Energetic clapping and cheers rang out as “The Book of Mormon” was announced as a future show in the UF Performing Arts 2019/2020 Season.
This musical was one of more than 40 performances announced on Tuesday by the Director of the UF Performing Arts, Brian Jose, as he hosted the UF Performing Arts 2019/2020 Season Preview at the Phillips Center. All performances are done by people renowned in their field of art.
Guests were ushered into the theater around 6:45 p.m. and handed a canvas bag with a program booklet containing the performances of the 2019/2020 season, and other items like pens and stickers.
Attached to the front of the book was an array of rainbow-colored tabs that Jose encouraged audience members to use throughout the presentation as a way to keep track of the shows they wanted to see.
At the start of the show, Jose honored performances from last season like Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He then jubilantly went on to explain each of the performances for this season. There were videos paired with most announced performances to give the audience a taste of what is to come.
In an interview after the show, Jose explained how they start looking for artists 24 months in advance for each performance season. He said he wanted artists who are committed to doing work beyond the stage.
“Of course, we want them to be great on stage,” said Jose,”but it’s important that they can also be in a class here on campus, they can go to Haven Hospice, or they can go to elementary or middle school,”
Jose said he wants the artists this year to bring joy to the Gainesville community, connecting everyone through performance.
For example, the Actors From the London Stage, a touring Shakespeare company, not only performed “Hamlet” last October but also went into UF theater classes to teach students about acting, Jose said.
As Jose listed performances this season, four musicals were announced: “Waitress,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and “The Book of Mormon.” All musicals will be performed at the Phillips Center as part of their national tours.
Jazz bands, performance art, orchestras, classical pianists and more are included in this season’s performances.
One of the performing groups this year has over 3.9 million subscribers on YouTube — Postmodern Jukebox is known for bringing an old-style twist to modern pop songs.
Cliff Haynes, a clinical assistant professor for UF’s College of Education, had a 2019/2020 season book filled with sticky notes, but he said Postmodern Jukebox was at the top of the list for performances this year.
“I watch them all on YouTube, so to hear them live it’s going to be so exciting,” said Haynes.
Jose almost pleaded with audience members to go see “Compagnia TPO: Farfalle,” which is an interactive visual show that tells the story of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. This show engages all the senses equally, making it great for people with sensory disabilities, said Jose.
As the night ended around 8 p.m., Jose reminded people that almost all tickets go on sale on Aug. 24. Tickets for “The Book of Mormon” go on sale Sept. 15.