association for theatre in higher education
August 2016

Dear ATHE Members,

As we end July, we are right around the corner from the 2016 ATHE conference, Bodies @ Work: Performance, Labor and ATHE @ 30. I could not be more excited! Anniversary years are a time to reflect on the Association and the role of theatre and performance more generally in a changing and challenging world. The conference features a robust set of conversations, performances and presentations that get to the heart of how we work and what we work to change in our artistic and theoretical practices. It is a crucial time for us to imagine differently. If you have not yet taken a close look you can see the conference schedule here.

We share our anniversary year with The Black Theatre Network, and we have made a concerted effort to think deeply about our shared concerns in our programming and future planning. We invite you to engage in this partnership with us. BTN conference details can be found here.

Given recent world events, we have also made an effort to think about ATHE advocacy. VP for Advocacy Kareem Khubchandani invited Dr. Kashif Powell to host a webinar titled, The Politics of Performance and the Black Lives Matter Movement. For those of you who missed it, it is available here. We are looking forward to offering more webinars for our members related to all aspects of theatre and education.

I hope to continue to speak with as many of you as possible about ATHE’s continuing work as an advocate for theatre in higher education in this challenging time.

See you in Chicago!

Patricia Ybarra
ATHE President

Dear ATHE Colleagues,

I’m looking forward to gathering with all of you very soon! Because this event would not have been listed with other programming previews you’ve received, I just wanted to call special attention to an exciting all-conference performance we have added to the ATHE 2016 schedule. Come join us in the Grand Ballroom AFTER the Thursday night opening reception for this event, jointly hosted by ATHE and Black Theatre Network in celebration of their continued relationship and shared 30th anniversary. Feel free to bring your glass of wine from the reception over to the performance!

Both this Thursday night event and our Friday night performance/staged reading event with Naomi Wallace are open to all ATHE attendees, free of additional charge.

All my best,
Kelly Howe
VP Conference 2016

Thursday Late-Night Concert Event

"Colored Love Comes in Many Rhythms"
Ntozake Shange and Kahil El’Zabar in Concert

Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 9:15 PM

Ntozake Shange, one of America's greatest living writers—has given voice to, and embodied, the ongoing struggle of Black and all other women for equality, dignity, and respect as well as the recognition of their enormous contribution to human culture.

In 2016, her best-known theatre piece, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the Rainbow Is enuf will mark the 40th Anniversary of its stunningly successful, 2 ½ year run on Broadway beginning September, 1976. for colored girls... remains in continuous print since its publication in 1974, was made into a motion picture by Tyler Perry in 2010, is a staple in the required reading lists of many major school districts, colleges and universities. The play has been recognized by America’s largest dramatic publisher, Samuel French & Co., as one of its most-produced titles, nationally, in 2015.

Ntozake is involved in new productions of her work Lost in Language and Sound ---presented at 651 Arts Center, NYC and Karamu House, Cleveland in 2015--- and an, as yet untitled, longform, music and poetry “song–cycle” for concert presentation in collaboration with famed jazz instrumentalist, Craig Harris. Dr. Shange has been named the 2016 Langston Hughes Medalist, to be conferred in a day-long conference on her work at the City University of NY and a tribute concert in November of this year.

Dr. Shange is engaged in an ongoing schedule of lectures, residencies, and spoken-word performances for which she is available through Global Artists Management of NY, Inc.; 732-991- 9213

Internationally renowned percussionist and composer Kahil El'Zabar, considered one of the most prolific jazz innovators of his generation, has not only played alongside a myriad of jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Cannonball Adderly, but was in the bands of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Paul Simon, as well as recording with rock bands like Sonia Dada and Poi Dog Pondering and heading up the jazz/house outfit, JUBA Collective.

Kahil El'Zabar was born in Chicago, went to KennedyKing College and later to Malcolm X and Lake Forest colleges. In 1973 while attending Lake Forest College, he joined Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and by 1975 he was chairman of the organization. El'Zabar was chosen to do the arranging for the stage performances of The Lion King, he has published a book of poetry, Mis'taken Brilliance and from 1996 to 1999, organized Traffic at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. In 1991, El'Zabar was commissioned by Germany's Leverkusen Jazz Festival to present a 20 year retrospective of his work, which showcased Orchestra Infinity - a 25-piece big band formed several years ago.

El'Zabar has served as an associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been on the boards of several organizations, including serving as the chairman of The Sun Drummer, the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression and the National Task Force of Arts Presenting in Education. El'Zabar lives in Chicago. He has six children.

ATHE Annual Conference 2016 Details

Register online or view the full schedule here.

Directing Program Pre-Conference

Join the Directing Program for its 2016 Pre-Conference, focused on "Directors' Work: Directing Alternatives to Psychological Realism." Featuring a mix of workshops, presentations, & discussions, the Pre-Conference runs Wednesday, August 10, from 1-6 pm, & Thursday, August 11, from 9 am - 12 pm. Members of all focus groups are welcome. To attend, please RSVP to DP conference planner Emily Rollie.

Exploding the Myths: Science, SuperScenes, and Stanislavsky

Dates: Wed Aug. 10th 10am-5pm and 7-9pm, Thur. Aug. 11, 2016 10am-1pm.
Wrap-up session within the main conference: Sat Aug 13, 3:30-5pm
Location: OFFSITE The Actor’s Studio, 10 W Hubbard, Chicago, IL.
(Less than a mile from the Palmer House).
Cost: is $85 participants, $20 Observers

This workshop will take a fresh look at psychophysical action through active analysis for rehearsal and the use of archetypes and SuperScenes. Both teachers will offer relevant insights from contemporary neuroscience, psychology, physiology and other sciences as they reflect on the psychophysical instrument.

The impetus for this pre-conference resulted from the many ATHE members who have taken workshops with both Jane Drake Brody and Stephanie Daventry French over the years and wanted more in-depth experiences with the work. This workshop will aid in applying their advanced work to both rehearsal and training in a sequential process. Both authors are steeped in the late and active work of Stanislavsky and have devoted much research and writing to investigate Stanislavsky's theories within the context of modern science.

Brody's process of SuperScenes is her response to Stanislavsky's theory of physical action viewed through a neuroscientific lens and focusing on the physical play of archetype and primal action. Brody is the author of Acting, Archetype, and Neuroscience to be released in September, 2016 by Routledge Press. Her book The Actor's Business Plan: A Career Guide for the Acting Life by Jane Brody Release Date: Oct 22, 2015, Bloomsbury Press. Bloomsbury Press

French combines Stanislavsky’s Psychophysical Action and Active Analysis with a host of other active and experimental theatre approaches to actor training, directing and devising. She is co-author of Experiencing Stanislavsky Today: Training and Rehearsal for the Psychophysical Actor by Stephanie Daventry French and Philip G. Bennett, Routledge Press. Release date December 24, 2015 US, December 24, 2015 England.