Alma College Performing Arts Prepares to Entertain In Person

Slate of events kicks off on September 24.

ALMA — The Alma College theatre, music and dance departments have planned in-person performances for the 2021-22 academic year, marking the first time the public will be welcomed back to the Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A full slate of events, scheduled to run through April 2022, kicks off at 6 p.m. on Sept. 24 with an informal performance by members of the Alma College Dance Company, led by dancer and choreographer Francisco Graciano. The lecture/demonstration is free to attend and no ticket is required, but seating is limited.

Alma College performing arts students did live shows last year, but audiences generally only consisted of family members or fellow students. Returning to live performances, with larger audiences, is necessary to the education of students, said Ben Munisteri, associate professor and director of the Alma College dance department.

“We were proud of our efforts to execute live performances last year, but our audiences were necessarily very small. Our student actors, dancers and musicians worked hard to effect solid concerts and plays, but this year we are excited to welcome back audiences in greater numbers,” Munisteri said.

“Performing arts events are social, emotional and ephemeral occurrences. Our performers need live audience members to bring out their best and to afford them maximum generosity.”

Graciano, according to Munisteri, is one of the last dance artists to have worked extensively with the late, great Paul Taylor — a National Medal of Arts and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner, who died in 2018. In addition to Graciano’s free-to-the-public event on Sept. 24, he will work with Alma College Dance Company students to create a new piece that premieres in November.

“Graciano brings a rare knowledge of the Taylor style and aesthetic, and we are thrilled to have him on campus,” Munisteri said.

Munisteri said theatre and dance students are especially looking forward to the college’s fall musical, “The Addams Family,” directed by Director of Theatre Scott Mackenzie. A warm reception is expected for the show, which opens on Halloween weekend and features ornate costumes, quirky songs and funny dialogue.

“This play gives our student actors, dancers, singers and musicians a chance to stretch their comedic talents and character development,” Munisteri said.

While the fall schedule features a familiar title in “The Addams Family,” it also offers some opportunities for entertainment that could only happen in Alma — namely, the Kiltie Dance Company, Kiltie Marching Band and Pipe Band. The Alma College pipers are scheduled to perform next month as part of Homecoming festivities, while the marching band has a showcase in November, and the dancers have a showcase in March 2022.

Allison Murad, the director of the Highland Dance program at Alma College, concurred with Munisteri that a return to in-person performances benefits the students involved.

“I know everyone is excited to have family and friends come and get a feel for what they’re doing on campus. Having an appreciative audience makes a big difference,” Murad said. “The Kiltie Dance Company’s show in March will be a lot of fun. We mix together the traditional Highland Dance form with something a little less structured, a little more modern, sort of a fusion.”

A schedule for Alma College’s slate of events follows below. Ticket prices for most performances are $15 for adults, $7 for seniors (62+) and free for children ages 1-18. The Heritage Center Box Office is moving to an online ticketing system by late September 2021, and a link to purchase tickets will be posted on this page at that time. Most performances take place at Presbyterian Hall, in Heritage Center, unless otherwise indicated.

All events at Alma College that are open to the public will be fully compliant with local, state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19, and adhere to college-specific event policies. The use of face coverings is currently required for all people indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Lecture and demonstration by Francisco Graciano
6 p.m. Sept. 24
Free, no ticket required
Remick Heritage Center, Dance Studio

Homecoming Concert
6 p.m. Oct. 2
Free, no ticket required
Heritage Center, Lawn

“The Addams Family”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 28-30
2:30 p.m. Oct. 31

Alma College Jazz Ensemble
8 p.m. Nov. 2

Fall Dance Concert
7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-13
2:30 p.m. Nov. 14

Alma Chamber Orchestra Concert
8 p.m. Nov. 15
Free, no ticket required

Alpha Phi Omega — 10-Minute Plays
7:30 p.m. Nov 19-20
2:30 p.m. Nov. 21
Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre

Kiltie Marching Band Indoor Show
8 p.m. Nov. 20
3 p.m. Nov. 21

Percussion Ensemble
8 p.m. Nov. 23

Festival of Carols
7:30 p.m. Dec. 4
3 p.m. Dec. 5
Tickets: $15 adults; $7 seniors 62+ and children up to 18 years old; Alma College staff and students are free with reserved ticket

Student Choreography Concert
7 p.m. Feb. 4, 2022
2:30 p.m. Feb. 5
7:30 p.m. Feb. 5
Free; ticket required, limited seating available.
Remick Heritage Center, Dance Studio.

“She Kills Monsters”
7:30 p.m. Feb. 10-12
2:30 p.m. Feb. 13
Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre

Chorale Concert
7:30 p.m. Feb. 16
Free, no ticket required.

Alma Choir Tour Concert
7:30 p.m. Feb. 17
Free, no ticket required.

Spring Dance Concert
7 p.m. March 11
7:30 p.m. March 12
2:30 p.m. March 13

Alma College High School Jazz Festival
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 18
Free; no ticket required.

Alma College Jazz Ensemble
8 p.m. Nov. 2

Kiltie Dance Company
7:30 p.m. March 26
Free; ticket required, limited seating available
Remick Heritage Center, Dance Studio

Alma College Highland Arts
8 p.m. March 26

Alma Chamber Orchestra Concert
3 p.m. March 27
Free, no ticket required.

“Silent Sky”
7:30 p.m. March 31-April 2
2:30 p.m. April 3
Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre

Alma College Band Spring Concert
3 p.m. April 3

Masterworks Concert
7:30 p.m. April 9
3 p.m. April 10

Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert
8 p.m. April 12

Acapella Concert
7:30 p.m. April 14

Story published on September 17, 2021