Friday, October 28, 4pm Simpson Center for the Humanities, Communications 202/204
Reception and refreshments to follow in the Simpson Center.
Sean Metzger is an Associate Professor of theater and performance studies at UCLA and the president of Performance Studies international. Metzger works at the intersections of Asian American, Caribbean, Chinese, film, performance and sexuality studies. His first book, Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race, was published by Indiana University Press in 2014. Metzger has also co-edited four collections of essays: Embodying Asian/American Sexualities with Gina Masequesmay (Lexington, 2009); Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures with Olivia Khoo (Intellect, 2009); Race, Space, Place: The Making and Unmaking of Freedoms in the Atlantic World with Michaeline Crichlow (a special issue of Cultural Dynamics, Nov. 2009); Islands, Images, Imaginaries with Francisco J. Hernández Adrián and Michaeline Crichlow (a special issue of Third Text, 2014). With John Clum, he co-edited an anthology of dramatic texts entitled Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing up Gay (Cambria, 2015).
Metzger is currently a Framing the Global fellow with Indiana University and Indiana University Press for which he is working on a second book, The Chinese Atlantic: Seascapes and the Theatricality of Globalization.
With queer-themed plays and performances now a fixture on stages across the country, what do we mean when we talk about “queer theatre and performance in Canada?” How might we sum up the state of the field: where we have been; where we are now; and where we are going? This conference and workshop event, to be held at Simon Fraser University’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver from July 21-24, 2016, and timed to coincide with the frank theatre company’s Clean Sheets Reading Series, will attempt to answer these and related questions by bringing together leading artists, academics, activists, producers, curators,
and critics for a series of provocative roundtable discussions and staged readings of new work.
The starting point for our conversations will be an interrogation of the very terms that make up our conference title. In our post-(post?)identity politics 21st century, what aesthetic and political traction is
to be gained—if any—in retaining the label “queer” to describe contemporary theatre and performance practice made under the LGBTTQ banner? In a country as regionally, linguistically, and culturally diverse as
Canada, can one even adequately account for all of the material produced under such a label? And in a performance landscape increasingly crowded with ever more queer idioms (burlesque, cabaret, stand-up), does the gay- or lesbian-themed play seem impossibly quaint? In short, where is here now? And is here still queer?
Conference and workshop presenters are invited to explore these questions in relation to some of the following possible topics:
· History: What is Canada’s queer dramatic heritage? Does it make sense, in 2016, to speak of a queer theatrical canon in this country? If so, who would be included? What other voices still need to be
recovered? What archival projects have been—or need to be—undertaken to document and preserve past work by queer companies and artists in this country? What are some of the more important stories we would find in such archives?
· Geography: Does Canada’s de facto literary and cultural regionalism apply to queer theatre and performance as well? To what extent does place—including the urban/rural divide—continue to define the content of and audiences for queer live art in this country? What are the impediments to touring work produced by queer artists/companies? How much cultural transfer/collaboration takes place between queer theatre-makers in English Canada and their counter-parts in Quebec? And/or are all of these questions rendered obsolete via the globalized/financialized/festi
· Economics: Money, money, money: who has it, who wants it, and how does one get it? As public funding for art and culture in Canada shrinks generally, how has this specifically impacted queer theatre and
performance? What kind of corporate, public/private, and/or crowd-sourced funding models are producers turning to in order to fill the gap? Relatedly, can we make any correlations between diminished budgets and
the kind and quality of material we are now seeing on stages? Why is it important to do the basic statistical analysis and forensic number-crunching to answer these questions?
· Politics: In an era of same-sex marriage, anti-retrovirals, and sex-positive anti-bullying campaigns, what does Canadian queer performance still need to get angry about? Is there a danger in becoming too
complacent? How might the history of grassroots queer activism be allied to other pressing causes, including environmentalism, First Nations rights, (trans*)gender equity, homelessness, the decriminalization of
· Equity: Like most in North America and Western Europe, Canadian theatres continue to remain predominantly white and male and able-bodied—both in terms of the folks on stage, and those behind the scenes. How has queer theatre and performance in Canada, historically, responded to the challenge of gender and cultural diversity? What still needs to be done? And what specific productions/festivals/collabor
· Aesthetics: What characterizes the kinds of queer performance being made in Canada today? How do we assess a work of dramatic naturalism alongside the spectacle of “boylesque,” or Nina Arsenault’s Silicone
Diaries, or the retro-media storytelling of Daniel Barrow? Is contemporary Canadian queer performance nationally distinctive? If so, how?
· Technology: How have new media technologies changed queer theatre and performance in Canada, both in terms of the production and dissemination of new work? Who are the performers and companies who are
embracing this technology and using it most cannily? And, how, specifically are they making the technology queer?
· Criticism: How has queer Canadian theatre and performance historically been received and what new work/performers are being anointed today? As arts reporting in print journalism continues to decrease, how
have the blogosphere and social media changed the critical landscape for queer theatre and performance? How has the academic discourse also evolved? What studies are being produced and what material is being
taught in university classrooms?
· Industry: Who are the major players (actors/performers, writers, producers) in Canadian queer theatre and performance today? Where are they being trained, where are they showcasing their work, and who is
paying attention? As importantly, who were the mentors and pathbreakers for this current generation?
In order to encourage as much dialogue as possible, the format for the conference will be a series of curated roundtables, each made up of a mix of academics, artists, cultural presenters and critics, etc.
Participants will be asked to submit their completed 8-10 page papers/presentations/manifesto
Then, at the conference itself, in lieu of reading their papers, participants will give a brief 5-minute summative statement and response to their fellow panelists’ work, after which things will be opened up to a
general conversation. Finally, each evening will be dedicated to a staged reading/presentation of new work by some of the leading queer artists in the country.
Following the conclusion of the conference, selected participants will be invited to revise and expand their papers for possible inclusion in a dedicated volume to be published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2018
as part of their New Essays in Canadian Theatre series. A companion volume of plays will also be published.
Interested participants should send a short 250-word abstract of their intended presentation to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a brief bio, by 15 May 2015. We will inform you of your proposal’s acceptance by 15 August 2015, at which point conference organizers will begin the process of applying for additional conference funding. Please note that our ability to fund in full participants’ travel and accommodation costs to Vancouver is contingent on receiving the bulk of this funding. We will inform participants about travel booking procedures by early February 2016 at the latest.
For more information, send enquires to email@example.com.
The Queer Theatre and Performance in Canada Organizing Committee:
Jan Derbyshire, Vancouver and Toronto
Peter Dickinson, Simon Fraser University
Chris Gatchalian, the frank theatre company
Kathleen Oliver, Langara College
Dalbir Singh, University of Toronto
Dr. Peter Dickinson
Department of English
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Canada V5A 1S6
Please join us for a talk on May 20 by Dr. Henry Bial, professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas, and author of Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage.
Dr. Bial’s lecture is titled “Jesus Christ, Broadway Star,” and will be given at 4 pm, Friday, May 20 in Communications 120.
Reception to follow in the Simpson Center, Communications 202.
Description: In the United States, the Bible is understood to be the source of nearly all mainstream religion. Broadway, meanwhile, represents both the highest and lowest aspirations of the American stage, the pinnacle of theatrical excellence and excess. What happens when a culture’s most sacred text enters its most commercial performance venue? Performance studies scholar Henry Bial compares the Broadway musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell with an emphasis on the strategies each show takes toward the representation of Jesus of Nazareth.
Henry Bial is Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas, where he serves as Director of the School of the Arts and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. He is the author of Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage (2015) and Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen (2005), and the co-editor of Theater Historiography: Critical Interventions (2010, with Scott Magelssen), The Performance Studies Reader, Third Edition (2015, with Sara Brady), and Brecht Sourcebook (2000, with Carol Martin). Bial is Past President of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Organized by the Performance Studies Research Group, a crossdisciplinary research cluster of the Simpson Center for the Humanities.
Questions: contact Scott Magelssen firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 9, 2016
2:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Interactive performance
4:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Reception
wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House, UW Seattle
Admission is FREE, but space is limited. RSVP today!
When something unjust happens we often fight, freeze, or flee. Is there another choice?
Dive into the deep waters with us and explore:
TfC UW uses Theater of the Oppressed and other interactive, participatory theater approaches to advance community dialogue, address issues related to classroom and institutional climate, and take action for change.
TfC UW is a collaboration between the UW Center for Teaching and Learning and Memory War Theater.
For its fourth annual event, UW Drama’s 2015-2016 Performing Arts Lectures seek to engage scholars, theatre artists and administrators, and the theatre-going and drama-reading public in a discussion about the meaning of “new drama.”
The evening will consist of three 30 minute presentations followed by a reception. The featured speakers are:
School of Drama Executive Director Todd London takes us on a tour of contemporary American playwriting and what we think we know about it.
Adair Rounthwaite examines the performance of two groups whose work of the 2000s addressed the divisive politics of former Yugoslav member states: the Janez Janšas, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and The Monument Group, based in Belgrade, Serbia. Both groups engage with questions of citizenship, in a way that evokes the multi-ethnic history of Yugoslavia. But their acts of mining that history don’t propose a nostalgic return to the socialist past. Rather, they aim to open political dialogue by problematizing the ethnically-identified politics of their present-day nation states.
Every new movement in German theater since the 18th century has promised a radical break from the conventional fare served up until just recently. Remarkably, cutting-edge theorists and practitioners of the theater invariably turn to Aristotle to explain their innovations. Many of the most disparate innovators frame their avant-gardism as a return to authentic Greek tragedy. Even when someone like Brecht presents his Epic Theater as “anti-Aristotelian,” a close look at the substance of his claims reveals a striking kinship to some of the key analytical terms from the Poetics. Through the lens of one concept in particular, the controversial notion of catharsis, this lecture will trace the curious reliance on the old to stage new drama from the Enlightenment to today.
Harvey Young’s research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals, profiled in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education and cited in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. He has published seven books, including Embodying Black Experience, winner of “Book of the Year” awards from the National Communication Association and the American Society for Theatre Research and, most recently, Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (coauthored with Mecca Zabriskie). Dr. Young has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Yale Club of Chicago, and the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. A former Harvard and Stanford fellow, he graduated with honors from Yale and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell. He is currently President-elect of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the largest association dedicated to college/university theatre with nearly 2,000 members, and the editor of Theatre Survey, the journal of the American Society for Theatre Research.
The Performance Studies Research Group draws together scholars from various disciplines to read and discuss foundational and new work in Performance Studies. We also host quarterly talks by leading scholars from US and international universities. Past speakers include Shannon Jackson (Berkeley), Soyini Madison (Northwestern), and Rebecca Schneider (Brown). Through regular discussions of readings in Performance Studies and quarterly talks by speakers, we are laying the foundations for the University of Washington to be a vital space for sustained conversation about how Performance Studies helps us know the world around us.
The Performance Studies Research Group is pleased to announce a special panel co-sponsored with the Seattle Repertory Theatre in conjunction with this month’s production of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama, DISGRACED:
SPEAK UP: WHAT IS THE REALITY OF BEING A MUSLIM AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME?
In the current cultural climate where Islamophobia is rampant and further exacerbated by recent events, this Speak Up! addresses how Muslims in the U.S. and abroad proactively give back to their communities without sacrificing their faith and identity. In partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar Disgraced, beginning January 8, 2016, this panel will discuss the following thematic question of the play, "What is the reality of being a Muslim American at this moment in time?" A ticket discount for Seattle Repertory Theatre's Disgraced will be offered to attendees of this discussion. For more information about the production and other related events, visit www.seattlerep.org. This event is presented as part of a series of panels, in conjunction with the University of Washington Graduate and Professional Student Senate, UW School of Drama, Simpson Center for the Humanities, Town Hall Seattle and Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Attendees will receive a code for a 30% discount on tickets for DISGRACED
Please join us for this important conversation!
The Performance Studies Research Group draws together scholars from various disciplines to read and discuss foundational and new work in Performance Studies. We also host quarterly talks by leading scholars from US and international universities. Through regular discussions of readings in Performance Studies and quarterly talks by speakers, we are laying the foundations for the University of Washington to be a vital space for sustained conversation about how Performance Studies helps us know the world around us.
Speak Up!- Moderated panel of experts, activists, scholars and artists that will address the deeper themes in Seattle Rep's production of Disgraced:
Monday, January 11, 7:30 p.m.
University of Washington – Communications Building 120
4109 NE Seasons Way, 98195.
This is a FREE event. Campus parking available, $5 after 5pm.
In the current cultural climate where Islamophobia is rampant and further exacerbated by recent events, this Speak Up! addresses how Muslims in the U.S. and abroad proactively give back to their communities without sacrificing their faith and identity. In partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar Disgraced, beginning January 8, 2016, this panel will discuss the following thematic question of the play,
"What is the reality of being a Muslim American at this moment in time?"
A ticket discount for Seattle Repertory Theatre's Disgraced will be offered to attendees of this discussion. For more information about the production and other related events, visit https://www.seattlerep.org/Plays/1516/DG/Synopsis.
Moderator: Monica Cortés Viharo (PhD Student, UW School of Drama, and Vice President of the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate).
Panelists: Lesley Hazleton (author, The First Muslim), Behzad Dabu (actor, Disgraced) and Duygu Erdogan Monson (Professor of Theater and Film at Shoreline Community College and PhD Student, UW School of Drama).
The Southeast Asia Center in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies has invited world-renowned Indonesian theater director Rachman Sabur of Teater Payung Hitam (Black Umbrella Theater Group) to the University of Washington for a public symposium at the Penthouse Theater on December 11 from 6:00-8:00 pm. He will be joined by three members of his company to perform the physical theater piece Merah Bolong, which translates loosely to Red Emptiness. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion on “Islam, Politics and Performing Arts in Indonesia” between Director Sabur and scholars of Indonesian theater. This event is free and open to the public.
Bio(s) of Participant(s): http://www.kelola.or.id/database/theatre/list/&dd_id=34&p=3