The arts have always been a way for people to connect and express themselves. During the pandemic, performing arts have unfortunately been limited. South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is excited to once again have live performances and productions returning to campus this season. The SPSCC Theatre Collective and Music Department are eager to bring back performing arts to the community with their upcoming play “Eurydice” and concerts “Comfort and Joy” and “Jazz & Strings,” all of which will be held at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.

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The cast of Eurydice is made up of 7 hardworking and committed actors. The performers and backstage crew have worked hard to bring this contemporary version of a classic Greek myth to life. Pictured: Scott Douglas, Ivy Aila-Wardell, Tom Sanders, Jesse Morrow, Christine Goode. Photo credit: Lauren Love

“Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl is a contemporary play that tells a different side of the classic Greek myth “Orpheus.” The production opens Friday November 12 and runs for two weekends in a row. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sundays shows are at 2 p.m. The play is free though a $10 suggested donation can be made at the door, which goes right back into the theatre program. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required in order to attend.

Lauren Love is the sole theatre professor and artistic director of the Theater Collective. The department puts on a production every quarter, which was disrupted during the pandemic. Lauren is thrilled to be directing another play that can be performed live on campus. “It’s a joy and an incredible experience to gather together again to tell a story,” Lauren says. “I’m really looking forward to the audience coming together with us and just being in that space together.”

Lauren is also pleased to announce that at this time they are planning to bring all of the SPSCC Drama classes back to being 100% in person. SPSCC provides a range of theatre classes, such as acting and intro to theatre. The productions are put on through the theatre practicum course, and welcome students and community actors alike. “We welcome community members to audition for every production,” Lauren says. “We really appreciate them coming in because they are incredible role models for our students.”

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Students Chris Bolduc and Ivy Aila-Wardell (pictured) explore this imaginative retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus as they rehearse for the play. Chris plays Orpheus, who is the focus in the original story. Ivy plays Eurydice, who is the main character in this contemporary version. Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound Community College

Courses have just opened up for the upcoming spring quarter. There is a new theatre course starting next term called Topics in Theatre and Culture that will be offered in person and online. “It will be focusing on the LGBTQ+ identity on stage,” Lauren explains. With such a diverse range of theatre classes, there is a great option for anyone looking to experience the performing arts at SPSCC. Contact Lauren at llove@spscc.edu to learn more about the courses and Theatre program to see how you can get involved.

“Comfort and Joy” features the SPSCC Chamber Singers and SPSCC Percival Choir in their first concert in two years. It is a festive evening of holiday music, including works from renowned artists such as Benjamin Britten, Enya and more. The concert will be held Friday December 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The next evening “Jazz & Strings” will come to the stage featuring the SPSCC Symphonic Strings and SPSCC Jazz Band under the direction of Cameron May. The concert will be held on Saturday December 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The choirs of SPSCC are eager to return to the stage for the first time in 2 years with their upcoming concert ‘Comfort and Joy’ and ‘Jazz & Strings.’ Photo courtesy: South Puget Sound Community College

General admission to music concerts is $15. Admission for seniors, military, and students is $10. SPSCC students, faculty, and staff as well as any children under 5 are able to attend the show for free. Tickets will be available for purchase online or via phone by calling the box office at 360.753.8586. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required in order to attend.

John Guarente, the conductor for “Comfort and Joy,” is the professor for Choral Ensembles & Music Theory at SPSCC. He is eager to announce that all music classes are once again be held in-person on campus, including orchestra, choral ensembles, and jazz band. “Our ensembles are open to all students and community members,” shares John. SPSCC also offers an Associate in Music degree program, which is a wonderful option for students wishing to begin their music studies and eventually transfer to a 4-year university. Contact the registration office to learn more about getting involved in community music or expanding your academic career.

If you’re looking for a fun way to connect with the arts and the community, be sure to attend the upcoming production “Eurydice” and the concerts “Comfort and Joy” and “Jazz & Strings.”  With such passionate faculty, dedicated students, and involved community members, SPSCC’s performing arts are sure to delight many audiences to come.


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