Finding a Creative Space When the Studios Close

Gracyn, Lindsay, and Bridget dancing

The closure of dance studios for the remainder of the semester poses an obvious question for many students: where, and how, can we continue learning through movement? Faculty member Leah Cox’s dance composition class has reimagined this challenge as an opportunity. As they study postmodern movement, the students have let new dance spaces inspire their work, and the resulting video assignments have opened new conversations about searching for creative places in confinement.

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Alumni Deliver Bodybuilding Quarantine with Boy Band Kwar[N]Teens

side by side of band members of kwarnteens

We’re all stuck in varying stages of quarantine…so how do you make the most of your time at home? When our theatres are closed and public art is on hold amidst social distancing, how do you fuel your creativity?

These five alumni (Brian Bogart (B.A. in Theatre and Dance, 2013), Ja’Michael Darnell (B.A. in Theatre and Dance, 2014), Joseph Dailey (B.F.A. in Theatre Studies, 2013), Sam Gorena (B.A. in Theatre and Dance, 2013) and Ethan Galis (B.A. in Biology, 2013)) have the perfect solution – start a boy band. Now streaming online (and into our hearts), Kwar[N]Teens is rocking social distancing jams that bring the perfect blend of creativity and levity to these strange times. They’re here to remind us all that even amidst tough times, they’ll be there as long as you love them.

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Live Performance in the Time of Social Distancing: A List of Performances Available for Online Streaming

people sitting in a dark theatre with red curtain

In our current world of social distancing and isolation, we find ourselves longing for the theatre – a space we collectively share to consume art, enjoy live performance and connect with those around us. Amidst closures and the inability to share these moments together, arts organizations around the world have shifted their content to the digital sphere so that we may all continue to enjoy and support the performing arts across the globe.

We’ve compiled a list of various outlets where you can access these performances from the comfort of your home. Even as we take this moment to be apart, we can still enjoy the power of the performing arts together.

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Gods Among Men: Understanding Orishas

dancers with face masks

One of the defining characteristics of playwright and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney’s (Moonlight) work is the intricate ways in which Yoruba myth, legend and ritual are woven into contemporary settings. Yoruba Orishas, or deities that exist between the spiritual world and our human one, are transformed into relatable human characters within The Brother/Sister Plays, allowing a sense of ritual and history to infuse a story that, in many ways, is reflective of our contemporary society and represent familiar voices and characteristics. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Dr. Abimbola A. Adelakun (professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin) explore the ways in which the Orishas have influenced McCraney’s writing and the fundamentals of Yoruba myth.

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Movement, Myth and Self-Discovery in MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET

ghost holding hands with character in red and brown water

We recently sat down with interim department chair and co-director of Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet Robert Ramirez to discuss his collaboration with Charles O. Anderson (head of the dance area at the Department of Theatre and Dance), the inclusion of movement and dance within the play, the significance of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s work and what to expect in this final installment of The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy.

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Meet the Cast: MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET

Marcus photo grid

Meet the cast of Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, coming to the stage this spring. Marcus  is sixteen and “sweet.” Days before Hurricane Katrina strikes the housing projects of Louisiana, the currents of his life converge, overflowing into his close-knit community and launching the search for his sexual and personal identity on a cultural landscape infused with mysterious family creeds. The provocative, poignant and fiercely humorous coming-of-age story of a young gay man in the South, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is the stirring conclusion of The Brother/Sister Plays by Academy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight).

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Meet the Cast: SPRING AWAKENING

springawakeningheadshots

Meet the cast of Spring Awakening, a play following a group of young German students as they confront personal truths about sexuality, self-image, social status, and the traditional thinking suppressing their worldview. As the characters navigate unfamiliar stages of life and realize their relationships with others, shame, fear, and inexperience lead them to unexpected places. Eventually, characters fall victim to their strong feelings, pain is expressed outwardly and trouble ensues. This interpretation brings a punk rock spin to the angst embodied in the storyline of Frank Wedikind’s original play.Continue Reading Meet the Cast: SPRING AWAKENING

Summer Update 2019: Part Two

Michael Love, Quetta Carpenter and Katie Dawson

In this two-part series, we continue to highlight the work of Texas Theatre and Dance students and faculty as they share their talents outside of Winship during the summer months.

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Summer Update 2019: Part One

combination of images for summer update1

With the 2018–2019 academic year and production season over, summer settles into the Winship Drama Building. No rest, however, for the artistic! Texas Theatre and Dance faculty, staff and students are making their way all around the globe for a range of creative and scholastic projects. In this two-part series, we give a brief glimpse into the whos, whats and wheres of Summer 2019. This installment: our notes for June.

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Hollywood Comes to Austin

Theatre and Dance Live Design Faculty Karen L. Maness, Scenic Art Supervisor at Texas Performing Arts (TPA), details an important arrival on campus as part of the Art Directors Guild Backdrop Recovery Project.

Maness Backdrop Recovery Project

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