The Redfern Arts Center is entering its 41st season.
This fall, Theater and Dance welcomes two guest directors for its semester performances. Additionally, the music department has a wide variety of performances planned, showcasing musicians within and beyond the Keene community.
The season was previewed in a kickoff event on Sept. 8 in the Main Theatre. The event served as an introduction to what the Redfern Arts Center has in store for the 2022-23 season.
Theater and Dance
Keene State’s Theater and Dance (TAD) department anticipates a variety of performances for the fall semester.
To start off the season, the Redfern Arts Center hosted a kick-off event in the Main Theatre on Thursday Sept. 8. The event included snip-its of performances from TAD faculty members and students.
“[We put] something together that would showcase something from theater and dance [to] give an idea for people that are interested in the Redfern this season,” TAD department chair Kirstin O’Brien said.
“Life Sucks” is taking stage from October 5 to 8 at the Wright Theatre. It is based on Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” and serves as a more contemporary adaptation.
“It’s showcasing our students on stage and seeing what can happen making something that was classic, more relevant,” O’Brien said.
“Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” will be performed in the Main Theatre November 16 to 19.
“[It tells] the beautiful story of Christopher, 16 and on the spectrum and it’s his goal to solve the mystery of who killed this dog in his neighborhood,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s really beautiful because it’s very sensory focused.”
The theater department is additionally planning on bringing back “The Normal Heart” for Worlds AIDS Day, which falls on December 1.
“It’s going to happen again this year, whether it’s a staged reading of the full play or selected scenes,” O’Brien said. “It’s a beautiful way to give visibility.”
Sophomore Reilly Salvador is looking forward to working with the theater program again.
“I did crew and I love it… I love just hands on stuff and getting to see the behind the scenes of what makes a production,” Salvador said. “We have two different guest directors this year and I am excited to see what they bring to the playing field.”
The Dance Department began the season with auditions for their annual Choreography Showcase on Sept. 11.
“Student choreographers will be auditioning dancers in order to set the casts for their original work that they’ll be working on this semester,” Department Chair Cynthia McLaughlin said.
October 21 2 to 3:45 p.m., there will be a Student Showcase featuring the work of TAD students as well as students from the Music Department.
“The idea is to make a performance space for students to share things that might not be class based,” McLaughlin said. “ [Students] do things that faculty are creating, and then they make work out of courses, but there’s certainly a lot of creative work that they’re doing.”
Also next month, the Urban Bush Women will perform at the Redfern Arts Center Main Theatre Oct. 24 to 28.
“A phenomenal company… they’re very much storytellers in their choreography,” McLaughlin said.
As the fall season begins, McLaughlin welcomes the new oppurtunities for students.
“I just want to give [students] as many experiences as possible without overloading them,” Mclaughlin said, “ With COVID it’s been such a struggle, [and] now I’m just like, let’s just do it.”
The KSC Music Department has a wide range of performances lined up, including faculty, student, and performers from outside the Keene Community.
On Sept. 14 Bala Brass will be performing at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Recital Hall. Adititonally, there will be two student workshops with KSC faculty and trumpet player Dr. Seelan Manickam Sept. 13-14.
Darling of the Muses is coming to the Alumni Recital Hall Sunday Oct. 2, 3 to 5 p.m. which will feature performances from KSC professor and pianist Christina Wright-Ivanova, violinist Andrea Segar (Lydian Quartet), tenor Ethan DePuy (Boston Art Song Society), and Keene-based pianist Virginia Eskin.
“[The performance] will be a chamber of music love affair and a love triangle of Robert Schumann, Clara Schumman and Johannes Brahms who were famous 19th century love triumphs in classical music,” Wright said.
On Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m, Virginia Eskin will return to the Recital Hall to run a Q+A for NH composer Amy Beech who will be performing.
The Steinway Gala will take place Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in an effort to raise money for the final piano that will make KSC an all-Steinway school.
“It’s going to be very prestigious with [11 pianists],” Wright said. “It’s going to be an epic event.”
The Redfern will also be hosting other ensekble recital series such as the Faculty Recital Series on Nov. 20 featuring Wright and other members of faculty.
The annual “Tuba Chrstmas” event will return to Mabel Brown Room Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.
For more information visit the Redfern Arts Center website.
Nicole Dumont can be contacted at