Fine Arts Series announces 2018-19 schedule, featuring something for everyone

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June 14, 2018

The artists who make up the 2018-19 Fine Arts Series (FAS) at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are as varied as the audiences who watch them.

There are jugglers, a monster, a member of New Orleans’ first family of jazz music and puppets. International artists come from Japan, Ireland, Latin America and the Ukraine.

That’s just how the organizers of the FAS want it. There’s a little of something for everyone.

“Our audiences are multi-dimensional,” said Tanya Gertz, executive director of the FAS. “It’s a season where we’re trying to craft something amazing, deeply memorable and a wonderful experience for everyone at least once.”

The FAS released its 19-show schedule for the 2018-19 season on June 14. The schedule begins Sept. 8 with jugglers extraordinaire the Passing Zone, and runs through April 6, 2019, with a performance by the Ukrainian folk-rock, circus-punk musicians DakhaBrakha.

In-between? There’s a bevy of talent, all presented at the Benedicta Arts Center at CSB or the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at SJU.

“This series has a reputation both regionally and nationally,” Gertz said. “It’s very well respected in Minnesota, particularly with our exceptional dance and world music presence, stature of artists, diversity and depth of artist workshops off the stage.

“Very clearly, this series has that,” Gertz added.

Some of the season highlights include:

  • Sept. 22, the TaikoProject. Japanese drumming reinvented for the 21st century;
  • Oct. 12, powerhouse singer Storm Large (think Mae West meeting Pink);
  • Oct. 19, Nobuntu. An all-female a cappella quartet from Zimbabwe;
  • Nov. 1, Aquila Theatre presents Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” everyone’s favorite monster which is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Shelley’s classic tale.
  • Dec. 7, Sons of Serendip Christmas. Classic Christmas songs with sweet and rich R&B voices.
  • Jan. 26, Trinity Irish Dance. Modern Irish dance that is hard-driving and lightning fast.
  • Feb. 9, Cirque Mechanics. The latest in breath-taking circus stunts.
  • Feb. 15, “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” a soulful repertoire of African-American music interwoven with King’s speeches.
  • March 16, Uptown Jazz Orchestra with Delfeayo Marsalis. A taste of Bourbon Street comes to St. Joseph, led by trombonist Marsalis.
  • March 23, Reduced Shakespeare Company. See all 37 of the playwright’s works in 97 minutes. Holy abridged!

Ticket prices vary by show.

Besides the great artists, early ticket buyers will also get a nice reward. The Early Bird program has been upgraded this season so people can get more art for free. Fans can pick the shows they want to attend, and for every five tickets purchased you receive one free ticket (10 purchased tickets nets two free tickets, 15 gets you three and so on). This program is available through Aug. 10.

“Pick the shows and pick the number of seats – all of that to match you’re very best season. It allows everyone the greatest flexibility,” Gertz said.