Staging a week of artistic presentations – ranging from a musical based on historic Civil War diaries and letters, to the futuristic tale of a young boy traveling to the edge of a black hole – the University of Central Florida will host UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 at the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando on April 9-15.
More than 1,000 UCF students and faculty members will participate in the festival of performing and visual arts that will showcase studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film. This is the first time all the UCF artistic endeavors can be experienced in one place, and all activities are free and open to the public.
The week also will provide invited high school music and theater students unique access to workshops led by UCF faculty members and an opportunity to showcase their talents during select performances at a state-of-the-art venue.
“We’re presenting the depth and breadth of UCF’s arts units to Orlando, taking them off campus and presenting them in one of the best spaces in the southeast,” said Jeff Moore, director of the UCF School of Performing Arts and artistic director of the festival. “Also, this shows how arts integration across all disciplines happens at UCF. This creative environment is necessary to develop community outreach.”
Events are still being added to the UCF Celebrates the Arts schedule, but some of the highlights will feature:
* Icarus at the Edge of Time. The UCF Symphony Orchestra will perform the music of composer Phillip Glass with an accompanying movie by Al & Al, based on a children’s book by Columbia University physicist Brian Greene about a boy traveling in outer space who challenges the power of a black hole. Friday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Kate Mulgrew, who portrayed Capt. Katharyn Janeway in the Star Trek: Voyager TV series, will provide live narration for the fable.
The Icarus presentation is part of a National Science Foundation project that seeks to broaden the participation of students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research activities, and each year UCF organizes some STEM activities in an artistic way. This event will be an interdisciplinary arts-and-sciences collaboration involving the School of Performing Arts and the College of Sciences. “It is an excellent example of the integration of science, literature, and the performing and visual arts,” said Debra Reinhart, UCF assistant vice president for Research and Commercialization.
* Several musical collaborations are planned with UCF partners. The Flying Horse Big Band will perform a cabaret with the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, themed “Shakespeare in Love” (Saturday, April 11, at 8 p.m.); UCF Choirs will provide the vocals for the Orlando Repertory Theatre’s production of Civil War Voices, which uses diaries and letters to tell the true stories of people who lived through the war (several matinee productions throughout the week); and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will hold a rehearsal for Tosca with an instructional class for voice students following.
* Theatre UCF performances will include scenes from Nine, Hair, class projects, alumni cameos, and scenes from students who have been nominated for Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Acting awards. The Theatre UCF Dance showcase will feature a selection of dance pieces choreographed and performed by UCF students and faculty members.
* Music concerts will include performances from the Collide Percussion Music Festival, UCF Symphonic Band, UCF choruses, and the chamber and wind ensembles.
* Students in the School of Visual Arts and Design will have works from digital media, film, animations, games and studio arts showcased on every floor at the Dr. Phillips Center. SVAD faculty will present lectures on the arts and will be available for portfolio reviews from high school students. A Game Jam will be held so patrons can watch games being developed during a 24-hour period.
* The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy also will demonstrate the interactive development process of video-game design. Final products and artwork will be on display showcasing the works of students and professionals.
* Performances will be scheduled for select high school musicians. There also will be clinics and workshops for the participating musicians. Schools that would like to participate can contact Kelly Miller, coordinator of music education, at Kelly.Miller@ucf.edu.
Organizers of the festival hope to expand its length and scope in coming years.
“We are using this opportunity to share the products and performances of our university students and faculty. We want the world to know that UCF invests in the arts, and this festival makes that statement,” Moore said. “This celebration is a showcase for UCF to share the return on that investment with the city and the entire Central Florida region. We are looking forward to this inaugural event and sharing UCF’s arts activities, both on and off campus, with everyone for years to come.”
Visit http://arts.cah.ucf.edu/ for more information and updated scheduling. All events are free, but tickets are required for many of the programs. Tickets will be available on the website later this month.