Students and faculty gathered to read and discuss FACING OUR TRUTH: 10-MINUTE PLAYS ON TRAYVON, RACE, AND PRIVILEGE as the final in 2017-2018’s Contemporary Play Reading and Discussion series. At each event, volunteers read aloud from contemporary scripts, and join with others in a discussion about theme, character, playwriting, and the value of theatre as a way to engage in current debates.
This Spring 2018 semester in particular saw Elon students engaging in issues of gun violence, and discussing recent moments like the March for Our Lives, and the Waffle House shooting. At this play reading event, we debated the 10-minute play form and the various playwrights’ attempts to discuss the Trayvon Martin case without resorting to stereotype. Ninety minutes later, the discussion had moved from the scripts to students’ lived experiences with privilege and oppression at Elon University.
Join us next year for more Contemporary Play Reading and Discussion events!
American playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton visited Elon University March 3-4 for a weekend of workshops leading up to a public staged reading of her brand new script, The Inferior Sex, a funny and poignant look at 1970s feminism.
In a whirlwind 24-hour period, students in the Acting and Music Theatre BFA programs read and rehearsed The Inferior Sex in two short rehearsals before bringing the script to life in front of an audience of students, faculty, and community members. The Inferior Sex is the behind-the-scenes look at a woman’s magazine that gets political and breaks new ground in an ever-changing world. Assistant Professor of Theatre History Susanne Shawyer acted as dramaturg and Assistant Professor of Acting Kim Shively served as director for the staged reading. Lawton re-worked the script during the rehearsal process, and noted audience responses to The Inferior Sex. As a playwright, Lawton often uses script readings to learn about the strengths of her writing, generate ideas, and make edits as she works on her second draft of the play. Continue reading THE INFERIOR SEX Staged Reading
Elon Drama and Theatre Studies and other Performing Arts students met to discuss Paula Vogel’s Indecent, recently seen on Broadway last year. The script tells the story of how Sholem Asch’s play God of Vengeance became a hit in the Europe and American Yiddish theatre, only to be shut down on indecency charges for a 1923 English-language production at the Apollo Theatre, New York. In telling the story of Asch’s play, Vogel’s poignant, funny, and poetic script also tells the story of European Jews in the early twentieth century, including their struggles with representation, displacement, immigration, assimilation, and persecution. Continue reading INDECENT Discussion Group
Drama and Theatre Studies students practice their Restoration and early Georgian period style in a workshop with Acting faculty Kim Shively. Students learned how to activate their head-shoulders triangle for graceful posture, communicate romantic messages with a fan, and properly sit down in a corset or frockcoat. The students also read some of William Congreve’s The Way of the World, and considered how the script demonstrates the Restoration era’s emphasis on wit and middle class social codes.
Elon Drama & Theatre Studies and Performing Arts students and faculty met to discuss Qui Nguyen’s 2016 play Vietgone as part of our Contemporary Play Reading and Discussion group. The script combines laugh-out-loud humor with poignant discussion of the trauma of war, popular culture references with hip-hop breaks, musical montages, and a complicated choreographed ninja fight scene. Students in the room voted it their favorite play of the semester!
Vietgone was the last of our three play discussion groups this semester, which focused on new American works by playwrights of color. Join us in Spring 2018 for three new works by American women.
Faculty and students from across campus gathered to read and discuss Young Jean Lee’s new script Straight White Men on October 23, 2017, as part of our Contemporary Play Discussion Group. A very lively conversation followed! The event was sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and covered by the Elon News Network.
Playwright Steven Dietz visited Elon to participate in a series of public events connected to Elon’s production of American La Ronde. The production marks the first public performances of Dietz’s newly published script, an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen. With director Kevin Otos, Dietz participated in a post-show discussion after the opening night of American La Ronde. He explained that while Schnitzler’s play was transgressive for its depictions of sexual behavior on stage, in American La Ronde transgression comes from characters being honest and truthful, which can be unusual and unnerving in today’s hyper-performative mediatized world. Continue reading Playwright Steven Dietz Visits for AMERICAN LA RONDE