‘Never Dark Thursdays’ illuminate the School of Performing Arts


Lydia Hansen, Reporter

This year marks the first of a new initiative put forth by the School of Performing Arts: ‘Never Dark Thursdays’ at South Dakota State University.

According to their website, “If it is a Thursday and school is in session, that means an event is happening at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center.”

Open to both students and the general public, the majority of these acts are completely free to attend. Performances range anywhere from voice recitals to plays, hosted throughout the Performing Arts Center.

These performances are aimed to shed light on the new building and encourage people to get involved in the School of Performing Arts. 

The school moved into the brand new facility this January and hopes to fully utilize the building by continuing to encourage attendance to their varied assortment of events, stressing that everyone is welcome to attend each and every performance.

“It’s a good way to show off the new facility and let people know there’s always something going on,” Dr. Tammy Yonce, Associate Professor of Music said. “The Never Dark Thursdays are a great way for people to experience the new building and what we have to offer.”

Dr. Yonce has played the flute for 25 years and performed at the first faculty recital of the year.

“We want more students to attend our performances. We want them to feel like they have ownership,” Dr. David Reynolds, the Director of the School of Performing Arts and the creator of ‘Never Dark Thursdays,’ said. “Now that we have this incredible facility, we want to make it easier to understand our calendar.”

In theatre, the concept of a ‘dark night’ means that there are no performances scheduled, and thus no audience to attend them. Dr. Reynolds explained that Thursday was chosen because the school wanted to include play performances, which usually open on Thursday night.

The full schedule of events and locations can be found on the Performing Art Center’s webpage, under the ‘Never Dark Thursdays’ tab.

Upcoming events include, but are not limited to, student and faculty recitals, a performance of the play “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” 7:30 p.m., Oct. 17 and the ‘Pipe Organ Spooktacular’ this coming Halloween night at 6 p.m., where the organ pipes will be washed in orange and the performers will play spooky music throughout the evening.

“It shows that they’re really using their space. I kind of hope that the idea of Never Dark Thursdays becomes more of a community thing,” commented Darlyn Balo, a fifth year music education major who performed her student voice recital during the first week of classes. “I think it can be a challenge to have something going on every (Thursday) night, but it is super helpful for music majors.”

Balo explained that each music major must give a senior recital. She also expressed hopes that the weekly performances could help the dance program and eventually encourage the addition of a dance major.

Not only do Never Dark Thursdays provide endless entertainment for students and the community, they are also a great opportunity for music majors to showcase their talents and hard work that they put in each and every week.