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Mahaney Center for the Arts Announces New Season

September 1, 2016

2016-17 Highlights Include Classical Greek Culture, American Identity, and a Focus on International Work

Middlebury, VT—This September, Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts opens its 24th season with a diverse and exciting array of concerts, plays, exhibitions, dance performances, films, and more. Among the highlights of the 2016–2017 season are suites of events focusing on Classical Greek culture, American identity, and international exploration.



The coming year is full of opportunities to examine the arts, culture, and civilization of Classical Greece through a contemporary lens. The Theatre Program opens its season October 27–29 with The Antigone Project, five contemporary short plays taking a spin on the original Greek tragedy. The Middlebury College Museum of Art will host the exhibition Untouched by Time: The Athenian Acropolis from Pericles to Parr starting January 10, with curator Pieter Broucke giving a virtual gallery talk on January 13. Two art history/museum lectures—on perspectives from the Johns Hopkins Archeological Museum (October 12), and the history of the Parthenon (March 2)—further the exploration. Finally, spring 2017 will feature a production of The Women of Troy, Don Taylor’s new translation of Eurpides’ tragedy (May 4–6).



In this election year, audiences can explore the many faces of America through Middlebury’s arts offerings. Kal Kallaugher, international award-winning cartoonist of the Economist, starts the year with a lively illustrated presentation on cartoons, politics, and satire on September 29. Two museum exhibitions will feature American identity and ideas: American Faces: A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity (February 17–April 30) and Young America: Roy Lichtenstein and the America’s Cup (May 26–August 13). Acclaimed composer, singer, and violinist Jenny Scheinman will perform in her Americana film and folk music project Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait on March 4. Throughout the season, audiences can enjoy free screenings of award-winning American films such as Sean Baker’s Tangerine (February 18), a microbudget odyssey through the subcultures of LA; and Weiner (April 15), about the New York Congressman’s second fall from grace, “The best documentary about a political campaign ever made”––Indiewire.



International work is always a focus of the Middlebury arts scene. Starting September 6, the Museum presents Bloom and Doom: Visual Expressions and Reform in Vienna 1900, featuring works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and other members of the Viennese Secession. The Hirschfield International Film Series features acclaimed works from around the world, including The Measure of a Man (France, October 1); Jauja (Argentina/Denmark, October 22);  Lamb (Ethiopia, November 5); Right Now, Wrong Then (South Korea, November 19); Chevalier (Greece, December 3); Our Little Sister (Japan, March 11); and Mustang (Turkey, May 6). The world music ensemble Constantinople will bring together the sounds of Persia and Africa on January 13. The College’s own departmental ensembles also round out the international flavor, with the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble (November 15 and April 26) and the Dance Company of Middlebury, collaborating this year with Mexican dance ensemble Delfos Danza (January 27–28).



The Performing Arts Series’ 97th season will feature a mix of old friends and fresh faces. Back by popular demand will be two Middlebury audience favorites: cellist Sophie Shao, appearing December 4 for her ninth consecutive season; and leading British pianist Paul Lewis, playing works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Weber on April 7.

Classical music—string quartets and solo piano in particular—will continue to be a hallmark of the Performing Arts Series in the 16–17 season. The Belcea Quartet returns October 20, blending their diverse backgrounds and heritage into a common musical language. Other quartet concerts include the Doric String Quartet in a free concert March 9, and the Brentano String Quartet opening the seventh annual Bach Festival on April 28. In addition to Lewis, solo piano concerts this season include British artist Imogen Cooper, widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire (November 3); and jazz artist Jean-Michael Pilc, “a dazzlingly inventive pianist” (New York Times), heating up a winter’s night (January 21).

The Performing Arts Series will also feature some superb collaborative performances this season, such as “Legends of Kintamani” (October 8), a Vermont premiere of a new cello concerto by composer and Middlebury music professor Su Tan, also including cellist Darrett Adkins, the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, and large animated murals produced by Middlebury students. The young Morgenstern Piano Trio will perform a work by Vermont native Pierre Jalbert on February 22, with the composer giving a pre-show talk. Andrew W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Choreographer Maree ReMalia will present her work The Ubiquitous Mass of Us on March 17–18, featuring dance collaborators from across the country.

The Series will finish the 2016–2017 season with a flourish: a concert by five time Grammy-award winning soprano Dawn Upshaw, who has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire. She will perform an intimate song recital on May 12 with her favorite duo partner, pianist Gil Kalish.

Tickets for the Performing Arts Series go on sale to the general public September 15 at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or Middlebury College ID card holders and Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) members can enjoy advance ticket purchase privileges. For PASS information, visit



One of the most highly anticipated events of the season is the exhibition Post Pop: The Prints of Keith Haring, on view September 16–December 11. Art star of the 1980s, Haring was a prominent figure on the world stage until his premature death from AIDS in 1990. His instantly recognizable designs were sold on clothing, posters, skateboards, and more, and he created more than 50 public murals in cities around the world.

In the spring, the museum will also feature another artist whose work is unmistakable to Vermont audiences: prominent printmaker and Middlebury College alumna Sabra Field. Opening May 26, on the occasion of her 60th reunion, Sabra Field, Now and Then: A Retrospective will explore the artist’s six decades as a printmaker. Museum admission is free.

In addition to its exhibitions, the museum also offers many public talks such as the Friday lunchtime series “Off the Wall: Informal Discussions about Art,” illustrated lectures such as “Lost and Found: Research on Nazi-Era Looting and Restitution at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (October 7), and “Freud’s Colors; Design and Psychology in 19th-Century Vienna” (October 10).



In addition to The Antigone Project and The Women of Troy, the theatre program will present two productions directed by professor Cheryl Faraone this season.  In the fall, she will direct the collage piece American Sunrise/Sunset, featuring a company of 24 student actors exploring the American present through song, story, and even some gymnastics (November 17–19). Faraone’s spring production will be Tom Stoppard’s blockbuster, Arcadia (April 6–8), blending science, mathematics, literature, landscape, and the magnetic force of human attraction. Tickets to Theatre Program shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.



The Dance Program will present its second annual Faculty Dance Concert on April 6, with samples of choreography by Gabriel Forestieri, Scotty Hardwig, Paloma McGregor, Maree ReMalia, and Lida Winfield. All professional choreographers as well as educators, this group of talented movement artists will present a diverse and lively evening of dance.

Maree ReMalia will share the discoveries of her two-year project Movement Matters, a campus-wide initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in an informal sharing event on April 20.

Student work is always a focus of the Dance Program. The Fall Dance Concert on December 4–5 will showcase emerging choreographers and the annual Newcomer’s Piece, choreographed this year by Forestieri. Senior dance majors Octavio Hingle-Webster, Mandy Kimm, Vladimir Kremenovic, Lorena Neira, and Andrew Pester will present their thesis work on May 5–6 in a joint concert that will examine the intersection of contemporary choreography with their other areas of study. Tickets to Dance Program shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.



The Department of Music will feature concerts by its many excellent student ensembles throughout the coming year. Vocal music audiences can enjoy student performances of arias, Baroque era songs, and popular showtunes on December 10, March 18, and May 14; and three concerts by the Middlebury College Choir: a November 6 concert under the baton of guest conductor Susanne Peck, Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas on December 11, and a March 19 performance of 21st century compositions. The Middlebury College Community Chorus will offer a Thanksgiving concert on November 19-20, and a spring concert on May 7. The Vermont Choral Union will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an April 21 concert featuring more than 100 years of classical a cappella music, and a new commissioned suite by Middlebury alumna Christina Whitten-Thomas.

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble will give free concerts of big band classics of the swing era and new jazz classics on December 3 and May 6. The piano students of affiliate artist Diana Fanning will give two public concerts on November 17 and April 12. The seventh annual Bach Festival will take place April 28–30, with concerts and activities across all three days.

Concerts by the department’s Affiliate Artists will include the harmonica player Mark Lavoie (September 17) and piper Timothy Cummings’ annual St. Patrick’s Day concert (March 12).

Most Music Department events are free and open to the public. The one notable exception is the ever-popular January Term musical, co-produced annually with Town Hall Theater. This year’s musical will be the jazzy musical comedy City of Angels (January 27–30; tickets on sale January 9).



The Department of History of Art and Architecture will present two public talks by Cameron Visiting Architects as part of their on-campus residencies during the academic year: Minneapolis-based Julia Snow (November 7); and Dina A. Griffin, president of Interactive Design Architects (April 11).

Other public talks will include a presentation by Edward Shaughnessy of the University of Chicago, on the casting of a bronze vessel in ancient China (September 19); and a talk by Ara Merjain of New York University on the artists of Arte Povera and their reaction against the corporate design that had come to distinguish Italy by the late 1960s (October 6). These talks are free and open to the public.



The Hirschfield International Film Series continues its tradition of presenting acclaimed foreign and independent films on Saturdays throughout the year at 3:00 and 8:00 PM at Dana Auditorium. The Series opens on September 17 with Todd Haynes’ 2016 film Carol, a love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Nominated for six Academy Awards, it was deemed “one of the year’s very best films” by Rolling Stone.

Other notable films are Christian Petzold’s 2014 German/Polish film Phoenix, about a Jewish singer who has survived the Nazi concentration camps but is still searching for her husband (September 24); the animated feature Anomalisa, with voicing by Jennifer Jason Leigh (October 8); and the Oscar-winning film Youth, starring Michael Caine as a retired orchestra conductor who receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday (March 18). Screenings are free of charge.



The Studio Art Program welcomes Cameron Visiting Artist Rona Yefman for a public talk on November 1. Yefman is is an Israeli-born, New York City-based artist working in photography, video, and installation. She will how share how her work explores issues of identity by collaborating with individuals who have formed a radical persona that evokes the iconic and the absurd of our time. During her week in residence, Yefman will also create an edition of silkscreen prints with studio art professor Hedya Klein’s silkscreen class.

Imaginative and provocative exhibitions of student work are always a strong part of the Studio Arts season. The year begins with Portraits of Power (September 6–15), featuring dynamic, large-scale paintings and ceramic assemblages that convey visions of who and what students think is powerful in their lives. Later exhibitions include Color Photography (November 3–14); Landscape Re-Imagined: The Autumn Campus (January 24–31); and Scratching the Surface: Intaglio Prints (April 11–18). These exhibitions are presented in the Johnson Building, and are free and open to the public.

Full season listings are available at For more information, or to request a 2016–2017 Arts Calendar, call 802.443.3168 or go to


Image captions:

Middlebury 2016–2017 Arts Calendar cover, design: Methodikal

Charles Lock Eastlake (British, 1793–1865), A View of the Erechtheum on the Acropolis, Athens, 1818, oil on paper laid on canvas, 18 1/4 x 21 1/2 inches. Gift (by exchange) of Wilson Farnsworth, George Mead, and Henry Sheldon, 2015.020.

Kal, Daggers Drawn (detail). Courtesy of the artist.

American Flag of Faces Exhibit, Ellis Island, New York, c. 1990–2011. Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Egon Schiele, 49th Secession Exhibition, 1903, colored lithograph. Courtesy of the Sabarsky Foundation.

Hirschfield International Film Series: Lamb

Cellist Sophie Shao, photo by Neda Navaee

Soprano Dawn Upshaw, photo by Brooke Irish

Keith Haring, Andy Mouse, 1986, silkscreen, 38 x 38 inches. © Keith Haring Foundation

Sabra Field (American, born 1935), Suite of the Months: September Corn, 1986, woodcut print on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gift of the artist.

The Women of Troy, presented by the Middlebury College Theatre Program May 4–6, 2017

Faculty Dance Concert: Clockwise from top left: Christal Brown, photo by Alan Kimara Dixon; Scotty Hardwig, photo by Alan Kimara Dixon; Lida Winfield, photo by Christine Alicino; Gabriel Forestieri, photo by Corey Melton; Paloma McGregor, photo by Laura Bluher; Maree ReMalia, photo by Alan Kimara Dixon

Vocal Recital: Eleanor Mayerfeld ’19 and affiliate artist Cynthia Huard, photo by Anastasiya Prokhorenko ’19

The Sound investment Jazz Ensemble: Nathan Ng ’19 and April Poole ’18, photo by Anastasiya Prokhorenko ’19

Architect Julia Snow

Hirschfield International Film Series: Carol

Portraits of Power: Hannah Hudson ’18, Mount Rushmore, 2016, oil on wood panel

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