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April 11, 2012
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
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Kaleidoscope Arts Festival kicks off

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University’s 14-day Kaleidoscope Arts Festival begins April 15 with the SRU Senior Synthesis Dance Concert, followed by an April 17 hip-hop concert and an April 19 opening celebration on the Quad.

            The opening celebration will be at 12:30 p.m. – common hour, which occurs 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Colleen Reilly, professor of theatre and festival director, said organizers coined a new moniker for the occasion.

            “We’re trying something new in-house and calling it the ‘uncommon hour,” Reilly said. “It is our chance to take art outside and engage the campus with multiple events.”

            SRU launched Kaleidoscope 11 years ago to bring free and reduced-cost arts programming to underserved communities. The April 15-29 festival offers programming for all audiences, including a Bob Dylan tribute presentation and an April 21 Children’s Day for families.

            The festival begins with 2 and 5 p.m., April 15, “SRU Senior Synthesis Dance Concert” performances in Swope Music Hall. The concert showcases choreography by 40 graduating seniors and will feature contemporary dance and other styles.

            Katie Nagy, a dance major from Summerhill, created choreography that showcases her interest in movement classes for children with autism, said Jennifer Keller, professor of dance. Lexi Sirinakis, a dance major from Westminster, Md., researched Broadway jazz and the use of props.

            Keller said dance majors have worked on their senior synthesis performance for months. “It is a culminating event in their studies,” she said. “Many of them are creating research projects based on a topic they intend to pursue in their post-college careers. “The program is very diverse.”

            To better reach young audiences, SRU added a hip-hop concert in collaboration with University Program Board. Illstyle & Peace Productions will perform at 7 p.m., April 17, in the University Union. Illstyle & Peace Productions is a multicultural dance company founded by Brandon “Peace” Albright.”

            The company creates work rooted in contemporary and old school hip-hop blended with dance and performance disciplines including tap, ballet and disc jockey work. The group has toured across the U.S. and is committed to delivering a positive message.

            The SRU Brass Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 17 in Swope Music Hall, conducted by Stephen Hawk, SRU professor of music. The ensemble is a British-style brass band that performs on and off campus and recently released its first CD, “Brass at The Rock.”

            The April 19 opening ceremony will feature activities, lunch and a performance by the SRU Jazz Ensemble on the Quad. Students with a student ID eat free. Cost is $6 for the public. In case of rain the festivities will move inside to Boozel Dining Hall.

            Michael Gray, a British author and music critic, will present “Bob Dylan and The Poetry of the Blues” at 7:30 p.m., April 19, in Swope.

            Gray uses the Dylan’s discography and rare footage to show how the blues influenced his music. Gray is the author of “The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia and Song and Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan.”

            The Festival Student Art Exhibit featuring student art in many genres will be offered from April 19-April 25 in SRU’s Miller Auditorium, sponsored by the Martha Gault Art Society.

            The festival’s “Brave New Plays” series April 20 and April 22-26 will feature plays written by SRU students and two playwrights at-large. The program features winning submissions from the first Kaleidoscope Arts Festival Playwriting Competition.

            The winning plays, selected by a committee of SRU faculty, are “Acts of Contrition” by Patricia Montley and “Raw” by Eion Carney. Montley, who has taught playwriting at colleges and universities in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, has placed in more than 20 playwriting contests. Carney, originally from Ireland, is an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

            “Acts of Contrition” will join the SRU theatre August tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in August. Laura Smiley, associate professor of theatre, will direct “Acts of Contrition” and “Raw.”

            More than 25 SRU students submitted plays for the student component of the competition, Reilly said.  The entries had to be one act, less than an hour and appropriate for college-age audiences, Reilly said.

            Kaleidoscope tickets for shows and concerts will be available at the door or at the University Union Information Desk. The complete schedule of events is at:
            For more information, call 724.738.4586.