May 3, 2016

Backstage at the Egyptian: An Interview with Tamara Newquist and Miranda Cordes

Miranda                   Tammy

                   Miranda Cordes                                           Tamara Newquist

Interview conducted by Brandon Pugh- Egyptian Theatre Intern 

Tamara Newquist and Miranda Cordes have spearheaded the planning process for the upcoming March to Bourbon Street event to be held at the Egyptian Theatre on May 6, 2016 at 7:00PM. 

Brandon: What is March to Bourbon Street?

Tamara & Miranda: March to Bourbon Street is a tributary event that celebrates the New Orleans jazz scene and is signature to the Mardi Gras event.   This event is an extravaganza that embraces the local art community with connected talents in various art disciplines.

Brandon: What is Artigras?

Tamara & Miranda: Presented by NIU and the City of DeKalb, Artigras is a Celebration of the Arts—both in the DeKalb community as well as on the NIU campus.  The event will consist of an arts parade, a post-parade party featuring music, crafts and games, Art Gallery shows and receptions, and evening concerts. “March to Bourbon Street” is part of Artigras as the opening night event.


Brandon: What will be available to do at March to Bourbon Street?

Tamara & Miranda: Guests will be immersed into the Bourbon Street experience with live jazz music by “Jazz in Progress” ensemble. There will be a variety of short stage performances in the lobby, roaming characters, mask sales, art on display, a 30 minute professional dance performance (DeKalb Dance Dimensions), “Swingin’ with the Blues” in the theatre and a bourbon tasting to cap off the evening. Food and drinks will be available by Tapa Luna Restaurant.

Brandon: Why is hosting this event at the Egyptian Theatre special?

Tamara & Miranda: We (Tamara and Miranda) have performed at the Egyptian Theatre for over 20 years as dance artists and love the venue-it feels like home to both of us.

Brandon: Why did you choose to host at the Egyptian Theatre? 

Tamara & Miranda: This event is meant to bring our community together through a celebration of the arts.  The Egyptian Theatre is a staple in our community and a perfect place for an event such as this.

Brandon: How did the idea for March to Bourbon Street develop?

Tamara & Miranda: I (Tamara) had developed other events like this in Milwaukee in which Miranda had performed in.  With that experience, we believed it was needed in our community and would be just as popular.


Brandon: Why is celebrating the arts important?

Tamara & Miranda: Celebrating the arts is important for human expression and gives us an outlet in which to show our individuality and creativity, while bringing people together.  Arts is also a great avenue to allow our youth to expand their minds in a positive environment, grow as individuals and build confidence in themselves.

Brandon: What has been your role in making this event come to fruition?

Tamara & Miranda: Our role in this event includes creating the event, recruiting over 40 local artists and musicians to participate, coordinating the short stage acts, choreographing and directing a 30 minute dance production, costuming, designing and installing the interiors and soliciting sponsorship.

Interested in more information on March to Bourbon Street? Check out the Egyptian Theatre’s website for tickets and other upcoming events.