Performing Arts Series delivers true talent

Courtesy photo

Annie Beurman

Reporting Correspondent

When it comes to a new season for the college’s theater department, a lot of work goes into making sure every show is put on without an issue. With the spring Performing Arts Series beginning soon, Performing Arts General Manager Emily Behrmann is working hard to make sure the college performs five star worthy shows.

“I am planning right now for the fall of 2017 through the spring of 2018,” Behrmann said. “We will announce those events by the end of March this year, so [everything is scheduled] at least a year in advance, sometimes a little further in advance.”

When it comes to finding performers for the college, Behrmann has a few different methods.

“Many times we take suggestions from our audience,” Behrmann said. “We have a survey that goes out during every show and the last question on the survey is ‘please suggest artists for future seasons.’ Other ways we find out about them are they come to town at some other theatre … we think [they] might be a good fit for our audience.”

In addition to getting in contact with some bands’ managers and consulting with an advisory committee at the college, Behrmann also attends conferences every year.

“I interact with agents for artists all over the world and I can talk with them about this person’s … art, what fee they charge, when they’re available, when they’re coming to the United States if they’re from somewhere else, and make it happen that way,” Behrmann said.

One of the groups coming to the college is the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha. The band is set to perform in the Polsky Theatre on March 10 at 8p.m.

The band’s name is the word in Old Ukrainian for the verbs give and take. Band member Marko Halanevych says this is because this is what he and the other members believe their music represents.

“We think that playing our music it’s like exchanging and circulation of energy,” Halanevych said. “We take it from the roots, nature, Earth, sky, audience, each other etc. and give it back. So it’s the best way to describe the process of DakhaBrakhasation.”

DakhaBrakha happens to be one of the shows Behrmann is the most excited for.

“They’ve not been to Kansas City before, so it’ll be a first time … They’re just a really fun group. I’ve seen them perform live two or three times in other cities and it’s just a really unusual, fun evening.

Other upcoming performers for the college include French-Canadian circus troupe The Seven Fingers of the Hand, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival performing “The Tempest,” and more. Some events have already sold out their showings. For more information on upcoming shows this spring, visit the JCCC Performing Arts website.


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