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Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS)

Dance faculty member seeks common ground in the rural West

Alex Ketley's film documents his research about the role dance plays in rural life and challenges the "urban/rural prejudice" commonly found in urban environments.

In 2012, Alex Ketley identified a pattern in his work as a dancer and choreographer: he had worked almost exclusively in urban centers and performed for city-based audiences – most of whom were already accustomed to modern dance. “It was almost like preaching to the choir,” Ketley mused. Creating work for like-minded patrons in art-saturated…

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“The Tempest” behind the scenes

Stanford Theater & Performance Studies presents William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a vibrant, out-of-this-world tale of romance, revenge and forgiveness. As Shakespeare’s works go, few are more magical than The Tempest, a fantastical and deeply human play about an exiled sorcerer, his budding daughter, a civilization abandoned and a world reborn. This production is presented in…

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Stanford alum returns to campus as visiting artist to explore connections between his art and other disciplines

Sculptor Will Clift creates multiple intersections with a range of disciplines, including dance and music in a multimedia production in Bing Concert Hall’s Gunn Atrium.

When artist Will Clift, BS ’02, MS ’03, was at Stanford, his course load included classes on nearly everything but making art. As an undergraduate he majored in integrative design, an individually designed program that combined engineering, philosophy and psychology. He then earned a master’s degree in management science and engineering. With the exception of…

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Stanford arts leadership capitalizes on Arts Initiative momentum

Harry Elam and Matthew Tiews are taking the arts to the next level.

When Harry J. Elam Jr. began his career at Stanford 26 years ago in the Department of Drama, as it was known then, the Dance Division had not yet joined the department, Roble Gymnasium was still an athletics facility and the arts district was years away from conception. His office in Memorial Auditorium was literally…

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Carl Weber, Stanford professor emeritus of drama and a protégé of director Bertolt Brecht, dies at 91

Carl Weber was a treasured mentor at Stanford, as well as a cutting-edge director who brought German experimental theater to America.

Carl Weber, the eminent director who brought German experimental theater to America, died in his sleep in Los Altos on Dec. 25. The Stanford professor emeritus of drama was 91. During the 1950s, the German director had been a protégé of Bertolt Brecht, one of the leading theatrical innovators of the 20th century. Weber was…

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Stanford’s renovated Roble Gym welcomes student performers and spectators

Students quickly get to work making art following a $28 million renovation of the historic building.

Stanford students wasted no time getting into the renovated dance studio and new black box theater at Roble Gym in order to prepare for fall performances. A trio of inaugural public performances includes an evening of dance solos featuring Stanford doctoral candidate Rebecca Chaleff in the dance studio, the upcoming production of Spring Awakening, The…

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New Stanford dance performances highlight different views toward ‘space’

Four Stanford dance faculty members created four new dance works, showing how dance interacts and engages with space in different ways. The performances took place in Memorial Auditorium.

With a nod toward the artistry of “space,” the dance performance Spatial Shift will take place May 26-27 in Memorial Auditorium on the Stanford campus. The final event in the Department of Theater & Performance Studies’ 2015-16 performance season, Spatial Shift is a series of new dance works by Stanford faculty members Diane Frank, Aleta Hayes,…

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Stanford’s historic Roble Gym to open in the fall after arts-oriented renovation

Harry Elam, vice provost for undergraduate education and a drama professor, will direct the first theater production in the newly renovated building.

Roble Gym is undergoing a $28 million renovation to provide new program spaces for theater and dance productions for theDepartment of Theater & Performance Studies. The Roble upgrade will be finished late spring or early summer, and then open to students when the fall term begins in September. One key goal is to create a…

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For Robert Moses, rehearsal is full of amazing, beautiful, wonderful things that nobody else will ever see.

When Robert Moses was a young member of Twyla Tharp Dance and ODC, he threw himself into performance with the spirit of an athlete. Today, his artistic life is less about performance, the “jumping over people’s heads,” and more about sharing – with himself, with students, with other dancers. In addition to teaching at Stanford, Moses…

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Happy 2016!

The arts had an amazing year at Stanford in 2015.

With the opening of the McMurtry Building, the new home for the Department of Art & Art History, we reached a milestone in the university’s ongoing commitment to building programs, curricula, and resources in the arts. The new building provides an architecturally exciting and inspiring home for the department, allowing it to expand its programmatic…

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Stanford performances and symposium highlight architecture

Stanford continues to be the "it" place for architecture with upcoming dance performances on Nov. 7-8 and a symposium on Nov. 13 with international experts.

It has been weeks since the last hard-hat spotting in the arts district, but buildings remain in the spotlight at the corner of Roth Way and Lomita Drive. This weekend, architecture will be considered and celebrated through the medium of performance. Building Scene: Space Launch, performed by the Chocolate Heads Movement Band, is a dance…

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Artistic works influence our minds and nervous systems, Stanford scholar reveals

Stanford theater historian Matthew Wilson Smith's new research shows how 19th century brain science has nerved its way into the drama of our lives, both onstage and off.

No two disciplines could seem further apart than theater and science, but, as it turns out, they’re intimate bedfellows. As Stanford professor Matthew W. Smith has discovered, modern theater – and, by extension, film and television – basically owe their life to the scientific study of the nervous system. An associate professor of German studies…

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Anna Deavere Smith talks about the healing power of stories

Smith is best known for her one-woman, multi-character performances, which depict people reflecting on moments of intense catastrophe.

On Oct. 28, hundreds gathered at Memorial Auditorium for a night of storytelling and conversation with former Stanford faculty member Anna Deavere Smith, an award-winning pioneer in the field of documentary theater. Smith is best known for her one-woman, multi-character performances, which depict people reflecting on moments of intense catastrophe. Her plays range in dramatic…

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Congratulations 2014-15 graduates!

Go forward and remember the words of your Baccalaureate speaker and civil rights leader Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. who said that the world was calling out for you to realize your talents – not just for your own gain – but also to lift up those in whose shoes, but for the grace of God,…

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Eva Perón, icon and spirit, is reimagined on the Stanford stage

Students perform the musical Evita while artifacts from Hoover's Juan Domingo Perón papers, Eva memorabilia and contemporary video interviews of Porteños are featured in a companion exhibition.

Stanford junior Sammi Cannold is a great admirer of fem-icon Eva Perón, Argentina’s first lady from 1946 until her death in 1952. It all started with Evita. After seeing the 2012 Broadway revival in New York several times during her senior year of high school (it was at the top of her gift wish list…

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It’s May at Stanford and that of course means – an exciting smorgasbord of arts activities. Every weekend is packed with an abundance of arts options. Make some difficult choices – or attend them all! Here is just a sampling of what each weekend brings: May 1-3: Musical Happy Hour with Fleet Street and Chanticleer…

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