January 29 – Joey Plaster: Vanguard Revisited: Co-Performing Queer Histories in San Francisco’s Tenderloin

“Vanguard Revisited” was an imagined conversation between two groups of queer homeless youth activists based in San Francisco’s Tenderloin: one that in 1966 founded the seminal organization Vanguard, and another which in 2011 “reconstituted” Vanguard around contemporary concerns by reenacting the organization’s street theater, artistic productions, and organizational structure. The project’s goal was not merely to reenact a discrete historical moment, but through these temporal pairings to “body forth” a lineage of Tenderloin-based cultural activism that may be partially obstructed by the archive. I draw on my experiences with this project to suggest, more generally, approaches to generating historical material through co-performances with the individuals who embody the consequences and promises of the histories we hope to represent.

January 22 – Carolee Klimchock: Humor Hung Like a Horse: Coachmen and Coaches as Satirical Sites for Discussions of Class and Power in the Gilded Age

Humor “by its nature tends to seek out and reveal incongruities” and the site of the Gilded Age horse-drawn coach was one of drastic visual, social, and performative contrasts, making it especially ripe for staging humor about power imbalances.[1] Rich and poor alike being pulled by four unpredictable animals endowed the scene with a sense that ‘anything could happen,’ which is rich terrain for comedy.  Add to which, real sex scandals between heiresses and coachmen in the Gilded Age enrapt the public.  Thus humor pieces about class conflicts often used the site of the coach or the person of the coachman as it material, turning them easily into caricatures, puns, and double entendres.  A coach in motion inhabited a liminal space: being on it was to be neither here nor there, and to not know if you were coming or going.  On the coach the servant–not the master–held the reins, and coachmen got into trouble by horsing around with society belles who were sometimes driven by passion to elopement. (Puns intended.)

[1] (Jerry Farber, “Toward a Theoretical Framework for the Study of Humor in Literature and the Other Arts” Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Winter, 2007), p. 84.  

January 15 – Shaping Community: Poetics and Politics of the Eruv with Curator Margaret Olin

Shaping Community: Poetics and Politics of the Eruv

Three exhibitions exploring a Jewish spatial practice curated by Margaret Olin in three parts at the ISM Gallery of Sacred Arts, the Allan and Leah Rabinowitz Gallery (Slifka Center), and the 32 Edgewood Gallery.


guided tours available. Call 203.436.5955

Israel: Gated Community

October 8 – November 16 Extended through January 2013
Allan and Leah Rabinowitz Gallery*

Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale 
80 Wall Street

Hours: M-F: 10am-5pm; Weekends: noon-4pm



This Token Partnership

October 10 – December 14

ISM Gallery of Sacred Arts  
409 Prospect Street

Hours: W-F: noon-6pm; Weekends: noon-4pm


Internal Borders

October 17 – November 30

32 Edgewood Gallery

Yale University School of Art
Hours: M, W-Sun:1-6pm; closed Tuesdays

*The exhibition at the Slifka Center is made possible through the vision and leadership of Barbara Slifka, the Hauptman Arts and Media Endowment, and the Rothko Fund of Slifka Center.


November 13 – Discussion of David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette (Yale Rep)

The young queen Marie Antoinette delights and inspires her French subjects with her three-foot tall wigs and extravagant haute couture. But times change and even the most fashionable queens go out of style. In David Adjmi’s humorous and haunting Marie Antoinette, idle gossip turns more insidious as the country revolts, demanding liberté, égalité,fraternité!


David Adjmi’s recent Off-Broadway plays, Elective Affinities and Stunning,were hailed by The New Yorker for their “gorgeous blend of narrative, girl talk, and politics.” The world premiere of Marie Antoinette reunites the playwright with director Rebecca Taichman, who staged Adjmi’s play, The Evildoers, at Yale Rep in 2008.


November 6 – Drew Hannon – The San Francisco Diggers and Performance and Everyday Life

In their short time of existence the Diggers of San Francisco had a profound impact upon the their immediate surroundings in San Francisco and on the American Counterculture as a whole.  In the nineteen-sixties radicalism and resistance to cold war hegemony took many forms, from the lunch counter sit-ins to demonstrations that attempted to levitate the Pentagon.  The Diggers arose as a part of, and in response to, the radical zeitgeist sweeping the nation. Popular perception and scholars of the American youth movement of the 1960s have divided it into the expressly political and earnest New Left and the apolitical and superfluous Counterculture.  Drawing on the written records of the Diggers (their broadsheets, pamphlets, and manifestos), the memoirs of former members (in particular Emmett Grogan and Peter Coyote), as well as interviews and contemporary mediarecords, I will demonstrate the ways in which the Diggers problematize this distinction. Understood within the context of the growing community of Haight-Ashbury, the growing radicalization of young Americans, and a growing political theater movement the Diggers disrupt this categorization and reveal it to be a false dichotomy.  As an expressly political street theater group the Diggers strove to make what some have described as the micropolitics of resistance, those everyday acts by which ordinary people resist the dominant culture, expressly political.  They sought to use the methodology and tools of experimental street theater to promote a revolutionary praxis.  They attempted to transform daily life through the power of everyday acts.  By acknowledging the power of average people they strove to harness individual acts, to teach people that they could act as if the world they imagined already existed, and through this enacting, they would create the condition they described.  They sought to transform individuals into life actors– self conscious agents of social change.

Film Screenings and Dialogue with Polish Laboratory Theatre Actors

Thursday, November 8, 2012 – 7:00 PM 
One of Jerzy Grotowski’s major theatrical productions, Akropolis transports the action of Wyspiański’s drama from Wawel Hill to Auschwitz.
Followed by a discussion with the actors moderated by Marc Robinson (Professor of English and Theatre Studies)
Friday, November 9, 2012 – 7:00 PM
Based on Calderón de la Barca’s play, The Constant Prince features Ryszard Cieślak in the role that came to be known as the embodiment of Grotowski’s notion of the ‘holy actor.’
Followed by a discussion with the actors moderated by Paige McGinley (Assistant Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies, and African American Studies)
DAVENPORT AUDITORIUM,  248 York Street, New Haven
Events are Free but seating is limited
RSVP here
Saturday, November 10, 2012 – 10AM – 2 PM
Workshop with Mieczysław Janowski and Andrzej Paluchiewicz, Actors of the Polish Laboratory Theatre
220 York Street, Ballroom  — Email Dominika Laster for more information:  dominika.laster@yale.edu

Mieczysław Janowski worked in the Laboratory Theatre for eight years, playing in the theatre’s core productions, including Faust, Akropolis, and The Constant Prince.  After the Laboratory Theatre’s dissolution in 1984, Janowski continued acting in the Dramatic Theatre in Wałbrzych and the Wspołczesny Theatre in Wrocław.  Janowski’s acting was not limited to the theatre; from 1962 to 1986 he appeared in over 85 feature films.  In 1999, the President of Poland awarded Janowski with the Golden Order of Merit for his entire artistic oeuvre.

Andrzej Paluchiewicz worked with Jerzy Grotowski from 1966 to 1976.  He was an actor in the Laboratory Theatre and took part in the paratheatrical activities, which followed the Theatre of Productions phase.  Paluchiewicz was also the ensemble’s resident photographer. He is the author of some of the most iconic images of Grotowski’s productions.


This program is presented by Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale (IPSY) and the Theatre Studies program at Yale University. The events are part of the Poland-U.S. Campus Arts Project, a program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, Poland.



November 13 – Lynda Paul – Las Vegas and Virtual Tourism: Sonic Shaping of Simulated Worlds

In 1998, anthropologist Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett noted that, “Increasingly, [tourists] travel to actual destinations to experience virtual places.” Over a decade has passed since Kirshenblatt-Gimblett demonstrated this phenomenon in Destination Culture: Tourisms, Museums, and Heritage, but the observation remains pertinent today: physically real locations—such as Las Vegas, Macau, and Disneyland—serve increasingly as the material grounds upon which virtual tourist experiences are carefully constructed. In such places, visitors from afar travel physically to one location in order to be immersed in sights and sounds that simulate other places and times. In the case of Las Vegas, the visual dimensions of such simulations (architectural replicas, etc.) have been theorized in a number of studies, but the role that sound plays in these virtual touristic experiences is only beginning to be addressed. This paper contributes to this discussion by investigating the multi-layered ways in which sound contributes to the creation of virtual touristic worlds on the Las Vegas Strip. I move from the sounds of the Strip itself (the hawkers’ cries, the casinos’ themed music) to the elaborate and frequently exotic sound worlds of the Strip’s most prominent entertainment today: its seven Cirque du Soleil shows. I argue that these shows self-reflexively mirror Las Vegas’s strategies of virtual tourism, using music in particular to evoke a sense of experiential travel by asking the audience to be virtually absorbed in a spatially or temporally distant world, and ultimately creating a sense of expansive touristic experience within the otherwise emphatically site-specific shows.