Lawrence supports court challenge to DACA program rescission

Lawrence University has joined 49 other colleges and universities in signing an amicus curiae — friend-of-the-court — brief supporting a legal challenge to the proposed end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The universities signed the brief as part of a civil action which the University of California is pursuing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

President Mark Burstein
President Burstein

Lawrence is the only Wisconsin institution to join this brief. Similar briefs have been signed and filed by Ivy League colleges and higher education institutions with religious affiliations.

The California lawsuit challenges a Sept. 5 order rescinding the five-year-old policy that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Congress was given a six-month window to pass a replacement law before DACA protections are eliminated.

Officials estimate approximately 800,000 young adults brought to the United States as children by their parents qualify for the program, giving them the right to work legally and remain in the country without fear of deportation.

“Ensuring Lawrence remains open to students from all backgrounds who display academic excellence is a core value of this university,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein.  “DACA has provided a valuable avenue for talented students to pursue a college education and meaningful work.”

According to the brief, ending DACA will harm campuses and some of the best and brightest students across the country. It could deprive institutions of highly skilled and trained faculty and staff. It could force students to suspend their studies mid-way through their educational journey, leaving them with no degree to show for their efforts.

Perhaps most importantly, even for schools without DACA students, supporting DACA is central to the institution’s core mission of providing an education to help people realize their ambitions and potential and contribute to the community, the country and the world.

The brief states, “The rescission of DACA devalues that mission without any rational basis. In that respect, it harms all amici (those 50 institutions of higher education who signed the brief).

Students walking across campusThe brief concludes by noting “DACA is an enlightened and humane policy and it represents the very best of America. It provides legal certainty for a generation of high-achieving young people who love this country and were raised here. Once at college or university, DACA recipients are among the most engaged both academically and otherwise. They work hard in the classroom and become deeply engaged in extracurricular activities.

“Moreover, DACA students are deeply committed to giving back to their communities and more broadly, the country they love. These are not the types of individuals we should be pushing out of the country or returning to a life in the shadows. As institutions of higher education, we see every day the achievement and potential of these young people and we think it imperative that they be allowed to remain here and live out their dreams.”

The brief reflects the interests of institutions across the spectrum of higher education, including large public research universities, small private liberal arts colleges and two-year community colleges. Additionally, more than 800 college and university presidents have signed a letter to Congress urging them to take action to protect Dreamers.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Cultural competency series presentation examines microaggressions

 Self-affirming and empowering strategies for individuals who have been targets of bias will be the focus of the latest presentation in Lawrence University’s cultural competency series.

Head shot of Lawrence vice president for diversity and inclusion Kimberly Barrett
Kimberly Barrett

Kimberly Barrett, vice President for diversity and inclusion and associate dean of the faculty at Lawrence and Elizabeth De Stasio, Raymond H. Herzog Professor of Science and professor of biology, will co-lead the interactive program “Powerful Ways to Respond to Microaggressions, Stereotypes & Isms” Thursday, Nov. 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration would be appreciated at div-inclusion@lawrence.edu.

Beth De Stasio

The program will include social science research to inform participants’ understanding of concepts related to microaggressions and stereotypes. De Stasio, who, with department colleagues and students, co-founded LEDS — Lawrentians Enhancing Diversity in the Sciences — will incorporate stories of microaggressions students have experienced in the natural and social sciences in a series of role-playing exercises as part of the program.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Hitting the right note: Five students earn first-place honors at state singing competition

Five Lawrence University students earned first-place honors at the annual Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers and Singing (NATS) competition held Nov. 2-4 at UW-Stevens Point.

Nick Fahrenkrug
Nick Fahrenkrug

Nick Fahrenkrug, a sophomore from Davenport, Iowa, won his second straight NATS title, capturing the men’s second-year college classical division. In the finals, he sang “Crucifixion” by Samuel Barber, “Chanson a Boire” by Maurice Ravel and “Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen, Zagen” by Richard Strauss.

Emily Austin
Emily Austin

Emily Austin, a sophomore from Washington, D.C., won the women’s second-year college classical division. She performed “La Maja Dolorosa 1” by Enrique Granados, “Spring and Fall” by Ned Rorem and “Notre Amour” by Gabriel Faure in the finals.

Martha Hellerman
Martha Hellerman

Martha Hellermann, a senior from Shorewood, won the women’s fourth-year college classical division after singing “Frère voyez!…Du gai soleil” by Jules Massenet and “En Sourdine” by Gabriel Faurè in the finals.

Reever Julian
Reever Julian

Reever Julian, a freshman from Chicago, Ill., won the men’s first-year college classical division. He sang “In Diesen Heil’gen Hallen” by Mozart and “Tobacco” by Tobias Hume in the finals.

Sarah Scofield
Sarah Scofield

Sarah Schofield, a freshman from West Lafayette, Ind., won the women’s first-year college classical division. She performed “Winter” by Dominick Argento, “Il fervido desiderio” by Vincenzo Bellini and “L’Énamourée” by Reynaldo Hahn.

Fahrenkrug and Reever are students of John Gates. Schofield and Hellermann study in the voice studio of Joanne Bozeman. Austin is a student of Ken Bozeman. All five students received $150 for their winning performances.

Lawrence was represented in the NATS competition by 41 singers, 26 of whom reached the semifinals and 10 who reached the finals.

Freshman Marieke de Koker, Pretoria, South Africa, and sophomore Emily Richter, London, England, both earned second-place honors in their respective divisions while freshman Baron Lam., Galesburg, Ill., and junior Anna Mosoriak, Highland, Ind., earned a third-place recognition in their respective categories. Mosoriak also placed third in the women’s upper-level college musical theatre division.

Second-place finishers received $125 while third-place performers were awarded $100.

The NATS competition features 28 separate divisions grouped by gender and level. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Attention all smilers: Professor Rob Neilson needs you for public art project at Fox Cities Exhibition Center

For anyone who has ever dreamed of being “immortalized,” now is your chance.

Rob Neilson
Rob Neilson

Rob Neilson, Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence University, is looking for nearly 10,000 people who would be willing to have their face — in the form of a headshot — included in the commissioned art project “We Are Here” that will be installed in the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

The finished project will be a series of 10 individual portraits. Covering an area 10-feet-by-7-feet, each individual “face” will be a mosaic made up of nearly 1,000 individual photographs of people from throughout the Fox Cities.

Neilson will be taking photos of anyone interested in being included in the project on the following days and locations:

• Downtown Appleton Farm Market – Nov. 11: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.artist rendering of We Are Here portrait project at Fox Cities Exhibition Center

• Appleton Public Library — Nov. 18: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

• Fox Cities Performing Arts Center — Nov. 8: 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Nov. 9: 7- 8:30 p.m.

“After completing public art projects all over the country, I’m thrilled, and a just a bit overwhelmed, to be undertaking this enormous community-based art project here in my hometown,” said Neilson. “The opportunity to create a public art project in the Fox Cities that is not only for the public but also about the public has provided me the chance to engage face to face with people throughout our community and reminds us all that we are the public in public art.”

Mosaic portraitThe “We Are Here” project was commissioned by the city of Appleton and will be installed on the ground floor of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. The grand opening celebration for the center is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2018.

For more information on the project, visit http://www.weareherefoxcities.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/WeAreHerePublicProject.

If any area group or business or event anywhere in the Fox Cities would like to schedule an opportunity to participate, contact the project at: WeAreHereFoxCities@gmail.com.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Interfaith panel to explore themes in the film “Easter Mysteries”

John O'Boyle
John O’Boyle

The Easter narrative will be explored through a screening of the 2016 musical feature film “Easter Mysteries” followed by an interfaith panel discussion Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

John O’Boyle, a 1969 Lawrence graduate, will introduce the film, for which he was the lead producer. He also wrote the music, libretto and lyrics for the film. Featuring a culturally diverse cast of talented roadway veterans who have appeared in such hits as “Les Miserables,” “Porgy and Bess” “Phantom of the Opera” among others, “Easter Mysteries” is the first depiction of Christ’s death and resurrection told through the eyes of the disciple Peter.

The film shines new light on the Biblical story of Jesus Christ in human terms: ordinary people with hopes, dreams and fears, uncertain of what lies ahead, but in following his journey to the cross and eventual resurrection, they learn the valuable lesson of love.

O’Boyle is a two-time Tony Award-winning producer of a host of Broadway plays. He earned won Tony Awards for “La Cage aux Folles” in 2010 and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” in 2013.

He also has produced Broadway productions of August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?,” “A Catered Affair,”“Glory Days,” “Elling,” and “It Shoulda Been You” and a stage production of “Marguerite” in London.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre at Lawrence, O’Boyle earned a master of fine arts degree in direction from Catholic University.

Rev. Mike Goodwin
Rev. Mike Goodwin
Jerry Zabronsky
Jerry Zabronsky
Elliot Ratzman
Elliot Ratzman

Following the film, Linda Morgan-Clement, Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, will moderate a panel discussion focused on the film’s intent to tell the Easter narrative in a way that removes some of the historically anti-Semitic overtones while inviting Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Joining Morgan-Clement on the panel will be Rev. Mike Goodwin of Appleton’s Memorial Presbyterian Church; Jerry Zabronsky, president of Appleton’s Moses Montefiore Synagogue; Elliot Ratzman, postdoctoral fellow of Jewish studies in Lawrence’s religious studies department; Lawrence senior Ellen Jacobson and junior Rebecca Bernheimer.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Set the Expectation: Survivor-activist Brenda Tracy leads program on sexual assault

Brenda Tracy shares her story of being a sexual assault survivor Tuesday, Nov. 7 in a Lawrence University presentation-discussion. The event, “Set the Expectation,” at 5 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center, is only open to members of the Lawrence community.

Following her talk, Tracy will facilitate a group discussion on sexual assault.

Brenda Tracy
Brenda Tracy

Tracy was 24, a single mother of two boys working as a waitress in the small Oregon town of Keizer, a suburb of the state capital, Salem, in June, 1998. On a trip to Corvallis with her best friend to visit the friend’s boyfriend and others, Tracy wound up being gang raped by four men, including two members of the Oregon State University football team, during what she told police was a seven-hour ordeal.

The four men were arrested and booked into jail, but were never charged with a crime. The district attorney had a solid case, but needed Tracy’s cooperation to get a conviction. For a variety of reasons, she wavered.

In a 2014 interview with The Oregonian newspaper — the first time she had ever been publicly identified as the victim — Tracy spoke about having been sexually abused as a minor, up until age five by a family member, and again by a neighbor when she was nine. Following the incident in Corvallis, she felt she was a victim, on her own again, and wasn’t strong enough to deal with any of it.

“What happened to me was not my choice,” Tracy told the paper. “What they did to me was not my choice. They violated me. I was garbage to them. I’d made my mind up after talking to police that I was going to do the rape examination, then I was going to go kill myself. I was going to commit suicide. I was already dead.”

Instead, she found the strength to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and later an MBA. Today she shares her story as an activist-survivor nationally, works as a registered nurse in Portland, Ore., and serves as a consultant for Oregon State University.

“In recent months sexual violence has received extra attention through social media campaigns,” said junior Elias Hubbard, secretary of the student organization MARS (Men Against Rape and Sexism), which is hosting the event. “While this is a great step forward in recognizing the extent it proliferates our society, we need to do more. Men need to do more. Brenda Tracy’s message is one of inclusion and has proven effective at bringing men into the struggle to end sexual violence.”

In conjunction with MARS, which considers the roots of sexual assault and works toward a goal of prevention, Tracy’s visit is supported by Fox Valley Voices of Men, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Reach Counseling, Harbor House and Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services Inc., with funding provided by the Community Health Action Team (CHAT) of ThedaCare and the the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lizz Wright, Storms/Nocturnes headline Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Lizz Wright and the immersive trio Storms/Nocturnes headline Lawrence University’s 37th annual salute to all things jazz.

Lizz Wright outdoors leaning on a fence
Singer Lizz Wright opens this year’s Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend with a performance Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo by Jesse Kitt.)

Wright opens the two-concert weekend Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. while Storms/Nocturnes shares the stage with Lawrence’s own 18-member jazz ensemble Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. to close the Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend. Both concerts are in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $30/$25 for adults, $25/$20 for seniors and $20/$18 for students are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Wright, who NPR describes as “a sophisticated straddler of down-home blues, jazz, gospel, folk, southern pop and confessional singer-songwriter traditions,” will feature her latest studio album “Grace,” which was released in September. The album is an unadulterated reflection of Wright’s sense of place and belonging that’s deeply woven into the cultural fabric of America.

An invitation to openly contemplate our humanity, “Grace” is Wright’s proclamation to unearth our fundamental kindness and generosity. She uses it as vocal rite of passage, tracing the landscape between her native central and south Georgia and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, N.C., where she currently makes her home.

“Grace” showcases the warm and weathered colors of Wright’s voice. Leaning into curated classics and contemporary covers, she pierces form with gentle and unfettered individuality.Album colver for Lizz Wright's "Grace"

“Lizz Wright is one of the most captivating vocalists in the jazz world today” said Patty Darling, director of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble and instructor of music. “With her powerful voice, she blends elements of gospel, blues, jazz, folk and pop music to create songs that inspire and connect her audiences.”

Storms/Nocturnes, a trio of international jazz giants — British saxophone legend Tim Garland, world-leading vibraphone virtuoso Joe Locke and Grammy Award-nominee pianist Geoffrey Keezer — create a unique three-way dialogue of captivating, immersive music. Melding their distinct styles and backgrounds, they create music that can be spacious or immensely complex, delicate but almost orchestral in depth. They collectively find their way into a new mood or feel before the listener realizes they have left the old one.

_________________________________________________
Lizz Wright is one of the most captivating vocalists in the jazz world today.”
— Patty Darling, director of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble
_________________________________________________

Garland was voted “Musician of the Year” in 2006 by the Cross-Parliamentary Jazz Society. He has received commissions from the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Westminster Abbey Choir, as well as numerous small and large jazz-based ensembles.

He earned a 2009 Grammy Award for helping create “The New Crystal Silence,” which celebrated the long partnership between jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton.

Locke, a vibraphonist renowned for stunning physical power and broad emotional range, has topped music polls and won multiple awards, including Earshot Golden Ear Awards for “Concert of the Year” and 2016 “Mallet Player of the Year” from the Jazz Journalists Association.

Jazz trio Storms/Nocturnes
Storms/Nocturnes — pianist Geoffrey Keezer, saxophonist Tim Garland and vibraphonist Tim Locke — perform Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 as part of Fred Sturm Jezz Celebration Weekend. They’ll be joined by the Lawrence University Jezz Ensemble.

London’s Royal Academy of Music appointed Locke Visiting International Vibraphone Consultant in 2008 and last year he was honored by his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., with induction into the city’s Music Hall of Fame.

Keezer, an Eau Claire native and two-time Grammy Award nominee, began playing jazz clubs as a teenager and was touring the country in his 20s with such jazz luminaries as Joshua Redman and Benny Golson.

__________________________________________
They are incredible performers and composers who are so tight in their bonds with each other. Their musical energy, passion and communication must be experienced.”
— Patty Darling on Storms/Nocturnes
__________________________________________

His intellectually abstract lyricism woven over exotically complex rhythms and harmonies makes him one of the most sought-after artists on the modern jazz scene.

Keezer has performed on projects ranging from solo to duo to quartet, from bandleader to big band, from post-bop jazz to electronica to global fusion. His 2009 CD “Áurea” earned a Best Latin Jazz album Grammy nomination. He teamed with Garland and Locke on the album “Via” in 2011 while he released his latest solo piano disk, “Heart of the Piano” in 2013.

Darling is excited about having LUJE join the talented trio on stage.

“They are incredible performers and composers who are so tight in their bonds with each other,” said Darling. “Their musical energy, passion and communication must be experienced. It will be a huge thrill for our students to perform with them.”

In addition to the two evening concerts, Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend features a series of free performances and clinics by Lawrence combos, big bands, jazz faculty and high school bands, with more than 700 high school and middle school students participating throughout the day on Saturday. A complete schedule can be found here.

Lawrence’s annual Jazz Celebration Weekend was renamed two years ago in honor of long-time music professor Fred Sturm, its founder and mentor who passed away in 2014.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Noted American pacifist asks “Is Peace Possible?” in university convocation

For the past 35 years, Colman McCarthy has “preached” the gospel of nonviolence as an award-winning journalist, author and educator.

McCarthy brings his pacifist message to Lawrence University Tuesday, Oct. 31 in the second address in the university’s 2017-18 convocation series. McCarthy presents “Is Peace Possible?” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. A quesntion and answer session will follow immediately after McCarthy’s remarks.

The event is free and open to the public and will also be available via live webcast.

Colman McCarthy
Colman McCarthy presents “Is Peace Possible” Oct. 31 as part of Lawrence University’s 2017-18 convocation series.

During a teaching spanning decades, McCarthy often has been a critic of a system that traditionally features a curriculum long on wars and generals, but short on those who advocate nonviolent force to resolve conflict. He is fond of saying if we don’t teach children peace, others will teach them violence.

Since the mid-1990s, McCarthy has taught classes on peace literature throughout the Washington, D.C. area at various levels, including Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Maryland, American University and Georgetown University Law Center.

In addition to his teaching duties, McCarthy serves as the director of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C., an organization he founded in 1985 to assist schools launch or expand peace studies programs.

A stuttering problem as a youth turned McCarthy’s interests to writing. A voracious reader, McCarthy began working as a columnist for the Washington Post in 1969. With instructions to become “a solution finder,” McCarthy wrote frequently about people engaged in the art of peacemaking, such as activist David Dellinger and singer Joan Baez. He was recognized for his nationally syndicated column with the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award. For the past 18 years, he has written biweekly columns for the National Catholic Reporter.

McCarthy also has written 14 books, including 2002’s “I’d Rather Teach Peace” in which he chronicles his experiences introducing the theory and practice of creative peacemaking to classrooms ranging from a suburban Washington, D.C. high school to a prison for juveniles to Georgetown University Law Center.

After graduating from Spring Hill College, a Jesuit institution in Alabama, in 1960, McCarthy spent five years at a Trappist monastery in Georgia as a lay brother. Assigned to the dairy crew, he tended to 150 head of cows, including shoveling manure, a task which has said,  was “a good preparation for journalism.”

In 2010, McCarthy was awarded the $30,000 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, which honors an outstanding scholar, practitioner or policymaker in order to raise awareness of and to promote the expansion of the field of peace education.

McCarthy’s appearance is supported by the Class of 1968 Peace and Social Activism Fund. Established in 1993 by members of the Class of 1968 in honor of their 25th reunion, the fund supports individual or collaborative projects by students and faculty that address issues related to peace and social activism in a historical or contemporary context from a local, regional, national, or global perspective.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Theatre Arts Dept. presents “The Burial at Thebes”

The conflicts between individual freedom and the security of the state, as well as the limits of divine and civil law, get a theatrical examination in Lawrence University’s production of “The Burial at Thebes,” Seamus Heaney’s version of Sophocles “Antigone.”

Four performances will be staged in Stansbury Theatre Oct. 26-28 with an 8 p.m. show each night and an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 28. Tickets, at $15 for adults, $8 for students/seniors, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Scene from the play "The Burial at Thebes"
Junior Ming Montgomery portrays Tiresias, a blind prophet who predicts a calamity if King Creon does not allow Antigone to properly bury her fallen brother. (Photo by Billy Liu)

The play was commissioned by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 2004 by Irish Nobel laureate Heaney as a response to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the on-going struggles to settle peace following the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland. Though originally produced in ancient Athens, the play’s characters — Antigone, her sister Ismene, her fiance Haemon and her uncle Creon — seem as current today as they did in the 5th-century BCE.

The production uses the visual imagery of early 20th-century Calabria, Italy, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1905, to evoke a society recovering from massive disruption, as ancient Thebes was recovering from civil war.

The central character, Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, learns that her brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, have killed each other after being forced into opposing sides during the Theban civil war.

Creon, the king of Thebes, grants Antigone permission to bury Eteocles, who supported the state, but not Polyneices, who fought against it. She defies Creon to provide Polyneices peaceful passage to the underworld. In retaliation of her defiance, and against his advisor’s caution that his action could anger the gods, Creon orders Antigone to be buried alive.

“At a moment in history when we are struggling profoundly to find ways to compromise with each other, the story of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ remains as relevant as ever it was,” says Adriana Brook, assistant professor of classics, who served as dramaturg for the production. “It reminds us of the terrible price that we might pay if we cannot or choose not to make space for the quiet and courageous voices urging us toward moderation and mutual understanding.”

Scene from the ending of the play "The Burial at Thebes"
Senior Liam McCarty-Dick, as King Creon (lower right corner) realizes the curse he has placed on himself by putting his law above the expectations of the gods. (Photo by Billy Liu)

Timothy X. Troy, Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, who is directing the production, hailed Heaney’s adaptation as “a masterpiece.”

“It’s such a great joy, indeed a great good fortune, to have a version of ‘Antigone’ that preserves the general themes and core conflicts of the original, while speaking in a clear contemporary voice,” said Troy. “Only a great poet like Seamus Heaney could produce such a masterpiece as “The Burial at Thebes.”

Senior Jenny Hanrahan, Johnsburg, Ill. portrays Antigone and senior Liam McCarty-Dick, Madison, plays her uncle, the king Creon. Antigone’s sister Ismene is played by sophomore Flora Aubin, Columbia, Md., while freshman Oscar Robert Lunday Brautigam, Appleton, portrays Antigone’s fiancé Haemon.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Former Madison mayor discusses universal benefits of biking in guest lecture

Dave Cieslewicz
Dave Cieslewicz

Dave Cieslewicz, executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed, examines the benefits of biking — even to those who never get on a bicycle — in the Lawrence University address “The Bicycle: Freedom for Everyone.”

The address, Tuesday, Oct 24 at 7 p.m. in Thomas Steitz Hall of Science Room 102, is free and open to the public.

Cieslewicz will explore the reasons why bicycles provide universal benefits, even to those who don’t like them, why they generate such strong feelings and what the future might hold for bicycles and the people who ride them.

Bicycles offer freedom of movement and freedom from the high cost of motor vehicle ownership. According to Cieslewicz, it’s not about being against certain modes of travel, but about giving people real freedom of choice. For cyclists, that means more safe places to ride.

As the mayor of Madison from 2003 to 2011, Cieslewicz led efforts to make the city one of the country’s most bike-friendliest places. He is the founder of the 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization focused on land use and transportation policy.

Dave Cieslewicz with bicyleWisconsin Bike Fed works to cultivate, motivate and unite citizens, businesses and political leaders to promote bicycling in Wisconsin through community education, legislation and involvement.

Cieslewicz’s appearance is sponsored by the Barbara Gray Spoerl Lectures in Science and Society. Established in 1999 by Milwaukee-Downer College graduate Barbara Gray Spoerl and her husband, Edward, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on the role of science and technology in societies worldwide.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.