and Chrysalis Theatre Team for Sci-Fi Jam
A scene from Dispatches.
The theatre department and Chrysalis Theatre have teamed
to produce Dispatches: A Sci-Fi Carnival Jam written
and directed by Andrea Hairston, L. Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor
of Theatre, with music by Pan Morigan.
Performances will take place on Friday and Saturday, January
30 and 31, at 8 p.m. in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre,
Mendenhall Center, with a preview on Thursday, January 29,
at 8 p.m. (Also presented at the New Hampshire Institute
of Art February 5 at 7 p.m.) Tickets are free and performances
are open to the public
Inspired by the visual art of felt artist Beth Beede and
weaver Micala Sidore, Dispatches is carnival fairy-tale,
a poetic news report from around the world brought to you
by the singing and dancing Underground Griots. In Dispatches we
hear from a burnt-out rescue pilot, a monster stuck in TV
ads, a pregnant teen poet in Springfield, Mass., a wild painter
woman from São Paulo, a grandmother/warrior woman/novelist
from Atlanta, and a 60’s throwback former radical born-again
firebrand. Their stories are juxtaposed with non-human dispatches
from a “smart” traffic light, quorum-sensing
bioluminescent bacteria, dying soldier ants, African deities,
and the aliens at intergalactica.orb. The result is a humorous
and poignant portrait of our world.
The production features Chrysalis veterans Greg Alexander,
Dana Blackburn, Sylvia Boston-Johnson, James Emery, Andrea
Hairston, Lenelle Moise, Pan Morigan, and guest artist John
Chrysalis Theatre, a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary performance
ensemble, has presented innovative and progressive cultural
work in Western Massachusetts since 1978. The multidisciplinary
group of artists draws on a range of cultural backgrounds
to develop new music-theatre productions and to engage in
community education and training.
Hairston, playwright, director, actor and musician, is the
artistic director of Chrysalis Theatre and has worked on
more than 50 productions at Smith with the company. She has
received many playwriting and directing awards, including
a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Playwrights, a
Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, an NEA grant to work
as dramaturge/director with playwright Pearl Cleage, and
a Ford Foundation Grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master
Drummer Massamba Diop.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Pan Morigan,
director of WaterMoonMusicWorks, has composed music and provided
vocal coaching for Chrysalis Theatre, New Century Theatre,
Enchanted Circle Theatre, and college and university productions.
This production is funded in part by grants from the Massachusetts
Cultural Council, the Northampton Arts Council, the Harnish
Fund of Smith College, and the Smith College Theatre Department.
For more information contact Andrea Hairston/Chrysalis Theatre
at 413-586-2262, or the theatre department box office, 413-585-ARTS