Theatre and Performance Brown Bag Lunch Series

Wednesday, Feb. 14Lerman.png
Presented by Mark J. Lerman

Interested in Object-Oriented Ontology? Sound a little heady? Does it help if we asked you to just come talk OOO! Better yet, how about you bring your lunch and come join the students and professor from the Puppetry in Performance class as we share with you our work on animating objects. This class is focused on what the puppeteer needs to do to bring an object to life. We will present and discuss what is involved in finding the breath and gaze of an object. How we go about finding that object’s destiny in terms of how it moves, sees and interacts with the world around us.

Mark J. Lerman is a freelance theater director, an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University, MFA candidate in Performance Pedagogy at VCU, and the Proprietor/Director of the Virginia Theatre Machine (VTM). Audiences might be most familiar with VTM through its production of Master Thespian’s A Christmas Carol, performed annually to thousands in Merchants Square, Colonial Williamsburg since 2008. Mark was the Artistic Director at The Perishable Theatre in Providence, RI from 1990 to 2005, and has served on grant panels for Theater Communications Group, National Endowment for the Arts Residency Program for Playwrights, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.  


Friday, March 30
Presented by Christina Baker

César Enríquez, cabareterx par excellence, conjoins song, dance, and drama in his one-woman show, La Prietty Guoman. Over the span of 60 minutes, La Prietty tells a story steeped in Mexico’s racist rhetoric that has not only violated La Prietty’s psyche but also her body. Sold into slavery as a trans-woman, her body has been abused to the point of abstraction. She no longer exists within the living world, not only because the gruesome femicide that took her life, but the fact that she never existed according to her family, the news, and the State. To transmit this story, though, La Prietty relies on references to the 90s film, Pretty Woman, and pop stars from the United States. Imbued with humor and peppered with horrific tales, La Prietty Guoman pulls all the punches. To read this performance, I consider the ramifications of the 1990s neoliberal economic policy, NAFTA, and the increased commodification of the female body as seen via femicides and Mexico’s sex trade, in tandem with Judith Butler’s notion of precarious life. By putting on Mexico’s stages, from marginal ones to institutional ones, La Prietty raises awareness about the lives the State has sought to erase by giving names to the women lost and commemorating their existence.  

Christina Baker is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at the College of William & Mary. She earned her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Contemporary Latin American Literature with a minor in Ethnomusicology and Theatre. Her research focuses on performance, theatre, queerness and music in contemporary Mexico.


Friday, April 13
Presented by Prof. Laurie J. Wolf