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Monday, August 05, 2013 - Fall 2013 Performance Season Preview
by Gillian Ellis

Our academic performance season will begin the very first week of the semester with the opening event of our popular Thursday Arts-After-Work series. Students who participated in the Classical Theatre Study in Greece program this summer will present Antigone in Varner Studio Theatre on Thursday, September 5 at 6 p.m. You can read more details in this OU news story.

Other highlights of the fall AAW series include the Student Showcase on October 3, the OU Chamber Orchestra on November 21, and the Oakland Dance Theatre and OU Repertory Dance Company on December 5. All of these events begin at 6 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall and all have our popular “pay what you wish” ticket price, which is specially designed to provide audience members with a chance to sample something new. If you are not familiar with Classical Greek theatre, chamber music or modern dance, this series is the perfect opportunity to try it.

This year, we are delighted to announce a prestigious new partnership with the renowned Chamber Music Society of Detroit. We will launch the new Chamber Music Society of Detroit at Oakland University series with an opening concert on Sunday, October 20 at 7 p.m. This will feature Classical Jam, who are five spectacular Juilliard-trained musicians who create performances unlike anything else on the concert stage today. The second concert of the series will feature the Cavani Quartet on Sunday, November 3 at 3 p.m. This award winning ensemble has appeared in concert halls across the country.

Other highlights of the music calendar include the Oakland Symphony Orchestra's first two concerts on Sunday, October 6 and November 24, and the Oakland Chorus and Chorale’s fall recital on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23. This last concert will be off-campus at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church on Old Perch Road in Rochester Hills.

We are particularly exciting by the number of nationally renowned guests we have coming to play with our student musicians. On Thursday, October 10, Bryan Appleby-Jones will play cornet with the OU Brass Band. On Tuesday, October 15, Michael Weiss will play piano with the OU Jazz Band. On Friday, November 8, percussionist Bill Summers will play with the OU World Music ensembles. On Thursday, November 14, alumnus Nicholas Adragna (B.M. '09) will play with the OU Brass Band.

In addition to Antigone, the theatre program is offering two productions that could not be more different from each other. CARRIE the musical will run from Thursday, October 10 until Sunday, October 20. CARRIE,  which is based on the classic horror novel by Stephen King, promises to be a musical unlike any you’ve ever seen. Carrie is a young girl, a misfit at school, who is terrorized by her holier-than-thou mother at home. There will be two shadow-performances by TerpTheatre on Friday, October 11 and Sunday, October 13. There will also be a special late night showing on Saturday, October 19.

As if to perfectly illustrate the diversity and range of our theatre students and faculty, the fall’s second production will be Noël Coward’s 1940s comedy Blithe Spirit, opening on Thursday, November 14 and running until Sunday, November 24. The fun begins when, as research for his next novel, Charles Condomine engages a medium, Madame Arcati, to conduct a seance in his home. Unfortunately, this raises the ghost of his late wife, Elvira, who seems eager to reclaim her former husband, either in this world or the next, much to the displeasure of Charles's current wife Ruth.

Eisenhower Dance, OU’s professional company-in-residence, will once again open our dance season with performances on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20. As always, this will be an exhilarating combination of audience favorites and premieres.

The highlight of our student dance performances will be late in the semester on Thursday, December 5 (AAW), Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 when the Oakland Dance Theatre and OU Repertory Dance Company will present their annual showcase featuring works choreographed by OU dance faculty and by guest artist Kendra Portier.   

This is just a sampling; there is so much more, especially on our music schedule. We have student, faculty and guest recitals to suit almost every musical taste.We invite you to look through our listings for yourself. We expect our season brochure to be mailed out in mid-August. If you do not currently receive the brochure please email and ask to be added to our mailing list. You can also view the season brochure as a PDF on our home page.  And all our events are listed on OU’s web calendar, which may be accessed by the public from the OU home page or the Music, Theatre and Dance home page. You will find up-to-date information about times and tickets prices in these listings.

Complete information about how to purchase tickets online, by phone or in person is on our website at A map that shows the location of Varner Hall can be found at or by typing Varner Hall into a smart phone. Our building is surrounded by ample free parking.

We invite you to call some friends and make one of our events your destination for your next cultural adventure. You will be supporting our program, encouraging our fine young pre-professional performers and demonstrating your commitment to arts in the community. And you will have a wonderful time. No matter how advanced and accessible performance technology becomes, nothing can replace the thrill of engaging with live performance.

Photo upper: The cast of Antigone on the island of Hydra. Costume and mask design by Christopher J. Neville and Gina Smothers.
Middle right: Classical Jam.
Lower right: Oakland Dance Theatre; Photo by Scott Lipiec.