Happy New Year! What a terrific few months of Prologue we have had. From the riveting and heated community discussions about Merchant of Venice and Church, to the excellent scholar talks from Murray and Robert Von Dassanowsky. I think I speak for all of my students and most of the THEATREWORKS patrons when I say that I will not soon forget the electric workshop from Tina Packer and the inspiring talk from Young Jean Lee. I am so moved by what these artists and scholars have brought to Colorado Springs.
All the while I have been trying to figure out how we can promote our incredible lecture in February from Richard Schechner. I understand that if you are outside of theatre academic circles, you might not have heard of him. But inside, he is nothing short of the most important theatre scholar/artist living today. From an academic perspective, Dr. Schechner essentially created the study of modern avant-garde theatre. Performance Studies, a field that now awards MAs and PhDs, is Richard’s doing. The Drama Review, the most important theatre journal in the world, was created and is still edited by Richard Schechner.
From an artistic perspective, he is no less impressive. His world renown comes from his creation and direction of possibly the most famous piece of avant-garde theatre in the 20th century, Dionysus in 69. Look it up sometime. You will likely find articles in Time and Life magazines and other national publications. In fact, there are whole books about the play. It is safe to say that it upended the theatre community in New York when it opened, for its provocation and fresh new look at Greek tragedy.
If that weren’t enough, Richard also founded The Performance Group. You may have heard of some of his collaborators: Elizabeth LeCompte, Willem Dafoe, and Spalding Gray. The company changed the face of avant-garde theatre in America, and still exists today under a new name, The Wooster Group. It attracts some of the best actors in the world and continually produces some of the most original theatre in New York City.
We are delighted to have Richard Schechner join us on February 1st in our theatre. He will discuss avant-garde art in 21st century America. What a treat!
Do not forget that the director of Joe Turners Come and Gone, Clinton Turner Davis, will also be with us on February 12th for a very special Prologue about food in the plays of August Wilson. We will have plenty of samples and you will not want to miss that.
Cheers! All best for a fantastic new year.