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English-language premiere of the play Black History (Histoire de nègre)

By University Theater on March 24, 2015

Black History (Histoire de nègre) PosterOn March 29, at 12:00 p.m., Colgate University will present a staged reading of Black History (Histoire de nègre), performed by students, in Golden Auditorium, Little Hall. Admission is free, and a reception will immediately follow the event.

Black History (Histoire de nègre) is a collaboratively authored, participatory drama first performed on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1971. The staged reading at Colgate is the first performance of this historically important play in English, and the world premiere of a new translation by Professor Andrew Daily of the University of Memphis, who will be a guest at the reading. Black History (Histoire de nègre) suggests an affinity between the anticolonial struggle in Martinique and the civil rights movement in the U.S. through repeated references to Malcolm X and Angela Davis, who appear not only in the text of the play but as part of its mise en scène. This dimension of Black History (Histoire de nègre) connects the play to the Colgate’s campus-wide initiative to reflect on the Freedom Summer of 1964 by highlighting one of the global reverberations of the American civil rights movement.

For more information, please e-mail Professor Christian DuComb at cducomb@colgate.edu or Professor Mahadevi Ramakrishnan at mramakrishnan@colgate.edu. You can locate Little Hall using Colgate’s online interactive map.

Two hip-hop dance events this week with Duane Lee Holland

By University Theater on February 19, 2015

Hip-hop dance posterJoin the Colgate theater program for two events this week with renowned hip-hop dance artist Duane Lee Holland.

Thursday, February 19

Brehmer Theater, 4:15-5:45
Hip-hop dance demonstration and talk with Duane Lee Holland, in conversation with Kermit Campbell, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Friday, February 20

Huntington Studio 303, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Hip-hop dance workshop with Duane Lee Holland

Sign-up required: e-mail Professor Tanya Calamoneri at tcalamoneri@colgate.edu to reserve a space

Duane Lee Holland began his professional dance career at the age of 17, dancing for the first hip-hop dance theater company, Rennie Harris Puremovement.  He has also worked with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and with Garth Fagan as part of the original Broadway cast of “The Lion King.” He also served as assistant choreographer, assistant dance captain, and featured dancer in Maurice Hines’s Broadway production of “Hot Feet.”

Japanese noh theater artist to perform at Colgate

By University Theater on February 4, 2015

Noh theater event posterJapanese noh theater lecture and demonstration with Yamai Tsunao
Tuesday, February 10, 4:15 p.m.
Brehmer Theater, Dana Arts Center

Join the University Theater program for a performance of traditional Japanese noh theater with a contemporary twist. Noh actor Yamai Tsunao of the Kamparu school, along with Shinobu Takahaski (actor) and Kentara Kiihara (pianist), will present a unique program demonstrating the artistry of traditional noh theater alongside their modern reinterpretation of the form. Co-sponsored by the Fund for the Study of World Religions, the Asian Studies Program, CORE Communities and Identities, and the Division of Arts and Humanities.

Yamai received instruction from the last Komparu Nobutaka: the 79th family head, Komparu Yasuaki: the 80th family head of the present, and Tomiyama Noriko. He first appeared on stage at the age of five, under the influence of his grandfather Umemura Heishiro.

At the ago of 12, he played as a leading actor -shite in Tsunemasa. Ever since, he has been performing in fampus plays such as MidareShakkyouMochizukiDojojiOkinaSyouzon, and Ataka.

University Theater announces auditions for Really Really

By University Theater on January 20, 2015

Really Really audition poster

Audition for Really Really, this semester’s University Theater production, on January 20, 21, or 22 in Ryan Studio 212 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Everyone invited; no sign-up or preparation preparation required! Sides from the play will be available at auditions.

Really Really, by Paul Downs Colaizzo, is contemporary drama that pushes the edges and embraces the harsh reality of today’s youth. At an elite university, when the party of the year results in the regret of a lifetime, one person will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is suddenly slipping away. In this quick-witted and gripping comic tragedy about “Generation Me,” it’s every man for himself.

Directed by Simona Giurgea, with performances scheduled April 8-12.

Brendan Reed ’92 produces Skanks, a theater-themed documentary

By University Theater on January 5, 2015

Skanks movie posterSkanks is a documentary film that premiered at Slamdance in 2014, and is edited and produced by Brendan Reed ’92, a New York-based film editor and producer who also works in television and new media. The film follows a community theater in Birmingham, Alabama as they mount an original drag musical titled Skanks in a One Horse Town.

Skanks was an official selection at film festivals throughout the country last year, winning two audience choice awards for best documentary, and it’s now available for streaming on iTunes and Video on Demand. Brendan hopes that every theater major at Colgate will get a chance to see it!

Noah Brody ’94 Co-Directs NYC Revival of Into the Woods

By University Theater on December 16, 2014

Ben Steinfeld and Noah Brody

As a film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods is hotly anticipated in theaters, Colgate alumnus and Bound Brook, New Jersey native Noah Brody ’94 will be co-directing a revival of the musical in New York City with colleague Ben Steinfeld.

The production, presented by Fiasco Theater, is a unique approach that features a cast of only 10, with both co-directors also assuming on-stage roles. Brody is actually playing three different characters in the story.

To learn more about the the production, check out a question and answer with the co-directors on the Roundabout Theatre Company blog.

Christian DuComb co-authors article on flash mobs with Jessica Benmen ’16

By University Theater on December 2, 2014

Cover of Performance ResearchChristian DuComb, Assistant Professor of English in the University Theater, and Jessica Benmen ’16 have co-authored an article in the latest issue of Performance Research titled “Flash Mobs, Violence and the Turbulent Crowd.”

On the evening of 30 May 2009, thousands of teenagers descended on South Street — a lively shopping district on the edge of Center City Philadelphia — in a turbulent gathering that the local press quickly labeled a “flash mob.” A few dozen outliers in this adolescent crowd turned violent, and in the first three months of 2010, four more violent flash mobs erupted in the city.

Through an analysis of these raucous events, DuComb and Benment argue that the structural similarity between violent and non-violent flash mobbing runs deeper than the use of eail, social media, and mobile technology as organizing tools. Regardless of whether they act with whimsy or aggression, flash mobbers disrupt the tightly laced social and spatial conventions of the contemporary city. Their actions thrust street-side spectators into what dramaturg Eugenio Barba calls “a sudden vortex,” a performative encounter that “shatters the security of comprehension and is experienced as turbulence.”

Seeing the Beast to open Wednesday

By Christian DuComb on November 10, 2014

Seeing the Beast Performance PosterHuman beings are paving the road to extinction for animals everywhere. But what if we could bring the wilderness back? What if we could tip the scales so that ecosystems would restore themselves? What if we could turn down the dial of the deer population and turn up the dial of foxes, wildflowers, and songbirds? What if we could revive the majestic creatures from the forgotten age of the Pleistocene? Perhaps we can. If human beings can’t avoid playing God, then why not do a better job?

Seeing the Beast, an original theatrical creation made by Colgate students and visiting artist Scott Sheppard, challenges you to re-wild Planet Earth.

Seeing the Beast is an original piece of theatre created over a two-month rehearsal period. The student ensemble devised this based on research, observation, writing, improvisations, and performance assignments under the guidance of the director, visiting artist Scott Sheppard.

Tickets are limited! Call 315-228-7641 or e-mail TheaterBoxOffice@colgate.edu for reservations.

Allison Spanyer ’16 interns at Opera House Arts, explores London theater

By University Theater on November 3, 2014

Theater major Allison Spanyer ’16 writes in to the theater program about her recent theater experiences beyond Colgate:

“Over the summer, I worked as the Lael Stegall Memorial Intern at Opera House Arts in Stonington, ME as a technical assistant, wardrobe crew and assistant director… I’m currently [studying abroad in London,] taking a course called Contemporary Theatre and Culture where we go see a performance every week. We’ve seen some new shows such as Dr. Scroggy’s War and Ballyturk as well as some older shows like The Crucible and Electra.”

Check the theater newsfeed for more firsthand accounts from theater students, showcasing the myriad possibilities of a theater education at Colgate!

Jungmin Kang ’16 interns at Glimmerglass, studies abroad in Korea

By University Theater on November 3, 2014

Theater major Jungmin Kang ’16 writes in to the theater program about his recent theater experiences beyond Colgate:

“I had a theater-related internship over the summer and I’m seeing some great theater here in Korea [where I am studying abroad]… [O]ver the summer I interned with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. I was the music intern, but somehow I got cast as an extra in Madame Butterfly.

I also made good friends with a lot of the production staff, and got to see how a large-scale performance company really pulls the shows together. In Korea I’m taking a Criticism in Performing Arts class, which [involves] seeing a lot of the local theater and writing reviews. It’s really great, and there’s a lot I’m learning, although there are also things that are frustrating, after Colgate’s theater and the NYC plays I saw.”

Check the theater newsfeed for more firsthand accounts from theater students, showcasing the myriad possibilities of a theater education at Colgate!