Casino events

DWPAS kicks off with Casino Night – The trend

October 6 kicks off the 22nd season of the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series, or DWPAS, beginning a promising season for the 2022-23 academic year. This year’s lineup includes talent from Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Ryan & Ryan, Nilaja Sun and Ashwini Ramaswamy.

Diversity is the name of the game with DWPAS. This includes Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, a diverse and versatile group of artists who specialize in heritage culture and identity. Ryan & Ryan, a father-son piano duo, strive to make music that inspires all who listen. Nilaja Sun, an actress, playwright and teacher who is best known for her award-winning solo play, “No Child…”. And finally, Ashwini Ramaswamy, a highly regarded choreographer who performs Bharatanatyam, a type of dance from South India. With such a diverse lineup, there’s bound to be a show that everyone can attend.

To fund this annual series, DWPAS and the USAO Foundation are hosting a casino night on September 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the ballroom. Students 18 and older can attend for $20 a ticket, while adult tickets are slightly more expensive at $40. With a ticket, you get $30 in chips to play, plus two punches for drinks at the bar. Under 21s must order non-alcoholic beverages. At the end of the evening a raffle will take place with prizes for a few lucky participants.

Founded in 2000, DWPAS is committed to making the performing arts accessible and affordable for everyone. By bringing these artists to USAO, students and residents of Chickasha are offered an experience many of them have never had. Those who attend these events come away with a better perspective on how arts and culture can help lead a well-rounded life, especially for those who are pursuing a degree in a liberal arts environment. .

There will be two different acts in the fall term and two acts in the spring term. In addition to performing for the public, the artists will each give back to the USAO community, and by extension, to Chickasha, in one way or another. For example, Nilaja Sun will give a masterclass for those interested in acting and playwriting. For more information on these unique experiences, keep an eye out for emails from Katie Davis, DWPAS Executive Director and Head of Theater Department.

Davis is the reason a lot of this is happening in the first place. After being asked to take over the position, Davis reached out to numerous agencies to help bolster the roster. A year in advance, she works hard to match schedules and decide what she thinks USAO students would really want to see. Davis is most excited this year for Nilaja Sun, as she’s an Adobe Award-winning actress with years of experience and someone she’s been teaching in her classes for many years now. Also, she really wanted to stress the importance of registering for a ticket as a student.

“I really want students to sign up for a membership, even if they don’t think they’ll go all out,” Davis said. “Getting the tickets, having them in hand, planning for some of these events to be part of their college experience, that’s really important to me.”

It is clear that without Davis, the USAO theater community and the DWPAS program would not be the same.

Bralen Bourland is a freshman environmental science major at Oklahoma University of Science and the Arts.