Monday, May 16, 2016

Fine Arts Center announces 2016/17 programming

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 9:50 AM

click to enlarge From Peter and the Starcatcher, a highlight of the 2015-2016 FAC stage season. - FINE ARTS CENTER
  • Fine Arts Center
  • From Peter and the Starcatcher, a highlight of the 2015-2016 FAC stage season.
Thought the Fine Arts Center's current season doesn't end until autumn, they've done us all the kindness of announcing the next season's programming. To get a little insight on the always-exciting FAC theater season, we got Executive Director of Performing Arts and Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy on the phone to talk about the lineup. We also spoke with Curator Joy Armstrong about the museum lineup, further down the page.

“Musicals, plays, dramas comedies — we’ve hit it all this season," Levy says. “[It's] marked by a lot of really, fantastically fun productions.”

The main stage programming kicks off with Shear Madness, one of the longest-running non-musical plays on the stage. It's an interactive, spontaneous murder mystery that promises to be different every night. The landlady of a unisex hair salon has been killed, and everyone on the premises is a suspect — and the audience gets to decide who's responsible.

Levy says that the FAC alternates between Christmas plays and family-friendly spectaculars for the holiday season, and Shrek the Musical lands in the latter category. This humorous tour-de-force promises to be just the thing for kids from 9 to 99.

To spotlight the FAC's substantial female talent, they've lined up Enchanted April for February. It's a classic romantic comedy — thus the February slot — following four women on vacation in Italy.

The Tony-winning rock musical Bye Bye Birdie will line up with Larry Hulst's rock photography exhibit in the museum. It ties into the FAC's ongoing efforts to explore multidisciplinary themes — rock music in this case. This musical will feature in part the talent of the FAC's conservatory training program, now in its 19th year. As such, the teenagers in this Elvis-era show will be played by actual teenagers.

To wrap the season, a classic: Man of La Mancha, the musical take on Miguel de Cervantes classic Don Quixote

"The most classic song from that piece is called 'The Impossible Dream,'" says Levy. "In a way, if I were to say there were a theme to the season, that would be it, that we're making the impossible dreams a reality."

The Fine Arts Center's second stage found a niche in hour-long musicals for kids based on literature, Levy says, and they've got two plays in that vein this year. Between The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and Junie B. Jones: The Musical, they have the young audiences locked down. The former is based on Jon Scieszka's irreverent take on classic fairy tales, published in 1992. The latter is based on the long-running children's book series, which follows a precocious kindergartener.

Less directed at the young'uns, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind challenges the actors to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes, with the order determined by the audience.
"The audience shows up, they get a menu numbered one through 30 with the titles of 30 plays, the audience screams out a number to the actors," says Levy. "The actors have a clothesline with paper that says one through 30, they pull down the number [the audience calls out], and they perform that play while there's a stopwatch going on."

Expect also the premiere of the newest piece by the folks at WYNOT Radio Theatre, dubbed The Other Coast Caper. No doubt the guys and gals in this troupe have cooked up another evening full of thrills and chills, with a few laughs thrown in besides.

Wrapping up the season, Souvenir is the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, known as the worst opera singer in the world. The play follows her along the path to, ultimately, selling out Carnegie Hall.

"In the piece, she often refers to going to rehearse in the music room," Levy says. "Our second stage space is called the music room, so it seemed like a really perfect fit." 

Now, moving on to the museum, Joy Armstrong says the new season is "exemplary of what the FAC does at its best. We have a really beautiful gamut of artists from local to international, from works we are bringing into the museum to works being created specifically for the museum.”

The season begins with a show by Carbondale-based artists James Surls and Charmaine Locke, titled All I Ever Wanted. Surls and Locke have been married for over 40 years, but they've made their names as artists independently. This show will reveal their own prolific works, but sharp-eyed museumgoers will no doubt note the subtle ways these two have influenced and inspired each other over the years.

Next, Claudia Mastrobuono and Jodi Stevens will be creating a site-specific installation titled Limen. Made from flimsy, disposable materials, Limen will mimic the natural environment of the Colorado Springs area — no doubt, one of the overarching themes makes itself clear already. They'll also be building a unique installation at GOCA 1420.

Overlapping Limen, the museum will host three concurrent exhibitions. As noted above, Larry Hulst's Front Row Center is an exhibition of rock photography, selected to line up with Bye Bye Birdie. Armstrong is also toting out permanent collection works from local artist Mary Chenoweth, which will make up the bulk (but not all) of the Works on Paper exhibit. Finally, Don Coen's The Migrant Series will use photos to look at the critical role that oft-forgotten laborers play in American agriculture. 

Somewhat recently transplanted to Denver, Drs. Morton and Tobia Mower have a legendary collection of Rembrandt etchings, classic impressionist pieces and modern works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. They're putting a selection of their legendary private collection on display for the aptly-named From Rembrandt to Warhol: Selections from the Mower Collection.

Finally, locals Wendy Mike and Delane Bredvik are collaborating on an installation called Ragnarök, named for the Norse apocalypse which translates roughly to "the death of the Gods." They'll be tying these epic, apocalyptic themes into the fires and floods that have beset the region in the past few years. But Armstrong says that, despite any doom and gloom, the piece will ultimately be hopeful.

Read the full lineup and press release below. 
Award‐Winning Theatre, Exhibitions and Art School Offerings
Slated for the FAC’s 2016‐2017 Season
COLORADO SPRINGS (May 6, 2016) — The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) has announced the
line‐up for the 2016‐2017 season which starts Sept. 1 and will include world‐renowned artists such as
James Surls, life‐changing workshops like the Military Artistic Healing program, and award‐winning
theatre productions such as Shrek The Musical.
The FAC has experienced tremendous success in previous seasons. The 2015‐2016 theatre season,
coming to a close in June, will be the most attended season in FAC history. And recently named Best
Museum, Best Theatre Company, and Best Summer Arts Camp in Colorado Springs, momentum is far
from slowing at the FAC. Continuing with this upward trend, the 2016‐2017 season programming
schedule is an impressive line‐up that will delight every person who walks through the FAC doors.
 James Surls and Charmaine Locke: All I Ever Wanted (Oct. 15, 2016‐Jan. 15, 2017)
 Claudia Mastrobuono and Jodi Stevens: Limen (Jan. 28‐May 7, 2017)
 Concurrent exhibitions ‐ Larry Hulst: Front Row Center; Mary Chenoweth Works on Paper; and
Don Coen: The Migrant Series (Feb. 18‐May 21, 2017)
 From Rembrandt to Warhol: Selections from the Mower Collection (June 24‐Sept. 17, 2017)
 Wendy Mike and Delane Bredvik: Ragnarӧk (July/Aug. 2017‐Jan. 2018)
2016‐2017 Mainstage Theatre Season
 Shear Madness by Paul Portner; Colorado Premiere! Sept. 22 – Oct. 16, 2016
 Shrek The Musical Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book & Lyrics by David Lindsay‐Abaire Dec. 1, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017
 Enchanted April by Matthew Barber, from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim Feb. 9 – 26, 2017
 Bye Bye Birdie Book by Michael Stewart, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Lee Adams March 30 – April 23, 2017
 Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion May 25 – June 18, 2017
2016‐2017 Second Stage Theatre Season
 The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Glore Sept. 30 – Oct. 30, 2016
 Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen Oct. 21 – Nov. 19 2016
 WYNOT Radio Theatre in The Other Coast Caper by Cory Moosman Jan. 13 – 29, 2017
 Junie B. Jones: The Musical Book and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler, Music by Zina Goldrich Feb. 24 – March 26, 2017
 Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins by Stephen Temperley April 28 – May 21, 2017
 The partnership with PPLD’s Library 21C will continue throughout 2016‐2017
 The award‐winning Military Artistic Healing program will continue throughout 2016‐2017
 Award‐winning documentary film maker, Tom Shepard, will return to teach two documentary
workshops Summer 2017. Tom Shepard has produced and directed four award‐winning feature
documentaries that have broadcast nationally on PBS. His films have won top awards at the
Sundance Film Festival and have screened at hundreds of film festivals, theatres and universities
around the world.
 Molly Lord, acknowledged as an elite teacher and visionary, will be back for another Tuned‐In
Workshop Fall 2016 – discover the secret formula to your toughest and best life questions
through music.
 Continued to offer hundreds of enriching classes year‐round to all ages and skill levels
Fine Arts Center
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s (FAC) story began in 1919 as the Broadmoor Art Academy (BAA). After the Great
Depression hit in 1929, the BAA looked at diversifying further, expanding into an entire arts district under one roof. And that’s
how the FAC came to be, as it is known today. The name was changed to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and an
expansive building was created to house a multi‐disciplinary center for the arts. The FAC, a privately‐funded, nonprofit
organization, opened the doors on the exciting architectural treasure in 1936 as an art museum, professional theatre company,
and arts education center. The FAC building is considered an architectural landmark in the Rocky Mountain region, designed by
John Gaw Meem, and is listed on the National Register for Historical Places. For information, visit

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