December 5, 2002

'Tis the Season …

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People often say that listening to Mozart 20 minutes before an exam can temporarily increase your IQ. Sadly, we don’t have any of Wolfie’s compositions playing on campus during study week, but we do have four productions guarenteed to raise your intelligence- or at least your spirits. So instead of taking the same old study break, think of heading over and spending some time with a miser, some dancers, an amazing family, or the 19th century British aristocracy.

Scaling the Walls

The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is closing out its fall season with this multimedia performance which combines dance, music, installation art and spoken word presentations. The evening is the fruit of a two year collaboration by three professors: Joyce Morgenroth, Associate Professor of Dance at Cornell, Prof. Patricia Alexander, Maryland Institute of Art, and Prof. Ann McCutchan, University of Wyoming. Accordingly, the program consists of three parts. The first is a dance choreographed by Morgenroth, which pays homage to Trisha Brown. Brown was one of the foremost choreographers for the prominent Judson Dance Theater. She later went on to develop a distinctive style which embraced the integration of spoken word into dance. The second piece is a “lyric essay” by Morgenroth, which segues from the invocation of Brown to an investigation of some ideas integral to her art, including the concepts of body, voice and musical life. Finally, the title piece by Alexander is a dance which makes use of a series of installed sculpted paper walls by Alexander. It also boasts music by composer Frank McCarty. Performances run December 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Schwartz Center. Tickets are $4.

A Christmas Carol

“Marley was dead. Dead as a doornail. This must be understood, or nothing that follows will seem wondrous.” The Kitchen Theater takes on Dickens’s seasonal classic in an innovative new adaptation by Rachel Lampert. The production combines traditional action with life size (or ghost size) puppets and music. Performances are in the Kitchen’s small theater at 117 North Cayuga st. The Play runs December 7-8 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Call 273-4497 for tickets.

Throw Pitchfork

The Kitchen is also offering the regional premiere of a one man play by Alexander Thomas. Thomas tells the story of his family from upstate New York to Hollywood. In the course of the evening, he slips into the characters of his younger self, his three brothers and his father, Willie, who grew up in ’30s Alabama. Thomas relates the common experiences as well as the differences of his father and himself and his brothers. Pitchfork runs December 5-22, Thursday- Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Call 273-4497 for tickets.

The Importance of Being Earnest

Gateway Theater at Risley stages a free (that’s right, free) production of Oscar Wilde’s second best play. As Wilde’s second best is better than 90% of the stuff out there, this is welcome news indeed (as is the price). The play is co-directed by Ann Zatsman ’05 and Elizabeth Bailey ’05, both of whom are benefiting from Gateway’s open direction policy. Any member of the company (which is open to all members of the Cornell Community) is welcome to submit a production proposal to the steering committee. If accepted, the applicant is then given funding and advice towards realizing the play. The advice comes in the form of Chris Jones, the technical director. Jones helps design the set and lighting, as well as offering general comments on the production. Earnest, another of Wilde’s witty (which is to say satisfyingly bitchy) looks at the British upper class, is a farce concerning the tangled web of lies Jack (Lee Strock ’06) and his friend Algy (Dave Schoonover ’05) weave in pursuit of, sometimes in flight from, Cecily (Britney Dann ’06) and Gwendolyn (Meri Carman ’06) under the scrutiny of the viper tounged Lady Bracknell (Laura Karlin ’05). Unlike Wilde’s best play, An Ideal Husband, Earnest boasts a genuine affection for its characters, who are mostly decent people in spite of their deceptions and artifice. Oscar’s acid wit is on display December 6-7 with performances at 8:00 p.m. and a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Archived article by Erica Stein