Performing Arts Spring Preview

by ALEXA SCHMIDT, Features Editor

The Manhattan College Performing Arts department has a lot in store for the spring semester. Andy Bauer, the director and coordinator of the department is thrilled to have such a busy semester filled with practices, concerts and performances.

In February, Players will debut the first production of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)”, as well as the V-Day performances. The V-Day performances aim to raise awareness about women and sexual assault survivors. Directed and performed solely by students, the performances will take place in Smith Auditorium and Hayden Hall, respectively.

There will be a performing arts-wide formal dance, which will occur mid-February.

“That will be a really great night where we can all just get together and socialize,” Bauer said. “Sometimes with the Performing Arts groups you have the Players, and the Jazz Band and Orchestra, and they don’t necessarily talk to each other but we’re really all part of the same community. It really allows us to have some collegiality and camaraderie and fun together.”

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The Manhattan College Players put on their One Act Festival last spring semester (Above). Bauer’s album class performing The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album(Below). ROSE BRENNAN/ COURTESY

In March, the One Acts Festival will take place, which serves as a good way for people to write their own pieces and allows the group to get a lot of new directors and actors.

Although everything happens in quick succession, Players manages to handle the stress. Junior Alex Kelly, the production manager for Players, is heavily involved in what goes on behind the scenes.

“It’s tough. But I think it’s a lot of the people. We all tend to have meetings regularly. The board and various people from the tech side of it tend to plan ahead and try to organize what’s going on this week, what’s going on next week, what needs to get done. We do a lot of that to make sure we’re on top of ourselves and to make sure things are running smoothly so that it’s ready to go,” Kelly said.

He continued.

“I’m always excited to work on the sets because it’s a lot of fun to work with those people, we’re like a big family, and just getting to play with power tools is always fun,” he said.

The MC Players will have their main-stage production of “Urinetown” on the weekend of April 13, with two night shows and one matinee.

Kelly described the musical as, “A giant satire on the political climate and really goes for making fun of it on the premise that people can’t pee. It’s absolutely ridiculous and a lot of fun.”

MC Singers will spend the semester preparing for their Canadian tour in the summer. They will travel to Quebec and Montreal, and perform pieces that include the Schubert Mass in G, and Bauer’s composition of an Ave Verum. This trip is their “stepping stone” for next year’s multi-city European tour.

The Singers and Orchestra will have their spring concert on April 7. The Jazz Band will have a concert the last Tuesday of the semester, and the Pep Band will go to the MAAC tournament in preparation for March Madness. Music Ministry continues to perform every Sunday at the 7 p.m. mass, and will be adding a new mass setting this semester.

The all-female acapella group Performing Hearts made their debut last semester. The group is led by junior Naomi Uy, who hopes to continue strong and make their presence known.

“I know we might be doing the Women’s Celebration in March. There have been a couple of other things people have been e-mailing me about, but there are certainly more things we’ll be doing as a group outside of the spring concert,” she said.

Bauer’s album class also has some special things in store for the semester.

“It’s going to be composed, orchestrated, arranged and performed by the class. Our performances will probably be around the last week of the semester. I’m really excited about that class. We’ve already started collecting ideas. And the ideas that people have sent me have really astonished me and I’m hoping for great things,” Bauer said.

He continued.

“I’m gonna be really busy because I’m involved in almost all of those things I just mentioned. I’m very excited for this semester because this class that is graduating I have a particular affinity for. They’re all really really great and one thing that’s really unique about this class is that none of my Performing Arts scholarships have really changed. The group has really maintained itself and those leaders have really set the tone for the rest of their class. It’ll be bittersweet to see them go. A lot of rebuilding across the groups, because they’ve been really made their presence known. They’re very opinionated and musically strong group of people,” Bauer said.