A&E Briefs 10/19

Mary Racette

Online play readings help students develop new work 

It was 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday night as Grand Valley State University students ranging from freshman to alumni gathered on a livestreamed Zoom call with associate professor of theatre Jim Bell. The fourth and final night of the Student Play Reading Series was about to commence. While theatre struggles to find its place in the new online world, the GVSU Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance is creating a space for student writers to share new work. 

The four playwrights – Meredith Fletcher, A. Shull, Chavala Ymker, and Hamlet Arnott – were all a part of an independent study Playwriting II class in Winter 2020. By the end of the semester, each student had a rough draft of a one act or full length play. When the planned public reading didn’t happen in April, Bell and the students knew that somehow they would make sure their scripts had the chance to come alive.  

Read the full story on www.lanthorn.com

Students brighten walls with custom social justice poster creation event

Drop in to the Haas Center for Performing Arts (PAC) and make your own poster. On Oct. 22, the free event will offer participants sanitized materials to customize their wall decor. The event will take place in the Art Gallery and will run from 3-6 p.m. Anyone is welcome to participate and they are encouraged to choose a social justice cause and use the provided template to guide their way through their creative process. This opportunity will also be available Oct. 29 from 2-5 p.m. 

The event is inspired by The Celebrate People’s History poster series in the Art Gallery. The series consists of a diverse collection of posters which highlights important people and events in various social justice movements. In the last 20 years of the series, nearly half a million posters of over 125 designs have been showed and distributed.

Artists urges people to vote through her work

Local Grand Rapids artist Carol A. Johnson intends for her series “Attack on Democracy in America” to encourage people to use their right to vote. Her artwork was displayed in an open-house event at Emerging Voices Center For Healing at Coopers Landing in Grand Rapids. The event brought local artists together to spread their message.

Systematic racism and police brutality are themes represented in Johnson’s work. She hopes that her series will call attention to these issues as well as inspire people to vote.