Learn it, Know it, Live it: The 90s
Directed by Charla Markham Shaw
Wonderfully appropriate in retrospect, our fledging show in the Black Box featured group pieces compiled and staged by students in two sections of the introductory course. Taught by Markham Shaw, the performers focused on issues of censorship, sexism, PMS, and life after death with a fierce wit not unlike that of their instructor.
A Womens Restaurant
By T. Coraghessan Boyle * Adapted & directed by Thor Hanes
A rollicking performance about the great lengths one man pursues in order to infiltrate a womens only restaurant. The great lengths were paralleled in Haness production elements, which included an original video, dance, a slide show, and a Sing Along with Mike Michael Bruner that is, well-known for his rhetorically sensitive street poetry.
Juanitas Art of Hair Fashin
Or Cultural Fragmentation and the Rise of Discursive Ideologies
Compiled & directed by Dan Heaton
Amidst a tumble-down of channel-surfing scenes and sound bite draws (ranging from Derrida and Baudrillard to Swamp Zombies and anonymous), the now famous Juanita emerged to offer her art of hair fashin philosophy a travesty, a mockery, an alternative to our fight for air time in a fragmented culture.
A sweet cacophony of solo and group pieces by undergraduate and graduate students in our fall performance studies courses.
Details: The Performance
Compiled & directed by Lance Vinson
Staged on a model runway, Vinsons production parodied Details, a how-to magazine for the stylish guy of the nineties. Highlights included Beyond Sex: Why Celibacy is the Ultimate Turn On, Animal Instincts, Couch Potatoes: Watching Sports is Harder than Playing Them, and a gender quiz for the audience titled, Are you Man Enough?
By Bruce Jay Friedman * Adapted & directed by Patrick Johnson
Monsters, in a Minor Way
Four stories adapted & directed by Thor Hanes
Johnson and Hanes split the bill in a two act evening of original adaptations.
Johnson told Friedmans story of a lonely man who tries to remedy his depression by remodeling his house. As it turns out, the trickster re-modelers give him more than his moneys worth in life-saving advice. Hanes staged four short stories, Cleavage, Age of Reason, and Engineering by Barry Yourgrau and Donald Barthelmes Jaws. For Hanes, the stories were like stuffing peanuts up your nose and they turn into spaceships or something; for us, there is recall of a running lawnmower or was it a motorcycle?
The Oyster Wagon: A Chekhov Feast
Adapted & directed by Ruth Laurion Bowman
Staged on and around a huge table laden with food, Bowmans production offered a gastronomic view of the last six years of Chekhovs life. The adaptation drew on letters between Chekhov and his wife, the actress Olga Knipper, Knippers autobiography, and excerpts from Chekhovs plays and short stories. The staging featured The Pleasant Man Who Eats at the noted table although by the end of the piece, as Chekhovs body is returned to Russia in an oyster wagon, the man found his plate empty and his table disassembled.
The Cherry Orchard . . . as you've never seen it before: A Comedy in Four Theories
Adapted & directed by Jacque Burleson & Joni Butcher (JB2)
Applying the theories and methods of Stanislavski, Brecht, Grotowski, and Boal to, respectively, the four acts that comprise Chekhovs play, Burleson and Butcher highlighted the diverse styles and temperaments, the character types and idiosyncrasies, at work in the play. So too, class politics in Chekhovs time and our own were emphasized in the division and treatment of the audience in terms of a class hierarchy, and by the directors trickster approach to the fourth act.
By John R. Taylor * Directed by Kelly S. Taylor
April 30 May 2
With the particularities of realism intact (and in one of our few box sets over the years), Taylor approached this original script with a subtle hand, telling the story of Paula Fayes search for self-empowerment in the age of high power rifles and two-hundred mile an hour stock cars.
Graduate Student Performance
May 6 at 12:30 & 6:30
The GS tune of the times: irreverence toward their own irreverence as epitomized in the Utne Reader cartoon (May/June 1993) the students used to advertise their performance. In one frame, the Performance Art Guys eat soup and ask the questions others dare not ask: Which came first the alphabet or the soup? In another frame, the same guys try to define their cultural otherness: one claims, I took four years of high school Spanish while the other boasts, I rented Dances with Wolves today.
Our quite earnest (or reverent) thanks to Charla, Patrick, Marjorie, Joni, Mike, Dan, Gretchen, Iresha, Patrick, Kelly, Joni, Sharon, Jacque, Leigh Anne, Rowdy, Missy, Christa, Jim, Thor, and Lance for helping us get the Black Box off the ground with constant good laughs.