New Binghamton Philharmonic director charts ambitious course

EDITOR’s NOTE: Last fall, BAMirror began an occasional series of chats with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. Today we talk with the new executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic.

By George Basler

Heidi Kelley knows this is a tough time to be the executive director of a symphony orchestra. She worked for a symphony orchestra in southwest Florida that ran into financial difficulties. She’s read about other orchestras, such as Honolulu and Syracuse, that have gone belly up because of money.  “In this industry, finances are a constant concern,” said Kelley, who became the Binghamton Philharmonic’s new executive director March 1 after working as executive director of the Abilene (Texas) Philharmonic. She succeeds Stephen Wilson, who is now executive director of the Fresno (California) Philharmonic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sexual violence play at Know Theatre benefits crime victims

By George Basler

The issue of violence against women has been much in the news. Congress recently re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is holding hearings on sexual abuse in the military. A rape and killing in India has prompted protest and self-examination in that country.
So a production taking place this coming weekend (March 8 and 9) in Binghamton is both timely and provocative. Read the rest of this entry »

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Theater organ group’s fund-raiser Saturday showcases Hollywood’s newest silent film

By George Basler

A charming story, a happy ending and a scene-stealing dog will be on display Dec. 29 at The Forum in downtown Binghamton when the Binghamton Theatre Organ Society presents its latest showing of a silent film. Read the rest of this entry »

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KNOW Theatre presents annual Playwrights and Artists Festival

By George Basler

The six plays to be performed this weekend and next at KNOW Theatre in downtown Binghamton range from a love story set inside an informational technology office to an intense confrontation between a wife and her unfaithful husband. Read the rest of this entry »

BAMirror team moves into the spotlight

BAMirror contributors will be walking the walk as well as talking the talk over the next couple of weekends. Three of our regular reviewers (Lee Shepherd, Julian Shepherd and Tony Villecco) and Broome County Arts Council Executive Director Sharon Ball are all donning their performance hats.

Villecco, a tenor, will be featured in Nov. 17 in “Basically Baroque,” billed as “an evening of rare and not so rare vocal and musical selections from the 17th and 18thcenturies. Also performing will be Jeffrey Wahl, recorder; Madeleine Iannone, harpsichord, and Emily Creo, bass continuo.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Church 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton.

Cost at the door: $10 (senior citizens and students, $8). Information: (607) 727-3894. Read the rest of this entry »

New Art Mission director wants to increase theater’s profile

EDITOR’s NOTE: This fall, BAMirror is chatting with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. Today we talk with Rebecca Sheriff, the new executive director of the Art Mission and Theater in downtown Binghamton. Sheriff, it should be noted, is a former reviewer for BAMirror.

By George Basler

With gas prices being the way they are, film enthusiasts should tip their hats to the Art Mission and Theater in downtown Binghamton.

Located at 61 Prospect Ave., the small, two-screen theater — with a total of 78 seats — shows independent, specialized and foreign films that normally don’t show up at the AMC Loews and Regal multiplexes. “It’s a great organization because it means people don’t have to travel to Ithaca or New York City to see films that otherwise might not be shown here,” said Rebecca Sheriff, the theater’s new executive director. Read the rest of this entry »

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Join HOTA celebration tonight

By Barb Van Atta

The public is invited today (Nov. 1) to celebrate the recipients of the Broome County Arts Council’s Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards. The ninth annual presentation ceremony and celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. in BCAC’s gallery space adjacent to its office on the fifth floor of Stephens Square, 81 State St., Binghamton. The theme of this free community celebration is “The Arts Connect … .” For more information, call the arts council at 723-4620 or e-mail information@bcartscouncil.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Serling play gets a staged reading

Heidi Weeks, Jim Hull

By George Basler

The night of Jan. 12, 1955, was one that changed Rod Serling’s life.

On that night, his teleplay, “Patterns,” appeared on the Kraft Television Theatre during what is  now called “the Golden Age” of live television. The play, which focuses on psychological bloodletting in the corporate boardroom, was an immediate smash hit and won Serling the first of his six Emmy Awards, said Larry Kassan, director of special projects for the Binghamton City School District and founder and director of the Rod Serling Video Festival.

Almost overnight, Serling, who grew up in Binghamton, went from being a struggling writer to a hot commodity in the television world. He would follow up the success a year later with another Emmy Award-winning drama, “Requiem for the Heavyweight,” and would be on his way to a stellar, two decade-long writing career, tragically cut shot by a heart attack in 1975.

Audiences will get a chance to view Serling’s early success this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 11 and 12) when the Rod Serling Video Festival and Southern Tier Actors Read present a staged reading of “Patterns” in Binghamton High School’s Black Box Theatre. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

New Binghamton Philharmonic director plans community outreach

EDITOR’s NOTE: This fall, BAMirror is chatting with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. Today we talk with the interim executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic, which opens its 2012-2013 season this weekend (Saturday, Oct. 6).

By George Basler

Jon Mosbo is quick to list the many strengths of the Binghamton Philharmonic, now in its 57th year of serving music lovers across central New York.

Those attributes include the high quality of the orchestra for an area of this size, the strong artistic leadership of music director and conductor José Luis-Novo, the work of a committed board and the support of the community, the new interim executive director said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cider Mill director charting a new course for established theater

EDITOR’s NOTE: Over the next few weeks, BAMirror will be chatting with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. We begin, appropriately, at the Cider Mill Playhouse, which opens its 37th season tonight (Sept. 13).

By George Basler

As he begins his first full season as executive director of the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, Robert Rogers knows he has taken over a theater with a proud heritage.. He knows that the venerable playhouse, which is starting its 37th season this week, has become an important part of the region’s cultural fabric. Read the rest of this entry »

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Half Light Theatre schedules ‘Master Class’ benefit; Binghamton mayor has role

By George Basler

Half Light Theatre, a new Binghamton-based theater company, is planning to mark its first anniversary with a special evening this coming weekend.

On Friday (July 27), the company will take over the grand mansion foyer of the Roberson Museum and Science Center for a gala fund-raising event that will begin with wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. followed by a performance of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class at 7:30 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

KNOW Theatre to produce Kennedy Center award winners

By George Basler

Audiences coming to the KNOW Theatre in downtown Binghamton next week (July 5-8) will get in on the ground floor of seeing the next potentially great American playwrights.

For the first time ever, the Binghamton-based theater company is cooperating with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to present four regional prize-winning plays from this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival program. The four plays — two one-act and two 10-minute productions — include the national winner for outstanding short play, White or The Muskox Play by Jonathan K. Fitts, a student at New York University. Read the rest of this entry »

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BU spring: A senior recital and final goodbyes

By Sarah Kuras

This past Saturday (May 12) I had the great pleasure of attending Mark Rossnagel’s senior recital at the United Presbyterian Church (formerly First Presbyterian) in Binghamton. Although I have heard him play the organ numerous times throughout our years of friendship, I was truly blown away by his performance at this recital and by his dedication to his craft. All attendees had the great gift of watching this masterful, expressive musician perform. Read the rest of this entry »

Rod Serling Video Festival keeps rolling

By George Basler

A lot has changed since the Rod Serling Video Festival began 17 years ago as a way to promote the creative use of technology by students in elementary, middle and high school. Read the rest of this entry »

EPAC keeps growing to bring arts to community

By Ralph Hall

EPAC as a work in progress

EPAC as a work in progress

Throughout the Americas and Europe, there are hundreds of community theaters, but there is only one Endicott Performing Arts Center (EPAC)! EPAC is a unique, comprehensive and community-committed not-for-profit organization serving the Broome County area and making a difference in economics, the arts and education. The activities of this company are so very diverse in serving many age groups, varied arts pursuits (i.e. acting, dance, backstage, etc.) in a setting that positively affects the economics of Washington Avenue, Endicott and Broome County.

The venue, formerly known as the Lyric Theater, was built 1916-1917 as a vaudeville theater, and a few years later was transformed to a motion picture theater. In 1993 the owners closed the theater, and it began to deteriorate. Fortunately for the community, Lou Ligouri (Executive Director) and Pat Foti (Artistic Director) met in 1991 and within a few years created a vision that was to become EPAC. The first performance in 1999 was Visions of Vaudeville, produced and performed with the St. Anthony Players. In 2010, the name of the theater was changed to “Robert Eckert Theatre” to honor Robert Eckert, an Endicott native who has been active in professional and community theater for many years. Read the rest of this entry »