College of the Arts

College of the Arts

College of the Arts Montclair State University

House lights down! Curtain up!

 
After a year of virtual performances, stages around the College of the Arts are coming alive with music, theater, and dance. Back in the spotlight are some remarkable young talents who represent the future of the performing arts.

Throughout the academic year, there will be something for audiences of every interest and taste—bold and innovative theatrical works . . . music ranging from ageless masterpieces to contemporary jazz . . . dance that excites the eye and challenges the mind.

Take your pick and reserve your seat. It’s showtime at Montclair State!

Daniel Gurskis Dean, College of the Arts

Anthony Mazzocchi Director, John J. Cali School of Music Randy Mugleston Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance

 

Cali Residency Series

Join us for the 2021-22 academic year for a reimagined professional residency program. The week-long residencies include a rotation of eleven top-rated artists and ensembles. Each residency will contribute to an ongoing exploration of the ever-changing landscape of music today, introducing students by example to a future that will be, at times, less traditional. Through the multiple opportunities to learn and collaborate with guest artists, students will broaden their understanding of their future musical careers.

Please join us for the public events at the Cali School of Music and the co-hosted Bridges Series concerts at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.

Co-Presented with Kaufman Music Center. Free admission but tickets are required.

Learn More

John J. Cali School of Music

Kaleidoscope

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, October 8 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday, October 9 @ 8 pm

Kaleidoscope is a 90-minute nonstop extravaganza of diverse repertoire celebrating the Cali School’s talented faculty and students. The concerts feature the MSU Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Chorale, University Singers, Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra, and chamber and solo artists.

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John J. Cali School of Music

Harlem Quartet

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Sunday, October 10 @ 3 pm

The Cali School of Music’s Quartet-in-Residence Harlem Quartet will perform an exciting concert of classical and contemporary chamber music.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Wind Symphony

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, October 22 @ 7:30 pm

Thomas McCauley, Conductor
The MSU Wind Symphony will present the first of its three Travelogue concerts in preparation for their appearance at the 2022 International Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), July 20, 2022, in Prague, Czech Republic. The concert will feature the music of Leonard Bernstein, David Maslanka, and Karel Husa.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Saturday, October 23 @ 3 pm

Nicholas DeMaison, Conductor
The MSU Symphony Orchestra performs works from the classical and contemporary repertoire.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Jazz Ensemble

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Saturday, October 23 @ 8 pm

Jeffrey Kunkel, Director
The MSUJE is proud to present a concert of music by emerging contemporary jazz composers, including Andrew Jones, Socrates Garcia, Erica Seguine, and two of our own—Oscar Perez and Jeff Kunkel!

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Department of Theatre and Dance

As You Like It

Memorial Auditorium | $20.00
Thursday, October 28 @ 7:30 pm Friday, October 29 @ 1:00 pm & Friday, October 29 @ 7:30 pm Saturday, October 30 @ 2 pm

By William Shakespeare | Directed by Avery Glymph
As You Like It speaks to us in charming and witty, yet serious and contemplative ways. Strong iconic characters balance the fear and uncertainty of harsh politics and familial rivalries with explorations of human and physical nature, overcoming obstacles and injustices, all in the name of love. Even if people get in the way of it, the power of love can make the most self-aware cynics among us lose themselves in passion and adventure, but it will not be denied.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Life Hall Studio Theatre | $15.00
Thursday, November 4 @ 7:30 pm | Friday, November 5 @ 7:30 pm Saturday, November 6 @ 7:30 pm | Wednesday, November 10 @ 7:30 pm Thursday, November 11 @ 7:30 pm | Friday, November 12 @ 7:30 pm

By Stephen Adly Guirgis | Directed by Tommy Schrider
Hope Courtroom, Purgatory: 2000 years after he betrayed Jesus, Judas Iscariot finally has his day in court. Is he worthy of God’s divine love and forgiveness or doomed to suffer in infamy and the prison of his guilty conscience? And is it even God who is punishing him, or has Judas sentenced himself to eternal shame? Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis has written a wildly inventive play that is both riotously funny and a provocative meditation on the clash between justice and mercy and the mystery of what it means to be human.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

Fall Dance 2021

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Wednesday, November 17 @ 7:30 pm | Thursday, November 18 @ 7:30 pm Friday, November 19 @ 1:00 pm and Friday, November 19 @ 7:30 pm

Directed by Kathleen Kelley | Choreographed by Stefanie Batten Bland, Jessica DiMauro Marks, Larry Keigwin, and Maxine Steinman
This concert presents world premieres by innovative choreographers Larry Keigwin (senior class) collaborating with composer Glen Fittin, Maxine Steinman (sophomore class), and Jessica DiMauro Marks (freshman class). Our junior class performs Stefanie Batten Bland’s WelcomeBienvenue, which interrogates how and to whom we open our arms and invite into our homes, cities, and countries.

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John J. Cali School of Music | Department of Theatre and Dance

RENT

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Sunday Nov. 21, 2021 @ 7:30 pm | Monday Nov. 22 @ 7:30 pm Tuesday Nov. 23, 2021 @ 7:30 pm

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson | Directed by Todd Underwood
This year is the 25th anniversary of Rent. When it was first produced Off-Broadway/Broadway it changed the landscape of musical theater. It was bold and innovative. Rent was touted as the beginning of a new era of musical theater. Set in the ’80s during the height of the AIDS pandemic and based on the opera La bohème, it focuses on the struggle of a group of friends trying to find their way with or without each other. As we all move to the post-pandemic phase of our world today, this show is a great reminder to cherish the ones we love and that time waits for no one. Live fully in the Seasons of Love.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Symphonic Band and MSU Campus Band

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, December 3 @ 7:30 pm

Thomas McCauley | Theodora Sotiropoulos, Conductors
Please join the MSU Symphonic Band and MSU Campus Band as they combine their efforts to present an evening of both new and standard wind band repertoires.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Singers and MSU Chorale

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Saturday, December 4 @ 8 pm

Heather J. Buchanan, Conductor | Steven W. Ryan, Pianist
The Chorale will present the regional premiere of The Breath of Life by American composer Dan Forrest. Scored for SATB choir, piano, strings; Katherine Cherbas, solo cello; Taylor Goodson, percussion; and Vincent Carr, organ, this 35-minute work is a reflection on the beauty and joy of new life juxtaposed with the pain of loss. It uses profound and compelling texts from Scripture as well as classic and modern poetry. The emotional arc of the music beautifully mirrors that of life, from the miracle of birth to the bereavement of death, and the love that makes life rich and meaningful. The University Singers will present highlights from Messiah in an exciting collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Heather J. Buchanan. They will be joined by guest artists Wen, harpsichord; Steven W. Ryan, positive organ; and soloists including Jason Zacher, bass-baritone. Alumni, faculty, and friends of the choir are warmly invited to join the choir on stage to sing the “Hallelujah” Chorus to conclude the concert. This is the NJSO’s debut at Montclair State.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Sunday, December 5 @ 3 pm

Nicholas DeMaison, Conductor
Join conductor Nicholas DeMaison and the MSU Symphony Orchestra as they present works from classical and contemporary repertoire.

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John J. Cali School of Music | Department of Theatre and Dance

The Names We Gave Him

Memorial Auditorium | $20.00
Wednesday, December 8 @ 7:30 pm | Thursday, December 9 @ 7:30 pm Friday, December 10 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday December 11 @ 2 pm

Text by Ellen McLaughlin | Music by Peter Foley | Directed by Lisa Rothe
Loosely based on a true story, this is a musical about an amnesiac veteran of the First World War, the doctor who treated him, and the many women who, in denial of their grief, claimed him as their lost beloved. The piece explores the agony of war for both the soldiers and the families they leave behind the distorting power of loss, and the insistence of love. What is a country’s identity in the aftermath of such devastation? What is a self without memory?

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Wind Symphony

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, December 10 @ 7:30 pm

Thomas McCauley, Conductor
The MSU Wind Symphony will present the second of its three Travelogue concerts in preparation for their appearance at the 2022 International Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), July 20, 2022, in Prague, Czech Republic. The concert will include the music of Leonard Bernstein, David Maslanka, Karel Husa, and will feature the world premiere of composer Bruce Yurko’s “TMCC Fanfare,” written especially for Dr. Thomas McCauley and the MSU Wind Symphony.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Opera Workshop

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
December 11th, 2021

Jeffrey Gall, Director
The MSU Opera Workshop presents a sneak preview of scenes from classical and contemporary repertoire.

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John J. Cali School of Music | Beatrice Crawford Concert

Special Guests VERTICAL VOICES
with the MSU Jazz Ensemble and Vocamotion

Alexander Kasser Theater | FREE
Sunday, December 12 @ 3 pm

Jeffrey Kunkel | Aubrey Johnson, Directors
For our fourth Crawford Concert offering, the MSUJE, along with our vocal jazz ensemble, Vocamotion, are proud to present special guests Vertical Voices, a group composed of four of the finest artist/educators in the world of vocal jazz today: Kerry Marsh, Julia Dollison, Jennifer Barnes, and Greg Jasperse.

Beatrice Crawford Memorial Concert: This concert is a free public performance supported by a generous grant from the Keating Crawford Foundation. It is presented at Montclair State University in memory of Beatrice Crawford, a Montclair musician who was the director of two choral groups, the Madrigals and the Choraliers.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Opera with the MSU Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Saturday, January 29 @ 8 pm | Sunday, January 30 @ 3 pm

Jeffrey Gall, Director | Nicholas DeMaison, Conductor
The MSU Opera with the MSU Symphony Orchestra present an opera from classical repertoire.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

Dance Makers

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, February 18 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday, February 19 @ 2 pm Saturday, February 19 @ 7:30 pm

Directed by Maxine Steinman
Come see the next generation of dance makers! In this curated dance concert, Montclair State student choreographers bring their individual and distinct creativity to the Alexander Kasser stage.

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John J. Cali School of Music | Department of Theatre and Dance

Head Over Heels

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Thursday, February 24 @ 7:30 pm | Friday, February 25 @ 7:30 pm Saturday, February 26 @ 2 pm

Directed and Choreographed by Kenney M. Green
Songs by The Go-Go’s | Based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney
Conceived and Original Book by Jeff Whitty | Adapted by James Magruder.

Head Over Heels is the bold new musical comedy from the visionaries who rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening. This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” and Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.” A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, Head Over Heels follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction—only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Wind Symphony and MSU Symphonic Band

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, March 4 @ 7:30 pm

with special guest artists
Michael Daugherty, Composer | Dame Evelyn Glennie, Percussion
Thomas McCauley, Conductor

The MSU Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will present the music of composer Michael Daugherty and will feature the world premiere of the wind band version of his composition Dreamachine, which will feature world-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie as soloist.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Memorial Auditorium | $20.00
Friday, March 18 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday, March 19 @ 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 23 @ 5:00 pm | Thursday, March 24 @ 7:30 pm Friday, March 25 @ 7:30 pm

Based on a novel by Mark Haddon | Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Heather Benton

When a neighbor’s dog turns up murdered, 15-year-old Christopher (a suspect himself) sets out to solve the mystery and embarks on a terrifying journey that takes him far beyond his familiar street in Swindon, UK. As Christopher navigates the world through a unique neurological lens with a brilliance for math, his journey reveals more than the murderer, as family secrets unravel, bonds of trust are broken, and his once predictable world spins out of control. Based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received 7 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play in 2013.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

Spring Dance 2022

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, April 1 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday, April 2 @ 7:30 pm | Wednesday, April 6 @ 7:30 pm Thursday, April 7 @ 7:30 pm | Friday, April 8 @ 7:30 pm

Directed by Christian von Howard
Spring Dance 2022 features the choreographic works of Paul Taylor, Michelle Manzanales, TweetBoogie, Kathleen Kelley, Bradley Shelver, Christian von Howard, and other guest artists.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

The Big Meal

Life Hall Studio Theatre | $15.00
Wednesday April 13 @ 7:30 pm | Thursday April 14 @ 7:30 pm Wednesday April 20 @ 7:30 pm | Thursday April 21 @ 7:30 pm | Friday April 22 @ 7:30 pm

By Dan LaFranc | Directed by Susan Kerner
Somewhere in America, in a typical restaurant on a typical night, Sam and Nicole first meet. Sparks fly. And so begins the extraordinary tale of five generations of an ordinary family, from first kiss to final good-bye. Packed with humanity and humor, The Big Meal chronicles the loves, trials, and resilience of modern families. Playwright Dan LeFranc won the 2010 NYT Outstanding Playwright Award for this big-hearted, theatrically inventive comedy.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Symphonic Band and MSU Campus Band

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Tuesday, April 26 @ 7:30 pm

Thomas McCauley | Theodora Sotiropoulos, Conductors
Join us for a great evening of eclectic and entertaining music-making by both the MSU Symphonic Band and the MSU Campus Band.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Wednesday, April 27 @ 7:30 pm

Nicholas DeMaison, Conductor
Join conductor Nicholas DeMaison and the MSU Symphony Orchestra as they present works from classical and contemporary repertoire.

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John J. Cali School of Music | Department of Theatre and Dance

Into the Woods

Memorial Auditorium | $20.00
Wednesday, April 27 @ 7:30 pm | Thursday, April 28 @ 7:30 pm Friday, April 29 @ 7:30 pm | Saturday, April 30 @ 2:00 pm

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | Book by James Lapine | Directed by Peter Flynn
“…and they live happily ever after.” So end all of our most beloved fairy tales; but what if there was a different “after” after the “ever after”? Are we always happy with what we get? Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s most acclaimed musical explores what happens when dreams come true, wishes are granted, and spells are broken. With soaring music, funny dialogue, and unexpected twists and turns, Into the Woods at MSU promises a night of mystery, magic, humor, and surprise. At a time when we are beginning to come out of our homes, we invite you Into the Woods.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Wind Symphony

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Friday, April 29 @ 7:30 pm

Thomas McCauley, Conductor | Steven W. Ryan, Pianist
The MSU Wind Symphony will present the third of its three Travelogue concerts in preparation for their appearance at the 2022 International Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), July 20, 2022, in Prague, Czech Republic. The concert will feature the music of Aaron Copland, Joan Tower, and a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Colors of the Celestial City, with piano soloist Steven Ryan.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Singers and MSU Chorale

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Saturday, April 30 @ 8 pm 7:00 pm preconcert presentation in Balcony Lobby

Heather J. Buchanan, Conductor | Steven W. Ryan, Accompanist
Celebrating the wealth of contemporary choral music and the poetry that inspires it, University Singers will perform a dazzling array of pieces in support of the literary and poetic Circlesong themes. Chorale will give the East Coast Premiere of Circlesong by UK composer Bob Chilcott.
 
Set for SATB and SSA choirs, 2 pianos, and 4 percussion, Circlesong is a musical portrayal of the human life cycle as captured in the indigenous poetry of North America. Based on poetry from the Chinook, Comanche, Dakota, Eskimo, Iroquois, Kwakiutl, Navajo, Ojibwa, Pueblo, Seminole, Sioux, and Yaqui traditions, the thirteen movements, in seven parts, mark the different stages of life, from birth and childhood to adulthood, middle age, and death. With energetic percussion accompaniment, climactic movements for tutti choir, tender unaccompanied passages, and solo song, Circlesong is a work of impressive drama, variety, and depth.

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John J. Cali School of Music

MSU Jazz Ensemble

Alexander Kasser Theater | $20.00
Sunday, May 1 @ 3 pm

Oscar Perez, Director
The MSU Jazz Ensemble will be joined by guest artists to perform an exciting concert of classic and contemporary jazz.

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