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Middlebury’s Mahaney Center for the Arts Announces 2013–2014 Arts Season

August 28, 2013

Offerings to the College and Community Include the Best in Contemporary Art, International Work, Chamber Music, and More


Middlebury, VT—Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts has announced the 2013-2014 season, filled with extraordinary films, exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, plays, and more. The season’s offerings, though remarkably diverse, demonstrate particular strengths in contemporary art, international work, and the finest chamber music the world has to offer. Student and faculty artists will show their exciting visual and performing arts work alongside a parade of accomplished guest artists.


Performing Arts Series

Imogen Cooper, piano

The 94th season of the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series includes an impressive roster of the finest American artists, as well as first-class international performers. Classical chamber music continues to be a hallmark of the Series. A string of excellent solo piano concerts is woven through the year, including accomplished British musician Imogen Cooper (pictured, October 10), 20-year-old Gramophone Artist of the Year Benjamin Grosvenor (October 29), Russian phenom Alexander Melnikov (February 23), and Middlebury audience favorite Paul Lewis (April 4).

Xuefei Yang

Other highlights include Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang (pictured, December 6), and American cellist Sophie Shao, who will perform in the opening concert for the Middlebury Bach Festival (April 25). Two free concerts by the Jupiter String Quartet (November 23) and the Elias String Quartet (March 13) will help make this extraordinary music series accessible to all.

Word Becomes Flesh

The Performing Arts Series also presents acclaimed theatre and dance companies. In September, the theatre company Living Word Project comes to Middlebury for two performances of the urban hip-hop show Word Becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph (pictured, September 20 and 21). Contemporary dance company Hyphen, led by Middlebury dance faculty member Catherine Cabeen, will give two public performances focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration (October 11 and 12). Tickets for the Performing Arts Series go on sale to the general public on September 16.

The Performing Arts Series Society (PASS), now in its second year, offers its members benefits such as advance ticketing, pre-concert talks, and special events with the artists. Tickets go on sale to PASS members on September 3, nearly two weeks earlier than the public. Information is available at


Museum of Art

Vito Acconci

On September 3, the Middlebury College Museum of Art opens the fall exhibition Vito Acconci: Thinking Space, marking the 30th anniversary of Acconci’s first permanent commission, Way Station I (Study Chamber), and its recent reconstruction on campus. An internationally celebrated performance and video artist before he came to Middlebury, Acconci went on to found Acconci Studio and establish a distinguished career as a designer of public places in this country and abroad. The artist himself will give a public talk on November 7.

 Stop, Prepare, Repair

The major spring exhibition is Performance Now (February 7–April 20), featuring videos, objects, films, and installations that document ephemeral occurrences. Including works by Marina Abramovic, William Kentridge, Clifford Owens, and Laurie Simmons, among many others, the exhibition surveys critical and experimental currents in this historically significant, global development in art practice.

Other exhibitions this season include Screened and Selected II: Contemporary Photography and Video Acquisitions, 2006–2011, (September 13–December 8); Vermont Architecture (January 7–March 23), and Guerilla Girls: Art in Action (April 1–May 25). Museum admission is free.


 Arresting a Witch

The Theatre Program’s season opens with contemporary British playwright and feminist Caryl Churchill’s startling and subversive play Vinegar Tom, directed by Cheryl Faraone (October 31–November 2), a cabaret about hanging witches.


Later this fall, Richard Romagnoli directs David Edgar’s historical and political epic Pentecost (November 21–23).

 Giotto's Lamentation

This play about the freeing and redemptive power of art “is the meatiest new drama I have seen since Stoppard’s Arcadia,” said Jonathan Kalb of the Village Voice. The title is a New Testament reference to the multiplicity of languages.

Spring term productions will include a new adaptation of the controversial book and motion picture A Clockwork Orange, directed by Andrew Smith ’97.5 (April 10–12), and Sarah Ruhl’s tantalizing and elegant comedy In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), directed by Cláudio Medeiros ’90 (April 30–May 3). Tickets go on sale two weeks prior to each opening night.



Dance Company of Middlebury guest artist Ayo Janeen Jackson

The 2013–2014 Dance Company of Middlebury will activate their work with three social catalysts this year: first, Butoh performance with guest artist Shizu Homma; next, fashion design and contemporary choreography with guest artist Ayo Janeen Jackson (pictured); and finally, carnival with the New Waves Dance and Performance Institute’s performance studies program in Trinidad and Tobago. Christal Brown directs this year’s company of student dancers, premiering their new work The Meaning of the Masks on February 21 and 22 at Middlebury.

Guest artists include south Indian classical dancer Sasikala Penumarthi and her students from the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance in a free performance on October 14.

Adeline Cleveland and Amy Donahue

Student work is always a focus of the dance program. Seniors Adeline Cleveland ’13.5 and Amy Donahue ’13.5 will present a concert of original work inspired by their interests in contemporary dance, gender dynamics, contemplative practices, and multimedia expression on December 5 and 6. Spring graduates Hai Do ’14, Rachel Nuñez ’14, Cameron McKinney ’14, and Jill Moshman ’14 will present their senior thesis concert on May 2 and 3. This lively evening will combine the various interest of the students—from Vietnamese dance and culture, hip-hop, and traditional Japanese movement, to psychology and physical memory. Tickets for dance program events go on sale two weeks in advance.



Middlebury College Orchestra

The Department of Music presents a diverse mix of concerts by students, faculty, and guest artists throughout the coming year. The Middlebury College Orchestra (pictured) will give a Halloween-themed concert on October 31; the Middlebury College Choir will perform American music and works by Middlebury composers on November 17. The Middlebury College-Community Chorus presents a Thanksgiving concert on November 24, as well as a collaborative concert with the Champlain Philharmonic on April 6. Among the other excellent departmental ensemble performances are the African Music and Dance Ensemble (November 19 and April 30); and the Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble (November 22 and May 3). The third annual Bach Festival will take place April 25–27, with concerts, interest sessions, guest artists, and more.

Middlebury College Affiliate Artists

Affiliate Artists will take time away from teaching Middlebury College students to give a series of solo concerts. The year kicks off with two guitarists: Eric Despard on September 21 and Dayve Huckett on October 4. Flutist Anne Janson’s performance on October 5 will be accompanied by projected paintings from the Hudson River Valley School. Pianist Cynthia Huard presents variations from Bach to Mendelssohn on March 2, and piper Timothy Cummings shares music from Ireland and Scotland on March 16 for St. Patrick’s Day. Many of the Affiliate Artists will come together for a collaborative concert on November 2.

Most music department events are free and open to the public; exceptions are the College-Community Chorus’s April concert and selected Bach Festival events, which are ticketed.


Art History and Architecture

William Massie

The Department of History of Art and Architecture will sponsor a series of public talks by guest artists and architects throughout the year. The first is Ajay Sinha of Mount Holyoke college, who will speak about the Indian photographer Dayanita Singh in a talk entitled “The Photo Book and the Camera Animal” on October 24. Cameron Visiting Architects Kyu Sung Woo (January 13) and William Massie (pictured, April 9) will give public lectures as part of their on-campus residencies working with Middlebury College students on academic projects.

Emily Bierman

Middlebury College alumni and faculty also appear on the list of expert speakers. Madeline Firestone ’13 returns to campus October 25 to present her recent research on the museum’s sculpture of Saint Barbara. Sotheby’s photographs specialist, Emily Bierman ’07 (pictured), discusses the world of photography auctions on November 19. Pieter Broucke, director of the arts and associate curator of ancient art, gives a talk called “Black Figure, Red Figure—Go Figure!” on March 6 that will explore the College’s teaching collection of ancient Greek pottery. These talks are free and open to the public.



Wuthering Heights

The Hirschfield International Film Series will present acclaimed foreign and independent films on Saturdays throughout the year at 3:00 and 8:00 PM, free of charge. This year’s series kicks off with Wuthering Heights (pictured), British director Andrea Arnold’s 2011 resetting of Emily Brontë’s classic novel (September 14). Other highlights include Kon-Tiki, the oceanic journey of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947 (October 12); Searching for Sugar Man, the lost-and-found story of 1970s American musician Sixto Rodriguez (November 16); and Wadjda, the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, by the country’s first female director (February 15).

Eugene Jarecki

Special events include a visit with film director Eugene Jarecki (pictured, September 23), in conjunction with September 21 screenings of his Sundance Prize-winning prison documentary The House I Live In; and a lecture by Professor Garrett Stewart of the university of Iowa (November 11) about Michael Haneke’s Oscar winning French film Amour, to be screened on November 9, examining the bonds of love in old age.


Studio Art

 Power and Influence

Student work is the focus of a series of studio art exhibitions planned for 2013–2014. The first, Portraits: Power and Influence(pictured), on view September 17–24, features oil paintings created in collaboration with students in the Philosophy of Aesthetics class. Other exhibitions include Line in Space: Just a Corner of Your Memory Palace (October 8–15), Environmental Observations: Land, Light, and Weather of Autumn (November 26–December 3), and Sculptural Architecture: the Lilliputian Meets the Gargantuan (February 11–18).The student-artists will give an inside look into their work at Open Studio day on April 11. These exhibitions are presented in the Johnson Building, and are free and open to the public.


For more information, or to request a 2012–2013 Arts Calendar, call 802.443.3168 or go to



Image captions:

Middlebury Arts Calendar cover, featuring Hai Do '14, photo Alan Kimara Dixon; Heath Quartet, photo Sussie Ahlburg; studio art work by Ann Farrington-Ulrich '13, cut-paper silkscreen by Dylan Redford '14; and Catherine Cabeen, photo Julietta Cervantes

Middlebury College Performing Arts Series: pianist Imogen Cooper, photo Benjamin Ealovega

Middlebury College Performing Arts Series: Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang, photo Neil Muir

Word Becomes Flesh, photo Jati Linsday, Hip-Hop Theater Festival

Vito Acconci looking through what remains of his Way Station, March 2000. Photo Jonathan Blake

Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare, 2009, video documentation on DVD, 24 min., 54 sec. Courtesy of the artists, Gladstone Gallery New York and Brussels, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Vinegar Tom: Howard Pyle, Arresting a Witch, 1883

Pentecost: Giotto, Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ), 1306

Dance Company of Middlebury guest artist Ayo Janeen Jackson

Middlebury College dancers Adeline Cleveland ’13.5 and Amy Donahue ’13.5, photo Alan Kimara Dixon

Middlebury College Orchestra, photo Brett Simison

Middlebury College Affiliate Artists: Collaborative Concert, photo Brett Simison

Middlebury College’s Cameron Visiting Architect William Massie

Wuthering Heights, shown September 14 as part of Middlebury College’s Hirschfield International Film Series

Director Eugene Jarecki of The House I Live In, as part of Middlebury College’s Hirschfield International Film Series

Portraits: Power and Influence: Middlebury College student-artist Sally Caruso ’15.5 working on her three-dimensional oil painting Portrait of Georgia, 2013

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax