Theater and Dance Department Professor Lynne Conner was a featured guest on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” show on January 29. She spoke about her new book, Audience Engagement and the Role of Arts Talk in the Digital Era (published by Palgrave Macmillan) and answered questions from callers interested in the changing role of audiences in the 21st century. In addition to her new book, Dr. Conner just launched “We the Audience,” a featured blog on ArtsJournal.com, the most widely read arts industry journal (with 30,000 subscribers). You can follow her blog at: http://www.artsjournal.com/wetheaudience/
Archive for the ‘News’
Congratulations go out to Walter Belenky ’02 for landing his first role on Broadway in the critically acclaimed Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike — winner of the 2013 Tony for best play!
Jordan Lorenz ’15, Jack Gobillot ’14 and Anna Doyle ’15 are all in a local show together this summer! They are doing William Inge’s Picnic with Gaslight Theater in Hallowell. Jordan is playing Hal, Jack is Alan, and Anna is Madge. They would like to invite anyone in the area to come see the show, touting, “We have a great cast and crew and I think it’s going to be a really good show”. The show is August 23rd, 24th, 25th, 29th, 30th, and 31st. All shows are at 7:30pm except Sunday the 25th is a 2pm matinee. Tickets are 10 dollars, but if you would like to usher you can get in for free!
The Portland Phoenix had great things to say about this production (and our students)! Read the full review here.
Annie Kloppenberg and Todd Coulter, both assistant professors of theater and dance, will perform an original dance work, “Avalanche,” at the Danspace Project, St. Mark’s Church, in New York City June 6-8. Danspace is a premier venue for dance and performance in New York that features rising and established figures of the performance world.
“Avalanche” was created under a Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Mellon Faculty Enhancement Grant during the 2011-12 academic year. The piece had its premiere in Philadelphia in 2012 and was performed at the Space Gallery in Portland, Maine, May 28-29, 2013.
Kloppenberg and Coulter worked with Michael Reidy, Carol Dilley, and Rachel Boggia from Bates and with the Bessie Award-winning Headlong Dance Theater of Philadelphia to create the new work in which they perform.
In a review on the website Thinking Dance Lynn Matluck described college-level dance and theater teachers who see performance as a mode of investigation, a way of knowing—as archival or experimental research-and-publication. “Some schools buy the argument, even embrace it,” she wrote. “Clearly, Colby and Bates are leaders of this pack.”
See more about “Avalanche” on the Danspace website.
Theater and Dance-Interdisciplinary Computation major, Victoria Tisdale ’15, has been accepted to the Google Summer of Code program and will be working on code for communicating with automated stage lighting instruments. She will be testing her work using some of the equipment in Strider Theater this summer. Congratulations Victoria!
Google’s description of the program…
Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We work with many open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together nearly 6,000 successful student participants and over 3000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide, all for the love of code.
Through Google Summer of Code, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.
Conner wins Merit Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for her adaptation of Lysistrata.
Associate professor Lynne Conner has received a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Merit Award for “Excellent Adaptation of Old Greek Comedy.” Her original adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata premiered in November 2012 as part of Theater and Dance’s main stage season in Strider Theater. Professor Conner wrote and directed the adaptation, which also featured the creative research of scenographer Jim Thurston, composer/sound producer Peter de Klerk, costume designer Christine Nilles and technical director John D. Ervin in collaboration with 40 Colby student actors, associate designers, assistant directors, stage managers, stage craft technicians and stage hands. Professor Conner is the author of more than 30 plays and stage adaptations, including In the Garden of Live Flowers (published by Dramatic Publishing Company), which won the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award in 2002. Her latest work is Light of the Mind, a performance piece written in collaboration with composer Jonathan Hallstrom. Light of the Mind will be staged in Strider Theater on February 27 as part of Colby’s 200th birthday celebration.
Reid Farrington ’99 has a new show running in New York entitiled Reid Farrington’s A Christmas Carol. As described in the promo, A Christmas Carol is an imaginative and ghostly new show based on one of the most ubiquitous stories of all time by one of the most famous authors in the English language. Created and directed by acclaimed theater and new media artist Reid Farrington (of The Passion Project and Gin & “It”), this exciting work takes the form of a Victorian-era phantasmagoria, conjuring up ghosts of the past, present, and future by integrating media and live theater with the well-known holiday classic.
Beyond that, we’re doubly excited for him as this piece is featured on the cover of this month’s American Theatre magazine!
The Colby College Department of Theater and Dance presents The Long Christmas Ride Home by Pulitzer-prize winner Paula Vogel on November 10-12, 2011 at 7:30pm.
In Paula Vogel’s play, past, present and future collide on a snowy Christmas Eve for a troubled family of five. Featuring Bunraku-style puppets and live actors, the play puts an average American family on display to show how we love, hurt, and dream.
To create the puppets, the Department of Theater and Dance teamed up with Carol and John Farrell, founders of Figures of Speech Theatre, an internationally regarded puppet theater based in Freeport Maine. Vogel’s play focuses on the lives of the family’s three children, played by live actors and by student operated Bunraku-style puppets. Colby professor of Theater and Dance Todd Coulter, who is directing the play, brought in the Farrells to build the puppets and to train Colby students in the intricate art of operating them. For Colby students, this is an unusual opportunity to learn a revered form of Japanese puppetry and to expand definitions of acting and storytelling. For area audiences, the pairing of live actors with Bunraku-style puppets in The Long Christmas Ride Home is both haunting and beautiful.
The Farrells founded their theater company in the early 1980s and have performed across the country and the globe. They recently presented their work and aesthetic philosophy at a TEDxDirigo talk in Portland (Click Here to watch John and Carol). The couple view puppets as vessels; their role as puppeteers is to put egos aside in order to allow the personality of the characters they are portraying to move through them and into the puppets. It is truly a magical experience to watch them work.
Admission is free and tickets are available at the door. The play concerns adult themes and is not recommended for young children.
Time Out New York has listed Reid Farrington’s (’99) The Passion Project as a critics pick in both the dance and theater sections. The piece also features Shelly Kay (Wollert) (’98).
Here are the links:
The Department of Theater & Dance is proud to announce that beginning Fall 2011, we have a student Presidential Scholar working with faculty on a research project:
Theater and Dance: “Innovation and Aesthetic Change in Scenography for Contemporary Dance.”
Sponsor: James Thurston, Adjunct Associate Professor of Theater and Dance (email@example.com)
Colby Academic Research Assistant (CARA) for 2011-2012: Emily Post ’15
The digital age continues to revolutionize technology used in rendering more abstract scenographic visions. This intense technological change in turn radically reshapes choreographic possibility and, ultimately, the aesthetic used in creating dance. This aesthetic change is at the core of my research. How is the collaborative relationship changing between designers, choreographers, and performers? How is process, including scenographic process, altering the way these artists conceive of new work? What scenographic potential is now in the hands of the performer?
In addition to researching the above topic, Emily will pursue creative research as an Assistant Light Designer for The Long Christmas Ride Home.