Workshop performance: "To the Academy"
Fri, October 14th, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
One event on Sat, October 15th, 2022 at 3:00pm
- This event has passed.
Written and performed by: Marc Gomes and Shanti Pillai
To the Academy is a multimedia performance work that seeks to make pointed commentary about higher education and what historian Craig Wilder has called, “the great experiment of diversity.” Inspired by Kafka’s short story, “A Report for an Academy,” and the ancient Sanskrit treatise on performance, The Natyashastra, the piece weaves a tale about an ape couple rehearsing a music hall show for a group of scholars. Their variety act constitutes a kind of performed report about the state of the academy. The ape-performers grapple—literally—with the gendered, raced, and sexual assumptions that construct knowledge. In the end their efforts invite the viewer to engage an even broader set of questions about how institutional power operates in contemporary US society. To the Academy is both humorous and serious, entertaining and provocative. Different sections are staged in various theatrical languages that draw from British music hall, classical Indian performance forms, Brechtian acting techniques, and the modern sitcom. The actors slip and slide continuously across the boundaries of theatre and “reality,” seeking at every turn to engage spectators as collaborators in artistic exploration and cultural critique. The 1-hour performance is followed by discussion with the audience.
Content Warning: moment of nudity.
For more information, please contact Shanti Pillai.
Sound Design: Michael Costagliola
Projection Design: Wlad Woyno
Scenic Design: Jason Simms
Production Manager: Ann Marie Dorr
Dramaturg: Amy Holzapfel
Direction Consultant: Kym Moore
Production Design Assistant: Nicolle MacWilliams
Special Thanks to: Williams College, the Clark Institute, Ithaca College, Barbara Bell, Samantha Patterson, Maia Robbins-Zust, Katie Polebaum, Randy Fippinger, Brad Wakoff, Keith Forman, Minsuh Choi, Sayda Trujillo, Emmanuelle Delpech