Empty Space Season 2011-2012

Civil Dialogue™ “Hot Topics, Cool Heads”
first Wednesday of each month
John Genette, a HDSHC alumnus, originally designed Civil Dialogue (CD) in 2004 as a way to explore citizen reaction to political rhetoric. He and Jennifer Linde, lecturer and Artistic Director for The Empty Space, facilitated dialogues in both the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Clark Olson, professor and former director of forensics has collaborated with Genette and Linde in the development of the format. They have facilitated CDs with community groups and university students taught the format to graduate students as an innovative research method, and trained National Communication Association educators and practitioners in the process of staging and facilitating CDs. The format continues to be used in numerous settings to explore such controversial issues as taxation, abortion, gay marriage, the war on terror, free speech, and immigration.

In a CD session, volunteer participants consider a provocative statement and have the opportunity to embody a position on the statement ranging from “agree strongly” to “disagree strongly.” Participants are asked to follow guidelines for civility that are explained by the facilitator. The dialogue is then extended to the broader audience who are encouraged to respond with their own opinions and questions. Civil Dialogue is informed by rhetorical criticism and theories of performance and provides an innovative tool for productive citizen communication. For more information visit Civil-Dialogue.org

The Encyclopedia Show Arizona
Monthly performances
Brought to the Empty Space by "The Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene,” The Encyclopedia Show is a multi-genre, age-integrated presentation of creative performances on a central theme taken from an ACTUAL encyclopedia. It is probably best to think of it as part open mic, part variety show! Each performer is assigned a specific subset of the central theme on which to write and perform. Thus, The Encyclopedia Show is a live variety extravaganza that commissions local and touring artists from many artistic disciplines to focus their individual talents toward the noble endeavor of delivering your knowledge in a fun and creative format. Learn more about this world-wide event at encyclopediashow.com

Sweet Chariot, written by Elaine Kessler
September 30, October 1 and 2
Sweet Chariot is a 5 person ethnographic exploration of bipolar disorder and its impact on those diagnosed with the illness. The play is informed by 20 narratives gathered by Elaine and illustrates multiple viewpoints regarding the stigma that surrounds bipolar disorder. Sweet Chariot hopes to serve as a resource by highlighting the possibilities of treatment and the benefits of wider support.

The Voice of Angels: A mother’s auto/ethnographic journey to find the words that help parents experiencing stillbirth, written and performed by Suzanne Pullen
October 21-23
Suzanne Pullen presents an interactive performance that combines her own autoethnography and ethnographic narratives of other stillbirth parents. All non-autoethnographic material will be performed by audience volunteers. By involving the audience in both the performance of the play and remembering their own loss experiences, Pullen hopes to hope to create a liminal space in which performers and audience members co-create meaning, healing and understanding.

Pockets Full of Bread
November 5-6
Playwright Matei Visniec (Romanian-born, Paris-based) and actors from the National Theatre of Romania perform Pockets Full of Bread.

The Performance Studies Undergraduate Showcase
December 2
This event features students from the following communication courses:
COM 194, Communication and Creativity
COM 241, Oral Interpretation of Literature
COM 341, Performances in Social Contexts
COM 442, Identity, Performance, and Human Communication

Excavating the Sex/Gender Desire Matrix in U.S. Asylum
March 1
A public lecture by Sara McKinnon from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This talk is offered in conjunction with Tara’s Crossing on March 2 at The Empty Space. Dr. McKinnon will discuss her research on asylum cases of gender non-conforming and sexuality non-conforming people in the United States.

Tara's Crossing
March 2
In Tara’s Crossing, a play by Emmy nominated writer Jeffrey Solomon, a transgendered woman flees Guyana for asylum in the United States, only to end up in a government detention center, facing an uphill battle to prove her claims of persecution. The play is one of the first-ever to deal with the subject of political asylum for gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered refugees, a remedy that has been available in the United States only since 1994 and was inspired by dozens of interviews with sexual minority asylum seekers from around the world conducted in New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

In The Night, written and performed by: Dwayne Holmes, Lexi Tippings, Mike Van Liew, Sarah James
March 9 and 11
This performance piece weaves together personal narrative and dream theory to explore the often unexamined relationship between personal identity and sleep.  

Transforming Scholarship to the Stage: A Performance Workshop
March 14
This workshop will feature a series of brief trigger-script adaptations of Professor Catherine Squires's scholarly writings. Trigger scripts are designed to propel performers, script-writers and audience members into a discussion about Squires's research on race, family and media.

Traumatic Masculinities: The Journey to Find my Brother
April 12
A solo performance by visiting scholar/performer, Kurt Lindemann. Lindemann explores the death of his brother in a hiking accident 10 years ago. This multi-media performance piece traces Lindemann’s struggles with memory, masculinity, and mediated communication as he explores the ways his communication shapes his understandings of his grief, his brother, and their life together.

Kurt Lindemann received his Ph.D. in Communication from Arizona State University in 2006 and is now an Associate Professor at San Diego State University, where he teaches qualitative research methods, performance studies, and regularly collaborates with communication and theatre faculty and students on research and performance projects. He has written, adapted, directed, and performed in numerous group and solo performances of scholarly research and literature. He has also published pieces in Text and Performance Quarterly, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Journal of Communication, and Qualitative Inquiry dealing with the ways grief, trauma, and disability inform performance, narrative, and communication.

Undergraduate Student Showcase
April 20
An evening of performances from the undergraduate performance studies classes. The Kristin Bervig Valentine Scholarship recipients will be honored at this event.

Graduate Showcase
April 21
An evening of performance scholarship from graduate students in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. The recipient of the Dessie Larsen Graduate Fellowship in Performance Studies will be honored at this event.