Artrageous opens Hillman family arts programming
The Hillman Performing Arts Series at Shadyside Academy, Fox Chapel, will open its 13th season of family programming at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 with a show that blends visual arts and performing arts into an immersive experience best defined by the performance troupe presenting it – Artrageous.
The production, to be staged in Hillman Center’s Richard E. Rauh Theater on the Shadyside Academy Senior School campus, will mix vocals, choreography and audience interaction as performers create a piece of artwork live on stage.
Students have an opportunity to experience live art, music, dance, life-sized puppetry, as well as being part of the show, according to the troupe’s website. The images created are tailored to younger students and include familiar pop icons.
Christa Burneff, artistic director of the Hillman Center for Performing Arts, says the Artrageous performance is reflective of how the Hillman Series has expanded and focused its programming for its audience.
“When it first began, the series had five shows and a definite music theme. As we have grown, we have listened to our audience to see what they are interested in. That has helped grow the series into a family-friendly event that everyone can enjoy,” she says.
“We now bring dance groups, magicians, comedy troupes, animals – you name it. Bottom line is we just love to have fun and nothing makes my heart burst more than watching my audience having a good time.”
More intimate performances
The 2018-2019 series provides four Main Stage shows in the Rauh Theater and an additional three-show Black Box Series in the smaller, more intimate Peter J. Kountz Theater.
Following Artrageous on Oct. 20, the Main Stage Series will continue with ventriloquist and comedienne Lynn Trefzger on Nov. 17, an interactive magic show by The Amazing Max on March 16, and The Flying Karamazov Brothers on April 13. All shows are Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard E. Rauh Theater. The Black Box Series, which began Sept. 15, will feature two additional performances, including classical pianist Deanna Witkowski Dec. 8 and Poor Man’s Gambit, a Celtic-American band March 9.
Burneff says all the shows they program are professional touring shows and most request some form of audience participation “so be ready.”
As a mother of two young children, she says it is important to her that their shows appeal to as wide an age range as possible.
“We like to say that we program for ages 0-100, and we really do mean that,” she says. “The shows we have lined up this year are unique, exciting and new to our stage.”
Details: 412-968-3040 or thehillman.org
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.