Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UIS and Springfield Public Schools collaborate for Partners in Education Institute

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) have joined together to form a team that was recently selected to participate in the national Partners in Education Institute, which will take place May 5 through May 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Carly Shank, director of audience development and communication for Sangamon Auditorium, is the institute’s principal for the Auditorium, and Lynn Gilmore, Elementary Music Specialist for SPS, is the representative for the school district. Shank and Gilmore, along with Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, will attend the institute.

“Few factors are as important to building audiences for the performing arts as the effectiveness of local educators in local schools,” Vaughn noted. “The Auditorium can provide access and opportunities otherwise unavailable to students and teachers; consequently, we have pursued this opportunity for partnership to assure a brighter future for all parties involved and for society at large.”

Lynn Gilmore believes this collaboration will help strengthen arts education throughout the district.

“The arts are essential to every child’s education. It serves as an avenue that sparks creativity and imagination in the minds of learners. In that same light, every student needs a stage and our collaboration with UIS offers a venue to express themselves via the arts,” said Gilmore.

Fourteen other teams of arts organizations and school systems were chosen to attend the institute, which promotes partnerships in communities across the country between arts organizations and local school districts, focusing on the development of arts education programs for teachers.

The institute provides training and information to design an effective arts and arts integration professional development program for teachers in their communities. Participants will have the opportunity to observe established professional development workshops in action at the Kennedy Center with teachers in attendance. They will also participate in content sessions that prepare them in how to plan, implement and evaluate professional development in the arts and arts integration for teachers.

The new teams will join the existing 90 teams from 44 states and the District of Columbia currently participating in the Partners in Education program. In addition to this institute, the program holds an annual conference in Washington, where attendees exchange ideas and address issues facing their communities.

“We look to supplement the considerable efforts of UIS in teacher education while providing a dialogue that can build meaningful and transformative relationships for years to come,” Vaughn said.

The institute is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund.

For more information about the collaboration between Sangamon Auditorium and District 186, contact Bob Vaughn at 217/206-8280 or Lynn Gilmore at 217/525-3264.

For more information about the Partners in Education program, call 202/416-8806 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Theatre Open House & Season Preview

UIS Theatre held an open house to show new and returning students what they have planned for the 2009-2010 season. Three productions featuring a mix of student and community actors will start in November.

The first show is Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things set to run November 13-15 and 19-21, 2009. The play 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.

UIS “Student Directed Scenes,” which showcases the final projects of the students in the Fall ’09 “Directing for the Theatre” class will take place on December 8 and 9, 2009.

The last performance will be Milan Stitt’s The Runner Stumbles set to run April 23-25 and 29-May 1, 2010. The play is set in a remote northern Michigan parish in 1911 where a young nun mysteriously dies. The parish priest is charged with the crime.

Performances will take place starting at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays in the Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

For more information about the plays and auditions visit the UIS Theatre website at: http://www.uis.edu/theatre/

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Friday, May 15, 2009

WUIS radio station is in the midst of big changes

By Courtney Westlake

A sign hanging in the station of WUIS Radio aptly reads “WUIS Construction Zone”.

Big changes are coming to WUIS over the next six months, as is evidenced by construction debris and storage piled high throughout the station.

“We are truly rebuilding WUIS,” said Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of the station. “We have a federal grant of $137,000 matched locally with same amount for this project.”

WUIS is becoming a fully digital station “inside and out,” Wheelhouse said. The station will be getting technical upgrades that will improve its sound quality and that will also allow those who have special HD digital radios to get extra signals.

“We plan on launching a signal in the fall of alternative music - an alternative public radio format - that will be both on the Web and on HD radio; and down the road, a third station,” Wheelhouse said.

Additionally, the Suggs Performance Studio, funded largely in part by the Suggs family, has played host to several recent performances for WUIS and will be getting a makeover as well.

“Right now, a new studio is being constructed, and then we can begin ripping out the rest of the old radio station,” Wheelhouse said. “Hopefully that will be seamless, but we'll be doing a lot of work over the next six months.”

“We’ll have performances ranging from rock to jazz to classical in that studio and host events and things like that,” he added. “We've had shows in there, but it will be fully functional by October and allow for community forums, recording if someone wanted to record something and allow us to serve both the university community and central Illinois region in a lot of new ways.”

The current WUIS radio station is outdated technically so some of the improvements just needed to be made “in the course of ordinary business,” Wheelhouse said. With the new improvements, WUIS will be able to provide complete service to central and western Illinois and represent the university well in those areas.

“As we try to serve on the many platforms that will be out there, whether it’s the Web or through ordinary radio or digital radio, doing this will allow for more efficiency and allow us to provide more services and access,” Wheelhouse said. “We're excited.”

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UIS Emeritus Professor of Philosophy authors sixth book

Dr. Peter Wenz, University of Illinois at Springfield Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, is the author of a new book titled Beyond Red and Blue: How Twelve Political Philosophies Shape American Debates. The book is his sixth and has been published by MIT Press.

A book-signing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23 at Barnes and Noble in Springfield.

Beyond Red and Blue examines the beliefs of many different groups including social conservatives, utilitarians, theocrats, feminists, and libertarians on issues such as physician-assisted suicide, abortion, torture, affirmative action, the war on drugs, eminent domain, and pornography.

Publishers Weekly said of the book: “The competing voices in the American political arena are given their due in this nuanced tour of some of the most chewed-over issues of the day. Wenz posits that there are 12 major political philosophies (e.g., libertarianism, contractarianism, feminism and multiculturalism) that, taken in part or in whole, encompass the opinions of most Americans.”

“Whether your political comfort zone is on the right, on the left, or somewhere in the middle, Beyond Red and Blue is going to make you squirm,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, whose comments appear on the book’s jacket. “Drawing from life experiences and familiar headlines, Peter Wenz finds twelve lines of political DNA in America. Don’t expect Wenz to button up every chapter with sound-bite certainty. His conclusions may make you cheer or curse, but they are sure to make you think,” Durbin said.

Wenz is also the author of Environmental Justice (SUNY Press 1988), Abortion Rights as Religious Freedom (Temple University Press 1992), Nature’s Keeper (Temple University Press 1996), Environmental Ethics Today (Oxford University Press 2001), and Political Philosophies in Moral Conflict (McGraw-Hill 2007).

Environmental Justice has been translated and published in both Chinese and Korean, and Environmental Ethics Today has been translated and published in Chinese. In addition, more than 40 articles and book chapters by Wenz have been published.

Wenz retired from UIS in December 2004 after spending 28 years as a member of the Philosophy Department. Before the department had a major or even a minor, Wenz worked with faculty in other disciplines to create courses that would be useful to their students. He also had a one-third joint appointment to do research and writing in what was originally called the Center for Legal Studies, now called the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies.

During his long career at SSU/UIS, Wenz took leaves to teach one year at Southbank University in London (1980-81) and at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland (1986-87). During a semester sabbatical in 2003, he taught a course at Oxford University in England. Since retiring from UIS, he has taught a semester in 2007 at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Wenz has a B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

UIS alumna's book is recently published

UIS alumna Joanna Beth Tweedy, host of Quiddity Public-Radio Program on WUIS, is receiving high praise from esteemed writers for her debut novel, The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas, released this spring from Southeast Missouri University Press.

Tweedy will be reading and signing copies of her book on campus this Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the Café Annex, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.

The novel’s lyrical, poetic style is highly unusual, especially for a debut work of prose. It has been receiving praise from a variety of literati—novelists, poets, reviewers, and editors alike, including Robert Hellenga, Patrick Carrington, and Elaine Fowler Palencia. It’s been called “a simmering gumbo of linguistic delicacies,” “a dance that never missteps…absolute in originality and sophistication,” and “an inventive masterpiece.”

Hellenga, best-selling author of The Sixteen Pleasures, says of Yonder Side, “The prose crackles like a splash of water on a hot skillet and there’s a surprise on every page.” Palencia calls it “High Lyrical Down-home…a novel to read twice.” And Carrington, editor of the award-winning journal Mannequin Envy, calls the novel “a rollicking ride of unexpected turns.” Of the author he writes, “a new voice that is not to be missed, one you'll surely enjoy reading as much as it does speaking to you.”

With degrees in education and English from the Universities of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Springfield (UIS), Tweedy has taught creative writing, literature, composition and educational leadership, and has served as faculty-in-residence for the Capital Scholars Honors Program at UIS. Early versions of some of the novel’s chapters were included in her creative-writing thesis project, which was nominated for UIS’ Thesis of the Year Award by the English Department. In addition to hosting Quiddity on WUIS, Tweedy is also the founding editor of Quiddity’s companion international literary journal, housed at Benedictine University at Springfield, where she is an associate dean.

A book tour is planned this summer.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Professor's book of poetry is published

A book of poetry called Juggler by Dr. Rosina Neginsky, associate professor of liberal studies, women’s studies and English at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has recently been published by the University Press of the South.

Juggler is a bilingual English-Russian edition of poems and is available at the UIS Bookstore or online at Amazon.com. The book consists of seven “cycles” - Amore, Birth, Yearning, Juggler, Encounters, Mermaid and Ballads, Neginsky noted.

The front cover of the book is by Sergei Chepik, a Franco-Russian painter whose works Neginsky will be exhibiting at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery in October 2009.

Neginsky is a literary scholar, translator, author and poet. She was the 2008 University Scholar at UIS, and her primary scholarly interests include European literature and cinema, women writers and the symbolist movement in Europe.

Neginsky is also the author of the book Zinaida Vengerova: in Search of Beauty: A Literary Ambassador Between East And West.

Neginsky will be reciting from Juggler in celebration of Poetry Month on April 14 at the Illinois State Library from 12 to 1 p.m. The reading will take place in the Illinois Authors Room at the library, and it is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

High school students present winning work for contest at UIS

The University of Illinois at Springfield and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission co-sponsored a state-wide Lincoln Forum Scholarship Contest for students in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. First, second and third place winners presented their winning work at UIS on the morning of Saturday, April 4, and were hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in the afternoon, followed by tours of the Lincoln Home and New Salem on Sunday.

“The quality of the students’ work was truly exceptional,” said Dean Margot Duley of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIS. “Lincoln believed that education is ‘the most important subject that we as a people may be engaged in.’ The students, their parents, their sponsoring teachers and their schools can be justly proud of embracing and embodying that Lincoln legacy.”

This contest was open to Illinois high school students in grades 11 and 12 attending public, private, parochial or home schools, or Illinois students enrolled in high school correspondence/GED programs during the 2008-2009 academic year.

The contest was comprised of three categories, and prizes for each category included one year tuition waiver at UIS or $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place.
Category I was called “Historical Essay,” and entrants chose one of the following topics as the focus of their essay: Lincoln on race, Lincoln and wartime civil liberties or Lincoln’s religious or spiritual beliefs.

Mark Podeschi received first place for his Spiritual Views essay titled “Lincoln and his Lord.” Podeschi, of Taylorville, is a student at V.I.T. High School in Table Grove under the guidance of teacher Mary Dawson.

Amy Nosbisch, a Deitrich native, was the second place winner with her Lincoln on Race essay called “Lincoln: Friend or Foe to the African-American Race.” Nosbisch studies under teacher Rebekah Volk at Teutopolis High School.

Taylor Franzen Perkins, from Flanagan, received third place for her Spiritual Views essay, titled “Lincoln’s Binding Thread.” Perkins is a student at Flanagan-Cornell High School.

Category II focused on creative written works inspired by Abraham Lincoln and his legacy. Submissions were accepted in the genres of poetry, short story and dramatic script.

Shelby Adcock, of Table Grove, won first place for her short story submission titled “The Pride of New Salem.” Adcock studies with teacher Karen Lafary at V.I.T. High School.

Joseph Capps, a native of Mt. Vernon, received second place in the poetry category for his work called “Lincoln’s Greatness.” He studies with teacher Melanie Gulley at Mount Vernon Township High School.

Alyssa Huber, of Sugar Grove, won third place for her dramatic script submission titled “Young Lincoln’s Joke.” Huber is homeschooled by Linda Huber.

Category III was “Performance and Visual Arts.” Submissions were accepted in the visual arts fields of painting and drawing, graphic design, printmaking, digital imagery, sculpture, ceramics and glass, textiles, film and video, photography and mixed media, and in the performance arts fields of original music composition, solo performance based on student’s own writing and solo performance based on Lincoln’s own words or speeches.

John Tienken, a native of Clarendon Hills and student at Hinsdale Central High School, received first place for his video/film submission called “A Great American.” He studies with Christopher Freiler.

Jennifer Wilson, of Galesburg, was the second place winner with her work in the Ceramics category titled “A Nation Ripped at the Seams.” Wilson is a student at Galesburg High School under teacher Sheryl Lee Hinman.

Allison Abrahamian, of Burbank, won third place for her work of graphic design titled “Stand with Me.” Abrahamian studies under the guidance of teacher Katherine Kalus at Reavis High School.

Laura Powers, a Springfield native and homeschooled student under Carla Powers, received an honorable mention for her video/film submission called “The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln.”

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Sangamon Auditorium's Class Acts series celebrates 500,000th attendee

By Courtney Westlake

Sangamon Auditorium
plays host to hundreds of shows and performances each year, including a series for students called Class Acts, which reached an exciting milestone on Monday, March 30.

"I want to let all of you know that since 1986, Sangamon Auditorium has welcomed half a million students, teachers and parents," announced Carly Shank, director of Audience Development & Communication at the Auditorium, during a Class Acts performance Monday afternoon. "This afternoon, we are pleased to celebrate our 500,000th Class Acts attendee."

The 500,000th person to attend a Class Acts performance was named Dominic, a third-grader from Christ the King school.

Class Acts is a performing arts series for youth at Sangamon Auditorium with the goal of presenting a diverse performing arts program in support of educational and cultural goals mandated by the State of Illinois. The 2008-2009 season is the 23rd season of Class Acts.

"We believe that performing arts are essential to our humanity. We want to present you with quality performances, and we want our performers to be proficient in their craft and want you to connect with the performances," Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, told the audience Monday afternoon.

In celebration of the milestone, Sangamon Schools Credit Union, one of the sponsors of the series, donated tickets for a class to attend one of next year's performances. The school that won the drawing for the tickets was Owen Marsh.

Monday's Class Acts performance was called "Mad Science presents CSI: Live!" The Auditorium also announced the schedule for the 2009-2010 Class Acts season, which includes performances like "Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad" and "Rainbow Fish."

"We want you to come away from these performances and be intellectually-challenged and learn something new," Vaughn told the students gathered at Monday's performance. "If we do these things, we have the chance of changing someone's life."

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Monday, March 23, 2009

English professor read poems at Walden Poetry Series

Nancy Perkins, Associate Professor of English and Past Chair of the English Department from 2003-2005, read a selection of her poems at the Walden Poetry Series in Concord, MA, on March 21st in celebration of the Spring Equinox. The poets read their works, as the host Douglas Bishop wrote, “in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau, poetry to celebrate the beauty of the natural world.”

Perkins publishes and reads her creative works under her first two names: nancy genevieve.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Adjunct professor self-publishes first novel

Edward Beekman-Myers, adjunct professor of English and graduate of UIS, has self-published his first novel through an online publishing company called Create Space. The novel is the first volume in a series of outer-space novels and is titled “The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat!”

The book centers on the Milky Way’s most popular rock band, Comet Sweat, with lead singer Declan Slocomb. The band promotes love, happiness and health for every living creature in the galaxy through their lyrics, but offstage they find themselves in one misadventure after another.

Through their connections and newly forged relationships as they travel the galaxy, they spread their influence to all corners. They also catch the attention of an evil corporate viper named Vee’vee’n Klaar’ynn, who is willing to do whatever necessary to gain control of the galaxy, even if it means destroying Comet Sweat.

Beekman-Myers is the author of several novels and short stories, most with a science-fiction slant.

The “The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat!” is now available online at Amazon and Target, as well as at the UIS and Lincoln Land Community College bookstores and Comic Service.

For more information, contact Beekman-Myers at 217/299-2039 or emyer01s@uis.edu.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

UIS Theatre's production of Cloud 9 chosen for regional program

Play will represent Illinois at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The 2008 fall production of the Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield -- Cloud 9, by British playwright Caryl Churchill -- has been selected to represent the state at the Region III Festival for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, to be held January 7 through 10 in Saginaw, Michigan.

"This is quite a coup for a program that has no majors or minors as yet," observed Margot Duley, dean of UIS' College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Described by the New York Times as "intelligent, inventive, and funny," Cloud 9 explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity through the use of cross-gender casting and role-doubling.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, who directed the production, explained that it was originally nominated for the festival's "Evening of Scenes" by Professor John T. Oertling, chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Eastern Illinois University, who served as the KCACTF respondent to the production. She said the regional executive committee subsequently selected UIS' entry from all nominated productions in Illinois to represent the state at the Festival's "Evening of Scenes," in which each state presents 5 to 10 minutes of scenes from its nominated production.

KCACTF Region III includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

"Right now, we hope to present at least one short scene with students Dwight Langford (Betty, Act I), and Roger Boyd (Harry, Act I), and perhaps also a second scene with Roger and Colleen Kabbes (Edward, Act I)," said Thibodeaux-Thompson.

She and her husband, Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, who is associate professor and director of Theatre at UIS, are accompanying a number of students to the Festival. Some of the students will take part in the Irene Ryan acting scholarship competition; all of them will attend various workshops and performances from colleges and universities in Region III. Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will also serve as one of three judges from Illinois for the Irene Ryan preliminary rounds. (Judges do not judge students from their home states.)

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UIS Brookens Library to hold student art exhibit and competition

Brookens Library at the University of Illinois at Springfield will host a juried student art exhibit and competition, based on themes from the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The event is part of the library's participation in the Big Read program and is open to all currently registered students at UIS.

Entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 3. The grand prize winner will have an opportunity to display his or her work at jimiArt gallery in downtown Springfield.

An opening night reception and awards ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 7, in Mary Jane's Café, located in Brookens' lower level. To accommodate the event, which is free and open to the public, the library will remain open until 7 p.m. that evening.

Artwork will remain on display on the second level of Brookens Library through Saturday, December 20, which is the end of UIS' 2008 fall semester.

Sponsors of the event are Bevande's, The Friends of Brookens Library, jimiArt, Jeffrey Alans, Walmart, and the UIS Bookstore.

Additional information, including a downloadable entry form

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

UIS Archives is source of materials for PBS documentary

Program on the Handy Writers' Colony will air nationwide

Inside the Handy Writers' Colony, a PBS documentary that will air nationwide on Thursday, October 23, drew extensively on archival materials housed in Brookens Library at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The program will air locally on the HD (High Definition) channels of WILL and WSEC at 9 p.m.

Founded in 1950 by Lowney and Harry Handy in Marshall, Illinois, the Handy Writers' Colony flourished for approximately 15 years. During that time it supported numerous young writers, many of whom subsequently published their work. Its most famous resident was novelist James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity.

The program explores the turbulent years of this literary experiment through flashback sequences and interviews with former colony residents, Marshall townspeople, and scholars. Narrated by Nick Clooney, the film features the voice of Jane Alexander as Lowney Turner Handy.

In 1983, J. Michael Lennon and Jeffrey Van Davis of then-Sangamon State University produced a television documentary titled James Jones: Reveille to Taps, which also aired nationally on PBS. While researching this documentary, Lennon and Van Davis acquired a large collection of material – photographs and hundreds of letters and pages of manuscripts written by Jones and others associated with the Colony – that is now preserved in the UIS Archives as the Handy Colony Collection. This collection is open to researchers, and has been a resource for several books, articles, and papers.

For the new documentary, UIS Archivist Thomas Wood assisted writer/director/producer Dawn Shapiro of Chicago-based Woodlawn Avenue Productions in selecting materials from the Handy Colony Collection. Some interview footage from the earlier documentary is also featured in Inside the Handy Writers' Colony.

For more information, go to www.pbs.org/insidethehandywriterscolony/ or www.insidethehandywriterscolony.com, or contact Thomas Wood at 217/206-6520.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cast Announced for Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, coming soon to Sangamon Auditorium

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium will open its 2008-2009 Performing Arts Season with Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway on Saturday, October 4, at 8 p.m. Sponsors are Friends of Sangamon Auditorium and WAND Newscenter 17.

Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway re-creates the biggest moments from the most spectacular shows of the century -- featuring the actual stars that helped make them famous. Select Broadway names light up the stage with revived arrangements of classic songs from Broadway hits like The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aida, Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll and Hyde.

The performance at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS will feature Broadway stars Danny Zolli, Rita Harvey, Andrea Rivette, Charles Bergell, and Erick Buckley. Conductor/arranger Berg is the composer and lyricist of several musicals including the hit off-Broadway show The Prince and the Pauper and the forthcoming Broadway musical Grumpy Old Men.

A post-show discussion with Neil Berg will take place in the Auditorium immediately following the performance. Tickets for this event are $48 or $43 and are on sale now. To order tickets visit www.SangamonAuditorium.org 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 the Cast

Danny Zolli is best known for his performances in the 20th anniversary national tour and the North American Resurrection Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he won critical acclaim for his menacing portrayal of The High Priest Annas as well as for his poignant work in understudying and frequently performing the roles of both Jesus and Judas.

Rita Harvey recently took over the role of Hodel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof starring Rosie O'Donell and Harvey Fierstien. She made her Broadway debut performing the lead role of Christine Daee in Phantom of the Opera after two years performing the role with the second national tour.

Andrea Rivette's Broadway credits include Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde with David Hasselhoff (performance filmed for HBO and DVD), and Ellen in Miss Saigon. This past year she had the honor of playing her dream role, Fantine, at Sacramento Music Circus in Les Miserables, directed by Glen Casale.

Charles Bergell had the privilege of performing the leading role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway and national touring companies of Les Miserables. He appeared as Mssr. Andre in the second national tour of Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, and was a member of the 20th anniversary tour of Evita.

Erick Buckley has performed the roles of Marius and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Piangi in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Dave in The Full Monty, Roger in the Broadway revival of Grease! with Sheena Easton, John Secada, Rex Smith, and Adrian Zmed, and Gangster #1 in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

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, August 20, 2008

Community invited to join UIS musical groups

Members of the community who are interested in sharing their musical talents are invited to join campus ensembles currently gearing up for the fall semester at the University of Illinois at Springfield. To join the UIS Band, Chorus, or Chamber Orchestra, simply attend rehearsal sessions, which begin the week of August 25. Membership is free and auditions are not required.

UIS Band rehearses Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m.

UIS Chorus rehearses Tuesdays from 7 to 9:15 p.m. and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

UIS Chamber Orchestra rehearses Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All rehearsals meet in room 33 of the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the UIS campus.

Academic credit is also available to those who have been admitted to study at UIS. Registration for the 2008 fall semester is currently underway. For information on enrolling in any of these ensembles for credit, go to www.uis.edu or phone the Registration Office at 206-6174.

For more information, including performance schedules and directions to the rehearsal room, contact UIS Music at 206-8405 or music@uis.edu.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

WUIS-WIPA adds "The Splendid Table" to program line-up

Public Radio WUIS-WIPA will add The Splendid Table®, public radio's national food show, to its program schedule beginning Sunday, August 17. The program will be broadcast Sundays at 3 p.m.

Produced and distributed by American Public Media™ in Saint Paul, Minnesota, The Splendid Table is an hour-long culinary, culture, and lifestyle program that celebrates the intersection of food and life. Each week, host Lynne Rossetto Kasper takes listeners on a journey of the senses and talks with a variety of noted personalities who share their passion for the culinary arts.

The program has been recognized with two James Beard Foundation Awards and two Clarion Awards from The Association for Women in Communications. In 2000 it was named "Best National Syndicated Talk Show" by American Women in Radio and Television.

Kasper has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Food Wine magazine, and Bon Appetít. Named "One of the 12 Best Cooking Teachers in America" by The James Beard Foundation, she also lectures internationally on food and culture. Her first cookbook, The Splendid Table, is the only book to date to be named Cookbook of the Year by both the Julia Child/IACP and James Beard Foundation. Kasper's advice column, "Ask The Splendid Table," is distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. Her latest book is How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show. More information about the show is available at www.splendidtable.org.

WUIS-WIPA is a listener-supported public radio service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. WUIS' mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. For more information or for the program schedule, visit www.wuis.org.

American Public Media is the largest owner and operator of public radio stations, also producing top programs reaching more than 15 million listeners weekly. For a complete list of stations, programs, and additional services from the APM national network, go to www.americanpublicmedia.org.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

UIS graduate signs copies of new book on campus

By Courtney Westlake

UIS hosted a book signing with award-winning author Carol Manley on Wednesday evening, June 11, in the Public Affairs Center restaurant. Manley signed copies of her latest novel, Church Booty, which was a runner-up for the third annual Tartts Fiction Award.

Manley is a 2003 graduate of UIS and received her master's degree in English. She is currently a guest editor of the People's Poetry column in Illinois Times.

In 2006, Manley won a $7,000 Illinois Arts Council fellowship, as well as first place, third place, and seven honorable mentions in the categories of literary/mainstream short fiction and non-rhyming poetry in a contest sponsored by Writer's Digest.

Church Booty is Manley's second story. After her daughter got in a car accident a few years ago, and then Manley became involved in a couple of churches, these experiences led her to develop the characters and plot in Church Booty, she said.

Manley feels Church Booty could have easily been the winner of the Tartts Fiction Award, but, as evidence of her strong writing, it is the first time that the editors published the runner-up novel in addition to the winner.

"I've come in second to stories I haven't thought were as good as mine, but they're more dignified," Manley said. "But they've never done this before, never published the runner-up."

Manley said she has heard from her publisher that the people working on editing and publishing the book have enjoyed reading it. And to her credit, there was nothing they changed in the book, she said.

There have been delays in the book's release, but that didn't stop UIS professor emerita and Manley's mentor Dr. Jackie Jackson from organizing the book signing on Wednesday.

"It's exciting. It's all Jackie Jackson; she put it all together and pressured me," Manley laughed. "I'm really surprised and happy to see all these people. I think that people really like the book."

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Monday, May 05, 2008

UIS Theatre announces 08-09 season

UIS Theatre's 2008-2009 season will feature British comedies, both modern and classic. The fall production, Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill, is a parody of the Victorian-era British Empire and its rigid (and oppressive) attitudes. Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct; six performances are set for mid-November. The spring production is As You Like It, one of Shakespeare's best comedies. Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct; production dates are in April. Read more>>

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arlo Guthrie Solo Reunion Tour finishes 07-08 Performing Arts Season

The 2007-2008 Performing Arts Season at Sangamon Auditorium will conclude with a performance by Arlo Guthrie, part of his Solo Reunion Tour, Together at Last on Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Guthrie is perhaps best known for "Alice's Restaurant" and became a symbol of social activism during the 1960s. Now he has embarked on a solo tour with nothing but a couple of guitars and a harmonica, something he has rarely done since his performance at Woodstock. Read more>>

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