Coe’s 2011-2012 Marquis Series features diverse performances from critically acclaimed artists

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2011-08-11 15:33:41 - General

The Coe College Marquis Series has a long tradition of bringing high quality entertainment to the Cedar Rapids community.  The 2011-2012 Coe College Marquis Series features events representing the best in diverse talent, ranging from humorous speaker and author Frioozeh Dumas and the stimulating music-theater work Spectral Sciabin to Tonic Sol-fa, one of the nation’s top vocal groups, Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” and the critically acclaimed Brentano String Quartet.

Marquis Series patrons can purchase individual tickets and reserve seats for $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors.  For ticket information, call the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (summer hours).

This season’s Marquis Series events include:

Firoozeh Dumas - Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Firoozeh Dumas is the author of “Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America” and “Laughing Without an Accent.”  A native of Iran, Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life in both Iran and America.  She moved to southern California with her family in the 1970s, and later attended University of California - Berkeley.  In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Dumas decided to write her stories as a gift for her two children.  “Funny in Farsi” was a bestseller and a finalist for the PEN/USA Award, the Audie Award and the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor.  For the past seven years, Dumas has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences, and does so with humor. She has spoken at conferences, schools, churches, Jewish Temples and Islamic centers.  This event is co-sponsored by the First-Year Experience and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Spectral Scriabin - Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Award-winning Georgian pianist Eteri Andjaparidze and renowned American lighting designer Jennifer Tipton have teamed up to devise a stimulating piano-theatre event, which received its recent premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.  In this unique production, Andjaparidze performs Alexander Scriabin's mystical piano music, which simultaneously interplays with Tipton's intricate color and light display.  Andjaparidze has gained international recognition as an exceptionally versatile and insightful musician whose artistic undertakings embrace all genres and styles of piano repertoire.  A Grammy nominee, she has extensive knowledge of Scriabin’s compositions. Tipton is an award-winning lighting designer whose novel and effective ideas about lighting have turned countless Broadway shows, ballets and operas into hits.

Tonic Sol-fa - Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
The a cappella quartet Tonic Sol-fa has spent the past decade on the road carving their niche as one of the nation’s top vocal ensembles. In that time, Tonic Sol-fa has been named one of the top five "must see" groups in America, has been awarded numerous original song and album awards in pop, gospel and holiday genres, and has appeared on NBC’s "Today Show" and in the pages of Newsweek magazine. With album sales of more than two million copies, the group performs in more than 150 shows across the country each year. In 2010, Tonic Sol-fa won its first Emmy Award in the "Musical Composition/Arrangement" category for a song performed in a Toys for Tots Public Service Announcement. The New York Times describes Tonic Sol-fa's sound as, "A vocal kaleidoscope…unique to the human voice." Critics and Fans agree: nobody does it like Tonic Sol-fa.

The Acting Company: “The Comedy of Errors” - Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 at 3 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
For nearly 40 years, The Acting Company has been one of the most respected and praised touring repertory theaters in America.  At Coe, The Acting Company will present William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” directed by Ian Belknap.  One of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, “The Comedy of Errors” is also his shortest and one of his most farcical — a major part of the humor derived from slapstick, puns and wordplay. The story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth involves a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities leading to wrongful attacks, a near-seduction, an arrest and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession.  The Acting Company promotes theater and literacy by bringing a touring repertory of classical productions, talented young actors and teaching artists into communities across the country. The group has been honored with the Obie Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Honor for Excellence in theatre. 

Brentano String Quartet - Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. The Quartet has performed in the world's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of the standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both very old and very new music. The London Independent has called the Quartet “passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture.”  The group consists of Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin on violin, Misha Amory on viola and Nina Lee on cello.

The Coe College Lecture and Performance Series is funded in part by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920.  The purpose of the series is to bring entertainment and educational experiences to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community.