Tag Archives: NKU School of the Arts

NKU School of the Arts Hosts Summer Dance Institute

NKU_Summer Dance Institute logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts announces the launch of the inaugural Summer Dance Institute, A Three Day Holistic College Dance Institute for Artists in the Making.

  • What: Summer Dance Institute  – A Three Day Holistic College Dance Institute for Artists in the Making
  • When: Thursday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021
  • Where: Northern Kentucky University’s campus
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Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

The program is for participants between the ages of 14 and 23, where they can experience immersive dance major courses. Throughout the weekend, they will work with professors and fellow students, receive industry and pedagogical training, build their network, gain insight into all the various careers a dance major can provide. The opportunity provides the introduction to campus life in the new state-of-the-art dance studio.

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Photo by Philip Krinsky

The early-bird registration deadline is May 1, 2021, while the standard deadline is July 15. The registration fee is $20, and the program fee is $300 with early bird discounts available. The program leads are faculty members, including Tracey Bonner, Jacqui Haas, and Teresa VanDenend Sorge.

To find details to register, visit nku.edu/sdi.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students’ names. For more information, visit nku.edu.

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NKU SOTA Presents Outdoor Concert at Yeatman’s Cove

NKU_One Voice logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts will be presenting a live, outdoor concert on April 22 and 23 at the P&G Pavilion at Yeatman’s Cove.

The NKU Philharmonic Orchestra and NKU Choirs will perform an uplifting outdoor concert, featuring the music of John Williams, the Wailin’ Jennys, and more. Performers include two “on the rise” student artists and winners of the 2021 NKU Philharmonic Concerto Competition, Maddie Pittman on the violin and James Tober on the clarinet.

“As a result of this pandemic, we have been given a renewed perspective of the importance of the arts, specifically the importance of making music together and sharing live music with an audience” said Katie Barton, Director of Choral Studies. “This concert, ‘One Voice,’ is our demonstration to one another and the community that our music-making can persevere through a pandemic, and that, with one voice, we will continue to create, perform, and inspire.”

  • What: “One Voice” NKU SOTA Philharmonic Orchestra & Choirs
  • When: April 22 and 23 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: P&G Pavilion at Yeatman’s Cove (705 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH)

“Virtual learning in a pandemic is not an excuse to stop. It’s an opportunity to get creative, do things in a new way, and to adapt. We’re dedicated to continuing music. A significant dedication was required to make opportunities work that are both safe and done with excellence” said Amy Gillingham Culligan, Director of Orchestras. “This concert is something to celebrate. It is a testament to the resilience of our students and our artform.”

As safety is a top concern, all musicians will be masked, even utilizing special custom masks for the woodwind and brass players. Audience members will be required to wear masks and all will be socially distanced both on-stage and off. These protocols are in place to ensure that this is a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. It is advised to bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students’ names. For more information, visit nku.edu.

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NKU SOTA Announces Updates to Theatre & Dance Season

nku_2021-22 Season logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY- Northern Kentucky University University’s School of the Arts has cancelled the 2021 Commonwealth Theatre Company’s summer dinner season. SOTA is taking the proactive measure to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the NKU campus and community members.

NKU continues to follow the CDC and Kentucky current health guidelines for facial coverings. SOTA is hopeful to start in-person productions for the 2021-2022 academic season, with events following all state guidelines that are subject to change. Additional information ticketing procedures will be announced at a later date.

The previously announced production lineup has been adjusted. The rights for Mamma Mia are recalled due to a planned national tour in 2022 and is no longer part of the schedule. Floyd Collins has also been canceled.

The updated SOTA 2021-2022 academic season productions are:

TORCH SONG by Harvey Fierstein | Directed by Michael Hatton | Music Director: Damon Stevens | Sept. 29-Oct. 9

TORCH SONG is the two-act revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Tony Award-winning Torch Song Trilogy. The life of Arnold Beckoff, a torch song-singing, Jewish drag queen living in New York City, is dramatized over the span of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Told with a friendly, human voice, Torch Song follows Arnold’s odyssey to find happiness in New York. Along the way, Arnold experiences love, loss, and misadventure. A visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that he needs one thing more: respect.

TORCH SONG is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.


NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn | Directed by Ken Jones | Oct. 14-24

NOISES OFF has been called “the funniest farce ever written” and takes a fond look at the follies of theatre folk, whose susceptibility to out-of-control egos, memory loss, and passionate affairs turn every performance into a high-risk adventure. This play-within-a-play captures a manic menagerie of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called “Nothing’s On.” Doors slamming, falling trousers, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play.

NOISES OFF is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.


THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD | Directed by Jason Danieley | Musical Director: Jamey Strawn | Nov. 12-21 

In the small town of Chesterham, England, the young and charming Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. Based on Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, Holmes’ award-winning musical is an interactive whodunit mystery which invites the audience to enter the action. Staged as a show-within-a-show at the Music Hall Royale, this charming and inventive show is sure to intrigue any musical or mystery lover.

Multiple award-winning and critically acclaimed Broadway actor, singer, concert performer, and recording artist Jason Danieley has delighted audiences around the country and world with his incredible performances. In his New York directorial debut Broadway World called his talents as a director as ‘remarkably impressive’. For a complete biography visit jasondanieley.com.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is presented by special arrangement with Concord Theatricals Company.


Spring Musical (TBA) | Directed by Jamey Strawn | Feb. 18-27, 2022


YES Festival of New Plays – 20th Anniversary | March 31-April 10, 2022The Year End Series (YES) Festival is NKU’s new-play festival, the oldest collegiate new-play festival in the country. For the 20th Anniversary, the School of the Arts will host four world-premiere plays, including the first regional collaboration. The Carnegie and NKU SOTA will work together to produce a new play by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s Producing Artistic Director, D. Lynn Meyers. The Carnegie will debut this world premiere script as the closing show in its 2021 – 2022 theatre season and kick-off the 20th anniversary of the YES Festival.

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE STOP-N-GO by Samantha Oty | Directed by Mike King

A group of friends confront their changing lives and each other at a convenience store on Dec. 31, 1999.

Playwright Samantha Oty graduated from Radford University with a degree in English, technical editing and writing. She received her master’s degree in publishing from The George Washington University in 2017. Her first play, Demolition Lovers, was written in her sophomore year of high school and won the 2010 New Voices playwriting contest and has been writing plays ever since.

THE PIG FARM by Richard Paul Klein | Directed by Daryl Harris

Two young Christian women find their faith in the Lord tested as they attempt to dispose of the evidence of a recent display of faith by feeding it to pigs housed on a rural farm. Caught in the act, these young women find the evening becomes progressively more complex, morbid, and dangerous as they encounter test after test.

Richard Klein’s plays have been produced or performed in various theatres, rehearsal spaces, living rooms, kitchens, and back alleys across the United States. Klein has won the John Cauble Award, the University of Cincinnati Playwriting Prize, and the Carol & Elton Holman Screenwriting Competition.

YES Festival Show #3 (TBA) by Lexi Rigsby, BFA Playwriting ’21

YES Festival Show #4 (TBA) by D. Lynn Meyers, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati Artistic Director | Directed by Brian Robertson

Presented in partnership with the Carnegie Theatre of Covington.

DANCE ’22 | April 29-May 1, 2022 

Featuring a company of our best young dance artists, along with new and innovative works created by faculty, guest artists, and nationally renowned choreographers, Dance ’22 has something for everyone – theatre dance, contemporary and classical ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and world dance.

Season Extras include an emerging choreographer showcase on Nov. 22 and a first year show from Dec. 10-12.

For the full lineup and additional information on SOTA’s offerings, visit nku.edu/sota.


About NKU Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students’ names. For more information, visit nku.edu.

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The Passing of Austin Dale Moore

NKU_Austin Dale MooreThe School of the Arts fondly remembers former student Austin Dale Moore who passed away of kidney disease on Dec. 27, 2020, at the age of 25. Austin was an active participant in Music and Theatre at NKU, sharing his bright and shining spirit with all who knew him. Some may remember his ebullient personality as a barista on campus at Starbucks. “He always strived to put a smile on the face of everyone he met.”

GoFundMe has been established to help Austin’s mother with medical expenses.

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NKU SOTA Produces Choreographer Showcase as Virtual Dance Film Festival

NKU_Dance Film Festival logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts virtually produces the Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase (ECS) for its sixth season. The Dance Film Festival will premiere November 23 on the NKU ECS website and SOTA YouTube channel. This showcase is student produced and student led where dance students learn about choreography, stage design, and stage management and can grow in their artistic expression. ECS was founded in 2014 by dance alum, Kat Wolf, who graduated in 2016 and is the owner of NKY Dancewear.

Event Details:

  • What: Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase Dance Film Festival
  • When: Starting Nov. 23
  • Where: Online at nku.edu/ecs or YouTube
  • Admission: Free to watch

NKU_GiveThis year, the panel of area industry professionals have selected twelve student choreographers’ pieces to be presented in the showcase. Due to the high volume of exceptional work submitted by the students, the executive team decided to categorize the pieces as formal and informal works, which is language appropriate to the discipline and used by the American College Dance Association. Formal works received a panelist mentor, while informal works are peer mentored.

Rhea Speights, choreographer and video artist, is the resident guest artist for the showcase. Much of her work intersects equal parts dance and video, either as multimedia performance or as video dance. Speights’ work has been presented in a dozen of the 50 states and internationally in Colombia and New Zealand. In making her work, Rhea uses ballet and contemporary dance forms, video, film theory, and her desire to fully integrate the imagination with the body.

NKU_give2The executive team includes Sylvia Chervus and DJ Bruegge as the Co-Artistic Directors, Olivia Martel and Carli Robinette as the Assistant Artistic Directors, Grace Vetter as the Head of Marketing, Molly Payne as the Stage Manager, and Payton Pearson and Jessica Shepherd as Production Assistants.

Student Choreographers Include:

Formal Pieces

  • Maiya Caldwell | “110”
  • Arianna Catalano | “The Weight of It All”
  • Sylvia Chervus | “Dazed”
  • Hannah Duvall | “Pivot”
  • Emerald McGhee | “Caught in the Wheel”
  • Brianna Mullins | “Time Perception: The Illusion vs. Right Here, Right Now”
  • Janie Smith | “Control”
  • Grace Vetter | “Behind Closed Doors”

Informal Pieces

  • Allison Gabert | “Colors of Confidence”
  • Lilah Hoffert | “Power”
  • Carli Robinette | “Maybe Tomorrow”
  • Ki’azja Watterson-Brown | “As We Rise”

Panelists Include:

  • Tracey Bonner | Faculty, Theatre and Dance Program, NKU SOTA
  • Jenny Fitzpatrick | Founder and Artistic Director, Blackbird Dance Theatre
  • Jeaunita Olowe | Bi-Okoto, Company Manager & Rehearsal Coach; Faculty, Theatre and Dance Program, NKU SOTA
  • Brian Robertson | Faculty, Theatre and Dance Program, NKU SOTA
  • Andrea Tutt | Faculty, Theatre and Dance Program, NKU SOTA
  • Teresa VanDenend Sorge | Faculty, Theatre and Dance Program, NKU SOTA; Developer and Founding Director, Koresh Kids Dance

About NKU School of the Arts: SOTA is the Creative Engine of NKU. The School of the Arts combines Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts to bring unparalleled artistic opportunities to current and future students. In a changing world, SOTA prepares students to be creative trailblazers in the Arts and their careers. Whether we are creating motion graphics, producing on the stage, or utilizing our dance classes to collaborate with therapeutic exercise in health sciences, we are on the cutting edge of transdisciplinary studies. SOTA offers 11 degrees with 30 specializations in addition to 7 minors to develop graduates that are personally engaged, innovative, and curious with advanced skill sets in collaboration and creative risk-taking. For more information, visit nku.edu/sota or follow on social media @NKUSOTA.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students’ names. For more information, visit nku.edu.

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