Alumni, Faculty, Student Work Showcased in 'After Orlando' Oct. 13

Oct. 10, 2016

Alumni, Faculty, Student Work Showcased in 'After Orlando' Oct. 13
Joan Lipkin '75 and Jared Campbell '17 discuss the direction of Webster's "After Orlando" production.

The work of Webster University alumni, students, and professors will be on extensive display for “After Orlando: An International Theatre Action” on Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m. at the Arcade Contemporary Art Projects gallery, in Webster’s Gateway Campus. Admission for the event is free.

Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts is proud to participate in “After Orlando: An International Theatre Action,” a collection of 71 new short plays written in response to the tragic shooting at Pulse Night Club on June 12, 2016.

Webster University Alumni, Student & Faculty Participation

Distinguished Webster Alumna Award recipient Joan Lipkin ’75 will have her play “Our Friends” featured in the Webster’s production. “It's thrilling to me how universities, colleges, as well as theatre companies have responded to this tragedy as an occasion to raise questions about gun control, transphobia, homophobia, and the oppression of people of color," said Lipkin. "There's something very important about reading and staging these plays because to perform is to enter the experience of the other. It is a crucial gateway to empathy and one more tool to encourage appreciation of diversity.”

Lipkin serves as the producing artistic director of the St. Louis based theatre company That Uppity Theatre Company. That Uppity Theatre Company will also be presenting "After Orlando" on Monday, Nov. 14, in conjunction with the St. Louis Fringe Festival. Lipkin hopes to include Webster students in that evening’s performance.

Gad Guterman, assistant professor in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts, is producing the production. “When playwright Caridad Svich invited Webster to participate in the ‘After Orlando’ project, I knew that we had to find a way to join this extraordinary effort," said Guterman. "I’m not sure that we can make sense of such a senseless and horrific act of violence. But ‘After Orlando’ at least offers us an opportunity to strengthen our sense of community, to remind us of theatre’s power to remember, to speak out, to mourn, and to celebrate life. For me, that’s what the project has meant. I’m especially delighted that ‘After Orlando’ has afforded us an occasion for the departments of theatre and art to collaborate.”

For Webster’s production of “After Orlando,” dramaturgy students selected ten plays to be directed and performed using all Webster students. Conservatory student Jared Campbell ’17 will be directing Lipkin’s play and got the rare opportunity to sit down and speak with the playwright. Although a script provides a sufficient blueprint, there's nothing quite like the experience of having the playwright in the room to talk about intent, rhythms, the moments that things shift and different people's needs are foregrounded.

after orlando
Free admission to the Oct. 13 event.

Lipkin said, “I am delighted to once again partner with Webster, my cherished alma mater and to have my play included in their presentation of plays from the ‘After Orlando’ collection. Once again, it is to Gad Guterman's credit that he seeks out and develops significant opportunities for his students and the Webster community to engage with important issues like gun control, homophobia and transphobia and the targeting of communities of color.”

Students from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and the Department of Art, Design & Art History collaborate to read selections from the collection of short plays. The reading will last approximately one hour. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early or stay late to also enjoy the exhibit at the Arcade titled “Rendered Visible.”

Selected Plays for “After Orlando: An International Theatre Action”

  • Today Is a Good Day by Katie Pearl
  • Everybody Gets a Stick by Deborah Zoe Laufer
  • Barbar and Celeste by Israel Horovitz
  • (Ob)scene by Jeff McMahon
  • Gone Silent by Jennifer Maisel
  • Claim by Ken Urban
  • #ORLANDO by Tyler Darling
  • The 49 (Los 49) by Paul Castaneda & Leesa Castaneda (featuring “Somos Uno,” music and lyrics by Elsten C. Torres)
  • Our Friends by Joan Lipkin
  • Orlando by Elaine Romero

"After Orlando: An International Theatre Action” Webster Performance

Thursday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.
Free admission
Arcade Contemporary Art Projects Gallery
Webster University Gateway Campus
812 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63101

About “After Orlando”

"After Orlando" is an international playwright driven theatre action including over fifty playwrights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Africa. Plays have been specifically written and curated in response to this tragic event and will be read across the country and in the UK throughout this fall through December. The playwrights are donating their work for this initial launch. 

The project was conceived by Missing Bolts Productions (artistic directors Blair Baker and Zac Kline) and the NoPassport Theatre Alliance and Press (founder Caridad Svich) in New York City. Webster University joins over fifty colleges, universities, and national and international theatres that are sponsoring readings of new plays commissioned in remembrance of the victims including The Finborough Theatre (London); Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and the LGTB Center (NYC); Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center (DC); The Inge Center (Independence, KS); Shot Gun Players (Berkeley, CA); Boston Court Theatre and the University of Southern California (Los Angeles); Miami New Drama (Miami) and many more.

Submitted by Jared Campbell '17, Conservatory of Theatre Arts student

tags:  academics, alumni, college of fine arts, webster life, webster today, conservatory, community engagement,