Past Events

UW School of Drama

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: 

Todd London, School of Drama
What's New, and Who Decides?

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, School of Art + Art History + Design
Citizen Action: Political Radicalism in Contemporary Performance from Serbia and Slovenia

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.

Ellwood Wiggins, Department of Germanics
Old is the New New: Reinventing Catharsis from Bourgeois Tragedy to Post-Dramatic Theater 

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.

UW Performance Studies Research Group

The UW Performance Studies Research Group is pleased to announce a lecture by Harvey Young, Northwestern University, on Friday, January 22, in the Simpson Center for the Humanities. Please join us!
 
“A Racist Love Note: Stereotypes and Caricatures in early 20th Century Valentine’s Day Cards.”
 
5pm, Friday, January 22 
Communications (CMU) 120
 
Description: This presentation spotlights the darker side of Valentine’s Day, the sending of caricature greeting cards featuring popular (and negative) stereotypes of African Americans. Harvey Young reveals the wide appeal of such cards and discusses how their circulation informed 20th century US racial discourse. Applying the language of performance studies to activate the material archive, Young demonstrates how early valentines enabled “race play,” a role playing of and a reveling in the excesses of imagined black identity.  
 
A reception follows in the Simpson Center (CMU 206).
 
Dr. Young will also be a participant in a discussion following the Seattle Repertory Theatre matinee performance of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama Disgraced on Saturday, January 23.
 

Harvey Young’s research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals, profiled in The New YorkerThe 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.

 

Performance Studies Research Group

Seattle Repertory Theatre

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?

7:30 PM, Monday, January 11, 2016
Communications Building 120
Free and open to the public

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.

Panel Speakers:
Monica Cortés Viharo (PhD Student, School of Drama UW), moderator
Lesley Hazleton (author of The First Muslim),
Behzad Dabu (Disgraced actor, Abe)
Karam Dana (Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences UW, Bothell) 
Duygu Erdoğan Monson (Faculty, Shoreline Community College and School of Drama PhD student)  

Attendees will receive a code for a 30% discount on tickets for DISGRACED 

Please join us for this important conversation!

Scott

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.

 

School of Drama, PhD program

Friday, December 4, from 1:30 to 2:30pm, the School of Drama PhD program is hosting a brown bag lunch talk and discussion with Jeremy Ehrlich, former Head of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

Jeremy will tell us about the ins and outs of researching in the archives (what’s there, how to get to it, what’s involved, etc.).  Anyone looking for the scoop on archival research now or in the future is welcome to join us!  
 
Friday, December 4, 1:30-2:30, Hutchinson 154. Feel free to bring a lunch or snack!

Rebecca Schneider
Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University

4pm, Friday, April 24, 120 Communications
Reception to Follow in Simpson Center.

Extending a Hand: Gesture, Duration and the (Non)Human Turn

What are the limits of “liveness” in so-called live artwork? What is the duration of gesture? Thinking about call and response, or hail and acknowledgement, Schneider asks: How long can call lie in wait for response? How far can a hail extend? Schneider looks at mid-century art works emphasizing gesture and hands. She also considers negative hand prints at Paleolithic cave sites as well as the rock face itself to address questions of agency and “inter(in)animacy.” If hands are vehicles of extension, what is extended in extending a hand? If we can be done with the limits of “representation” what about the slippery skin of mimesis as rock touches (or enters) hand, hand rock? What are the vulnerabilities of geologic time in relationship to human time? Who performs? Who calls? Who responds?

Rebecca Schneider, Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, teaches performance studies, theater history, and theories of intermedia. She is the author of  Theatre and History (Palgrave 2014), Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (Routledge 2011) and The Explicit Body in Performance (Routledge, 1997). She has coedited the anthology Re:Direction: A Theoretical and Practical Guide to 20th-Century Directing  and a special issue of TDR: The Drama Review on Precarity and Performance (2012) . She is a consortium editor for TDR, contributing editor to Women and Theatre, coeditor with David Krasner of the book series "Theatre: Theory/Text/Performance" with University of Michigan Press, and consulting editor for the series "Performance Interventions" with Palgrave Macmillan.

Organized by the Performance Studies Research Group, a Crossdisciplinary Research Cluster sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

D. Soyini Madison

Performance Studies Research Group

The talk will discuss the embodied and critical artistry of performance ethnography and how the felt-sensing experiences of fieldwork research are enacted and translated both on the public stage and within the intimate, ethnographic encounters of those everyday moments in the field. As more and more people, across academic disciplines and grass roots initiatives, are committed to ethnographic work they are compelled to share their experiences, to become unapologetic advocates, and to communicate lessons learned from their field research across landscapes and borders—distant and near—to their home-place locations as well as to others, e.g., friends, colleagues, collaborators, and strangers extending and transforming ethnographic inquiry forward to multiple constituencies and artistic expressions. The keynote will share examples of performance ethnography as an affective, felt-sensing politics staged across private and public ethnographic spaces. The talk will also call upon beauty as a communicative tactic for justice in bringing forth storied ethnographies as embodied experiences and enfleshed critique.

D. Soyini Madison (PhD 1989, Northwestern University) is professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University School of Communication, with appointments in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Anthropology. Professor Madison lived and worked in Ghana, as a Senior Fulbright Scholar conducting field research on the interconnections between traditional religion, political economy, and indigenous performance tactics.

This lecture is the second of three lectures presented by the Performance Studies Research Group, and is free and open to the public. A reception to follow. For questions, please contact Scott Magelssen, Associate Professor of Theatre History, at magelss@uw.edu

The lecture and reception are in the Communications Building Room 120.

Shannon Jackson

Performance Studies Research Group

 

In the last two decades, readers, critics, artists, curators, and citizen-spectators have been contending with a new--or newly redefined--ethos of performance. Curators now regularly install choreography in galleries.  Visual artists are staging operas. Performances are staged in the lobbies of museums as well in at the center of its exhibitions. Meanwhile, civic leaders tout the importance of “creativity” in vitalizing cities, seeking to attract designers, new restaurants, and technology entrepreneurs to their neighborhoods. Cities stage site-specific festivals and promote themselves within an expanding roster of international biennials. Cultural centers around the globe consistently use a performance-centered vocabulary to frame their aesthetic contributions and their public programming and outreach. In this expanded cultural landscape, all participants are encouraged to act, to experience, to stage, and to try out alternate selves and behaviors. Meanwhile, many wonder whether this compulsion to perform is symptomatic of a wider global shift, one that sees cultural economies fueling and being fueled by the pressures of so-called “post-Fordist” service economy. 

In her lecture, Shannon Jackson takes stock of recent trends in a wide cultural landscape. Recalling some of the central debates in the field of performance studies, she explores and juxtaposes the very different vocabularies and histories that artists, critics, curators, and citizens bring to bear in this scene of aesthetic and social experiment. She also examines key sites of experimentation and debate, asking how artists and organizers are incorporating but also questioning the experiential ethos of a service economy.

Shannon Jackson is the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Chair in the Arts & Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies. She is also the Director of the Arts Research Center.

                                

University of Washinton School of Drama

Cathy Madden 
Principal Lecturer, School of Drama

Pioneering Spirit in the Celebrity of the Discontented Everyman:  F.M. Alexander
One function of celebrity is to hold up to us what is possible. The kind of celebrity represented by F.M. Alexander is one that reminds us we can pioneer our lives: responding to discontent with constructive desire and steadfast in our ability to be a celebrity in our own world.

Cathy Madden leads workshops on the Alexander Technique around the world. Her book Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy is scheduled for publication in January 2015.

 


 

2014/2015 Performing Arts Lecture Series
From Helen of Troy to the Kardashian sisters, celebrities, or (in Joseph Roach’s definition) “abnormally interesting people,” have fascinated the public imagination over the centuries. This series of lectures from scholars and art practitioners across academic disciplines considers why certain historical figures or fictional characters have possessed a special power to fascinate their public.

University of Washinton School of Drama

Ruby Blondell
Professor, Classics

"Advertised for 2700 Years and Now You Get Her!" - Helen of Troy on the Silver Screen
In an era that believes beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how can one possibly cast any individual performer as the most beautiful woman in the world? This talk explores how harnessing the glamour of stardom is the most persuasive means of capturing Helen of Troy’s mythical celebrity on screen.

Professor Ruby Blondell is a Helen of Troy expert and has presented on the subject at GeekGirlCon 2013 and the Getty Villa. Her current book project focuses on the portrayal of Helen in popular film and television.

 


 

2014/2015 Performing Arts Lecture Series
From Helen of Troy to the Kardashian sisters, celebrities, or (in Joseph Roach’s definition) “abnormally interesting people,” have fascinated the public imagination over the centuries. This series of lectures from scholars and art practitioners across academic disciplines considers why certain historical figures or fictional characters have possessed a special power to fascinate their public.

University of Washinton School of Drama

Odai Johnson
Professor, School of Drama

The Predatory Gaze of Looking

Bob Dylan wrote of the great loss of artistry he suffered after Woodstock, when he no longer could look at the world because he had become instead the thing looked at. This first talk of the series considers the predatory relationship of celebrity to the artist it feeds upon. Sometimes it feasts upon the private life, but usually it begins with the choice bits – the artistic impulse itself.

Odai Johnson is a professor of theatre history and the head of the School of Drama’s PhD program, as well as a founding member of the Center for Performance Studies.

 


 

2014/15 Performing Arts Lecture Series
From Helen of Troy to the Kardashian sisters, celebrities, or (in Joseph Roach’s definition) “abnormally interesting people,” have fascinated the public imagination over the centuries. This series of lectures from scholars and art practitioners across academic disciplines considers why certain historical figures or fictional characters have possessed a special power to fascinate their public.

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