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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Phillips Center previews spring performances

The performing arts center revealed its lineup of spring shows Oct. 5

<p>The Phillips Center for Performing Arts will host 25 performances for its spring season</p>

The Phillips Center for Performing Arts will host 25 performances for its spring season

The  Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, located at 3201 Hull Road, presented its spring preview in front of a live audience Oct. 5. Brian Jose, director of the Phillips Center, hosted the event and showcased a slideshow of 25 performances available in the spring.

Jose guided the audience through the spring schedule with a short speech about how each performance provides a breathtaking and unforgettable experience. For example, shows like Frankenstein, he said, will give the audience, “an immersive, dark and refreshing take on Mary Shelley’s classic.”After each speech, a 20-30 second trailer premiered that either gave a sneak peek or a scene. The only trailer that didn’t play was Tig Norato due to a cancellation.

Samuel McKee, marketing and communications specialist, directed the live stream and helped prepare all of the materials for the presentation. McKee said this spring will differ from last year’s performances, as more touring productions and orchestras will play for audiences at full capacity. He added that shows are $10 for students except for touring productions like “Jersey Boys” which are $20.

He added that the tickets are “significantly discounted due to financial support from the University of Florida’s Student Government.”

Elizabeth Auer, assistant director, said the performing arts center is looking forward to having more audience members.

She said that when the pandemic began in March 2020, it had held a week of sold-out shows featuring the “Book of Mormon.” Unexpectedly, it was the last performance of the season, as the center canceled its remaining 19-20 scheduled dates. After months of communication with UF Health and the universities’ epidemiologists, the Phillips Center got the green light to reopen.

“The key thing was having the artists get back out there since some of them rely solely on touring as their main source of income,” Auer said.

Auer said the Phillips Center’s priority was ensuring the safety of the audience and crew.  measures like practicing social distancing, airflow, mask requirements , and placing sanitization stations across the theater were put in effect when the center reopened, which resulted in a minimal fall 2020 season.

One of the biggest challenges touring companies have to endure includes having new regulations. These adjustments relate to vaccination laws and Covid-19 testing in the following spring in reaction to the university’s policies Auer added. 

“It’s interesting to watch people’s reactions who haven't been in a crowd yet and have developed subconscious anxieties and what has become the new norm of social distancing, not touching each other and wearing masks.” Auer said. 

One of the most anticipated shows is “Indian Ink: Mrs. Krishnan’s Party.” The production is an immersive dinner and comedy show and is an Upstage production playing at the center for three nights. This format features a more intimate performance where audiences can join on stage and enjoy snacks and drinks provided by the center. Auer describes the ambiance as always being different. The performance on March 30, 2022, will be dedicated to only students.

All performances will be open for in-person attendance, and tickets will go on sale on Nov. 13, 2022, at the Phillips Center  box office. Select performances will be available via livestream, which is free for UF Students.

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Contact Elliot at etritto@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @elliot_tritto.

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Elliot Tritto

Elliot  Tritto is the host and producer of the Independent Alligator. He is a junior studying broadcast journalism at UF. Before joining the Alligator, Tritto had experience from the newsroom at the Broward College's Observer and as a podcast host of the Basic Nerd Experience. 


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