Empty Space Season 2009-2010

[Hog Butcher(s) for the World]: Young performance scholars visit, embody and emerge from the [stockyard],  
written and performed by Nicole Martin, Julie McLaughlin-Hester, Lydia Nelson
October 23-24
Inspiration for this performance came from the performers' historical research of the stability and change in the Chicago stockyards in conversation with their roles as graduate students in performance studies. In this piece, performance studies and the performance space were positioned within a stockyard metaphor; asserting that both are productive sites, geared toward eventual consumption, colored by the blood of living bodies existing in the place before, and harboring the professionalism and volatility of skilled artisans (butcher/performers). This performance was also presented at the 2009 National Communication Association Conference in Chicago.

Civil Dialogue: Hot Topics, Cool Heads
November 2
Topic statements: Health insurance: "A public option is essential"; War on Terror: "We need more troops in Afghanistan."; State budget crisis: "We have to raise taxes." Do you agree or disagree?

Civil Dialogue is a public discussion format that provides a performative space for civilized, facilitated citizen dialogues about the rhetorical issues of our times. CD provided ASU and community audiences a venue for small and large group discussions regarding issues that engage their passions and affect their lives. CD was designed by John Genette in 2004 as part of his M.A. research on practicing rhetorical criticism in communities. Genette’s goal was to develop a discussion format that integrated Augusto Boal’s improvisational, civic-focused Theatre of the Oppressed with the broader concepts of orality and public rhetoric. Civil Dialogue will be taught in the fall, 2010 as a method module in the Hugh Downs School.

November 14
Cornucopia is a fall performance and reading hour that the HDSHC faculty and graduate students offer as a "harvest" to the School. Founder, Dr. Kristin Valentine, organized this event to provide a sense of community, creativity, talent, and fun. The following performances and performers were featured:
Amy Pearson: I am
Kendra and C.J. Rivera: Three Birds Medley
Belle Edson: The War Prayer by Mark Twain
Sarah Tracy: Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly in the beginning
The Gradrats!: Featuring Liz Cantu, Jen Marmo, Chema Salinas, Matt Savage, Jen Scarduzio
Jennifer Linde: Small Town Remembrances
Bud Goodall: My Status
Kevin Briancesco: Lessons making ugly things pretty: Spokenword and rhythmic prose by Kevin "Chesko" Briancesco
Jess Alberts: The Woman in the Mirror

Undergraduate Student Showcase
December 4

An Eve to Remember, an open night of undergraduate performances, conceptualized and organized by Julie McLaughlin-Hester
February 18
In celebration of Black History Month, and to encourage undergraduate involvement in performance at The Empty Space, we hosted "An Eve to Remember." Performers from across campus shared their performances of literature, music, original text, and dance.

Blue Orange by Joe Penhall, a staged reading
Christopher (Chloe): Nicole Martin; Bruce (Bridget): Sarah Tracy; Robert (Rebecca): Jess Alberts; Dramaturg: Belle Edson; Lights and Sound: Debbie Way; Publicity: Jackie Pettit
March 5 and 6
"Blue Orange" was presented as a stage-reading. Most of the dialogue was read by the performers with certain scenes enacted on stage. The goal of this performance was to experiment with issues pertaining to gender and power by re-casting the male roles as women. In conjunction with this performance, the Initiative on Innovative Inquiry and The Project for Wellness and Worklife co-hosted a post-performance colloquium entitled "Discussions on In/Sanity, Race and Prejudice." Amira de la Garza served as the moderator of this event.

Blasphemies on Forever: Remembering Queer Futures, by Dusty Goltz with Jason Zingsheim
March 24
We welcomed ASU alumni Dusty Goltz and Jason Zingsheim to The Empty Space to share Dusty's latest performance piece. From the press release: "Through video, narrative, music, ridiculousness, and a slightly pathological obsession with Belinda Carlisle, this performance piece investigates the pop-cultural production of gay male futures. A touch bitter, a tad sentimental, and occasionally a little creepy, "Blasphemies on Forever" provides a playfully postmodern investigation of gay aging anxieties, cultural obsessions with Hollywood romance and marriage and the therapeutic potentials of 80's TV sitcom themes."

Evening Song, the poetry of Ann Sullivan Genette, performed by John Genette and Linda Park-Fuller
interpreted through music, spoken word, and visual media

April 14
"Evening Song" offered a delightful performance of interpretation and music based on the poetry of Anne Sullivan Genette. HDSHC alum, John Genette, adapted his mother's lifelong collection of poetry to music and he joined former ASU professor Linda Park-Fuller as she performed oral interpretations of the same poems. As director, Jennifer Linde added a third layer of interpretation through visual text.

I'm Out, I'm Proud, I'm ... Still in the Closet? written and performed by Jeremy Omori
April 16-17
"I'm out, I'm proud, I'm ... still in the closet?" was a solo performance that explored the performer's actual coming-out experience as it relates to the metaphorical closet. Through three closets, the narrative constructed, examined, and complicated the closet metaphor as it relates to the admission of sexuality for LGBTQ persons. Examining the metaphor in relation to both public and private, as well as official and vernacular communities, the performance text sought to uncover those moments when it is important to come out of the closet, the times when it's best to keep the door closed, moments when individuals are simultaneously in and out, and complications that arise surrounding who gets to decide. Writer and performer, Jeremy Omori, is the 2010 recipient of the Kristin Bervig Valentine Undergraduate Scholarship in Performance Studies.

The 2010 Graduate Showcase
April 24
Performances by HDSHC graduate students Julie McLaughlin-Hester, Nicole Martin, Lydia Nelson, Amy Pearson
Music by Luigi Leone

Spring 2010 Undergraduate Student Showcase and Awards
April 30
Performances from students enrolled in COM241 Oral Interpretation of Literature, COM441 Performance Theory, COM442 Communication, Performance and Identity, and COM445 Narrative Performance