Classes are back in session at Southern Oregon University. That means students and faculty will celebrate with a week of art exhibits and musical and theatrical performances. Here's a peek at what's happening through Saturday, Oct. 5.
The week will kick off with a dramatic reading of the romantic musical "The Light in the Piazza" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The musical, set in Tuscany, Italy, is based on a book by Craig Lucas and features music and lyrics by Adam Guettel.
Pianist Alexander Ghinden, two-time winner of the International Piano Competition, will present works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Liszt and Brahms at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the Music Recital Hall. The concert opens the Tutunov Piano Series season.
Three new exhibits — "Illuminations and Transformations" by Willie Cole, "The Traveler and the Housewife: Deluxe Edition" by Daniel Duford, and "Black Manifold," a series of contemporary video pieces curated by Avantika Bawa and Greg Minissalem — open Friday, Oct. 4, at the Schneider Museum of Art. An opening reception with wine by Abacela Winery will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3.
SOU's Department of Performing Arts will bring together physical theater, masks and live music in "Menagerie: The New Vaudeville," featuring James Donlon, Alina Cenal, Terry Longshore and Jeff Richmond. The show is set for 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 4-5, in SOU's Center Stage Theatre.
Other Fall Arts Fest happenings include an open studio, featuring "Bottlenecked" by Eden Redmond, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Marion Ady Building; a performance by the new Raider Band at SOU's first home football game at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5; and a performance by award-winning singer and songwriter Suzy Bogguss at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Music Recital Hall.
Also look for art exhibits by Sandee McGee in the Retzlaff Gallery, Bowen Feeley in the Thorndike Gallery, The Studio at Living Opportunities in the Stevenson Union Gallery, and Cornelius Matteo, Craig Honeycutt, Martin Ball, and Sean and Britnay Nelson in the Hannon Library galleries.
Tickets to Ghinden's concert and "Menagerie" are $15 and free for students. Call 541-552-6348 or see www.sou.edu/performing arts. Tickets to Bogguss' concert are $25 and $28, and are available at the Music Coop in Ashland or www.gaiaconcerts.com.