Monday, February 15, 2010

Give us a Call

We just experienced another amazing weekend at the MAC. Buffalo Theatre's Love Song opened, we celebrated the culturally rich music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Mojo brought the Bayou to the burbs. We take seriously our mission to enrich the cultural vitality of our community. As funding tightens at the Arts Center we will depend ever more on patron support to keep the best artists on our stages and in our theatres.

Private funding makes up only a small portion of our budget (less than 5%). In the wake of reduced state funding for higher education, reduced funding from the Illinois Arts Council and other granting agencies, and the rising cost of producing great performances will need to increase that percentage of private support. We have great patrons, many of whom give generously to the MAC. We'll need their continued support and the support of new friends to ensure dance, jazz, blues, theatre, modern art and classical music have a place in the Western suburbs.

If you can help - give us a call. If your corporation can sponsor a series for kids that serves annually 10,000 - give us a call. If jazz or theatre is your thing - give us a call. If you value having an acclaimed contemporary art gallery in the burbs - give us a call. We are the community's arts center at the community's college - we're here for you, please be here for us.

be well

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guest Blogger - Bryan Burke

We have just completed our technical rehearsal for Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s upcoming presentation of Love Song by John Kolvenbach (opens Feb. 12th), and the long process of pre-production (we first met to discuss the production almost three months ago, and the play itself was selected for production more than a year ago), and rehearsal (which started five weeks ago) are coming to fruition as all the aspects of the show are finally being realized. As the play’s title implies, Love Song is concerned with the experience of love, and how it affects so many aspects of our lives when it is present, and, equally importantly, when it is not. The play also delves into our perception of love, and how our imagination is affected by love and how love affects our imagination. Our scenic designer, Galen Ramsey, has created a playing space that speaks directly to this aspect of the play, and Michael Moon’s evocative lighting design (as well as his sound design) effectively compliment and augment the scenic design. Seeing it all come together during tech was thrilling, and everyone (designers, cast, and crew) were pretty “wowed” by the cumulative effect. Speaking of cast, BTE ensemble member Sandy Smillie heads up the cast, and is joined by BTE newcomers Cortney McKenna, Kelli Walker, and William Green. The rehearsal process has been particularly gratifying for me due mainly to the fact that I have been able to witness this cast develop into a true ensemble, and I have been able to be a part of their funny, touching and ultimately inspiring work. They have been laughing a lot during the process (and not just at me), and I always take that as a very good sign. I believe their camaraderie and love for the play is reflected in the work that is being done onstage, and I certainly hope you come and listen to our “song.” We will be playing through Feb 28th in Theatre 2.

Bryan Burke
BTE Ensemble Member and director of Love Song

Loud & Rich

Two of our favorite artists are coming back to the MAC. Loudon Wainwright III and Richard Thompson will play the MAC on Saturday, April 17 and we couldn't be more thrilled. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Feb 13 at 10 AM. If you are a subscriber or a friend call the box office today and get in early.

be well

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gracious Artists

I am always struck by how much artists give and how gracious they are.

We just had another amazingly diverse weekend at the MAC. One of the most prolific group of artists, Kronos Quartet, graced our stage on Friday evening. Saturday morning Justin Roberts brought his whimsical songs to thunderous applause from the sippy cup set. Paula Poundstone had all the answers for the post recession blues and sent hundreds out into the night wiping tears of laughter from their eyes.

All of these artists left it all on the stage and then when we thought they could give no more they stayed to talk and meet and greet. Kronos, David, John, Hank and Jeffrey, met with music students prior to the concert and then stayed afterwards to answer questions from the audience. One young woman had a particularly profound question about the point in a piece of music when it becomes transcendental. David Harrington made a point after the discussion to seek her out and tell her how much he appreciated her thoughtfulness.

Paula and Justin moved to the lobby after their performances visiting with fans and friends. Paula chatted with people until we looked around and she and I were the last two in the lobby. We quietly walked out together.

A performing arts center is only a building, but it becomes alive and unique when artists give of themselves night after night. My thanks to the gracious artists we present.

Keep your eyes out for guest bloggers in the future.

Be well