Blue Man Group to stop at Tuscarawas campus during tour



Members of the Blue Man Group play unique instruments made from plastic pipes, flexible poles and other unusual objects. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus .

Rachel Sluss

After 30 minutes of capping their heads and painting themselves from head to toe with blue grease paint, this group’s show will be ready in a little over an hour. Are they blue? Check. How’s the lighting? Magnificent. Are the technicalities all in order? Yes. Do all these things create one enveloping experience? Absolutely.

Kent State Tuscarawas’s Performing Arts Center will be transformed into a musical, technical and bizarre domain Monday and Tuesday when Blue Man Group hits the stage from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Thomas Flood, Performing Arts Center box office manager, expects the show to attract a large and diverse crowd.

“The beauty of this show, because it is more of an experience, is that it covers and crosses all of our traditional buying segments,” Flood said. “For that reason we expect people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. We expect to be at full capacity for both shows: 1,100 each night.”

Blue Man Group member Chris Smith said the three originators of Blue Man Group — Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman — had various interests in theater, science and music. All of their interests molded into one original presentation that concentrates on communication with one another and with the audience.

“The mission of a Blue Man character is to communicate,” Smith said.

Blue Man group does not talk with the audience; they never tell viewers what they’re thinking or feeling. All communication on stage is nonverbal. Smith described how easy it is to communicate with even a simple squint or raising of an eyebrow.

“You can see a lot of wheels turn behind people’s eyes in the audience,” Smith said. “When one sense is deprived, the others become more acute.”

Blue Man Group strives to build a connection with its audience. Performances often consist of underlying themes that deal with society, such as overuse of technology. The performance makes a point to raise awareness and make people ponder about how society is today.

Smith said the Blue Man Group puts on a family-friendly show.

“Every age can get something from it. We try to get adults to bring out their inner child,” said Smith. “People need these releases and reminders. It’s a good escape for college students, too.”

Tuscarawas will be the first college campus at which the Blue Man Group has ever performed. Smith said the “odds are good” that an audience member will be chosen to interact with the group on stage.

“I’m really excited for a college audience,” Smith said. “I loved college; I was a huge school-spirit nut.”

Rachel Sluss is the regional campus beat reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. [email protected]

Contact Rachel Sluss at [email protected].