World-renowned artist James Christensen will return to his old stomping grounds at BYU during Homecoming week to take part in the BYU Spectacular on Oct. 16–17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center.
This year’s theme of “Taking Flight” was inspired by Christensen’s painting titled “Trying to Fly.”
“The painting is of a boy or a young man holding a string attached to a pair of wings strapped to his back,” said Charlene Winters, a coordinator for the upcoming Homecoming events. “He’s adjusting his wings so that he can fly, and that works really well with our own personal attempts to fly as individuals and as faculty and students.”
Patrick Debenham, a recently retired BYU professor of the modern dance division, will portray Christensen’s “everyman” character on stage during the Spectacular. The “everyman” is a representation of the less-than-perfect person inside each of us. The character is based off a painting called “One Light,” which conveys a message of people sharing their individual lights with the world.
Guests who attend the Spectacular will also experience productions from eight other performing groups at BYU, including Men’s Chorus, Ballroom Dance and Contemporary Dance Theatre, BYU Philharmonic, Young Ambassadors, International Folk Dance Ensemble and Living Legends.
Spectacular attendees will also see scenes from “The Count of Monte Cristo,” an upcoming BYU production of Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy’s musical.
The week leading up to the Spectacular offers a variety of activities. Students can hike and light the Y with President Worthen and his wife, slip and slide through the True Blue Foam and enjoy a pancake breakfast. BYU alumni will present lectures throughout the week.
Homecoming starts Tuesday with the opening Devotional, featuring performances from the BYU Cougar marching band, Men’s Chorus and others.
Click here for the full Homecoming week schedule.