Beloit College opens performing arts series

BELOIT—Beloit College has opened its academic year with the start of the annual international performing arts series. This year’s theme, diaspora, will explore the spread of people and ideas “here, there, and everywhere” through theater, dance, music, and the spoken word. With artists from every corner of the earth from China to Chicago, the season is not one to be missed.

On Saturday, Sept. 20. at 8 p.m., in Eaton Chapel, James Cotton will bring his hard-driving harmonica performance to the series. Known as “Mr. Superharp,” Cotton has been playing his unique blend of blues, rock, soul and jazz for more than 50 years. Tickets are $12 (seniors—$8; students—$4).

The series takes a look into the past when Claudia Stevens, a Virginia-based singer, actor and concert pianist, presents “A Table Before Me,” a one-act play on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., in the Wilson Theatre. The play, which tells the story of Stevens’ mother’s family during the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, portrays the fear and anguish experienced by Austrian Jews during the Nazi “Kristallnacht” Or Night of Broken Glass, and will be performed on the anniversary of “Kristallnacht.” This event is free.

Friday, Nov. 21, Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, will give a reading at 8 p.m. in the Eaton Chapel, on the Beloit College campus. Collins, whose popularity is equaled only by his critical acclaim, has published several collections of poetry and appeared in journals and magazines all over the world. His poetry, which often opens on a clear and simple note and soon takes an unexpected turn, has made him one of the most appealing poets of our time to people of all backgrounds and ages. The reading is free.

The series will return in the spring with the internationally acclaimed virtuoso Wu Man playing the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument, incorporating everything from traditional Chinese styles to jazz in her music. She comes to Beloit on Thursday, March 18 at 8 p.m., in Eaton Chapel, on a break from her world tour of the “Silk Road Project.” Tickets are $12 (seniors—$8; students—$4).

Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Theatre, Russian folk dance troupe, Choreographic Ensemble Renaissance, will come to the Beloit College campus for “Life in Russia, Before and After Perestroika”: a discussion of traditional and new values in a foreign land. They will consider the origins of Russian folk dance, how Russian arts and culture were affected by the fall of communism, and the ongoing shift to a market economy and democracy. This event is free.

The series will close on a high note when Arlo Guthrie performs on Tuesday, April 13, at 8 p.m., in the Flood Arena Sports Center. Guthrie, son of one of America’s most beloved folk singers, Woody Guthrie, has been playing music since the age of 6. His mix of American folk music traditions with political commentary and wit have made Guthrie an icon of American folk culture for nearly 50 years. Tickets are $15 (seniors—$10; students—$4).

All events are open to the public. Series tickets offering special savings are on sale now at 608-363-2242.

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