*A version of this story originally appeared in The Budget’s Jan. 3, 2018 Local Edition.
By Stacey Carmany
The acts scheduled to take the stage as part of the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center’s season are diverse, with a lineup that includes Grammy-winning recording artists, Broadway shows, comedies and family events.
There will also be shows designed to help audiences discover new and emerging artists, and opportunities for young singers and musicians to learn from professional performing acts. “It’s easy to talk about the Broadway shows and the headliners that we’ve got like Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rick Spring- field,” said PAC General Manager David Mitchell. “It’s the other things that we do that are just as exciting.”
This year, the PAC is launching its new Come Hear series, a set of three shows designed to introduce audiences to artists they may have never heard of before. The series kicked off last Thursday with a performance from Canadian singer, songwriter and recording artist David Myles. “The idea there is to get people to come to the Performing Arts Center and just try something new,” Mitchell explained. “They’re just fabulous artists, and just because they’re not on the radio yet, doesn’t mean they won’t be someday.”
Tickets for the series are offered at a reduced cost of $30, and a promo code can be found on the venue’s Facebook page for an additional $5 off. The shows are general admission, meaning that there is no assigned seating. The next show in the Come Hear series will be An Evening with Royal Wood and Diana Chittester on Saturday, March 3, and the final installment for the season is a show featuring female trio Rosie and the Riveters on Tuesday, April 3.
As with all PAC performances, musical entertainment will be provided in the lobby prior to the main show. For the lobby shows, Mitchell noted that the venue typically schedules local acts or student performers.
“Something we instituted last year was we had some music playing in the lobby before the show to kind of make the event start when you enter the building, not when you enter the theater,” Mitchell shared. “I encourage people to come early, be social with friends, meet friends here in the lobby and listen to some music. Then just find a seat that makes you comfortable inside the theater, and just come hear some really great music.”
Other highlights of the season include Peter Pan: A 3-D Spectacular on Saturday, April 7, and two performances of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live on Saturday, February 17.
During Peter Pan, Mitchell noted that theatergoers will receive 3-D glasses, and holograms, video-mapping and LED screens will be incorporated into the performance. “You have real-life actors and dancers on the stage with this 3-D element behind them,” he explained. “It’s something that has never been to the Performing Arts Center before, and it’s new technology that you just have to see it to believe it.”
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo will feature life-like dinosaurs “puppets” that are sure to delight audience members of all ages. “It’s an educational show where the kids don’t really know that they’ re getting educated,” Mitchell shared. “It’s a totally family-friendly show that just talks about dinosaurs and has some interactive dinosaurs that are onstage.”
Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Performing Arts Center Box Office or by calling 330-308-6400.