Patrons who supported The American Theatre in past seasons will find much to like in the 2013-2014 brochures that drop in their mailboxes in the coming week.
The upcoming season offers a strong mix of the programming that has given this venue its unique appeal among performing arts centers in the region. Visits by the nation's top touring theater companies. A strong lineup of American and ethnic dance troupes. World music, folk and jazz artists. And an emphasis on family activities that begins with theater, dance and blues camp this summer and continues with theater performances throughout the year
"It's very consistent with what you're used to seeing at The American Theatre," says Director Joe Tsao, who took over Hampton Arts with the dismissal of Michael Curry in December.
Curry had completed much of the 2013-2014 season before he left Hampton Roads, and the lineup bears his fingerprint. The Buddhist monks will be returning July 30-Aug. 4 with their "Mystical Arts of Tibet" program. Other world music, folk and jazz artists include the Turtle Island String Quartet with Nellie McKay, the Irish ensemble Danu, folk singer Arlo Guthrie and guitarist Sharon Isbin. There are new faces as well, including young Louisiana performer Jonathan Batiste and the Irish band Caladh Nua.
"Ethnic and world music events, whether in dance, theater and music, are the kinds of things that really interest people," says Tsao. "The monks fall into that category. They appeal to people who enjoy a different culture as well as those looking for a spiritual message."
Patrons can download an order form from the http://www.hamptonarts.net website or fill one out in the brochure and mail it in. As in past seasons, patrons can create their own series and save off individual ticket prices. Orders will be filled beginning June 3, and single tickets will go on sale July 15. Patrons also will have the option of ordering tickets through Ticketmaster next year.
Tsao also wants to reach out to new audiences and expand the programming at the theater. He's added a kids' blues camp this summer and is considering a jazz series of up-and-coming artists.
He also indicated that the deadline for applications for a new director has now passed, and the city hopes to have someone in that position by the end of summer.
"A vibrant arts community really contributes to the well-being of a healthy community," says Tsao. "We're carrying on with Hampton Arts and staying true to our mission to bring world-class artists here."
Here's a look at some of the highlights of the 2013-2014 season:
Ani & Ida Kavafian, string players, and Jonathan Feldman, pianist, Nov. 20
Virginia Symphony Holiday Brass, Dec. 8
Alex deGrassi, and Andrew York, guitarists, March 29
Yevgeny Sudbin, pianist, May 1
Taylor 2 Dance, Oct. 19-20
Tango Fire, Oct. 24-25
The Parsons Dance Company, Nov. 12-13
Flamenco Vivo, Carlota Santana, March 22-23
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, April 24-25.
"The Three Little Pigs," Theatre IV, Oct. 12
"A Christmas Carol," Theatre IV, Dec. 7
"Buffalo Soldier," Theatre IV, Jan. 25
"The Story of Jackie Robinson," Mad River Theatre Works, Feb. 9
VOICE, female vocal trio, Oct. 29
Turtle Island String Quartet with Nellie McKay, Nov. 1
Cantus, male vocal ensemble, Dec. 4
Danu: Christmas In Ireland, Dec. 14-15
Arlo Guthrie, Feb. 5
Sharon Isbin, guitarist, and guests, Feb. 11-12
Caladh Nua, Irish band, March 4
Jonathan Batiste, April 10
"Twelfth Night," Aquila Theatre Co, Oct. 3
"The Graduate," L.A Theatre Works, Nov. 2
"Fahrenheit 451," Aquila Theatre Company, Jan. 18
"Driving Miss Daisy," Walnut Street Theatre, Feb. 8
"Hamlet" and "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead," The Acting Company, March 8-9