Hudgens Center exhibit takes artful look at Aurora Theatre’s stagecraft

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A backstage look at costume design for "Mary Poppins" is part of the Hudgens Center for the Arts exhibit "The Art of Theatrical Design."
A backstage look at costume design for "Mary Poppins" is part of the Hudgens Center for the Arts exhibit "The Art of Theatrical Design."

A backstage look at costume design for “Mary Poppins” is part of the Hudgens Center for the Arts exhibit “The Art of Theatrical Design.”

Aurora Theatre opens its next show, the musical “Hands on a Hardbody,” on May 7, but the Lawrenceville troupe meanwhile readying for an opening of an another sort.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth will host a reception for the new exhibit “The Art of Theatrical Design: Aurora Theatre’s Sets & Costumes” from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Hudgens Center Executive Director Teresa Osborn said the exhibit is a rare backstage look at one of the metro area’s busiest and most respected troupes.

“This exhibition explores the process of the artistic vision behind the phenomenal sets, detailed costuming and props that transport theatre goers into the world of the actors,” she said. “The technical design and construction of each production starts with a pen and paper and develops from there.”

Aurora is home to more than 600 events yearly, including its Signature Series (mainstage) and GGC Harvel Lab Series (contemporary work). On the boards as part of the latter (through April 26) is “Las Mujeres Verdaderas Tienen Curvas” (“Real Women Have Curves”).

“Although our audiences recognize our onstage talent is extraordinary, many of our artists do their artistic work behind the scenes,” Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre producing artistic director, said. “This is a great opportunity for our community to gain better appreciation for the skills that go into crafting a theatrical production.”

Also newly on view at the Duluth arts center is the “2015 Hudgens Prize Finalists’ Exhibit,” featuring works by four Georgia artists in the running for one of the largest prizes ($50,000) awarded to an individual artist anywhere in the U.S.: Bethany Collins, Scott Ingram, Rylan Steele and Orion Wertz.

All four will give artist talks: Collins and Steele at 11 a.m. May 16; and Ingram and Wertz at 11 a.m. May 30. The Hudgens Prize Awards Ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. June 13.

“The Art of Theatrical Design” and “2015 Hudgens Prize Finalists’ Exhibit” continue through June 27.

The Hudgens Center will host a free-admission Family Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 2, with guided hands-on art activities and demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and story-times (presented in partnership with Gwinnett County Public Libraries) at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Bldg. 300 (in Gwinnett Center complex), Duluth. 770-623-6002, www.thehudgens.org.


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