Bologna Performing Arts Center

Tickets to BODYTRAFFIC are on sale now at the BPAC Ticket Office and online at

BODYTRAFFIC dance company to make Mississippi debut

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Named “the company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation, BODYTRAFFIC is leading the way for contemporary dance in Los Angeles and beyond.

BODYTRAFFIC will make its Mississippi debut March 1 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State. The company will present a matinee for K-12 school audiences at 11 a.m., and a public performance will be held that evening at 7:30 p.m. There will be a complimentary pre-performance reception in the Bologna Center lobby beginning at 6:30 p.m. Immediately following the show, there will be a Q&A discussion inside the Delta & Pine Land Theater.

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Praised by LA Weekly for its “confident, hard-hitting” execution in a wide range of styles, BODYTRAFFIC is known for their dynamic theatricality and contemporary approach to dance. The show’s growing repertory is vibrant, inspiring, accessible and challenging to both new audiences and experienced dance enthusiasts. Founded by Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett in 2007, the company has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world commissioning new works from world-class contemporary choreographers, and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2013.

Prior to their performances, the company will spend time in the Cleveland community. First, dancers will work with Margaret Green Junior High and Cleveland High School students in a partnership with the Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland’s Exceptional Education project.

The company will also work with the Delta Arts Alliance School of Dance. DAA Executive Director Rori Herbison said the experience would be critical to the development of the young students.

BODYTRAFFIC’s debut is just one of many upcoming dance performances in the BPAC’s future through its participation in the Dance Touring Initiative.

“We are very excited to be working with South Arts to feature more contemporary dance and ballet programming at the Bologna Center” said BPAC executive director Laura Howell. “Dance is one of those great art forms where there are no right answers, and there can be a point of access for everyone.”

Tickets to see BODYTRAFFIC are now on sale at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 662-846-4626, and online at Tickets are $25-39, and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.


Peter Rabbit coming to BPAC

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“Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter …”

These famous opening lines of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” have enchanted young audiences for over 100 years. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday, Enchantment Theatre, in collaboration with the Estate of Beatrix Potter and Penguin Books UK, will bring her captivating stories to life at the Bologna Performing Arts Center with two BPAC School-Time Matinee performances of “Peter Rabbit™ Tales” on Jan. 29.

Come along for the exploits of a charming hero, who, going against his mother’s wishes, has adventures (and misadventures) in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Using fantastic masks, whimsical puppets, and original music, Enchantment Theatre introduces children to the timeless stories of Beatrix Potter as never seen before.

This show is locally sponsored by Entergy.

The 9:30 a.m. show is completely sold out, but tickets are still available for the 11:30 a.m. performance. Tickets are $6 for adults and students, and are available for purchase by stopping by the BPAC or calling 662-846-4844 for more information. 

The suggested grade levels for this performance are Pre-K through fourth grade. Teachers are encouraged to download the free study guide created by Enchantment Theatre from the BPAC’s website,

Delta State University music department alumnus Johnathan Williams works with The Delta Youth Chorale.

Delta Youth Chorale still open to new members

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The Delta Youth Chorale resumed their regular weekly rehearsals for the spring semester this week. The youth community choir is an arts education initiative of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Thanks to the Juliet Kossman Arts Pass, there is no fee to be a member of the choir.

Under the direction of Delta State University music department alumnus Johnathan Williams, the choir has begun working on some fun, popular tunes, as well as some classics for their spring performances. An arrangement of “Best Day of My Life” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” could be heard coming from the choir room of Zeigel Hall. The Delta Youth Chorale members were all smiles as they sang.

After the first rehearsal of the semester, Williams expressed his enthusiasm. “I am really excited to work with the students, both returning and new. They seemed very anxious to begin working on this semester’s repertoire.”

The Delta Youth Chorale is looking to add to its membership. Any eight to 14-year-old who loves to sing or perform is welcome to join the group for their next rehearsal on Monday, Jan. 18 from 4:40-5:30 p.m. in the choir room of Zeigel Hall on the campus of Delta State.

For more information or to sign your child up for this unique experience, contact Joannah Taylor at 662-846-4844 or email at

The national tour of the Broadway musical "Annie" plays at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Feb. 2. Tickets are available at 662-846-4626.

Annie to make national tour stop at BPAC

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Delta State University is proud to announce the national tour of the Broadway musical “Annie,” now in its second smash year. The show will play one night only on Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, this production of “Annie” is a brand new physical incarnation of the iconic Tony Award®-winning original. The performance is locally sponsored by Planters Bank and Trust.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who has incorporated selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography.

The celebrated design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages), costume design by Costume Designer’s Guild Award winner Suzy Benzinger (Blue Jasmine, Movin’ Out, Miss Saigon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas) and sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Motown). The lovable mutt Sandy is once again trained by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). Musical supervision and additional orchestrations are by Keith Levenson (Annie, She Loves Me, Dreamgirls). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Soul Doctor, Wonderland). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.

The production features a 25-member company. In the title role of Annie is Heidi Gray, an 11-year-old actress from the Augusta, Georgia area, making her tour debut. Gilgamesh Taggett stars as Oliver Warbucks. In the role of Miss Hannigan is Lynn Andrews. Also starring in the tour are Chloe Tiso as Grace, Garrett Deagon as Rooster, Lucy Werner as Lily and Jeffrey B. Duncan as FDR. Macy and Sunny, rescue terriers, star as Sandy.

The orphans are Sage Bentley as Tessie, Bridget Carly Marsh as July, Molly Rose Meredith as Pepper, Emily Moreland as Kate, Annabelle Wachtel as Molly and Casey Watkins as Duffy.

The original production of “Annie” opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has been running somewhere around the world for 37 years.

The beloved score for ANNIE includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

For tickets and information, visit:

Children in attendance must be at least four years old to attend the performance. For more information or to purchase tickets, stop by the BPAC Ticket Office open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Or call 662-846-4626 or go online at

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas

“Splendiferous” time had with Fancy Nancy

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Nearly 2,000 local students were treated to the musical “Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas” at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Dec. 10.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade traveled from as far as Coahoma, Leflore, Sharkey, Sunflower and Washington counties to experience the delightful theatrical performance. Children and adults alike enjoyed this fancy holiday show. Students left with smiles on their faces and had great things to say about the performance.

Romie Caston, a first grader at Bayou Academy, said “I thought it was absolutely splendiferous, as Fancy Nancy would say.”

Her mother Lauren Caston added, “We thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic Christmas show with a great message.”

Jennifer Krutz, a homeschooling mother in Cleveland, also attended the show with her youngest daughter and noted how the message of selflessness and love shone through the performance. Not only did Krutz appreciate the experience to start a conversation with her children about altruism, she also had the opportunity for a vocabulary lesson.

“The way Nancy uses her ‘fancy’ words is a great way to teach synonyms,” said Krutz.

In an effort to assure that educational standards are being met while students step outside the classroom and into the theater, teachers and families who attended the performance were provided with a comprehensive study guide. The guide was designed for use before and after the performance and led students through vocabulary, both English and French, holiday traditions around the world, and manners.

This School-Time Matinee performance was made possible through partnerships with Double Quick, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. For information about upcoming shows, call Joannah Taylor, BPAC Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.