TAPS, the Creative Arts Council, Environmental Studies, the Sheridan Center, the Dean of the Faculty, the Center for Public Humanities, and internationally renowned artists and scholars come together for a semester long inquiry under the banner: Design for Performance. We include design-as-stagecraft but reach to include the sense of design as process, and the construction of space in many senses.

Visiting artists in the series include: Shannon Scrofano, scenic designer; Margaret Wertheim, Science Writer, PearlDamour, interdisciplinary artistsEverett, dance theatre company based in Rhode Island; and a range of speakers, artists and practitioners involved in Widening the Circle.

Our purpose: to 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.



Spring 2014: Design for Performance (for a more complete schedule of events please follow the links)


Feb. 21-March 8 -- Widening the Circle: Art, Science and Community

Widening the Circle: Intersections of Art, Science and Community is a series of master classes, lecture demonstrations, performances, and seminars.  The Widening 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.

March 10-14-- Shannon Scrofano: Set Design, Civics and Citizenship residency

Theatrical design has clear ties to architecture and engineering… but also to public policy (performances model and enact versions of civil society), environmental science (ecologies of labor and ecological dramaturgies of interpretation bear on material practice), ethics, math, biology – all come into play in our staging practices. Shannon Scrofano, Scenic Designer at CalArts will be in residence to help us provide similes and illustrations of refined disciplinary concepts, as well as a means of thinking, discovering, assessing and documenting knowledge that lives well beyond conventional understandings of art for its own sake.

April 14-17-- Keynote speaker, Margaret Wertheim:  Science Writing, Sculpture, Physics and Activism

Margaret Wertheim’s Crochet Coral Reef is a project by the Institute For Figuring, the non-profit Los-Angeles based organization she co-founded. She will be at Brown to discuss how she pioneers creative new methods for engaging the public about scientific and environmental issues by putting people and communities at the core. For a full schedule of events, and for information on registration, please click here.

April14-- MILTON showing with PearlDamour: Interdisciplinary Performance, Civic Dialogue

A multidisciplinary team of  students in theatre, engineering, urban planning and social sciences are working on an independent study that will help develop a new interdisciplinary performance piece, MILTON, that addresses the question: 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?

April 19-- Everett's FREEDOM PROJECT showing: Arts in the Community, Issues of Incarceration

Providence-based Everett embarks on a two-year research and creation process for the development of a new touring piece in collaboration with Brown. Freedom Project will be a multidisciplinary documentary theater production that shares the stories of people who have been marginalized by America’s criminal justice system alongside jarring statistics that reveal gross racial and socio-economic disparities in the way the law is applied, especially in regard to the War on Drugs.

This series is sponsored by the Brown University Humanities Initiative, the President's Office, Dean of the Faculty, Creative Arts Council, the Sheridan Center, the Center for Public Humanities and the following academic departments: TAPS, Environmental Studies, MEME, Visual Art, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science and Technology Studies