A guide to the River Campus

Friday, September 16, 2011

In 2007, the River Campus opened as the home of the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. Through four seasons, the Department of Theatre and Dance, Department of Music and Department of Art have stretched their legs, raised their voices and colored their canvas.

The River Campus -- and the departments it houses -- is throwing a celebration to kick off its fifth season from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Dance, music, theater and art students will perform various versions of their respective crafts.

"We are going to be all over this campus. All over it," said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, director of Holland School and associate dean of the college of liberal arts.

Each venue will host performances in 20 minute intervals starting at 1 p.m. Performers will break for 20 minutes to mingle and allow people to visit the atrium where departments have set up face painting, a musical petting zoo and information tables.

"It's a celebration," said Bob Cerchio, assistant director of the River Campus. "It's also hoping to get people in here who haven't ever been."

SE Live offers this quick guide to the campus and most of what it has to offer.

The campus will be crawling with performers, so expect to see more than what's listed here.

Shuck Recital Hall

Shuck Recital Hall

Seating for: 205

You're likely to see: Chamber music or solo recitals

What you'll see Saturday: Piano and voice vignettes

* Aside from the engaging music that floats through the small auditorium, the history and preserved structural elements beg for examination.

The room originally served as the seminary chapel. When the university renovated the Seminary Building, designers kept the original stained glass windows and left the original rafters exposed, creating a lofty, colorful room to hear the likes of Schumann, Gershwin and Handel.

River Campus Art Gallery

River Campus Art Gallery

You're likely to see: solo or group art exhibits from students and faculty or edgy new artists

What you'll see Saturday: Kristina Arnold, "A World Unto Itself"

* This small gallery has adjustable lighting and technological capabilities to handle various displays of paintings and photographs or exhibit complicated digital art.

Southeast art students display here as well as national artists like William H. Thielen, Glenn Williams and now, Kristina Arnold's installation. The blank room transforms with each new exhibit as artists fill it with their creations.

Bedell Performance Hall

Capacity: 952

You're likely to see: Touring Broadway shows, large student-produced musicals and plays, and concerts from the symphony or university bands

Bedell Performance Hall

What you'll see Saturday: short performances from upcoming productions and the backstage work in the scene and costume shops

* The Bedell Performance Hall envelops visitors in warm darkness as they enjoy professional-grade shows each season. The theater's state-of-the-art features have allowed the university to welcome touring shows like "Hairspray" and "Spamalot" and dance recitals from the St. Petersburg Ballet and the Russian National Ballet.

The quality of the theater demands quality performances from students at Southeast, who rarely disappoint.

Rust Flexible Theatre

Rust Flexible Theatre

Seating for: 200

You're likely to see: Student plays

What you'll see Saturday: dances, scenes and solo performances by students

* The Rust Flexible Theatre is the theatrical equivalent of a blank canvas. The stage and seating move to fit any configuration the production needs. Don't decide you like a seat because you might not be able to find it next time.

The adaptable theater lends itself to experimental, avant-garde shows like "Coyote Ugly" while leaving open the possibility for traditional works like "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Crisp Museum

Crisp Museum

You're likely to see: A stationary museum display describing Southeast Missouri's history and an art gallery with internationally known artists and exhibitions

What you'll see Saturday: "The Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art" and a cello ensemble in the museum

* The Crisp Museum holds both historic and artistic displays, with the focus always set sharply on education.

The Crossroads Gallery has static exhibits of the lives of indigenous Southeast Missourians, the Mississippi River and contemporary events like the Sharecropper's Strike, teaching visitors about the area's rich history.

The Crisp Museum Art Gallery educates visitors on art they would normally have to travel to Chicago, St. Louis or Memphis, Tenn., to see. The gallery has held exhibits from Jackson Pollock's contemporary art to Nathan Sawaya's Lego sculptures. But the gallery also hosts a high school exhibit each year, giving local students their time in a professional gallery.

Dance Studio

Dance Studio

You're likely to see: A class of dance students stretching, learning new moves or perfecting choreography

What you'll see Saturday: Excerpts from new dances and performances of old ones

* As if dance does not evoke enough emotion, imagine it set against the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. Windows make up the east wall of the dance studio, flooding the room with natural light and breathtaking scenery.

Students or visitors walking down the hallway to the art studios on the lower level can observe whatever ballet, ballroom or modern dance students are performing. The studio's sprung floor protects dancers' knees and legs by allowing some bounce.

Glenn Convocation Center

Glenn Convocation Center

You're likely to see: A small speech or private reception

What you'll see Saturday: Southeast jazz combos

* Walk into the main building on the River Campus and make an immediate U-turn to the right and you'll be headed straight for the convocation center. The center hosts pre- and post-concert receptions, private dinners, meetings and conferences.

Exhibiting artists from the Crisp or River Campus art galleries speak in the large meeting room about their craft, and musicians fresh off the stage mingle with audience members.

The Quad

You're likely to see: Students walking and statues

What you'll see Saturday: Stage combat demonstrations

* The quad is normally a shady area to cut through or relax in. The Seminary Building forms two of its sides and the back of Crisp forms a third. The original handball court dominates the north side of the grassy lot.

The Department of Theatre and Dance couldn't contain itself to stages and costume shops. Dr. Rob Dillon, professor of theater history, acting and stage combat, will lead students in a stage combat demonstration. Come see the effort and training Southeast actors endure to make a fight look real.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: