was embarrassing to play that tune with tears coming out of the corner of my eye,” Ungar says. “But when I saw it did the same for others, it was magical.”

Prior to the concert, Ungar will present a fiddling workshop discussing his music at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 in the Visual and Performing Arts Building. Those interested in participating may call (217) 206-8405.

Alongside “Ashokan Farewell” on the Jan. 31 program will be selections tied to the country’s mid-19th-century mood, Lincoln’s musical preferences and his political legacy.

“The Vacant Chair” sadly chronicles a family gathering with a seat left open in memory of a fallen soldier. A sing-along medley that Ungar and Mason dub “Hits of the ’60s” will touch on popular Union and Confederate melodies.

“We came to understand that the songs of the north were sung in the south and vice versa,” Ungar says. “We were still one cultural unit in some ways. Everyone knew all the songs, and the most powerful ones, the other side would have their own lyrics for them.”

Mason hopes to perform “Listen to the Mockingbird,” an 1855 song reported to be Lincoln’s favorite and one that has lived on as a fiddle-contest favorite.

“The identity in the music we’re looking at here has a very strong emotional content,” Ungar says. “It is very playable and danceable, and has lyrics that speak very directly of people’s feelings, inner life and higher goals to aspire to.”

“It’s one part educational and one part historical to a modern audience, but the major portion is for entertainment,” Cranson says. “The kind of thing it seems Abe liked the most is fun.”

Tickets for “An Early Birthday Party for A. Lincoln” are $37 and are available: online at http://www.sangamonauditorium.org/; by calling (217) 206-6160 or toll free at (800) 207-6960; or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Spring auditions to be held for As You Like It

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will hold open auditions for the 2009 spring production – As You Like It by William Shakespeare – on Sunday, January 25, and Monday, January 26, beginning at 7 p.m. both nights, in the Studio Theatre, located on level one of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. Call-backs will be at the same time and place on Tuesday, January 27.

Auditions are open to anyone, with or without experience. UIS Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, who will direct, noted that everyone auditioning is strongly encouraged to read the play in advance. He added that headshots and resumes, as well as brief prepared monologues, are appreciated but not mandatory. Anyone interested in working backstage on the production should also plan to attend one night of auditions.

As You Like It is generally regarded as one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies. The setting is France, where Duke Senior -- usurped and exiled by his brother, Duke Frederick – has gone into hiding in the Forest of Arden with his followers. Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is permitted to stay at court because she and Frederick’s daughter Celia are close. However, Rosalind soon falls in love with Orlando, and when the young man is forced to leave court to escape persecution by his older brother, Rosalind (disguised as a boy) and Celia (disguised as "his" sister) also flee to the Forest. After much confusion, mistaken identity, and love-struck pining, Duke Frederick repents, Duke Senior is restored to his rightful position, and everybody lives happily ever after. (Plot synopsis from The Shakespeare Resource Center at http://www.bardweb.net/)

Thibodeaux-Thompson also noted that this production of As You Like It will be translated into a modern-day setting, while remaining faithful to Shakespeare’s original play.

A limited number of scripts are available for 24-hour checkout from UIS’ Brookens Library. In addition, some copies are available for 24-hour check-out, with a refundable $10 cash deposit, from the Communication/Theatre program office in UIS’ University Hall, room 3010, phone 206-6790, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Rehearsals will begin Sunday, February 1, and are generally scheduled for Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. Production dates are April 17, 18, 19 and 23, 24, 25.


More information about auditions is available at www.uis.edu/theatre/auditions.html or contact Thibodeaux-Thompson by phone at 206-6613 or by e-mail at ethib1@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Art Students League Holiday Sale

  • 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, December 11
  • PAC concourse
  • Artwork and art supplies

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ira Glass coming to Sangamon Auditorium this week

Host of NPR's This American Life will present "Radio Stories and Other Stories"

Popular National Public Radio host Ira Glass will visit the University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium on Saturday, December 13, at 8 p.m. to present "Radio Stories and Other Stories," based on his award-winning Showtime and public radio shows. The event is sponsored by ACE Hardware and 91.9 WUIS Public Radio.

Glass is the affable host and producer of the quirky hit show This American Life, now heard by millions of public radio listeners each week and recently adapted for television by Showtime. He travels the country meeting everyday people from all walks of life telling "unexpected stories that happen to be true." Glass will share some of his favorite yarns and answer questions from the audience when he visits Sangamon Auditorium.

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's headquarters in Washington, DC, in 1978, when he was 19 years old. Over the years, he worked on nearly every NPR news program and held virtually every production job – including tape cutter, newscast writer, desk assistant, editor, producer, and substitute host (for Talk of the Nation and Weekend All Things Considered) -- in NPR's Washington headquarters. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in November 1995. Under Glass' editorial direction, the program has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including the Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards, as well as the Edward R. Murrow and the Overseas Press Club awards.

Tickets for this event are $42 or $37 and are on sale now. Order tickets, or call the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217/206-6160 or toll free at 800-207-6960. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Ticket Office, which is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Individual tickets to all Visiting Artist Series and Family Events are on sale now, and tickets to Broadway shows go on sale approximately six weeks prior to each event. Patrons can receive a discount through the Create Your Own Series option by choosing at least five events from the Visiting Artists Series, Broadway Series, and Family Events. Please call the Ticket Office for more information.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS
Sangamon Auditorium, located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, hosts more than 120 performances annually. Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018. Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217/206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playing Shakespeare

2 p.m., Tuesday, December 9, in VPA 170, the Acting Studio

Students will perform two contrasting Shakespearean monologs -- "audition packages" that are a major piece of their work in the course.

For details, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 6-6613.

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UIS music groups to present Fall Showcase Concert

Music groups at the University of Illinois at Springfield will present their annual Fall Showcase concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 12, in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. The event is free and open to the public; however tax-deductible contributions to the UIS Music Student Merit Award will be accepted.

The program will feature the UIS Chorus, Band, Chamber Orchestra, and related small ensembles.

The UIS Chorus will perform a variety of vocal selections including secular music by Mozart, an Agnus Dei setting by Hassler, American folk songs, and a contemporary composition featuring a Zimbabwean proverb. The UIS Chamber Orchestra will perform works by Respighi and Hindemith. Three small ensembles will perform Renaissance works, and the UIS Jazz Workshop will share their interpretation of some American classics.

The UIS Band will pay homage to the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln with two works -- Francis Scala's Union March, written for Lincoln's 1861 inauguration, and Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait, featuring David Kuhn narrating as Civil War General Benjamin H. Grierson.

Audience members who arrive early can hear a pre-concert lecture by Jessica Davis, graduate student in musicology at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theatre lobby; doors will open for the concert immediately following the lecture.

For more information, contact Sharon Graf, associate professor of Ethnomusicology, at 206-6570.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

UIS to co-sponsor "Merry TubaChristmas 2008"

Two performances of "A Merry TubaChristmas" will be held Saturday, December 13, in downtown Springfield. The first performance will be inside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum at 1 p.m., followed by a second performance (weather permitting) on the steps of the Old State Capitol at 2 p.m. The concerts are open to the public and are free, except for the price of admission to the museum.

All tuba and euphonium/baritone players in the area are invited to take part in the concerts, which are sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the University of Illinois at Springfield. Both concerts will be directed by Todd Cranson, UIS Director of Bands.

Created by Harvey Phillips in 1974, Merry TubaChristmas is celebrating its 35th anniversary with concerts in over 200 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Under the program, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather every Christmas season to pay respect to the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. While the size and make-up of each TubaChristmas ensemble varies by community, every performance features traditional Christmas carols specially arranged for the first TubaChristmas -- December 22, 1974, in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza -- by American composer Alec Wilder.

Musicians who would like to play in the concerts should register at Union Station across from the Lincoln Museum at 11 a.m. There is a $5 registration fee, and music books will be available for $15. A short rehearsal will be held in the station at noon. All participating musicians will be admitted to the museum free.

For more information, contact Cranson at 217/206-7549, or Jerry Dunn at 217/854-7442.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to hold annual silent auction

The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield will hold its 18th Annual Benefit and Silent Auction fundraiser Tuesday, December 9, through Thursday, December 11. Art in every medium – including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, and photography – will be on display for silent bids each day in the gallery, located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. The event concludes Thursday evening with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, with final bids placed at 7 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Gallery manager Morgan Carroll said that donations of artwork will be accepted through December 3. Inclusion of donated items is subject to approval by the faculty of UIS' Visual Arts department.

The auction is the gallery's only fundraiser and all proceeds are used to support future exhibitions. The 2008 fall season included "Talking Stones," an exhibition by visual and performance artist James Luna, and "An Indian from India/Bollywood Satirized," a group of selected works from two exhibitions focused on culture by photographer Anuu Palakunnathu Matthew.

Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Contact Carroll by phone at 206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu for more information or to arrange to drop off a donation.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Brookens to host "An Evening with Ray Bradbury"

Brookens Library will host an evening with legendary author Ray Bradbury, via a live satellite interview, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, in Brookens Auditorium. The program and a reception in the PAC restaurant immediately following are free and open to the public.

Bradbury is the author of such classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. From his home in Los Angeles, he will discuss his life and work in a conversation with Dr. Loren Logsdon, professor emeritus of English and Western Civilization & Culture at Eureka College. Logsdon, a friend of Bradbury and an expert on his writing, will open the evening with a short address.

Bradbury is a native of Waukegan, Illinois, and one of 35 Illinois authors whose names are engraved on the fourth floor frieze of the Illinois State Library. Fahrenheit 451 is a cautionary tale about a media-obsessed society where citizens have stopped reading. Some of its themes are censorship, freedom of expression, and the effects of television and technology on society.

The program is part of The Big Read in West Central Illinois. For more information about the program at UIS, contact the office of the dean of Library Instructional Services at 6-6597.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Veggie Club art show

Accepting submissions through 5 p.m., Wednesday, December 3
Artwork should relate to nature, animals, or vegetarianism
  • Exhibit runs December 3 to 5, in Brookens concourse
  • Opening night reception begins at 6 p.m.
  • 1st and 2nd place prizes awarded
For more information, contact Ashleen Woods at awood03s@uis.edu

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UIS to host artist's talk "Strangers in a Familiar Land"

The Visual Arts Visiting Speakers Series at the University of Illinois at Springfield will present "Strangers in a Familiar Land," a brown bag talk featuring Jeff Curto, beginning at noon on Friday, November 21, in UIS' Visual Arts Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Curto (left) is coordinator and professor of photography at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, where he has taught since 1984. His presentation at UIS will complement and expand on "Indians from India," the concurrent exhibition by contemporary photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew. Matthew’s work references 19th century colonial photography in this country and India.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at visarts-ga@uis.edu.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Artist's lecture and demonstration

Featuring Doug Jeppesen, associate professor of ceramics, Waubonsee College, Sugar Grove

Wednesday, November 12
Ceramics studio, VPA 76
  • Demonstration: 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Lecture: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Sponsors: Visual Arts Department, UIS Speakers Award Committee

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Cherryholmes Christmas kicks off the holiday season at Sangamon Auditorium

Kick off the holiday season at Sangamon Auditorium with Cherryholmes Christmas on Saturday, November 22, at 8 p.m. Presented in cooperation with Midwest Bluegrass Festivals and 91.9 WUIS Public Radio.

Until April 1999, this dynamic family band did not exist, and half of its youthful members hadn't even picked up an instrument. By 2005, this high-energy Nashville-based group was named IBMA's Entertainers of the Year. Since then, Cherryholmes has been nominated for a Grammy (for their self-titled album in 2006) and their latest album, Cherryholmes II Black and White, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Bluegrass chart.

Watch a Cherryholmes video
Read the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine November cover story

Audience members at this performance are invited to help UIS support the Central Illinois Food Bank by bringing canned goods for the Holiday Stars Project. The goal of this campus-wide community service project is to collect 4016 pounds of food. Donations will be collected in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby prior to the performance.

Tickets for this event are $37 or $32 and are on sale now. Order tickets online or call the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160 or toll free at 800-207-6960. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Ticket Office, which is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Individual tickets to all Visiting Artist Series and Family Events are on sale now, and tickets to Broadway shows go on sale approximately six weeks prior to each event. Patrons can receive a discount through the Create Your Own Series option by simply choosing at least five events from the Visiting Artists Series, Broadway Series, and Family Events at UIS. Please call the Ticket Office for more information.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS
Sangamon Auditorium, located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, hosts more than 120 performances annually. Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018. Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at (217) 206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UIS to display paintings by UN award-winning artist

"One Night of Grace," paintings by Nigerian artist Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, will be on display in the Student Access Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, November 17, through Friday, November 21. (The painting "One Night of Grace" is shown at left.)

An artist's talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, will be held in conference room H of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. A reception will also be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, in the Access Gallery, which is located in the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the campus. Get directions

The exhibit, artist's talk, and reception are all free and open to the public.

The events are sponsored by the UIS Art Students League; co-sponsors are the Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services and Springfield School District 186.

Alao recently took first place in the prestigious United Nations International Art Competition. His winning entry, "Girls and a Greener Environment," chronicles the life of a young girl from infancy to adulthood, and the values she acquires along the way.

His paintings have been exhibited in this country at a number of venues, including the Harvard Business School, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the African Unity Festival, the Nigerian Consulate, the Nigerian Embassy, the United Nations headquarters, the World Bank headquarters, and the Empire State Building. His work has been published by the Metropolitan Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.

Alao is currently touring the United States with his art, working with school-aged children, and giving talks about the mystery and magic of Africa.

For more information about the exhibit at UIS, contact Dannyl Madura, Art Students League president, at 217/220-2320 or dmadu2@uis.edu.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

WUIS marks War of the Worlds 70th anniversary

In observance of the 70th anniversary of Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, WUIS, in association with Gordon Productions, will present a re-creation of the original program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield.

WUIS will broadcast the performance on Halloween night at 9 p.m.

With a nod to the night that the Mercury Theatre radio group panicked America, the live show at the Hoogland Center will be presented as if it were an actual 1930s radio show. The actors will be dressed in period costumes, reading from scripts, while sound men provide all of the appropriate sound effects.

Cast members are Kevin Purcell (reading the Orson Welles role), Don Schneider, Pat Foster, Dennis Rendleman, Flynn Hanners, Brett Rutherford, and Steve Krampitz, along with local broadcasters Dave Leonatti (WUIS), Bob Murray (WTAX), Jim Leach (WMAY), Johnny Molson (ALICE 97.7/WMAY), and Joe Crain (NewsChannel 20).

Tickets for the stage performance are $12, and can be picked up at the Hoogland box office, by calling 523-2787, or online.

For information about the broadcast on Halloween night, call WUIS at 217/206-6516.

See an article about the performance from the October 30 State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UIS Theatre Program opens season with "Cloud 9"

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will open its 2008-2009 season with the British play Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS -- on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 7, 8, and 9, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, November 13, 14, and 15. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance (November 9), which will begin at 2 p.m.

Described by the New York Times as "intelligent, inventive, and funny," Cloud 9 explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity. Using cross-gender casting and role-doubling, Churchill creates a stinging and satirical look at the relationships between the sexually repressed Victorian era and the sexually liberated late 20th century. Act 1 takes place in British Colonial Africa in 1880, where the characters secretly attempt to resist the constraints of Victorianism. Act 2 takes place in London 100 years later – although the characters have aged only 25 years – and everyone has thrown off their 19th century restraint. (Note: This production is intended for mature audiences and is not suitable for children.)

Act 1 characters include Clive, a government official; his wife, Betty; their daughter, Victoria; Clive's friend Harry, an explorer; Mrs. Saunders, a "new" woman, challenging the Victorian ideals; Clive's son, Edward, who still plays with dolls; and Joshua, a servant. By Act 2, some of the same characters return, having aged only 25 years, and they are affected by their encounters with new characters -- Gerry, Lin, Cathy, and Martin. Various roles are cross-gender cast, and almost all of the actors play one role in Act 1, and a different role in Act 2.

The cast is: Troy Thomas-Pfaffe (Clive/Martin); *Dwight Langford (Betty/Gerry); *Leif Mogren (Joshua/Edward); *Colleen Kabbes (Edward/Betty); Mary Myers (Maud); *Ashley Warren (Ellen/Victoria); *Cassie Oswald (Mrs. Saunders/Lin); and *Roger Boyd (Harry Bagley/ Cathy/Soldier). * denotes a UIS student

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

The performances on November 8 and November 13 are also presented as part of UIS' ECCE Speaker Series -- events that aim to exemplify engaged citizenship as part of the university’s effort to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world. These performances will include post-show discussions with the cast, director, and dramaturg.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 55+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current i-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

The spring production will be Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It, directed by UIS Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson. Production dates are April 17-19 and 23-25.

For more information about the plays, or about UIS' Theatre program.

For information about the ECCE Speakers Series, contact series coordinator Kimberly Craig at 206-6245.

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UIS Visual Arts Gallery to present photography exhibit "Indians from India"

Selections from "Indians from India," works by noted photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, will be on display in the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, November 3, through Wednesday, December 3.

An artist's talk and discussion session will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, in the gallery, followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The artist's talk, reception, and exhibit are free and open to the public. The gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus.

Matthew is an associate professor of Art (Photography) at the University of Rhode Island whose work can be seen in numerous collections, including at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Of "Indians from India" she notes, "As an immigrant, I'm often questioned about where I'm 'really from.' When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I'm an Indian from India, not an American-Indian." In this portfolio, she compares early photographs of Native Americans with those taken by 19th century British photographers in India.

Since Bombay is home to a thriving movie industry -- producing more than 1,000 films each year -- the city has come to be known as "Bollywood." Matthew notes that her work "Bollywood Satirized" is a commentary on the social expectations she experienced growing up in India. Using digital technology to alter Indian movie posters, she re-interprets the images to humorously challenge the traditional gender roles and behavior of Indian society.

The artist's talk and discussion session on November 6 is also presented as part of the ECCE Speakers Series at UIS -- events that aim to exemplify engaged citizenship as part of the university's effort to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at visarts-ga@uis.edu. For more information about Dr. Matthew's presentation, contact Liz Thomas, UIS assistant professor of Visual Art, at 206-7547.

For information about the ECCE Speakers Series, contact series coordinator Kimberly Craig at 206-6245 or send an e-mail to speakerseries@uis.edu.

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