Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Thaddeus Phillips about “17 Border Crossings” (Feb. 21)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to writer, director, and performer Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental about the Connecticut premiere of his solo theater work “17 Border Crossings,” taking place this Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8pm in the CFA Theater.

What was the initial inspiration for “17 Border Crossings”?

Most of the shows I’ve made with Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental involved traveling somewhere to make the show. The travel is done as research for the performance. For example, we did a road trip from Denver to L.A., and we dropped down into New Mexico where we tried to find all the old parts or Route 66, and we filmed stuff and took notes and developed this piece called Flamingo/Winnebago based off that trip. We’ve done that in Bosnia, Cuba, the Amazon. But what would happen is I would come back and tell people stories of things that happened that weren’t directly related to the project we were doing, and I realized I wanted to do something with all this “outtake” material that was simply about travel. It didn’t have a storyline or a plot. It was just about traveling, and then I realized all of the stories that I was remembering or finding were about border crossings.

Can you talk a little about the work itself?

Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental performs “17 Border Crossings.”
Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental performs “17 Border Crossings.”

There are seventeen different scenes or sequences. I had done solo work before but very involved, complicated stuff with video or crazy sets, and [for 17 Border Crossings] I wanted to try doing the classic Spalding Gray monologue at a desk with a microphone and a glass of water. Because I’ve used video in other work recently, I’ve been trying to do works that are much more cinematic in their theatricality but with no video—the simplest scenes possible: the movement of a chair or lights or sound. The idea is to create a very modern/contemporary style of theater but without any media that actively engages the audience’s imagination, individualizing the experience more. If you use a bunch of media, everyone’s seeing the same thing, but if you simply suggest something and fill it in with text and sound, then the way you’re seeing it is a little bit different than the way the person next to you is seeing it because it’s not fully there yet.

Other than the overarching theme of border crossing, what elements of traveling does the work address?

There’s a few: one is that modes of transportation are weird, like a plane is a very weird thing if you really think about it, so there’s a little sequence about being in a plane that tries to expose all that—what you’re not supposed to think about. Then there’s always being taken to a little square room by immigration authorities. Technically when you land, before you leave Customs, you’re not anywhere. [It’s] this weird space where you go through the passport control. You’re in an architectural space that’s been defined as nowhere in the world. Then the whole absurdity of borders themselves, like the border between Israel and Jordan was made up by Winston Churchill, and he made jokes about it, saying “I just invented a country!”

What do you see as the significance of performing this work in such a globalized world, where travel is so much more accessible than it once was and so many more people are traveling?

When you start talking about these little stories or human stories, what you have is a huge global theme but [told] through specific details about a very specific person. What the show tries to do is make very human what it is to cross a border, from being on a plane and being completely unconscious of what’s going on underneath you to people trying to get across for a better life.

Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental: 17 Border Crossings
Connecticut Premiere
Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8pm
CFA Theater
$19 general public; $17 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

An Outside the Box Theater Series event presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts.

Enter to win a $200 travel Gift Certificate from Sanditz Travel Management (Feb. 18)

Write a story (500 words max) about when you crossed a geographic border, or a border of any kind. Where did it lead you? What insights did you have?

Then, post your story on the Center for the Arts Facebook event page for 17 Border Crossings, and you will receive a free ticket to the performance. The story with the most “Likes” by midnight on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 will win a $200 travel gift certificate courtesy of Sanditz Travel Management in Middletown!

How to post your story:

1. Go to the Facebook event page here.
2. “Join” the event.
3. Under “POSTS,” where it says “Write something…” cut and paste your story.
4. Hit the “Post” button.

If you don’t have Facebook, but would like to participate, please e-mail your entry by midnight on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 to

Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental performs "17 Border Crossings."
Thaddeus Phillips of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental performs “17 Border Crossings.”

Outside the Box Theater Series
Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental: 17 Border Crossings
Connecticut Premiere
Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 8pm
CFA Theater
$19 general public; $17 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

The Connecticut premiere of 17 Border Crossings, a solo work written and directed by Thaddeus Phillips based on his travel experiences. The audience is taken to the frontiers of countries around the world in a humorous and poignant examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports, and curious customs.


An Outside the Box Theater Series event presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts.


Montréal’s world famous Compagnie Marie Chouinard returns to Wesleyan (Feb. 6 & 7)

CFA Arts Administration Intern and DanceLink Fellow Chloe Jones ’15 talks to dancer Lucy M. May of Compagnie Marie Chouinard about their upcoming performances at Wesleyan on Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 8pm.

I close the heavy door softly behind me and cautiously step forward into the dark theater. On stage a woman rehearses a solo. She is tall and slender and dances with startling grace. Her long limbs slice through the space, she stops suddenly, pirouettes. With each movement she communicates something—her whole body speaking, from her gesturing hands to her quick feet. She is fierce and beautiful, every cell of her body alive and articulate.

I have come to Hanover, New Hampshire as a Wesleyan DanceLink Fellow to see Montréal’s Compagnie Marie Chouinard perform, and I have just walked into dress rehearsal. When the dance finishes, the lights come up in the theater and the company members gather on stage. They go over a few notes with the rehearsal director before heading back to their hotel to prepare for the night’s show. I can hardly wait for them to take the stage again.

Described by The New York Times as “a hurricane of unbridled imaginativeness,” Compagnie Marie Chouinard was founded by choreographer Marie Chouinard in 1990. Today the company tours all over the world.

The company first came to Wesleyan in September 2008 to perform the United States premiere of Orpheus and Eurydice. This weekend, they return to campus with the New England premiere of Gymnopédies (2013) and the Connecticut premiere of Henri Michaux: Mouvements (2005-2011).

Set to music by French composer and pianist Érik Satie, Gymnopédies began as an exploration of the duet form. “She knew she wanted to work with these erotic duets between two dancers,” says company member Lucy M. May. “That was really the first thing we did in the studio: improvise two-by-two, different couples.”

In the process of creating the work, Ms. Chouinard decided she wanted each dancer to learn Mr. Satie’s Gymnopédies and play it on the piano as part of the performance. Many of the dancers had never played the piano, but gradually, with lessons and practice, they all learned. In the finished work, the dancers take turns at the piano bench, their live music adding to the work’s curious sensuality.

Interprète/Dancer Lucy M. May performs "Henri Michaux: Mouvements." Photo by Marie Chouinard.
Interprète/Dancer Lucy M. May performs “Henri Michaux: Mouvements.” Photo by Marie Chouinard.

Henri Michaux: Mouvements began in 1980 when Ms. Chouinard came upon the book Mouvements (1951) by Belgian writer and artist Henri Michaux (1899-1984). Inspired by the book’s abstract ink drawings and 15-page poem, Ms. Chouinard decided to use it as a choreographic score.

“She brought all of the images into the studio,” says Ms. May. “We had photo copies of all the drawings, and some of them were hanging on clotheslines and others were in big piles of paper all around the place, and we spent a really intensive two weeks making all sorts of different compositions. We were exploring all the possibilities of what we were seeing.”

This literal translation of image into movement is augmented by costumes and set. Clothed head-to-toe in black, the dancers perform on a white floor against a white backdrop so that the stage becomes the book.

Mouvements was one of the works I saw performed at Dartmouth this past September. I was blown away. The dancers’ ability to recreate the ink drawings with their bodies is truly amazing—a dazzling exactitude.

“There’s a balance between a high level of demand—of precision and detail and rigor—and then this amazing amount of freedom,” says Ms. May of Ms. Chouinard’s work.

Indeed Ms. Chouinard’s choreography strikes me as simultaneously precise and reckless, raw, free. The dancers move with extreme clarity—so much of the choreography impossibly intricate, detailed, and fast—yet there is something of abandon in their performance, something intensely wild.

As I watched the performance that evening at Dartmouth, I was riveted by each dancer, each movement, each moment. My eyes did not drift once from the stage. My mind never wandered. I found myself fully immersed in the world of each dance.

They are strange worlds, exciting and new and daring.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard
Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 8pm
CFA Theater
$25 general public; $22 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

Pre-performance talk by DanceLink Fellow Chloe Jones ’15 on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:30pm in CFA Hall.

Dine/Dance/Discover on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 5:30pm in Fayerweather Dance and Theater Studios—add $15 to your regular ticket price. Click here to purchase Dine/Dance/Discover online.

Spring Events Include World, New England, and Connecticut Premieres

Wesleyan University is a center for creativity and innovation, and one of the best places for our community to come together to participate in that energy is at the Center for the Arts. Our year-long exploration of Muslim Women’s Voices in performance continues on February 27 with a rare opportunity to see a dance company coming to Middletown from the northernmost tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. The dances of Tari Aceh! feature quick, highly-coordinated movements of hands, heads, and torsos, punctuated by lively body percussion. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And on April 17 and 18, you can get a first look at a theatrical work-in-progress by playwright and actress Leila Buck ’99 that was commissioned for Muslim Women’s Voices.
Rachel Harrison, "AA," 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.
Rachel Harrison, “AA,” 2010, wood, bubble wrap, cardboard, acrylic, tennis shirt, A/V cart, DVD player, speakers, projector, extension cord, five hair rollers, pack of gum, ear plugs, American Apparel video, color/sound (2009), 80 x 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery.

In the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from January 29 to March 1, Studio Art faculty members Jeffrey Schiff and Sasha Rudensky curate Picture/Thing, an exhibition featuring the work of ten artists working at the intersection of photography and sculpture.

In April and May, we present “The Connecticut Meets the Nile,” a two-part happening that will highlight two great rivers. On April 10, Crowell Concert Hall hosts The Nile Project, an all-star gathering of musicians who live in the countries that border the Nile River and have come together to create music that draws attention to the environmental issues of a historic river that sustains millions of people. Then on May 9, at Middletown’s Harbor Park, Wesleyan and regional partner organizations present Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, an afternoon of music performances, visual art, and kid’s activities that will engage our community with our own beautiful river.
And throughout the winter and spring, you can put your finger on the pulse of what’s inspiring our newest artists by visiting the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in Zilkha Gallery, or by attending thesis performances by music, dance, and theater students performed throughout the CFA.
It’s all here for you. We hope you’ll join us.
Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

“Creative Stages” to Premiere on CPTV on Fri. Nov. 28 at 8pm

creativestages_eventConnecticut Public Television (CPTV) premieres the original documentary Creative Stages, hosted by Ed Wierzbicki, on Friday, November 28, 2014 at 8pm. This half-hour special is devoted to the arts, as Mr. Wierzbicki takes viewers “inside the creative process” while interviewing Connecticut artists and exploring local arts organizations, including Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts.

Hear from Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, as well as from visiting artists including Margaret Jenkins (Artistic Director of San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company), Anna Snow, Kerry Andrew, and Sarah Dacey of London’s Juice Vocal Ensemble, and Juliana Romano ’04 (featured in the exhibition The Alumni Show II in the Ezra and Cecila Zilkha Gallery), about the importance of this creative space to Wesleyan University and its students, as well as to the art world at large. The segment also includes footage of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s Ferocious Beauty: Genome, the Wesleyan Theater Department production of The Seagull, and a co-taught course by Professor of History and East Asian Studies William Johnston and Visiting Artist in Dance and the College of East Asian Studies Eiko Otake.

The program will also feature Javier Colon, the Yale University Art Gallery and artist Red Grooms, Waterbury’s Palace Theater and the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, and the Haven String Quartet at New Haven’s Lyric Hall.

Fall Photos: The Builders Association – Sontag: Reborn

“A spellbinding x-ray of a writer’s psyche” (The New York Times), Sontag: Reborn explores the private life, loves, and idiosyncrasies of Susan Sontag. The Connecticut premiere of the solo show, directed by Marianne Weems and adapted by solo performer Moe Angelos based on Ms. Sontag’s early journals, was performed at the CFA Theater on Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3, 2014, at the CFA Theater. Photos from the October 2, 2014, dress rehearsal at the CFA Theater. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.


Fall Photos: LeeSaar The Company – Princess Crocodile

“In its emotional nakedness, free-associative logic, and frank sensuality, the work of the Israeli-born couple Lee Sher and Saar Harari is inventive and arresting” (The New Yorker). The New England premiere of LeeSaar The Company’s Princess Crocodile was performed on Friday, September 19, 2014, in the CFA Theater. Images from dress rehearsal by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

Tony Award-Winning Musical “In the Heights” Returns to Wesleyan (Nov. 12-16)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Sara Guernsey ’15, Wesley Martinez-Close ’15, Jillian Roberts ’15, Eury German ’16, Ari Markowitz ’17, and José Louis Sanchez ’18 about their involvement with “In the Heights,” which is being presented by the Theater Department tonight through Sunday, November 16, 2014 in the CFA Theater.   

Presented by the Theater Department in collaboration with the Music Department, Wesleyan’s production of In the Heights opens tonight.

With book by Wesleyan’s Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater Quiara Alegría Hudes, In the Heights is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for “Best Musical,” “Best Original Score” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Theater ’02), “Best Choreography,” and “Best Orchestrations” (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman, Music ’02).

Mr. Miranda wrote the first draft of In the Heights in 1999 as a sophomore at Wesleyan. Wesleyan’s student theater company Second Stage presented the play in April of that year. Four Wesleyan students—seniors at the time—then approached Mr. Miranda and proposed the play be expanded to a Broadway production.

Nine years later, in March 2008, In the Heights premiered on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

In the Heights tells the story of a close-knit community on the brink of change in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood. “I think it was mainly the story that made me want to audition,” said Eury German ’16, who plays the male lead Usnavi, and an ensemble member named Ángel.

Wesleyan’s production brings together students with diverse performance backgrounds.

The cast of "In the Heights." Photo by John Groo.
The cast of “In the Heights.” Photo by John Groo.

“We have dancers, we have singers, we have actors, and not all of us were good at everything,” said Sara Guernsey ’15, who plays Camila Rosario. “But we were able to teach each other.”

“I learned a lot of choreography skills that I didn’t know before,” says José Louis Sanchez ’18, who plays Piragua Guy. “I think that’s the beauty of this process—all of us were strong in one suit and through this process we were able to grow in others.”

“Our director, Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento, often told us that [this is not the Broadway production], that this is going to be our own different version,” says Ari Markowitz ’17, who plays Sonny. “I’m glad that I hadn’t seen the Broadway production before because I got to come at it with a blank slate, and everything I saw forming was purely ours without any preconceived notions about what the show should be.”

“I went into it with a very open attitude,” said Wesley Martinez-Close ’15, who also plays Usnavi and a member of the ensemble named Jesús. “It was all new to me.”

Ghostlight Records released the original cast recording from the Broadway production in June 2008, which won the 51st annual Grammy Award for “Best Musical Show Album.”

“Two weeks before school started I was listening to the soundtrack nonstop,” said Mr. German. “The music is unlike any other musical.”

Jillian Roberts ’15 and Naomi Wright ’17 co-choreographed all of the dancing in the production.

“The movement in the show is a fusion of hip-hop, Latin, and Caribbean dance,” said Ms. Roberts. “Naomi and I combined our dance histories, knowledge, and vocabulary to assemble a body of choreography that both represents the fusion of cultures in the show and also the styles of music that are represented in the show.”

Wesleyan’s production of In the Heights has been months in the making.

“I’m really excited for everyone to have their hard work displayed for the larger community,” said Ms. Roberts. “A show that is this multicultural and diverse doesn’t often show up on a main stage university theater, and it’s exciting for us to be a part of this kind of unique theater production.”

“This is by far the most exciting thing that any of us are going to do this semester,” says Mr. German. “I am, deep down, so excited for this to come together.”

Theater Department
In the Heights
Wednesday, November 12 through Saturday, November 15 at 8pm
Sunday, November 16 at 2pm and 8pm
CFA Theater
$15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, Middletown residents; $7 all students
Click here to purchase tickets online for the Sunday evening performance.

Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Emma Sherr-Ziarko ’11 about The Builders Association (Oct. 2 & 3)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Emma Sherr-Ziarko ’11 (Theater), Stage Manager/Video Operator for The Builders Association, who present the Connecticut premiere of “Sontag: Reborn” on Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3, 2014 at 8pm in the CFA Theater. 

How did you become involved with The Builders Association?

Through Wesleyan actually. I met them my senior year when they came and did a workshop. [Actor Moe Angelos and Video Designer Austin Switser presented the talk “Inside The Builders Association: Integrating Media and Performance” in February 2011 in CFA Hall.] Austin Switser came to my Media for Performance class. I never anticipated that I would work with them because at the time I wasn’t particularly interested in multimedia theater or multimedia performance. That has since changed.

[After graduating] I decided that I wanted to move to New York and pursue theater. Acting is actually my passion and what I’m most interested in, but when I got to New York—and this is where Wesleyan comes in again—my friend Rachel Silverman ’09 (Theater and Sociology) who had graduated [from Wesleyan] two years before me and who was working for New York Theatre Workshop emailed me and said that they were bringing this show with The Builders Association called Sontag: Reborn to New York Theatre Workshop and needed a Production Assistant.

Adapter/Performer Moe Angelos as Susan Sontag in "Sontag: Reborn" by The Builders Association. Photo by James Gibbs.
Adapter/Performer Moe Angelos as Susan Sontag in “Sontag: Reborn” by The Builders Association. Photo by James Gibbs.

So I became the Production Assistant, and I got to know Moe Angelos who is the performer and adapter for Sontag: Reborn. I spent a lot of time with her backstage running lines. I also took control of the set, which is not big but is very complex because there are hundreds of books and notebooks and everything has to be in a very precise order.

And then at the end of our run at New York Theatre Workshop, the Managing Director for The Builders Association, Erica Laird, came up to me and said that they had been invited [to bring Sontag: Reborn] to a festival in Seoul, Korea in October 2013, and would I be interested in joining them for that. I said, “Yes!”

It’s been very humbling and incredibly inspiring to see these artists work. They are totally brilliant, and I do believe they are changing the way that people think about theater.

Where did the idea for Sontag: Reborn come from?

Artistic Director Marianne Weems knew Susan Sontag, and Susan had been on the board of The Builders Association. [Then] Moe started reading Susan’s journals—her son [David Rieff] had published them after her death—and thought, you know, this could be a really cool thing and not your average one-woman show.

So Moe brought the idea for Sontag: Reborn to The Builders Association?

Yes. This show was Moe’s brainchild, [but] the way The Builders Association works is incredibly collaborative. I’ll give you an example of that: This show has a script, but they don’t always have set scripts, so then what happens is Austin Switser, the Video Designer, starts playing with stuff, and [Lighting Designer] Laura Mroczkowski starts playing with lights, and [Sound Designer] Dan Dobson is like a magician creating music—it’s unbelievable. They literally jam together to create the world of the work. It’s unique. It’s exciting. And it’s exciting to be a part of.

Does any of that collaborative, and at times spontaneous, process of making the work carry over into the final performance?

Absolutely. For example, this show is actually a dialogue. It’s a one-woman show, but it’s really a dialogue between Moe and a video. As you will see, if you come to the performance, there is a piece of recorded video footage that is Moe as older Susan Sontag in dialogue with live Moe [playing a younger version of Susan Sontag]. I run the video footage of old Sontag. Basically there’s a mini keyboard that controls the video footage, and I essentially speed it up and slow it down according to Moe’s performance, so it’s a live performance.

What is it like to be an actor in The Builders Association?

I’ve spoken with Moe a lot about that and it’s very different because you are constantly interacting with the multimedia aspects, especially in this show where there are no other actors. All she has to respond to is the video, the lights, the sound, and the other aspects of the video design.

Can you describe the sound score for Sontag: Reborn?

It’s music and sound effects composed by Dan Dobson with other pieces that are referenced by Susan Sontag. Dan’s a genius. He is one of the original members of the Blue Man Group. If you sit around during lunch breaks in the theater, that’s when he jams and creates this music. It’s unbelievable.

Is this a typical show for The Builders Association?

I would say that this is actually an unusual subject matter for The Builders Association. It’s basically a portrait. In many of the other Builders Association shows there’s more of a commentary, or at least some political aspect. For example, House / Divided blends the story of The Grapes of Wrath with the housing crisis. There’s a lot of intermingling of classic texts and contemporary socio-economic political issues, which there isn’t in Sontag: Reborn.

It’s a portrait of a life, or a part of a life, and the goal with it was to examine how this amazing intellectual mind became herself. You don’t get a lot of her philosophy in this show, and we don’t use much of her fiction or essays. There’s a little bit of it, but it’s mostly from her journals [and] examining how she became who she was as a person.

What was your reaction the first time you saw Sontag: Reborn?

I thought it was totally beautiful. It is totally beautiful and incredibly compelling. It’s a fascinating show because it examines how Susan Sontag’s mind evolved from age fifteen when she was reading more books than I will likely ever read in my entire life, discovering her sexuality and what it meant to be a woman in the time that she was growing up, and battling with her intense intellect.

How do you expect Wesleyan students will respond to the show?

I really feel like this piece is going to appeal to Wesleyan students because Susan Sontag is fiercely intellectual in a way that I think Wesleyan students—at least from my experience—are encouraged and challenged to be. I think most students here can relate to her struggle against her intellect, as a driving force in her life, and how she didn’t want to let that consume her.

Outside the Box Theater Series
The Builders Association—Sontag: Reborn
Based on the books Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff
Connecticut Premiere
Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3, 2014 at 8pm
CFA Theater
$25 general public; $22 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students
Presented by the Theater Department and the Center for the Arts. Co-sponsored by Wesleyan’s English Department and Writing Programs. Additional support provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Adaptive Capacity Program.

2014-15 Season Now On Sale! World, U.S., New England, CT Premieres

This year, we invite you to join us as we welcome the world to Wesleyan. Artists working in contemporary or traditional forms from 18 different countries will be performing or exhibiting at the CFA over the next nine months.

fall_2014_brochure_cover8-18-14A centerpiece of this year’s program is Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan, which begins in September. Each of the performers to be featured is Muslim or of Muslim heritage, has a distinct set of personal experiences, and is embedded in a particular place, society, and cultural tradition. It is our way of inviting audiences to celebrate the complexity of Muslim women today, while at the same time exploring the historical and cultural context from which these women have emerged. We are also inviting audiences to participate in the creative process as we give birth to a new play by Leila Buck ’99, based on stories of Muslim and Muslim-American women in our region.

We are also bringing one of the United States’ most innovative theater companies working at the intersection of text and technology, The Builders Association, for two performances in October. Their amazing production Sontag: Reborn is a portrait of the younger years of one of America’s most iconic intellectuals, Susan Sontag. In November, the Theater and Music Departments join forces to mount the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, directed by Theater’s Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento with music direction by Nadya Potemkina, director of the Wesleyan University Orchestra. The musical was the thesis production of Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Theater major who graduated in ’02, who went on to win the Tony for “Best Original Score.” The book was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, who will be a visiting faculty member at Wesleyan this year. It is sure to be an extraordinary production. And throughout the fall, the epic-scale, haunting landscape paintings of Professor of Art Tula Telfair will be on view in Zilkha Gallery. We invite you to enter into the imaginary worlds that Telfair creates in twelve large-scale paintings that are simultaneously awe-inspiring and intimate.

We launched our new website over the summer, and we hope you’ll visit and return often to find out about all of the faculty, student, and visiting artist events and exhibitions this year. We hope you will look to us as a place of enlightenment and enjoyment in the coming months.

Pamela Tatge
Center for the Arts