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Oct 31, 2014

Rude Mechs Residency Brings Together Theater, Gaming, and Science

Photos


Now Now Oh Now (photo by Jeremy Lange)
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A Visiting Artist Grant from the Council for the Arts brought the celebrated Austin, Texas theater collective Rude Mechs to Duke this past September. Their ten-day residency culminated in eight sold-out performances of Now Now Oh Now, an intimate, immersive theatrical experience presented by Duke Performances in Sheafer Lab Theater. Rude Mechs treated each audience of thirty to a show that combined serious scientific content with the nerdy pleasures of interactive gaming and the undeniable satisfaction of Murder Mystery Theatre.

According to CVNC reviewer Kate Dobbs Ariail, Now Now Oh Now “shows and tells the importance of plays and playing in the great game of life.” In its final section, she wrote, the actors “engage the audience in a meditation on choice and chance and make a crystalline argument for beauty's crucial role in natural selection.”

Photos by Eric Oberstein

While on campus, Rude Mechs worked with students in several acting and production classes in the Theater Studies department. They also visited Legal Issues for the Performing Arts, a class taught by Dan Ellison, a local attorney, arts advocate, and Duke alum. They joined scientists at the Durham-based National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) for a lunchtime conversation about evolution and theater and they toured Erich Jarvis’s Neurobiology of Vocal Communication Lab.

One student described to Duke Today the impact Rude Mechs' visit had on him:

Duke student Jon Payne has had just enough acting experience to be intrigued by the ethics of the craft. A visit by the Texas-based theater company Rude Mechs to his Introduction to Acting class was just what he needed.

“In the back of my head I have always debated the truthfulness of acting—whether or not what we’re doing on stage, pretending to be other people, is honest,” said Payne, a second-year student. “I’ve never heard anyone debate that in my classes but it was one of the first things the Rude Mechs wanted to discuss. It was a very eye-opening approach to the art and one I might not have heard without their class visit.”

The visiting artist program brings compelling artists in all genres to Duke not only to show their work but also to share the concept, technique and process behind it. According to Eric Oberstein, associate director of Duke Performances, artists are chosen because they are “comfortable engaging with students, good speakers, curious and interested in a deeper conversation.” Their formal and informal exchanges with students and the community complement and extend the work already being done on campus. As Jon Payne testified, those exchanges can be eye-opening.

Sep 9, 2014

2014-15 Visiting Artists

Duke's 2014-15 Visiting Artist lineup includes a dance company that will explore tablao traditional dance of Spain, a theatrical group that immerses the audience in their interactive productions, and a residency that will bring together new music and rare footage about life in the North Carolina Piedmont in the early 40s.

The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.

 
Dec 6, 2013

Call for Proposals

 

 

 

Images: yMusic, Imani Winds, the  Hilliard Ensemble, 2013-14 Visiting Artists

The Vice Provost for the Arts and the Council for the Arts are pleased to announce a call for proposals for Visiting Artist Grants and Collaboration Development Grant.

Visiting Artist Grants

Deadline:  January 29, 2014

Purpose

The goal of the Visiting Artist Grants is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.

Visiting artist residencies can take many forms depending on the desires of the sponsoring unit and the artist’s requirements, but require a period of residency at Duke and a teaching component.  Any program, department, or unit at Duke may apply; individual artists (whether Duke-affiliated or not) are not eligible to apply on their own behalf.

Application information here...


Collaboration Development Grants

Deadline:  February 14, 2014

Purpose

The Collaboration Development Grant is offered to faculty members who desire to collaborate with artists/faculty members in their own or different disciplines to undertake new artistic work.  This grant will provide funding to bring collaborators together to plan and/or produce an artistic project of high quality that enhances the professional standing of the participating artists.  Applications for grants to plan a larger-scale project as well as applications to produce/present a completed project are eligible.

The project leader for the collaboration can be a regular rank faculty member at Duke (i.e., Professor of the Practice or Tenure track artists and scholars), or non-regular rank faculty member who has taught two or more courses a year for three years and who will continue to serve in this capacity for the duration of the grant period.  Collaborators may include any Duke faculty and instructional staff as well as professional artists inside and outside of Duke.

Application information here...

Read about our 2013-14 visiting artist lineup here.

 

Aug 21, 2013

Duke's Visiting Artist Lineup for 2013-2014

Duke's Visiting Artist Program is bringing a diverse lineup to campus during the 2013-14 academic year, including a visual artist from Pakistan, a dance troupe from Brooklyn, and a theater director from Duke (class of '98). Music residencies feature the premier of a new setting of St. Luke's Passion and three exceptional ensembles who will work with Duke composition students.

The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.

• yMusic
• Imani Winds and The Hilliard Ensemble
• Shahzia Sikander
• Urban Bush Women
• Hoi Polloi
• James MacMillan

Feb 4, 2013

Engaging Eliot in Duke Chapel

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Engaging Eliot: Opening night in Duke Chapel

Engaging Eliot: Paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman

Engaging Eliot: Paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman
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From Duke Today:

"Engaging Eliot" is a series of events inspired by T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, a set of poems written during World War II. Visual artists Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman were drawn to the poems for their spiritual themes and powerful imagery. They then collaborated on a series of paintings based on the poems. QU4RTETS are the centerpiece of "Engaging Eliot" and will remain on display in the Chapel until Feb. 9.

...[read more]

 

Jan 24, 2013

Visiting Artists @ Duke, 2013

This spring, Duke's Visiting Artist Program is bringing to campus a rich array of visual artists, diverse in background, subject matter, and technique. There will also be events culminating a two-year series of collaborations between New York-based musicians Wet Ink and Duke graduate students. The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.

Apr 28, 2011

Visiting Artists @ Duke, 2011-2012

Duke University Vice Provost Office for the Arts and the Council for the Arts are pleased to announce the 2011-2012 Visiting Artist Grant awards. The four awards encompass Shakespeare, suspended sculpture, adventurous American music, and an eclectic series of lectures and workshops ranging across the visual arts.

The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.

Nov 17, 2010

Monteverdi's Magnificence is Coming to Duke Chapel

Musicians from the Chapel Choir, Chorale and Collegium Musicum at Duke and the Choral Society of Durham, conducted by Rodney Wynkoop, will present Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine in Duke Chapel on Sunday Nov. 21 at 4pm. They'll be joined by Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, a highly regarded ensemble that specializes in the instruments of Monteverdi's day. Tickets are $20 general and $5 for students.

The performance at Duke is one of many around the world marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of this magnificent piece. In it, Monteverdi took the Gregorian chants of the Roman Catholic Vespers — an evening service that features a series of psalms and a hymn — and augmented and amplified them to produce a ninety-minute work that requires seven soloists, a choir that can cover up to ten separate parts, and an ensemble of instruments. Along the way, he proves his mastery of the whole range of compositional techniques of the day, from old-fashioned choral counterpoint to stripped-down vocal stylings from the cutting edge. It's almost like he wanted to leave a historical landmark for us to celebrate every hundred years, and in fact it seems the piece was intended as a showpiece. It wasn't posterity on Monteverdi's mind, though. He was sick of Mantua and wanted a new job. The Vespers of 1610 was published in a volume of sacred music dedicated to Pope Paul V, and the composer even travelled to Rome to present it in person. The effort was in vain, but the Pope's loss is our gain.

Nov 3, 2010

Waves of Mu in FCIEMAS

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The reception area in Duke's Fitzpatrick Center (FCIEMAS).

The white-caped meninges -- Pia (Michele Okoh-Bernis), Dura (Camille Wright), and Arachnoid (Annabelle Meunier).

Hanging out for a while to chat and taste chocolate and champagne makes for a thoroughly stimulating show.

Dura explains that everyone will be taking their shoes off before they enter the brain.

Lingering for a while over the educational material.

Reading material suitable for a show about the brain.

The centerpiece of the brain is the very very busy thalamus (Skylar Gudasz).

Thalamus & Co.

A path of shoes leads from the brain to the classroom/laboratory.

One piece of real estate that's always worth investing in.
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For the past few weeks, Duke's Fitz­pat­rick Cen­ter for In­ter­dis­ci­plin­ary En­gin­eering, Medi­cine and Ap­plied Scien­ces (FCIEMAS) has also been a cen­ter for art. For Waves of Mu, an in­stal­lation and per­for­mance piece by vi­sit­ing art­ist Amy Caron, The Studio be­came a fanciful in­ter­act­ive walk–through mo­del of the brain and Schiciano Au­di­to­rium became a per­for­mance space.

Eight times between Oct. 20 and Oct. 30 audiences of about 50 were relieved of their shoes, ushered into the brain and then down the hall for some dramatic research. Actually the show started as soon as the audience began to arrive. While they waited, white-robed greeters — Dura, Pia, and Arachnoid, named for the meninges — plied them with champaign or cider and chocolate. There was punchy ambient music to listen to, composed by Duke graduate student Paul Leary, and video clips to watch. Brains were busy handling diverse sensory input as people waited to learn about how brains handle sensory input. It wasn't sensory overload, though, since it was also a time to chat and ask questions. In fact, sociability was one of the main themes of the evening.

Dura, Pia, and Arachnoid accompanied the audience into the brain, collecting their shoes in the process. Inside the installation, though, the center of attention was the person sitting at a desk typing, answering the phone, sorting and straightening and generally keeping busy. That was the switchboard of the brain, the thalamus (from the typewriter and the clunky phone, it seems that the brain is stuck in the disco era, technologically speaking). She was apt to hand a slip of paper to whoever was nearby and ask them to take it to some other part of the brain. In spite of the swirl of activity, she was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Oct 27, 2010

Local Theater Festival Focuses on Black Experience

A futuristic tale of blacks in space and a classic story of a North Carolina slave girl offer varying portrayals of the black experience during "The Theme is Blackness" theater festival next month.

Curated by Duke University faculty and presented by The Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern Nov. 3-13 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, the festival features two weeks of plays and discussions on the state of theater and race in America.

"We wanted to create a forum where new plays by black playwrights could be showcased outside the month of February," wrote Jay O'Berski, Duke theater studies assistant professor of the practice, in an email message. "Because we have so many incredible black artists in Durham with connections to internationally renowned playwrights working in the U.S., we knew it was time to start something in Durham."

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