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Bicknell Center celebrates third year of providing world-class experiences to students

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The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts is celebrating its third birthday today appropriately: with student workers preparing for yet another event, the annual Holly Jolly Tuba concert, which will feature student musicians. 

Director Joe Firman said that the "celebration" will include rehanging the fly system above the stage in the Lee & Linda Scott Performance Hall; business rarely slows down in one of the area's largest and most awe-inspiring performance venues. 

Designed and constructed by the world's most renowned theater architects, the $33 million facility features a 1,100-seat performance hall, a 250-seat theater, a 3,500 square-foot art gallery and state-of-the-art technology. 

But at its heart has always been students, who have had transformational experiences there on stage and off in music, theatre, and art, from the Scott Performance Hall to the Dotty and Bill Miller Theatre to the Art Gallery. 

Students operate technical aspects of the Bicknell behind the scenes, run video cameras during live streamed events, serve on the crews of touring shows, and act as ushers. They perform on stage in the PSU Wind Ensemble, the PSU Jazz Band, the University Choir, the SEK Symphony Orchestra, and in Pitt State Theatre productions.  

"It gives students the opportunity to learn in a professional environment," Firman said. 

And, he added, they've attended lectures by Former First Lady Laura Bush, former President Bill Clinton, and other officials. They've participated in master classes by professional actors and actresses. They've laughed at touring comedians. And they've been in special events like the Student Teacher Recognition, ROTC Commissioning, and Nursing White Coat Ceremony. 

All told, the Bicknell has hosted more than 1,600 events with more than 163,000 visitors in three years of operation — which in turn has positively impacted the community economically, since many of those visitors have driven in from outside of Pittsburg. 

"I can't thank all our donors enough for their faith in PSU to entrust their support to our efforts," Firman said. "I also can't thank my staff enough! We have the best students, facility works, physical plant, and administrative support, and I feel very lucky to work with them all! 

The Bicknell season continues after the winter break. Next up: An illusionist, a one-man show that brings to life Winston Churchill, another Broadway show, PSU theatre and music productions, and more. 

Tickets are on sale at the Pittsburg State ticket office located within the Weede Building, online at www.BicknellCenter.com or by calling 620-235-4796. Discounted tickets for PSU students, faculty, and staff are available, with valid PSU ID, purchased and picked up in person, at PSU Ticket Office in Room 137 of the Weede Physical Education Building. 

The calendar includes: 

  • Feb. 9 and 11: Pitt State Music presents: Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance 
  • Feb. 22 – 25: Pitt State Theatre presents: Noises Off 
  • March 14: Bicknell Center presents: Mike Super, Magic & Illusion 
  • March 30: Bicknell Center presents: Churchill: The Blitz 
  • April 10: Bicknell Center presents: U.S. Air Force Academy Concert Band 
  • April 22: Best of Broadway: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella 
  • April 26 – 29: Pitt State Theatre presents: Gruesome Playground Injuries 

In addition to the major performances listed above, the Bicknell will host choir, jazz, and wind ensemble performances, the SEK Symphony Orchestra, and more. Information about these events is available on the center’s website at www.bicknellcenter.org 

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