Performing Arts Center Announces ‘Prime Performances’ for Fall Season

Season Highlights Include Two International Music Groups, Civil War-Themed Productions

The Germany-based AkaBlas Orchestra will kick-off the fall season of 'Prime Performances' on Sept. 19. (Photo courtesy of Technische Universität Braunschweig)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 3, 2019) -- The UAlbany Performing Arts Center (PAC), operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, has announced its guest artists for the 2019-2020 season, in addition to those previously announced as part of the Dance in Albany series.

Highlights of the Prime Performances schedule include two international music groups, a radio theatre company as well as the return of a favorite radio program, an all-Poe stage celebration and a multi-media production with music, text and images from the Civil War era.

Kicking off the season on September 19 is a concert by the AkaBlas Orchestra, a “big brass bouncing and boller band” from Germany. Through an artist-in-residence exchange program with Technische Universität Braunschweig, this wind ensemble of about 50 members will offer a program of music from movies and musicals along with German favorites as part of their 55th anniversary tour. Their appearance here also celebrates the eleventh year of the Performing Arts Center’s exchange program that has forged partnerships with CW Post, Clark University, SUNY Oswego, Williams College, Bates College, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, SUNY Potsdam, Marshall University, Hartwick College and Colgate University.

Strategically scheduled as a post-Halloween treat on November 1, classically trained actor Joshua Kane will present Tales of Terror, a one-man stage presentation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe that includes “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Raven” and more. Punctuated with lively anecdotes about the author and his swift descent into madness, this performance of dark tales and passions is filled with unforgettable characters and stories of revenge, madness and despair. Mr. Kane will perform a show for high school students in the morning and the public performance that evening.

Saluting the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War as well as the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass will present Brothers on the Battlefield on November 13 for the public and for a high school student audience on November 14. Six virtuoso musicians perform music of the Civil War era with narrator JaQuinley Kerr who brings to life the personal letters of those engulfed in that conflict and the inspirational words of Dr. Maya Angelou. Stunning images created by Vanessa Briceño create a breathtaking backdrop to some of our nation’s most celebrated songs.

All-female Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect will travel to Albany on February 6 after performances in New York City. Violinist Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violist Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir, cellist Hanna Loftsdóttir and harpsichordist Guðrún Óskarsdóttir are period instrument musicians united in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective and for daring to venture into new musical terrain. They will present a concert with visual elements that features works by women composers and those that incorporate the ensemble‘s love of ecology.

As part of an ongoing collaboration between UAlbany Physics professor Keith Earle and local choreographer Ellen Sinopoli that began in the 2013-14 season, there will be a performance specifically for high school students on February 11.ChoreoPhysics: Demonstrating Concepts through Dance is equal parts lecture, demonstration, performance and discussion focusing on more than a dozen laws of physics and deeply intertwining the science with dance. Approximately 2000 high school students taking classes in physics, calculus, pre-calculus, anatomy & physiology, chemistry and biology have experienced this program since its creation.

L.A. Theatre Works, America’s foremost radio theatre company, will present performances of SEVEN on April 5 for the public and April 6 for high school students. This riveting documentary play penned by seven female writers is based on personal interviews with seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles before bringing heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia. This tapestry of stories woven together with the words of these women dramatizes their struggles and triumphs over resistance, death threats, entrenched norms and pervasive violence.

Returning after high demand from last season’s capacity crowd, Selected Shorts, Public Radio International’s wildly popular series and podcast, will be presented on May 2 as a unique evening of literature in performance. Presented in partnership with the NYS Writers Institute and featuring stars of stage, screen and television, the program will include short stories by established and emerging writers.

Tickets and subscriptions for these Prime Performances are available by email or mail (UAlbany Performing Arts Center, PAC 266, Albany, NY 12222). Tickets and subscriptions may also be purchased at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center Box Office or by calling (518) 442-3997. To receive a schedule of events, call (518) 442-3995 or send a request to PAC.

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