College of Fine Arts News Archive

February 2017

  • Children's series to present 'The Little Mermaid' at SFA

    Children's series to present 'The Little Mermaid' at SFA

    February 20, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children's Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will present two performances of "The Little Mermaid" Tuesday, March 7, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    The classic tale of the Little Mermaid is brought to the stage in a brand new production by the internationally acclaimed Panto Company. Following sell-out tours of China and the U.K., The Panto Company brings its award-winning adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's story to the U.S. and Turner stage, according to Diane J. Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the series.

    The show follows the dreams of a young girl who believes there is a better life for her out of the water. Of course, there's a handsome prince, an evil witch and boatloads of adventures and laughs along the way.

    "With stunning scenery, eye-catching costumes, original songs plus current, top charting hits and lots of audience participation, this show provides families and educators alike with the perfect theatre experience," Peterson said.

    Performances of this nationally touring show are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    The final show of this season's Children's Performing Arts Series is Super Scientific Circus on Thursday, May 11.

    To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at for additional information.

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  • Swingin' Axes, Aces to perform music of top jazz composers

    Swingin' Axes, Aces to perform music of top jazz composers

    February 17, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin' Axes and Swingin' Aces at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform a concert featuring works by Sammy Nestico, Gordon Goodwin, Pat Metheny and other jazz and big band greats at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    The Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium studies in the SFA School of Music, will perform arrangements of "Splanky" and "Day In, Day Out" by Nestico, long time composer/arranger for the Count Basie Orchestra. Nestico recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.

    The Aces will also perform "Groove Merchant" by Thad Jones and a unique arrangement of "All The Things You Are," as performed by the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

    The Axes, directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at SFA, will perform a varied program of old and new classics, including Goodwin's "The Phat Pack" and Metheny's "(It's Just) Talk," arranged by Bob Curnow.

    The Axes will also perform "15 Step" by Radiohead, arranged by Matt Harris; "Li'l Darlin'" by Neal Hefti as recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra; "(Meet) The Flinstones" by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera and Hoyt Curtin, arranged by Dave Barduhn; and "Crusin' For a Bluesin'" by Andy Weiner, arranged by Peter Blair as recorded by Maynard Ferguson.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit

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  • Film series to feature 'Without Bound: Perspectives on Mobile Living'

    Film series to feature 'Without Bound: Perspectives on Mobile Living'

    February 17, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of "Without Bound: Perspectives on Mobile Living" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    "Without Bound" is a documentary by SFA's own Michael Tubbs, media specialist for the College of Fine Arts, and SFA alumnus Aaron Harlan, about those who choose to ditch their permanent homes and opt for a mobile lifestyle, living out of recreational vehicles or vans. The film focuses on the personal philosophies of the individuals who choose this form of nomadic lifestyle.

    "I held the view, probably shared by most Americans, that home ownership was both a noble and worthy aspiration, providing stability, safety, comfort and even a sense of identity," Tubbs said. "I wondered how anyone could feel secure, comfortable or fulfilled living out of a van or a camper. The more I learned, the more my attitude shifted from 'why' to 'why not?'"

    Tubbs is a multimedia artist who merges traditional art materials and techniques with digital processes. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in digital media from SFA. Tubbs has taught graphic design and digital media courses in the School of Art and advanced advertising courses in the Department of Mass Communication at SFA. His areas of specialization include vector graphics, videography and motion graphics. Prior to joining the College of Fine Arts dean's staff, he was gallery preparator for the SFA Galleries.

    Harlan is a 3D artist, researcher, human factors engineer and creative director at FoVI3D, a light-field display company in Austin. As creative director, he is responsible for the majority of content creation at FoVI3D, including branding, web design, video, print, 3D content generation for holographic imaging and dynamic light-field projection. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Fine Arts in design from SFA.

    This screening is part of the School of Art's monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, Brad Maule, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton, Main Street Nacogdoches and Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA to host guest flute, harpsichord recital

    SFA to host guest flute, harpsichord recital

    February 15, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will host a guest flute and harpsichord recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Part of the Cole Performing Arts Series, the concert will feature Eva Amsler, professor of flute at Florida State University, and Shalev Ad-El, music director of Israel's highest ranking chamber orchestra, Netania, Kibbutz chamber orchestra.

    The program will feature works of Georg Philipp Telemann, Arcangelo Corelli, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and W.F. Bach. Dr. Christina Guenther, professor of flute at SFA, will join Amsler in performing W.F. Bach's Duo G Major for two flutes.

    Professor of flute at Florida State University since 2001, Amsler spent 20 years of orchestral playing in Switzerland and serving on the faculty of the Vorarlberg State Conservatory of Music in Feldkirch, Austria. As a pioneer on authentic interpretation of Baroque music on modern flute and an advocate of new music, including for piccolo, alto and bass flute, she enjoys a worldwide career as a performer and teacher.

    Ad-El was born in Israel and graduated from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. He frequents some of the world's most prestigious venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Suntury of Tokyo, Brugge festival, Bachfest of Leipzig and LG Centre of Seoul. Ad-El is a member of Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists Berlin, il Gardellino and The Dorian Consort.

    Both artists will present master classes in addition to their concert, and Amsler will also teach a dynamic integration (body awareness) class.

    The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit

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  • Raines fans, friends looking forward to SFA Strings Scholarship fundraiser

    Raines fans, friends looking forward to SFA Strings Scholarship fundraiser

    February 10, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The year was 1968. It was a time of riots, assassinations and protests, "mostly over the Vietnam War," according to Nacogdoches businessman and Realtor David Yates. It was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius with peace, love and harmony, hippies and bra burning.

    "What a great time," recalls Yates, who graduated from Nacogdoches High School that year along with fellow classmates Peggy (Wright) Pollock, Sandra (Brock) De La Pena and a young man who would become destined for stardom on the stage - Ron Raines.

    A Tony Award nominee for the acclaimed production of "Follies," Raines has had an illustrious international career spanning musical theater, opera, concert and television. Raines is a three-time Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award nominee for his role as villain Alan Spaulding on CBS's longest running daytime drama "Guiding Light." His list of credits on stage, in concerts and on TV goes on and on. But to Yates, Pollock and De La Pena, he's someone who, despite his great successes, "has not forgotten his old friends."

    Raines will return to his hometown to present "Ron Sings Broadway," a benefit concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Mast Hall in downtown Nacogdoches. Proceeds will go toward the Strings Scholarship Fund in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music. He will perform with SFA student musicians under the direction of Dr. Gene Moon, director of orchestral activities at SFA.

    It's a night and weekend Raines' fellow NHS classmates are looking forward to with great anticipation.

    "We have a group going to Longview the night before to see him perform," Pollock said. "My daughter and granddaughter are coming to the performance in Nacogdoches. Ron sang at both my daughters' weddings. My daughter, Margaret, lived in New York for a time, and she was an extra on 'Guiding Light.'"

    "I'm just looking forward to spending time talking, eating and seeing other friends who have come in for the event," Yates said. "Ron has an extended group of friends from our class and from other classes who are interested in his career and see him perform when they can. It gives us a great excuse to get together and see some first-class entertainment in New York and other places around the country."

    "I have remained in close contact with many of my high school/hometown friends," De La Pena said. "We still talk about our days in Nacogdoches and what a fun time we had growing up there. We all have moved on and have different views on many things, but still have a deep love for one another."

    Pollock said she and Raines lost track of each other for a brief time after high school but became reacquainted in the '70s and '80s as his career began to grow.

    "I starting going wherever he was performing," she said, adding she has seen him in multiple performances in New York, Houston, the Dallas-Fort Worth area and other locations across the country. When Raines performs in Dallas, Pollock said she often hosts a party for him in her home on the final night of his performance.

    Although he was widely known as the villain Spaulding on "Guiding Light," Raines was voted "wittiest" student in the NHS Class of '68.

    "He was easily the funniest person in our class," Yates said. "He was doing Jim Carrey shtick when Jim Carrey was in diapers."

    Pollock recalls Raines' performance in "Oklahoma!" their senior year in high school.

    "I don't think anyone knew before then that he was that talented," she said. "That was the first time people told him, 'you have a real talent, and you need to do something with it.'"

    Over the past 45 years, Raines' classmates have watched their friend perform in many musicals on Broadway, including "Follies" with Bernadette Peters, "Annie," "Chicago," "Newsies," "Show Boat" and others. Raines has soloed with more than 50 major American and international orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the Philly Pops, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic; he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Tanglewood, the London Palladium, Rainbow and Stars, and Royal Festival Hall. He toured with Debbie Reynolds in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." He also starred in the SFA performance of "Oklahoma!" in the late 1980s, performing with theatre students.

    "Whenever Ron is performing, each of us tries to attend," De La Pena said. "We have such a great time! I have been to NYC many times to see him perform. I have also traveled to California a few times and to all Texas performances. It's hard to keep up with him because of his busy schedule, but we do text and email regularly."

    "Ron has been successful not only because he has a great talent, but also because he put in hard work training his voice and honing his skill as an actor," Yates said. "Most of all, he had the 'guts' to go out there and do it, and he never gave up.

    "I and his other friends are very proud of him," he said, "and when he goes on stage, I think we feel like a little part of us is up there performing, too. I'm always a little nervous when he goes on stage. I'm afraid he (we) will forget our lines. I've never seen it happen, though. He's a pro."

    "Ron Sings Broadway" is a joint presentation of the SFA School of Music and Friends of Music.

    Tickets are $75 per person with $100 special seating also available. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit

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  • SFA to present student-directed play 'Picnic on the Battlefield'

    SFA to present student-directed play 'Picnic on the Battlefield'

    February 8, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed, one-act play "Picnic on the Battlefield" by Fernando Arrabal with English translation by Barbara Wright at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

    Center senior Avery Tindol is the director, and he describes "Picnic on the Battlefield" as "a surrealist, absurdist, dark comedy that tells the story of a soldier in the middle of a war zone who is surprised by an unexpected visit from his parents and an enemy soldier."

    The cast includes Mesquite senior Taylor Solice as Zapo; Highlands junior Logan Richard as Monsieur Tepan; Palestine junior Olivia Santone as Madame Tepan; Wichita Falls junior Travis Brasher as Zepo; Los Angeles, California, junior Tyler Canada as First Stretcher Bearer; and Nacogdoches sophomore ToColla Holley as Second Stretcher Bearer.

    The production staff includes Hanro Janse van Rensburg, Kempton Park, South Africa, senior, stage manager; Katt Akin, Tyler senior, scenic designer; Danika Pettyjohn, Fort Worth senior, costume designer; Victoria Medrano, Edinburg junior, lighting designer; Lane Davidson, Denton senior, sound designer; Davis Gilmartin, Flower Mound freshman, choreographer; and Gabriel Penaloza-Hernandez, Austin junior, properties master.

    Tindol's SFA Mainstage Series acting credits include the roles of Banquo in "Macbeth" and Carthage Kilbride in "By the Bog of Cats." He directed Don Nigro's "Things That Go Bump in the Night." Tindol will play the role of Mr. Antrobus in the upcoming School of Theatre production of Thornton Wilder's "The Skin Of Our Teeth" later this semester.

    Slade Billew is the faculty production advisor for "Picnic on the Battlefield."

    Tickets are $4. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit The Downstage Theatre is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

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  • SFA School of Theatre plans benefit to help fund trip to Scotland

    SFA School of Theatre plans benefit to help fund trip to Scotland

    February 6, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    A Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre event on Feb. 11 will help raise funds for theatre students to travel Edinburgh, Scotland, in August to participate in the two-week Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    "An Evening of Love Scenes and Songs" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Upstage Theatre in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. The show will feature theatre faculty members and students performing scenes from William Shakespeare's plays and singing love songs.

    "We are really excited to get started planning our trip to Edinburgh this year," SFA Professor of Theatre Angela Bacarisse said. "This year's production will include musical numbers, so we decided to put together a special Valentine's fundraiser including popular love songs." Purchasing tickets makes a great early Valentine gift for one's sweetheart and supports student study abroad, she added.

    This year, the School of Theatre will produce the play "Closed For Repairs" by Bobby Britton, senior theatre student from Angleton. The play is about a young man's struggle to accept himself as it relates to his faith. It will be performed in Fringe Venue 45, the same theatre in which SFA performed in 2015.

    That year, SFA students performed original works by an SFA student playwright on the international stage in Edinburgh. In 2015, the plays were "Hate Mail" by SFA playwright-in-residence Jack Heifner and the student-written "Mom and Dad" by Nick Pinelli, an SFA graduate from The Woodlands, and Allison Day, an SFA graduate from San Antonio. Pinelli and Day wrote the play as an honors project for their class with Heifner.

    "Our trip in 2015 was eye opening for the students who participated," Bacarisse said. "They had an opportunity to see theatre companies from all over the world perform. They were so excited to talk to each other and recommend the shows that they had seen. They also made friends with the students who were participating from other universities. It was a very supportive group."

    Begun in 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of several festivals that will take place in Edinburgh while the SFA students are there, has become the largest international theatre arts festival in the world. During festival season, which is three weeks in August, the International Festival, the Festival Fringe, jazz festival, art festival and book festival all take place in Edinburgh.

    In addition to acting in shows, SFA students will house manage, run the lighting and soundboards and stage-manage for their performances. Students will get experience touring shows at an international festival and learn organizational skills while being exposed to art, music, theatre and dance from around the world, Bacarisse said.

    "We are so grateful for everyone who supports the arts and our students," she said. "Allowing them the opportunity to perform abroad and learn more about our global community is a great gift."

    Attending the fundraiser is just one way to support the School of Theatre in this endeavor. Tax-exempt donations for the trip can be made at by clicking on the "give online" tab and writing "Scotland trip" for special instructions.

    Tickets to the fundraiser are $10 for general admission and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit

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  • SFA School of Theatre to present 'Intimate Apparel' in Mainstage Series

    SFA School of Theatre to present 'Intimate Apparel' in Mainstage Series

    February 2, 2017—Robbie Goodrich

    Guest artist Jiles King will direct American playwright Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" when the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre presents the award-winning play in five nightly performances Feb. 28 through March 4 on the SFA campus as part of the school's Mainstage Series.

    One of Nottage's best-known plays, "Intimate Apparel" was co-commissioned and produced at Baltimore's Center Stage where it premiered in 2003. It was highly acclaimed in its Off-Broadway production in 2004, starring Viola Davis.

    King describes the play, which is set at the turn of the 20th Century as "a beautiful story of love and acceptance." Esther, a black seamstress, lives in a boarding house for women and sews intimate apparel for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. Her skills and discretion are much in demand. In its review of the play, Variety wrote: "The play offers poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one's dress - and of course, skin - determined whom one could and could not marry, sleep with, even talk to in public."

    "Nottage poetically introduces us to a resilient yet lonely seamstress, who falls in love with a Barbadian laborer site unseen," King said. "This seamstress weaves in and out of bedrooms, sewing delicate apparel for both the rich and the impoverished. It is in those bedrooms that her dreams are both lost and found."

    As the title implies, "Intimate Apparel" uses costuming as another means of communicating the complex elements of the story, King said.

    "The elaborate and intricate corsets, dresses and suits in the production will be stunning and help to propel the story," he said. "Also, true to the time period, music will play an integral role in establishing mood, time period and the world of the play."

    True to the 1905 time period in which the play is set, women characters wear elaborate yet restrictive corsets.

    "1905 is a completely different time period than 2017," King said. "Many of the social norms, clothing, class distinctions and race relations have lessened greatly. The actors will have to learn to breathe, walk, sit and, most importantly, project while wearing corsets."

    Two of the characters have distinct accents - one Barbadian and the other Romanian.

    "It will be a challenge to ensure the integrity of the accent is preserved while ensuring the audience understands the actor fully," King said.

    King believes that each audience member will be able to relate to a piece of each character.

    "We've all wanted someone to love or someone to love us," he said. "We've all worked hard to pursue our dreams. We've all made decisions that we knew we might regret. We've all experienced great joy and great pain. This play delves into all of those experiences and more."

    King founded 7th Stage Productions in 2005 to address the lack of diverse arts in his hometown of Dallas. He served as the first chief executive director for the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas. Working with TBAAL, King worked with an impressive list of artists, including Diahann Carol, Debbi Morgan, Fantasia, Ledisi, Loretta Divine, Malik Yoba, Malcolm Jamal Warner and the late Ruby Dee.

    A 2003 graduate of Morehouse College, King recently earned a master's degree in fine arts theater producing and management from Columbia University. While in New York, he worked on Broadway with Disney Theatrical Group and served as an associate producer with the Tony Award-winning Negro Ensemble Company, Miller Theatre, Harlem School of the Arts and several other Off-Broadway companies. He has worked in many facets of theater, including as a director, producer, playwright, marketing director, costume and set designer, stage manager and graphic designer.

    Winner of the 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Awards, "Intimate Apparel" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 28 through March 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. The play is recommended for mature audiences. A content advisory may be viewed at

    Single tickets are $15 for adult, $10 for senior and $7.50 for student/youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

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