The Center for the Arts has had a deeply creative relationship with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange for the past eight years. This Thursday, we partner with the company on an experiment that explores these questions: What happens when you take the theatrical experience and place it at the heart of the campus in a non-traditional setting? What happens when you employ the arts as a means of entering into scientific questions? What’s it like to sit at a table with tea and chocolate cake and have a facilitated conversation about where we come from? (And you aid this exchange with iPads, projections, dancers, and yes, Wesleyan faculty, too!) We’ll see this Thursday when Time Has Set the Table for Tea: A Matter of Origins Project is presented at Beckham Hall at 7pm and 9:30pm.
Liz Lerman talks about the origins of this project:
It happened that the summer before meeting Gordy [Gordon Kane, Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics] I’d read a wonderful book, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’ s American Prometheus, about J. Robert Oppenheimer, who directed the atomic weapons research activities at Los Alamos during World War II. In it, one sentence in particular caught my eye and my inner ear: the mention of Edith Warner, whom Oppenheimer had hired to feed some of his fellow physicists on the secret project a few nights a week at her desert tea house. In an instant I imagined these people in her little space, eating, talking, questioning, wondering, and I mused on the possibility of the same for an audience.
[Time Has Set the Table for Tea] is inspired by tea house gatherings of Edith Warner, and the question of what could happen if we combined the active minds of you in a convivial atmosphere with a few stimulants: tea, cake, a team of table hosts (we call them provocateurs) from diverse backgrounds … along with a few surprises. It is a laboratory of its own, so find your table setting and join us for this experiment, a chance to converse, react, muse, or just observe, listen and enjoy Edith’s own chocolate cake recipe.