WCSU to offer insider’s view of new Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC)

In a “behind-the-scenes” open house, Western Connecticut State University will offer a glimpse of how art, music and theatre come to life in its new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

Guests will see and hear WCSU students, faculty and staff actively utilizing the facility’s numerous performance, exhibition and rehearsal spaces at a Gala Open House on Sunday, Sept. 28, starting at 1:30 p.m. The new state-of-the-art center is located on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The gala will open with remarks from university President James Schmotter after which time visitors are welcome to explore the three distinctive wings of the new facility designed specifically for Art, Music and Theatre Arts. During the open house, students and faculty will be engaged in the creative activities of this exciting new venue. The Concert Hall, MainStage Theatre, Recording Studio, Studio Theatre, Art Gallery and Sculpture Studio are just a few of the spaces that will be on view. There is no cost to attend the open house and everyone is welcome.

As the excitement of the new semester in a new building continues to build, special gala opening events will be held in each of the three main performance and exhibition spaces.

A gala reception for the inaugural exhibit in the Art Gallery will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2. “Corrugated Worlds: The Work of James Grashow” will display a unique arrangement of cardboard flowers, animals and people in the VPAC Art Gallery. The Art Department will host a “Community Workshop” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11. The workshop will offer the opportunity to work with Grashow on the construction of cardboard flowers that will be included in the exhibit. Grashow will also talk about his life and work from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

The gala opening of the stunning new MainStage Theatre will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14. Headlining the event will be the Department of Theatre Arts production of “Little Women, the Broadway Musical.” The show will feature Broadway actresses Janelle Robinson and Jan Neuberger. “Little Women” composer Jason Howland will be present at a pre-show reception at 6:30 p.m. and post-show talk as part of the celebration of the official opening of the MainStage Theatre.

Performances following the opening are: Saturday, Nov. 15, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5, at 10:30 a.m. For tickets, call (203) 837-TIXX or visit www.wcsu.edu/tickets.

On Friday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m., renowned saxophonist and WCSU Co-Coordinator of Jazz Studies Jimmy Greene will perform with his quartet, featuring pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, for the gala opening of the Concert Hall. The concert will also celebrate the release of Greene’s long-awaited recording, “Beautiful Life,” on Mack Avenue Records. There will be a pre-concert reception, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center lobby.

For more information about the open house or any of the gala events, please contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Sarah Renninger, at (203) 837-3266.



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