Empty Space Season 2012-2013

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

Civil Dialogue was also invited to host dialogues at Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University West, The Cronkite School, and the National Mennonite Convention in Phoenix.

The Encyclopedia Show, Arizona
Monthly performances throughout the year
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 worldwide event at encyclopediashowaz.com

Performing at the Intersections of Race, Gender and Queer Politics
September 26
HDSHC and Comparative Border Studies joined Civil Dialogue to sponsor this special event. The evening included performances by Dwayne Holmes (The Funeral of Us), Tania Katan (Putting the Queer in Pioneer), and Kimberlee Pérez (south of living: finding queer belonging in dangerous times (or, we found love in a hopeless place). Performances were followed by a round of Civil Dialogue to allow the audience to discuss the content of these performances. Special guest David Román responded to the event. Román is a Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and his research interests include performance studies, race, sexuality and queer studies.

Robbie Q Telfer and The Encyclopedia Show
October 26 and 27
Chicago artist and co-founder and for The Encyclopedia Show, Robbie Q. Telfer, visited The Empty Space as a feature performer at The Encyclopedia Show AZ on October 26. Learn more about this world-wide event at encyclopediashow.com

He also conducted a writing workshop for students and community members at The Empty Space on October 27.

November 2
Cornucopia is an annual performance/reading hour featuring faculty, graduate students, and staff.

The Undergraduate Student Showcase
December 7
This showcase featured performance studies students from COM241, COM341, COM442, and COM445.

Design & Thinking
January 8
A special showing of a documentary film about the process of design. The film explored a concept known as design thinking. It featured design thinking thought leaders such as David Kelley, Bill Moggridge and Tim Brown. This documentary was made possible by a Kickstarter grant – an innovative approach to funding creative projects. Robin Postel hosted a post-film discussion.

Emotional Triggers: Engaging Trigger-Scripting to Explore Grief, Healing, and Dis/Ease
February 13
Doctoral students offered an open rehearsal of performance scholarship that investigated the trigger script method and adapting traditional scholarship to the stage. The performances adapted diverse texts, from popular press to qualitative research, to engage complex topics including abortion, suicide, domestic violence, and AIDS. These performances were presented at the 2013 Western States Communication Association conference in Reno, Nevada in late February.

A Ghost Story: Memories of My Father by Roberta Chevrette
Patients by Lou Clark
"Our Bodies, Our Souls": When Mourning Death Means Protecting Choice by Suzanne Pullen

DaDa Transit: A Collage in 10 Moments With a Break and an Apotheotic Grande Finale
March 20
This international experimental theatre production was presented in collaboration with the School of International Letters and Cultures. Director, Aristita Albacan, presented "DaDa TransIt," as an experiment meant to revive the famous Dada movement, made up of texts written in the 20s and 30s within the Dada movement as a platform to reinventing a sort of 'dictionary' for loving life and for being able to cope with life in the 21st century.

A Good Death, adapted from the scholarship of Dr. Deborah Way, written and performed by Lou Clark
April 5, 6 and 7
A Good Death is a performance piece that explored the intersections of compassion and labor through the eyes of hospice care workers. Scholarship by Dr. Deborah Way was melded with Clark’s autoethnographic account of her own experiences of loss, love, and work as she recognized, related and re(acts)ed to the timeless question of what constitutes a good death. This performance was a staged reading with a planned full production of the performance in fall, 2013.

Hush, written and performed by Dwayne Holmes
April 19 and 29
Undergraduate student, Dwayne Holmes, wrote and performed this solo work about the communication of silence. “Hush” offered a complex narrative that examined the multiple aspects of Dwayne’s identity as a queer black man as he seeks to understand his own silences and the repercussions of dismantling those silences.

The Undergraduate Student Showcase and Awards
April 26
An evening of performances from the undergraduate performance studies classes: COM241, COM442, COM446. The Kristin Bervig Valentine Scholarship was presented to Mimi Ringness and Dan Lennie.