One of the most popular Biblical stories turned into a musical, a reimagined classic and a legendary orchestra headline the 2015-2016 season of the Encore Performing Arts Series at Fort Hays State University.
“For the past 35 years, the Encore Series has been the cultural gem of the plains,” said Vincent Bowhay, chair of the Special Events Committee. “This is going to be a season to remember,” he said. “Patrons can again expect New York City- caliber performances right here on the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center stage. Also, patrons should plan to purchase season tickets this year, as several individual shows will sell out.”
Bowhay said this year’s series has a show for all audiences. The season will open with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The musical, composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber, is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s book of Genesis. Additional shows include “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, and “Annie.”
All performances for the 2015-2016 season start at 7:30 p.m. and are in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Tuesday, Sept. 22
This production is a family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colors, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including “Those Canaan Days,” “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.” This performance is sponsored by Nex-Tech.
Aquila Theatre Company Presents: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” Wednesday, Oct. 28
The legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes takes the stage in this witty, fast-paced production by the Aquila Theatre. Holmes skillfully maneuvers the twisted web of London’s most intriguing cases with his split-second deductions revealing intimate and useful details of a person’s life. “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” is sponsored by ABC Seamless Siding.
Mark O’Connor & Friends: “An Appalachian Christmas,” Wednesday, Dec. 2
Multiple Grammy Award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor is joined by his band for an unforgettable evening of music from his album “An Appalachian Christmas.” This event is sponsored by the FHSU Foundation.
Cirque Zuma Zuma, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
Audiences and critics agree that Cirque Zuma Zuma is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Many describe it as African-style Cirque du Soleil. Cirque Zuma Zuma is packed with action and features that keep audiences on the edge of their seats, which is why they were recently featured on “America’s Got Talent.” This event is sponsored by Todd and Andrea Sandoval.
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra Directed by Scotty Barnhart, Monday, March 7, 2016
William Count Basie started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935 in Kansas City, Mo. Within a year, America was listening in on popular radio shows throughout the country to hear what would become “the swingingest band in all the land.” The Count Basie Orchestra has won 17 Grammy Awards, more than any other big band in jazz. This appearance is sponsored by Auto World Used Cars – Dick and Kay Werth.
Robot Planet Rising: “An Intergalactic Nemesis Live Action Graphic Novel,” Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Last season, the Encore Series presented a whole new form of theatre, the Live-Action Graphic Novel, with “The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth.” This year will bring the sequel: “Robot Planet Rising.” Three actors voice the dozens of characters, a Foley artist creates all the sound effects and a pianist plays a cinematic score while more than 1,250 individual full-color, hi-resolution comic book panels tell a hilarious sci-fi adventure visually on an enormous movie screen. This event is sponsored by Chartwells.
“The River:” ETHEL with Robert Mirabal, Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Continuing a deeply successful six-year collaboration inspired by ceremonies dedicated to the sun, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal, Native American musician, instrument builder and three time Grammy Award winner, present their next evolution of this cross-cultural concert experience. The inspiration this time is water as the embodiment of spirit and its essential role in life on Earth. This performance is sponsored by High Plains Public Radio.
“Annie,” Wednesday, April 20, 2016
This beloved musical is directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro. This “Annie” is a brand new incarnation of the iconic original, including such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street” and “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism “Tomorrow.” “Annie” is sponsored by Cedar Lodge Dental Group.
Season tickets for the 2015-2016 Encore Performing Arts Series are now on sale. FHSU students, senior citizens and youth all receive discounts. For more information call the Memorial Union Student Service Center at 785-628-5306 or visit www.fhsu.edu/encore.
About the Special Events Committee and the University Activities Board
Through the presentation of varied forms of performing arts, the Special Events Committee through its Encore Series and other presentations strives to educate, inspire, evoke thought and entertain. The goal is to promote artistic expression, cultural understanding and social awareness at Fort Hays State University and throughout western Kansas through the presentation of diverse, high-caliber performing arts programs. Many special events, such as the Encore Series and the Sebelius Lecture Series, are large in scale and have associated costs. Information can be found at www.fhsu.edu/encore. For smaller university events designed almost exclusively for FHSU students, please visit the University Activities Board website at www.fhsu.edu/uab.