WCU Arts and Cultural Events series to feature Second City, Japanese drummers

The “Snowkus Pocus Cirque Holiday Show” will usher in the holiday season with a Wednesday, Dec. 7, performance at WCU’s Bardo Arts Center.

The “Snowkus Pocus Cirque Holiday Show” will usher in the holiday season with a Wednesday, Dec. 7, performance at WCU’s Bardo Arts Center.

Quirky films, arts and crafts workshops, a holiday circus show and a comedy performance by Chicago’s famous Second City are among the offerings of the 2016-17 Arts and Cultural Events series at Western Carolina University.

WCU’s ACE committee is partnering with the student Art Education Club and the university’s Fine Art Museum to present a series of hands-on workshops in fine arts and crafts for students and community members. The series is free for students and $20 for all others. All events begin at 6 p.m. in Room 150 at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Preregistration is required for WCU students by emailing Talitha Bowers at tcbowers1@catamount.wcu.edu and for all others by emailing Bobby Hensley at hensley@wcu.edu.

A workshop program Thursday, Oct. 6, will allow participants to learn how to create a one-of-a-kind piece through a traditional technique of creating patterns by using colored clay. It is being presented in conjunction with the “Contemporary Clay” exhibit featured at the Fine Art Museum through December.

The Southern Circuit Film Series at WCU will present “Shu-De! (Let’s Go!)” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the A.K. Hinds University Center theater. “Shu-De!” details the journey of Baltimore beatboxer Shodekeh to a music festival and competition in the Republic of Tuva in Siberian Russia, where throat-singing has been perfected as an art form. Shodekeh sets out on a musical journey that bridges cultures by building on the one common instrument – the human body.

Second City, the renowned improvisational comedy group, will perform at the annual Homecoming Comedy Show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Bardo Arts Center. Second City’s performance is titled “Free Speech! (While Supplies Last)” and is an irreverent look at America’s electoral insanity. The new topical show features political satire made famous by Second City stars such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Keegan-Michael Key, as well as brand-new scenes, songs and improvisation straight from the group’s sold-out shows in Chicago and Toronto.

The Second City performers also will hold a workshop to help WCU students learn tools to allow them to maximize job interview and employment opportunities. The workshop is set for 3 p.m. Oct 26 in the Bardo Black Box (the Studio Theatre). Registration is required for the workshop by contacting the Center for Career and Professional Development at 828-227-7133 or by email at careerservices@wcu.edu.

Table loom weaving will be the subject of a hands-on workshop Thursday, Nov. 3. Participants will design and create a small woven piece through the traditional and compact weaving method. The workshop is being presented in conjunction with the “Language of Maya Weaving” exhibit at the Fine Art Museum.

“Hotel Dallas” is the next Southern Circuit Film showing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the University Center theater. The film presents an unusual story about a post-1980s Romanian filmmaker named Livia, whose father Ilie has built a hotel that is a replica of the house from “Dallas,” the only American television show to play in their country at the time. Livia, who has a crush on series star Patrick Duffy, emigrates to America to film him waking up in her father’s hotel.

Hands-on workshop participants at a Thursday, Dec. 1, event will try their hands at welt-felting, creating a hat or slippers for the approaching winter season. The wool will be gleaned from an Asheville-based fiber event.

“Snowkus Pocus Cirque Holiday Show” will usher in the season in an acrobatic way at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Bardo Arts Center. Performers will present wintry vignettes, including a bendy ballerina inside a living snow globe, a snowball battle between the North Wind and Jack Frost, and an aerial snow ballet.

Kyla Lacey

Kyla Lacey

The ACE season continues into the new year during WCU’s Martin Luther King Week with a presentation by Step Afrika! with spoken-word artist Kyla Lacey at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in the Bardo Arts Center. Honoree of the American College Personnel Association’s “Poet of the Year” award, Lacey tells her story of love, loss and redemption with a comical twist through the art of spoken word. Step Afrika! is the first professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. The company began in 1994 as an exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa, and has expanded to become an international touring company presenting performance, residencies and workshops worldwide.

“Mango Dreams,” the next film in the Southern Circuit series, tells the story of a Hindu doctor with dementia and a Muslim rickshaw driver forming an unlikely friendship as they journey 1,000 miles across India in a rickshaw. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the University Center theater.

“I Come From,” a documentary in the Southern Circuit series, focuses on incarcerated poets and playwrights who use the power of creativity to change the direction of their lives in the country that imprisons the largest percentage of its population, the U.S. It will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, in the University Center theater.

The next film in the series, “Speed Sisters,” documents the activities of the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East, with a screening at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in Room 130 of the Bardo Arts Center.

Taikoza Japanese Drummers will entertain the audience with the taiko – a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder – during a performance at the Bardo Arts Center on Tuesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. A workshop associated with the performance is being planned.

Tickets for presentations taking place at the Bardo Arts Center will be available at the box office and online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu, or by calling 828-227-2479. Tickets purchased in advance are significantly discounted: $5 for students; $13 for WCU faculty and staff; $18 for general admission; and $15 per ticket for groups of 20 or more. On the day of the event, regular ticket prices apply: $10 for students; $18 for WCU faculty and staff; and $23 for general admission.

WCU students will be admitted free to the Second City show on Oct. 26.

All showings in the Southern Circuit Film Series are free for everyone.

The ACE series also includes the Catamount Art Tour beginning Friday, March 3, and continuing through Thursday, March 9. More information will be announced later.

For more information about the ACE series, contact Brandon Lokey, assistant director for campus programs, at 828-227-7206 or by email at bklokey@wcu.edu.