Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge discusses “RISK!” (Feb. 10) and “SPILL” (Feb. 25 & 26).
Carolyn Cohen ’12 came to the CFA with an idea. She and members or her comedy improv troupe said they wanted to bring Kevin Allison (of MTV’s The State) to Wesleyan to do a story slam with a twist. Mr. Allison has created RISK! – a program that he has taken to college campuses around the country where he pairs luminaries in the comedy scene with students and other members of the community (check out what they did at Brown University here). They all tell stories that show sides of themselves that they never thought they’d dare to share in public (that’s where the “risk” comes in). Tonight, Wesleyan will welcome Mr. Allison and San Francisco-based comic W. Kamau Bell to tell stories alongside Wesleyan students. The 7pm performance will include stories told by Jana Heaton ’14 and graduate student Jakob Schaeffer. The 10pm performance will include stories told by Carolyn Cohen ’12 and Virgil Taylor ’15. Both performances will feature music by Samuel Friedman ’13.
Friday, February 10, 2012 at 7pm & 10pm
Crowell Concert Hall
$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $5 Wesleyan students*
*Wesleyan Students may purchase advance tickets to both performances for $8. Students that have already purchased tickets to one of the performances, may add the other performance at the discounted rate. This discounted rate is available through the Wesleyan University Box Office in the Usdan University Center.
I also want to encourage all of our CFA friends to save the date to see the first-ever public showing of a play commissioned by the CFA through the Creative Campus Initiative. SPILL is a stunning new work co-created by Leigh Fondakowski (Head Writer, The Laramie Project), and visual artist Reeva Wortel, and is based in part on interviews with people from the Gulf Coast of southern Louisiana in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 2010, the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States. The performances at Wesleyan are the first public showing of the performance/installation and will feature life-sized painted portraits of the interviewees, along with a choral reading of the play.
We met Leigh for the first time in 2008 when the Theater Department and CFA brought her to campus to lead a workshop on the Tectonic Theater’s “moment work” in conjunction with a residency by Moises Kaufman (founder of Tectonic). In 2010, the CFA invited her to co-teach an environmental studies course with Wesleyan scientist Barry Chernoff. Together the pair developed the Deepwater Horizon Tragedy: A Scientific and Artistic Inquiry course. By exploring the oil spill from both an artistic and scientific standpoint, students learned the science of the Gulf Coast region and the ecological impact of the oil spill as well as artistic tools and methods that enabled them to understand the science at a deeper level, and make the research and the meaning of that research visible to an audience through their art.
Leigh was so taken by what she saw and heard, she decided to create her own piece in a first-time collaboration with visual artist Reeva Wortel. The text for the work is created from transcripts of interviews with people across the political spectrum – from Tea Party Republicans to life-long environmental conservationists, families who lost loved ones in the explosion on the oil rig, as well as oil-rig workers, clean-up workers, scientists, politicians, priests, and members of the diverse fishing communities along the coast. What emerges is a story as complex as this region’s historic relationship to oil and the oil industry.
There are only fifty seats for each performance so we encourage you to reserve your tickets early. Every performance will be followed by a talk-back with the creators. They are anxious for your feedback as they prepare to take the work to New Orleans for the second anniversary of the spill in April, as well as an anticipated national tour in 2013. We hope you will be a part of the birthing of this new work, and will be able to join us on February 25 or 26.
Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 7pm & 10pm
Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 2pm & 7pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall , Wyllys Avenue
$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students, $5 Wesleyan students