Are you interested in seeing your celebrity idols speak? Do you enjoy feeling fancy by attending sit-down musical concerts? Are you taking Dance 45? Look no further than UCSB’s Arts & Lectures to satisfy your artsy and intellectual side (and to pass your Area F GEs). A&L’s winter quarter program is jam packed with talks from high-profile intellectuals, performances by unique dance troupes, musical concerts of a variety of genres and even a themed film festival.
A&L kicks off its lineup this Friday with William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek.” Shatner will entertain the Arlington Theatre on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. with a one-man show filled with tales from his life in a show entitled “Shatner’s World: We Just Live in it.” Shatner may even sing during the show! Trekkies can also look forward to a costume contest — the audience is encouraged to come dressed as their favorite “Star Trek” character. Prizes will be awarded to those with the best costumes.
A&L Associate Director Roman Baratiak suspects the William Shatner event is one of the most anticipated among the student population. “I think [Shatner] will be a popular one with UCSB students,” Baratiak said.
There’s no need to go further than UCSB’s campus to see a mind-blowing acrobatics show. Campbell Hall will host the world-famous Golden Dragon Acrobats in “Cirque Ziva” on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. This group is known for their fast-paced shows, so expect an afternoon filled with jaw-dropping talent.
Book lovers and English majors can look forward to a talk by author Margaret Atwood on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall. Known for her dystopian novels, Atwood’s talk will include commentary on literary and social topics, including social activism and technology — easily a treat for fans of Margaret Atwood.
Now for those left-brained thinkers — there’s no reason to feel left out: Campbell Hall will host theoretical physicist Brian Greene on Feb. 25 for a talk about the universe. TEDTalk enthusiasts might remember his clear explanations of string theory and the complexities of the universe. For those who question how the universe works, Greene’s talk may provide some answers — or maybe raise even more intriguing questions.
The end of February will bring the much-anticipated Banff Mountain Film Festival. Adventurous outdoorsy types can enjoy this two-day festival exploring mountain subjects, ranging from extreme sports to mountainous environments on Feb. 27-28 at the Arlington Theatre.
A&L’s winter program also includes several concerts for classical music aficionados. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos will perform a purely Beethoven program on Feb. 15 at Hahn Hall. Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell returns to the Granada Theatre on Feb. 20. (If you attend, maybe you’ll recognize Bell next time he decides to go incognito in a subway station and perform for free.)
Jazz and blues lovers will have something to look forward to in the midst of Dead Week and Finals — A&L’s winter quarter program ends with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra concert on March 10 at the Granada Theatre, followed by a Fabulous Thunderbirds tribute to blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf on March 12 at Campbell Hall.
If you are curious how the Arts & Lectures lineupcomes to be, Baratiak explained that there is a Student Advisory Committee within A&L that is involved with the process.
“[A&L Programming Manager] Heather [Silva] meets with the committee. They give us lots of feedback,” Baratiak said. “We are also always getting suggestions from students and the community.”
A&L works to put on events that cater to the Santa Barbara community as well as UCSB students. “We try to provide a well-rounded mix [of events] for both the community and the students,” Baratiak said.
To see the full list of (more than 30) A&L events this quarter, as well as information on how to obtain tickets, be sure to check out www.artsandlectures. sa.ucsb.edu/.
A version of this article appeared on page 7 of January 17, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.