Posted: August 28, 2002
MIDDLEBURY, VT - The Middlebury College Center for the Arts (CFA) will celebrate its 10th anniversary during the 2002-2003 arts season with a diverse array of museum exhibitions, live performances and special educational events.
Since its opening in 1992, the CFA has served as a performing and visual arts center for the campus and surrounding communities, exposing audiences to local, national and international artists. Many of these performers have appeared previously at such places as Lincoln Center or the Opera de Paris.
In honor of the CFA's 10th anniversary, the arts will be the topic of the College's annual Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium on Sept. 19-21. Titled "Art Matters: Visions for the Arts for the 21st Century," the symposium includes a wealth of performances, panel discussions and many other forums for exploration of the arts. A highlight of the event is the keynote address by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Edward Albee. The talk, titled "The Playwright vs. The Theatre," will take place Sept. 19. at 8 p.m. in Mead Chapel. The symposium will continue Sept. 20-21 with "24 Hours of Art," a nonstop, round-the-clock bonanza of performances, participatory events, workshops, exhibits, readings and installations in unusual spaces in and around the CFA.
The Middlebury College Museum of Art, which opened concurrently with the CFA in October 1992, marks its 10th anniversary with a retrospective exhibition, "Ten Years After: A Decade of Collecting," on view through Dec. 8. This exhibition presents more than 20 recent acquisitions that demonstrate the full range of the College's growing art collection, including a fifth-century Greek vase by the Berlin Painter, a jeweled Fabergé Tapir and daguerreotypes by Southworth and Hawes.
The museum also offers three other major exhibitions this season. "Looking Back at Vermont: Farm Security Administration Photographs, 1936-1942" will feature 69 photographs by government photographers who visited Vermont to document the effects of the Depression on rural Americans. "Conversations with Traditions: Nilima Sheikh and Shahzia Sikander" is an exhibition of contemporary South Asian painting that contrasts the works of two artists who come from the disparate religious and aesthetic cultures of India and Pakistan. Both exhibitions will be on display Sept. 12-Dec. 1. From Jan. 28-April 6, the museum will present "Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan," which includes three life-size gers the nomad's traditional homeland nearly 200 Mongolian costumes and artifacts never before seen in the United States.
Visiting professor, Israeli sculptor and video artist Buky Schwartz will deliver a lecture, "Video Constructions," on Jan. 9 in conjunction with his winter-term course that will culminate in six student-created temporary video installations across campus. Schwartz's video sculpture "Plato's Cave," which is located just inside the Route 30 entrance to the CFA, was purchased for the opening of the building in 1992.
The Performing Arts Series celebrates the 10th anniversary with many returning favorite performers, as well as some new faces. On Oct. 12-13, the CFA welcomes back the Emerson String Quartet, who inaugurated the concert hall 10 years ago. The group has played at Middlebury 25 times and its members received honorary doctorates from the College in 1995. The acclaimed quartet will play pieces by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich for its first concert and Smetana, Shostakovich and Schubert for its second.
USA Today wrote of their ability, "The quartet may be able to do anything: there's a great technical precision, the brains to know what to do with it and stylistic versatility."
A 10th anniversary reception will precede the Emerson String Quartet's concert on Oct. 12. Earlier that day, Christian A. Johnson Professor of Art Glenn Andres will lead a walking tour of the Center for the Arts, discussing the design and architecture of the facility.
The Takács Quartet returns Jan. 25 to play pieces by Mozart, Schubert and a new work by Middlebury College Associate Professor of Music Su Lian Tan. Of the Takács Quartet, The Washington Post wrote, "The depth of the Takács' interpretations, matched with its superlative virtuosic technique and a consistently warm, velvety tone, made an attractive case to name it preeminent among active string quartets."
A Nov. 8 Performing Arts Series event will highlight new work. The Brentano String Quartet performs a series of 10 newly-composed variations based on Bach's "Art of the Fugue." The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series is one of several co-commissioners of the work, along with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia, University of Chicago, the Library of Congress and others.
Launching the new theatre season, Middlebury College Professor of Theatre Cheryl Faraone will direct "Anna Karenina." The production, which will run Oct. 31-Nov. 2, will feature a cast of Middlebury College students in a new physical theatre adaptation of Tolstoy's overwhelming story of passion, adultery and social conflict in 19th-century Russia. Middlebury College Dance Artist-in-Residence Amy Chavasse and Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance Peter Schmitz will serve as guest artists.
A display of work by two late Middlebury College drama professors Erie Volkert and Chandler A. Potter will be on display in the CFA lobby throughout the season. These two artists' decades of work at Middlebury preceded the construction of the CFA, and served as the foundation for the current theatre program.
The Performing Arts Series will welcome two visiting theatre artists this season. Internationally renowned writer, director, singer, composer, actor and movement artist
Rinde Eckert will present his original production, "An Idiot Divine," on Sept. 27. Written, composed and performed by Eckert, the production has received acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, which declared, "The line between man and music curves, squiggles, blurs and dissolves in 'An Idiot Divine,' Rinde Eckert's inspired set of performance pieces."
Renowned director and educator Anne Bogart will give a lecture titled "Six Things I Know for Sure about Being a Director in the American Theatre" on Feb. 14. Bogart is a Columbia University professor and artistic director at the Saratoga International Theatre Institute and has participated in American theatre for over 25 years as director, playwright, essayist and teacher.
Music department performances include the opera "L'Incoronazione di Poppea " on Jan. 29-31. Produced in cooperation with the department of Italian, "Poppea " will feature a student cast drawn from fall and winter-term courses. "An Evening with Su Lian Tan, Mark Christensen, Keith Watts, and Cyrus Chestnut" on Oct. 19 will offer an improvisatory fusion of diverse musical styles as the talents of a classical flautist, an experimental guitarist, a hip-hop drummer and a jazz pianist combine in a public jam session.
A dance highlight of the 10th anniversary season is a visit by New York-based David Dorfman Dance on Nov. 15-16. The company will return to Middlebury after celebrating the opening of the arts center 10 years ago. Wryness of tone, an engaging dramatic framework and athletic dance define the choreography of David Dorfman. The company now includes Middlebury alumnus Paul Matteson, a member of the class of 2000. Other dance events include the Dance Company of Middlebury in two performances on Jan. 24 and 25. The company will perform "Death, Beauty and Flying," which is based on the life and work of Cuban artist Juan Gonzalez. The dance program will also present a high-energy Hip-Hop Festival on March 14-15, featuring performer and choreographer Clyde Evans and many student participants.
The Hirschfield Film/Video Series will offer an eclectic mix of recent and historic American and foreign films shown on Saturdays at no charge. Highlights include the Sept. 21 showing of David Lynch's critically acclaimed "Mulholland Drive," and the Nov. 2 showing of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," a film about a transsexual rocker.
Tickets, Program and Dinner Information
Performing Arts Series tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. For theatre and dance program events, tickets are $5 for general admission and $4 for seniors. Many events are free. Prior to select performances, dinner is served at Rehearsals Cafe in the CFA.
Tickets, dinner reservations and information are available through the CFA Box Office at 802-443-6433 or www.middlebury.edu/cfa. Patrons may also request a free 2002-2003 Middlebury College Arts Calendar and the College's free quarterly arts newsletter.
Museum exhibition information is available by calling 802-443-5007 or visiting the Web site at www.middlebury.edu/arts/museum. The hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays. Admission is free.