The Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS) announces a semester-long dialogue on Performance as Research: artistic, scientific and humanistic intersections in the academy featuring Margaret Wertheim, Science Writer and Founder of the Institute for Figuring, Choreographer Mark Morris and other renowned scholars and artists from Providence and around the country.
Throughout Spring 2014, TAPS will hosts artists and scholars at Brown who will help build dialogue among thinkers and makers across disciplines – disclosing, affirming and expanding on the capacities of art and performance to create and archive new knowledge, in direct integration with the sciences and the full range of humanities. Members of our community – across multiple artistic, scientific and humanistic disciplines - are invited to examine usually overlooked but vital facets of the role of theatre and performance in the academy. TAPS Department Chair Erik Ehn says:
Ethics, math, biology – all come into play when we set up stages built to quicken empathy and fuel the social construction of nuanced meaning. The performing arts provide similes and illustrations of refined disciplinary concepts, but they are also a means of thinking, discovering, assessing and documenting knowledge that lives well beyond conventional understandings of art for its own sake. The performing arts in the academy is a place where, in the creation and presentation of a performance with stakeholders across multiple disciplines, we create a space of “thoughtful and practical imagining” that lives outside the participants' signature languages or ways of communicating.
Through conversations, exhibits, performances and workshops, visiting artists, along with students and scholars at Brown will explore the department's interest in and ideas around Design for Performance. Design, as much as any other aspect of performance-craft, bodies forth our shared ideas of what it means to live, fully, responsible to each other. A series of linked events through the term invite wide-ranging contemplation of design in our various disciplines, and how our senses of space share faith in a plural, civic presence.
For a full list of events and information on this series, and to register for workshops, please go to: www.brown.edu/go/tapsdesigns2014
Widening the Circle: Intersections of Art, Science and Community (Feb. 21-March 8)
Widening the Circle: Intersections of Art, Science and Community is a series of master classes, lecture demonstrations, performances, and seminars. TheWidening the Circle series includes three distinct yet interconnected programs: a Mark Morris Dance Group residency featuring a range of activities surrounding the choreographer hailed as "the Mozart of modern dance," a Symposium looking at the arts within a holistic healing approach, and a Mini-Fest exploring public engagement with arts and culture. Widening the Circle is presented by FirstWorks and American Dance Legacy Initiative, in collaboration with Artists and Scientists as Partners, Brown University, and Mark Morris Dance Group. This series includes an Artist-Up-Close: A Conversation with Mark Morris moderated by Debra Cash, critic and scholar-in-residence, Bates Dance Festival, Wednesday February 26 – 5:00pm at Granoff Center Martinos Auditorium, 154 Angell Street, Providence. This event is Free and open to the public. For more information on Widening the Circle events, go tohttp://wideningthecircle.weebly.com/
Shannon Scrofano, Scenic Designer at CalArts (March 10-14)
Shannon Scrofano's theatrical designs demonstrate how live performance can reshape the ways audiences and performers perceive the civic space, by creating work in the community itself. She does not design a facsimile of the environment on a traditional stage, but designs around the living environment. In her recent work that takes place in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles, the physical life of the performance “navigates fluidly amidst Skid Row's ecosystem.” Her designs help the actors (many of them from the community discover the truths of place. For more information on Shannon Scrofano’s residency go towww.brown.edu/go/tapsdesigns2014
Margaret Wertheim, Science Writer, Sculptor (April 14-18)
Margaret Wertheim's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is an art work and scientific research process that is continually in creation with thousands of women who fabricate parts of an ever-evolving yarn and plastic coral reef. At Brown, Wertheim will show how the exhibition and creation of the coral reef functions as research, a scholarly panel or conference. Though these clearly function in different ways, Wertheim's work and her discoveries have revealed a gravity, complexity, and specificity of concepts around hyperbolic space for the benefit of scientists, environmentalists, crocheters, and the public. Wertheim will present a talk Reefs, Rubbish and Reason: Bringing art and science together in the age of global warming at Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center on April 14 at 5pm. She will also lead a series of workshops on her Coral Reef project and on her current interest in the pedagogical impacts of STEM to STEAM initiatives in k-12 education. For more information, and to register for workshops please go to: www.brown.edu/go/tapsdesigns2014
PearlDamour (Feb. 21 and April 15) and Everett (Feb. 22 and April 19)
Two companies in residence at Brown are embarking on projects tackling specific contemporary social issues. Both companies are constructing the pieces with students, community members, artists and scholars from multiple disciplines and perspectives, with the result being a process and performance in which there are new discoveries, but importantly, the artists develop new ways of communicating the discoveries to a broad audience. For PearlDamour's MILTON, their essential question is: in today’s changing world, is it possible to locate a definition for what it means to be an American? In what ways do people feel a personal connection to a shared American community? For Everett's FREEDOM PROJECT, they will look at racial and socio-economic disparities that influence the criminal justice system in Rhode Island. Both artistic companies are using a “Research to Performance” method in the creation of the pieces.Their aim is also pedagogical: making the evolution and process live and visible is intrinsic to the dialogue around the performances. For information on showings and exhibits go to: www.brown.edu/go/tapsdesigns2014
Our partners at Brown University:
Curt Columbus, Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company; Erik Ehn, Chair, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Richard Fishman, Director, Creative Arts Council; Caroline Karp, Lecturer, Environmental Studies; Michael McGarty, Scenic Designer, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Julie Strandberg,Director of Dance, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Kathy Takayama, Director, Sheridan Center; Annie Valk, Associate Director, Center for Public Humanities
Our Sponsors: TAPS, Creative Arts Council, MEME, MCM, Sheridan Center, Visual Art, Biology, Engineering, Science and Technology Studies, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Office of the President, Humanities Initiative, Dean of Faculty