Puget Sound English Department

January 21, 2010

Upcoming events

Professor Geoff Proehl, Theater, forwards the following information on three upcoming events of great interest to the campus community, especially as we approach Black History Mont:

1. A Dialogue about August Wilson’s Plays Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson

Exploring History, Culture, Politics and Race: The 1920’s and 1930’s Through the Eyes of August Wilson

Rehearsal Hall

Sunday, January 24, 2010 from 2pm to 4pm

Tickets: FREE Community Event

This dialogue will be facilitated by Dr. Dexter Gordon, Professor of African American Studies at the University of Puget Sound and C. Rosalind Bell, Playwright and Director of August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle IV: The Piano Lesson and other plays in the August Wilson Series. Both presenters are also co-founders of Tacoma’s The Conversation, an ongoing dialogue and race and social justice group. Complimentary snacks and beverages will be provided for dialogue participants.

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2. August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle IV: The Piano Lesson
Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
Washington State History Museum
Tickets: $14

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning fourth installment, The Piano Lesson is an appropriate reminder of the importance of heritage during Black History Month. Set in the 1930s Great Depression, the story follows a family divided by the fate of their heirloom piano. Boy Willie, a sharecropper from the South, wants to sell the piano so he can purchase more land. His sister, Bernice, insists on keeping it as their great-grandfather carved onto it the faces of his wife and son-who were sold into slavery in exchange for the piano.

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3. from Hans Ostrom: “A Musical Evening With Langston Hughes,” featuring soloist Awilda Verdejo, who will be accompanied by a pianist and cellist—Feb. 19, 7:30, in Schneebeck. It is part of the Jacobsen Series but is also in honor of Black History Month.

The Adelphians will also perform, and Rosalind Bell and I will read a few of Hughes’s poems. All the compositions are based on his poetry or were co-written by him. Sponsors are Af. Am. Studies, School of Music, the BSU, Race and Pedagogy, Chief Diversity Officer, and the Dolliver Professorship.

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November 24, 2009


Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 1:40 am

One of several great traditions in Seattle’s theater “scene” is the annual production of Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity, a gospel song-play. It is about to open again at the Intiman Theater–specifically on December 1.  It is a production with wide appeal, and it blends professional actors, singers, musicians, and dancers with community performers in a distinctive if not unique ways.   If you haven’t experienced Black Nativity in Seattle or elsewhere, do yourself a favor and go see it–and no, you need be of the Christian faith to enjoy it. Here is a link:


October 19, 2009

CURTAINS: Through October 25th At the Tacoma Musical Playhouse

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 3:01 pm

The Tacoma Musical Playhouse is in its tenth season, and Curtains is running through October 25, to be followed by Junie B. Jones And a Little Monkey Business in November.  For more information about these productions and TMP, please use the link:


October 16, 2009

Jane Austen’s EMMA At Book-It Repertory Theater

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 1:50 am

Alum Lucinda Stroud writes to remind us that a dramatization of Jane Austen’s Emma is about to open at Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theater.  The details, courtesy of Lucinda.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 7:30pm
End Time:
Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 3:30pm
Book-It Repertory Theatre
305 Harrison Street, Seattle Center
Seattle, WA

October 14, 2009

LEND ME A TENOR At Tacoma’s Little Theater

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 10:54 pm

LMTPostersmall3Lend Me A Tenor, by Ken Ludwig, is running at the Tacoma Little Theater through November 6, and there is a “pay what you can” performance on October 22.  For more information about the play, performance-dates, and the Little Theater, please follow the link:


September 27, 2009

Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE Down Under

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 4:58 am
Tags: , ,

Arther Miller’s renowned play, The Crucible, in some ways a quintessential American work of drama, was produced in Sydney, Australia, earlier this year.  Here is a link to information about the production:


September 1, 2009

Suzan-Lori Parks Will Visit Campus

OUTL006402(image, Copyright Todd France/Corbis)

President Ron Thomas has emailed the campus with the following great news:

“Please join me September 22 for an evening with Suzan-Lori Parks, a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright named one of TIME magazine’s ‘100 Innovators for the Next New Wave’ The prolific dramatic work of this year’s Susan Resneck Pierce Lecturer in the Arts has been praised for its profundity, its uninhibited and imaginative language, and its idiosyncratic stage imagery.

Parks’ teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, with whom she studied at Mt. Holyoke, described her as ‘an utterly astounding and beautiful creature who may become one of the most valuable artists of our time.’  Baldwin’s prediction has proven true.  Professor of Theatre Arts Geoff Proehl, one of Puget Sound’s two James Dolliver National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professors, writes of her: ‘Parks’ persistent interest in what she refers to as the great ‘hole’ of history makes her characters, literally and metaphorically, go digging there in plays that remind us why we need the breadth and depth of a liberal arts education.’

Our evening with Suzan-Lori Parks will combine performance and lecture and promises to be compelling and entertaining. The lecture is free of charge to students, faculty and staff, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at Wheelock Information Center. Seating is limited; secure your ticket in advance.  Time and place: Tuesday September 22, Schneebeck Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.  A reception with Ms. Parks will follow, in the Pierce Atrium at Wyatt Hall.”

We will add only our thanks and congratulations to Professor Proehl for helping to make Parks’ visit possible and this historical note: Parks’ teacher James Baldwin visited Puget Sound in the mid-1980s.

August 25, 2009

Alums to Perform at Bumbershoot

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Alumni News,Theater — O. @ 3:35 am

Alum Stephen Ross informs us that the improv-group in which he participates (and which has its roots at Puget Sound), Ubiquitous They, will perform at Seattle’s annual cultural festival, Bumbershoot.  (Alum Nelson Moody, among other former Puget Sound students, also performs with the group.)

Here are the details:

Event: Bumbershoot:  “Because great music only goes so far.” What: Performance: Ubiquitous They

Start Time: Monday, September 7 at 3:00pm End Time: Monday, September 7 at 4:00pm Where: Vera Project–Bumbershoot, Seattle Center

August 17, 2009

Dance, Music, and Digital Drawing Combined

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 5:58 pm

Our friends at PoetsWest have alerted us to an intriguing theatrical event:

Friday and Saturday, August 14 & 15, 21 & 22 at 8pm
New City Theater, 1404 18th Ave. (18th & Union), Seattle

The first performances of For These Unclosings: Dance, music and digital drawing merged in a theater of images in four movements. A co-production from new media artist Susie J. Lee & New City Theater Resident Artist Program. $15 on 14th, 15th, & 22nd. $40 for fundraiser & meet-the artists event on the 21st. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/76797 or 800.838.3006 or newcitytheater@comcast.net or contact 206.271.4430.

August 6, 2009

Shakespeare At Tahoe

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Theater — O. @ 3:04 am

A Shakespeare Festival at Lake Tahoe? Absolutely. The actors need to get used to the altitude; otherwise, the notion is a sure bet. Would Shakespeare have liked Sinatra? That is the question.


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