Check back, since this list will grow and change over the semester. You can receive up to 5 points extra credit for each event you attend by completing the following steps. The 5 points of extra credit apply to the participation/blog portion of your grade. You are encouraged to attend up to 3 events for extra credit this semester (you’re welcome to attend all the events, but you can receive a maximum of 15 extra credit points).
For ALL the options below, attend the event, keep a ticket or program if possible, and then write up a 2-3 page (500-750 word) review of the event, drawing connections between what you see and topics we have discussed in class. You may post the paper on your blog, or hand it in to me in person. If you post it on the blog, email me a notice when you’ve posted it. In some cases below, I’ve given specific ideas about possible review topics. Feel free to use these…or not…your choice.
1. Tuesday, 2/3 Ethics Week Film Showing: 7pm Reinsch Auditorium, Screening and discussion of the film, Documented Watch Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas’ discussion of the perils and pitfalls of living as an undocumented American today. As you watch, consider how Vargas uses documentary to convey point of view, and to make him the protagonist of a documentary. How is a documentary a type of performance, and what similarities can you see in how it affects audience to other films/plays we’ve studies (The Fault in Our Stars, W;t).
2. Marymount Poetry Readings
Wednesday, 2/18 12-1 Anniversary Student Poetry Reading, (Main House) Come see student and faculty poets read their work.
Wednesday, 3/5 12-1 Poetry reading with Michael Collier (Barry Gallery)
Poetry is a type of performance, as you’ve already discovered by reading poet Audre Lorde’s “Cancer Journals.” Poets often play with the boundaries of genre as well–is it fiction? Is it prose? What makes it “poetry” and what makes it “performance”? At either of these readings, focus in on 1 or 2 of your favorite poems (particularly if any deal with illness), and analyze the poet’s use of imagery, symbolism, voice or point of view to “perform themselves” to you as a listener.
3. Tuesday, February 17th, 7-9pm the Black Student Alliance will show the award-winning documentary, Brown Babies. The film tells the story of biracial children born in Germany during World War II. After the viewing, Doris McMillon of McMillon Communications will share her personal story. You might consider how documentary film works as a performance mode to shape the audience experience. What questions does it encourage the viewer to consider? Does it take a specific point of view? Does this film raise questions about public health, poverty, and how cultural factors affect mind/body wellness?
4. MU Film Fest, Thursday March 19 and Friday, March 20 (Reinsch Auditorium) Attend any of the 4 film showings on these two days and discuss how film works as a performance text in the film(s) you see. How do concepts like “author” or “protagonist” apply with film? How are public modes of literature (poetry readings, film screenings) different in their impact for the reader than literary modes designed for “private” consumption (ex: reading in bed)? Look in particular for images of how these films address public health, poverty and health, and how cultural factors affect mind/body wellness.
5. Friday, April 10th, 4pm Bisson Humanities Lecture (Reinsch auditorium; part of the Virginia Humanities Conference) Come hear Dr. Steven Lubar from Brown University talk about public space and the evolving concept of the “museum”. Are museums a form of public performance? How so? This will be only one of several events on campus as part of the Virginia Humanities Conference. You can also find a panel that interests you, attend it and write it up. Check back for details!
6. Go See Still Alice and analyze how Angels in America and AIDS are used as metaphors for Alzheimer’s in this film. What does this text represent, and why is it used to connect to Alice’s experience?
7. Aquí y Allá film screening on Monday, March 2nd from 5-7:00pm in the Reinsch auditorium. Watch the film and participate in the after-film discussion with Dr. Bakker. Consider the following topics that we’ve discussed in class, and how this film connects to these ideas: How does the style of the film affect its message? Does it seem “realist” and if so, how? How does it present images of free will or national identity in comparison to Angels in America? Does it present a vision of an “American Dream” in relation to other national dreams? If so, how? Choose a specific scene or two to focus on, and try to analyze characters or themes relative to Angels in America, or another text we’ve read.
8. Friday, 3/20 7pm and Saturday 3/21 8pm Marymount Actors Guild will perform The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon. Reinsch Audtiorium. Go see this fast-paced comedic adventure through timeless fairy tales and reflect on how this way of telling stories compares to the staged storytelling we saw in W;t or Angels in America. How does the abbreviated telling of familiar stories like Snow White, Cinderella,and Hansel and Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun, compare with the less familiar stories in modern drama? What archetypes do you see that carry over into contemporary narratives?
9. Friday April 17 and Saturday April 18th, 8pm in the Reinsch Auditorium: The musical Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon will be performed. You might examine this musical in terms of some of the themes of alienation and social isolation that we’ve discussed, or in terms of what rules you can deduce that govern the genre of the musical drama, as described in this link to Encyclopedia Britannica. In addition, your classmate Robert will be performing, so you can support him!