Leading voice of performance studies to discuss 9/11 and the next phase of the advant-garde at Colorado College - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Media contact:

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Richard Schechner to explore how 9/11 has altered perceptions of art, performance
in annual Cornerstone Arts Initiative keynote address

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jan. 23, 2009 – Richard Schechner, the leading voice of performance studies in America and one of the founders of New York University's Performance Studies Program, will discuss "9/11 and After as (Transgressive) Art: The Next Phase of the Avant-garde” as the keynote speaker for this year’s Cornerstone Arts Initiative at Colorado College.

He will examine how the arts scene in the United States has developed since 9/11, and the transmutative effects that have altered perceptions of art, performance and the avant-garde. Schechner  will speak at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the South Theatre in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to being one of the founders of the performance studies department at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Schechner also continues to teach there. He also founded The Performance Group, an experimental theater troupe, and was artistic director from its start in 1967 until 1980 when the company changed its name to the Wooster Group. In 1992, Schechner founded a new theater company, East Coast Artists.

In March 2005, the Richard Schechner Center for Performance Studies was inaugurated as part of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where Schechner is an honorary professor. Schechner also is an honorary professor at the Institute of the Arts in Havana, Cuba, and has directed in Asia, Africa, India and Taiwan.

In 2002 he received the Jay Dorff Lifetime Achievement Award of Performance Studies International. Other awards include the Special Recognition Award from the New England Theatre Conference in 1991 and the Special Award for Contribution to Theater from Towson State University in 1991.

Schechner earned a B.A. in English from Cornell University in 1956; an M.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 1958; and a Ph.D. in theater from Tulane University in 1962.

This is the eighth year Colorado College has hosted the Cornerstone Arts Initiative. The program stresses interdisciplinary teaching of the arts, using technology to facilitate collaboration between departments. Cornerstone Arts events spotlight a question chosen by arts faculty and students, and is reinforced by special guests, performances and interdisciplinary courses. This year’s theme question is “What Do We Mean By ‘Performance Studies’?”

Past years’ Cornerstone Arts topics have been addressed in events and lectures including “Is There Democracy in the Arts?” by cultural critic and author Martha Bayles and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky; “Is There a Gay Aesthetic of the Arts?” by O. Henry Prize-winning author Bernard Cooper with lesbian and gay theater artists Peggy Shaw and Tim Miller; “Is Nothing Sacred?” by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; “What’s So American About the American Musical?” with Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski, theater scholar/author Laurence Maslon and conductor/music director Michael Kosarin; “What is the Legacy of Modernism?” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Menand; “Religion and the Public Arts: Why Be Afraid?” by Camille Paglia; and last year, "Is the Media at War with the Arts?" by Sandra Bernhard.

This year’s lecture is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professorship, with additional support from the office of the dean and Colorado College fine arts departments.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.