UNCSA’s Thomas S. Kenan Institute of the Arts, in partnership with the Hispanic League, presents a residency with The Frontera Project – an interactive, multilingual theater experience created and performed by a company of Mexican and American artists – including at both a free public show on Oct. 3 and student workshops.
The multilingual performance will merge theatre, movement and music, giving artists and audiences the opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversation about the richness and complexity of life on the US-Mexico border. The free performance, sponsored by the Kenan Institute for the Arts, will take place at Reynolds Place Theater inside the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Monday, October 3 at 7 p.m. Before the show, you can view the Hispanic League’s 30th Anniversary Visual Art Exhibit in the main gallery, featuring local artists of Latino and Hispanic descent, and the opportunity to purchase items from food trucks on the spot.
Sign up for free tickets to The Frontera Project on the Kenan Institute website.
In addition to the performance, members of the Frontera Project will lead workshops and conversations with students from UNCSA’s School of Drama and Liberal Arts Division during the residency. Developed by the guest artists in conjunction with UNCSA drama professors Andy Paris and Maggie Anderson, the workshops will explore the use of crafted theater in the creation of the Frontera Project and give students the opportunity to work with international artists. These improvised sessions will allow students to critically reflect on their role as artists in society and offer insight into the creative practice of telling uplifting stories through a non-textual approach. “Workshops give students the opportunity to participate in exercises and activities that can be a starting point for finding and shaping their own perspective and creative narratives, expanding their scope of possibilities for civic and community engagement through unique methods of storytelling, while experiencing the creative process of these professional artists and their work,” said Anderson.
Workshops give students the opportunity to engage in exercises and activities that can be a starting point for finding and shaping their own creative point of view.
Secondary, third and fourth year drama students will explore imagined theater through improvisational games and story-driven exercises. “The workshops will provide tools for them to use in their own work, while developing their own creative voice,” Paris said.
As outlined in UNCSA Forward, the university’s five-year strategic plan, The Frontera Project residence helps foster a culturally relevant curriculum and campus experience while expanding professional development opportunities for students. Kenan Institute support encourages and supports alliances aimed at strengthening the arts ecosystem and increasing artists’ contributions to the development of social and economic capital.
Kenan Institute for the Arts Executive Director Kevin Bitterman has followed the work of the project’s founding members and their creative partnerships for nearly a decade.
“Bringing this international ensemble to the UNCSA student body and the local arts community underscores the Kenan Institute’s mission to empower the next generation of leading artists,” he said. “Incorporating engaging interactive experiences like The Frontera Project helps transcend creative culture and community at the university. It also emphasizes the university’s commitment to curating inclusive and meaningful experiences for the student body while putting socially conscious topics at the forefront of this creative collective.
“Fostering an environment to expand global conversations with artists and how they use their voice is an experience students are excited to participate in,” added Bitterman. “I look forward to the global connectivity this project will bring to UNCSA students and the conversations that will follow the performance.”
Learn more about the Frontera project
The Frontera project was founded by Ramón Verdugo, Jessica Bauman and Jesús Quintero. Created through a series of workshops, it uses theatrical tools to transform unique and personal stories as well as to challenge common media narratives. The production’s mission is to highlight a common thread of recognition despite differences in perspective, identity and experience and to spark a dialogue about divisions and shared experiences.
“Our stage is an empty space that we fill every day with new experiences that we build together thanks to the conviviality of the theater, which today more than ever reminds us that it is a refuge to continue to connect with others. human beings, regardless of borders,” says co-creator and Tijuana, Mexico-based artist and educator Verdugo.
Bauman says his inspiration for The Frontera Project came after spending some time in Tijuana, which ultimately challenged his perception of the frontier.
“Without consciously realizing it, I had internalized the idea that the border was just a place of transit – and, in the case of Tijuana – covered in a fair amount of suffering,” Bauman said. . “What I found instead was a vibrant place with its own distinct hybrid culture. Of course migration and suffering are definitely part of the picture…. But there are so many other stories that we just don’t hear if we’re not there ourselves: art, music, a sophisticated culinary culture; people on both sides of the border with deep connections to the other side: living one side, but work, go to school, have relationships on the other side.
Learn more about the Kenan Institute for the Arts
The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts was established in 1993 to strengthen the arts by initiating and incubating new ideas within the various constituencies and executives of UNCSA. The Kenan Institute believes that artists can contribute their creative ideas, visionary leadership and innovative strategies to strengthen our culture, build businesses and generate innovative ideas. The Kenan Institute advances this vision by fostering new knowledge, building capacity, and forging strategic alliances in the arts and other sectors.
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