The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA) just closed its 2013-2014 season with their final production in the Broadway package, which was “West Side Story.” During his curtain speech, Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Executive Director Joe Patti gave the details of the upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Next year’s season includes three productions in the Broadway package, three shows in the classical music package and three in the variety package. The season expanded from eight shows to nine, with the additional show being added in the variety category. Regardless of an expanded season, cost of a season ticket was only raised by $18. Patti said he has been working on booking shows that lower the ticket price for patrons.
“Our Broadway shows are always going to cost a lot, but I’ve been trying to modulate the prices for the other events down a little bit, to make them more affordable, especially for children under 12 and students,” Patti said. “I was looking into this, because after looking into the prices I was thinking and I am unsure if someone who has never seen a classical concert would do so $40 on a Monday night. We want to bring people into the theatre.”
The 2014-2015 season is the first that Patti helped organize, since he stepped into office after this past season was already planned out.
“We are really excited about next season. I’m pretty sure everyone says that about every season, but I think this one is going to be one of those seasons where people will be surprised by a lot of the pieces,” Patti said. “They are going to be unsure about what they are coming to see, but I think they’ll be wowed when they leave.”
The Broadway package includes “Elf: The Musical,” which will run Nov. 13, “Anything Goes,” which will run Feb. 12 and “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which will run April 27.
The variety package includes Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., on Sept. 23, Annie Moses Band, on March 5 and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” on March 18.
The classical music package includes “First Person: Seeing America,” which will run Oct. 9, “Keyboard Conversations,” which will run Nov. 4 and CutTime Simfonica, which will run Dec. 16.
Patti is excited for “First Person: Seeing America,” because the company has agreed to give a local Portsmouth spin to the programming. The show is a multimedia presentation with photographs and music in which an actor will read actual accounts of early settlers and American heroes. Since Portsmouth’s bicentennial falls in the same year, they will use an early Portsmouth photo and an account of Portsmouth history in the show as well.
CutTime Simfonica will also include local talent in their performance, the night before their December 16 date, when they give a preview at Port City Café.
The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts will also be presenting a series of shows that Patti has organized. The shows are outside of the SOPAA season and include the Oak Ridge Boys, “Intergalactic Nemesis Book One: Target Earth” and Garrison Keillor.
SOPAA has not announced the subscription price or individual ticket price yet, but will soon. More information on their upcoming season can be found at www.Sopaa.org
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.