Guest Artists, TAO: Seventeen Samurai

TAO: Seventeen Samurai
Family-friendly performance on Sunday, January 31 at 4pm at the Zoellner Arts Center
Tickets available here.


TAO: Seventeen Samurai showcases the Taiko drumming, precision, energy and stamina of athlete-drummers with “incomparable muscular zeal” (Chicago Tribune).  After years of intensive training at a mountainous compound in Japan, these performers, with their diverse backgrounds—one as a hard rock musician, another as a gymnast and another as a composer—have reached the highest level of virtuosity.  This show is part of Zoellner’s Family-Friendly series which features quality performances that are suitable for all ages for a fun family night out.  Tickets are $39/34.

Tao 2 \

Tao 3
TAO started as a traditional Japanese drumming group over 15 years ago in Aichi, Japan.  After viewing an inspiring Cirque du Soleil performance, the group’s founding members decided to update the ancient art of wadaiko (Japanese drum) for modern audiences around the world.  A strict training regime is essential to be capable of the incredibly physical performances.  The troupe starts each day with a 20k run, followed by a few hours of muscle training, and at least two hours of basic drum training which involves continuous pounding of the taiko drum.

larry_pic2In conjunction with the performance, there is a free lecture and demonstration at 3 pm in the Goodman Lobby featuring Larry Stockton, a specialist in traditional Japanese music, specifically music of the Kabuki Theater, and percussion traditions from around the world.  He is a Lafayette College music professor and teaches courses in World Music Traditions, Jazz, East Asian Studies and various other courses.  He also directs the Percussion Ensemble and is active as a performer (percussion), conductor, and clinician, having performed and studied throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, Korea, Ghana, and Indonesia. He has published numerous articles and conducted workshops and offered lectures on Japanese music and various world music traditions. He has produced and edited a four-volume set of concert band music for Toshiba-EMI, Ltd, The Masterpiece Series.

Performance Sponsor:
Ichiko and Joseph W. Long ’88 & Family
With support from LU Student Auxiliary Services

Prelude Sponsor: Youngs Advisory Group.

Connect with the artists on their:
Facebook Page
Twitter Feed

Audition Post – Gem of the Ocean

GemoftheOceanCoverLehigh University Department of Theatre announces open auditions for Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson. This production will be a rare opportunity to perform with two esteemed Theatre faculty and to be directed by the 2016 Artist in Residence, Akin Babatunde.

Auditions: Monday, February 1 – Tuesday February 2. Call Backs: Wednesday, February 3.

About the play

Pittsburgh, 1904. Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old former slave and fiery 285-year-old matriarch, welcomes into her Hill District home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow a young man from Alabama searching for a new life.


Aunt Ester – this role will be played by Professor Kashi Johnson.
Rutherford Selig – a traveling peddler who is a frequent visitor of the house.
Caesar Wilks – Black Mary’s brother and local constable.
Eli – Aunt Easter’s gatekeeper and longtime friend of Solly.
Citizen Barlow – A young man from Alabama who is in spiritual turmoil.
Black Mary – Aunt Ester’s protégé and housekeeper.
Solly Two Kings – this role will be played by Professor Darius Omar Williams.

How to Audition

Sign up for a time to audition on the sheet posted outside the theatre office, room 301 in Zoellner (#rd floor, north side). Auditions will consists of reading from the script and perhaps some improvisation.

Perusal copies of the script may be requested by contacting Deb Laub.

Students cast are eligible to enroll in THTR 35 Performance (2.0 credits)

About the director, the Theodore U. Horger ’61 Artist-in-Residence for the Performing and Visual Arts, Akin Babatundé

Akin Babatundé is an internationally recognized award winning African American director, actor, writer, teacher and coach whose artistic career spans well over forty years in the theatre industry. Babatundé’s directing credits include Gem of the Ocean, The Piano Lesson, Manchild in the Promised Land, From the Mississippi, and Fences. A winner of the AUDELCO Award for Best Director of a Musical, Babatundé has been a resident company member of prestigious theatrical institutions throughout the country. As an actor, Akin Babatundé has appeared on major network television drams, including the two-part season premier of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2010. Babatundé’s off-Broadway bio-musical, Blind Lemon Blues, was nominated in four categories for the 2010 New York AUDELCO Awards for Excellence in Black Theater. The play received nominations for Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Ensemble and Best Musical Production.

Lehigh in Munich

Professor Nik Nikolov and the 2016 Lehigh Winter Study Abroad groups have embarked on a journey through one of the most environmentally progressive regions of the world.  Munich is an inspiring mix of historic buildings and progressive architecture.  Over their 12 day program they will delve into the relationship between technology and historic circumstances that form Munich’s built environment.

Students are learning about different building technologies, techniques and materials. Due to the unique location of this session, they
 will experience alternative models of urban planning and mixed-use developments as well as various forms of public space, private and public transportation, and sustainable planning and design.

This blog will serve as a live record, a guide, and a way-finder throughout their adventurers in the southern capital of Bavaria.  Travel virtually with the group via Blogspot: Lehigh In Munich

Weihnachtlicher Lichterglanz

Der Muenchner Christkindlmarkt und das Rathaus strahlen am Montag (28.11.05) waehrend der Blauen Stunde in weihnachtlichem Lichterglanz. Mit der Eroeffnung des zentralen Muenchner Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Marienplatz begann am Freitag (25.11.05) die Weih



Spring Semester 2016 PREVIEW at Zoellner Arts Center

Listed chronologically, the performing arts events of Spring 2016 to consider for course connections, or cultural exploration. Each event or production is linked to page with program information and performance details. Future posts will provide background reading or music review lists for each.

Please note:

  1. Those with * are free and open to the public
  2. Those with ^ are free to LU students with ID
  3. Dept. of Theatre offers “pay what you will” for the Wednesday show during their production.
  4. We can work with faculty or program directors on tickets for group sales.

January 23 M-PACT (on-stage seating, 2 shows)

January 31 TAO: Seventeen Samuriai

February 6 Billy Childs: Map to the Treasure-Reimagining Laura Nyro

*February 11 Documentary Film: The Winding Stream

^February 12 LU Jazz Faculty

February 13 Larry Harlow & The Latin Legends of Fania

February 14 (1 & 4pm)Moon Mouse: Lightwire Theater

February 16 (4:30) and 19 (7:30) Raphael Xavier: The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance

February 20 NY Jazz Repertory Orchestra

February 21 Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra – All Tchaikovsky

February 26 – March 5 Department of Theatre: boom 

^February 26 & 27 LU Philharmonic Concerto Marathon

^March 4 The Branderson Duo

March 5 Avner the Eccentric: Exceptions to Gravity (1PM Sensory-Friendly & 4PM)

^March 6 East Winds Quintet: Celebrating Creative Lehigh

*March 8 Documentary Film: Rebel

March 10 STOMP

March 19 Moscow Festival Ballet: Giselle

^March 20 Michael Jorgensen Violin Recital: A Classical Romance

*March 23 Notations: Jennifer Whitaker

*April 1-2 LU Choir, Dolce & Glee Club: If Music Be the Food of Love

April 3 Mnozil Brass: Yes, Yes, Yes

*April 5 Notations: Dennis Lehane

April 8-16 Department of Theatre: Gem of the Ocean

*April 14-15 Notations: Michael Milligan – Side Effects

^April 16 LU Jazz Repertory Orchestra and Nicole Henry

*April 19 Documentary Film: Deaf Jam

^April 23 LU Jazz Ensemble, Funk Band and Combo

April 24 Compagne Finzi Pasca: La Veritá

^April 29-30 LU Philharmonic: Dramaville

^May 1 LU Wind Ensemble: From the Past to the Future

^May 6-7 LU Choral Arts: Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem

May 8 Bullets Over Broadway

Auditions for boom



by Peter Nachtrieb

directed by Augustine Ripa

OPEN CALL Tuesday, January 26th

Callbacks Wednesday, January 27th

Performs February 26 thru March 5, 2016


“Sex to Change the Course of the World”—Comedy that celebrates the resilience of life against all odds!

A grad student’s online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of a weekend of “no strings attached” sex. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. And who is that woman at the controls in this wacky museum?


Barbara museum operator, played by man or woman—wacky-good

Jules (male) slightly nerdy grad student—wants to save the world

Jo (female) looking for meaning in life; a journalism undergrad—sassy


SIGN UP for a time to audition on the sheet posted the theatre office, 301 Zoellner. Auditions will consist of reading from the script and perhaps some improvisation. Perusal copies of the script may be requested from or

Students cast are eligible to enroll in Theatre 35, Performance (2 credits).

QUESTIONS?—NEED MORE INFORMATION?…Ask the director, Gus… Augustine Ripa, Office 303, Zoellner. Extension 84595.

For inquiring minds like the author, here are some other links to dig into the background of the play a bit more. Perhaps a bit of exploring might inspire a leap into a new experience if one has not yet considered auditions with the Lehigh University Department of Theatre. Add more links in the comments if you’d like to contribute to the greater good.

Wikipedia entry for “Boom (play)” – please note, the correct title is boom (small ‘b’)

NYTimes Theater Review of the 2008 Ars Nova production

Link to entry on playwright’s (Peter Nachtrieb) website. Includes a link to 20 page preview of script.

New Course in Latino Visual Arts and Culture in American Art

“Latino Visual Arts and Culture in American Art”
Spring 2016
ART/LAS 227, Tues & Thurs 1:10 – 2:25
Register with CRN: 13988

of the AmericasA one of a kind course that takes advantage of LUAG’s unique Latin American exhibition. “Latino Visual Arts and Culture in American Art” is an in-situ class at the Lehigh University Art Galleries at Zoellner utilizing our visual laboratories, galleries and teaching collection. The course focuses on our current exhibition in the Lower Gallery “…Of The Americas: Contemporary Art from the Lehigh University Teaching Collection” as well as other relevant Latino works from our diverse and inclusive holdings.
The thrust of the course is to explore contemporary Latino and Latin American art in the United States from several angles. Among the topics to be discussed are “Because art has no country, but the artist does”; is contemporary art a product of globalization?; is Latino and Latin American art, culture and art criticism a nationalistic platform of cultures, or just a contemporary creative expression of their time?; who is who in the current Latino and Latin American art world?

For a description of the exhibit, see this link to the LUAG website.

20 Reasons to see Violet – only 4 more performances

This post was directly lifted from Jon Hoffman’s (’12?) Facebook page. He’s in the cast. He also started a Theatre company. He’s a awesome person. (Oh, and pay attention to #11, especially for Wednesday night’s performance)

11221282_796811893773945_7560037824137178322_nReasons to go see “Violet” this week at the Zoellner Arts Center:

1.) I’m in it, so like, c’mon. It’s great.

2.) No seriously, it’s very very good. A beautiful production of an underappreciated musical that you likely never heard of.

3.) The composer of “Violet” also won a Tony this year for her music in the award winning “Fun Home”! She’s also the mind behind “Thoroughly Modern Millie”.

4.) If you like country, blue grass, and gospel, you’re in for a huge treat. If you’re not, this show might be the best examples of those genres you’ve ever heard!

5.) It’s directed by two of my favorite people in the world: Pam Pepper is at the helm with another outstanding addition to her Lehigh history, and Bill Whitney owned it with his music direction and is conducting the pit AND playing piano.

6.) The cast is all very talented, but I have to mention Eden Weinflash‘s beautiful and thoughtful portrayal of the title character, Meg Kelly‘s pitch perfect tones as younger Violet, and Jake Blecher energy as the lovable-yet-hateable Monty.

7.) This production of “Violet” collects it’s talent from the far reaches of the valley. Marcel Logan is hitting notes I seriously never heard of as Flick, and Eric Anders Fosselius as Violet’s Father is so nuanced I practically cry every time I watch him.

8.) If it is me you’re interested in, I’m playing multiple parts. Not the least of which is a Southern Baptist Televangelist Preacher. I get a huge, high energy sequence in Act 2, backed by a whole choir of my best homies just rocking it the whole way. At the very least, come to see me make a complete idiot out of myself. You won’t be dissapointed.

9.) Having a busy week? No sweat! We have show nights Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday! Lot’s of chances!

10.) Is it money that’s holding you up? Never fear! This experience can be yours for a very affordable $12 a ticket ($10 for students, $8 for Lehigh students. That’s extremely low for this kind of thing.

11.) Still too pricey for you? Tomorrow (Wednesday) is “Pay-What-You-Will Night”, meaning you can pay as much or as little as you please. You can literally see this for free! No judgment! We really just want you here!

12.) The show only lasts a brisk 2 hours, including intermission. That’s personally how I like my theatre, quick! “Violet” doesn’t have the fluff and filler of some musicals. You can be home by 10!

13.) So far it’s been very well received. Who am I to argue?

14.) The Diamond Theatre is just a beautiful space, and we know how to work it. In Thrust, everywhere is a good seat.

15.) Beautful lighting! I’m especially impressed with the track spots (or whatever you call them. I’m not a lighting guy my self). That spot light follows me for my whole scene, which is more impressive than it might sound.

16.) You really deserve it! You’ve been working extra hard lately smile emoticon

17.) I think “Violet” has a really profound message that a lot of people could take to heart. It’s really easy to say “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” but this is a show that actually puts that adage to the ultimate test.

18.) Two words: Lula Buffington. If you haven’t heard Kiyaana Cox-Jones sing “Raise Me Up”, you’re seriously missing out!

19.) I know you don’t actually experience this from the audience perspective, but our stage manager Lindy Fruithandler is amazing. There’s like 700 cues, and the whole show moves smooth as butter.

20.) That goes double for our assistant stage managers, Caraline Jeffreyand Winnie Gu. They’re awesome. You don’t see them, but they’re invisibly making the show more awesome.

That’s 20 reasons off the top of my head. 20! And the more people come each night, the stronger the performance gets! I really hope you can make it! If you follow the link below you can get all the information and find link to buy tickets ahead of time, though you can also easily get them at the door. See you there!