September 25, 2018
Writer: Emma Hassell

BYU-Idaho’s Center Stage Brings Performers to Campus

BYU-Idaho’s Center Stage opens a new season next month with another great lineup of performers.

Every semester, Center Stage offers a range of performing arts series the community and students can enjoy. This semester, there are eight shows that run from early October through December.

Don Sparhawk is the Center Stage and Performance Tours Coordinator. He explained the different shows that are coming to campus.

“The performing arts series ranges from classical music, to dance and theater, to popular music and rock bands. So it’s quite a wide variety of different kinds of music and performances,” he said. “We’re looking for things that students would be interested in and also groups and performers who would add to their educational experience while they’re here.”

This season, there are some international performing groups as well as some stand-alone acts. The first show of the season is performed by an actor named David Payne. It’s a one-man show titled, “An Evening with C.S. Lewis.”

“We feel like this will be a great interest to an LDS audience,” Sparhawk said.  

Returning to BYU-Idaho is an Ashton, Idaho native. Ryan Hamilton is a stand-up comedian who grew up in Ashton and attended BYU-Idaho as well as BYU. He recently had a one-hour Netflix special called “Happy Face.”

“We’ve always loved him. We’ve had him a few times before and it’s great to see he’s quite successful right now,” Sparhawk said.

Center Stage finishes the fall season with a Christmas concert called, “A BYU-Idaho Christmas.” The concert features university choir groups, dancers and performers as well as one or two featured guests.

This year the featured guest is Broadway singer Brian Stokes Mitchell. Mitchell performed in A BYU-Idaho Christmas eight years ago in the first large Christmas show put on in the BYU-Idaho Center.

“The popularity of our Christmas concert has really grown,” Sparhawk said. “We typically get over ten thousand people coming to it. It’s the largest concert of the year on campus. It draws a lot of people from students to community people all over eastern Idaho.”

Tickets for the season went on sale September 10 and September 24. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit byui.edu/center-stage.