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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UApresents profiting again

    UApresents profiting again

    UApresents saw a 9 percent increase in the number of UA students attending shows in October, helping the department recover from debt, said UApresents officials.

    The elevated turnout comes as a result of different marketing techniques, said Natalie Bohnet, executive director of UApresents and Mario DiVetta, assistant marketing specialist.

    “”We are extremely excited,”” Bohnet said. “”We have had between 200 to 400 students at every single performance.””

    The once financially unstable UApresents, which received a $1.2 million internal loan from President Robert Shelton in September, hit the $1 million mark Oct. 5, a day before the first show of the season, Bohnet said.

    This season has been among the busiest for UApresents, as six shows have already hit the stage, Bohnet said.

    A new e-mail campaign distributes notices of upcoming shows to more than 24,000 students, Di Vetta said, and the $10 ticket price has provided added incentive as well.

    “”Students can come out and see things they would have never otherwise been able to,”” Bohnet said. “”For $10, it’s worth the risk.””

    Artist relations, a division of UApresents that deals specifically with visiting artists from various productions, also promotes upcoming shows, said Joel Pellini, a UApresents staff member and theatre production junior. On occasion, visiting artists who are participating in UApresents shows will teach master classes in the UA School of Dance or School of Music to spread the word about upcoming shows. “”It’s a great way to reach out and motivate students,”” Pellini said. “”It really gives students more of a connection to the world of arts.””

    Benita Silvyn, education and community programs director for UApresents, said artist relations employees have been planning interactive events between students and visiting artists for years.

    Last week, Vusi Mahlasela, a South African singer-songwriter featured in Putumayo Presents: Acoustic Africa, gave a lecture to a UA world music course.

    “”He told the students about his life and the influences on his music,”” Silvyn said.

    These types of interactions give students a preview of the show and simultaneously increase interest in the performances, Silvyn said.

    With the positive reaction surrounding the shows, Bohnet said UApresents is on track to repaying the internal loan to the UA and operating within the black – two requirements that came with the loan.

    “”We should have a positive balance at the end of the year,”” Bohnet said.

    Bohnet said she is particularly excited about tomorrow’s performance of the East Village Opera Company, a show she said is specifically programmed for students.

    “”If Mozart were alive, he’d be at a rock concert,”” Bohnet said of the show, which she described as a mixture of classical and rock music. “”Many students came out for Death Cab for Cutie, and this will be just as much fun.””

    UApresents’ goals for this year include keeping the organization financially stable and increasing student involvement in theater shows, Bohnet said.

    “”We’d really like (for UApresents shows) to be a part of a student’s experience at UA,”” Bohnet said.

    East Village Opera Company will take the stage of Centennial Hall tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. A calendar of upcoming events can be found at UApresents’ Web site,

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