Production Archive: 2015-2016
To Hip Hop with Love
September 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Pre-show Talk at 7:00 p.m.
Comprised of three separate pieces: “Broadway to Hip-Hop,” “Sounds of Movement,” and “L.O.V.E.” and supported by an eclectic soundtrack of music ranging from legendary rapper Busta Rhymes to the classic voice of Sammy Davis Jr., to poetry by Maya Angelou, To Hip-Hop, with Love offers a kaleidoscopic view of African-American entertainment traditions. With the technical facility of hip hop, the sophistication of the glory days of the Cotton Club, the flash of Rat Pack era Las Vegas, and elements of vaudeville, robot, tap, and mime, The Wondertwins create a distinctive style all their own.
Identical twins Billy and Bobby McClain are six-time winners of Showtime at the Apollo, have been presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Yard, and the Music Hall Loft. They have appeared with Maurice Hines’ Club Harlem and toured internationally with Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel and Purple Rain/Apollonia’s Since I Fell For You.
The performance is preceded by a talk given by Rosemarie Roberts, Associate Professor of Dance at Connecticut College, whose artistic and scholarly work blend history, dance, and theater in order to conduct social psychological and anthropological investigations of Afro-diasporic dance as embodiments of difference, knowledge and resistive power. Professor Roberts has taught workshops for people of all ages, directed programs and performed to diverse audiences at a variety of venues in the Caribbean and the United States including Yale University, Mount Holyoke College and Howard University. At the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Professor Roberts has taught Afro-Cuban dance. In 2006 she co-directed the Cultural Traditions Program and in 2009 was the Hip Hop Continuum Cultural Traditions Program research fellow. There, she launched her most recent project, “Locating Action, Power, and Knowledge Through the Body in Hip Hop Dance.”
Co-sponsored by The Pugh Center
October 23-24 at 7:30 p.m.
A concert of original dance and theater works, Making Space takes its inspiration from the campus-wide humanities theme: Human/Nature. It will feature the fourth annual First Year Dance Project and the first annual First Year Theater Project, a new multidisciplinary project performed by students and created by guest artists from the company The Space We Make (TSWM), and a vignette by professional TSWM dancers and musicians.
The Space We Make, formed in 2012 by Brooklyn-based artists Caitlin Scholl and Simon Thomas-Train, probe the innate sensitivity towards the connection between space and those who inhabit it in collaboration with a diverse artist collective comprised of dancers, musicians, visual artists and writers who collaboratively create performances on stage and off—in unusual, historical, surprising, and non-traditional spaces.
By Lynne Conner
A staged reading featuring Maureen Butler, Kim Gordon and Abbie Killeen
November 9 at 7:30 p.m.
What makes a happy life? The fifty-year friendship of two concentration camp survivors is challenged by the death of a daughter and subsequent questions about the nature and mysteries of the human will. Nina is a journey into identity, loss, memory, and the power of female friendship.
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Jewish Studies, and the Berger Family Holocaust Fund
Theater of War (Outside the Wire)
November 15 at 2:00 p.m.
Page Commons Room, Cotter Union
Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays (on this occasion, Sophocles’ Ajax) as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. Using Sophocles’ plays to forge a common vocabulary for openly discussing the visible and invisible wounds of war on individuals, families and communities, these events are aimed at fostering understanding and compassion, while mobilizing citizens and resources to help improve the lives of service members, veterans, their families, and people in their communities. Each presentation is approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours in length. The readings from the plays are followed by a panel discussion featuring a diverse group of community members, as well as a town hall-style audience discussion.
This event is brought to you by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, the Department of Theater and Dance, Colby Health Center, and Maine General Health.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Written by Salman Rushdie
Adapted for the Stage by Tim Supple and David Tushingham
December 4-5 at 7:30 p.m.
December 5 at 2:00 p.m.
Save the storyteller; save the world. Adapted from Salman Rushdie’s award winning novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a rollicking roller-coaster of a journey through strange new lands—a dream world of water genies and mechanical birds, where chatter and silence battle for control, where a child must follow an elusive path toward adulthood. It is also a celebration of stories, their value, their joy, and the need to keep them free.
“A gorgeous mix of the Arabian Knights, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons… adventures galore.”
We Don’t Have an Algorithm for This (Performing Human/Nature—Colby on Tour)
January 22-23 at 7:30 p.m., On-Campus Workshops, Strider Theater
January 29-30 at 8:00 p.m., Danspace, New York City
Fresh. Vibrant. Rigorous. Risky. Colby students have been applauded for the sophistication and contemporaneity of their work at national theater and dance conferences; Colby has been recognized as a “leader of the pack” in recognizing rigorous research arts praxis; and the reimagined curriculum of the Department of Theater and Dance focuses on hybridity and collaboration among more traditional training practices. This collaborative, faculty-directed project, in the true spirit of the liberal arts tradition, will call on students to apply knowledge built from multiple disciplines to creative research, will send students across campus to events pertaining to the Humanities theme, Human/Nature, and will demand full-bodied participation in the development of an original piece of dance theater that will be performed in an acclaimed NYC professional venue.
Devolution: An Interactive Digital Media Experience
March 31-April 2 at 7:30 p.m.
April 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Devolution is inspired by the deconstruction of children’s fairy tales into their core elements to evolve them into new and original work through the use of music, light, projection, and dance. Each segment of the performance work will range in style from literal to abstract and from simple to complex. These segments provide a new approach to the stories many of us grew up on and plan to push the boundaries of space to emphasize elements such as shadow, light, color, and sound to create environments that focus on solitude, uniformity, and individuality. This digital media performance will merge the ideas of theater, dance, and technology to create a contemporary form of art that investigates new frontiers of performance.
This project is created and directed by Christine Francis, a Colby College senior majoring in Theater and Dance—Interdisciplinary Computation and Mathematical Sciences. Christine has been working on Devolution since February 2015 with the help of mentors in Computer Science and Theater and Dance and hopes that this production will inspire more students to create original work.
In the Garden of Live Flowers
by Attilio Favorini and Lynne Conner
April 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
The Colby College Department of Theater and Dance is pleased to present a special One-Night-Only performance of In the Garden of Live Flowers, winner of the Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award and co-authored by Colby professor Lynne Conner. This original play about environmentalist Rachel Carson’s valiant fight to publish Silent Spring will be presented in Strider Theater on Friday, April 8, 2016 as part of the Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods Conference (April 7-9, 2016). http://web.colby.edu/communitycultureconservation/
During the research and writing of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson is diagnosed with breast cancer. As she struggles to complete the book, she simultaneously fights both her own advancing cancer and various factions of American enterprise, including the chemical industry, who launch a wholesale attack on her personal and professional reputation. In the Garden of Live Flowers takes its title from a chapter in Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass. With Alice of Wonderland as her guide and mentor, Rachel Carson moves dreamlike between the realms of tragedy and comedy, emotion and imagination, science and literature.
In the Garden of Live Flowers is sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities and produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company.
The New Works Festival
April 21-23 at 7:30 p.m.
What does the future of live performance look like? Find out at the 2016 New Works Festival, where emerging playwrights, choreographers, actors, dancers, designers and stage technicians premiere new adventures in the dance+theater+design realm. This year’s showcase also features a scene from Eat Cake, a “theatrical fantasia on famous words” by Theater and Dance faculty playwright/director Lynne Conner.