Are you a singer, dancer, actor, composer, director, poet, playwright, novelist, or perhaps circus artist or stand-up comedian? Join us in an exploration of the ultimate multi-hyphenate-opera. Students will have a front row seat to an early-phase project, and create their own work as we explore the nature of musical storytelling and multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Taught by Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive) and Stew (Passing Strange) with class visits from guest singer/songwriters and music critics, this course is an introduction to the art of writing words for music, an art at the core of our literary tradition from the Beowulf poet through Lord Byron and Bessie Smith to Bob Dylan and the Notorious B.I.G.. Composers, writers and performers will have the opportunity to work in small songwriting teams to respond to such emotionally charged themes as Gratitude, Loss, Protest, Desire, Joyousness, Remorse, and Defiance.
Students in this course will work with Princeton Arts Fellow Michael J. Love and his collaborators, film-based artist Ariel René Jackson and rhythmanalyst DeForrest Brown, Jr., to develop a new multi-channel video and live performance installation—to feature video by Jackson, live performance by the students (choreographed and directed by Love), and an electronic music-based composition by Brown. Students will engage with curated readings and media, lectures by Love, Jackson, and Brown, and weekly technique classes and choreography rehearsals. The course will culminate in a live performance and exhibition.
Poet Patricia Smith, Poet and Executive Director of JustMedia Mahogany Browne, and choreographer Davalois Fearon will collaborate through the course to craft a multimedia theatrical production that shines an unflinching light on the problem of missing Black women and girls. In 2020, 268,884 women were reported missing, and nearly 100,000 were Black women and girls, but there is a huge disparity in how the cases of Black missing girls and women are treated by media and law enforcement. The artists will work with students interested in music, theater, and dance to assemble the production, which will then be performed for the Princeton community.
Students will collaborate with legal scholar Patricia Williams, literary historian Autumn Womack, and guest artists and performers to creatively explore the theatrical and performative archives that animate what we'll understand as black (gendered) legal performances. We will investigate a range of sites—from the Margaret Garner trial to Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearing—and the embodied, visual and sonic histories that score them. Alongside filmmakers, visual artists, and performers, students will construct a multi-modal creative record that fills in the silences and supplements the noise that accompanies these trials.