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8/17/2017 3:51:15 PM

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to another exciting spring season at EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall. We hope that you will enjoy our upcoming performances here with family and friends, that you are amazed by the talent on stage and that each performance connects with you in a meaningful way. We have planned a variety of exciting programs this season. We hope you will save the date for such performances as Branford Marsalis, Jersey Boys, UA Jazzfest, Celtic Nights, University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band, and so many others.

2017-2018 Season

Dear Patron,

As you entered the hall, we hope you noticed the improvements we have made. Regal wood panels have been installed on both sides of the lobby atrium walls, areas have received a fresh coat of paint, and new energy-saving LED lights have been installed. We are committed to preserving the integrity of the Hall for generations to enjoy.

As our season continues, stay connected with Thomas Hall by visiting our website at and signing up to receive our weekly e-news, and by liking our Facebook page ( for contests, pre-sale offers and more. Thank you for supporting EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall at The University of Akron.

Margo E. Ohlson Director of Theatre Operations


Nathan J. Mortimer, CPA Vice President for Finance & Administration/CFO


Thanks to the generosity of The Flying Balcony Club, a new red house curtain was purchased for the Thomas Hall stage. The curtain is colossal in size, with two panels that are each 38 feet high by 32 feet wide. To thank the members, a light shines on the stage curtain to highlight the Flying Balcony logo before each performance. 3

2017-2018 Season





Phone Numbers you should know: Ticket Office..........................330-253-2488 Information Counter..........330-972-6828 General Information...........330-972-7595 Website........................

Ticket Office

Guest Services

Advance tickets are available at the EJ Thomas Hall Ticket Office Monday through Friday 10 am-4 pm. On days of shows the Box Office is open two hours prior to show times.

Assistive Listening System The Williams Personal Assisted Sound System is available at the McCormick Information Counter for all performances. This is a special receiver with headphones or loop to enable a listener to hear the spoken word more clearly.

Tickets may also be purchased online at, by calling Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at 1-800-745-3000, or at Ticketmaster outlets. There is a per ticket service charge and handling fee for all Ticketmaster purchases. Discounts are not available. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter the Hall. Refunds – Please check your tickets carefully, as all sales are final. Exchanges are not permitted. Refunds are given if an event is canceled and are refunded to the original purchaser at the point of purchase. Beware of Ticket Scalpers EJ Thomas Hall is not responsible for tickets purchased through unauthorized third parties. Tickets to EJ Thomas Hall events may not be resold at a premium. Tickets ordered within nine (9) days of the performance will be held at Will Call. A photo ID is required to pick up Will Call tickets. Gift Certificates are available and are valid for up to one year from the date of purchase. Cancellations, postponed events, or inclement weather – On rare occasions severe weather may cause EJ Thomas Hall to cancel or postpone an event. Event cancellation information is available by calling The University of Akron emergency information number at 330-972-SNOW (7669.) You may also visit our website, Facebook page, or Twitter for the most upto-date information.

Accessible Seating EJ Thomas Hall has seating for patrons in wheelchairs and special needs at Entry 10 in the Orchestra and Entry 14 on the Grand Tier level. Patrons needing assistance to their seat may stop at the Information Counter in McCormick Lobby. An usher will assist you with wheelchair transportation to your seating area. Requests should be made when ordering tickets by calling the Ticket Office at 330-253-2488. Handicap Parking There are a limited number of handicap parking spaces available in the EJ Thomas Hall parking deck. Additional spaces are located in Lots 26 and 27, directly across from the Hill Street entrance. Show a valid H/C permit and traffic police will direct you to the nearest spot. There is a $5 charge for all parking. Accessible Restrooms Accessible restrooms are located at the bottom of both ramps on either side of the building. Family Events Some events at EJ Thomas Hall are specifically designed for children and families and we encourage you to enjoy these events. For performances not suitable for young children, parents are asked to use discretion. continued on page 6

your performance your performance will stick with us your performance will stick forever . with us will stick forever . with us forever. PNC is proud to be a part of E.J. Thomas Hall’s 2017/2018 Performance Season. Because we believe

your performance will stick with us forever.

in andis support the arts can PNC proudeverything to be a part of E.J. accomplish.

Thomas Hall’s 2017/2018 Because we believe Performance Season. PNC is proud to be a part of E.J.

in and support everything the arts can Thomas Hall’s 2017/2018 accomplish. Performance Season. Because we believe in and support everything the arts can accomplish.

©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC

©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC

©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC

PNC is proud to be a part of E.J. Thomas Hall’s 2017/2018 Performance Season. Because we believe in and support everything the arts can THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON EJ THOMAS HALL 2017-2018 Season 6

Seating Latecomers Please note the curtain time printed on your tickets as performances begin promptly. Latecomers will be seated at a suitable pause in the program. This includes patrons who leave the auditorium before or during a selection. Intermission Intermissions are 20 minutes in length. Lobby lights will flash as your signal to return to your seat for the start of the performance. ATM PNC Bank has an ATM located in the Ticket Office Lobby for your convenience. Food and beverage service is cash only. Subscriber Lounge As a season subscriber to the Broadway in Akron performances, you not only “lock in” your seats from season-toseason, but you also enjoy live music, snacks and a private bar in Goodrich Lobby before the performance and during intermission. Season subscribers also receive complimentary parking for the performances, get priority offers to special events and have a personal Ticket Office contact for ticket exchange and replacement services. For a Wonderful Evening … Live performance is truly magical; art created from the energy flowing between people on both sides of the curtain. When you attend a show, you are part of the experience. There is no rewind or instant replay at a live event. In general: n Leave home early enough to find parking and locate your seats before the performance begins. Remember to allow time for poor weather conditions, heavy traffic, road construction and parking congestion, especially on school nights. n Safety First – Listen to the pre-show announcements and note the emergency exit routes. n Read the program notes. n When in doubt, ask the ushers. They are here to help. Following these general rules of the theater will ensure that everyone can enjoy the show.

Theater Policies n Cameras or any other recording devices are not permitted – this includes cell phones. Please silence all electronic devices as a courtesy to both other audience members and the performers. n Patrons on emergency call status should leave their name and seat location at the Information Desk so that we may reach you during a pause in the performance. n Smoke Free/Tobacco Free – EJ Thomas Hall is a smoke and tobacco free building. This includes e-cigarettes. n Unless instructed to do so by the performers, do not talk, hum, sing along or beat time. n Aisles must be kept free of any obstructions for safety. n For your enjoyment, food and beverages purchased at EJ Thomas Hall are permitted inside the theatre for select shows. n In the event of an emergency, ushers and other members of the staff will advise audience members as to the appropriate procedures to exit the theater as quickly and safely as possible. Patrons needing special assistance should contact the ushers.

Interested in renting EJ Thomas Hall for that special occasion or performance? Please call 330-972-7595 or email

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Click in. Walk in. Call in. THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON EJ THOMAS HALL 2017-2018 Season

Edwin J. “Eddie” Thomas, 1899-1986 Born in 1899, the son of an East Akron postman, “Eddie” Thomas started with The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1926 as a stenographer and worked his way up to President at age 41 (1940), Chief Executive Officer (1956) and Chairman of the Board (1958). Upon his retirement in 1964, at a time where most people would have put their feet up and relaxed, Thomas, who had been a Director of The University of Akron since 1952, turned his energies toward the future of Akron itself. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Area Progress Board he helped raise large sums of money to pump life into “the old hometown.” Projects focused on downtown redevelopment became a reality and his dedication to the United Fund and other local charities helped untold numbers of Akron residents. Even today, The E. J. Thomas Foundation continues to support many local charities and benefits the community. So persuasive were his powers and his personality that in 1967 Goodyear made a pacesetting gift of $1.25 million, the largest ever given to the University at the time, to name the performing arts hall on its campus in his honor. At the July 30, 1968 groundbreaking, Mr. Thomas and Norman P. Auburn, President Emeritus, made the following remarks: “This building will provide an inspiration for all those who labored over the years to keep the light of culture burning in Akron. This structure reflects the inspiration of Norman P. Auburn and all of the trustees, the campaign workers and the donors who have worked so hard to get it.” —Edwin J. Thomas “The opening of the Edwin J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall is another evidence of the splendid town and gown relationship in Akron. This majestic structure will now serve as a cultural bridge, linking together a thriving community and a great University. All of us who worked over the years to bring this worthy project to fruition are grateful to the thousands of donors whose gifts turned a dream into a reality.” —Norman P. Auburn, president emeritus, The University of Akron (1973)


CineConcerts is one of the leading producers of live music experiences performed with visual media. Founded by producer/conductor Justin Freer and producer/writer Brady Beaubien, CineConcerts has engaged millions of people worldwide in concert presentations that redefine the evolution of live experience. Recent and current live concert experiences include Gladiator, The Godfather, It’s a Wonderful Life, DreamWorks Animation In Concert, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert Tour, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Justin Freer has quickly become one of the most sought-after conductors of film music with a long list of full symphonic live to projection projects. He has appeared with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. From full-length movie screenings with live orchestra to music-interactive sporting event experiences to original 3D-environment holiday programming, CineConcerts is at the forefront of live entertainment.

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Director of Production Jeffery Sells Head of Publicity and Communications Andrew Alderete Brand/Marketing Director, Ma’ayan Kaplan Brand/Marketing Manager, Brittany Fonseca Brand/Marketing Manager, Molly Kossoff Brand/Marketing Manager, Si Peng Office Manager, Gabe Cheng

2017-2018 Season

Justin Freer President/Founder/Producer Brady Beaubien Co-Founder/Producer

Worldwide Representation WME Entertainment

Merchandising by Firebrand A Very Special Thanks to: Warner Bros. Consumer Products, The Blair Partnership, Mark Graham, Amos Newman, Jamie Richardson, Alex Rabens, and John Williams. About Warner Bros. Consumer Products Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” Directed by Chris Columbus Produced by David Heyman Written by Steve Kloves Based on “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters

Music by John Williams Cinematography by Roger Pratt Edited by Peter Honess Produced by Heyday Films, 1492 Pictures Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures


HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING`S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)


Music Preparation JoAnn Kane Music Service Music Editing Ramiro Belgardt and Ed Kalnins Playback Operation and Synthesizer Production, iMusicImage Sound Remixing Justin Moshkevich, Igloo Music Studios


Brady Beaubien A Stanford graduate and AllAmerican Athlete, Beaubien studied cognitive neuroscience before founding Interlace Media – an award winning motion graphics company. Interlace is a premiere CG animation and creative agency for feature films. They have defined the global campaigns of over 100 major Hollywood movies, including Avatar, X-Men, Rio, Ice Age, and Die Hard franchises. Beaubien co-founded CineConcerts, a company dedicating to reinventing the experience of theatrical presentation and orchestral music. He is currently producing Gladiator Live, The Godfather Live, Dreamworks Animation in Concert, It’s a Wonderful Life, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, and The Harry Potter Film Concert Series. He had spearheaded Cineconcerts invention of new genres and its creative presentations of cherished film and television content, including writing Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, a project that celebrates 50 years of iconic material. He works to ensure Cineconcerts inspires a return to communal entertainment and continues to offer modern audiences and the worlds youth a chance to re-connect with concert halls and local orchestras.

2017-2018 Season


As a designer Beaubien co-designed Matsuhisa Paris at the Le Royal Monceau-Raffles and designed the The

Citrus building on Melrose Ave. This new architectural addition to the Hollywood cityscape represents a commitment to the metropolitan and interconnected providence of Los Angeles. At The Citrus, advanced materials and technology merge with wood, concrete and glass in an organic and modernist design. Mr. Beaubien has partnered with award winning sushi chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, to bring his new restaurant concept—Umeda—into the building. Mr. Beaubien also designed the restaurant. John Williams In a career spanning more than five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage, and he remains one of our nation’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices. He has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films, including all eight Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone and The Book Thief. His 45-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films,

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Composer/conductor JOHN JESENSKY began his collaborative career with CineConcerts as the music copyist for The Godfather. Since then, he has worked alongside the CineConcerts creative team to forward the company’s dedication to the


In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named nineteenth music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra,

succeeding the legendary Arthur Fiedler. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor which he assumed following his retirement in December, 1993, after fourteen highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood. Mr. Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos commissioned by several of the world’s leading orchestras, including a cello concerto for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a bassoon concerto for the New York Philharmonic, a trumpet concerto for The Cleveland Orchestra, and a horn concerto for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, Mr. Williams composed and arranged “Air and Simple Gifts” especially for the first inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama, and in September 2009, the Boston Symphony premiered a new concerto for harp and orchestra entitled “On Willows and Birches”.

2017-2018 Season

Munich, Saving Private Ryan, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse and Lincoln. His contributions to television music include scores for more than 200 television films for the groundbreaking, early anthology series Alcoa Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Chrysler Theatre and Playhouse 90, as well as themes for NBC Nightly News (“The Mission”), NBC’s Meet the Press, and the PBS arts showcase Great Performances. He also composed themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He has received five Academy Awards and fifty Oscar nominations, making him the Academy’s most-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars. He has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty-three Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order (the IOC’s highest honor) for his contributions to the Olympic movement. He received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in December of 2004. In 2009, Mr. Williams was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. Government. In 2016, he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute – the first time in their history that this honor was bestowed upon a composer.


preservation and concert presentation of film, TV and media music set to picture. John Jesensky earned his B.M. in Music Composition from the Hartt School of Music under the tutelage of composer Stephen Gryc, as well as leading wind ensemble conductor Glen Adsit. John was awarded his M.M. in Film Composition from New York University, where he studied with John Hughes’ longtime collaborator, composer/conductor Ira Newborn. During his tenure at NYU, Jesensky’s score to Michael Daugherty’s short, Season’s Greetings won the Skirball Film Scoring Competition. Upon graduation, he was presented the Elmer Bernstein Award for Film Composition. Several of his scores have made appearances and won awards at events such as the Cannes Film Festival, L.A. Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, D.C. Film Festival and Phoenix Film Festival. During his CineConcerts conducting tenure, he has directed some of the finest ensembles within North America and Europe in performance of Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, The Godfather: Live, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: In Concert. Jesensky remains an active and prolific composer in Los Angeles, writing music for short and feature-length films, while also composing/conducting classical works for chamber and orchestral ensembles.

Justin Freer American composer/conductor JUSTIN FREER was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. He has established himself as one of the West Coast’s most exciting musical voices and has quickly become a highly sought-after conductor and producer of film music concerts around the world. Freer began his formal studies on trumpet, but quickly turned to piano and composition, composing his first work at eleven and giving his professional conducting debut at sixteen. Continually composing for various different mediums, he has written music for world-renowned trumpeters Doc Severinson and Jens Lindemann and continues to be in demand as a composer and conductor for everything from orchestral literature to chamber music around the world. He has served as composer for several independent films and has written motion picture advertising music for some of 20th Century Fox Studios’ biggest campaigns including Avatar, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Aliens in the Attic. As a conductor Freer has appeared with some of the most well known orchestras in the world including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony. In upcoming seasons he will guest conduct the

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Renowned wind conductor and Oxford Round Table Scholar Dr. Rikard Hansen has noted that, “In totality, Freer’s exploration in musical sound evoke moments of highly charged drama, alarming strife and serene reflection.”

Mr. Freer earned both his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music Composition from UCLA, where his principal composition teachers included Paul Chihara and Ian Krouse. In addition, he was mentored by legendary composer/conductor Jerry Goldsmith.


Freer has been recognized with numerous grants and awards from organizations including ASCAP, BMI, the Society of Composers and Lyricists and the Henry Mancini Estate. He is the Founder and President of CineConcerts, a company dedicated to the preservation and concert presentation of film, curating and conducting full length music score performances live with film for such wide ranging titles as Gladiator, The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, It’s A Wonderful Life and most recently Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

2017-2018 Season

Minnesota Orchestra as well as the orchestras of Dublin, Paris, Philadelphia, Sydney, Toronto and others.


2017-2018 Season EJ THOMAS HALL

Sarah Chang

A Thank You…

Founded by brothers Jack and Jim Knight, newsmen who owned the Akron Beacon Journal, Knight Foundation fosters more informed and engaged communities. The foundation’s arts program works to make art general in Knight communities, so that a range of programming is seen and felt across the city. Knight invests in some of the city’s anchor arts institutions, helping them better engage the public, and in smaller initiatives through the Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for the arts. Over the past several years, the arts program has invested $11 million in the Akron arts, including funding for a new national choreography center at The University of Akron and support for grassroots efforts through the challenge.

Learn more about the foundation at

The University of Akron and EJ Thomas Hall would like to thank John Palfrey, chairman of the foundation’s board, and Alberto Ibargüen, president, for their continued support of EJ Thomas Hall. The University also wishes to recognize the leadership of Hodding Carter, III, former president, CEO and trustee and his predecessors Creed Black, C. Colmery Gibson and Ben Maidenburg. Special recognition is also extended to Dr. W. Gerald Austen, University of Akron Honorary alumnus, as former chairman and trustee of Knight Foundation’s Board of Trustees.


Special appreciation is extended to the John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation for the generous support of EJ Thomas Hall. Knight Foundation has funded EJ Thomas Hall to enhance programming, established the John S. Knight Lectureship at The University of Akron and continues to fund contemporary performers at EJ Thomas Hall.


2018 EJ THOMAS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS JANUARY 2018 FRI 1/12 McCartney Project 8 pm SAT 1/20 ASO: Brahms Second Symphony 8 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25 TUE 1/23 Tuesday Musical: Chamber Music Society 7:30 pm Reserved $45, $40, $25 FEBRUARY 2018 SAT 2/3 Vagina Monologues 8 pm $10 FRI 2/9 ASO: Petrushka w/NEOS Dance Theatre 8 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25 SAT 2/24 ASO: Gospel Meets Symphony 7:30 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25 MARCH 2018 SAT 3/3 Groundworks 8 pm THU 3/8 Tuesday Musical: Andreas Haefliger 7:30 pm Reserved $45, $40, $25 SUN 3/11 ASO: Youth Philharmonic 3 pm WED 3/14 University of Akron School of Music Presents Jazzfest 18: Blue is More 7:30 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD

THU 3/15 University of Akron School of Music Presents Jazzfest 18: Blue is More 7:30 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD FRI 3/16 University of Akron School of Music Presents Jazzfest 18: Blue is More 7:30 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD SAT 3/17 Tuesday Musical: Tribute to Sarah Vaughan 7:30 pm Reserved $45, $40, $25 SUN 3/18 Celtic Nights 7 pm Reserved $45, $40, $25 FRI 3/23 ASO: Planet Earth 8 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25 WED 3/28 Tuesday Musical: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 7:30 pm $45, $40, $25 APRIL 2018 SAT 4/7 University of Akron School of Music Presents U of A Steel Drum Band 8 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD

2017-2018 Season SUN 4/29 University of Akron School of Music Presents Big Band Dance 3 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD MAY 2018 TUE 5/1 Jersey Boys Broadway in Akron 7:30 pm Reserved $77.50, $62.50, $40, $20 WED 5/2 Jersey Boys Broadway in Akron 7:30 pm Reserved Prices $77.50, $62.50, $40, $20 SAT 5/5 ASO: Verdi’s Requiem 8 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25


SUN 4/8 University of Akron School of Music Presents Monster Pianos 2 3 pm GA $12, non UA students $6, UA students free with ZIP CARD TUE 4/10 A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Broadway in Akron 7:30 pm Reserved $77.50, $62.50, $40, $20 WED 4/11 A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Broadway in Akron 7:30 pm Reserved $77.50, $62.50, $40, $20 SAT 4/14 ASO: Jazz Meets Symphony 7:30 pm Reserved $60, $47, $37, $25 WED 4/18 Tuesday Musical: Brentano String Quartet 7:30pm Reserved $45, $40, $25 THU 4/19 Maks, Val & Peta: Live on Tour: Confidential Reserved $73, $55, $37 SAT 4/21 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 1 pm & 7 pm Reserved $80, $75, $65, $55, $45 MON 4/23 Branford Marsalis 7:30 pm FRI 4/27 Verb Ballets 8 pm


I build by taking apart.

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I make today count.

Contact us to schedule a personal tour today. | | 330.666.1118

Old Trail School Ad - EJ Thomas Hall - October 2018.indd 1

8/30/2017 1:13:12 PM

Big, world-changing moments. Every day, at Old Trail School.



Margo Ohlson Director of Theatre Operations

Melissa Paul Patron Services Manager

Lenny Pizzute Technical Services Associate

Patricia Donovan Theatre Manager

Thomas Stewart Technical Services Associate

Vice President for Finance & Administration CFO

Dominic Cardarelli Senior Accounts Coordinator Volunteer at EJ Thomas Hall – Make Friends, Make Memories, Make a Difference Would you like to join our volunteer usher program? Our volunteer ushers greet patrons at the door or assist them to their seat while helping to enhance the theatre experience. Ushers generously give their time and talents to support and inspire performing arts at EJ Thomas Hall. Duties include reading tickets, scanning tickets and directing patrons to their seats. As a team member you see a variety of programs while assisting the public. If you love to share your passion for the arts, we would love to have you on our team! For more information on our volunteer usher program call 330-972-7595 or

2017-2018 Season


“Volunteer ushering at EJ Thomas Hall rewards me with one interesting experience after another!”—Carol, volunteer usher.


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Located on the top floor of the Hall, the Flying Balcony Club is a members-only area that features a full-service bar and hors d’oeuvres on selected evenings. New memberships begin at just $250 and include such perks as: n Reserved or complimentary parking n Food and beverage vouchers n Access to special club members services n Program recognition—and much more!

Last year, Flying Balcony Club memberships generously funded a new ACT curtain—the brightly lit red curtain that patrons see before every performance. The previous curtain was nearly two decades old, torn and faded, and had water damage. Thanks to memberships, patrons will be greeted by a new curtain that will be illuminated prior to every performance with the Flying Balcony Club logo—a special reminder of the group’s generosity.

RAVE ($500+) Marcia Adair & Dick Edwards Family of David J. Brock, Capt. INF USAR Patricia Brown Linda & Kevin Christensen Virginia Wojno-Forney Jay Hershey James Hindel Dianne Kauffman Karen & Nathan Mortimer Arlene Nettling Barbara & James Noonan Molly Plaskett Roger Read Marianne Uhl Diane & Thomas Vukovich Sue & Charles Walker APPLAUSE ($250+) Barbara Banks & Phyllis Fitzgerald Faith & Thane Cook DuWayne & Dorothy Hansen Virginia & Michael Hoffman Carolyn & John Kline Thomas Luck Sharon & Marc Merklin Dr. Alan Meshekow Judit Puskas & Gabor Kaszas Connie & Thomas Repko Paula & James Trenta Shirley & Tom Waltermire Linda & Carl Young

If you would like to become a member of the Flying Balcony Club contact Melissa Paul, Flying Balcony Membership Services at 330-972-6316 or

STANDING OVATION ($750+) Mark & Sandra Auburn Thomas Dudek Wes & Linda Van Fossen


Membership in the Flying Balcony Club also does something else: It provides EJ Thomas Hall with a vital source of funding. Membership proceeds are used to make improvements at the Hall that otherwise would not be possible.

BRAVO! ($1,500+) Kevin & Laura Crucs Miklos & Lorita Gaspar Julia Myers Randy & Mary Jo Worthington


EJ Thomas Hall is a treasure – for arts, for culture, for The University of Akron, and for the region!

2017-2018 Season



Have you ever wondered why the ACT Curtain and seats of most theatres are red? The tradition of using red for the ACT Curtain and seat covers of a theatre began in the nineteenth century. It could be that red is the color of opulence and grandeur, since, at one time, its use was restricted only to royalty. However, a more likely explanation is that red is the first color lost to our sight in low light conditions. This makes it easier for our eyes to adjust to the darkness of the theatre. Why is the room where the actors wait called the Green Room? The direct answer is that no one knows for sure because it is such a long standing tradition the origin of the phrase has been forgotten. Some explanations are: n Green is the easiest color on your eyes. n Green is a calming color and puts the actors at ease before going onstage. n The room was painted green to relieve the eyes from the glare of the stage.

2017-2018 Season



Some Trivia and History


n In Shakespeare’s time, the room where the actors waited to go onstage was filled with greenery because it was believed the moisture in the plants helped the actor’s voices. n Many actors are nervous before a performance and may be nauseous and look “green.” n In Shakespeare’s time, the stage area was known as the “Green” because it was usually a grassy area. The Green Room was the room closest to the stage or green. And the most likely explanation… n Before modern makeup was invented, the actor’s makeup was actually cured or it would crack. Before the makeup was cured it was said to be “green” or uncured and the actors were sent to the Green Room to sit quietly while their makeup dried. Many actors use the phrase “break a leg” before a performance, a way of wishing their fellow actors good luck before the show. But where did this phrase come from? Theatre has many superstitions, one

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EJ Thomas Hall occupies three acres on The University of Akron campus and was built at a cost of $13.9 million. Ground breaking was July 30, 1969. The cornerstone was laid on July 21, 1971, with the official grand opening October 9 and 10, 1973. “Initium,” by Carlos Chavez, was commissioned by the Akron Symphony Orchestra for the opening of the EJ Thomas Hall by the members of Witan in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Louis Lane, musical director and conductor of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, directed its performance in world premiere on October 9, 1973. The original score is on display in the Goodrich Lobby.

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The sound-reflecting ceiling is the most unique feature of the building, with EJ Thomas Hall being one of the few halls in the world whose movable ceiling still functions. The 44 ton ceiling is composed of 3,800 interlocking steel panels, suspended in curved sections from a network of counterweighted cables attached to the Louis A. Witzman Counterweights in Goodrich Lobby with a combined weight of 47 tons. When the weights are all the way down, the ceiling is all the way up.

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Just as on sailing ships, it is bad luck for an actor to whistle on or off stage. Original stage crews were hired off ships in port, theatrical rigging having its origin in sailing rigging. Sailors used coded whistles to communicate. When the sailors became theatre riggers they used the same coded whistles to communicate scene changes. Actors who whistled could confuse them and cause mistakes in scene changes that could be dangerous to actors and crew alike.

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2017-2018 Season

of which is wishing someone good luck will actually backfire and give the actor bad luck in his performance. So by saying “break a leg” you can wish someone well without jinxing them. But back in the days of vaudeville, not every performer went on stage in front of the audience every night. The side curtains on a theatre stage are known as “legs.” When you go out in front of the audience, you enter from the side, and “breaking the leg” means you are now in front of the audience receiving pay. So wishing an actor “break a leg” is wishing them a good paid performance.


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EJ Thomas Hall 2018 Season  

April 21 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert

EJ Thomas Hall 2018 Season  

April 21 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert