‘Shared Space’ Experience: A Work in Progress Viewing Sept. 30

Colgate University News

(Hamilton, NY – Sept. 2012) Eminent theater director Karin Coonrod, renowned nationally and internationally for re-imagining the classic canon with an auteur’s perspective, is in residence at Colgate University through the end of September. Here, she and collaborator Gina Leishman, composer, will be further developing their music-theater adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s children’s book, “The World is Round.”

In a public viewing of this work-in-progress Sunday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m. in the Bremmer Theater on campus, the Colgate community and surrounding communities have a rare opportunity to be invited inside the theater-making technique of a great American practitioner. Immediately after the showing, there will be an opportunity for questions and reflection on the material among the collaborators, the performers and the spectators.

This residency by Coonrod and Leishman provides Colgate students a privileged, inspirational exposure to theater-making and engages the Colgate community in the important process of encouraging and supporting the development of new work, providing a shared space, time and resources to work expansively, or in depth, or to pursue innovations in the field.

The World Is Round, written in 1939, is the transcendent story of the journey of a young artist, a girl named Rose, meant for children as well as adults. In the hands of Coonrod and Leishman, the project explores the tensions of identity, the roundness of the swirling world, and the musicality of Stein’s language within a form that approaches opera.

Coonrod is a theater maker whose work has been hailed by The New York Times as “prodigiously inventive” and “galvanic,” and by The New York Observer for “clear-eyed imaginative intelligence.” She is perhaps best known for her epic HENRY VI, created at the Joseph Papp Public Theater where she was Artist-in-Residence.

Founding Director of critically acclaimed Arden Party Theatre Company (1987-1997) in New York City, she produced, directed and designed texts by many classical greats including Shakespeare, Beckett, Wilde, Brecht, Sophocles and Ionesco.

Leishman is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performer. She composes for theater, opera, dance, film, television and concert stage, and has garnered numerous awards for this work. Collaborations with other artists include directors Robert Woodruff, Lisa Peterson, Daniel Fish and Joseph Chaikin, writers Ellen McLaughlin, Tony Kushner and Naomi Wallace, choreographers David Gordon, Bebe Miller and Deborah Slater, composer Doug Wieselman and performance artists Rinde Eckert and John Kelly.

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