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2013-14 Season at Redfern Arts Center Offers Eclectic Mix for Everyone

Pilobolus Dance Theatre
Pilobolus Dance Theatre

Line-Up Includes World Renowned Dance, Afro Pop, Jazz and Folk Music Luminaries, Edge-Pushing Puppet Theater, International Family Circus and More

Keene State College’s Redfern Arts Center invites you to discover a bevy of diverse artistry served up close to home with its 2013-14 season, running from September 2013 – March 2014. Ranging from the athleticism of Pilobolus Dance to the hilarious Cirque Alfonse and the jazz beat of Donal Fox Invention Trio, the upcoming season provides world class performances that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Other highlights sure to both engage and entertain include the family folk music of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, a hip-hop theatre piece about fatherhood called Word Becomes Flesh, the Ethiopian funk-pop music of Debo Band, new modern dance works by Rebecca Stenn and Doug Elkins Dance, and the thrilling, thought-provoking puppetry of the renowned Sandglass Theater.

“The Redfern Arts Center continues to serve as a local portal to the worlds of contemporary dance, new theater/ performance, and a range of boundary-defying music,” said Redfern Director Shannon Mayers. “I encourage everyone in the community to visit campus to experience the thrill of world class live performances, ones that are sure to captivate all ages.

“In addition to a fabulous line up,” continued Mayers, “this season we are bringing additional family shows on Saturdays, providing local parents and caregivers with the opportunity to experience some truly amazing arts with their young ones.”

Experiencing the arts is not just about attending a performance. Throughout the season the Redfern engages audiences with numerous free activities and connections with our visiting artists that enhance the experience of live performance, ranging from workshops with the artists, post-show discussions, lobby receptions, and art exhibits.

Season tickets will go on sale Monday, August 5, at the Redfern Box Office, and can be purchased by phone, 603-358-2168, or online at

The Redfern’s 2013-14 season comprises nine performances and begins with a Season Preview Party.

  • Redfern Season Preview Party (Thursday, September 12, 5 p.m., Alumni Recital Hall) Learn more about all of the Redfern’s creative offerings and get a preview of season highlights including video and live performances by Sandglass Theater; 3 Ways ‘Til Sunday, a Keene State improv theatre comedy troupe; and members of KSC’s Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and Dance. The festivities begin with a catered reception in the Redfern lobby followed by the performances in the Recital Hall. Admission is free.

  • Donal Fox Inventions Trio (Friday, September 20, 7:30 p.m., Alumni Recital Hall) Coinciding with KSC’s Parent/Family Weekend, the Redfern kicks off its season with the cool sounds of this classical jazz trio. Combining deep grooves with sophisticated contrapuntal lines, acclaimed pianist, composer and improviser Donal Fox and his musicians create a striking collage of classical and jazz inspired music that is at once stirring and intellectually satisfying. Music critics call Fox “one of a small handful of musicians who embody the promise of jazz’s future.”

  • Word Becomes Flesh (Wednesday, October 2, 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre) Word Becomes Flesh uses poetry, dance, hip-hop theater, and live music to document nine months of pregnancy from a young single father’s perspective. Written and directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a nationally acclaimed performer, educator and artistic curator, this ensemble piece fuses together tender stories, playful wit – and at times, purposeful rage – to give voice to the complexities surrounding race and gender in the U.S.

  • Pilobolus Dance Theatre (Tuesday, October 15, 7:30 p.m. Main Theatre) The hugely popular dance company, known for its mind-blowing performances at the Academy Awards and the Olympics, is coming back to the Redfern! And returning with Pilobolus is Keene State College alum Shawn Ahern, who has been performing with the company since his graduation in 2010. Do not miss this exciting group that has built a giant and fervent international following by consistently proving the human body to be the most expressive, universal, and downright magical of mediums.

  • Debo Band (Wednesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m., Alumni Recital Hall) Since their inception in 2006, Debo Band has won raves for their groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop music, which incorporates traditional scales and vocal styles, alongside American soul and funk rhythms, and instrumentation reminiscent of high energy Eastern European brass bands. The 11-person powerhouse features a full horn section, an accordion, two violins, and seriously loud guitars, bass, and drums. Boston Magazine says Debo Band is “one of the biggest bands to emerge from Boston in recent history.”

  • Rebecca Stenn (Monday, January 27, 7:30 p.m. Alumni Recital Hall)
    2013-14 Redfern Choreographer-in-Residence Rebecca Stenn has performed and toured throughout the world as a principal dancer with Momix and Pilobolus. Her new solo piece explores novel expressions of modern dance with live music, film, and visual art. Dance Magazine says Stenn’s performances are “a splendid meshing of tender vulnerability and physical presence.”

  • Cirque Alfonse (Saturday, February 1, 2 p.m., Main Theatre) This hilarious circus troupe from Quebec presents Timber! a lively folk-musical circus featuring log-walking, spoon-clacking, hatchet-juggling, clog-dancing and even hijinks on an outhouse! Celebrating their first United States tour, Timber! is a smorgasbord of family fun based on the tradition of logging camps with axes swinging through the air and logs becoming props as the performers do daring knife tricks and acrobatic feats to the toe-tapping sounds of traditional Quebecois music.

  • Doug Elkins Dance (Tuesday, February 4, 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre) The irreverent choreographer Doug Elkins returns to the Redfern Arts Center with the world premiere of Hapless Bizarre, featuring a merry band of dancers, actors and clowns exploring the sharp intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation, and romance. Elkins, considered one of the most musical, witty and inventive choreographers of his generation, will pair this new piece with his recent hit Mo(or)town/Redux , a sensual exploration of Shakespeare’s Othello using the music of Motown and the neo-Motown sound.

  • Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem (Saturday, February 22, 11 a.m., Alumni Recital Hall) One of “America’s most inventive string bands” (The Boston Herald), Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem mix traditional, original, and contemporary sounds on fiddle, guitar, bass and recycled percussion. Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem’s family show is barefoot, front-porch, tap-your-feet folk music for families, spanning 200 years of American roots music. With influences from Doc Watson to Django Reinhardt, from Fiddlin’ John Carson to the funky Meters, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem delight families with their generous spirit, quirky humor, and musical prowess.

  • Sandglass Theater (Tuesday, March 4, 7:30 p.m., Main Theatre) The beloved Putney, Vermont puppet theater returns to the Redfern with D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks. This touching new piece explores the rich creative potential of people living with dementia. Their collective stories, told through a cast of puppets and their caretakers, creates a piece that is poetic, humorous, and quite mysterious. From these stories, Sandglass Theater forms scenes of the inner life of the characters, and creates a piece that reflects both the stigma and the acceptance, the despair and the joy, that is equally present and possible, in both the person with dementia and in their caregivers and family members. These stories reveal the darker side of the disease as well as its humor and playfulness.

About Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College The Arts Center is named in honor of Dr. Leo F. Redfern, Keene State College President from 1969 to 1979 for his vision, commitment, and eloquence on behalf of the arts that made funding and construction of the facility a reality. In 1981, KSC inaugurated this new performing arts center, with the goal of providing unforgettable artistic encounters for the campus and community. Since then, the Redfern stage has hosted hundreds of amazing shows, from internationally renowned artists to emerging young talents to KSC’s own student performers. Over the years, the Redfern has expanded its outreach programs, curricular and community partnerships, becoming an indispensable resource for the Keene community and beyond.

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