Tag Archive for theater

Hand-Made Puppets, Costumes in Theater Department’s Skriker

The Skriker at Wesleyan University. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)The Wesleyan Theater Department presented Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker Nov. 19, 20, 21 and 22 in the Center for the Arts Theater.

The play was directed by Bob Bresnick, visiting assistant professor in theater with costume designs and puppet designs by Leslie Weinberg, artist in residence in theater.

Churchill describes the title character in The Skriker as a “polluted, not-believed-in nature spirit who comes up to the world to get love, attention and revenge.” The Skriker tries to enlist the help of two friends: one pregnant and one who has killed her child. With tragic poetry and stunning linguistic pyrotechnics, the play examines the disturbing forces that have led us to the brink of ecological destruction.  

The production used puppet and dance theater, and was constructed from post-Wesleyan consumer waste.

The chorus included a black dog, green ladies, a horse, piglike-men and women, “Rawheadandbloddybones,” and other characters who dance, sing, throw rocks and perform with puppets.  The Skriker appeared as a mental patient, homeless woman, American woman, pink fairy, child, young man, school chum, older man and hospital patient.

Photos of The Skriker below. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Jenkins Talks about the Importance of Laughter in ODE Magazine

jenkinsmagazineRon Jenkins, professor of theater, was featured in the June 23 issue of ODE Magazine in an article titled “Laughter can set people free.” Jenkins argues that laughter is a survival tactic for people under siege. “For ages, comedy has been used as a liberating tool for people, especially in oppressive regimes, to confront, ridicule and criticize the powerful,” Jenkins says in the article.

Jenkins recalls how he began his study of laughter: “When I was in pre-medical school, I was trying to help a child with autism who never made eye contact and who never spoke, [except to] repeat words spoken to him. My comical, silly, joking gestures broke though a barrier and he started looking in my eyes and initiating words. That’s when I knew I would not learn how to make people laugh in medical school. I decided to become a circus clown.”

Kordonskiy, Nikolchev ’08, Martin ’09 featured in Tribune

The Chicago Tribune reviewed Look, What I Don’t Understand, a solo-performance by Anthony Nikolchev ’08, co-directed by the Assistant Professor of Theater Yuriy Kordonskiy, lighting design by Anna Martin ’09.

The production was originally developed as a student show at Wesleyan and moved to its four-week professional run at the Chicago Athenaeum Theatre in January 2009. This one-man drama draws upon historical narratives experienced by Nikolchev’s family during their 1960s escape from the totalitarian hostility of communist Bulgaria to detainment in America, challenging himself and audiences to comprehend the experience of past generations through the perspective of present generations.

Other feature reviews include The Windy City Times, The Urban Coaster and The Latest and Greatest art blog. In April 2009, the production is invited to participate in the ArmMono, a festival of solo-performances in Yerevan, Armenia.