Headlong Performance Institute production features Bryn Mawr students, alumnae

Posted October 29th, 2008 at 5:38 pm.

Menda Francois ’09, Kate Tomaskovic ’09, and Lucy Edwards ’08 will be taking part in the first faculty-directed production presented by the Headlong Performance Institute (HPI) this Wednesday and Thursday.

“The Girl With the Rainbow Socks: A Haunted House/Performance at the Parlor” will be staged Oct. 29 and 30 at 7, 8:15 and 9:30 p.m. each evening. The performance is free, but audience size is limited, so those wishing to attend should RSVP at info@headlongperformanceinstitute.org or (215) 545-9195. HPI is located at 1170 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

The performance is billed as “an evening of songs, dances, and other sundry events that will stimulate your eyes, ears, nose, and mind. If you are coulrophobic [afraid of clowns], definitely stay away.” A Halloween performance is particularly apropos, given that HPI is housed in a former funeral parlor.

A unique semester-away program, HPI offers an intensive performance curriculum shaped by liberal-arts values. Participants earn academic credit through Bryn Mawr.

“HPI is like studying abroad, but in Philly, and with working artists as your teachers,” explains HPI Coordinator Lauren Dubowski ’08. Faculty members include artistic directors of Headlong Dance Theater and Pig Iron Theater Company, as well as Mark Lord, Chair of the Theater Department at Bryn Mawr. “This fall, we have 16 students from a variety of colleges, as local as Bryn Mawr, the University of the Arts, and Temple, and as far away as Bennington.”

During the first half of HPI’s inaugural semester, students have attended the LiveArts/Fringe Festival, seen productions at the Wilma Theater, and seen a performance by Gas & Electric Arts. In the next few weeks they’ll be seeing Shen Wei Dance Arts at Swarthmore as well as the Montreal-based company La La La Human Steps at the Kimmel Center.

“Students were able to see more than 20 performances in the LiveArts/Fringe
Festival, some of which featured work by members of the faculty. It was an amazing opportunity for young artists to see so much work at once, and a great introduction to Philly and the kind of art that’s made here,” says Dubowski.

In addition to attending performances, HPI’s curriculum consists of four interrelated courses:

  • Live Art Analysis and Critique: An Up-Close Encounter With Performance in Philadelphia
  • Performance Techniques: Three Proposals
  • Composition for Movement-Based Artists: Improvisation, Ensemble, Collaboration
  • Independent Projects: Creating Original Work

HPI is now accepting applications for next fall on a rolling basis through March 1. Early applications are encouraged. Interested students can e-mail info@headlongperformanceinstitute.org or  visit HPI at any point during the semester to observe classes or talk with the students and faculty. The application is available online at http://www.headlongperformanceinstitute.org/apply_now.html.

Filed under: arts,BMC Homepage Headlines,Events by Tracy Kellmer

Comments are closed.