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Plenary Sessions
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ATHE Conference

Plenary Sessions

Plenary I: Spectacular Scholarship (2912 A-D)

Friday, August 04, 2017
12:30 PM-2:00 PM

In celebration of the outstanding scholarship produced by ATHE’s membership, the 2017 Conference presents this “Spectacular Scholarship” plenary session. For this session we present four concurrent plenary panels, each focusing on a different branch of spectacular scholarship. Panelists were selected following a process of blind review of proposals, with the accepted scholars representing ATHE members at all stages of their careers. We invite all conference attendees to select one of these sessions to attend.

Spectacular Activism - Celebrity 4

Chair: Tom Robson, Millikin University

“Taking the Long View: An Examination of Sustainable Theatrical Activism in the Age of the Trump,” Tiffany Antone, Southern Arkansas University

“Making a Spectacle of Ourselves: Activism and Agitprop in the Age of Twitter,” Gary Luter, University of Tampa

“Local Spectacle: Performance-as-Activism and the Role of Theatre at a Faith-based, Liberal Arts College,” Courtney Bailey Parker, Greenville College

Spetacular Bodies – Celebrity 1

Chair: Ruis Woertendyke, Pace University

“Broadway Bodies?: Casting Difference in Broadway Musicals,” Ryan Donovan, The Graduate Center, CUNY

“Theatre of the Vulnerable: What Being A Blue Man for 12 years Taught Me About Acting, Directing, and Teaching,” Isaac Eddy, Johnson State College

When the Body Gives Out: Emmett Till’s Wake and the Spectacularity of Black Maternal Grief,” Rhaisa Williams, Washington University in St. Louis

Spectacular Pedagogy - Celebrity 2

Chair: Brian Valencia, University of Miami

“Cultivating Instincts in Our Musical Theatre Students with Spectral Pedagogy,” Elizabeth Gerbi, The American University

“‘Yes, and’ and the Ground on Which We Stand: Spectacular Pedagogy for Arts Management MFA Students,” Emma Halpern, Brooklyn College

“Web of Performance: Launching an Open Source eBook Curriculum on Performance Studies for Youth 16-18,” Monica Prendergast, University of Victoria

Spectacular Technology – Celebrity 3

Chair: Eileen Curley, Marist College

“Enactive Spectatorship in Shakespeare Video Games,” E.B. Hunter, Northwestern University

“Chromolume #8: Recreating Historical Lighting Designs in Computer Gaming Platforms,” Doug Reside, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

“Spectacular Electricity: Visuality, Technology and Electricity on the Victorian Stage,” Jeremy Reynolds, Louisiana Tech University

Plenary II: A Spectacular Balancing Act (2913)

Saturday, August 05, 2017
9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

The conference committee has curated a panel of special guests. These artists, scholars, and educators will discuss how they balance education, theory, and praxis in their work. The plenary will begin with brief exploration into this this topic by each guest. Following initial statements, breakout conversations will be hosted in nearby rooms. Conference attendees will be invited to select one special guest to join for a more intimate conversation. The breakout sessions will be facilitated by an ATHE member and will feature images and artifacts relevant to each guest’s work.

Breakout Sessions

Celebrity 4

This session will be facilitated by Chase Waites (Chairman of the Drama Department and Live Entertainment Technology at Lone Star College - Montgomery).

Jane Childs, Director of the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas

Please discuss the role nonprofit and for profit collaboration in the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas’ unique approach to pedagogy.

Jane Childs is a co-founder of the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILV). This nonprofit’s unique approach to mutually beneficial partnerships with commercial theatres in Las Vegas affords her students the opportunity to make the Las Vegas Strip their classroom. The Institute has no brick and mortar classrooms, rather, students work in the industry and learn the latest technology and practices on the job. Recently SILV teamed up with Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah to offer certifications for her students’ training. She will discuss SILV’s innovative approach to pedagogy in this plenary. Ms. Childs serves as the Director of Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas and has over fifty years of experience in the industry including work in costuming, scenic, and lighting designs and projects. She also wrote the French translation for Ladislav Vychodil. Her studies included Indiana University, La Sorbonne, and University of Iowa.

Celebrity 1

This session will be facilitated by Kareem Khubchandani (Mellon Assistant Professor at Tufts University).

La Chica Boom, Latinx/Queer Performance Artist

Please discuss gender and race and their role in the spectacle you produce.

Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist that often uses mediums such as video and photography. She uses hyperbolized modes of racialization and sexualization to test the boundaries between her own body and coloniality, compulsory whiteness, and Mexicanidad. Throughout her multiple works, she teeters between abjection and joy and problematizes the borders between proper and improper racial, gender, and queer subject. Ibarra’s work has been exhibited at El Museo de Arte Contemporañeo (Bogotá, Colombia), Broad Museum (LA, USA), Popa Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Joe’s Pub (NYC), PPOW Gallery (NYC), and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF) to name a few. She has been awarded the Art Matters Fund, NALAC Fund for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Away Award, ReGen Artist Fund, Theater Bay Area Grant and the Franklin Furnace Performance and Variable Media Award. Her work has also been published and featured in Women and Performance Journal: a journal of feminist theory, GLQ: a journal of gay and lesbian studies, Art Practical, The Drama Review: the journal of performance studies, Art and Architecture in the Americas, Artforum and Hyperallergic among others. As a community organizer, Ibarra’s work is located within immigrant, anti-rape and prison abolitionist movements. Since 2003, she has actively participated in organizing with INCITE!, a national feminist of color organization dedicated to creating interventions at the intersection of state and interpersonal violence. As a lecturer, Ibarra has taught ethnic studies and sexuality studies courses in the Race and Resistance program at San Francisco State University. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the California College of the Arts and teaches philosophy and art history classes in the Critical Studies program.

Celebrity 2

This session will be facilitated by Carlos Cruz (Assistant Professor of Physical Theatre at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte).

Patrick Leroux, Cirque Dramaturg

Please discuss spectacle and its influence on historical and traditional circus performance and the role of spectacle on the expansion of circus related performance into modern mainstream theatre.

Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux is an Associate Professor at Concordia University and the Founding Director of the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research. He holds a strong interest in circus stemming from his practical experience in theatre and scholarly research into dramaturgy and cultural discourse. Dr. Leroux has published and given talks on contemporary circus and contemporary theatre, and has worked closely with the Québec circus scene as a researcher, collaborator, and teacher. He is an ongoing Associate Researcher and guest teacher at the National Circus School of Montreal. At the NSC he is currently working alongside students and teachers exploring the various modes of circus narratives and dramaturgical strategies. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Duke University, Charles University (Prague) and at France’s Centre national des arts du cirque. He was awarded Canada’s two national awards, one in French (Prix Jean-Cléo Godin, 2009), one in English (Richard Plant Award, 2012), for scholarly writing on the performing arts. He is currently involved in many research projects, all-team based, including a Quebec-funded (FRQ-SC) research-creation project exploring circus dramaturgy; a Canadian-funded (SSHRC) project studying physical literacy, creativity and resilience in grade school children; and a Canadian-funded (SSHRC) historical synthesis and socio-esthetic analysis of Québec theatre. Recent scholarly collections include Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, coedited with Charles Batson (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2016) and Le jeu des positions. Discours du théâtre québécois, coedited with Hervé Guay (Nota Bene, 2014). He is currently working on a book on contemporary circus creators for Routledge with Katie Lavers and Jon Burtt.

Celebrity 3

This session will be facilitated by Roy Gomez Cruz (PhD candidate in Performance studies at Northwestern University).

Chris Lashua, Cirque Mechanics Founder and Artistic Director

Please discuss the intersection between the human body and mechanical devices to create and tell stories in a spectacular way.

Chris Lashua has spent his life on or around wheels. After nearly a decade of professional bicycle freestyle competitions and performance, he found himself at China’s famed “Wu Ciao” festival in ‘92, where he won a bronze medal and a place on Cirque du Soleil’s Japan tour of Fascination. Chris’s obsession with wheels led him to perform inside one, a German Wheel, and as the opening act of Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam in 1996. In 2004, after the success of his collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco Birdhouse Factory, Mr. Lashua founded Cirque Mechanics in Las Vegas. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil.” Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant. The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders, and a bit of clowning around.

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