Perry-Mansfield faculty to take the stage

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Perry-Mansfield's faculty is ready to show their students what they're made of.

For "One Night Only," the teachers get their chance to dance, sing and pour their hearts out in the camp's Julie Harris Theatre.

What: "One Night Only," Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp faculty showcase When: 8 p.m. Saturday Where: Julie Harris Theatre at Perry-Mansfield Tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for children 10 and younger. Information: Call 879-7125.

Saturday evening's faculty showcase also is a chance for the Steamboat Springs community to get a glimpse of the mother lode of high-caliber artists that help mold talented young dancers, singers and actors at the prestigious performing arts camp tucked away in Strawberry Park.

"They always look at us a little different on Monday morning," instructor Jeanine Pardey said. The students get to see that their teachers know what they're talking about, she said.

The Faculty Showcase is an opportunity for Perry-Mansfield's esteemed instructors to show off their talents and meld their diverse ideas early in the camp's summer season. They will sing, dance, act and read together -- in a variety of experimental combinations. It is the faculty's chance to do something a little different.

Perry-Mansfield's Faculty Showcase is about innovation and collaboration. The program will be wide and varied.

In a nod to Broadway, Marishka Wierzbicki, "the wicked witch," and Pardey, "the good witch," will sing a duet from the Tony Award-winning musical "Wicked." But there also will be many group numbers that are more cabaret-oriented, Wierzbicki said.

"Cabaret is about more direct communication with the audience. Be yourself rather than playing a character," Wierzbicki said.

Cabaret is part of the camp's curriculum and will be the focus of an intensive workshop at the camp later this summer. One of the cabaret-style pieces in the faculty showcase will deal with women's relationships with their mothers, Wierzbicki said.

The show is sure to have new material that hasn't been seen before, faculty members predicted. It will delve into the camp's archives with a brief history of Perry-Mansfield and what it has meant to artists during the years, as told by veteran theater teacher Rusty de Lucia, who has been at the camp since 1955.

At least seven dance pieces are slated for the showcase.

Brian Frette choreographed three pieces for the show. A solo he choreographed for fellow faculty member Jennifer Golonka explores the "emotional typhoon" of loss and emptiness, he said. Another work is a study of movement based on William Shakespeare's "Othello," he said.

"Everyone needs to die on stage at least once," Frette said of the dance.

Frette's third piece is a modern duet with Perry-Mansfield director of dance Linda Kent, a fellow Paul Taylor Dance Company alumnus. This dance and Golonka's solo are premiers, and Frette said both are pieces he intended to experiment with.

Keeping with Perry-Mansfield's tradition of innovation, Julie Ludwick will be performing a dance that incorporates a low-flying trapeze. It is a style that she is teaching to students this summer, where the trapeze becomes a partner for the dancer in creating smooth, effortless-looking movements and the opportunity for more extreme spins. It is a new challenge for Perry-Mansfield's students, Ludwick said, and they only will have had a couple of classes before they see the advanced effects in the choreography Ludwick will perform Saturday night.

Perry-Mansfield's faculty members are finding ample opportunities to mix their media in "One Night Only." Bryan Steele is choreographing a dance piece based upon a story by dramatic writing instructor Jon Holler. Elizabeth London is reciting a poem that one of the dance instructors will be dancing to.

London said she has a Shakespeare monologue in the works.

"This is to show what Perry-Mansfield can do for the arts," Steele said.

"One Night Only" highlights a crossover between the different performing arts disciplines. Even for these seasoned professionals, this faculty showcase is a rare and golden opportunity.

"I get to dance all the time," dance teacher Golonka said. "But not with people who are speaking -- not with a mix of music and movement and text."

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