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.
Faculty and students gathered on Monday night for our first play discussion group of the year to read and engage with Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced.
There are three play discussion evenings this semester. The next two are:
- October 23rd at 7pm: Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
- November 27th at 7pm: Paula Vogel’s Indecent, sponsored by Read On Elon
Our Contemporary Play Discussion Series takes place in the Isabella Cannon Room. Scripts and snacks are provided. Come hear and discuss exciting new voices from the contemporary American theatre, expand your perspective, and have your mind blown! Continue reading DISGRACED Discussion Group
Join us on Monday April 24th at 12:15pm in the McBride Gathering Space to hear readings of Elie Wiesel’s DIALOGUES by our Elon Performing Arts colleagues and to reflect on Holocaust Remembrance Day as we participate in the National Jewish Theatre Foundation’s Holocaust Theater International Initiative Remembrance Readings in Honor of Elie Wiesel.
This event is free and open to the public.
Kim Shively, who teaches Acting in Elon’s Department of Performing Arts, describes how scientific research has shown how music activates multiple parts of the brain, invoking both empathy and emotion even as it requires logical pattern-recognition, in her Talk on the Steps for Parade, 4 November 2016 at the McCrary Theatre. She explained how our training in music–starting in infancy with lullabies and nursery rhymes–results in feelings of satisfaction and comfort when we hear major chord progressions, and feelings of unease and anxiety when we hear dissonance or staccato percussion. She concluded her Talk on the Steps by describing how Parade composer Jason Robert Brown uses both comforting chord progressions and uneasy percussion in the musical’s opening number, “The Old Red Hills of Home,” to set the scene of an American South in distress. Continue reading PARADE Talk on the Steps by Kim Shively
Parade dramatizes the true story of the life and trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish man accused of the murder of a young girl in Atlanta, Georgia in 1913. Parade is a compelling and emotional musical that asks important questions about anti-Semitism, bias, and propaganda in the American South.
Each Talk on the Step engages with one aspect of the production—such as its history, relevance, or creative process—to provide audience members with extra insight into the performance.
Thursday October 27: Student dramaturg Georgia Smith, a Drama & Theatre Studies sophomore, will share her research into cultural bias, ethnic stereotypes, and the Leo Frank case
Friday October 28: Dr. Andrea Sinn of Elon’s Department of History and Geography will explore the history of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism in the United States
Saturday October 29: Costume designer Jack Smith will discuss historic sewing techniques, and explain how issues of bias and stereotype informed his costume creations for Parade
Friday November 4: Professor Kim Shively, who teaches acting in Elon’s Department of Performing Arts, will explore how music is used to create cross-cultural and cross-racial empathy in Parade
Saturday November 5: Costume designer Jack Smith returns to discuss historic sewing techniques, and explain how issues of bias and stereotype informed his costume creations for Parade Continue reading Talks on the Steps for PARADE