Winona Campus Faculty and Staff Newsletter

Upcoming dates

There’s a lot going on in April. Here is just a taste:

April 1: Spruce Up Winona
April 1-2: Much Ado About Nothing
April 3: Women’s Choir performance
April 6: Human trafficking speaker
April 8: Ragamala Dance
April 20: Employee service awards
April 20: Student Life awards
April 21-22: Dance Repertory Company spring concert
April 25: Hendrickson Forum
April 28: Celebration of Scholarship and Honors Convocation
April 29: Choirs concert
April 30: Jazz ensembles and Chamber Orchestra concerts

Campus Notes spring schedule

Because of Easter break, there will be no Campus Notes April 14. The remaining issues for the academic year will be Fridays, April 7, 21, and 28, and May 5. The deadline for each issue is the Wednesday prior.

You could be missing part of ‘Campus Notes’

When you get your weekly Campus Notes announcement by email, do you notice the link at the bottom which reads, “[Message clipped] View entire message”? If you don’t click on that link, you’re missing out on more great campus news!

Finding ‘state of the art’ at theatre tech conference

Nine students interested in theatre technology discovered the “state of the art” at the nation’s largest full-production trade show, hosted by the Association for Performing Arts & Entertainment Professionals (USITT) in St. Louis. USITT’s annual conference and stage expo draws together theatre and live entertainment production technicians, designers, managers and consultants from all corners of entertainment and performing arts—and with all levels of experience—to network and learn about the latest technologies and methods.

Saint Mary’s students started a student chapter of USITT in 2014. At the March 8-11 conference, they met with and interviewed with national companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Disney, regional theatres, and technology and design companies, and talked with representatives of graduate schools for design and stage management. Students attending included Kenneth Peebles, Liam Hahn, Ian Robertson, Parker Kaeding, Andrew Becker, Emma Lay, Shania Merchlewitz, Celeste Nygren, and Amber Geyer, accompanied by adviser Jason Underferth, Performance Center technical director.

Saint Mary’s to present ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 30-April 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at the Academy Theatre in the Valéncia Arts Center.

The war is over. Don John, the rebellious brother of Don Carlos, has been returned to his proper subservient relationship, defeated, but not subdued. Count Claudio has proven himself valiant in battle and has fallen head over heels in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero. And two of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters, Benedick and Beatrice, are at it again, their wits as sharp as swords, continuing their longstanding bantering battle of the sexes. Though so clearly meant for each other, their past failed relationship causes them to swear off any future romantic exploits. Can the others contrive to bring them at last together, even as jealousy and envy drive Don John to try to ruin everything?

For those unfamiliar with the witty Shakespearean classic, director Walter Elder sums up Much Ado as “a merry war between the sexes.” Throughout the play, audiences will enjoy the dance that frequently goes on during courtship as men and women both repel and attract one another. “It’s about pride and swallowing your pride,” Elder said. “It’s about vulnerability and having one’s heart broken. It’s ultimately about love.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and are available by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at

Jazz Combo I, Wabasha-Kellogg Vocal Jazz to perform at Café Congo

Jazz at Café Congo (First Congregational Church of Winona) returns with groups from Saint Mary’s University and Wabasha-Kellogg High School combining forces for a memorable evening of music. Saint Mary’s Jazz Combo I and WK’s Vocal Jazz group will be the featured artists on Tuesday, March 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. The groups will perform separately and soloists from Wabasha-Kellogg will also join with Jazz Combo 1 on several jazz standards.

The performance is open to the public at no charge. Café Congo will provide a variety of treats for concertgoers to enjoy while listening to an evening of great jazz. Donations are always gratefully accepted.

Three-day residency with Ragamala Dance Company

The 30th Page Series at Saint Mary’s University concludes with a three-day residency by Ragamala Dance Company, culminating in a 7:30 p.m. performance Saturday, April 8, at the Page Theatre.

Now in its 23rd season, Ragamala has been hailed by The New York Times as “soulful, imaginative and rhythmically contagious … [Ragamala] showed how Indian forms can provide some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer.” Under the direction of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Ragamala Dance Company’s work explores the dynamic tension between the ancestral and the personal.

As choreographers and performers, Ranee and Aparna create dance landscapes that dwell in opposition—secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness—to find the transcendence that lies in between. As mother and daughter, each brings her generational experience to the work—the rich traditions, deep philosophical roots, and ancestral wisdom of India meeting and merging with their hybridic perspective as Indian-American artists.

For their Page Series performance, Ragamala will perform their signature work, Sacred Earth. Sacred Earth explores the interconnectedness between human emotions and the environment that shapes them. Performed with live music, the dancers create a sacred space to honor the divinity in the natural world and the sustenance we derive from it. Inspired by the philosophies behind the ephemeral arts of kolam and Warli painting and the Tamil Sangam literature of India, Sacred Earth is the company’s singular vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and man.

The Page Series will offer several free events April 6 and 7, which will give community members the opportunity to learn more about Ragamala Dance Company and their work. Events include:

• Introduction to Bharatanatyam: Thursday, April 6, at 12:15 p.m., Page Theatre. This event will offer an introduction to the South Indian dance form that inspires Ragamala’s work.

• A Page in History: Friday, April 7, at 12:05 p.m., Winona County History Center. This event will give attendees insight into company members and how they develop their work, including a demonstration.

• Indian Dance Master Class: Friday, April 7, at 4 p.m., Valéncia Arts Center. This class is recommended for those ages 7 and older. No experience is necessary, but community members wishing to participate are asked to register in advance at

• Discussion of Sustainability in Life and Art: Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall. This discussion provides an introduction to the folk art forms featured prominently in Sacred Earth.

Tickets to the April 8 performance are $24 for adults and $21 for students and senior citizens. For additional information or to order tickets, visit or call 507-457-1715 (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).

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