The kinetic energy of performance thrills the soul and connects our hearts.
The School of the Arts at Converse College announces a 2018-2019 season to inspire Spartanburg audiences with bold work from the canvas, stage, and recital hall. Our students and faculty are exploding the boundaries of performance and exhibition, and our guest artists are among the finest in today’s world. We want our Spartanburg community to be there for these rich experiences.
Converse College will host nearly 200 arts and cultural events this season and most have free admission. A full listing of events is online at culture.converse.edu, where you can also join the cultural events email list to receive monthly updates.
We look forward to an exhilarating season where audiences are inspired by our original work and we hope to share every moment with the Spartanburg community!
Highlights from the upcoming season include:
Andrew Blanchard’s “It’s Like This, Though”
It’s Like This, Though (Sep. 6-27) An honest commentary on the cultural character of the American South through the artistic lens of Converse Professor Andrew Blanchard, this Milliken Art Gallery exhibition features work Blanchard explored during his recent sabbatical, including mixed-process prints on wood and paper.
Pi Kappa Lambda Faculty Showcase (Sep. 13) Always an audience favorite, the Petrie School of Music’s season opener showcases the extraordinary talents of our music faculty! This event is part of Converse’s Petrie Preview weekend for prospective students, a fantastic way to discover all that the Petrie School has to offer.
The Carlos Moseley Chamber Music Series brings world-renowned musicians to Spartanburg and this year features the Gryphon Trio (Sep. 24), The King’s Singers (Dec. 10), Petrie at the Piedmont (Feb. 11), and the Cavani String Quartet (Apr. 22). These four concerts are by subscription only and are followed by champagne receptions that offer guests the opportunity to meet the performers.
Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni (Oct. 10-12) Staged by senior theatre majors, this modern interpretation of the classic play by Commedia dell’arte master Carlo Goldoni promises to be a laugh-out-loud riot. Set in 1920s New Orleans during Mardi Gras, the production shows how finding the joy in life can turn a bad situation into a masterpiece.
Shenequa Gay’s “Mythical Kneegrows”
Carefully Broken, Unfortunately Beautiful (Oct. 4-25) Atlanta native Shanequa Gay, who has drawn praise and critical acclaim for her depictions of southern life and black women, will feature a thought-provoking exhibition in Milliken Art Gallery. Gay explores the historical and contemporary social concerns of black culture to teach lessons about morality, society, identity, and human function. Through painting, performance, media, sculpture, and fabric motifs Gay has cultivated her own myths, survivor narratives, and new memories by embodying the voice of the victimized.
Arts on TAP (Oct. 4, Nov. 8, Dec. 5, Feb. 7, Mar. 6, Apr. 4, May 9) Come have a pint and watch the fresh, fabulous work of the next generation of art, music, and theatre artists at the Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery downtown!
Converse Opera Theatre presents Handel’s Alcina (Jan. 25-27) Our Converse Opera Theatre ensemble will grace the stage of the Daniel Recital Hall to bring this fantastical treat to Spartanburg. Alcina, an ancient sorceress who lives on a remote island, has a nasty habit of attracting lovers and then turning them into animals and trees when she gets bored of them. This enchanting classic, sung in English, will be a treat for the eyes and ears of old and new opera audiences alike.
Growing Old: Food and Oral History in Performance (Feb. 21-24) This innovative show is a collaborative creation between Converse students and senior members of the Spartanburg community. Growing Old engages the memories and stories of older and younger women to explore the centrality of food in our lives, to address food insecurity in the American South, the social isolation of our most senior community members, and the intimate ways in which food is central to the social fabric of southern women’s lives.
Cavani String Quartet, Carlos Moseley Series guest artists (photo credit: Robert Mueller)
Young Women in Art (Mar. 1-9) A juried exhibition that provides a venue for exemplary art works of young women in high school, this event showcases aspiring artists from across the state in Milliken Art Gallery. Converse faculty curate this exhibition to feature new works in photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. Join us to see the artists who will be redefining the visual arts in our state.
1776: The Musical (May 1-5) Theatre Converse will boldly deconstruct one of Broadway’s beloved musical classics. In today’s climate of extreme political polarization, do “certain unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” exist for all Americans, as our Declaration hopefully stated 252 years ago? Theatre Converse’s 1776: The Musical will let the female voice, the multiracial voice, and the voice of youth reexamine our nation’s birth. We speculate, America’s birth has never seemed this fresh!
For more information and the full events listing, visit culture.converse.edu or call the Converse Box Office at 864.596.9724.
Headline image: The King’s Singers (photo credit: Marco Borggreve)
This article was written by Dr. Boone Hopkins, Dean of the School of the Arts