Dance capstone to showcase vitality of 4 seniors

Dance posterThe dance program at CSU's University Center for the Arts will present the Dance Major Capstone Concert: Vitality on Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the University Dance Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St. This end-of-semester concert provides senior dance majors a chance to showcase their choreography, performance, and production talents in a capstone concert event. Tickets are $8 for CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts ticket office in the UCA lobby, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787) or online at Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the Ticket Office. Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees. Solo and group pieces The spring show, entitled "Vitality,"  features the performance and choreography work of Lindsay Dighero, Madison Lobato, Meaghan Suchomel, and Melissa Pite. The concert is an opportunity for graduating seniors in the dance program to display all that they have learned from the last four years. Each dancer has put together a solo performance as well as a group piece, and is involved with all of the production aspects of the concert from start to finish. Lindsay Dighero’s group piece, entitled “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” is based on the abstract feeling of not being scared to be in a dark point of life. The piece revolves around the idea that the many experiences and relationships in life shape us into who we are, and expresses the types of relationships that can be beneficial or hurtful. The piece is based on the quote “Don’t be afraid to move on alone, even your shadow leaves you in the darkness.” Lindsay’s solo piece, entitled “Pull Yourself Together,” is based on the conflict in no one being perfect despite an overall desire for perfection. The piece strives to reveal the absolute beauty of imperfections. Madison Lobato’s group piece is a contemporary dance with an overall theme of her growth as a dancer. The piece is divided into three sections, each exhibiting dancing that matches the tempo of each song chosen. This theme continues into her solo piece, a contemporary ballet that showcases her growth as a classical dancer throughout the years before and during her time at Colorado State University. Meaghan Suchomel’s group piece is an exploration of water and the metaphor that it lends to life. While water may sometimes be absorbed and stay forever, it may also drip and take a while to disappear, in the same way that some experiences will stick with a person for their entire life, while others will eventually fade away. The overall theme of this piece is inspired by the quote “be like a duck and let it roll right off of your back.” Her solo piece examines the question “Why Not?” and the idea that we should not ask ourselves why we shouldn’t do something but rather why we wouldn’t. This piece is based on the Robert Kennedy quote, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why … I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Melissa Pite’s group piece is based on the theme of adaptation and the ways in which humans evolve and adapt to many different environments. The piece is divided into three different sections, each focusing on a specific environment into which humans have evolved to survive. Her solo is a contemporary ballet that demonstrates her personal strengths, which is based on her own experiences, particularly in traveling, that have deeply shaped her. About the directors Lindsay Nicole Dighero grew up in Thornton, Colo. She began dancing at the age of 3, studying many styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and lyrical/contemporary at Premier School of Dance. Lindsay had the opportunity to dance with the Schiff Dance Collective’s training company for four years in Boulder, Colo. Lindsay has also taken part in the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop technique classes and student performances. Through high school, Lindsay danced, choreographed, and was named captain for the color guard at Legacy High School in Broomfield, Colo. Lindsay had the privilege of studying under Karin Gritz, Alexandra Fields, Nicole O’Farrell, and Jenny Schiff. Lindsay enrolled in the Dance Division at Colorado State University in fall 2011, where she has trained in ballet (Vaganova), modern, choreography, and pedagogy. She has received the CSU Dance Division Scholarship each school year from fall 2012 to the present. She has also received the Jane Sullivan Scholarship for Dance Edcuation for the 2014–2015 school year. Madison Elizabeth Lobato was born in Denver, Colo., and raised in Aurora, Colo. Madison started dancing at age 3, beginning at the Colorado Dance Academy in Aurora, where she was introduced to ballet, tap, and jazz, then spending several more years studying with the Dance Movement studio in Aurora. It was here that she started her focus primarily in ballet. During this time she performed in two productions of the City of Aurora’s Nutcracker as "Party Girl" and "Snowflake." At age 14 Madison started dancing with the National Ballet Academy of Denver in Lone Tree, Colo., studying under Cornell Callender and Andrei Vassiliev. Madison was accepted into the CSU Dance Division in September 2011. Madison has had many performance opportunities while at CSU, performing the Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy variation in the Annual Holiday Gala Concert at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins and excerpts from Anna Sokolow’s Rooms, restaged by Yunyu Wang, Don Quixote, Pas de Quatre and Swan Lake. She has also performed at the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Awards Celebration with the CSU Repertory Ensemble, Excerpts from Etudes. In the fall of 2013 she choreographed a group piece, Out of Reach, a piece that was selected to be performed in the faculty Fall Dance Concert. Meaghan Anne Suchomel was born and raised in Aurora, Colo. She began her dance training at the age of 10 with Miller’s Dance Studio, where she studied many techniques including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, modern, and musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles that she had the opportunity to perform with her studio include Clara from The Nutcracker, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. She also spent many years on the studio’s competition team, Tour De Force, where she performed and attended conventions all over the state and country. In her senior year at Cherokee Trail High School, she was the captain of the Varsity Poms Team. Meaghan was accepted into CSU and joined the CSU Dance Division in Fall 2011. Her freshman year, she danced for the CSU Golden Poms Team, and after her first year decided to focus and put all of her efforts into her dance major. Meaghan has received the CSU Dance Division Scholarship every year since fall 2012 and was excited and grateful to earn the Grace and Dwight Harris Dance Scholarship in her senior year. She has also proudly held a spot on the CSU Liberal Arts Dean’s List and been a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars since spring 2012.While at CSU, Meaghan has created many of her own choreographic works, two of which were specifically selected to be performed in the Fall and Spring Faculty Dance Concerts. Melissa Pite was born in Woodstock, N.Y. At the age of 1, she moved to Boulder, Colo., where she resided through high school. Melissa began performing at the age of 6, and was a member of Expressions Jazz Dance Company for five years, where she attended numerous competitions, workshops and master classes. Melissa began her formal training under Ana Claire Davison, Peter Davison, Rob Kuykendall, and Becky Jancosko at the Boulder Ballet School in 2003, where she trained until she graduated from Boulder High School in 2010. In 2012, Melissa transferred to Colorado State University. In her college carrier, Melissa has received many awards, honors, and scholarships. At the University of Utah, Melissa received both the Olga Alexandria Logan Scholarship and the Michael Foundation Scholarship (2010-2011; 2012). At Colorado State University, Melissa has received the CSU Ram Grant, National Society of Leadership and Success Sigma Alpha Pi Award, and Commitment to Colorado Scholarship (2012-2013; 2014) and she has been on the Dean’s List every semester that she has attended the University of Utah and CSU (2010-‘11; ‘12; ‘13; ‘14). The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. For more information, visit

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Heart-warming friendship story brightens holiday season

[caption id="attachment_7004" align="alignright" width="300"]photo of actors Kyle Phibbs and Jack Krause Kyle Phibbs, left, and Jack Krause star in A Year with Frog and Toad. (Photo by Jennifer Clary)[/caption]

The theatre program at Colorado State University is bringing high-quality, affordable live theatre to the Front Range again with a presentation of A Year with Frog and Toad by Robert and Willie Reale.

It runs Dec. 4 through 14, Thursdays–Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St. in Fort Collins.

Watch a teaser of the show here.

Tickets are $8 for CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Please note that the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office hours have changed. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the UCA lobby 90 minutes prior to any UCA performance and through intermission or online at Information about upcoming performances can be found at (970) 491-ARTS (2787). Advance or online purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Free Ticket Offers: CSU students get in free on Ticket Thursdays: Dec. 4 and 11. Sponsored by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, members of the public get in free on Ticket Sundays: Dec. 7 and 14. Free ticket offer space is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis online or at the Ticket Office.

Based on the Frog and Toad children’s stories written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, this three-time Tony-nominated Broadway musical by Robert and Willie Reale follows two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way.

Poster for Frog and Toad“It’s simply loveable and fun,” said CSU Director of Theatre Walt Jones. “It’s great for kids and for the young at heart!”

Set to a jazzy, upbeat score, the two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm, A Year with Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

The show itself broke new ground by bringing professional children's theatre to Broadway with its premier run in 2002.


“Robert and Willie Reale solidly capture the essence and heart of Lobel’s characters and stories. Robert Reale’s music is infectious, colorful, and rich in melody and character, whereas Willie Reale’s lyrics are both witty and funny… provides plenty of fun and creativity for children and plenty of nostalgia and heart for the adults.” – Chicago Theatre Beat

Directed by Walt Jones

Nightly: December 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 7:30 p.m.

Matinees: December 6, 7, 13, 14, 2 p.m.

Take advantage of our Free Ticket Offers:

Ticket Thursdays: FREE/CSU Students: Dec. 4, 11

Ticket Sundays: FREE/Community Members: Dec. 7, 14

About Walt Jones:

Walt Jones, who joined the CSU Theatre program in 2006, is a 1975 graduate of the Yale School of Drama. As a teacher of acting and directing, he has served on the faculty at Yale School of Drama, and University of California, San Diego. He has directed twice on Broadway, six plays off-Broadway, including the American premiere of Howard Barker’s No End of Blame at Manhattan Theatre Club, and more than 60 plays in more than 20 regional theatres from Cambridge to Fairbanks and productions in Soviet Russia and Tokyo. Among the many actors Walt has directed are Meryl Streep, Roc Dutton, John Turturro, Tony Shaloub, Nathan Lane, Liev Schreiber, Angie Bassett, Christopher Walken, Jason Alexander, Michael Gross, Lindsey Crouse, Linda Hunt, Sigourney Weaver, Peter MacNicol, Frances Conroy, Ricardo Antonio Chavira and Lewis Black.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of art, dance, music, and theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit

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Spooky is in the air

Halloween brings out the I-don't-ever-really-want-to-grow-up in all of us. Make the rounds at Colorado State University next week to join in Halloween-inspired activities like the Rec Center's Zombie Tag Game and the UCA's Halloween Organ Extravaganza.

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