The Process Series: New Works in Development, now entering its ninth year, presents Spoken Justice, a season of provocative, powerful performances exploring seminal issues of social justice, past and present.
Focusing on North Carolina stories and local artists, the main series offers six culturally diverse, multi-disciplinary projects, including: The Black Pioneers Project (in partnership with the Southern Oral History Program) presenting important oral histories from the first African American students at UNC; Leaving Eden by Mike Wiley (in partnership with PlayMakers Repertory Company), about the fall-out of industrial plant closings on Tar Heel communities of color; Shattered Glass (in partnership with UNC’s Department of Communication), a spoken word poetry performance by Mohammad Moussa examining the 2015 shootings of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill; and Count by Lynden Harris/Hidden Voices, exploring life on death row through writings and conversations with inmates.
“This season focuses on questions of social justice more than any of our previous years, specifically exploring questions of race, class, gender, and sexuality,” stated Joseph Megel, founder and Artistic Director of The Process Series. “These issues are critically important to our state and nation, and we are proud to be presenting North Carolina-based artists who are deeply and imaginatively engaging with these challenging issues,” Megel added.
Additional Process Series performances will reach beyond the boundaries of North Carolina, examining Islamophobia and the plight of Syrian refugees in a spoken word performance by Will McInerney; exploring human sexuality in the first English translation (by Adam Versényi) of Ramón Griffero’s play, Your Desires in Fragments; and re-imagining Beethoven in Unraveling Beethoven: Beyond the Canon through a commission of new works by five composers, devised by violinist Nicholas DiEugenio and pianist Mimi Solomon.
We will also be offering our Round Table Reading Series where playwrights from across the country are given the opportunity to hear their works in early stages of development. Donors will receive special invitations to this series.
The Process Series continues pivotal partnerships with our sponsors, including the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, UNC Departments of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, Communication, Dramatic Art, English and Comparative Literature, and Music.
This season we are also delighted to announce new sponsors including the Center for the Study of the American South, the Southern Oral History Program, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and the Department of American Studies.
“The Process Series is a model example of interdisciplinary department collaboration, bringing first class, diverse performances to our campus, focusing on significant issues of our time and questions of social justice, past and present,” commented Dr. Terry Rhodes, Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities.
The Process Series supports established and emerging artists by providing space, time, and access to significant academic and artistic resources. Immediately following each performance, we ask our audiences to join in the creative process, providing feedback critical to the development of the work as it moves forward. The Series has supported approximately fifty artist residencies in its first eight years, with many of the projects going on to significant future lives nationally and internationally.
THE PROCESS SERIES 2016-2017 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: SPOKEN JUSTICE
Unraveling Beethoven: Beyond the Canon
Devised by Nicholas DiEugenio and Mimi Solomon
What does it mean for creative artists to work alongside the specter of classical works? Responding to specific pairings in the context of unique musical fabrics in Beethoven’s sonatas, violinist Nicholas DiEugenio and pianist Mimi Solomon commission five provocative new works for violin and piano (with optional electronics) from composers Allen Anderson, D.K. Garner, Robert Honstein, Jesse Jones, and Tonia Ko. Performances of the new works will take place in conversation with performances of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas.
Your Desires in Fragments by Ramón Griffero, translated by Adam Versényi
Co-sponsored with The Teatro Latina/o Series and Latina/o Studies
The plays of Chilean author Ramón Griffero, although well known in other countries, are still unfamiliar to English-speaking audiences. Your Desires in Fragments is part of translator and dramaturge Adam Versényi’s collection of the first English translations of Griffero’s dramatic works. As an openly gay former revolutionary, Griffero founded the theatre company Teatro del Fin de Siglo and El Trolley, a cultural space for resistance to the Pinochet dictatorship.
The Black Pioneers Project
Presented in partnership with the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP)
Over the past year, SOHP interns interviewed members of The Black Pioneers—the earliest African American students at UNC, who attended between 1952 and 1972. Using the personal accounts recorded from their interviews and told through performance, remarkable stories emerge of individuals overcoming racism and effecting lasting change at UNC and beyond.
Spoken Word/Spoken Justice: A Festival of Spoken Word Performance
Presented in partnership with the Department of Communication
Fri., Feb. 10, Sat., Feb. 11, Sun., Feb. 12 – Swain Hall, Studio 6 (see website for listing of performance schedules & times)
Stirring solo performance works by internationally renowned spoken word artists Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa, and Will McInerney focus on issues of social justice and our understanding of the Middle East and Muslim culture. Smego and McInerney will hold weeklong workshops for students during their residency and the festival will culminate in an open mike performance by student participants.
- Kane Smego’s When the Shadows Dance: How can a rapper from Zimbabwe, a cook from rural Alaska, a poet from Abu Dhabi, and an MC from Durham find common ground? Drawing on his experiences as an internationally touring poet, Smego’s odyssey in narrative verse explores hip hop as a global tool for community building.
- Mohammad Moussa’s Shattered Glass: Moussa’s multi-media, spoken word poetry about the tragic shootings in Chapel Hill of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, is a year of reflection and mourning wrapped in the power of storytelling. Shattered Glass will be performed on the anniversary of the students’ murders.
- Will McInerney’s Stories with a Heartbeat: In Live Performance: Host of a new WUNC podcast about the human condition, McInerney has been traveling the globe for the past eight years exploring conflict and what it says about human beings. McInerney’s live performance will focus on American Islamophobia and his field work in the Middle East interviewing Syrian refugees.
Count by Lynden Harris/Hidden Voices
Fri., March 3 & Sat., March 4 @ 8:00 p.m. – Swain Hall, Studio 6
Over the course of a single day on death row, six men divulge their personal inheritances of violence, racism, mental illness, poverty – and sometimes surprising love. Based on writings and conversations with prisoners throughout the U.S., Count invites us into a stark, fluorescent otherworld where the condemned struggle in the face of scheduled death to re-envision what it means to live fully.
Leaving Eden by Mike Wiley, directed by Vivienne Benesch
Co-production with PlayMakers Repertory Company
Fri., May 5 & Sat., May 6 @ 8:00 p.m. – Swain Hall, Studio 6
An original drama with regional music exploring the stories of people currently living in North Carolina Mill towns that boomed in the 20th century and closed down at the start of the 21st. Interviews in a variety of communities, with folks from diverse backgrounds, ages and circumstances will serve as the springboard for writer Mike Wiley and music director Laurelyn Dossett as they develop this piece. The play will have its world premiere in the 2017-18 PlayMakers season.
Dedicated to the development of new and significant works in the performing arts, The Process Series features professionally mounted, developmental presentations of new works in progress. The mission of the Series is to illuminate the ways in which artistic ideas take form, to examine the creative process, to offer audiences the opportunity to follow artists and performers as they explore and discover and by so doing to enrich the development process for artists with the ultimate goal of better art and a closer relationship between artists and audiences.