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Boston College Arts Festival: April 26-28

special alumni guest: theater director tony taccone


CHESTNUT HILL, MA (April, 2012) —Boston College’s 14th  annual Arts Festival—which is open to the public and takes place Thursday, April 26 through Saturday, April 28—includes a variety of events to engage and entertain attendees, who are invited to take part in hands-on art experimentation.

University Wind Ensemble (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

More than 1,000 BC students, faculty and administrators participate in the festival, which last year drew more than 16,500 BC alumni and area residents, and includes over 80 events, most of which are free. It showcases artists with diverse talents and highlights performing, visual and literary arts programs and features daily events, exhibits, music and dance showcases, and demonstrations.  

On Saturday, April 28 from noon to 5 p.m., activities for families with children of all ages will be offered. They include arts and crafts, children’s story hour, an instrument petting zoo and a theater production of The Little Mermaid, performed by students in BC Theatre Department faculty member Luke Jorgensen’s Creative Dramatics class.

This year’s special alumni guest is Tony Taccone, a 1972 BC alumnus and the accomplished artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, one of the most prominent regional theaters in the country. His public campus appearances during the festival include a career-related interview program—modeled after Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio and titled “Inside the BC Studio,” on April 27. He also will be joined by BC alumni—Paul Daigneault ’87, founder and producing artistic director of  SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston and Kate Maguire ’78, executive director of the Berkshire Theatre Festival—on April 26 from 3-4:30 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 305—for a panel discussion on their professional experiences. Taccone also will be honored with an alumni achievement award. [More information on Taccone follows.]

Of this year’s alumni honoree, BC Theatre Department Associate Professor Crystal Tiala—chair of the University's Arts Council, which organizes the festival—said: “We are looking forward to Tony’s appearances at Boston College this spring, and hope that our students will be inspired by his accomplishments.”

Also Showcased at the Arts Festival:

* A production of Shakespeare’s classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will be presented “Bollywood Style”set in India during the British raj, it will feature bright colors, acrobats and dance. Performances will take place at BC’s Robsham Theater (tickets:

* Performances by BC student A Cappella groups, whose members prepared for the festival through workshop sessions with “Five O’Clock Shadow,” a Boston-based all-vocal rock band.

* Dance showcases featuring BC faculty and student choreographers, and a variety of genres; a related photography exhibition of student dancers on campus.

* Social justice programs on the theme of “Expand Your Horizons,” under the auspices of BC’s Arts and Social Responsibility Project. Included will be films, theater performances, readings and an art exhibition. Through BC’s Center for Student Formation, a program titled “Stories of Transformation, From Me to We,” will present BC student actors’ depictions of other students’ campus retreat experiences.

* BC’s McMullen Museum of Art exhibition: Rural Ireland: The Inside Story—an exclusive display that introduces American viewers to many recently discovered genre paintings of nineteenth-century rural interiors, on view through June 3. More on the exhibition, including news release and image slideshow, at

* Screenings of movies by filmmaker and actor Tom McCarthy, 1988 BC alumnus: Up, which he co-wrote, and Win-Win, which he co-wrote and directed.

* Other highlights: performances by improv groups and the winner of a “battle of bands” competition (these student groups also worked in advance of the festival with professional artists), jazz by BC faculty members, and faculty readings.

Special Guest, Alumni Award Recipient: Tony Taccone, BC Class of 1972

Tony Taccone is artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where he has staged more than 35 shows—including world premieres by Culture Clash, Rinde Eckert, David Edgar, Danny Hoch, Geoff Hoyle, Quincy Long, Itamar Moses, and Lemony Snicket.

Taccone took two shows from Berkeley Rep to Broadway: Sarah Jones’s Tony Award-winning Bridge & Tunnel and Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking. He commissioned Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, co-directed its world premiere, and has collaborated with Kushner on seven projects including Brundibar and Tiny Kushner. Two of Taccone’s recent shows transferred to London, and two scripts that he penned are having their premieres this year.

[More detailed bio on Taccone and his campus activities on Arts Festival web site /offices/artscouncil/festival/guests.html; and at Berkeley Repertory Theatre].

Taccone will be presented with the annual Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement—by BC President William P. Leahy, SJ—at an arts awards celebration and public reception on April 27 from 4-6:30 p.m. on O’Neill Plaza. Awards will also be presented in recognition of the artistic accomplishments of BC students and faculty—including BC Music Department Chair and Professor Michael Noone, who will receive this year’s Faculty Award. Also on April 27, from 2-3 p.m., Taccone will participate in a live, career-related interview program in Gasson Hall, room 305. (See above for information on the April 26 theater panel.)

More on the Arts Festival

The festival features a slate of free events which begin at noon on BC’s Chestnut Hill campus, at 140 Commonwealth Ave. in Chestnut Hill, MA. Venues are handicapped accessible. Each afternoon, music, dance, and theater events fill the event center at O’Neill Plaza; each evening there are several featured events. In addition, art exhibitions and demonstrations are open all afternoon, with students’ pottery available for purchase and exhibitions continuing into the evening; there also are daily literary readings. The performance tent is heated and the festival will be held rain or shine. Rain locations will be posted on the festival web site.

An appreciation of the arts is integral to Boston College’s Jesuit mission, and BC’s Arts Council supports and encourages the growth of dramatic, musical, visual and other art forms on campus and for the enjoyment of the community. The festival is organized by the Arts Council and sponsored by the offices of the President, the Provost and Dean of Faculties, Center for Student Formation, Student Affairs, the Carroll School of Management with support from the Boston College Bookstore, Arts Boston and 90.0 wbur, Boston’s NPR news station.

For event locations and updates, the public may visit or call (617) 552-ARTS (2787).  [Schedule is subject to change. Events with admission fees are indicated.]

--Office of News & Public Affairs