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Bologna Performing Arts Center

Japanese drumming group TAO to perform at BPAC tonight

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TAO, the Japanese drumming sensation, is coming to the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University tonight, March 6. The company’s all-new production, “TAO: Drum Heart,” will take the BPAC stage at 7 p.m.

TAO’s modern, high-energy performances showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming have transfixed audiences worldwide. Combining highly physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals, the performers of “TAO: Drum Heart” create an energetic and unforgettable production.

Critics are raving about TAO:

“Extraordinarily talented percussion artists … The crowd was unmistakably wowed.” — Chicago Tribune
“A beautiful story, simple and elegant… an experience to be had.” — Stage Buddy
“Supernaturally fit and superbly trained… stunning.” — The Herald

Taiko drumming is considered to have originated in sixth century Japan and refers to a variety of traditional percussion instruments, from small and hand-held, to those that are so large that they rest vertically on the ground and are played on their sides.

Breaking past the traditional notions of Taiko since it was formed in 1993, TAO has created an entirely new art form that is modern yet retains a sense of nostalgia. The performers are both highly-trained athletes and expressive artists. Their rigorous training in TAO’s home of Oita, Japan often consists of daily workouts lasting 17 hours. The music they create in different genres, and with traditional instruments, results in a unique production, using world-class techniques and specialized methods.

The Cleveland performance is part of a world tour that has covered 24 countries and has been seen by almost 8 million people. Don’t miss the chance to see these internationally-acclaimed percussion artists.

Tickets are $15-20 and are now on sale at the Bologna Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 662-846-4626, or by visiting www.bolognapac.com.

RENT 20th anniversary tour to stop at BPAC

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“RENT,” the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning landmark rock musical, written by Jonathan Larson, will return to the road in a 20th Anniversary production that promises to be as impactful and exciting as the original. The exciting performance takes the BPAC stage March first at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour in Cleveland are now on sale at the Bologna Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 662-846-4626, or by visiting www.bolognapac.com. Group orders of 10 or more may be placed by calling 662-846-4625.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway, and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s “RENT” continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, the masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” the performance follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on Feb. 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. “RENT” won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Based on original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign re-stages the 20th anniversary tour. Original Broadway creatives Marlies Yearby (Choreography), Angela Wendt (Costume Design), and Tim Weil (Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements) are joined by Jonathan Spencer (Lighting Design), Keith Caggiano (Sound Design), MiRi Park (Associate Choreographer), and Matthew E. Maraffi (adapting original scenic design by Paul Clay) to make up the creative team for the tour. The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour was cast by Joy Dewing Casting with additional casting by Wojcik | Seay Casting.

The tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include “Cinderella,” “Motown,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” and “Clue.”

For more information, visit www.bolognapac.com.

Seats available for “Petra and the Wolf”

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Seats are still available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center for two productions of “Petra and the Wolf” on Feb. 20. Performances will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

The new work from Glass Half Full Theatre is inspired by the Prokofiev classic “Peter and Wolf,” and the show is recommended for 1st-8th grade audiences. A free study guide is available for download at www.bolognapac.com.

Sponsored locally by Entergy, “Petra and the Wolf” will feature large-scale puppetry and a new instrumental score written and performed live by Mother Falcon, a band NPR describes as “the little orchestra that can seemingly do the impossible.”

Tickets are $6 and can be reserved through the Arts Education office at the BPAC by calling 662-846-4844, or by emailing Cade Holder at cholder@deltastate.edu. Homeschool groups will be able to purchase tickets at the box office on the day of the performance.

The Arts Education office has less than 30 scholarship tickets remaining for the season, priced at $1 each. To inquire about eligibility and reserve scholarship tickets for students, contact Holder to check the availability of remaining scholarship ticket funds.

Spring Movie Series returning to BPAC

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Returning for its sixth year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State will show new releases of major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre. All tickets are $5 for general admission seating and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office by phone at 662-846-4626 or online www.bolognapac.com.

All three films are rated PG and will be shown on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Popcorn and candy concessions will be available for purchase to enhance the movie experience.

The series begins Feb. 13 with the film “Wonder.” Based on the New York Times bestseller, “Wonder” tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Disney Pixar’s film “Coco” will be shown March 13. Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

On May 1, “Peter Rabbit” makes the jump from beloved storybook character to the big screen in this irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. James Corden voices the character of Peter. Peter Rabbit’s feud with Mr. McGregor reaches new heights as both compete for the affections of a kind animal lover who lives next door.

Hamlet coming to BPAC

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The Bologna Performing Arts Center presents Aquila Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on Feb. 6-7.

 

The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State presents “Hamlet” by Aquila Theatre Feb.6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $15 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, by phone at 662-846-4626, or online at www.bolognapac.com.

There will also be a special performance for schools on Feb. 7 at 10 a.m.

“Hamlet” is arguably Shakespeare’s greatest play. Written in 1602, it is one of the most complete portrayals of the human psyche that exists in Western literature.

A compelling tale of familial discord, personal ambition, love and revenge, Hamlet has enthralled audiences for 400 years. Mortality and madness are two of the most pronounced themes of Shakespeare’s epic and the characters — Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude and Claudius — inhabit a rich landscape replete with deceit, mistrust and schemes. Four centuries after its premiere, Hamlet continues as one of the classics of the world stage.

Aquila Theatre’s mission is to make classical works accessible to the greatest number. As a company dedicated to the classics, Aquila Theatre feels a responsibility to acknowledge and explore newfound classical works.

Aquila was founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck. In 1997, it became a U.S. non for profit organization and is currently based in New York.

The New York Times said   “Aquila Theatre is a classically trained, modernly hip troupe,” and that “the versatile cast of eight, with actors in multiple roles, consistently command attention and admiration.”

Directed by Desiree Sanchez, Aquila’s “Hamlet” will seek to shed new light on Hamlet’s tragic story. The production will use Sanchez’s innovative use of movement, design, sound and superb acting to vividly explore the depths of rage, madness, love and death brought about by a culture of obsessive personal ambition.