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Penn Live Arts Blog / October 2020

Discussion: Medieval Poet Dante Alighieri

Posted October 26, 2020

Theatre

Florentine Dante Alighieri is the author of the immortal poem Divine Comedy, a spiritual journey from hell - through purgatory - to paradise, in which religion, politics, and love intertwine. Arguably the greatest and most famous Italian poet, Dante died in exile in Ravenna in 1321. Now, 700 years later, Ravenna's Teatro delle Albe, one of the most important experimental theatre companies in the world, celebrates Dante in its show fedeli d’Amore (Love’s Faithful). The show is one of the numerous projects generated by the Teatro delle Albe’s Cantiere Dante (Dante Workshop), which includes the performance of the entire Divine Comedy in Ravenna with the participatory support of its citizens: Inferno and Purgatorio were presented in 2017 and 2019, Paradiso is expected to be performed in summer 2021. The Teatro delle Albe brought the Dante project in various geographical locations (such as Matera), organized workshops (Timisoara), and produced a film about their experience of staging Dante with school children and teenagers in Kibera (Kenya). Read more...

Caution! Beware! Haunting Halloween Fun Ahead

Posted October 22, 2020

Family

No tricks here! We’ve got a bunch of frightfully delightful treats for you and your monstrous crew. Halloween may look a bit different this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t concoct a wickedly good time. Gather your goblins and ghouls for some spooky decorating tutorials, an audio drama of the classic Dracula, a Danse Macabre dance party, scary ghost light stories, and much more. Happy Halloween friends and fiends!

Creepy Crafts and Spooktacular Stories
Our friends at People’s Light are sharing several tutorials to help amp up your decorating. From monster window silhouettes, papier-mâché pumpkins and yarn spider nests, your Halloween décor will be the best on the block. And next week, check out the company’s seasonal campfire tales via ZooOOooOom. 

Dracula Radio Drama
A love story, mystery and globe-trotting adventure! The University of Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP) bring the classic gothic horror story Dracula to life. Take a trip back to the days of radio plays as the REP partners with WVUD 91.3 FM for a five-part audio drama series. Listen now to episodes 1-3 and then catch the remaining two live presentations on-air at 7 PM on Oct 23 and 30.  Read more...

5 Questions with Meg Bragle

Posted October 20, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends Early Music Special Features

Photo by Tatiana Daubek
Discover more about Annenberg Center artists and others whom we find interesting in only five questions. Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle returns to our stage on November 15 alongside lutenist Richard Stone, co-director of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare. Meg also happens to be a Penn Department of Music Artist-in-Residence and we are thrilled to welcome her to our stage for an evening of music by Purcell, Dowland, Encina and other beloved early music composers. But first, read on to learn more about Meg and how she grew up with impactful music experiences. Read more...

#BecauseOfArtsEd amidst a pandemic

Posted October 15, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends

While we greatly miss seeing all of you in our theatres this fall, we particularly feel the absence of our youth audiences at our weekday Student Discovery matinees. We continually witness the impact of arts education, and while access to these wonderful programs already had barriers, the pandemic has doubled down on those challenges. Class trips are cancelled, teaching artists and programs are reduced or nonexistent and theatre doors are indefinitely closed.

Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) said during National Arts in Education Week this September, “2020 is unlike any other year. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has threatened the traditional delivery of education and, with it, arts education. With 63 percent of community arts organizations having severe financial loss and 90 percent have cancelled events, and most schools currently pursuing a virtual learning environment, there is an immediate challenge to ensuring that the arts can maintain their valued place in the school day and after school as well.” Read more...

Families can get up and moving with 5 easy arts activities

Posted October 13, 2020

Family

Do some ridiculous magic, learn the samba or make a puppet! With days spent on zoom classes and doing virtual learning, we know families need engaging, hands-on activities to get children moving and having fun. Enter New York’s New Victory Theater and these five, easy arts activities. Your child can clown it up with silly magic tricks, learn to juggle, make household objects come to life or samba across the living room, all with little to no materials or set-up from you (parenting win!).

Looking for even more arts activities? We shared about New Victory’s Art Breaks before as there are tons of great opportunities for kids to try acrobatics, tap dance, prop making, and so much more. Check out the full series here.

Hopefully these quick and simple arts activities help you create some family fun sometime soon! Read more...

5 Questions with Tivon Pennicott

Posted October 6, 2020

Penn Live Arts Debuts Jazz Special Features

Let’s learn more about tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott in just five questions! This three-time Grammy® Award-winner is making his Annenberg Center debut on October 22 as part of our fall 2020 season. We know he’s in-demand, as the go-to tenor player for Stevie Wonder, Jon Batiste, Gregory Porter, Esperanza Spalding and more, but we’re eager to discover more about this rising jazz star.

1. Talk about your background.

During the American civil rights movement, my parents were listening in a small town in Jamaica from a choppy radio signal on all the happenings. As the early beginnings of positive change came to be, the Land of Liberty became more enticing to my folks. They decided to move to North Carolina in the mid 70's. They eventually moved to Marietta, Georgia where my sister and I were born. Needless to say, our way of living remains deeply rooted within our Jamaican heritage. Read more...