By Josh Bootsma
UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (August 27, 2021) – The Governor State University Center for Performing Arts is planning a return to live in-person events this October, following a less-than-ideal season of streaming concerts, plays, and other productions.
The Center’s 25th anniversary celebration will continue this season with a mixture of in-person events and performances.
“Safety is very important to us. This season may look a bit different; with new arrival and dismissal procedures, added safety protocols, and more touchless transactions. Yet, the experience of live connection will feel familiar and joyful,” said the Center’s Executive Director Lana Rogachevskaya.
October 10 — Opera Up Close: Viva La Zarzuela! Featuring Ensemble Español
Description: Opera Up Close Series curator and Lyric Opera tenor John Concepcion will host an afternoon of operatic songs from the Iberian Peninsula to Latin America. In addition to outstanding vocal performances, two dancers from Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater (in residence at Northeastern Illinois University) will perform. Seated on stage with the performers, only 130 audience members will have the opportunity to experience the awesome power of the un-amplified human voice.
November 4-6 — A Delightful Quarantine presented by GSU Theatre and Performance Studies
Description: This dark and timely comedy interweaves the stories of residents of a suburban town forced to quarantine due to an extraterrestrial invasion.
November 14 — All Together Now!
Description: The Southland Area Theater Ensemble returns to the Center’s stage with a global event celebrating theatre: All Together Now! This joyous musical revue features songs from Music Theatre International’s beloved authors from iconic musicals including Company, Ragtime, Les Misérables, Sister Act, Waitress, Rent, and more.
November 20 — Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: Forward Momentum
Description: This cross-generational concert features award-winning vocalist Maggie Brown and her sister Africa paying tribute to their legendary father Oscar Brown Jr., as well as a tribute to the late, great Freddie Hubbard from GSU honorary degree recipient and Emmy-Award-winning composer and trumpeter Orbert Davis. In addition, GSU alumni saxophonists Mwata Bowden (MA ’79) and Justin Smith (BA ’18) share the stage.
December 11 — Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas
Description: Families can celebrate the holidays with Lightwire Theater’s production of A Very Electric Christmas. Featured as semi-finalists on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Lightwire combines performance, puppetry, dance, and modern light technology to bring stories to life in complete darkness. A free STEAM workshop with Santa and Lightwire artists is included.
January 23 — Opera Up Close: Happy Birthday, Mozart!
Description: Lyric Opera vocalists perform beloved arias and duets from Mozart’s most beloved operas.
January 29 — Viva Momix Forever
Description: Momix, known internationally for works of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, will transport audiences to a fantasy world of magical lighting and imagery, athletic dance, astonishing acrobatics, outrageous costumes, and inventive props. In celebration of Momix’s 35th anniversary, Viva Momix Forever will present favorites from all six Momix shows plus four new pieces.
February 11-12 — GSU Dance Company presents 25 Years of Broadway and Beyond
Description: The GSU Dance Company will look back through 25 Years of Broadway and Beyond… showcasing original dance routines inspired by Broadway’s most groundbreaking choreographers.
February 22 — Breach of Peace: Stories of the Freedom Riders of 1961 Presented by Mike Wiley
Description: This one-man play is a living monument to the remarkable young men and women of various races, religions, and backgrounds who rose to face the dangers of fighting for justice and equity.
March 14 — A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul
Description: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul was conceived by musician, vocalist, composer, and Franklin’s mentee, Damien Sneed. Backed by a cast of jazz, gospel, and soul musicians, Gospel music legend and four-time Grammy-Award winner Karen Clark Sheard will lend her signature, multi-octave voice to the tribute.
April 7 & 9 — 12 Angry Jurors presented by GSU Theatre and Performance Studies
Tickets and safety protocols at Governors State University
Tickets can be purchased online at centertickets.net, over the phone by calling 708-235-2222, or in person at the box office, located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL. Box office hours are Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with extra hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays. The box office is also open two hours prior to show times.
Tickets range from $10 – $80. Discounts are available for students, children, seniors, and groups.
Tickets are currently on sale to flex buyers that purchase three or more shows for a 15% discount. Flex buyers also receive priority seating and have exchange privileges.
Face masks are required on the Governors State University Campus, regardless of vaccination status. Reduced capacity limits may be implemented, and hand sanitizer will be available.
Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL.