The executive director for Lindenwood University’s new Center for Fine and Performing Arts started work on site on Feb. 4, but he has been for several months booking acts for the center, which is scheduled to open this summer.
Peter Bezemes, a 1979 Lindenwood graduate, has had a very successful career in the entertainment industry; he has performed casting for Hollywood films, television, Broadway theatre and many others. He has also worked as a producer or promoter in virtually every facet of the entertainment industry. He worked as a radio producer and worked for RKO Broadcasting in TV and radio licensing. He has produced concerts and records, has been a music publisher, is a voting member of the recording arts academy that selects nominees and winners for the Grammy Awards, and has written for television and the stage, among others.
“I first read about the Center for Fine and Performing Arts in the Lindenwood alumni newsletter,” Bezemes said. “I was excited about it as an alum, and I made a call to Dr. (James D.) Evans (president of Lindenwood University), who was my psychology professor when I went to school there.”
Later, he did some consulting regarding the new facility and in June accepted an offer to become executive director of the facility. He said the building itself was a key factor in his decision to take the job.
“I have been in many theaters, and it quickly became apparent to me that this was no ordinary school facility,” Bezemes said. “The theatre is grander than most theatres on Broadway. There is an amazing amount of fly space, a large stage, and the surrounding support systems are all in place–a scene shop, costume facilities, and the music and dance facilities. There is nothing we can’t do there. It will bring wonderful recognition to the school.”
Bezemes said that versatility makes it a natural stop for touring companies, musical acts and celebrity performers, some of which have already been booked for the facility’s first season. An announcement of specific acts is forthcoming.
Bezemes said that in addition to having a first-class facility in which to produce their own shows and concerts, students will benefit from the exposure to and opportunity to work with professional shows and performers that come to the center.
“There will be learning opportunities they won’t see anywhere else, including the well-known performing arts schools in New York and elsewhere,” Bezemes said. “It’s an amazing and exciting thing for any student to be able to work with the best equipment in the best facility and to have the chance to work around professionals at a lower cost than other places."
The opening performance is planned for September 2008, although the details have yet to be announced. Bezemes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-227-8464.