Category Archives: Theater Emory

Theater Emory Opens Season with Rodgers & Hart’s Musical Comedy “The Boys from Syracuse”

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September 12, 2016

In 1938, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart premiered a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” the first American musical comedy based on a Shakespeare play. This raucous farce,Rodgers and Hart’s “The Boys from Syracuse,” kicks of Theater Emory’s season-long celebration of the Bard September 22 – October 2 in the Theater Lab of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Read the press release in full here.

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Theater Emory Brings Fresh Eyes to Shakespeare in its 2016-2017 Season

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September 7, 2016

Theater Emory presents its 2016-2017 season, “Shakespeare Through Many Lenses” in tandem with the Folger Library’s touring exhibition “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” on display in Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum November 5 – December 11, 2016.

“When we heard that the First Folio would be coming to Emory, we decided to focus our season on Shakespeare’s work,” explains artistic director Janice Akers. “We saw this as an opportunity to put our distinctive stamp on the Shakespeare celebration and include a variety of voices, cultures, performance styles, and new work.”

Read the press release in full here.

New Orleans theater ensemble NEW NOISE brings physical theater workshop to Emory

This is the Place Where Your Body Belongs: Performing Home

A workshop led by Joanna Russo and Phil Cramer of NEW NOISE, a critically acclaimed New Orleans theater ensemble currently in residence at Serenbe. Introduction by Malina Rodriguez, Theater Emory’s Technical Theater Coordinator and Co-Founder of The Lucky Penny.

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Theater Emory recently teamed up with The Lucky Penny to present a physical theater workshop to the local community. This is the Place Where Your Body Belongs: Performing Home
with NEW NOISE of New Orleans, explored some of the methods that NEW NOISE uses in devising original multi-disciplinary work. Through the medium of performance, participants asked themselves and each other one of the questions at the heart of NEW NOISE’s show Oxblood: Is there a place where your body belongs?

NEW NOISE’s Oxblood is currently being developed and presented in the Atlanta metro area as part of a 2016 Project Residency with AIR Serenbe. See it in performance July 22-24, 2016 at 6pm, at Deer Hollow at Serenbe.

We asked for feedback from two of the workshop participants who are rising seniors at Emory. Here’s how they described their experience: 

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I wasn’t too sure what to expect, I wasn’t completely sure what I signed up for, and I definitely wasn’t sure how physical my body could get, but come Saturday July 15th, I was set to take part in a two-hour physical theater workshop led by the innovative NEW NOISE of Louisiana.

I was pretty nervous as I rushed in chomping my last couple bites of lunch. The workshop began with a physical warmup reminiscent of Gaga dancing, then swiftly transitioned in to a non-stop workshop that would have moments introducing completely in-body theatrical techniques, then moments that were a physical fruition of subconscious writing on deep thought questions such as “Where is home?” and “Where does your body belong?”

Throughout the workshop, a heart of collaboration between the various disciplines of performance art was extremely clear. Being a true and blue liberal arts student who loves blurring the lines in which we confine the different medias of art, this was my jam and butter! The room was filled with artists with various backgrounds from dance to theater and spoken word artist to those who speak solely with their bodies. We would work in teams combining these backgrounds to improvised skits that blended into improvised movements that blended into improvised writing, allowing me to see the variety of natural performance from the artists in the room. As a student with a background in stage acting, I soaked in all the various media and artist’s techniques that pushed my ideas of what theatrical performance could be.

The two hours went by in a blur, I honestly left wishing we had a full day to play! Alas, I will have to suffice by further supporting the NEW NOISE troupe in their performance of Oxblood at Serenbe this weekend, July 22nd-24th! I am extremely thankful for being able to take part in their workshop and would love to see more!

Dalyla McGee
Class of 2017
Anthropology and Human Biology Major
Theater Studies Minor

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IMG_2291The NEW NOISE Workshop was, at first, simultaneously very new and familiar territory to me. As a dancer, I often do not use my voice as a vehicle of expression in performance. My instinct is my body. So, naturally, I was slightly anxious about an experimental theater workshop.  With Joanna’s encouraging and clear direction, that anxiety melted away as the layers of physical mediums in art began to overlap. The intrinsic similarities between art forms opened up an endless universe of loosened possibilities; no right, no wrong, just speak with your body, speak with your voice.  Prompts for creative writing exercises like “describe home to you” or “where does your body belong?” lent themselves to deep-seeded realities brought to light in a myriad of qualities: playful, dark, poignant, tense, sexy, cheerful, surprising or hilarious movement phrases, to name a few. These movement phrases, supported by a vocalization and embodiment of the words written, emphasized that the mover, the speaker, and the creator are one and the same to me. It was a very powerful experience that I am very thankful to have had! Not to mention the fresh opportunity to embody an exhausted book, a creeping chicken, and a devouring automatic vacuum cleaner…

Clara Schulstad Guyton
Class of 2017
Dance and Movement Studies Major
English Major

 

Emory Report: Shakespeare at Emory events lead up to First Folio exhibit

FullColor-HorizontalFour hundred years after William Shakespeare’s death, his work continues to resonate with audiences across the globe, providing new insights into the nature of love, power and human existence. This month, Emory embarks on a yearlong focus on the man whose words changed the world.

Kicking off next week with events from Emory Libraries and Theater Emory, Shakespeare at Emory celebrates the University’s selection as a host site for the exhibit of “First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” with plays, readings, exhibits and other activities.

One host site was selected from each state to display the national traveling exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books, from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Emory was chosen as the Georgia venue.

“Appropriately, Emory’s year of celebration begins with a thought-provoking scholarly reflection on the First Folio, to be followed by a rich array of theatrical performances and poetry readings, as well as exhibitions, conversations and pop-up events,” says Rosemary Magee, director of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. “All are invited to participate — in every way possible.”

Read the article in full here.

Decaturish: Emory prepares to host Shakespeare’s First Folio

Emory University is preparing to host William Shakespeare’s First Folio this fall with a number of Shakespeare at Emory events.

It was announced in 2015 that Emory was chosen to be the Georgia site to display “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.” It’s a national traveling exhibition of the 1623 book that gave us 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including “Macbeth” and “The Tempest.”

The tour of the folio is going to all 50 states, Washington, and Puerto Rico, according to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s First Folio website.

read the Decaturish article in full here.

Q & A with “As You Like It” student artist, Jennifer Lenchner

 

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Jennifer’s sketches

Q: How did you get involved with Theater Emory’s two productions of “As You Like It”?

A: After exhausting the normal art classes Emory has to offer and a semester of independent study with Professor Kerry Moore, I asked to do another independent study. Both art professors had very busy schedules so I went to my co-major advisor Leslie Taylor and asked to do an independent study with her. She then offered the opportunity for me to do sculptures for Theater Emory’s Spring production!

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Close-up of one of Jennifer’s completed tumbleweeds

Q: So what are you doing for the production?

A: I’m the Artist in Residence and am creating two different series of sculptures. One series is focused on being a part of the environment as tumbleweeds made of animal parts. The other series is composed of 5 individual pieces of animal parts that are put together vertically on the side of a wall.  The tumbleweed pieces are made specifically to be utilized on stage whereas the latter series is made to be minimally used on stage besides being put up by the actors to become part of the environment/scene. 

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Detail of an animal part

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you faced creating a piece of art for the theater?

A: Truthfully, I’ve found that making art for theater has been less challenging in some ways. Creating art for theater offers a lot of support, there are multiple minds to pick about the direction I am going in with a piece. Since I am making pieces for a play, I get more specific comments instead of the general nod of approval from my art professors. Related to my previous comment, I started off creating pieces with a specific vision and purpose which made for an overall quicker process. Given what I just said, the biggest challenge I believe is creating art that is “big” enough for theater. I have made a wire sculpture piece that I adore, but from a long distance, the piece gets lost and hard to see for some of the audience. 

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Sculptures in progress

Q: Do you hope to continue working in theater in the future?

A: I have been surrounded by creative, fun, and supportive staff at the Mary Gray Munroe theater that have made artistic collaboration an absolute pleasure and supported my artistic creativity in making these sculptures. With that, I am definitely interested in working on the art side of theater again. 

Emory University Announces 2016-2018 Fellow in Playwriting

March 10, 2016

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Holder (right) with theater faculty member Brent Glenn in rehearsal during Brave New Works 2016

Emory University’s Department of Theater Studies and Creative Writing Program announce the 2016-2018 Fellow in Playwriting, Jiréh Breon Holder.

One of only a few of its kind, the Emory Playwriting Fellowship provides an emerging playwright the opportunity to explore creative pursuits while engaging passionate Emory students and the Atlanta theater community at large.

Holder comes to Atlanta as an exciting new voice in American theater. “As a young artist gaining recognition in American theater, he is a terrific role model for our students,” explains artistic director of Theater Emory, Janice Akers. “When he speaks about his chosen path in life, his exuberance is palpable.”

Lisa Paulsen, director of The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory says, “Jiréh’s work is at once captivating and provocative.   We are delighted to offer him an artistic and academic home at Emory for the next two years, affording him the opportunity to renew his connections to Atlanta and create his newest work within our community.

Read full announcement here.