HARTFORD, CT, September 30, 2011 – During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Department of Theater & Dance at Trinity will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Trinity/La MaMa Urban Arts Semester in New York City, a program founded in 1986 by Judy Dworin, professor of theater & dance, and the late theater director Leonardo Shapiro.
The Trinity/La MaMa Urban Arts Semester is based at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (E.T.C.), the globally renowned Off-Off Broadway venue dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theater. Occurring in the fall, the semester provides adventuresome immersion experiences in the study of the arts and culminates with the presentation of original work by the students at both La MaMa E.T.C. and Trinity.
“For students at Trinity/La MaMa, New York City becomes a field study site for an exploration of the cutting edges of performance. The students integrate an incredible mix of first-hand experiences within a curriculum that allows them to understand and reflect upon the process of making and performing work,” says Dworin. “Each year a small and courageous group of students is transformed by their exposure to master classes, lectures, performances, and the city itself, and La MaMa, a center of innovation and experimentation in its own right, is the program’s perfect home. There is no other program like it.”
The nationally recognized program has attracted 268 students from colleges and universities across the country, including Oberlin, Denison, Dartmouth, and Brown. Since 2001, Michael C. Burke ’00, visiting lecturer of theater & dance, has been its program director.
For this 25th anniversary, Trinity is collaborating with La MaMa to bring some of the theater’s affiliated performing and teaching artists to Hartford for public performances and talks, as well as for artistic explorations with students throughout 2011-2012. (A calendar listing of presentations open to the public at Trinity College follows.)
Concurrently, La MaMa will observe its 50th anniversary as a legendary incubator and producer of new work. Since 1961, La MaMa has nurtured a wide array of talents, including Ping Chong, Dario D’Ambrosi, Tan Dun, Olympia Dukakis, Karen Finley, Robert Foreman, Philip Glass, Bill Irwin, John Jesurun, Harvey Keitel, Diane Lane, Mabou Mines, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Tom O’Horgan, The Talking Band, Andrei Serban, Sam Shepard, Elizabeth Swados, Julie Taymor, Lanford Wilson, Robert Wilson, and Scott Wittman.
The founder and director of La MaMa E.T.C., Ellen Stewart, who died in January, was presented with an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Trinity College in 1986. Stewart was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1985; she received the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 2006.
Trinity/La MaMa 25 Year Celebration events that will be held at Trinity and are open to the public include:
Wednesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Pia Monique Murray
A New York-based dancer-choreographer and alumna of the 2006 Trinity/La MaMa Urban Arts Semester. The Performance Lab, Trinity Commons, 240 New Britain Avenue. Free admission.
Thursday, October 6 at 12:15 p.m. (Trinity Common Hour)
Ozzie Rodriguez, Archive Director, La MaMa E.T.C.
Video lecture presentation tracing La MaMa’s history and its remarkable role in introducing visionary artists from both the U.S. and abroad to American audiences. The Performance Lab, Trinity Commons, 240 New Britain Avenue. Free admission.
Friday, November 4 at 4:00 p.m.
Lecture by Ping Chong, award-winning interdisciplinary artist
La MaMa E.T.C. has been Ping Chong’s theatrical home since 1977, when it produced his Obie-winning “Humboldt’s Current.” The revival of his landmark 1985 dance-theater work, “Angels of Swedenborg,” a multi-media meditation on the fate of modern man, caught between his material existence and spiritual aspirations, is being presented at La MaMa October 27 – November 13 as part of the theater’s 50th anniversary as well as Ping Chong’s 40th anniversary celebration as an artist. The Performance Lab, Trinity Commons, 240 New Britain Avenue. Free admission.
Friday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m.
La MaMa Moves!
Choreographers showcase featuring La MaMa affiliated artists Patricia Hoffbauer, Jodi Melnick, Pam Tanowitz, and Lindsey Dietz Marchant. Dietz Marchant will present the premiere of a work created for Trinity dance students. Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater. $15 general admission, $10 seniors and students, free with Trinity ID.
Friday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Trinity/La MaMa Showcase
Original work by students enrolled in the fall 2011 Trinity/LaMaMa Urban Arts Semester in New York City. The Performance Lab, Trinity Commons, 240 New Britain Avenue. Free admission.
Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The M6: Meredith Monk Music Third Generation
Eloquent, boundary-expanding vocal music by one of the most significant composers and singers of our time, performed by this six-member ensemble devoted to preserving Monk’s legacy.
Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater. $15 general admission, $10 seniors and students, free with Trinity ID.
For more information, please contact the Box Office at the Austin Arts Center at (860) 297-2199.