Ordway Blog: Stay connected here with what is happening at Ordway and take a look at what is going on behind the scenes.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012 2:43 PM by Luke Anderson
Below is a guest blog post from Joan Holman, member of the Ordway Circle of Stars Board of Directors
The Ordway Circle of Stars annual gala is coming up fast, and this year there are two ways you can participate.
Puttin’ on the Glitz is the theme for this year’s traditional gala, to be held at the Ordway on Sat., Dec. 1. The event will start at 5 p.m. with a gourmet reception that takes guests back in time to the glamour of the 1920s with Prohibition-themed entertainment, cocktails and cuisine – culminating in dancing on stage at 9 p.m. to The Wolverines Big Band. There will be special guest performances throughout the evening featuring music from a bygone era, as well as a silent auction, live auction and prize drawings. More info at www.ordway.org/gala.
This year, there will be another fun, new option for attending the Gala for people who would like to start their evenings a bit later. For the Black Tie Blitz, guests will dress to the nines and arrive fashionably late for the already in progress Puttin’ on the Glitz gala. This group will join gala guests for the dance on stage with The Wolverines Big Band and other featured performers. Both black tie or 1920’s attire is admired but not required. For more info on this event, visit www.ordway.org/blitz.
Both events benefit the Ordway and its education programs, and will give guests a chance to dance onstage at the Ordway.
And we have some really exciting activities planned for the dance portion of the evening as well: a wine ring toss, dance lessons from Arthur Murray, some instant photo printing sponsored by Comcast and provided by Photo.bo (bring your smart phones!), and complimentary beer, wine and dessert buffet while you dance the night away onstage at the Ordway!
I hope to see you all there!
OCOS Board of Directors
Wed, Mar 14, 2012 3:30 PM by Luke Anderson
Memphis opened to a very energetic and enthusiastic crowd last night! Reviews are in for the show.
WCCO Online, "’Memphis’ is a Must-See," By Sara Boyd
Minnesota Monthly, "The Most Happening Nightclub in St. Paul Is in Memphis," By Ellen Burkhardt
Star Tribune, "'Memphis' plays familiar tune," By Graydon Royce
Pioneer Press, "'Memphis,' at St. Paul's Ordway Center, lacks soul," By Dominic P. Papatola
TCJewfolk.com, "'Memphis' at the Ordway Touches Deep and Rocks the House," By Leora Itman
Howwastheshow.com, "Memphis at the Ordway," By John Olive
Memphis will be at the Ordway through March 25. For ticket information, click here.
Watch interviews with the Memphis cast!
Fri, Feb 17, 2012 10:39 AM by Luke Anderson
Established in 2006, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts’ Education Awards were created to honor the contributions of individuals and institutions that have furthered the mission of Education and Community Engagement Programs at the Ordway.
Individuals and organizations from any artistic, educational, or cultural field are eligible, including individual artists, professional administrators and teachers, volunteers, philanthropists, and partnerships or leadership teams.
The submission deadline for the 2012 Education awards is March 9, 2012. Winners will be announced at the Annual Liaison Event Friday, May 11, 2012.
One person or organization is awarded in each of the four following areas.
Philanthropy: For outstanding financial or in-kind contributions to the betterment of Education and Community Engagement programs at the Ordway.
Vision: For the creation of new programs or innovation and enhancement to existing Education or Community Engagement programs at the Ordway.
Community Commitment: For dedication, over a period of time, to the support and/or advancement of Community Engagement programs at the Ordway.
Education Service: This award is presented to a person(s) or organization whose leadership and participation has led to inventive learning for students in or through Ordway's programs.
A nominee who doesn’t fit easily into any of the above categories may be nominated. Please include a statement as to why they should be considered for an award.
If you would like more information on the awards or how to nominate someone please visit the Ordway website.
Wed, Feb 15, 2012 1:22 PM by Luke Anderson
On Saturday, February 11, Ordway staff, Perpich Center staff, teaching artists and coaches, presented on the Dance to Learn program to 35 dance educators at the Perpich Center’s annual Dance Education Summit. Workshop attendees experienced select lessons from the program and learned about its structure and goals.
Last week, the in-school dance residency portion of the Dance to Learn program wrapped up at Sheridan Hills Elementary in Richfield and Fair Oaks Elementary in Brooklyn Park. For students at both of these schools, the dance instruction that they experience through Dance to Learn is the only dance instruction that they receive during the school day at any point in the year. In addition to the residency work, students attend professional dance performances at the Ordway throughout the school year.
For more information about Dance to Learn, please visit http://www.ordway.org/education/programs/dancetolearn/
Wed, Jan 11, 2012 4:24 PM by Marinda Bland
The Ordway collected ball gowns during the run of our production of Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella - and nearly 200 dresses were donated! On January 11, 2012, Operation Glass Slipper Director Pam Philipp, Cinderella star Jessica Fredrickson, and volunteers helped pack up the gowns, shoes, veils, and other accessories for transport to Operation Glass Slipper headquarters.
Fri, Dec 30, 2011 11:23 AM by Marinda Bland
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 was a special evening at the Ordway because Dave Blanchard proposed to Kaitlyn Krause...in Cinderella's castle! Dave called ahead to arrange for his proposal in the castle located in the downstairs lobby, which will shortly be moved to its new home at the Ronald McDonald House. Needless to say, Kaitlyn said yes, and she sent us this thank you note:
I just wanted to say thank you for all of the coordination and planning that went into making Dave's and my night magical. The show itself was fantastic and the venue gorgeous. Our night was incredible thanks to you. The set-up of the ring, camera, book, and champagne inside of the castle was perfect! I felt like a true princess inside the castle sitting on the bench next to the fireplace when Dave proposed. Our family and friends will be so excited to see the photos and I am very excited to put them into a photo album. This was my first time at the Ordway but I know we will be coming back for years to come! Thank you for your hospitality and making my night a dream come true.
Way to make your fiancee feel like a princess, Dave!
Fri, Dec 30, 2011 9:47 AM by Marinda Bland
Cinderella (Jessica Fredrickson) and Prince Christopher (Jeremiah James) visited Gillette Children's Hospital to perform for the children this December.
Mon, Dec 12, 2011 4:58 PM by Marinda Bland
During yesterday’s Ordway Circle of Stars gala, the 150-square-foot Cinderella’s castle playhouse, the largest auction item in the history of the annual event, went to the winning bid of a consortium that generously gifted the playhouse to the Ronald McDonald House (Oak Street location). The blue and pink castle will be the newest feature in its playroom, the best possible place for the castle’s new home.
“The Ronald McDonald House is the perfect place for Cinderella’s castle to end up, as it will be a gift that keeps on giving to children,” says Patricia A. Mitchell, Ordway president and CEO. “The consortium’s winning bid will go toward supporting the Ordway’s education programming by helping offer school children low-cost tickets and bus subsidies, and the gifting of the castle to the Ronald McDonald House will provide visiting families many hours of imaginative fun for years to come.”
Cinderella’s castle stands 16-feet tall and 11-feet wide. It boasts four towers complete with turrets, two stories, a play fireplace, and a royal balcony perfect for playing princess. Other features include a spiral staircase, a chandelier, a castle clock, a Dutch door on the main entrance and benches. The castle is built to withstand hundreds of stampeding kids for years and years – watch them put it together in this timelapse video.
Come see the castle in person before we disassemble it on January 3 and bring it over to the Ronald McDonald House playroom! It’ll be available for viewing during open ticket office hours and during performance of Cinderella!
Fri, Dec 9, 2011 10:57 AM by Danielle Schumann
Plans for Transformation of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Unveiled
New 1,100-seat Concert Hall to replace existing 306-seat McKnight Theatre
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, leadership from the Arts Partnership (the Ordway, Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The Schubert Club) unveiled the plans for a transformation of the Ordway – a new 1,100-seat Concert Hall to replace the existing 306-seat McKnight Theatre. Fundraising is ongoing and construction will begin in Spring, 2013. The concert hall is scheduled to be completed in early 2015.
At the event, Lowell Noteboom and Gus Blanchard, co-chairs of the Arts Partnership campaign, announced that, thanks to a $5 million anonymous gift, the campaign is now more than two-thirds of the way toward its $75 million goal. Corporate and foundation funders have committed $19.1 million to the campaign to date. Individual funders have committed $13.475 million. The City of Saint Paul has committed $3 million and the State of Minnesota has committed $16 million in bonding funds.
Allan Naplan, president and general director of Minnesota Opera; Patricia A. Mitchell, president and CEO of the Ordway; Sarah Lutman, president and managing director of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and Paul Olson, interim executive director of The Schubert Club, were joined at the event by leaders from across the community, including Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, as the renderings for the transformation of the Ordway were revealed.
Created by HGA Architects, the design is intended to be both seamless in its relationship to the original building and dramatically new in the experience it offers. According to Tim Carl, lead architect, “The Ordway’s building, as designed by Ben Thompson, is both an excellent venue for performance and one of the most beautiful buildings in the Cities in which to gather. The design of the expansion has tremendous respect for both of these characteristics. The new Concert Hall will have a physical and acoustical intimacy that will provide a visceral and direct connection between the audience and the artists on stage. Warm materials articulate and shape a beautiful hall with an acoustic environment that will envelop the listener with warmth and resonance. The Ordway’s existing lobby dynamically frames views of Rice Park and the city beyond. New lobby space wraps the Concert Hall and continues the rhythmic beauty of the existing lobby windows and extends those views to Fifth Street and the Cathedral of Saint Paul to the west.”
Concert Hall and Endowment Will Solve Long-Standing Challenges
The project will solve long-standing challenges for the Arts Partnership organizations, while benefitting the entire community. According to Mitchell, “Scheduling the use of the Ordway is complicated, and it historically has been a difficult task to balance the needs of its four main users. The problem of access can be considered a sign of success, as there is more quality programming for the community than there is time in the Ordway. The new Concert Hall is a permanent solution to the scheduling challenge – benefitting all of the Arts Partnership organizations, but most importantly, the broader community.”
The endowment is a critical component of the project, as it will ensure affordable access to the Ordway for the Arts Partnership organizations over the long term.
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will make its downtown Saint Paul home in the new Concert Hall, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s move will increase the number of open dates in the larger Music Theater, allowing the other Arts Partnership organizations to capitalize on availability in the space. Minnesota Opera will be able to extend its standard rehearsal and performance time in the Music Theater. The Schubert Club will be able to expand its offerings and have greater flexibility with dates. The Concert Hall will make new programming initiatives possible for the Ordway, while greater availability in the Music Theater will allow for enhancement and growth of the Ordway's world music, dance, theater and self-produced programming.
Above all, the community will benefit from increased offerings at the Ordway and in downtown Saint Paul. In addition to its use by Arts Partnership organizations, the new Concert Hall will be available for use by other performing artists and organizations. The addition of the Concert Hall will expand the number of available seats across the Ordway’s two halls, allowing for more visitors to the Ordway and to downtown Saint Paul. It is estimated that attendance at the Ordway will increase by more than 130,000 people annually, resulting in an additional $6.1 million of increased economic activity each year. An additional 30,000 children will be able to visit the Ordway through subsidized bussing and ticket programs each year. Finally, it is estimated that over 700 construction jobs will be created through this project.
The Arts Partnership: A Community Solution
In August 2005, at the behest of Bob Senkler, CEO of Securian, and Carleen Rhodes, president of the Saint Paul Foundation, the Ordway and its resident arts organizations, along with an unprecedented collection of corporate leaders, philanthropists, and community volunteers, formed a task force dedicated to addressing the long-standing financial and operational challenges faced by the Ordway and its resident arts organizations. The result was the formation of the Arts Partnership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, created to maximize the Ordway’s potential from a community value perspective while ensuring the sustainability of the resident arts organizations and the Ordway. Governed by a Board of Directors composed of the board chairs and CEOs of each organization, plus an additional Ordway representative, the goals of the Partnership are to establish and manage the calendar for the Arts Partners’ use of the Ordway, establish procedures for managing rent and operating costs associated with the Arts Partners’ use of the Ordway and complete necessary fundraising for collaborative activity of the Partnership, including the current Arts Partnership campaign.
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This blog is a group effort by Ordway staff, actors, artists, musicians, dancers and all those involved in the creative process of performances, programs and events at the Ordway to provide a behind the scenes look at what happens onstage, backstage and in support of the work presented at the Ordway. We also hope to discuss pertinent topics in our industry.
The purpose of this blog is to engage with you in the blogosphere. We wish to let you know that our posts do not go through any official editorial process for spelling, grammar or fact checking, therefore errors may occur – please be kind! Every blog post is open for public comment, questions or suggestions and the Ordway chooses not to pre-screen these responses. That being said, we do reserve the right to remove any offensive, illegal, or inappropriate content at the Ordway's sole discretion.
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