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Ragamala Dance Company performs Feb.28-Mar. 1 as part of the 2018-2019 season.

Media Contact

Liza Sacheli

Mahaney Center for the Arts Announces New Season

August 24, 2018

2018–19 Year Features a Diverse Array of Music, Theatre, Dance, Exhibitions, and More

Middlebury, VT—Middlebury College’s Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts is proud to announce the 2018–2019 season lineup, with beautiful performances in music, theatre, and dance, as well as exhibitions, films, spoken word events, and more. As the busiest visual and performing arts facility in Addison County, the Mahaney Center serves as a hub of arts activity for both the College and the surrounding communities. We invite the on- and off-campus communities to join us throughout the year.



The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series kicks off September 29 with the multiple Grammy Award-winning a cappella vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Known the world over for “precise, pure, and deeply felt singing” (New York Times), the group will sing a special 40th anniversary program called Then and There, Here and Now.

The series is known for presenting the finest in chamber music, a tradition that will continue throughout the 2018–19 season. Highlights include four stellar string quartets: the Jerusalem Quartet (October 4), Jupiter Quartet (November 30), Castalian Quartet (April 12), and Brentano Quartet with soprano Dawn Upshaw (April 26). Piano lovers will also enjoy three major concerts this season, including Cédric Tiberghien (December 5); audience favorite Paul Lewis (with tenor Mark Padmore, January 18); and an exciting four-hand piano concert by Alexander Melnikov and Andreas Staier (March 15). Cello aficionados will appreciate French virtuoso Jean-Guihen Queyras performing Bach’s six solo cello suites (November 2) and Performing Arts Series stalwart Sophie Shao performing with hew newest impromptu ensemble (May 10).

The Performing Arts Series also reaches beyond classical music, with an American roots concert led by fiddler Jeremy Kittel (October 27); Chicago theater/puppet troupe Manual Cinema presenting The End of TV (January 30); jazz phenom Christian Sands and his piano trio (February 22); and Ragamala Dance Company performing Sacred Earth (February 28–March 1).

Tickets go on sale September 17 (with earlier dates for Performing Arts Series Society members and Middlebury College ID card holders) at (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or



The Middlebury College Museum of Art will present Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam through Time and Place as its major fall exhibition September 14–December 2. Featuring more than 100 outstanding works of art from the Newark Museum’s extraordinary collections, Wondrous Worlds showcases the long history, vast geographic expanse, and amazing diversity of works of art in the Islamic world. Professor Cynthia Packert will speak at the grand opening September 14. Other related events include a talk by Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan on devotional images of Muhammad (November 9); and a public talk by Newark Museum conservator Linda Lin (November 13.)

In 2019, the museum will present 50 x 50: Collecting for the Middlebury College Museum of Art (January 25–August 11), honoring the 50th anniversary of Middlebury’s formal process of acquiring art for its permanent collection. This exhibit marks that anniversary by bringing together one work from each year, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photography.

The Museum is open Tuesdays–Sundays year round, and admission is free. New this year, the museum will also be open on selected Thursday evenings. Check the museum website for hours and event listings (



The Dance season opens with Bebe Miller’s newest work In a Rhythm November 8–10. With multiple Bessie awards, National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim honors, and Doris Duke and Ford Fellowships, Miller is one of the most important and recognized voices in American dance. Current and past faculty members Christal Brown and Trebien Pollard will perform in the company.

The Dance Program always showcases the work of its talented student and faculty artists. The Fall Dance Concert (November 30–December 1) will feature emerging student choreographers and the annual Newcomer’s Piece. On January 25–26, the Dance Company of Middlebury will use dance as a platform for personal truth–telling and bridge–building in Warrior Work: Show Up. Tell the Truth. This year’s one-night-only Faculty Dance Concert (April 18) will feature samples of work by Karima Borni, Christal Brown, Dante Brown, Laurel Jenkins, and Lida Winfield.

Tickets to Dance Program shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.



The Hirschfield International Film Series opens on September 15 with Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), the first Chilean movie to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The writer, Gonzalo Maza, will be in attendance for a conversation moderated by Assistant Professor David Miranda Hardy after each screening.

Other films for fall are the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (September 22), and the HIV/AIDS activist story BPM (Beats Per Minute) (September 29).

It’s worth noting that the Hirschfield Series will undergo some important changes this season. In an effort to program current theatrical releases, the Film and Media Culture Department will now program films on a month-to-month basis instead of a full year in advance. Fall and winter films will be screened in Axinn Center 232; spring films will return to Dana Auditorium. For the most up-to-date schedule, please visit Screenings are free of charge.



The Department of History of Art and Architecture presents a public talk by Paul Provost ’87 on Museums, Markets, and Money: 25 Years in the Arts World (September 26). Designer James MacDonnell presents Ulysses: A Visual Schema on October 17, a minimalist representation of James Joyce’s classic. Co-curator Deborah Bekken of Chicago’s Field Museum gives her talk Artifacts and Interpretation: Developing the Cyrus Tang Hall of China at the Field Museum on October 24.

These talks are free and open to the public.



The Vermont Symphony Orchestra will make a stop at the Mahaney Center for the Arts on October 6 for its “Made in Vermont” tour, featuring violinist Soovin Kim, and music composed for film by Matt LaRocca ’02. Tickets go on sale September 17.

The Department of Music will highlight its talented students and affiliate artists in several public concerts this season.  The Dick Forman Jazz Group performs sparkling mainstream jazz September 29; piper Timothy Cummings leads traditional music and dance in a Breton night festival November 2; and junior Gareth Cordery ’20 performs a solo piano recital November 9.

The first of many guest artists this year is Grammy-nominated violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved (September 28). Starting in January 2019, faculty member and composer Matthew Evan Taylor will present a new series, New Century | New Voices, highlighting the ongoing contributions of women and people of color to the canon of Western art music. Guests include Carlos Simon, Marcos Balter, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Alumni composers and musicians will return to campus on April 6 for “Raise the Spirit,” a tribute to Professor Su Lian Tan’s 25 years of teaching.

The annual January term musical, a co-production with Town Hall Theater, will be Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George (January 25–28). Tickets go on sale January 9 at Town Hall Theater.

Most Music Department events are free and open to the public.



Spoken word events make up an important part of the Mahaney Center for the Arts’ programming. Cocoon, now in its sixth year, is a popular live storytelling event inspired by The Moth (October 5). Tickets go on sale September 17. Original prose and poetry selected from the New England Review literary magazine and delivered by Middlebury College oratory students will be featured in NER Out Loud (October 26, free admission).



The Studio Art Program welcomes multifaceted musician and artist Raumshiff Engelmayr for a live concert performance on November 29 at Twilight Auditorium. He will perform alongside hand-drawn animations by Middlebury students.

Imaginative and provocative exhibitions of student work are always a strong part of the Studio Art season. The year begins with Portraits of Power (September 11–18), 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 Silkscreen Prints (November 29–December 6); Landscape Re-Imagined: The Autumn Campus (January 9–15); and Advanced Drawing (April 4–11). These exhibitions appear in the Johnson Building, and are free and open to the public.



The Theatre program’s mainstage season will open with Havel: The Passion of Thought, a set of five short, funny, chilling plays by Václav Havel, Samuel Beckett, and Harold Pinter directed by Richard Romagnoli (November 8–10 at Wright Theatre.) The evening explores the challenges of exercising individual conscience and the consequences of making unpopular though principled choices.

The second show of the season is Jacklyn Backhaus’ Men on Boats, the history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Cheryl Faraone directs a cast of women in this provocative play to be produced November 30–December 2 at the Seeler Studio Theatre.

Spring productions include The Baltimore Waltz (April 4–6) and American Idiot (May 2–4).

Tickets to Theatre Program shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.



Full season listings are available at

For more information, or to request a printed brochure, call 802.443.3168 or go to


Image captions:

The Castalian Quartet will perform April 12 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Photo Kaupo Kikkas.

The multiple Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer will perform September 26 at Mead Chapel. Photo Lisa Kohler.

The Jerusalem Quartet will perform October 4 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Photo Felix Broede.

Vase with Lotus Motifs and Silver Tiffany Mount. China, Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) ceramic; Newark, New Jersey, early 20th century (silver mount). Porcelain with under-glaze cobalt blue, silver. Newark Museum. Gift of Herman A. E. Jaehne and Paul C. Jaehne, 1941, 41.1793. On view in Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam through Time and Place, on view September 14–December 2 at the Middlebury College Museum of Art.

Bebe Miller Company will perform In a Rhythm November 8–10 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Photo Robert Altman.

The film A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica) will play at the Axinn Center September 15.

Middlebury College junior Gareth Cordery will perform a solo piano concert November 9 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Photo Andrea Godfrey.

Raumshiff Engelmayr will perform live with student animations on November 29. Photo Lukas Maul.

Designer James MacDonnell will speak about his work Ulysses: A Visual Schema on October 17 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

The Middlebury College Theatre Program will present Havel: The Passion of Thought November 8–10 at Wright Theatre.

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