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Excitement Takes Center Stage as BCPA Announces New Season

Exterior of the BCPA
Chauncey Davis
Creative Commons
The 2021-22 Season at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts begins September 8

After a year of COVID shutdowns, the lights are back on at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA) in downtown Bloomington.

The venue last week announced its 2021-22 lineup, and Artistic Director JongHun Kim said he can’t decide which show he looks forward to most.

“Since I planned this season, I am excited for everything,” he said.

If he had to choose, Kim said the 25th Anniversary of "Rent" might top his list. The iconic musical is bidding adieu to the stage this year with a farewell tour. Kim also named “Women in Jazz” as a potential favorite. He said that show will explore the role of women in pioneering the genre.

“Black female jazz signers were the foundation of current jazz,” he said.

Like it did for many things, COVID scuttled last year’s shows. But Kim said BCPA patrons won’t end up missing out on the 2020-21 lineup.

“I rescheduled everything to this coming season. I think our community will still have a great time,” he said.

Being cut off from the arts during COVID was extremely difficult for both artists and audiences, Kim said. He compared the opportunity to connect with audiences again to one of his most formative experiences:

“I’m a first-generation immigrant and I came (to) the United State without knowing how to speak English. The first time I could communicate with an English speaker, I was so excited for everything that I could do. And that’s how excited I am right now.”

Kim said the shutdowns interrupted the dialogue between the performing arts and the communities they serve. But as things open back up, the lines of communication are opening, too. He said not only is the BCPA able to connect with audiences again, the community is able to give feedback about what kind of performances it’d like to see.

“That kind of communication is starting," Kim said. “I am so excited about that.”

Sarah Nardi is a WGLT reporter. She previously worked for the Chicago Reader covering Arts & Culture.