Community Arts Series celebrates 60th year

Patrons of the Community Arts Series at Hanover College are in store for a special treat this season as the series launches its 60th anniversary of bringing arts and culture to the region.

Sponsored by River Valley National Bank and the Indiana Arts Commission, featured entertainment includes a mix of new and returning artists, providing music, comedy and drama, including a not-to-miss new winter gala celebrating Mardi Gras; five theater presentations including a Shakespeare play and a student-directed play; and “The President Honors the Arts,” a 90-minute stage show highlighting outstanding student performers next April.

Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre “The Second City,” celebrating its own 50th year anniversary this year, makes a return visit featuring some of its best sketches, songs and satiric improvisations. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 at Parker Auditorium. Adult admission: advance, $20; at the door, $25; seniors (65+), Hanover College faculty/staff: $18; youth (high school and under): $5.

A two-time Emmy Award winner, nominated 13 times and currently up for another Emmy, The Second City entertains more than a million guests each year. The group’s nonconformist approach to both theater and comedy that continuously attracts sold-out audiences has been a training ground for Joan Rivers, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and others.

Robin and Linda Williams, regulars on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and on college campuses and folk festivals across the country for more than 30 years present a Homecoming Show at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, at the Center for Fine Arts. Adult admission: advance, $18; at the door, $20; seniors (65+), Hanover College faculty/staff: $15; youth (high school and under): $5. The Williams’, previously at Hanover in 2008, have recorded 21 albums portraying musical styles ranging from Appalachian folk music, bluegrass, gospel and their original musical, “Stonewall Country.” Past venues include The Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits and Mountain Stage.

The Cashore Marionettes are a cast of elegant 27-inch-tall marionettes that enact a series of poignant scenes set to music by composers such as Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Aaron Copland. While providing entertaining and sensitive visions of what it is to be human, they offer the audience a compelling theatrical experience that celebrates the richness of life. They will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, at the Center for Fine Arts. Adult admission: advance, $10; at the door, $15; seniors (65+), Hanover College faculty/staff: $8; youth (high school and under): $5.

A free school show, “Simple Gifts,” sponsored by Arvin Sango, Inc., will be held for grades K-3 at the Center for Fine Arts.

Violin Virtuosi, a select group of young violin students from the Indiana University String Academy, last performed at Hanover in 2009. National Public Radio programs “From the Top” and “A Prairie Home Companion” have featured The Virtuosi. In 2006, American Public Television released the Emmy-nominated documentary “Circling Around: The Violin Virtuosi.” They will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18, at the Center for Fine Arts. Adult admission: advance, $10; at the door, $15; seniors (65+), Hanover College faculty/staff: $8; youth (high school and under): $5.

Come celebrate Mardi Gras weekend in New Orleans at the Horner Center with Mojo & the Bayou Gypsies, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, featuring a concert and dinner-dance. Sponsored by Arts Midwest, the evening begins at 6 p.m. with a cash bar, followed by a sumptuous buffet dinner of Cajun classic dishes at 7 p.m., with the concert full of Mardi Gras fun at a festively decorated Struck Gymnasium beginning at 7:30 p.m. MOJO appeals to all ages. All tickets are $30 including dinner. A free school show, sponsored by Grote, will be held at noon for grades 4-6 at the Center for Fine Arts.

The Intergalactic Nemesis, a lively performance that promises to immerse patrons in an epic journey of danger, adventure and fun will take place at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 8, at Parker Auditorium. Suitable for the entire family, the performance consists of three actors, a sound-effects maestro, a live pianist and a huge projection screen displaying full-color, comic-book style graphic illustrations. Adult admission: advance, $20; at the door, $25; seniors (65+), Hanover College faculty/staff: $15; youth (high school and under): $5.

Kicking off Hanover Theatre season is “Catholic Girls Gun Club,” a dark comedy by Stacia Saint Owens, directed by Jim Stark, at 7:30 p.m., Fri-Sun, Oct. 26-28 in Parker Auditorium. A young Kansas girl, a top student and best shot on Sister Mary Ellen’s rifle team, must face a fateful moment that determines her future of whether to become a scientist or search for a Hollywood romance. Premiere performance that contains adult themes and language.

Directed by Paul Hildebrand, “Hagar’s Children,” a musical drama about unconditional love by Ernest Joselovitz, takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thurs-Sat, Dec. 6-8, at Parker Auditorium. The play surrounds a home for emotionally troubled youth the day before Christmas when a crisis unfolds that threatens to ruin the holiday as well as relationships with their counselors. Contains adult language.

“God of Carnage,” an adult comedy by Yazmena Reza and directed by Hanover College senior Nichole Marquez, is a Tony Award-winning comedy appearing at 7:30 p.m., Fri-Sun, Feb. 15-17, in Parker Auditorium. When two upper-class couples face an uncomfortable situation that quickly gets out of hand, a wild and wacky evening ensues.  Contains adult language/sexual situations.

William Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida,” directed by Jim Stark, is a political romance set in the first war in the Middle East about two young lovers involved in a changing landscape and loyalties, takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thurs-Sat, March 28-30, in Parker Auditorium. Will their love survive the explosive situations they encounter?

Tickets for all main-stage shows are $12 adults, $10 seniors (65+) and $5 (high school and under). Free to those with current Hanover College ID. All theater productions are free to CAS Guest Artist Series season subscribers.

In addition, the public is invited to “10-Minute Plays,” by the playwriting and directing classes on a broad range of topics and styles at Parker Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., April 5-6. The event is one of the Hanover Theatre’s most popular annual presentations. Free admission. Limited seating.

The Greiner Art Gallery will feature solo and group exhibits by nationally-renowned artists and Hanover’s private collection, as well as talks, workshops and lectures.

For more detailed information on the Community Arts Series, visit Tickets are available starting Aug. 16 and can be purchased online, in person, by phone or mail via the College Campus Box Office in the Campus Center, at (812) 866-7110, P.O. Box 108, Hanover, Ind. 47243.

SEASON TICKETS: Take advantage of the Early Bird Special – subscribe by August 24 and pay only $66 for the CAS season, theater included. Subscribe between Aug. 25 and Sept. 14, and pay $90, still a savings over single ticket prices.