Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

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How long have I been a Jeff Beck fan?

March 8, 2011

Contributed by Garry Owen, Group, Advertising, & Sponsorship Consultant

From the first day I picked up a guitar and began a life long journey into rock and roll music, psychedelia etc….Jeff Beck has been a part of my life. I remember well that first time I tried to play “Over Under Sideways Down,” spending countless hours trying to figure out how he made that sound. Even today, I listen to him, watch him play, and I’m still trying to figure out how he makes those Jeff Beck sounds!

Now one of my dreams is about to come true, right here in our humble theater, we welcome a true guitar god! Not just anyone that people might consider a good player or accomplished… this is Jeff Beck! But with a twist because he will be playing the hits of none other than Les Paul how exciting is that!

I had the fortune of seeing Les play at his club in New York and although he was certainly not 100% physically (92 yrs. old) he was hilarious, great stories between songs, totally a pro, one of the highlights of my guitar life. And now, I get to see Jeff Beck play his version of Les’s songs and I can hardly wait!

Us gear heads will note that Jeff is going to be playing an array of guitars, full bodied stuff, as well as his signature Strat, Les Paul’s of course, and will be using a much different amp setup than “normal.”

All in all, and this is quite evident, I am absolutely excited about Mr. Beck and the female singer Imelda May and her band joining us at that State Theatre and I have the date plastered on every calendar in our house! I just can’t wait!

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The Poetry of Coming Home

February 4, 2011

Glenis Redmond

With all the snowstorms, it is hard to believe that Spring is just around the corner and so is my return to New Brunswick, NJ, where I will be working at the State Theatre. I will be Poet-in-Residence for the month of March. Since this is my third return visit, I now think of NJ as my home away from home. Last year I enjoyed working in the schools, senior citizen homes, vocational centers, corporations, and several halfway homes. The great joy last year was culminating with a community reading at the theater with the participants that took my workshop. They were people from all walks of life. The joy in the room that night made me an even more fervent believer that poetry is a great equalizer.

This year, as every year, I am taking my lead from what is weighing on my heart: Place. I will be facilitating workshop participants to reflect and discover their own Sense of Place. It is my belief there are two types of landscapes: the external and the internal, when we reflect and go deep we make connections and find the nexus between the two and what generally surfaces is poetry. I look forward to returning to my 2nd home and having great conversations and classes that will lead to powerful expressions.

Yours-n-Verse,

Glenis Redmond

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STOMP – What the Noise is About

January 12, 2011

By Kelly Backus, Marketing Coordinator

Thirty brooms, eight lids, five short bins, ten 6 foot by 6 inch poles, 15 pounds of sand, four blocks of athletes chalk, 12 pairs of drumsticks, 200 litres of water, eight bananas, and 12 boxes of matches. No, that’s not some crazy shopping list for Home Depot—that’s a list of the materials that the cast of STOMP uses in just one week of performances!

If you don’t know what STOMP is, then that list probably confused you (I know I would be!) STOMP is an international percussion sensation that’s been performing all over the world since it began back in 1991 (350 cities in 36 countries). As you can see, you won’t find your normal percussion instruments in this group! Instead, these performers show us that anything can be an instrument and that normal everyday noise can be made into something beautiful. These talented cast members use anything and everything to compose complex and fun rhythms that will have you dancing in your seat!

And if you think the show is only banging on cans and sweeping up floors, think again! The show is also influenced by dance and martial arts like tap and Shaolin. And make sure to watch the performers interactions—you’ll catch a lot of humor if you pay close attention. This is definitely a show you’ll never forget!

So if you’re looking for a rocking good time, come check out STOMP at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and see just how these talented performers unconventional instruments and turn them into an outrageous performance of rhythms, percussion and dance!

Be sure to check STOMP out online at their website stomponline.com!

For tickets or more info go to http://www.statetheatrenj.org/stomp

Photo by Steve McNicholas.
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Rola-bola of death! Tell me more!

September 16, 2010

By Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

You may or may not have seen, but recently we posted The Passing Zone’s (a juggling duo here on 11/21/10) “Top 5 Dangerous Tricks” …which are…

5. The Chainsaw Ballet
4. The Rola-bola… of death!
3. Wearing white after Labor Day
2. Rat Traps, Leapfrog, Volunteer, need we say more?
1. Hurling dangerous objects so close to the audience, without properly warming up!

Now, I don’t know about you but I want to know what the “Rola-bola of death” is!! And that’s what these guys are all about, keeping us on our toes, in fact they literally keep audiences on their toes since many of their tricks include volunteer participation. I know volunteer participation is not for everyone, but isn’t it funny when your Dad, husband, wife, or crazy Uncle get dragged into it? I think so. Any way, I’ll let you decide for yourself, enjoy the clip below…

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State Theatre Marketing and PR Internship Reflection

September 8, 2010

By State Theatre Marketing and PR intern, Matt Lipsky

Every summer thousands of college students from around the country emerge from the safety of their dorm rooms and lecture halls and return home. They trade their cargo shorts and hoodies for slacks and ties and for some inexplicable reason, subject themselves to the internship process. As a student, especially a business student, this tradition of unpaid employment is inescapable. “If you want to get a job when you graduate,” we are told, “you have to have a strong resume of internships first.” Moreover, as useful as a college degree is, much of what one needs to know to work in an office is overlooked by professors and theory textbooks. As a student looking for an internship, it is difficult to know what to expect. Every employer says the same thing—something along the lines of, “you will have to do some filing or data entry, but I promise you will learn a lot here too.” It is hard to know when selecting an internship where on the continuum it falls – will this one be more filing and less learning, or more learning and less filing?

In the case of the State Theatre Marketing and PR internship, the scale is tipped heavily towards the learning end. Although not every task was exciting work, I was never asked to do anything that is not marketing related. Admittedly, many of the projects I worked on earlier in the summer were centered around the slow process of posting State Theatre events all over the internet, even this task was fundamentally the leg work of the theater’s online marketing strategy. As the summer progressed, my list of tasks quickly shifted away from mind-numbing website postings toward the writing of press releases, researching and contacting organizations with which to cross-promote and planning the promotion of the NJ Blues & Jazz Festival featuring Sugar Blue, Eddie Palmieri, Maria Muldaur, and Regina Carter (hey, I’m in marketing). Working in a theater, especially one with such a diverse season, proved to be a great experience. Instead of spending all day, every day promoting the same product to the same potential clients, this venue offers an opportunity to experience the promotion of very different events to very different groups. Marketing strategies for such exciting upcoming shows as Michael Feinsten: Sinatra Project and Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch (what, did you think the shameless marketing would stop?) differ immensely.

Of course, as anyone who works in an office knows, much of what makes a job enjoyable or not is the people you work with. In that respect, the State Theatre certainly has not disappointed. The staff is fun, extremely good at what they do, and most of all dedicated. The fact that everyone here likes what they do is certainly reflected in the quality of the product they provide – excellent shows year after year. As an intern, I have learned as much about what it takes to enjoy office life as I have about marketing and PR.

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Tessitura Conference Blog = Day 1 and 2

August 10, 2010

By Dan Grossman, Vice President of Marketing
(background note: Tessitura is the State Theatre’s Ticketing Software, there are 324 other organizations who also use Tessitura, including Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Day 1 (Sunday 8/8/10 – 2pm): I woke up at 6am to the wonderful sounds of my 2 year-old daughter saying, “Daddy, I feel sick.” This actually means, “I’m ready to play.” I had a nice morning with my wife and two kids, who kindly dropped me off at the Trenton, NJ, train station. I got on the train and I joined Leah Anglum (Development Associate) and Don McKim (Ticket Office Manager) on our journey to DC. We went through Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Baltimore, MD; and finally Washington DC. We hopped in a cab and feared for our lives for about 15 minutes until we arrived safely at the Gaylord National Hotel. As I was in line to check in, I saw a nice gentleman who works at the hotel. We got to chatting and it turns out that we went to the same high school and I graduated with his sister. Well, lucky me. I got upgraded to a three room corner suite on the 19th floor. AWESOME. We went over to the conference area to check in and bumped into Joe Rodriguez (Staff Accountant) and a few people from the Network that we see every year. Now I am going to unpack, unwind and get ready for a night of networking with fellow Tessiturians. This is going to be one great conference!

Day 2 (Monday 8/9/10 – 8am): Let the networking begin! Last night we gathered together as a large group to kick off the conference at the NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKING AT THE POTOMAC. We represent groups from all of the world—Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, and U.S.A. Don Youngberg, the VP and MC of Tessitura calls it the United Nations of Tessitura. We kicked the event off in one big room and then we split into Block Parties. Block Party 1 was by organization type (performing arts centers) and Block Party 2 was by job type (Marketing). So, we ate and got to meet some cool people who all share similar trials and tribulations. Then, we all got back together at the end to wrap up and hear the Tessitura Chorus unveil the new network mission. After the dinner it was off to the huge atrium at the Gaylord Hotel for drinks and more networking. I conversed with my co-workers and Claire from Tampa Bay Florida (who uses Tessitura as a registrar software for a conservatory), Jeremy from San Francisco (who is a union Box Office Manager with the Symphony out there), and a half dozen other people from around the Globe. Well, today should be great! I’m off to two sessions about social media and Tessitura 360 in the morning and then will hit a reporting class in the afternoon. Finally, we will have a big dinner at the Kennedy Center – I am really looking forward to visiting that venue for the first time.

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NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE STATE THEATRE

July 26, 2010

We recently announced a new Executive Committee, two new Trustees, as well as the appointment of an Interim Chief Operating Officer.

The new Executive Committee elected at the June annual meeting of the Board of Trustees includes Warren R. Zimmerman, Chairman; Efrem B. Dlugacz, Vice Chairman; Douglas M. Garback, Secretary; and Frederick P. Pierce, Treasurer.

We are also happy to announce the addition of two new Trustees, Susan Podlogar, Worldwide VP Compensation Resources & Productivity at Johnson & Johnson, and a resident of New Brunswick; and Raj Singh, Managing Director and Head of the Recapitalization & Restructuring Investment Banking Group for Raymond James and Associates from New York City.

“It is truly my pleasure to serve as the new Chairman of this great historic State Theatre,” recently stated Zimmerman. “I am committed to the patrons, staff, and the Board of Trustees in providing the leadership and support to continue to build the best theatre we can. With our strong capable staff and committed Board of Trustees, I have no doubt we will continue to maintain and improve the level of quality and service our patrons deserve. I am excited about the future of the State Theatre and I look forward to seeing everyone there!”

As our search for a new State Theatre President & CEO continues, following the June retirement of former President & CEO Wes Brustad, we have announced that Marion Combs, Senior Vice President for Development, will assume responsibility as Interim Chief Operating Officer. Combs will act as Interim COO until a successor for Brustad is hired later in the fall.

“The State Theatre staff is really excited about our upcoming 2010-2011 lineup of performances and festivals! We’ve got something for everybody, including great performing arts experiences for school children. Working with the Board of Trustees and its dynamic leadership team, we will continue to focus on artistic excellence and financial stability,” commented Marion Combs.

Chairman Warren R. Zimmerman, a resident of Piscataway, is an AVP in Information Technology at Chubb & Son. Vice Chairman Efrem B. Dlugacz of Princeton is Vice President of Worldwide Benefits for Johnson & Johnson; Secretary Douglas M. Garback, a resident of North Brunswick, is the owner/premiere agent of The Garback Agency; and Treasurer Frederick P. Pierce, a resident of Basking Ridge, is a Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The continuing Board members are Ann H. Asbaty of Randolph; Sam Boraie of New Brunswick; Elizabeth Hance of New Brunswick; Bill Herman of Clifton; Patricia Howard of Manalapan; Joe Light of Somerset; Andrew J. Markey of Basking Ridge; Sherard Murphy of Piscataway; and Robin Suydam of Somerset.