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2016
Friday, April 15th
4:00 PM

A Decade of Deaf Theatre: An analysis of theatre within the Deaf Community, the expansion of its acceptance, and the influence it has today

Cortney Wells, University of Montana, Missoula

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

The gap between two worlds, Hearing and Deaf, has started to close thanks to the world of Theatre. This growing phenomenon has started to manifest in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, offering new found ways of expression, acceptance, and growth. The dramatic, positive turning points that have occurred in the last ten years of Deaf Theatre has had a big impact on the Deaf community. However, little information exists about where this growth has stemmed from, prompting my research into why this has occurred and what it has done for the Deaf community. Primary sources such as interviews with deaf schools, several Deaf individuals who are interested or have partaken in the theatre for the deaf, and print sources pertaining specifically to the Theatre for the Deaf. Secondary sources are also going to play a role in my research such as books, articles and reviews on deaf portrayals or productions. Due to the lack of detailed research on this particular topic, my research contains original inquiries and holds a unique viewpoint. It investigates recent events that have significance for the deaf/hard of hearing and hearing world alike. Companies like Deaf West and the National Theatre for the Deaf have started paving the way through high profile shows such as Pippin, Big River, and most recently, Spring Awakening. These companies and high profile shows are opening up many doors for the deaf and hard of hearing communities. The reveal of Deaf theatre is surprisingly new and innovative and offers numerous opportunities for this community. With these opportunities, the Deaf population can provide the hearing public and new perspective on an unfamiliar culture.

4:20 PM

The Art of Sound

Sarah N. Fugman, University of Montana, Missoula

4:20 PM - 4:40 PM

I have assembled a collection of my sonic art projects and combined them into a sound trailer. The piece is showcasing my abilities as a sound artist and what I have learned and created in the media arts program. My goal as a sonic artist is to become a sound designer for a film production company. The first piece is a sonic portrait that paints an audio picture of my internal process of interacting with my favorite films, which have had a huge impact on my life. The challenge was to create a sound piece that described this without any visuals to rely on. The second piece is from my first semester at the University of Montana. I chose a music video by the “Lonely Island”, and re-articulated the sonic environment by creating a new and unique sonic pallet. Using Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software I re-edited the visuals, and using Logic Pro 9 audio software, I created the final audio mix which included dialogue, ambient sound, foley, and effects. The third piece expanded my abilities by introducing a programing language into the creation of sonic art. Programming allows me to create real time interactive sonic art experiences. This project challenged me to think differently about sound and opened up a new world of sonic possibilities. The last piece is part of a project I have been working on for a while. Similar to my 2nd piece, I removed all the sound from the music video “ I bet my Life” by Imagine Dragons and re-articulated the sonic environment. With so many projects to create and learn from, I continue to explore the numerous possibilities in sound advancements from designing a sound studio to exploring different kinds of audio software programs.

4:40 PM

Improvisation as a Tool for Choreography and Performance

Emily Curtiss

4:40 PM - 5:00 PM

In her book Dance Improvisations, Joyce Morgenroth wrote “Structured improvisation is a mixture of conscious choice and spontaneous reaction. It includes periods of sustained concentration and moments of unreproduceable magic.” This “magic” is what I am chasing in my choreography this year. My project in Creative Scholarship is an exploration of the ways that improvisation can be used as a tool for choreography and performance. The bulk of my research includes finding ways to use improvisation scores from the Judson Dance Theatre and other significant artists who were active choreographers in the 1960s. I am drawn toward the works of the Judson Dance Theater because of the many different styles and experiments that came from this movement, from very neutral and straightforward to eclectic and performative.

Improvisation and collaboration is a huge part of being a working dance artist today. This process has not only been beneficial to myself in helping me find my personal movement style and choreographic preferences, but it has also benefited my cast of dancers by exposing them to a variety of choreographic and improvisational tools and practices. It is a crucial skill in collaborative work to be able to follow improvisational prompts and structures and to be able to generate material, and this process has provided practice in both of those areas. This project can be considered original research because although I am using historical improvisation scores as inspiration, I am also altering them, blending them with contemporary styles, and coming up with my own improvisation scores, which are then used to inspire original choreography.