Cornell College 2017-18 fine arts events

Cornell College’s 2017-18 fine arts schedule features three international touring artists as well as four theatre productions, a dance recital, concerts by Cornell’s six ensembles, and a sabbatical exhibition by Professor Susannah Biondo-Gemmell.

Music Mondays

All Music Mondays concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. in King Chapel and are free and open to the public.


Nov. 6: duoJalal

Racing along with our global society, duoJalal enthralls the chamber music world with their stunning artistry and diverse programming. Classically trained violist Kathryn Lockwood ignites her instrument with passion, one minute embodying a gypsy violinist, the next a Middle Eastern reed flutist. Yousif Sheronick dazzles as he manipulates sound by simply snapping his fingers at the edge of an Egyptian frame drum or dragging his foot across the Peruvian cajon. With commissions and composer-driven arrangements from Philip Glass, Evan Ziporyn, Kenji Bunch, David Krakauer and John Patitucci, duoJalal invites all communities to a stimulating intercultural experience.

Jan. 22: Andreas Klein

Pianist Andreas Klein
Pianist Andreas Klein

German Pianist Andreas Klein has distinguished himself as a dynamic and compelling performer with his command of a wide range of tonal colors and imaginative interpretations. His Cornell recital will feature works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Debussy, and Brahms. Klein is a graduate of the Juilliard School as well as a music scholar and producer and recording engineer. He received a doctor of musical arts degree from Rice University and copies of his doctoral dissertation on the Chopin etudes are in the libraries of the Chopin Society in Vienna and in Leipzig as well as downloadable from the Rice University Library. He divides his time between New York and Berlin.


Feb. 26: Quink

The Dutch group Quink is ranked among the top a capella ensembles of the world and is a favorite of Music Mondays audiences, appearing in 2010 and 2015. Quink’s vast repertoire stretches from the Middle Ages to contemporary music, and they strive to authentically perform different styles of music. Quink is an ambassador for new Dutch music. A short film, “BiBaBo,” is based on their premiere of the work of the same name by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt.


Theatre productions

For ticketing information, reservations, and directions to our theatres, please contact the Cornell College Box Office. Audition information is available on the theatre and dance web pages.

“The Rocky Horror Show”
Music, lyrics and book: Richard O’Brien
Director: Janeve West
Music Director: Lee Nguyen
Choreographer: Alvon Reed, Cornell College Artist in Residence
Kimmel Theatre
Oct. 26: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27-28: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, students, and youth. 

This hilarious homage to the classic B sci-fi and horror films, may be best known for its original leading man, Tim Curry, and for the audience participation that is strongly encouraged throughout this playfully subversive, more than slightly raunchy ride through the time-warp. The campy musical hit the London stage in 1973 and went on to become the classic cult film where audiences arrived in costume, threw props, shouted responses, and danced in the aisles. Vulgar jokes, racy costumes, puns, and pop-culture references definitely make it for mature audiences who are ready to laugh their way through this naughty, offbeat, musical spoof.  Audiences will join the party hosted by a secret and rotating guest narrator each night of the production. (You won’t believe who’s stepping into this role!)

Watch for more information on an audience costume contest. Rocky Horror Prop Bags will be available for a nominal fee. This show is intended for adult audiences.

“The Complete History of America (Abridged)”
By Adam Long, Austin Tichenor, and Reed Martin
Director: Caroline Price
Plumb-Fleming Black Box Theatre
Dec. 14-16: 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: 2 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, students, and youth. 

Six hundred years of history in 6,000 seconds—history will never be the same! From Washington to Watergate and from the Bering Straits to Baghdad—”The Complete History of America (Abridged)” is a 90-minute rollercoaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American history, reminding us that it’s not the length of your history that matters—it’s what you’ve done with it! Brought to you by the same company that offered a good-natured bash of the Bard in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” this production cheerfully runs riot over our nation’s history. Deploying silly vaudeville sketches, word-association games, puns, and crude parodies, nothing is sacred and everything is up for laughs.  

Spring Dance Recital
Directed and choreographed by Alvon Reed
Plumb-Fleming Black Box Theatre
March 5: 7:30 p.m.
Admission free to the public.

“August: Osage County”
by Tracy Letts
Director: Jay Edelnant, guest director from the University of Northern Iowa
Kimmel Theatre
May 3-5: 7:30 p.m.
May 6: 2 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, students, and youth.

Their titles are firmly set in memory. Often, they are the great plays you saw or read. You know them: the How-Dysfunctional-Can-a-Family-Get plays. Start at the beginning: “Agamemnon,” “Oedipus,” “Medea,” “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” “Richard the Third,” “A Doll House,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” What’s the attraction? Is it sitting in the dark thinking: “OMG, maybe I don’t have it so tough at home after all!” or even better: “How did they know that—that’s my mother up there!”

The appeal is enormous. As Tolstoy said: “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And the Westons, of Osage County, Oklahoma, not only echo the great themes of the towering unhappy families but make their unhappiness uniquely American and contemporary. Tracy Letts won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and five Tony Awards for “August” and followed it with a Tony in 2012 for his performance as George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” His early plays are bloody and provocative. His later work, “The Man from Nebraska,” “August,” and “Superior Donuts” (yes, the one ripped off for the TV sit-com) are more contemplative and evocative. You’ve seen him on “Seinfeld,” “Homeland,” “The Big Short,” and “Divorce.”


Peter Paul Luce Gallery exhibitions

All shows are in the Peter Paul Luce Gallery in McWethy Hall. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.

Susannah Biondo-Gemmell
Susannah Biondo-Gemmell creating work for “Scodella da Impagliata.”

Susannah Biondo-Gemmell: “Scodella da Impagliata”
Sept. 17-Oct. 22
Reception Sept. 23, 3-5 p.m.
Lecture by Biondo-Gemmell: Oct. 12, 11:15 a.m. in McWethy 222

“Scodella da Impagliata” is a ceramic art exhibition of new work by Associate Professor of Art Susannah Biondo-Gemmell. In this show, Biondo-Gemmell reconsiders the Renaissance “childbirth vessel.” Ceramic sculptures based on the historical, five-piece forms recorded by craftsman Piccolpasso are used as canvases to explore the maternal narrative. Historical imagery is paired with contemporary text in order to draw similarities and differences between childbirth experiences across time periods, including areas such as fertility, pregnancy, birth, and early child rearing.

#150 (2017) by Cole Pierce '00
#150 (2017) by Cole Pierce ’00
Untitled (2017) oil on canvas by Michael Hedges
“Untitled” (2017) oil on canvas by Michael Hedges.

Mike Sebastian: Senior Show
Dec. 3-17
Opening Reception Dec. 1, 2-4

Paintings: Michael Hedges and Cole Pierce ’00
Jan. 21-March 4, 2018
Artist’s Reception Jan. 26, 4-6 p.m.

Chicago painters Michael Hedges and Cole Pierce ’00 paint large-scale images based in abstraction. Hedge’s gestural approach and bold use of color coincides and contrasts amiably with Pierce’s whimsical and thoughtful play on geometric patterns creating a painterly feast for their audience.

Senior Shows 

April 1-April 11
April 15-April 25

Cole Library and Thomas Commons exhibits

Admission is free to these shows. The Thomas Commons is open  6 a.m. to 12 midnight when school is in session. Cole Library hours are online.

Cole Library Gallery

Aug. 21-Oct. 20: Karel Appel Lithos, a gift of Dorothy Lincoln-Smith ’58
Reception: Sept. 22, 3-4 p.m.

Oct. 30-Dec. 20: Art from Biondo-Gemmell’s Utilitarian Ceramics course

Jan. 15-March 7: Art from Biondo-Gemmell’s 3-D Studio Basics course

March 19-April 11: Art from Porter’s 3-D Studio Basics course

April 16-May 9: Senior Thesis exhibition

Hall-Perrine Gallery, Thomas Commons

Aug. 25-Nov. 20: Jeff McNutt

Nov. 27-Dec. 20: Art from Plaut’s Drawing course

Jan. 15-March 7: Art from Plaut’s Painting course

March 19-April 11: “Mexican Painted Churches,” photographs by Carolyn Brown ’58

April 16-May 9: Senior Thesis exhibition

Zamora’s Gallery Space, Thomas Commons

Aug. 28-Oct. 23: Laurie Zaiger, mixed media

Oct. 30-Nov. 22: Art from Dyas’ Studio Basics course

Nov. 27-Feb. 7: Art from Dyas’ Photo 1 course

Feb. 12-April 11: Art from Plaut’s Collage & Assemblage course

April 16-May 9: Senior Thesis exhibition


Musical Ensemble performances

All performances take place in King Chapel and are free and open to the public.

Cornell Orchestra
Cornell orchestra rehearsal.

Oct. 15, 2 p.m.: Guest choral concert featuring Mount Vernon High School Choir, Solon High School Choir, and Cornell College Concert Choir

Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.: Steel Drum Ensembles

Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble

Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Holiday Concert featuring Cornell Choirs and Symphony Orchestra

Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.: Iowa City West High School Choral Concert

Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.: Steel Drum Ensembles

April 6, 7:30 p.m.: Symphonic Band

April 20, 7:30 p.m.: Symphony Orchestra

April 22, 3 p.m.: Spring Choral Concert

April 27, 7:30p .m.: Jazz Ensemble