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In March of 1998, Dartmouth witnessed a historic summit on black theater, intended to address specific strategies to build and maintain black theater companies and institutions. Playwright August Wilson, whose work “Fences” won both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, led efforts to organize “On Golden Pond” during his time as a Montgomery Fellow at the College. In 2018, 20 years after the original summit, Dartmouth will once again host a summit on black theater this week from Sept. 26 to 29. The 2018 International Black Theatre Summit, titled “Breaking New Ground Where We Stand” in reference to Wilson’s famous speech “The Ground On Which I Stand,” will not only examine theater as a medium for black performance, but film and television as well.
Although 2018 is just starting, there have already been many times this year that I’ve found myself wondering if I am living in a twisted dystopia. It seems that many have made the parallel between the harrowing state of affairs in George Orwell’s “1984” and the current state of politics. Since President Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway used the politically charged words “alternative facts,” sales of the 20th-century novel spiked drastically. The term is eerily reminiscent of “newspeak,” a means by which the omnipotent Inner Party of Orwell’s novel prohibits unorthodox political thought. This fall, the Dartmouth theater department investigated the relevance of Orwell’s prophetic dystopia to today’s reality in the play “1984,” which opened on Feb. 16 and finished its run Sunday night.
“1984,” Dartmouth’s stage adaptation of Milton Wayne’s radio adaptation of George Orwell’s synonomously-named classic, gives a twist to the original setup of the novel to make it more relevant to the world today. Director and theater professor Peter Hackett adapted the script himself, incorporating multimedia components and excerpts from Timothy Snyder’s “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” that add a contemporary aspect to the production. “1984” opens tonight at Moore Theater in the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
With the end of fall term approaching, the theater department’s fall musical is right around the corner. Anyone passing through the Hopkins Center for the Arts can see the activity bustling in and around the theater. “Cabaret,” this year’s musical, promises to be a timely response to the current political climate.
A new name has been posted on the office doors of Shakespeare Alley, welcoming Monica White Ndounou, who joined the Dartmouth faculty as an associate professor of theater earlier this year.
As director of last spring’s student production “What Every Girl Should Know,” president of the all-female a cappella group the Subtleties and actress in “In The Next Room,” “Urinetown” and this fall’s “Cabaret,” performer and playwright Virginia Ogden ’18 has completely immersed herself in the arts at Dartmouth. Ogden spent the past summer as a student at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as part of the Dartmouth theater foreign study program.
What does a play written 2,500 years ago and a suburb of St. Louis have in common? The upcoming Theater of War production of “Antigone in Ferguson” at the Hopkins Center for the Arts draws parallels between the events of the ancient Greek play by Sophocles and those in Ferguson, Missouri surrounding the death of Michael Brown in 2014.
The world-renowned production company New York Theater Workshop commemorated its quarter-century-long relationship with Dartmouth College at its annual spring gala last night at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. The ceremony was co-hosted by Rachel Dratch ’88 and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
The audition process can cause even the most confident and experienced performer, such as those who auditioned last week for the theater department’s production of the Tony Award-winning satirical musical “Urinetown,” to descend suddenly descend into a vortex of self-deprecating, worst-case scenario concerns: my hands are so sweaty, I’m going to damage everything I touch and get blacklisted by the Hop. I’m so nervous, I’m going to accidentally start singing the alma mater instead of my audition piece, and I won’t be able to stop until I get through the whole thing.
One Psi U. Two Sigma Delts. Two Phi Taus. Two unaffiliated women, one who had de-pledged. One KD. Two Tri-Kaps. And one women’s and gender studies professor. The theme? The Greek system — or rather, breaking down the invisible walls that surround it.
How much would you spend on a white painting? $10? $100? What if your best friend spent $200,000 on a monochromatic painting — would you tell him what you thought?