Keene State’s Redfern Arts Center is hosting a variety of musical events for the spring season, with collaboration from guest artists, students, and faculty.
Theater and Dance (TAD) will present its spring musical “Fun Home” March 1 – 4 in the Wright Theatre.
“Fun Home” is the musical adaptation of Allison Bechdel’s graphic novel “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic,” which follows Allison and her father as they unravel their father daughter relationship and come to terms with their own sexualities.
Theater Department Chair and Director Kirstin O’Brien described the show as, “ literally a story that happens to have music.” The cast of “Fun Home” consists of Keene State students, but also children from the local area to play the Bechdel kids.
In addition to the spring musical, the department will also be welcoming guest artist and Broadway actor Jake Odmark from Feb. 6 – 9.
“He is coming to collaborate with theater, with music, and with film and visit a bunch of classes, and visit some ‘Fun Home’ rehearsals and do some independent workshops,” O’Brien said. “… He has an amazing career and he’s giving us his time and we’re lucky that we booked him with his busy schedule.”
On April 27, seniors Ty Nash and Skyler Robicheau will complete their directing specialization for their degrees.
“I’m working with them as a joint independent study for them to produce and direct and audition and cast… a 50 to 55-minute play that they have to choose and put on and will be presented in the Wright Theater,” O’Brien said.
Additionally, other seniors will have a chance to present their senior capstone projects during the last week of the semester.
An Evening of Dance will return to the Main Stage from April 13 – 15 for its 49th annual run.
The performance will feature original choreography from students, faculty and guest artists to bring contemporary perspectives of dance to life.
Faculty choreographers include Professors Cynthia McLaughlin, Molly Fletcher-Flynn, Elenor Goudie-Averill, and Shawn Ahern. McLaughlin was unavailable for an interview.
The Music Department has a lineup of performances ranging from guest artists to faculty performances.
Concert Band will perform twice throughout the semester, with the first performance being held Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Main Theatre.
The following day, the New York City based Bowers-Fader Duo will be performing with collaboration from KSC faculty Heather Gilligan and Justin Casinghino.
On Thursday, Feb. 23, Zenith Ensemble will perform in the Alumni Recital hall and also run student workshops, chamber coaching’s, and one-on-one lessons with KSC music students.
Music Department Chair Daniel Carberg and Zenith Ensemble member said that the ensemble consists of members throughout New England who collaborate to express a deeper meaning with their repertoire.
“The first program we’re doing here at Keene State is based on ‘Passion’ by David Lang called ‘The Little Match Girl,’ and it’s very modern sounding but it’s also very heart-wrenching, it’s about homelessness and it’s about food insecurity,” Carberg said. “There’s gonna be six singers and we try to represent mostly Northern New England… we’re trying to be a little more representative of where we live.”
On Sunday, March 26, there will be a Keene-Einbeck Choral Collaboration performance involving singers from Keene’s cultural exchange city Einbeck, Germany. “Some of the people from Einbeck are coming here and they’re gonna stay with hosts and they’re gonna perform with some of our choral ensembles… we haven’t had this collaboration since pre-COVID so it’s gonna be nice to get this going again,” Carberg said.
KSC Orchestra will make a comeback to the Main Theatre Wednesday, April 19. “Orchestra did not run last semester because we did not have enough students to participate and we did not have an orchestra director,” Carberg said.
Additional performances this season include, but are not limited to, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, and Clarinet Quartet.
Carberg said that this semester the music department wants to, “be excellent and have fun and to grow. In any class, any lesson, any ensemble, any work experience, we are always thinking about those things and that we’re striving for excellence.”
For more information on Redfern events, visit the Redfern website.
Nicole Dumont can be contacted at