Livestreamed on this page on Monday 29 November 2021 at 9 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 11 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 17:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 18:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).
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SEGAL TALKS with Theresa Smalec
A conversation about Smalec’s new book: Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS, a conversation about curating, producing, and presenting theatre and performance in the time of COVID with Theresa Smalec, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 29 November 2021 at 9 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 11 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 17:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 18:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1).
Join us for a conversation with author Theresa Smalec and New York Theatre artists John Jesurun and Mariane Weems about Smalec’s new book: Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance. Part of the Segal Center’s Fall 2021 Book Talk Series. Moderated by Frank Hentschker, Director, MESTC, The Graduate Center CUNY.
Theresa Smalec is the author of Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance (Seagull Books, 2020). Her reviews and peer-reviewed essays appear in journals such as Biography, New England Theatre Journal, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Postmodern Culture, Puppetry International, TDR, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and Theatre Research International. Dr. Smalec is the department’s assessment coordinator and a member of the college-wide Assessment Council. She also curates a literary section for an online journal, The Typescript. Her research and teaching interests are Theatre and Performance Studies, Media Studies, Gender and Politics. Dr. Smalec holds an M.A.in English from the University of Western Ontario and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University.
About Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance
From 1974 to 1994, Ron Vawter was a staple of New York’s downtown theater scene, first with the Performance Group and later as a founding member of the Wooster Group. Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance is the first book focused on this incomparable actor’s specific contributions to ensemble theater, while also covering his solo projects. Through a combination of archival research and oral testimony—including interviews with Willem Dafoe, Spalding Gray, Elizabeth LeCompte, Gregory Mehrten, Richard Schechner, and Marianne Weems—Vawter emerges as an unsung innovator whose metamorphosis from soldier to avant-garde star was hardly accidental. Theresa Smalec reconstructs Vawter’s years in amateur theater, his time in the National Guard, and his professional body of work.
Partly recuperative history, Ron Vawter’s Life in Performance explores the complex intersections of individual and group biography. It also offers a unique perspective on an era that spanned from the Vietnam War to the AIDS crisis, putting Vawter’s own activism at the forefront. Published by Seagull Books, distributed by The University of Chicago Press
John Jesurun was from 1979 to 1982 the assistant to the producer for the Dick Cavett Show on PBS, personally producing interviews with Alberta Hunter, John Hammond Sr., Odetta and Tito Puente. Since 1982: Text, direction, design for 40 pieces including: the 66 episode “Chang in a Void Moon”(Bessie Award) and the media trilogy: “Deep Sleep(Obie Award)/White Water/Black Maria”. Fellowships include NEA, the Rome Prize, Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Asian Cultural Council. He is a 1996 MacArthur Fellow. Past projects include “Faust~How I Rose” at BAM, Philoktetes at Soho Rep.“Philoktetes” at Kyoto Performing Arts Center with Hideo Kanze, “Firefall” at Dance Theater Workshop, Jeff Buckley video “Last Goodbye”, Harry Partch’s opera “Delusion of the Fury”at the Japan Society. “Shatterhand Massacree and other Media Texts” published by Performing Arts Journal. Philoktetes will be presented in February 2022 in Mexico City directed by Martin Acosta. Five new online episodes of “Chang in a Void Moon” can be seen through the La Mama website.
Marianne Weems is a theater and opera director and founder of the award-winning New York-based theater company The Builders Association, an influential ensemble that has created a significant body of work at the forefront of integrating media with live performance. With the company, she has created and directed 17 original large-scale productions and worked with unexpected collaborators including the architects Diller + Scofidio, The National Center for Super Computing Applications, and the South Asian arts collective motiroti. Her work has toured domestically and internationally to over 80 venues including the RomaEuropa Festival, the Festival Iberoamericano de Bogota, the Seoul Festival, the Melbourne Theater Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum. Her last four performances have had their New York premieres at The Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Weems has also worked in various creative roles with The Wooster Group, (where she was the dramaturg from 1988-94), David Byrne, Taryn Simon, Susan Sontag, The V-Girls, and many others. Currently a Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Santa Cruz Weems was the head of Graduate Directing in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University and in 2014 participated in founding a new program there in Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology.
ABOUT THE SEGAL TALKS
The Segal Theatre Center's online conversation series SEGAL TALKS was created in March of 2020 after the abrupt closing of the Graduate Center for any kind of public activities due to Corona and the cancellation of the entire spring season. The SEGAL TALKS during The Time of Corona offered conversations on theatre, performance and art during the pandemic featuring with more than 200 theater artists from over 50 countries. New York, US, and international theatre artists, curators, writers, and academics talked daily during the week for one hour with Segal Center’s director, Frank Hentschker, about life and art in the Time of Corona and speak about challenges, sorrows, and hopes for the new Weltzustand— the State of the World. In the summer of 2021 Segal Talks continued to focus on Theatre, Performance and The Political, the Segal Center’s 2023 New York International Festival of the Arts Project and the 2022 Center’s Public Park Project. During the pandemic The Segal Center was for a long period globally the only theatre institution creating new, original, daily content for the global field of theater and performance five days a week. Currently the Center is preparing the 4th edition of the Segal Center's global Film Festival on Theatre and Performance.
SEGAL TALKS are free, open access, without ads will be live-streamed in English from Wednesday to Friday on HowlRound Theatre Commons and on the Segal Center Facebook. This program is presented in collaboration with HowlRound Theatre Commons, based at Emerson College. All SEGAL TALKS are archived on HowlRound, and on the Segal Center YouTube Channel.
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ABOUT THE MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER|
Originally founded in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center was renamed in March of 1999 to recognize Martin E. Segal, one of New York City’s outstanding leaders of the arts. The Segal Center curates over thirty events throughout the Spring and Fall academic seasons, all free and open to the public. Dedicated to bridging the gap between the professional and academic theatre communities, the Segal Center presents readings, performance, lectures, and artists and academics in conversation. In addition, the Segal Center presents three annual festivals (PRELUDE, PEN World Voices: International Pay Festival, and The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance) and publishes and maintains three open access online journals (Arab Stages, European Stages, and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre). The Segal Center also publishes many volumes of plays in translation and is the leading publisher of plays from the Arab world. The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a vital component of the Theatre Program’s academic culture and creating in close collaboration a research nexus, focusing on dramaturgy, new media, and global theatre. The Segal Center provides an intimate platform where both artists and theatre professionals can actively participate with audiences to advance awareness and appreciation.
THE SEGAL TEAM
Executive Director: Frank Hentschker
Associate Producers: Andie Lerner & Tanvi Shah
THE GRADUATE CENTER, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, of which the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is an integral part, is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York (CUNY). An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs, as well as a number of master’s programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world’s leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to twenty-eight interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns. Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, The Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City’s intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.
About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected] or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.
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