HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University is excited to announce its 2014-2015 5th anniversary season. The season includes 34 Masterpiece events featuring performances/work by Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning musicians and ensembles, internationally acclaimed guest artists, groups and choreographers, and award-winning JMU theatre, dance and music students and faculty.
Topping the list are performances by Forbes Center “Encore” artists including Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, the eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash; Garrison Keillor, America’s favorite storyteller and host of the wildly popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion; and Ailey II, one of the most renowned dance companies in the country.
Other Encore performances include funnymen Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood in the improvised live show Two Man Group; two-time Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble The King’s Singers; direct from Mexico City, the critically acclaimed Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México with Maestro Enrique Bátiz; Caladh Nua, who captures the essential qualities of traditional Irish music and balances them with a contemporary flair; the dynamic Anderson and Roe Piano Duo featuring virtuosos Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe; EMERGENCY, a solo tour-de-force featuring Obie Award-winning actor, singer and writer, Daniel Beaty; the internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes, who redefine the act of puppetry; Parallel Exit’s Exit Stage Left, a comedy inspired by the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin; and storytelling genius David Gonzalez, who returns to the Forbes Center for a modern version of Sleeping Beauty.
The productions by the Cashore Marionettes, Parallel Exit and David Gonzalez are “Forbes Family Fun” events, as are Holidayfest, Sing Out! and Marimba Orchestra & Friends, which return to the line-up this year.
Forbes Family Fan events are geared toward young audiences and their families.
The Masterpiece Season opens September 5-6 with Christopher K. Morgan & Artists headlining the New Dance Festival. Work by the Washington, D.C.-based company has been hailed as “charming and poignant.” (The New York Times) The festival also features new works by dance faculty members Suzanne Miller-Corso, Shane O’Hara and adjunct faculty member Julia Vessey. O’Hara, along with faculty artists Cynthia Thompson and Ryan Corriston, will perform solos. O’Hara will also perform MAN-SPEAK-DANCE with longtime colleague Ric Rose in an evening of dance theatre performance that will have audiences laughing in their seats!
Other dance events include Dancescapes featuring JMU’s Virginia Repertory Dance Company and New Voices in Dance featuring JMU’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble.
As part of the three-day Contemporary Music Festival, the celebrated JACK Quartet will perform music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds created for his FLiGHT Project. JMU alumnus and acclaimed musician Nate Smith returns to his alma mater for a festival honoring the late George “Doc” West, the late founder of the JMU Jazz Studies Program. Smith will perform with an alumni jazz ensemble—and the
JMU Jazz Ensemble, who will also take the stage for Duke Ellington’s and Billy Strayhorn’s Such Sweet Thunder and Jazz 4 Justice, a concert in cooperation with Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference benefitting the Diversity Conference, Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc. and JMU School of Music scholarships.
The Forbes Center will also partner with JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center for Fusion: Poetry Voiced in Choral Song and with WMRA to present country contemporary performers Robin & Linda Williams.
For its autumn opera, the JMU Opera Theater will perform Puccini’s ravishing heartbreaker La Bohème.
Spring opera performances include songs and scenes from the world’s greatest operas in Opera Spotlight and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience.
The School of Theatre and Dance presents the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, How I Learned to Drive, by Paula Vogel; Machinal by Sophie Treadwell; the Tony Award-winning musical Sweet Charity; The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov; as well as Gone Missing, “a cunningly constructed show” (The New York Times) written by Steve Cosson from interviews by the Civialians with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman.
Taste of the Forbes and JMU Gallery Crawl return to the schedule this season.
Season offerings go on sale to the general public on Thursday, June 26th. Tickets will be available online or at the Forbes Center Box Office in person or by phone at (540) 568-7000.
2014-2015 Masterpiece Events & Other Season Highlights
Christopher K. Morgan & Artists headlining the New Dance Festival Sept. 5-6
EMERGENCY! with Daniel Beaty Sept. 12
Denson Paul Pollard, bass trombone Sept. 15
Fusion: Poetry Voiced in Choral Song: A Collaborative Project with JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center Sept. 24
How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel Sept. 23-28
Jazz 4 Justice Oct. 4
Gone Missing Written by Steve Cossan from interviews by the Civilians Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman Oct. 7-12
Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group Oct. 10
JMU Pops! Music from Stage and Screen Oct. 11
Marianne Gedigian, flute Oct. 14
Machinal by Sophie Treadwell Oct. 28-Nov. 1
Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Such Sweet Thunder Nov. 1
La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini Nov. 7-9
Autumn Opera Gala Nov. 8
An Evening of Storytelling with Garrison Keillor Nov. 10
Parallel Exit – Exit Stage Left Nov. 16
Dancescapes featuring JMU’s Virginia Repertory Dance Company Dec. 4-7
Holidayfest Dec. 6-7
Robin & Linda Williams: A Fundraising Event for WMRA Radio Dec. 11
Taste of the Forbes: An Arts and Foodie Event Jan. 15
Sleeping Beauty starring David Gonzalez Jan. 17
Sleeping Beauty Tea Party Jan. 17
Trio Sopresa Jan. 22
MAN-SPEAK-DANCE: An Evening of Dance Theatre with Shane O’Hara and Ric Rose Jan. 23-24
Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México with Maestro Enrique Bátiz Feb. 4
Opera Spotlight: Songs and Scenes from the World’s Greatest Operas Feb. 7-8
The King’s Singers Feb. 16
The FLiGHT Project with the JACK Quartet Part of the Contemporary Music Festival – Feb. 17-19
Mark Thiele, tuba Feb. 23
Sweet Charity Feb. 24-Mar. 1
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo Mar. 6
Caladh Nua Mar. 17
JMU Gallery Crawl Mar. 20
Tri-State Jazz Festival with drummer and JMU alumnus Nate Smith Mar. 21
Sing Out! An A Cappella Celebration Mar. 25-26
New Voices in Dance featuring JMU’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble Mar. 26-28
Ailey II Mar. 30-31
The Cashore Marionettes Apr. 4
Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience Apr. 8-9
Rosanne Cash: The River and the Thread Apr. 10
JMU Symphony Honors Concert and Poulenc’s Gloria Apr. 19
Marimba Orchestra & Friends Apr. 25
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov Apr. 28-29