SOPAA releases new season information

G. Sam Piatt

May 18, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA) has released information on the upcoming performances for its 2013-2014 season.

Also, Joseph Patti started last week as the new director of the Vern Riffe Center For the Arts (VRCFA) on the campus of Shawnee State University and said he is excited about the new season and job.

“This has been only my second week of work and things have been going well so far. Most of my time has been spent in meetings, with people and learning the scope of my job,” Patti said.

Prior to being hired by SSU, Patti worked as the Theatre Manager at the University of Hawaii-Leeward Community College Theatre. Previous work experience includes Events and Festival Coordinator for the Appeal Farm Arts and Music Center in Elmer, N.J. and Business Manager/Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Theater at the University of Central Florida among others. Patti has a Master’s of Fine Art in Theatre Management from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English, certificate in Theatre Arts from Siena Collage in Loudonville, N.Y.

Patti was one of three finalists for the job. As a part of the interview process, he and the other candidates were brought on campus for an interview.

Prior to starting the job Patti was quoted as saying, “I’m looking forward to being a part of helping people discover – or rediscover - what makes the center unique.”

Patti said when the new season was announced he found out about what was coming along with everyone else.

Patti explained, “the season is going to open up with the group Cordis on Sept. 30. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra will be here on Oct. 21.”

According to www.jazzartsgroup.org, the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz.

Patti said the Broadway show Mamma Mia will be performing on Nov. 13 at the VRCFA.

According to, www.mamma-mia.com, “Over 54 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good show! (The) tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, and every night everyone’s having the time of their lives!”

Also performing will be A Christmas Carol on Dec. 3. and Rock of Ages on Feb. 5.

According to, rockofagesmusical.com, set in LA’s infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, both in LA to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. Rock of Ages takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair.”

Also performing is, The Miracle Worker on March 25 and then classical musician Jenny Lin on April 9.

According to www.jennylin.net, “Jenny Lin is one of the most respected young pianists today, admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. Her ability to combine classical and contemporary literature has brought her to the attention of international critics and audiences. She has been acclaimed for her ‘remarkable technical command’ and ‘a gift for melodic flow’ by The New York Times. The Washington Post praises ‘Lin’s confident fingers… spectacular technique…’ and Gramophone Magazine has hailed her as ‘an exceptionally sensitive pianist’. Her concerts have taken her to Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Miller Theatre, MoMA, Whitney Museum, San Francisco Performances, Freer Gallery of Art, Wordless Music Series, (Le) Poisson Rouge, National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery, Spivey Hall, and throughout Europe and the Far East; as well as Festivals worldwide at Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart, BAM’s Next Wave, MATA, Spoleto and Portland International Piano Festivals in the USA, Chopin Festival in Austria, Flanders and Ars Musica Festivals in Belgium, Shanghai New Music Festival in China, Divonne Festival in France, Potsdam and Husum Piano Rarities Festivals in Germany, Millennium Festival in Spain, Festival Archipel in Switzerland, and Winnipeg New Music in Canada. Upcoming highlights include recitals at Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, Nottingham and Oxford in the UK, Festival Fontmorigny in France, tour of China, Shostakovich Piano Concerto in Taiwan, WFMT Chicago, National Gallery of Art and Library of Congress in Washington DC.”

To wrap up the season West Side Story will be coming on April 21.

According to, www.westsidestory.com, “It is widely known that West Side Story (WSS) is based directly on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (R&J). Far less well known is the fact that Shakespeare based his play (1594) on other material, particularly a narrative poem by Arthur Brooke entitled The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562). The theme of two lovers thwarted by circumstances beyond their control, however, had long before been established in Western legend: Troilus and Cressida, Tristan and Isolde, to name only two such pairs. In more recent times, American folklore had assimilated the myth into the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.”

For more information about the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association and upcoming shows visit, soppa.org.

Tickets can be purchased at the McKinley Box Office in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at Ticketmaster.com or any Ticketmaster Outlet, or by calling 740-351-3600.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.