October guide to the Arts at the U

Theatre Arts students rehearse for "The Frogs" with senior lecturer David Williams. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami
By Amanda M. Perez

Theatre Arts students rehearse for "The Frogs" with senior lecturer David Williams. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

October guide to the Arts at the U

By Amanda M. Perez
Check out this comprehensive list of arts-related events happening this month, from concerts and exhibitions to interactive discussions and a live play.

The lights are back on at the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts. After a performance hiatus of more than a year, students are back and ready to showcase their craft. 

During their upcoming performance of “The Frogs,” students will take their talents outside for a first-of-its-kind show. Director and senior lecturer David Williams explained that this was an exciting way to overcome the challenges that have been brought on by the pandemic. 

“Because of COVID, we found it difficult to be safe doing the rigors of theater indoors. So, we decided to take advantage of the UC Pool and use it as our outdoor performance space,” Williams said. “Instead of thinking of it as a downfall, we thought of it as an opportunity because we’re now going to be smack dab in the middle of the university with the most exposure. So, it’s great.” 

The Frogs,” which will debut on Saturday, Oct. 23, is a musical adaptation of the original Aristophanes play by Stephen Sondheim and Burt Shevelove and more freely adapted by the great actor Nathan Lane. This hilarious, yet poignant, musical follows Dionysos the Greek god of wine and drama. 

Samantha Yates, a senior musical theatre major, shared her excitement to be able to play Dionysos.

“It’s the role of a lifetime and one that has forced me to really develop my craft and process as an actor,” she said. “The element of the pool also adds to the learning experience as we have to be even more big and bold in the pool while using twice as much energy!” 

Katherine Reilly, also a senior musical theatre major, said It feels amazing to be back performing. 

“After a long break, I’m starting to feel artistically fulfilled again, and I couldn’t be happier. I am most excited to get live feedback from an audience. Doing Zoom theater is never as satisfying as live theater because there isn’t any response from an audience. When I can make others laugh, I feel on top of the world! Being able to do that again is very exciting,” Reilly declared. 

Williams is beyond thrilled to be able to provide the opportunity of live performance to his students again. 

“Now we are finally able to do what we’ve dedicated our whole lives to. As a professor, it gives me the opportunity to make sure these kids are served and I am delighted. It's breathtaking to be back doing it all again,” he said.

The play’s director explained that the performance truly has something for everyone. Christopher Milano, a senior musical theatre major, agreed. 

“You should come see ‘The Frogs’ if you enjoy laughing or seeing actors jump in and out of a pool. The entire production is so lighthearted and packed with crazy characters that you’ll love,” Milano said. “On top of all that, there are some great takeaways and lessons to be learned. Hopefully everyone will leave with a smile on their face and the want to get out there and make a difference in the world,” he added. 

“The Frogs” opens Saturday, Oct. 23 with two performances, at 1:30 and 7 p.m. A third performance is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets will be available on Eventbrite beginning Friday, Oct. 8. 

Visit the Department of Theatre Arts for more information. 

The following is a list of more events happening throughout the month.

LOWE ART MUSEUM

Tuesdays at 1 p.m.—Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26

Mindfulness with the Lowe

The Lowe’s Art of Mindfulness remote sessions take place on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Each session will last approximately 40 minutes (a 30-minute guided practice with a 10-minute reflection and Q & A).

Registration is required to participate in these free virtual sessions. Visit the Lowe for more information.

Friday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m.–noon.

Coffee, Tea, What Do You See? 

Grab your favorite morning beverage and join the Lowe for a virtual interactive discussion about art from the museum's collection. Led by the members of the Lowe staff, participants will be asked open-ended questions about works of art to stimulate a group discussion.

Register here.

Thursday, Oct. 28, 5:30–6:30 p.m.

Gari Melchers: American Master 

Join the Lowe for a virtual talk with Joanna Catron. As an American painter, Gari Melchers (1860-1932) was one of the greatest commercial and critical successes of his day, and yet his reputation has failed to endure. In recounting Melchers’ story, Catron uncovers the contradictions and complexities of his art, helping to explain why he was so undervalued in the half century after his death and providing a true assessment of his important place in American painting.

Register here.

FROST SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m. 

Maurice Gusman Concert Hall 

All Without Words—Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra 

Scott Flavin, conductor; John Daversa, trumpet

Experience the gripping music of composer Justin Morell, featured on John Daversa’s latest recording, “All Without Words: Variations Inspired by Loren.” Inspired by his nonverbal autistic son, Morell builds a series of emotional variations—sometimes painful, sometimes joyful—but always full of hope. “For beauty and heart, this music is above and beyond anything else today,” said All About Jazz, the music website. 

Buy tickets here. 

Sunday, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. 

Maurice Gusman Concert Hall 

Percussion Collective 

The Hartford Courant wrote that the Percussion Collective, “worked together so seamlessly that they almost seemed to share a kind of psychic connection. Seeing them perform was a pure joy.” Legendary performer and pedagogue Robert van Sice assembled a stunning collection of some of the world’s most esteemed and dynamic young voices in the percussion world. They display precise execution, sonic refinement, and dynamic onstage communication performing works by Garth Neustadter, Ezequiel Viñao, and Astor Piazzolla. 

Buy tickets here.

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. 

Maurice Gusman Concert Hall 

A special evening of jazz with GRAMMY®-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and the Frost Jazz Vocal Ensemble celebrating Antonio Carlos Jobim, with Kate Reid, director; Cécile McLorin Salvant, guest vocalist; and Sullivan Fortner, guest pianist. 

Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and Miami native Cécile McLorin Salvant, named the “finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade” by The New York Times, highlights this special evening with guest pianist Sullivan Fortner, who partnered with Salvant on the duo release “The Window.” The Frost Jazz Vocal Ensemble opens the concert celebrating the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of the great exponents of Brazilian music and the father of the bossa nova with classics like “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Desafinado.”  

Buy tickets here. 

WYNWOOD GALLERY

Oct. 6 through Nov. 5

2021 Faculty Exhibition

Reception: Saturday, Oct. 9, 6–9 p.m.

University of Miami Gallery Wynwood Building

2750 NW Third Ave., Suite 4

Miami, FL 33127 

For more information and online offerings, please visit www.as.miami.edu/art or contact Milly Cardoso, gallery director, at m.cardoso1@miami.edu

CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES

Oct. 7, 7 p.m.

Online Henry King Stanford Distinguished Professors—“An Evening with Valeria Luiselli”

Valeria Luiselli is an acclaimed and politically engaged writer whose most recent novel, “Lost Children Archive,” grapples with child migration as an important topic. In her lecture at the University of Miami, Luiselli will reflect on her writing and its ongoing relationship to current events.

​​Register here.

Oct. 13, 8 p.m.

Online book talk with Robyn Walsh, associate professor, religious studies—"The Origins of Early Christian Literature: Contextualizing the New Testament within Greco-Roman Literary Culture."

Attend Walsh's talk on her groundbreaking study that bridges the artificial divide between research on the synoptic gospels and ancient literature.

Conventional approaches to the synoptic gospels argue that the gospel authors acted as literate spokespersons for their religious communities. Whether described as documenting intragroup oral traditions or preserving the collective perspectives of their fellow Christ-followers, these writers are treated as something akin to the romantic poets speaking for their Volk—a questionable framework inherited from nineteenth-century German Romanticism. In this book, Walsh argues that the synoptic gospels were written by elite cultural producers working within a dynamic cadre of literate specialists, including persons who may or may not have been professed Christians.

Register here.

Oct. 27, 8 p.m.

Online book talk with Allison Schifani, assistant professor, modern languages—“Urban Ecology and Intervention in the 21st Century Americas: Verticality, Catastrophe, and the Mediated City.”

This book takes a hemispheric approach to contemporary urban intervention, examining urban ecologies, communication technologies, and cultural practices in the 21st century. Schifani argues that governmental and social regimes of control and forms of political resistance converge in speculation on disaster and that this convergence has formed a vision of urban environments in the Americas, in which forms of play and imaginations of catastrophe intersect in the vertical field.

Register here.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Wednesdays, 4–5 p.m.—Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27

Mindfulness at Richter

The University of Miami Libraries offers introductory mindfulness sessions for cultivating calm and focus. These 45-minute sessions introduce the fundamentals of mindfulness with periods of guided practice and opportunities for reflection and questions.

Register here.

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

In/Tangible Pedagogies: Building an Interdisciplinary and Holistic Curriculum on Archival Studies – Archival Survival: Love and Brilliance in Black Queer Archival Intervention.

Register here.

Oct. 6, 1 p.m.

Goizueta Fellows Forum 
A presentation of the 2021–2022 cohort of Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellows as they highlight and discuss their research using materials and resources from the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Register here.

Oct. 7, 1 p.m.

Library Ingigenous Studies Group Speaker Series 
– Understanding Relationality: Centering Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Academic Librarianship

Register here.

Oct. 14, 1 p.m.

Deep Dives with Special Collections 
 – Letter, Art, Symbol: Typography and the Design of Language in Special Collections 

Register here

Oct. 27-29

New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

Register here.