School of Arts and Communication

February 2013

The 2013 Focus Series - Empowerment

PrintThe 2013 Focus Series brings together SOAC’s talented students and faculty to examine the theme of “empowerment” through a multi-disciplinary approach. The theme explores the creative and artistic dimensions of the social process, which fosters power in people for use in their own lives, communities and in their societies, by acting on issues they define as important. Four events present each discipline – Art & Design, Communication, Music and Theatre as they dynamically interpret “empowerment” through the panorama of their respective discipline. Join us March – May for this dynamic series.

How I Learned to Drive
Friday, March 8 at 7:30 pm in the Studio Theater

In the play, How I Learned to Drive the audience is urged to examine their relationship with the term “empowerment” and what it means to them as individuals. The play recounts the relationship between a young girl from a tightly knit lower-middle-class family, and her uncle-by-marriage. The play thoughtfully integrates the metaphor of driving with the idea of control and manipulation. Often described as one of the most disturbing love stories in theatre, How I Learned to Drive contains issues of pedophilia, incest, and misogyny. Following the performance, the cast and special guests will lead a discussion on themes introduced in the play.

Art and the Holocaust: Understanding Aesthetic Experience as Empowerment
Thursday, March 14 at 3:40pm in Lagerquist (edited 2-26, location change from Chris Knutzen Hall)

What role can the experience of art play in our understanding of the Holocaust? We examine artworks as tools of empowerment, from the point of view of both the victim and the descendants of the perpetrators. We look first at paintings and objects made post-war to address the issue of German guilt, and end with a presentation by faculty from the Music Department of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.” This event is held in conjunction with the 2013 Holocaust Conference.

Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti-Muslim Sentiment in America
Thursday, April 11 at 7pm in the Studio Theater 

The MediaLab team opens a discussion on how Islam is defined in America. In their new film, “Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti Muslim Sentiment in America” MediaLab members hope to counter negative stereotypes. Premiering in the Studio Theater of the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, attendants are invited to watch this latest MediaLab production and join a discussion with the local filmmakers as well as special guests across the world.

Cosmosis
Saturday, May 11 at 8pm in Lagerquist Concert Hall

The University Wind Ensemble and University Singers perform “Cosmosis”, a composition by Susan Botti, which sets two texts by American poet May Swenson to music.

The first movement uses the text of “Overboard,” and musically depicts the effects of gravity. In the second and third movements, the effects of gravity are released as Botti interprets Swenson’s fictional musings on the first American space station, Skylab, and an experiment to test if a spider could spin a web in space. Though Skylab ultimately lost orbital integrity and came crashing to Earth, the lessons learned shaped future space missions.

Composer Susan Botti joins us for this special performance.