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The Staller Center for the Arts flooded on Saturday, March 4, in the early afternoon, causing power outages on the north side of Stony Brook University’s campus that same evening and class and event cancellations, according to university officials. University Police and Campus Operations responded to an alarm at 3:45 pm that was caused by a malfunctioning elevator in the Fine Arts portion of the building, according to university officials. “They discovered that about 14 inches of water had accumulated after a chilled water line fitting let go, flooding the Fine Arts mechanical room,” they said, affecting the electrical panels. The flooding’s most noticeable effect to the campus community was “a strategic 30 minute power outage” that affected 11 buildings: Pritchard, the Sports Complex, the Recreation Center, the Student Union, Student Health Services, the Wang Center, all of H Quad, all of Mendelsohn Quad and the LaValle Stadium.  This initiative was…

It was a night of comedy with Daily Show alums John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac in the Staller Center on March 11, 2013. Although the Stony Brook USG hosted show had to be rescheduled from its original date of February 11 on account of a blizzard, the theater was still full of excited students. Indeed, Cenac, a comedian from Dallas who wrote and performed on The Daily Show from 2008 until 2012, and Oliver, a British immigrant who has been writing and performing for The Daily Show since 2006, were highly anticipated by the enthusiastic crowd. “I can’t wait for this,” said freshman Jannelle Patrick. While Patrick occasionally attends other USG events, she stressed that this was one she “couldn’t miss.” Similarly, freshman Nikolai Hersfeldt said that it wasn’t typical for him to attend these sort of events, but he added that he was glad that “Oliver [would] come and…

Stony Brook University’s art department is once again occupying the gallery at the Staller Center for the Arts, this time for the 2012 Senior Art Show. Those venturing into the exhibition will find the gallery space packed full of prints, paintings, sculptures and other works as part of the annual exhibition of works by Stony Brook University’s senior art students, their final showing before commencement. While there is no overarching theme at the Senior Art Show as there is at other exhibitions, what patrons get instead is a wide breadth of works from senior artists. One of the works in the gallery that garnered the most attention from the crowd was a mixed media installation by Annemarie Levin entitled “Negative Space.” The installation featured a series of three human-sized dresses made from film negatives and various pieces of film equipment. “It’s a really nice show with some great pieces,” said…

The audience buzzes with anticipation as the curtains on stage draw back, revealing a man dressed in white sitting at a desk. The man soon embarks on a world journey, walking across the stage with a map projected behind him. He is on his way to rescue Konstanze, the love he lost one day at sea. While it may be one of the lesser-known operas to the public, The Abduction from the Seraglio still possesses many qualities typical to all operatic masterpieces—a strong and unbreakable love, a surprise ending, and of course, lots of singing. But the Stony Brook Opera’s production, full of humor and talent, is a must-see for all fans of music and theater. The opera, produced by Stony Brook Opera and the Stony Brook Baroque Ensemble, was performed by graduate students, according to Bryan Murray, who sang in the chorus. “The chorus had a couple of rehearsals, but…

Wednesday, March 28 marked the 11th annual Piano Project in which students and faculty of the piano studio tackle this three-concert marathon each year. Flashing fingers, pounds of sheet music, hours of intense focus—the event is a basically a one-day piano Olympics. This year paid homage to the piano works of modern French composer Olivier Messiaen. Quirky and deeply religious, Messiaen saw colors in sound and took inspiration from birdsong. The event served to showcase student talents alongside the seasoned skills of professors Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl of the music department. Each piano student and professor alike took on at least one of Messiaen’s vivid and powerful works. Through this cooperative scheme, the piano studio demonstrated its supportive community. Each of the three performances offered small glimpses into the collaborative experience of being a student in Stony Brook University’s music department. Kalish jump-started the event with a short introductory…

As a classical musician, I’ve learned to respect the sanctity of ceremony in music performance. One grows accustomed to the frenetic chaos of performers warming up, the whispered breaths of tuning notes, the pomp and circumstance of symphonic applause. Yet somehow, during the annual performance called Earfest on Thursday March 8, Stony Brook University’s Computer Music Studio completely upended these expectations. And I find my experience all the better for it. Empty of performers, the Staller Recital Hall stage was instead focused on three imposing figures: two speakers and a projector screen. “I think it is a challenge for this type of music because we like the human element,” explained Professor Daniel Weymouth, Earfest curator and co-director of the university’s Computer Music Studio. “It’s one of the reasons why I present these the way I do, with talking in between.” Indeed, Professor Weymouth’s speeches helped lock in the missing human…

Forget everything you think you know about Moulin Rouge. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet brought an entirely different story to the Staller Main Stage than that presented by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in the 2001 film. The Moulin Rouge was a popular Parisian cabaret in the late nineteenth century. It became famous as the place where the Can-can was invented. There are several stories about the club. In this version, the launderette Nathalie (Jo-Ann Sundermeier) catches the eye of the Moulin Rouge’s owner Zidler (Eric Nipp). He becomes insanely jealous when Nathalie falls in love with a painter named Matthew (Harrison James) who has recently arrived in Paris, and shenanigans ensue. Ballet is an extremely emotional art form. Essentially, a ballet performance should be an emotionally moving play without words. It is particularly suited to tragedy, and Moulin Rouge is certainly that. RWB also managed to make much of the…

On February 28, a group of students and faculty put on “Starry Nights at Staller Center,” a concert featuring renowned musicians, including Metallica’s Kevin Cobb and the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera’s Pedro Diaz. Named for its generally well-known participants, the event is held once a semester on the Staller Center Recital Hall stage. The series allows both students and faculty to “play to both highlight their abilities, and to show the collaborative spirit which is the core philosophy of the department,” said Michael Hershkowitz, director of Concerts at Stony Brook. Music professor Colin Carr, is the artistic director for the production and even participates in the performances as a cellist. The students, So Young Bae, Alexandria Le, and Susanna Mendlow, as well as the faculty do not attend otherwise typical multiple rehearsal sessions for this type of event. “Because of the difficulty of trying to schedule rehearsals around the…

While watching the free Stand Up 8 show for SBU students on February 13, I realized that I have a new direction in life: I want to be an aerialist. Ok, that’s a dream that I won’t actually pursue, but for the two hours or so that I sat in the Staller Center watching the former figure skater Kimberly Craig fly through the air swinging from a hoop and Stand Up 8 co-founder Zay Weaver twirl several yards up on a silk rope, I constantly thought, I want to do that. Before the show even began, the performers stood on stage with no curtain hiding them, to warm up and talk to the audience. Weaver promised a free gift to the first person who could pull up a picture of a “seawolf” on their phone, so she could see what it was. Sam Brown, a clown, meandered through the rows…