2019-20 Center Stage Season

The 2019-2020 Center Stage season’s variety is sure to entertain any taste with performances including dance, music, acrobatics, and theatre by internationally-touring groups.

Tickets are $30 ($24 for members) and available at the Arts Center box office or by calling (719) 295-7200.



SHOW: An Evening with C.S. Lewis

WHEN: Sunday October 13, 2019 @ 2pm

INFO: The year is 1963 and C.S. Lewis, the famous British author, is hosting a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. They are about to experience a captivating evening with a man whose engaging conversation and spontaneous humor made him one of the great raconteurs of his day.

Seated in his living room and in front of a warm fire he recalls the people and events that inspired his thought and shaped his life; of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien; why he nearly abandoned the Narnia Chronicles; how he came to embrace Christianity and of the American woman who turned his life upside down.

Described by critics as ‘Extraordinary!’ ‘A Must See!’ ‘A Master Class!’ An Evening with C.S. Lewis has proved again and again to be an enthralling theatrical experience and one which has led many thousands to discover (or rediscover) the continuing impact of a man who died over 50 years ago and whose collected works made him one of the literary giants of the 20th Century.

QUOTES

“Getting to know someone in an hour-and-a-half sounds optimistic. Yet in An Evening with C.S. Lewis, the famous literary figure is presented as if you already know him. The set, primarily the armchair where he sits drinking tea amongst books and globes and clocks, makes you feel like you’re at your grandparents’ house, listening to your grandfather’s stories. And the brilliant portrayal of Lewis comes from a man who doesn’t seem far off from the real thing.”   -Review from Chicago Stage Standard

“For David Payne, it was a complete mastery of his theatrical gifts, but for us there was no acting. We only saw the genuine representation of CS Lewis or as friends called him; Jack. Payne’s delivery, subtle movements, expressions and his uncanny ability to speak directly to you and stir you up in your seat kept you riveted and vastly entertained.

This show was not a boring memoir of his life, but the telling was so rich in detail that you lost your bearings and experienced what he experienced. The greatest of which were the complexity of his relationships.”  -Review from South Florida Insider


SHOW: Nobuntu

WHEN: Friday, November 8, 2019 @ 7:30pm

INFO: Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira (thumb piano) and organic, authentic dance movements.

Nobuntu was nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015 and in the last few seasons, the quintet has performed at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and throughout the African continent. The ensemble was a huge critical success at “Trans-Vocal” in Frankfurt and “Voice Mania” in Vienna. Their first tour to Canada, in 2016, included performances in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria.

The word Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries.

Nobuntu has released three recordings- Thina in 2013, Ekhaya in 2016 and Obabes beMbube in 2018. The group has made dozens of television and radio appearances throughout Africa and Europe promoting these recordings and the culture of their homeland.

QUOTES

“…a vibrant and stunning performance full of sparkling energy…”   -Sunday Times- Passau, Germany   

“…rich voices and exhilarating rhythms, both physical and vocal, poured out from the stage to enchant a near-capacity crowd.”    - Sarasota Herald- Tribune

“…the sensational all-female a cappella group delivered a top-of-the-drawer performance…”   - Zim Metro - Austria

“much adored…and breathtaking…”   -The Sunday News – Zimbabwe


SHOW: Piano Battle

WHEN: Monday, February 3, 2020 @ 7:30pm

INFO: The brainchild of internationally accomplished pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis, the PIANO BATTLE sees the duo go head-to-head on stage, charming and enchanting the audience with a variety of classical pieces. The two artists, with distinctly different performance styles, take turns to perform pieces by composers such as Chopin, Liszt and Debussy. They will even improvise based on the tunes you request.

Whether or not they are friends in real life, mercy is the last thing on their mind when fighting on stage. Winning the audience‘s heart is the only thing that counts!

YOU ARE THE JUDGE!  

A competition wouldn’t be a competition without a jury and here, YOU will be the judge! All members of the audience are invited to vote on the pianists‘ performances and will eventually crown the winner. And this might not be the limit of your participation… Part serious classical recital, part tongue-in-cheek performance by two classy pianists, the PIANO BATTLE is a unique concert that pleases both the ear and the eye.

QUOTES

“The comedy-classical combat show of the affable German pair Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis returns after a successful debut. It’s serious Classical music in a whole new context – and you decide the winner.”  -Time Out

“The intensity and music heats up with every round.”   -HK Magazine

"Piano Battle has the elegance of classic music, the excitement of rock and the energy of hip-hop." -Newsis, South Korea

“The piano battle between the young men facing each other at the two Yamaha grand pianos is a publicly staged and artfully performed contemplation of the classical concert business as well as classical music itself. Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis purposefully present their expertly executed craft in the wrong – an athletic — context and let the unique qualities of their performance shine even brighter this way. Between the comedic remarks and over the course of a lovely Schubert Impromptu and a biting Ligeti piece, they compel the audience to engage in the focused mindfulness that is necessary to truly appreciate music.”  - Berliner Morgenpost

"Classical music should be fun. And this is something these two men convey for two hours more playfully than anyone who tried before."  -Münchner Abendzeitung, Germany


SHOW: Aquila Theatre presents George Orwell’s 1984 adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan

WHEN: Sunday, March 15 @ 4pm

INFO: In the throes of unprecedented challenges to privacy, truth, and personal expression, Aquila Theatre brings 1984, George Orwell’s cautionary novel, to the stage for the 19-20 season.

As our modern world grapples with the threats and benefits of technological integration, Aquila Theatre’s production of 1984 provides a space to appreciate the value of individual thought – an evocative and timely narrative of personal freedom against political repression. Today, Orwell’s prescient story resonates around the globe as individuals, systems, and governments clash.

Written in 1944 near the end of World War II, 1984 depicts a society controlled by a perfectly totalitarian government bent on repressing all subversive tendencies. “Big Brother” is always watching and technology is wielded as a weapon to inundate citizens with propaganda and to monitor thoughts and actions. Imagined before the existence of computers, this dystopian future explores the power of technology as a mental manipulator and source of curated information.

The resurgence of 1984 marks a widespread desire to understand the present moment by looking back… as a means to look forward. How far are we from realizing Orwell’s nightmare? Are we already there? Can there be more than one truth, more than one set of facts?

1984 is a classic by one of literature’s most significant authors and provides the kind of evocative and innovative storytelling that suits Aquila’s bold, ensemble driven, physical style.

QUOTES

“Aquila’s productions are beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and crystalline in effect.”  -The New Yorker

“The classics made relevant with superb acting and clever staging”   -The New Yorker

“This is the most exhilarating, inventive theater company that has put down roots here in many years.”  - The American Reporter


Center Stage performances presented by Fran McClave & Kathy Farley, Art & Lorraine Gonzales, Ron Aichele, with additional support from Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, Rocky Mountain Eye Care, Ron & Cathy Diodosio, Ted & Sylvia Clair, Bill & Mollie McCanless, Hal & Barbara Deselms, Wendy & Dr. Barry Rapp, Shirley Meyer, Kay Bauman, John Lee, WESTAF, Hank & Susie Anton, Warren Diodosio, Ed Smith, Linda & Daniel Ciejek, Dr. Donald & Teresa Luebke, and Nicholas Gradisar.

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