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Center for The Arts

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andrew R. Chatfield, Press & Marketing Manager
860-685-2806 achatfield@wesleyan.edu

Wesleyan University's Theater Department Presents
Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (1938)
Thursday, April 26 through Saturday, April 28

Middletown, Conn. - Wesleyan University’s Theater Department presents Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, from Thursday, April 26 through Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8pm in the CFA Theater, located at 271 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown.

Tickets for Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights are $8 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, and non-Wesleyan students; and $4 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa, by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University”, and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.

About the Production

In a multimedia rendition of Ms. Stein’s whimsical play, Wesleyan faculty Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento (Director), Marcela Oteíza (Scenic Design and Projections) and Leslie Weinberg (Costume and Puppet Design) collaborate with international guest artists Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Design) and Demetrio Castellucci (Sound Design) to create an innovative interpretation of this early American experimental text.

As theater critic and scholar David Savran explains, “Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights has an immaculate pedigree in the American theatrical avant-garde” (“Whistling in the Dark”). The Theater Department’s production underscores the play’s rupture with modern dramatic conventions such as character psychology and linear narrative by featuring a chorus of twelve actors and borrowing from dance-theater. Rooted in the musicality of Ms. Stein’s joyful play with words, this distinctly contemporary interpretation of the Faust legendpresents beautiful virtual visual elements and puppetry, an original sound score, and choreography.

About Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights

In Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Gertrude Stein redirects the legend of the scholar who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for infinite knowledge into a Faust who seeks a different power - electric light. Ms. Stein finished writing the play in June 1938. Originally meant as a libretto for an opera, she intended for American modernist composer Virgil Thompson to score the piece, however he never drafted the music. As its inaugural production, the Living Theater was the first American group to perform Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights in 1951.

About the Directors and Designers

Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento (Director) holds an Acting Conservatory Degree from Casa das Artes de Laranjeiras and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An actor, director, and scholar, she began a professional stage career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the United States, Ms. Tatinge Nascimento joined Cleveland’s New World Performance Laboratory. With this company she participated in Jerzy Grotowski’s final Objective Drama Session at the University of California, Irvine, and performed in Europe, North and South America. In 2007, she received a Consulate General of Brazil in New York Arts Grant to direct Pornographic Angel, her published adaptation of Brazilian playwright Nelson Rodrigues’ short stories. She is the author of Crossing Cultural Borders Through the Actor’s Work: Foreign Bodies of Knowledge (Routledge, 2008). Her articles appear in journals such as TDR, Theatre Research International, Biblioteca Teatrale, Didaskalia, and Folhetim. In recent years, Ms. Tatinge Nascimento was a scholar with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards and a fellow at Freie Universität-Berlin’s “Interweaving Performance Cultures” International Research Center. Her current scholarly project examines the performances of the Brazilian post-dictatorship generation. She is an Associate Professor and Chair of Theater at Wesleyan University.

Demetrio Castellucci (Composer and Sound Designer) was born in 1989 in Cesena, Italy. From 2004 to 2008 he composed the music for the dances created by Stoa, a school of movement and philosophical thought based in his hometown. The experience led to Mr. Castellucci’s in-depth research on the dialogue between choreographic gesture and sound, and to the release of his first album, Stoa. The project Icon Icon (2005), on electronic pop music, brought Mr. Castellucci’s compositions closer to melody. In 2007, Mr. Castellucci began a solo experimental electronic project named Black Fanfare. Among other venues, Black Fanfare has played at the Festival Dissonanze Roma 2010 and at the WombClub in Tokyo, was invited to collaborate in performances at Careof Gallery in Milan and Galleria Civica di Trento, and in short animation films. In 2007, Mr. Castellucci continued his research into the relationship between music and choreographic movement by composing original works for the performances of Dewey Dell, a company he co-founded with his sisters Agata and Teodora, and Eugenio Resta. Among other performances, Dewey Dell has created à elle vide in 2007 (staged on several Italian and foreign festivals and special mention at gd'a, "giovani danzautori 2007") and Cinquanta Urlanti Quaranta Ruggenti Sessanta Stridenti (2010). Both pieces were presented during sold-out performances at Wesleyan University in September 2011; the latter will be performed in Melbourne Australia in May 2012.

Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Designer) earned an M.F.A. in Design at Yale School of Drama in 2008. Regional credits include Troilus and Cressida (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), A Doll House (Triad Stage), Crane Story, Ink Project (PlaywrightRealm), Stella Rising, Shaghia Lil’s, Ching Chong Chinaman, Monster, WeAre (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre), and Stairs to the Roof (A.R.T. Institute). Other credits include T. 1912, Peter and the Wolf (Guggenheim Museum), Light Within (Carnegie Hall), Love Song (59E59), a collaboration with Maria Hassabi for Tanz Im August in Berlin in 2011, a new opera I Fioretti in Musica, Paola Irun Project created by Gian Marco Lo Forte at LaMama, and anew musical Helen on 86th St. at American Theatre of Actors. Ms. Chang was anOpera America Director/Designer Showcase '09 Finalist and the recipient of a Donald and Zorka Oenslager Fellowship Award in Design in 2008.

Marcela Oteíza (Scenic Designer and Projectionist) is an interdisciplinary artist working in the performing and visual arts. She has worked with numerous dance, theatre, and film productions in New York, Los Angeles, Istanbul, and Santiago, Chile. Some of her credits include Trojan Women: Love Story by Charles L. Mee and directed by L.A. director Matthew Wilder, and Pornographic Angel by Nelson Rodrigues, directed by Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento, New York City. Ms. Oteíza specializes in collaborative and non-text-based work, and has collaborated extensively as co-director with Canadian artist Cathia Pagotto on numerous projects including 101 Alvarado, an ongoing photonovella; A Year Ago Today, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters performed in the California desert; and Binding Project, ongoing at the Digital Resources for the Humanities & Arts at the University of Cambridge, U.K. At present, Ms. Oteíza is working on a video-documentary about fringe urban performances that occur during the Santiago a Mil Festival (2012-13). Ms. Oteíza holds an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts with a specialization in Design for the Theatre. During that time, Ms. Oteíza worked for theatre director and filmmaker Janie Geiser and was design assistant to set designer Christopher Barreca on Broadway. Ms. Oteíza has taught theater design workshops at the modern dance conservatory of the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Turkey, and Media for Performance at University of Chile’s Visual Arts Department. Ms. Oteíza is Adjunct Associate Professor of Theater Design and Designer in Residence at Wesleyan University.

Leslie Weinberg (Costume and Puppet Designer) has designed costumes, puppets, and scenic projections for dance and theater in the New England and New York region for 35 years. She is the Co-Artistic Director with Robert Bresnick of Puppetsweat Theater. Puppetsweat has performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall, Galapagos Art Center in Brooklyn, the Miller Theater of Columbia University, P.S. 122, Theater for The New City, LaMAMA, Dia Arts, the Manhattan School of Music, and as part of The Jim Henson International Puppet Festival and The Great Small Works Toy Theater Festival. Additionally, their work has been seen at venues throughout the United States including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Teatro delCampesino in San Juan Bautista, California; and internationally in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Korea, Australia, and Canada. In Connecticut theirwork has been seen at Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale University Center for British Art, the Yale School of Music, Trinity College, Fairfield University, Wesleyan University, the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, and the University of Hartford. Ms. Weinberg has worked with, among others, Ronnie Davis, Peter Schumann, Robert Wilson,Martin Bresnick, Judy Dworin, Jennifer Miller and Annabelle Gamson. Leslie Weinberg and Robert Bresnick are former Artistic Directors of Protean Theater of Hartford, Connecticut. Ms. Weinberg is Theater Artist in Residence at Wesleyan University.

About the Theater Department

Wesleyan sponsors an active program in dramatic art within the Department of Theater, which serves as a producing educational theater in the liberal arts setting. The Wesleyan program is based on direct participation in creative endeavor: process, performance, and understanding are equally stressed. While the department concentrates much of its attention on the traditional live theater, its work is also applicable to, and can serve as basic training for, many other performing arts of the present era and for the emerging genres of the future.

Each year the department sponsors play productions and other events in a variety of theatrical forms; some are directed by faculty members or guest artists, while others are directed by advanced undergraduates. The department makes regular use of two theater facilities: the 400-seat Theater in the Center for the Arts; and the '92 Theater, a highly flexible studio space. Second Stage, an extracurricular student theater group, has its headquarters and also sponsors productions in the '92 Theater, in cooperation with the Theater Department. Performances are also given in many alternative spaces on campus by members of the lively and diverse Wesleyan theater community.

For more information about the Theater Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/theater/.

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of art and art history, dance, film studies, music, and theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Center for Creative Research, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

For more information about Center for the Arts performances and events, please call (860) 685-3355, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

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Jay Hoggard

Dominique Moore '14. Video still by Benjamin Travers.