Inside Texas Tech: Presidential Lecture & Performance Series

Oct 5, 2018

There will something for most everyone in the upcoming 13th season of Texas Tech’s Presidential Lecture and Performance Series. The lineup has music, contemporary dance, some comical Shakespeare and a discussion of possible solutions to climate change.

Jo Moore, director of the series, says this year’s opening event on Friday, Oct. 12, features world-renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a professor at Texas Tech who leads the university’s Climate Science Center. She’ll moderate the panel that will have experts in conventional energy, free market advocacy and policy, and clean energy.

“We’ve had conversations on stage, but yes, it is the first that we’ve had a panel,” Moore says. “My interests in our opener for this season, was not so much initially to have a panel discussion, but I wanted to feature Katharine Hayhoe. You know, often times people don’t know the famous people we have in our own backyard. And she is such a renowned, acclaimed, climate scientist no matter what side of the issue you are on, that I wanted Lubbock and the surrounding community, and campus and people who don’t know of her to hear her.”

The series will have two shows this semester before the Thanksgiving break and three in the spring semester. All performances take place in the Allen Theater in the Student Union Building, with free parking nearby.

The series’ overarching principle is to enhance the cultural landscape of the South Plains, bringing in performers that people typically might need to go to bigger cities to see; Performers have included Grammy winners and nominees. Moore says she believes audiences are growing more receptive to programs that might be outside their comfort zones.

One such show this season is the series finale. “The Reduced Shakespeare Company,” on April 12, 2019, features a trio of men who will do snippets of more than three dozen of Shakespeare’s works.

“Essentially, it’s all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes. So it’s this romp through Shakespeare, from the histories to the tragedies to the comedies. I think it’ll be something fun for people,” she says. “If they’ve been curious about Shakespeare, of course, but if they really know Shakespeare to be able to experience this in a comedic format would be just a blast.”

Two female singers are slated just before and after the university’s break for holidays. On Nov. 16, nine-time Austin Music Award winner Gina Chavez will perform with her band. The Austin native blends the sounds of the Americas with a passionate collection of bilingual songs. Her band's Tiny Desk concert made NPR's top 15 of 2015.

“Anytime that there’s a singer that crosses my desk, that has done a Tiny Desk Concert, I’m immediately listening to them and getting a feel for what they’re performance is like.”

On Feb. 22, 2019, a three-time Best Blues Album Grammy-nominee and native Texan takes the stage. Ruthie Foster will bring her powerhouse voice and delight the audience with her musical range, which includes Blues, soul, funk and gospel. Her style draws from influences like Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin.

“Soulful and blues and some gospel thrown and is real warm and she has a real way of engaging the crowd that everybody is just going to love, so it’s going to be great,” she says.

On March 22, 2019, a LA contemporary dance group, BODYTRAFFIC, will perform. It has performed for sold-out audiences at prestigious theaters and festivals around the world, and was named Best of Culture by the Los Angeles Times.

“They’re a reparatory company and they do not have one artistic director that choreographs for them. They actually employ different choreographers that have created different dances for them. So the style varies, the mood varies, the tone and tenor of each dance varies.”

Information about single or series tickets is available through Select-A-Seat at 806-770-2000 or at Students get one free ticket with a valid TTU ID. Student tickets are available one month prior to events.