Way Down East
By Stephen Vitiello, Hanes Visiting Artist
Sound artist Stephen Vitiello premieres his new work-in-progress that incorporates recent field and source recordings including bells from an historic cathedral outside of Cork, Ireland; summer bugs; and autumn light. The concert concludes with Vitiello’s new soundtrack for the final sequence of D.W. Griffith’s silent masterpiece Way Down East.
Vitiello has performed nationally and internationally at locations such as the Tate Modern, London; the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival; The Kitchen, New York; and the Cartier Foundation, Paris.
October 5 & 6, 2012
His solo exhibitions have appeared at MASS MoCA, The High Line (New York) and Museum 52 (New York). In 2011, ABC-TV, Australia said, “electronic musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello transforms incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes that alter our perception of the surrounding environment.” He has composed music for independent films, experimental video projects and art installations, collaborating with such artists as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler and Dara Birnbaum.
Artist website: www.stephenvitiello.com
The performance was made possible by The Hanes Visiting Artist Series and is sponsored by UNC’s Art Department.
As Told By Us Mexicans
By Ricardo A. Bracho and Virginia Grise
The Mexican, As Told By Us Mexicans is a queer theatrical retelling of Jack London’s 1911 short story “The Mexican.” The story follows a Mexican boxer from the killing fields of dictator Porfirio Díaz in Veracruz, Mexico to a revolutionary hideout in El Paso, Texas culminating in a prizefight in Los Angeles, California.
October 12 & 13, 2012
Historic Playmakers Theatre
Bracho was born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles, with a 20-year career as a playwright, educator, essayist, producer and dramaturge. His plays, including The Sweetest Hangover, Sissy, A to B, Mexican Psychotic, Puto and Ni Madre, have been produced nationally. He has participated in the NEA/TCG Residency Program for Playwrights, Mabou Mines Resident Artists’ Suite, University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) Summer Theater Lab and was Visiting Artist/Scholar at UCSB’s Center for Chicano Studies.
Grise is an award-winning theater artist and has performed nationally and internationally at venues including the José Martí Cátedra in Havana, Cuba, and The University of Butare in Rwanda, Africa. In 2010, Grise received the Pierre Cardin Theater Award for Directing from the Princess Grace Foundation. Her play blu won the Yale Drama Series Award and was recently published by Yale University Press. Her other published work includes The Panza Monologues (University of Texas Press, forthcoming) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). The Panza Monologues is currently being taught in course syllabi at the university level, the subject of dissertation projects, and used by creative writing programs for incarcerated youth and women. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system. She holds an MFA in writing for performance from the California Institute of the Arts.
Additional support for this event provided by UNC Latina/o Studies Program, Carolina Latina/o Collaborative and the Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities
The Life and Times of Chang and Eng
By Philip Kan Gotanda
Master playwright Philip Kan Gotanda reworks one of his newest plays, an epic and fictional reimagining of the lives of the original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. Originally brought to America to be exhibited as freaks, Chang and Eng took over management of their own careers and set about touring the world. Internationally famous and financially independent, they retired to North Carolina, becoming gentlemen farmers where they met and married the Yates sisters, fathering 21 bi-racial children between them. The writing of
November 9 & 10, 2012
this story has been a 25-year project of Gotanda’s. “I abandoned this project many times over the years,” said Gotanda. “Finally, I let go of everything and wrote. This is what came out.”
Gotanda has been a major influence in the broadening of our definition of theater in America. Through his plays and advocacy, he has been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to American theater as well as to Europe and Asia. Among his recent works are After the War, Love in American Times, #5 Angry Red Drum, and the opera Apricots of Andujar. His plays have been produced by American Conservatory Theater, Asian American Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Campo Santo+Intersection, San Jose Repertory, East West Players, The Gate Theatre, Huntington Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, Mingei Geikidan, New York Shakespeare Festival among others. Gotanda is also a respected independent filmmaker, his works having been seen in film festivals around the world. His three films The Kiss, Drinking Tea, and Life Tastes Good have all been presented at the Sundance Film Festival. Life Tastes Good, which Gotanda wrote and directed, is available on Netflix.
Artist website: www.philipkangotanda.com
Additional support for this event is provided by UNC’s First-Year Seminar Program and the Department of English with additional support by Teatro Latina/o Series.
From F to M to Octopus
By Sam Peterson
Sam Peterson presents a surprising look at the process of changing gender. Peterson’s unique humor and perspective take us on a remarkable journey fraught with obstacles both imagined and real, to remind us of the alchemical possibilities and real joy that can emerge from despair.
This project was originally supported by the Honors Undergraduate Research Fund, administered by the Honors Carolina office and was part of Solo Fest 2012. F to M to Octopus will be presented at 3-Legged Dog Theater in New York City in summer 2013.
February 15 & 16, 2012
Peterson is a 51-year-old former dyke turned transguy performance artist and activist. He has always used his own experiences to explore his quixotic relationship with his body and its perceptions of spiritual and animal realms. His vast experiences have taken him from Washington, D.C., to New York City, from Austin, Texas, to Chapel Hill, N.C. He has worked as a tattoo artist, spoken word performer and teacher. He founded a performance group called Neoprimitive TechnoPussy, and was the inspiration for author Peter Trachtenberg’s story “7 Tattoos: a Memoir in the Flesh,” featuring a clove cigarette chain smoking, leather-encased, gregarious lesbian tattooist called Slam.
Recently, he returned to school at UNC-Chapel Hill where he discovered he is a transgender male. Soon after, a series of catastrophes followed, some of which are detailed in F to M to Octopus, including heartbreak, the death of one friend, the near-death of another, and the loss of a beloved teacher. Encouraged by a friend to blog, he began to do so obsessively, reaching out to a global transmasculine community with his website, www.ThaManSam.blogspot.com.
F to M to Octopus features work by digital media designer Jared Mezzocchi.
If My Feet Have Lost the Ground
Created and directed by Torry Bend
An object theater performance with video that explores humans in flight. Flight is unnatural to the human body, but we do it. We miraculously defy evolution and step onto planes that allow us to travel across the world without incident. In our state of impossible suspension we see through small windows and gain a perspective on the world reserved for God and the birds. What can we understand from this perspective change? What do we witness about ourselves? This puppet show will tackle this charged environment and the stories that are born or processed in it: a
March 20 & 21, 2013
Historic Playmakers Theatre
visual investigation of the human relationship to earth and sky. If My Feet Have Lost the Ground features work by video designer Raquel Salvatella De Prada, lighting designer Jeanette Yew and scenic designer Sarah Krainin.
Torry Bend is a set designer, puppet artist and assistant professor of the practice at Duke University. In 2010, she created and directed the toy theater piece Nesting at Great Small Works International Toy Theater Festival, Brooklyn, N.Y.; The Port City Puppetry Festival, Wilmington, N.C.; and Open Eye Figure Theater, Minneapolis, Minn. The Elephant, premiered at Disney Music Hall’s International Toy Theater Festival 2008 and performed with Jumbo Shrimp Circus, Los Angeles. She created and directed Loser in 2007, touring it to Prague, New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Her most recent work, The Paper Hat Game, was workshopped at Duke University in 2011 premiered at Manbites Dog Theater in October 2012.
The Elektra Project
A new adaptation by Haymaker with musical collaborator Jenavieve Varga
Is this a Tupperware party? Is that girl singing opera in the kitchen? There’s blood everywhere. Haymaker, a Durham performance company, and violinist/composer Jenavieve Varga of Chapel Hill band Lost in the Trees team up to create a new adaptation of the Elektra story, adapted from multiple sources. The end result is a story of an American family, bad dreams, retribution and matricide.
April 22 & 23, 2013
Haymaker produces original work by collaging found texts and personal experience. North Carolina productions have included Living with the Tiger (Manbites Dog Theater, October 2011) and What’s That Cost: The Federal Budget and You (Burning Coal, June 2012). www.gohaymaker.com
Jenavieve Varga is a classically trained violinist and composer (Berklee Conservatory). She works with both Hindugrass, a crossover bluegrass/world music group, and Lost in the Trees, an indie band.