Sunday, June 23, 2013

Creative Writing, Acting and Ballroom Dancing Instructors Give Evening Presentations

by Catherine Roberts, OSAI PR Counselor

Students had a chance to get in on the action for the Wednesday evening faculty presentation and showcase. Presenting were creative writing instructor Sherwin Bitsui and acting instructor A. Dean Irby. 

Bitsui is the author of two books, Flood Song and Shapeshift. He is from White Cone, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation and is the recipient of an American Book Award. 

Bitsui included his students in his presentation by expanding the performance space to include the bridge to the Performing Arts Center. The students stood at intervals along the bridge, reading their own original poetry as the audience crossed. 

Another writer, Allison Hedge Coke, whom he called a mentor and collaborator, performed with him. Taking turns reading from their respective works, the poets placed their two pieces in dialogue with one another. 

After reading, the pair took questions from the students, including one about how they know when a poem is finished. Both indicated there isn’t really a way to know for sure, that "a poem is never finished, only abandoned." Coke mentioned that she even changed lines from her work as she was reading that evening. 

Dean Irby has numerous acting and directing credits to his name, including a role in a Broadway show as well as several years serving as an acting coach on The Cosby Show. He spoke about his career, and then asked for volunteers from the audience to demonstrate a basic acting exercise.

He gave each volunteer a “script” consisting of two words: “Yes,” and “No.” The challenge was to come up with a reason to switch from saying the first word to the second and back again.

On Thursday evening, the ballroom dance instructors were on display. Alee Reed and Rainer Trubere first screened the documentary film Mad Hot Ballroom, about the American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms program, in which both have been involved. The pair then took questions from students and gave a brief demonstration of "The Hustle." This year at Quartz Mountain, students are participating in ballroom dance classes in between sessions of their primary discipline.

No comments:

Post a Comment