Winter Excursions Global Theatre

Snow piles on the ground in Ann Arbor yet my head is in the clouds as I plan for the Spring.

Global Theatre and Ethnic Studies moving forward…

Liverpool comes at me twice. In March the “Atlantic Sounds” conference in Liverpool is about Port Communities and Sailor Towns. Giving a paper there will be a a chance to repeat a public conversation about how buck dancing and sounding the boards affects sea shanties.

Multi-Cultural Theatre in Liverpool

In June I head to Liverpool again with 15 student performers. Working with Rachel Rogers, Maxine Brown and the Merseyside Dance Initiative we learn about the Liverpool Black Community’s history and culture. And we are making plays, songs and dances about Liverpool life and our encounters. Look for our show in Fall 2014 in Ann Arbor.

Performing Gender: Archives and Oral Histories looks to be a fantastic opportunity to have students create new devised work form archival sources. We are working with artwork from the University of Michigan Museum of Arts to tell stories of diverse communities. And now the amazing Glenn Gordinier of the Williams Mystic Maritime Institute comes to Ann Arbor sharing his Joshua “Jack Tar” character. Look for him April 2nd

Excavating Ira Aldridge

Finally, a team of computer scientists and computer visualization specialists start building the Ira Aldridge digital tool that maps Aldridge’s performances, theatres, roles, and relationships. This amazing African American actor performed clown, noble, and middle class characters in countries as far-ranging as Turkey, Poland, England, Russia and France. Students will be recording scenes from his global repertory in the Duderstadt Media Commons and these scenes will then become a part of a geo-spatial mapping project. I’m hoping for a dynamic user-friendly interface. And the icing on the cake is that all project participants travel to NYC to see the Tricycle London’s performance of Red Velvet with Adrian Lester.

Those are the broad strokes of winter activities. Also watch out for the Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Power Center on January 20. Latino Studies also has an MLK day event on February 7th.

They are honoring Oyamo (Charles Gordon) at the Stamps Auditorium on January 30 and presenting one of his latest new plays in the Arthur Miller Theatre the last week of February.