Hip-Hop’s Influence Spreads Far and Wide

Hip-hop, the “fad” that parents, teachers, government officials and close-minded rockers couldn’t wish away fast enough 40 years ago, now has its own government-sanctioned month. (Pictured above) A dramatic reenactment of the public hearing a hip-hop song for the first time. Last year, Congress designated November as National Hip-Hop History Month, a sign not only... Continue Reading →

Unfollowing the Rules Works Well for Wainwright

As the year 2020 began, anticipation for Rufus Wainwright’s upcoming album was running high. Unfollow the Rules would be Wainwright’s first album of new pop material in eight years. Fans had been clamoring for it since news of Wainwright recording with producer Mitchell Froom (Los Lobos, Elvis Costello) first surfaced in 2018. The album cover... Continue Reading →

Resources for Artists

We put together this list of resources for artist assistance. Part of The Straz’s mission is to support local artistic talent, and usually we’re able to do that by offering stages, gigs like Live & Local or Arts Legacy REMIX and unique opportunities to collaborate. But when audiences must stay home, our best effort to... Continue Reading →

Local Profiles: Sculpting Out a Future

Jim and Joan Jennewein helped shape the Straz Center in more ways than one. In the spring of 1981, a young visionary architect named Jim Jennewein walked across a scraggly five-acre parking lot alongside the Hillsborough River. In his mind, he built a future performing arts center for the people of Tampa Bay. The plans,... Continue Reading →

A Million Little Peaces

The performing arts and conflict resolution If the folks at (TITLE) for Dummies® or the Idiot’s Guide™ to (THIS THING) ever wrote a how-to guide on building a better world, certainly there’d be a chapter or two on the performing arts. Much has been said on the value of elevating culture and artistic achievement as... Continue Reading →

Big Hair Care

Just in time for Tosca, Opera Tampa’s Emmy®-winning hair designer divulges trade secrets about one of the great characters in opera—the wig. Dawn Rivard’s impressive résumé of hairstyling and wigbuilding gigs spans from the ‘90s television series Animorphs to this year’s breakaway series The Handmaid’s Tale. She’s worked on the major motion reboots of Total... Continue Reading →

Bravo Company

How the Arts Change the Lives of America’s Wounded Warriors On any given day in America, between one and 20 veterans commit suicide. However, arts experiences help military personnel and their families amid the psychological and physical consequences of time at war. This grim statistic from research by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs... Continue Reading →

Give ‘em the ol’ Razzle Dazzle

Need a song-and-dance cabaret act for your next event? Look no further than Ovation!, the Patel Conservatory’s traveling troupe of professionally trained entertainers for hire. For a few years, a delightful idea from the Patel Conservatory’s theater department rolled around in The Straz’s creative hopper: what if ... is it possible ... could we have... Continue Reading →

What Is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me.

Mary Shelley, the first science fiction novel and why Victor Frankenstein is not just a deadbeat dad but the worst human ever. It literally was a dark and stormy night. In 1816. Self-appointed (accurately) poetic geniuses Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley lounged in Byron’s Swiss chalet during one of the darkest, rainiest summers on... Continue Reading →

Open To Interpretation

The Thursday night show during each Broadway run has a special performer, one whose acting and choreography chops never make a sound. As part of its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) initiative, the Straz Center secures a sign language interpreter for the Thursday night show in the Broadway series, with The Illusionists being the first... Continue Reading →

Leotard, Check. Make-Up Kit, Check. Valve Oil? Check.

The Patel Conservatory Gears Up for Another School Year There’s no such thing as summer break for the faculty and staff of the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory. We spend the summer months steeped in a camps, classes, workshops, performances and pre-professional productions like this year’s impressive mounting of an almost full-scale Les Miserables. So, we... Continue Reading →

Talking With Yu Ho-Jin, The Manipulator

This week, we are pulling a little sleight-of-hand by sharing this “Behind the Persona” feature from the Straz Center’s INSIDE magazine featuring Yu Ho-Jin, The Manipulator, from The Illusionists, which returns to Tampa Sept. 23. How did you get started in the business? I got into magic at the age of nine after witnessing a... Continue Reading →

Somos Todos Tampeños

The Tampa-Cuba cultural connection There was a time not so long ago when Tampa belonged, in heart and mind, to Cuba. In late 19th century Ybor City and West Tampa, Cuban immigrants recreated  their homeland, to the best of their ability, while they powered the burgeoning cigar-making industry. Cuban-flavored Spanish rippled through the factories as... Continue Reading →

Up ↑