PAO welcomes new year with a fresh performance lineup

By Jenna Collins

Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office, directed by Kristen Baker, is home to 13 different groups, offering programs for actors and actresses, dancers, singers, and techies.

This year the PAO has many exciting events scheduled, including both annual and new performances.

“We are excited for a really great year.” said Baker enthusiastically when asked about what is in store for the Suffolk community.

The PAO announced they have been working hard to collaborate with other offices and departments, both on and off campus, to offer a wider variety of performances for students. This year, the PAO has collaborated with The Rainbow Alliance to put together the annual Drag Show, happening Oct. 29. They have also been working with Program Council to create the Popular Ticket Series. For the first time ever, the PAO will collaborate with The Boston Ballet, in order to obtain reduced prices to “Swan Lake,” as part of the Popular Ticket Series.

This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of the PAO’s annual show, Fall Fest. Now the longest running arts show at the university, this year’s performance will be focusing on the history of Fall Fest as well as Suffolk’s current arts department. Baker was happy to announce that in this year’s finale, the PAO will be bringing back alumni spanning from the past 40 years. The company will be incorporating Medley of Motown, Broadway numbers, and swing dancing. Auditions were held early last week and independent auditions will be held on Oct. 9.

Dinner Theatre is another annual event that the PAO will continue to perform this year. The murder mystery performance, called “Deep Space Murder” is “Star Trek” themed and is described by Baker as being “nerd-tacular.” “Deep Space Murder” will run from Nov. 20 through Nov. 22.

A scene from last year’s Dinner Theater production of “Boy Meets Murder.”
(Photo courtesy of Suffolk University)

Something new happening with PAO this year is during Homecoming. The Homecoming Party will be held at the Children’s Museum and most of the PAO groups will be doing pop-up performances all throughout the night in different locations of the museum.

In the spring, the PAO will be performing the musical “Spring Awakening,” in February. Auditions for the musical will be held on Nov. 18.

Baker said she is extremely excited to share all the hard work and effort PAO has put into these productions with the Suffolk community. “It’s like you’re asking me to pick one of my children,” she said with a laugh, when asked what she was most excited for this year. Though, after careful consideration, Baker admits she is most excited for the pop-up performances at the Homecoming Party and “Swan Lake.”

The PAO will be tabling in the Donahue lobby and everyone in the PAO office encourages any student interested to become a part of the group. Any information on upcoming productions, questions, or sign-ups are available in PAO office, Donahue 409.