Throwback Thursday 2

Hi everyone!

It’s Anna and Miriam again, back with another Throwback Thursday.

This week we’re focusing on a student Reading Group.

A portrait of Sappho, one of the nine noteworthy lyric poets of Ancient Greece.

A portrait of Sappho, a noteworthy lyric poet of Ancient Greece.

The Ancient Greek Lyric Poetry Group, 2007-08, discussed poets including Sappho, pictured above. This Reading Group filled a void in Haverford’s course offerings, as no course in recent history had covered Ancient Greek lyric poetry. All students and faculty in the group had reading knowledge of Ancient Greek. The HCAH provided funding for the reading materials and refreshments for weekly meetings. Interested in funding your own reading group? Read on!

For Students: www.haverford.edu/HCAH/for_students/groups.php

For Faculty: http://www.haverford.edu/HCAH/for_faculty/groups.php

See ya next Thursday!

-Anna and Miriam

Photo Credits: “Sappho.” Wikimedia Commons. 12 March 2009. Web. 14 Nov 2013.

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Throwback Thursday 1

Hi, y’all! We’re Anna and Miriam, office assistants in the HCAH. We’re starting a series of weekly posts called Throwback Thursdays highlighting previous activities of the center. This week we’re looking at a student seminar from 2009-10.

Educating Through Animation: Disney as Cultural Pedagogy

Disney-positions-itself-as-the-new-tentpole-power-house

This seminar, led by Maggie Goddard ’11, a Religion major and Philosophy minor, explored the societal impacts of Disney’s retellings in relation to race and gender. The seminar drew from multiple sources, spanning the Disney movies themselves to Umberto Eco to Sigmund Freud to the Bible. As a Religion major, Maggie was interested in viewing the Disney franchise as “a kind of secular religion, complete with its own traditions, costumes, rituals, and pilgrimages.” However, she said that the seminar could be approached from many perspectives as, no matter your discipline, Disney represents the universal storytelling of childhood. As Walt Disney himself said, “I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty.”

We hope y’all enjoyed the first Throwback Thursday, and you’ll hear from us next week!

- Anna and Miriam 

 

(Photo: McWeeny, Drew. “What to watch for now that Disney owns Lucasfilm.” HitFix. HitFix Inc, 30 Oct 2012. Web. 7 Nov 2013.)

(Quote: Goddard, Maggie. “Educating Through Animation: Disney as Cultural Pedagogy.” John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities. Haverford College. Web. 7 Nov 2013.)

(Quote: Disney, Walt. “Walt Disney Quotes.” Notable Quotes. n.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov 2013.)

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Brian Dettmer takes books to a new level

We’ve all experienced books, seen them shaped on paper and screen, and felt them shape us. But never like this. Haverford, prepare to experience books in a whole new way.

Brian DettmerSculptor and book enthusiast Brian Dettmer comes to Haverford College on October 22nd. Catch him on in the INSC Rotunda on Tuesday the 22nd and Thursday the 24th while he carves a brand new work of art to be entitled Tristam Shandy out of his choice material—books. Stop by, watch him work, chat for a while.
Brian Dettmer Brian DettmerDettmer will also be giving a walkthrough of his exhibition Elemental on October 25th in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The walkthrough begins at 4:30, with a gallery opening at 5:30. Catering, as always, will be provided.

To see more of Dettmer’s incredible artwork, visit his gallery.

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Some Concluding Thoughts Plus a Picture of the End

Where the wall ends copy paint 2

Where the border wall abruptly ends at Sasabe, AZ.

“The 846 men who comprise this far-flung army live a life of almost constant adventure.”

–from Halt: A Story of the Border Patrol by Col. Daniel MacCormack

With the summer coming to an end, I realize that I could easily spend another three months on my research project and not have many firm conclusions to offer. So with this concluding post, I have decided to focus instead on two small points I have found most interesting in my reading and fieldwork.

1. The “thrill” of the U.S. Mexico border:

Both fiction and non-fiction stories of the border inevitably center on encounters between law enforcement and those (suspected of) breaking the law. The climaxes of these stories are almost always the greatest acts of violence or scandal. (The films “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” and “The Border” are exemplary.) Consequently, such stories paint a picture of the border as a space of oblivion where anything is possible and nothing is safe. The reader ultimately comes away with a profound sense of disorder and absurdity.

However, the daily experiences of those who actually patrol the border are most often rather mundane and unglamorous. Boring, even.

During the month of August I conducted fieldwork with a well-established humanitarian aid group on the border. The group’s core mission is to prevent migrant deaths by leaving water at strategic points along migrant trails. They make daily trips out to the desert and meet once a week to evaluate their progress.

Before volunteers can go on trips, they must attend an orientation class during which they learn the intricacies of participating within the purview of the law. At the orientation I went to, there were around twenty people. There was a general air of excitement, sadness, and anger. People wanted to take action. In the end though, only a handful of those who attended ended up going on a trip or attending a meeting.

During one of the meetings, there was a lengthy discussion about the low retention rate for new volunteers. Many group members believed that the main reason why new recruits leave is because they are in it for the action and adventure. When recruits go on a trip and do not see anybody, they are often disappointed. They feel as if they are wasting their time.

On the other hand, those who stay with the group have to be satisfied with driving four to five hours per trip, hauling gallons of water down trails, not finding anyone, and never really knowing whether what they are doing is effective. While you can tell if a jug has been drained, it is difficult to tell if it was drained by someone who needed it. A water jug could have been drained just as easily by a cow, bird, or vandal.

During the five trips that I went on, we did not encounter a single migrant. This did not come as a surprise. I talked with volunteers who had been active for several years but could count on one hand their encounters with migrants. As one of the long-time members has told me repeatedly, not seeing anyone is a “good thing.” Volunteers only see migrants when they are desperate for help.

So, is the border absurd and violent? Yes. But the daily experience of patrolling is less than action-packed. Those who patrol the border cannot be in it only for the adventure. This is true for Border Patrol agents and civilian border patrol groups as well, as evidenced by the ethnographic works of Josiah Heyman, Robert Lee Maril, and Harel Shapira.

2. Fiction ≠ storytelling, but many anthropologists seem to think so:

A good chunk of my research involved reading essays, novels, and short stories about the practice of ethnography, fiction writing, and the ill-defined genre of the “ethnographic novel.” While reading each author, I would ask these main questions:

  1. Why are you writing the way you are writing? (In other words, what has made this author decide to write an ethnography or a work of fiction?)
  2. How are you going about writing what you are writing? (In other words, what is the relationship between research and imagination here?)
  3. Is this method of writing culture effective?

What I repeatedly found was that anthropologists were choosing to write fiction because they wanted to tell stories, and that these stories were not effectively told as fiction because they could just as easily have been told as non-fiction essays. In too many anthologies on “literature and anthropology,” there are multiple entries by anthropologists who have written “fictional” stories directly based on fieldwork. In an essay following the story, the anthropologist will explain how their research provided the groundwork, but that the story could not be told dramatically in an ethnography. For instance, in an essay on his novel Jaguar, anthropologist Paul Stoller says that ethnography “muffles the drama of social life” and that fiction puts this drama in the foreground. Such a statement feels false to me–or at least an overstatement. This summer I read narrative ethnographies that represented the “drama” of social life as prominently as any novel I’ve read. One particular stand-out was Robert Lee Maril’s Patrolling Chaos, an ethnography of the Border Patrol in Deep South Texas.

There are many other reasons why anthropologists decide to tell their stories through fiction, not the least of which is historical convention. Fiction, which can deal heavily in emotion, subjectivity, and reflexivity, has not always been respected as a rigorous representation of culture within the field of anthropology. In the past, anthropologists like Laura Bohannan have even been compelled to publish fiction under pseudonyms.

But: the unique thing about fiction is not its potential for storytelling, emotion, or reflexivity–these are all possibilities in non-fiction. Rather, fiction is an opportunity to use imagination. And I think this opportunity for imagination is squandered when authors write fiction that is merely meant to “dramatize” observed reality. If an author decides to write about culture through fiction, I think the author should exploit the form as much as possible. Tell a truth that can only be told through imagination.

On a final note, to maintain some continuity with the first post: I am happy to report a finished first draft of the novella. It has a beginning, middle, and end! You can read it straight through and not be utterly confused! Still, I anticipate many more drafts to come before I present it to other people or talk about it in a public way. This is for everyone’s good, trust me.

Cheers,

Sam

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The Invisible “Page”: Children’s Plays in Kijimuna Festa

Okinawa CityI love the pages inside a book, the way it opens, directs, conceals and surprises. I wonder how the stage may perform a similar magic to that of a page and especially in theater for young children. Before heading Okinawa, I had already seen pages with holes, pages of different textures, and pages opening up architectural spaces. But the stages still amazed me.

Decentered_4

Most of my favorite plays have stages that hold only less than 50 audiences, with a carpet for children to crawl, sit on and watch the performance at the closest distance possible. Sometimes, the carpet becomes an extension of the stage. In a Scottish play named Cloud Man (www.cloud-man.co.uk/), the evidences of Cloud Man’s existence hide themselves among children on the carpet: as tiny hands approached those tiny socks, scarfs, bags and underwear from Cloud Man, amazement burst, eyes brightened and exploration made. It reminds me of the pages that I enjoyed panning through; picking up bits and parts to create my own story. I began to see the stage as a richly constructed space as the page is, with elements of shape, texture, sounds, colors interweaving in symphony.

Decentered_2

However, I was still amazed when I saw an actual “page,” flipping and opening on the stage. The play was about another imaginative creature called “Stickman” (www.salzundpfeffer-theater.de/sites/Stockmann/Stick_Man_2.html). As the background of the play unfolded and the story began, I felt myself strolling into a giant picture book. The background was made of a large piece of paper and characters of small pieces of paper. However, as Stickman got closer and closer to the audience, the paper-made character became a puppet, and then even the actors performed the character themselves. These layers of representation intrigued me: the distance they created, the imagination they provoked. Even the music sheets took forms from scrolls and even an umbrella patterned with scores: these “pages” echoing other “pages” of surfaces on stage, building a stereoscopic space from shapes, sounds and movements.

Children's Play: Wind

I was fascinated by the texture of pages when I discovered transparent pages and even pages in total black that you had to read them with fingers. How could this kind of “pages” be translated into the language of theater, with light, setting and bodies? Before I searched for answers in my mind, the title of a play interested me: Wind (www.facebook.com/TheatreMadamBach), a play about something that is invisible, but in some ways, touchable and hearable. The performers no longer had to strive between what shall be seen and what not but concentrating on showing the audience what cannot be seen. Dozens of fans, pieces of paper glittering and floating across the space and even the music and sounds came from the actor’s breathe into the instruments. This “invisible page” of wind was fabricated through the exquisite machinery of theater; a “page” to be read with not only eyes but also skins, fingers and ears.

At the end, I think the plays taught me one thing: there hides a “page” on every stage and every page is a dynamic “stage.”

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PHC’s Erie “SpeakEasy: A Networking Mix and Mingle”

During the second week of my internship with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) I provided support for PHC’s first ever “SpeakEasy: A Networking Mix and Mingle.” The event afforded members of the humanities community the opportunity to network with each other and connect with PHC.  The event was such a success that our team set out to plan a second SpeakEasy in Erie, Pennsylvania.

From calling musicians and managing the budget to printing nametags and researching local humanities organizations, from the start I was a part of making the event a reality. After spending a great deal of time and energy on planning the SpeakEasy, I was so excited and fortunate that PHC flew me out to Erie to attend the event.

PHC staff members at SpeakEasy Erie

PHC staff members at SpeakEasy Erie

PHC Executive Director, Laurie Zierer, networking SpeakEasy attendee

PHC Executive Director, Laurie Zierer, networking with a SpeakEasy attendee

It was such a thrill to see everything come together in a really lovely evening. I listened to the musician that I had booked and met many prominent members of the Erie humanities community that I had only previously heard about. My first ever business trip was topped of when we watched the sun set over the lake as I felt very proud of the event we had all put together.

Erie Sunset

Erie Sunset

In addition to working on the SpeakEasy, during my last weeks at PHC I was also given the very fun, albeit seemingly daunting task, of defining the humanities. The definition is going to be used in the newly revised Request for Proposal that PHC is putting together as part of their new grant direction. After researching at the way in which other councils define the humanities, I was able to pick out the most common and what I believe to be the most important aspects of the humanities. In the end I came up with the following definition:

“The humanities are the stories and the ideas that convey what it means to be human. They connect us with each other and start conversations that cause us to think critically, engage with our communities, and grow. The humanities provide continuity with the past, reflect the present, and illuminate possibilities for the future, fostering a greater understanding of the world and our place in it.”

I wanted to ensure the focus of the definition was on the way in which the humanities connect us with each other and the world around us. I am fascinated by the way in which a novel can transport the reader to an entirely different world and offer insight into what would otherwise be a completely foreign experience. When considering the humanities’ power to form connections, it is fitting that the PHC hosts networking events to connect people, ideas, and stories. After a SpeakEasy attendee thanked us for gathering members of the humanities community and spoke of how appreciative she was for the opportunity to make connections with others, I was proud that I helped make that happen.

As I look back on the past 10 weeks, I am extremely grateful to the PHC and Haverford’s Humanities Center for such a beneficial, productive, and inspiring internship experience. I feel very fortunate that I was able to make meaningful connections with the wonderful and supportive PHC staff, the humanities community, the non-profit sector, and better understand the world around me and my place in it.

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The Virtues of a Liberal Arts Education

My internship at the Higgins Armory Museum this summer had a relatively simple description: I would be working with the Curatorial department, focusing mostly on the archives and the library. What I did not realize at first was the wide array of skills and experiences I would draw on in order to complete the tasks assigned to me. What follows is a list of just some of the classes I’ve taken whose coursework has been useful to me this summer:

Arabic – I took Arabic for two semesters last year, at Haverford. The Higgins has a decent collection of Islamic armor, including a mail shirt with a maker’s medallion we ran across while checking and re-organizing all of the mail in the collection. Even simple things like distinguishing from letters and numbers in foreign scripts can be quite useful!

Latin – I took Latin for two years, in 7th and 8th grade, because my school required it. I quit as soon as I could, because I really don’t like memorizing vocabulary and I’ve always found the Romans incredibly dull. It’s a good thing I still paid attention, though, as I found myself this summer transcribing part of a 16th century combat manual (in this case, a German Fechtbuch by Paulus Hector Mair). The scribe used a fair amount of shorthand and abbreviations, which required me to dig back into my small still of Latin knowledge to decipher. An example: the scribe used a small squiggle to indicate an omitted nasal, either m or n. In order to transcribe the document, I needed to know that most of these at the ends of words would be m, as many Latin suffixes end in m; however, certamen, a very frequent word in this text, ends in n.

German – I took German this past year at Haverford, so have a basic vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. It turns out that the Latin Fechtbuch I transcribed also exists in two other versions: one in German, and the other with both Latin and German. My next step, after getting my footing with the Latin, was to move on to the German version, which has much more complicated script. What was really rewarding about this transcription, though, was my ability to translate it. It turns out that since a Fechtbuch is such a technical document, the language is fairly simple and repetitive. With only two semesters of German under my belt, I’ve been able to translate five full sequences, including this one.

Fechtbuch


Corresponding pages from three versions of the Mair Fechtbuch. From left to right: German (Dresden); Bilingual (Vienna); Latin (Munich)

 

Linguistics –I was definitely hoping I would get to use some linguistics, it being my major and all. I haven’t been able to do any rigorous linguistics work, but I have found the body of little tidbits and fun facts I’ve built up to be tremendously helpful. In translating the Fechtbuch, I called upon some reading I’ve done (for fun) about the history of English and Germanic languages. Since the manuscript is from the 16th century, it makes use of old spelling conventions (when it has spelling conventions at all). Some of the simpler instances of this are the German word ein ‘one’ appearing as ain, or linken ‘left’ appearing as linckhen or lincken in the monolingual German copy and as linggen in the bilingual Latin/German copy. Similar inconsistencies appeared in the Latin.

Our library has a fair number of books in other languages, mostly French and German. Recently, I’ve been charged with transferring the records of periodicals to a digital format (our library still uses a card catalogue, and all the indexes were created on the typewriter in the room). I’ve spent time figuring out that “København” wasn’t somewhere exotic, merely Copenhagen in Danish, and that “Maggio” is not my friend’s name, but actually the Italian month of May.

Chemistry – I didn’t even only draw from humanities! I dabbled for a day in conservation, only to discover that it is essentially applied chemistry. A good conservator has a detailed knowledge of the composition and qualities of each different type of material they encounter, as well as a mental ordered list of the possible issues and chemical and physical treatments best suited for preserving them.

History – I had lots of fun digging around in old pictures and documents in the archives! One gem: this Certificate of Cooperation issued to the Worcester Pressed Steel Company (the company the Higgins Armory was originally affiliated with) for participating in the implementation of the Marshall Plan, following World War II.

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Also, on a somewhat less fun note, eight years of history teachers requiring research papers has caused me to have most of the Chicago Manual of Style citation formats memorized, which has come in handy on multiple occasions. Three cheers for academic honesty!

Museum Studies – Last semester at Haverford, I took Rubie Watson’s course titled Museum Anthropology. To have the chance to see the things we had discussed in class in action while the ideas are still fresh in my head has been quite a fulfilling experience.

English – As much as I complained about it at the time, I’m really thankful my high school required a Shakespeare course senior year. I chose Political Shakespeare, in which we read Machiavelli’s The Prince, followed by a bunch of histories: Richard II, Henry IV (both parts), Henry V, and Richard III. While some may dispute the actual historical accuracy of these, the basic understanding I now have of English history political structure of that period has been helpful in putting the objects in the museum into better context.

Technical Theater – This one is more of a corollary to the previous, but still important. The semester I took a technical theater course in high school, we helped put on an 80’s punk London adaptation of Richard III. The act of having to try to explain the War of the Roses to an audience definitely helped me understand it a bit more myself.

Music – This one is a little bit of a stretch, as I haven’t actually had to do anything distinctly musical this summer. What I have needed are some of the things I’ve picked up from singing a diverse selection of pieces. For instance: Middle School Latin class doesn’t teach you the word crucem ‘cross’, but singing Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” does. This came in handy when I ran across an unfamiliar German word while translating the combat manual, but I was able to see that the corresponding Latin referred to the crucem, or the crossguard of a blade. Another: If we hadn’t sung that goofy “Dancing Song” in 11th grade, I would have no idea that Magyar referred to Hungary, and would not have been able to connect with a friend of my mother’s, who happens to speak Hungarian and was willing to help me figure out what a book in the library, A Magyar Viseletek Története, was about.

All this being said, I am reminded how grateful I am for all I have learned while at the Higgins. Hopefully, I can add it to my list of “useful things I’ve learned,” and can apply it in future endeavors. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll really need to know which pauldron goes on which arm (Mr. Higgins could have used the knowledge; he got it backwards!).

J Higgins in armor

 

 

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Building the Future

Working with the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Raymond Holstein Stereograph Collection has revealed to me the apparent contradiction inherent in cityscapes: the built environment of the present is both the same as and yet utterly alien to the built environment of the past. That is, a stereograph from the 1860s and one from the 1890s may show the same street block in Philly, featuring the same building. But the shops within that building will have changed, awnings and advertisements will have gone up or come down, electric streetlights and telephone poles will have replaced the old gas lamps lining the sidewalks. Or entirely new edifices will be built on the graveyard of torn down buildings.

 This realization extends beyond a comparison of stereographs within the collection. Images of City Hall, the Union League building, the Academy of Music, and the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel are strange, archaic twins of the same, three-dimensional buildings I pass every day on my walk from Suburban Station to the Library Company. Yet the settings of these landmarks are drastically different, from the type of traffic crowding Broad Street (horse-drawn carriages switch to cars where the only animal drawing is on the auto logo) to the fashions of the people populating the sidewalks (bustles to mini-skirts). And I am pretty certain that Starbucks and Nicole Miller were not the original tenants of the Bellevue-Stratford. The late nineteenth-century and the early twenty-first century thus collide in a way both comforting and jarring. Change as the only static fact of the urban world has a good deal in common with college life, or so I’ve begun to think.

 Four years at an institution like Haverford is similarly both foundational and fleeting. It may help determine future careers and friends, a new hometown, and philosophical-ethical development. But the days of waking up at noon for a class on magic and medicine in medieval Europe are numbered, and there are only so many uses one can get out of a squirrel-covered sweatshirt after senior year. After graduation, some things will remain forever embedded in the life of the newly minted adult, and some things will be lost to the past. Dramatic ruminations on my impending aging colored my last few weeks of freshman year with existential anxiety.

 Now, as I conclude the summer following what feels like a very brief freshman year, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to gain a little perspective. (More than provided with a non-archivist nine-to-five job, although I have heard they are in general pretty grounding.) Philadelphia has survived the ebb and flow of the century; I can survive the transition from new student to student halfway through college. Haverford itself seems to be doing just fine with the march of time, as one of the last stereographs I housed in the Collection proves:

Courtesy of Library Company of Philadelphia, Print Department

“Haverford College,” circa 1870s. Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia, Print Department. 

www.librarycompany.org

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Wrapping up my summer internship with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA)

Board of Directors Handbook in Progress!

Board of Directors Handbook in Progress!

 

With July wrapping up and my mind becoming increasingly focused on salt water, school, and selecting where to apply for post-secondary education, I would like to reflect on my time as a Development Intern with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association this summer before returning to school in the fall. I have become more and more enthralled with this internship each day and the educational opportunities that I have been able to seize during it. I have learned a variety of things pertaining to the inner-workings of Non-Profit Music Business Management such as: Annual Fund, Transformation Fund, Tele-funding, Corporate Funding Policies, Estate-Planning, and the Board of Directors. I have attached to this post an image of what I have been working on closely each day during the summer: assembling the Board of Directors Handbook. (see above)

The Board of Directors, in addition to being: donors, overseers, and committee chairs of the POA, are passionate and active philanthropists of culture and the arts in Philadelphia. Without the aid of these dedicated and capable individuals, the orchestra would not be able to flourish to the degree that it does on a daily basis. The Board of Directors Handbook, which I have been working on, is an important educational tool that essentially provides a thorough overview of the people, events, policies, and committees involved in the POA each year. This handbook provides accessible information about the: concert schedule, ticket information, background history of the POA, bios of the conductors and CEO, and contact info. of other board members which helps them to connect with each other. This propitious handbook helps to fortify the sense of community between Orchestra Staff Members and Board of Directors, and I am thankful to have been included in this insightful process.

My summer internship with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association is very helpful not only for my graduate school resume, but also because it gives me insight into the inner-workings and strategies of a prestigious non-profit association. In addition, I have been able to cultivate relationships with many amiable staff members in Development, Marketing, and Annual Fund Departments this summer. Regardless of whether I go into teaching, publishing, non-profit arts management, or for-profit arts management after my graduate school tutelage, I will definitely look back on my time with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association as a time of learning, growing, and networking with enthusiastic musicians in Philadelphia.

-Bruce

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One Little Piggy Did Marketing

header4

Hey world,

The production process for PAY UP is well under way. We got a receipt for $3,000 worth of lumber yesterday, which means that the set is probably being constructed as I type. Funnily enough, the PAY UP set looks quite minimalist (in the press release, I call it “stark and labyrinthine”) but is also incredibly complicated. If you’ve seen any of our social media pages, you’ve seen Anna Kiraly (the set designer)’s axonometric box drawings* that I’ve turned into banners and icons; those give a good idea of the simplicity of the set, very black, white, and geometric. However, in person the set doesn’t feel simple at all. It is incredibly complex and complicatedly immense, as is the whole production. If (when?) you see it, you’ll understand what I mean. It’s impossible to see the same show twice, even if you take the map handed out at the door.

But despite the above opinions, I really am not involved in the production process of PAY UP at all. In fact, most of my days have been spent in the office working on development and marketing. We have a number of special events for PITC donors and sponsors in the weeks leading up to PAY UP, so I’ve been writing the invites for those and updating our database of PITC supporters. I’ve been doing some graphic design work for the various mailings we’ve been sending out, which I’ve really enjoyed. My recent project has been to manage the visa application process for a New Zealand composer who is coming over to work on Pig Iron’s TWELFTH NIGHT in December. If you have never written a visa application for an alien artist, I hope you never have to. It is quite a process, though will hopefully make a big difference to the production because the composer specializes in Maori and Balkan folk music and I don’t know how many other people can say that.

Last week I found out that I got the grant I applied for from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. I enjoyed writing the grant, so getting it was even more exciting. However, Keith Chen, the speaker for whom I wrote the grant, has dropped off the face of the earth and hasn’t responded to email or phone calls in two or three weeks, which is making everyone uneasy. I suggested Tweeting at him because we’ve tried everything else, but I think that may be our absolute last resort.

I went out to lunch yesterday with Emily Cronin and Michael Rushmore (HCAH intern at Philly Mural Arts) and was reminded that my days at Pig Iron are winding down. I only have two weeks left, which means I’ll be leaving just as the rehearsals for PAY UP really start to get off the ground. Luckily, I’ll only be down the Main Line and still plan to be involved peripherally in some publicity and social media things. I have recently struck up a Twitter friendship/flirtation (under the pseudonym @PigIronTheatre of course) with WHYY reporter Peter Crimmins and I’m not ready to let that go just yet.

Yours,
Alice
Pig Iron Theatre Company
* there will be an interview with Anna and Quinn Bauriedel (PITC Co-Artistic Director) posted on our Tumblr sometime next week. payup2013.tumblr.com

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