Instructor Glennon Graham is professor of history and director of the Freshman Seminar Program at Columbia College.
A panel discussion, music, and dramatic readings by baritone William
and faculty and students from the Department of Performance Studies.
From 12:30pm-5pm in Lutkin Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston Campus, 700 University Place, Evanston, IL
Admission: $4 adult; $3 Faculty, Staff, Senior Citizens; Students with ID, free.
In an age when American theater has grown increasingly divorced from public life, Tony Kushner, one of the nation's leading playwrights, insists on the artist's role as political provocateur. His "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" received the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, along with a slew of other honors. Newsweek called it ". . . the broadest, deepest, most searching American play of our time . . . " among an avalanche of critical acclaim. Kushner writes about everyday characters who collide comically and tragically with profound matters of faith, death and moral responsibility.
"The centennial celebration of Paul Robeson's birth provides a window on the roles and responsibilities of the artist as citizen and activist," says Norman Alexandroff, executive coordinator of the Chicago Center for Arts Policy. "The challenges to creativity and self-censorship in the country under Senator Jesse Helms are hopefully a relic, not a harbinger, of the era of Senator Joseph McCarthy."
Kushner and the panelists will address issues including: the costs and repercussions of activism at the millennium; whether American is seeing a resurgence of political and social activism by artists; what has been learned from Paul Robeson's experience, and whether it has relevance today.
Panel moderator Amina Dickerson has more than twenty years of experience in the arts and cultural arena, and currently serves as director of corporate contributions for Kraft Foods, Inc. Her previous positions include director of education for the Historical Society, Distinguished Visitor with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and president of DuSable Museum of African American History. Along with Tony Kushner, panelists include Fred Fine and Ifa Bayeza. Fred Fine was appointed by Mayor Harold Washington as the first commissioner for Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs. A veteran arts manager and advocate, he is director of public affairs at Columbia College Chicago and senior consultant to the Chicago Center for Arts Policy. Ifa Bayeza is artistic director of Court Theatre, the professional theater at the University of Chicago.
Roosevelt University -- Saturday, December 5, 1998 -- performances
The title--taken from a speech he made at the height of the Spanish Civil War -- illustrates Robeson's firm belief that an artist, as an integral part of a democratic society, must always be counted on the side of peace and justice.
Robeson was honored by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade with the award of the 3-star insignia of the ALBrigade, in recognition of his outstanding support of the Spanish cause--which included performances in Spain during the SCW.
Director Phyllis Griffin, Associate Professor in the Theatre Department of DePaul University, has directed many American social-commentary plays--from Lorraine Hansberry to Sam Shepard. The actors are well-known on the Chicago theater scene: Fred Stone, Alma Washington (recently inducted in the Union Hall of Honor of the Illinois Labor History Project for her prominent work in labor theatre with the Women and Labor History Project), and Robert Goodwin (formerly with the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre).