UNCW’s SEAHAWK FAM Series Features Mix of Entertainment, Culture

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The family-friendly “SEAHAWK FAM” series returns this summer with programming packed with music, dance, puppets and storytelling.

The six matinee performances will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays in UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium June 22 through July 27. Tickets for all seats are $5.

“Wilmington has a lot of opportunities for school-age kids to attend performances, mostly through field trips, and I am interested in adding cross-generational arts experiences into that landscape,” said Kristen Brogdon, director of UNCW’s Office of the Arts. “We’re looking for performers who will interest both kids and the people who care for them, whether those are parents, other family and friends or camp directors. We’ve also had a lot of interest in the Seahawk FAM series from older adults who like matinee performances.”

The series kicks off on June 22 with “The Sandman,” a shadow puppet show by Gina Gambony featuring classical music. On June 29, musician and storyteller Madafo will share African and African-American folklore in the tradition of the “griot,” a West African storyteller.

Young theater goers will enjoy “The Insane Science of Fairyland,” where science and storytelling collide, on July 6. Narrated excerpts from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel The Secret Garden will be paired with classical chamber music by The Brierwood Ensemble on July 13.

Broccoli Brothers Circus will hit the stage on July 20. The creative and educational performance group provides positive family content through original music, puppet shows and various media. “The Light of the Water,” an interdisciplinary performance in dance, film, sculpture, costuming and creative music, will close out the series on July 27.

For this year’s Seahawk FAM series, the Office of the Arts is introducing two sensory-friendly performances — Madafo the Griot (June 29) and The Secret Garden with the Brierwood Ensemble (July 13) — with the help of NC Autism Society and UNCW theatre assistant professor Robin Root.  Sensory-friendly performances are open to all families, but are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to families with children with autism or with other disabilities involving sensory sensitivities. Accommodations for these performances include:

  • Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds;
  • Dimmed lights in the theater during the performance;
  • Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
  • Designated safe space within the venue.

UNCW’s Strategic Plan emphasizes community engagement, which is the focus of SEAHAWK FAM. “We’re hoping that families will have a fun and fulfilling experience in Kenan Auditorium and – if we’re really lucky – light the flame of a lifelong love for the performing arts,” said Brogdon.

Tickets are on sale now through the Kenan Box Office at 910.962.3500 and online. Visit the “SEAHAWK FAM” website for more information. A group rate is available for 10 or more attendees.

-  Venita Jenkins