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Fine Arts Notebook: Dance, theater take stage
Risque comedy and improvisational dance headline weekend picks  

Feb 18, 2009  
By Stephanie Gogul  

'What the Butler Saw'

When Joe Orton's "What the Butler Saw" was first performed in the '60s, audiences were so shocked by the play's explicit theme that actors were booed off stage.

The university community can view the controversial play at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and Feb. 25 to 28 at the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater in Kantner Hall. The risque comedy centers on a psychiatrist who invents a series of increasingly outrageous lies to cover up his attempts to seduce a prospective young secretary, Geraldine.

"This play was written in the '60s during a sexual revolution," said Casiha Felt, a second-year Master of Fine Arts student who plays Geraldine. "Many of the topics discussed in the play were very taboo at the time so it's interesting to see how the play will be interpreted by a modern audience."

"What the Butler Saw" was Orton's last play, completed just a month before his death at the hands of his longtime partner.

"The play was a ton of fun to work on," Felt said. "It is the first comedy the theater program has done in awhile, so it should be very exciting for audiences."

Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for senior and free for all OHIO students with a valid ID. To reserve tickets, call the fine arts box office at 593-4800.

'Like You Mean It'

Imagine walking on stage without knowing a single choreographed step. Frightening? Not for Visiting Associate Professor of Dance Adriana Durant.

Durant, with fellow dancers Noelle Chun and Annie Kloppenberg, uses improvisation as a choreographic tool and a method for training performers.

"Working with movement, sound and text, we construct a coherent piece in real time," Durant said. "We are crafting a completely new work in each performance, rehearsal or showing."

Audiences can observe the art in progress titled "Like You Mean It" at 6 p.m. Friday at the Shirley Wimmer Dance Theatre in Putnam Hall.  Admission is free.

"Much like improvisation in jazz music, these compositions, though spontaneous, can be viewed just like finished choreography," Durant said.

Durant, who produces the shows, premiered "Like You Mean It" at Ohio State University in 2008. The trio has been performing together since 2007 and routinely performs and teaches workshops throughout Ohio.

"For 'Like You Mean It,' improvisational performance is choreography," Durant said. "It requires the same seriousness of purpose and regular rehearsing that yields engaging dance works."

Other arts events for this week include:

  • The School of Music presents a winter jazz concert featuring Jazz ensembles I and II and the Jazz Percussion Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Directed by faculty members Matt James, Ernie Bastin, Roger Braun and Michael Parkinson, the concert will feature Visiting Artist Jack Shantz on trumpet. Shantz is the artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.  Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for children and OHIO students with a valid ID.

  • The Multicultural Center Gallery opens its new exhibition "Five Women of Appalachia" with a public reception at 5 p.m. Friday at the gallery in 215 Baker University Center. The exhibit, which runs through March 23, features artists Bonnie Proudfoot, glass; Jennifer McClung, photography; Mary Beth Hickman, ceramics; Kari Gunter-Seymour, photography; and Mary Chamberlain, painting. Visit www.ohio.edu/culturalcenter for more information.

  • The Ohio University Singers will perform its winter concert at 5 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church. Admission is free.

  • Undergraduate Student Exhibition juror DeWitt Godfrey will present an artist lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday in 401 Seigfred Hall. Initially trained as an architect, Godfrey and best known for his architectural scale constructions in weathered steel. Admission is free. Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/art/galleries/upcoming.htm for more information.

  • View the Arts for Ohio calendar here


Related Links
School of Theater:  http://www.finearts.ohio.edu/theater/ 
School of Dance:  http://www.finearts.ohio.edu/dance/  

Published: Feb 18, 2009 11:07 AM  

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