Mahaney Center for the Arts announces new season

Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts is getting ready to launch its 2018-2019 season, with beautiful performances in music, theatre and dance, as well as exhibitions, films, spoken word events and more. The Mahaney Center serves as a hub of arts activity for both the college and the surrounding communities. Both on- and off-campus communities are cordially invited to all the events throughout the year.
THE MULTIPLE GRAMMY Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer will perform Sept. 26 at Mead Chapel.
Photo / Lisa Kohler
The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series kicks off Sept. 29 with the multiple Grammy Award-winning a cappella vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Known the world over for “precise, pure, and deeply felt singing” (New York Times), the group will sing a special 40th anniversary program called “Then and There, Here and Now.”
The series is known for presenting the finest in chamber music, a tradition that will continue throughout the 2018-2019 season. Highlights include four stellar string quartets: the Jerusalem Quartet (Oct. 4), Jupiter Quartet (Nov. 30), Castalian Quartet (April 12), and Brentano Quartet with soprano Dawn Upshaw (April 26). Piano lovers will also enjoy three major concerts this season, including Cédric Tiberghien (Dec. 5); audience favorite Paul Lewis (with tenor Mark Padmore, Jan. 18); and an exciting four-hand piano concert by Alexander Melnikov and Andreas Staier (March 15). Cello aficionados will appreciate French virtuoso Jean-Guihen Queyras performing Bach’s six solo cello suites (Nov. 2) and Performing Arts Series stalwart Sophie Shao performing with her newest impromptu ensemble (May 10).
The Performing Arts Series also reaches beyond classical music, with an American roots concert led by fiddler Jeremy Kittel (Oct. 27); Chicago theater/puppet troupe Manual Cinema presenting “The End of TV” (Jan. 30); jazz phenom Christian Sands and his piano trio (Feb. 22); and Ragamala Dance Company performing Sacred Earth (Feb. 28-March 1).
Tickets go on sale Sept. 17 (with earlier dates for Performing Arts Series Society members and Middlebury College ID card holders) at (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or online here.
The Middlebury College Museum of Art will present “Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam through Time and Place” as its major fall exhibition Sept. 14-Dec. 2. Featuring more than 100 outstanding works of art from the Newark Museum’s extraordinary collections, “Wondrous Worlds” showcases the long history, vast geographic expanse and amazing diversity of works of art in the Islamic world. Professor Cynthia Packert will speak at the grand opening on Sept. 14. Other related events include a talk by Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan on devotional images of Muhammad (Nov. 9); and a public talk by Newark Museum conservator Linda Lin (Nov. 13).
(Pictured, at right: “Vase with Lotus Motifs and Silver Tiffany Mount.” China, Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) ceramic; Newark, New Jersey, early 20th century (silver mount). Porcelain with under-glaze cobalt blue, silver. Newark Museum. Gift of Herman A. E. Jaehne and Paul C. Jaehne, 1941, 41.1793.)
In 2019, the museum will present “50 x 50: Collecting for the Middlebury College Museum of Art” (Jan. 25-Aug. 11), honoring the 50th anniversary of Middlebury’s formal process of acquiring art for its permanent collection. This exhibit marks that anniversary by bringing together one work from each year, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photography.
The Museum is open Tuesdays-Sundays year round, and admission is free. New this year, the museum will also be open on selected Thursday evenings. Check the museum website for hours and event listings (museum.middlebury.edu).
The dance season opens with Bebe Miller’s newest work “In a Rhythm” Nov. 8-10. With multiple Bessie awards, National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim honors, and Doris Duke and Ford Fellowships, Miller is one of the most important and recognized voices in American dance. Current and past faculty members Christal Brown and Trebien Pollard will perform in the company.
Bebe Miller Company will perform “In a Rhythm,” Nov. 8-10 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Photo / Robert Altman
The Dance Program always showcases the work of its talented student and faculty artists. The Fall Dance Concert (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) will feature emerging student choreographers and the annual Newcomer’s Piece. On Jan. 25-26, the Dance Company of Middlebury will use dance as a platform for personal truth-telling and bridge-building in “Warrior Work: Show Up. Tell the Truth.” This year’s one-night-only Faculty Dance Concert (April 18) will feature samples of work by Karima Borni, Christal Brown, Dante Brown, Laurel Jenkins and Lida Winfield.
Tickets to Dance Program shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.
The Hirschfield International Film Series opens on Sept. 15 with “Una Mujer Fantástica” (“A Fantastic Woman”), the first Chilean movie to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The writer, Gonzalo Maza, will be in attendance for a conversation moderated by Assistant Professor David Miranda Hardy after each screening.
Other films for fall are the “2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour” (Sept. 22), and the HIV/AIDS activist story “BPM” (“Beats Per Minute”) on Sept. 29.
It’s worth noting that the Hirschfield Series will undergo some important changes this season. In an effort to program current theatrical releases, the Film and Media Culture Department will now program films on a month-to-month basis instead of a full year in advance. Fall and winter films will be screened in Axinn Center 232; spring films will return to Dana Auditorium. For the most up-to-date schedule, click here. Screenings are free.
DESIGNER JAMES MACDONNELL will speak about his work “Ulysses: A Visual Schema” on Oct. 17 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
The Department of History of Art and Architecture will present a public talk by Paul Provost ’87 on “Museums, Markets and Money: 25 Years in the Arts World” on Sept. 26. Designer James MacDonnell will present “Ulysses: A Visual Schema” on Oct. 17, a minimalist representation of James Joyce’s classic. Co-curator Deborah Bekken of Chicago’s Field Museum will give her talk “Artifacts and Interpretation: Developing the Cyrus Tang Hall of China at the Field Museum” on Oct. 24.
These talks are free.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra will make a stop at the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Oct. 6 for its “Made in Vermont” tour, featuring violinist Soovin Kim, and music composed for film by Matt LaRocca ’02. Tickets go on sale Sept. 17.
The Department of Music will highlight its talented students and affiliate artists in several public concerts this season.  The Dick Forman Jazz Group performs sparkling mainstream jazz on Sept. 29; piper Timothy Cummings leads traditional music and dance in a Breton night festival on Nov. 2; and junior Gareth Cordery ’20 performs a solo piano recital on Nov. 9.
Middlebury College junior Gareth Cordery will perform a solo piano concert Nov. 9 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Photo / Andrea Godfrey
The first of many guest artists this year is Grammy-nominated violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved (Sept. 28). Starting in January 2019, faculty member and composer Matthew Evan Taylor will present a new series, “New Century | New Voices,” highlighting the ongoing contributions of women and people of color to the canon of Western art music. Guests include Carlos Simon, Marcos Balter and Gabriela Lena Frank. Alumni composers and musicians will return to campus on April 6 for “Raise the Spirit,” a tribute to Professor Su Lian Tan’s 25 years of teaching.
The annual January term musical, a co-production with Town Hall Theater, will be Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” Jan. 25-28. Tickets go on sale Jan. 9 at Town Hall Theater.
Most Music Department events are free.
Spoken word events make up an important part of the Mahaney Center for the Arts’ programming. “Cocoon,” now in its sixth year, is a popular live storytelling event inspired by “The Moth” and will be performed on Oct. 5. Tickets go on sale Sept. 17. Original prose and poetry selected from the New England Review literary magazine and delivered by Middlebury College oratory students will be featured in “NER Out Loud” on Oct. 26, free admission.
Raumshiff Engelmayr will perform live with student animations on Nov. 29.
Photo / Lukas Maul
The Studio Art Program welcomes multifaceted musician and artist Raumshiff Engelmayr for a live concert performance on Nov. 29 at Twilight Auditorium. He will perform alongside hand-drawn animations by Middlebury students.
Imaginative and provocative exhibitions of student work are always a strong part of the Studio Art season. The year begins with “Portraits of Power” Sept. 11-18, featuring dynamic, large-scale paintings and ceramic assemblages that convey visions of who and what students think is powerful in their lives. Later exhibitions include “Silkscreen Print” from Nov. 29-Dec. 6; “Landscape Re-Imagined: The Autumn Campus” from Jan. 9-15; and “Advanced Drawing” April 4-11. These exhibitions appear in the Johnson Building, and are free.
The theatre program’s mainstage season will open with “Havel: The Passion of Thought,” a set of five short, funny, chilling plays by Václav Havel, Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter directed by Richard Romagnoli. They will be held Nov. 8-10 at Wright Theatre. The evening explores the challenges of exercising individual conscience and the consequences of making unpopular though principled choices.
The second show of the season is Jacklyn Backhaus’ “Men on Boats,” the history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Cheryl Faraone directs a cast of women in this provocative play to be produced Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Seeler Studio Theatre.
Spring productions include “The Baltimore Waltz,” April 4-6, and “American Idiot,” May 2-4.
Tickets to these shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.
Full season listings are available here. For more information, or to request a printed brochure, call (802) 443-3168 or click here.

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