Editor’s note: This release was updated April 3, 2018 to reflect a date change.

University of Richmond’s Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts, presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance, offers performances, lectures, artist residencies and master classes that encourage visitors to examine the ways in which the personal and the political are intertwined.

The theme “The Personal is Political / The Political is Personal” brings together theatre artists and scholars whose work explores notions of identity, citizenship and the challenges of personal and collective action.

“We use the arts to ask big questions,” said Dorothy Holland, one of this year’s co-organizers and an associate professor of theatre and women, gender and sexuality studies. “We use theater to ask questions about life: who we are, how can we be and how we are with each other. This year’s theme is about exploring a sense of the multiple facets of one’s identity in relation to the social world. Politics is not just in Washington. The intersections between politics and our personal lives extend everywhere." 

Patricia Herrera, the other co-organizer and associate professor of theatre and American studies, said: “The artists were chosen to invoke curiosity and push boundaries of the normative. ‘Political’ does not just mean political parties, and ‘personal’ also doesn’t just mean private. The specific residencies have been chosen to engage the campus community and the larger Richmond community in a dialogue of the intersections of the personal and political in all of our lives.”

Students will have one-to-one interactions with several of the visiting artists, such as the award-winning playwright Taylor Mac, legendary feminist theatre group Split Britches, revolutionary poetic theatre ensemble Universes, and the groundbreaking international theatre-dance artists Nora Chipaumire. These residencies will help students develop their own creative work and enhance critical thinking about class, gender, race and sexuality.

All events are free and open to the public and include a question-and-answer session with the artists. Highlights include:

Nov. 9: A Conversation with Taylor Mac, 7 p.m., Jepson Theatre
Taylor Mac is an award-winning playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer, as well as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama and the recipient of multiple awards. Mac is the author of 17 full-length works of theater, including “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” “Hir”, “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth,” “The Lily’s Revenge,” “The Young Ladies Of,” “Red Tide Blooming,” and “The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac.” 

Feb. 22, “Party People Salon,” 7:30 p.m., Camp Concert Hall
Fusing theater, poetry, dance, music and politics, Universes Theatre Ensemble, a company of multi-disciplinary writers and performers, creates work that challenges and inspires social change. During their residency, Universes will teach master classes and offer a public performance of “Party People Salon,” which explores the complicated legacies of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. A talkback following the performance will include members of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. 

April 12, Performance by Nora Chipaumire, 7:30 p.m., Cousins Studio Theatre
While in residence at UR, Chipaumire will create her new piece, “self, un contained.”  She will host open rehearsals, giving students insight into her creative process. At the end of the residency, she will present a preview presentation of the work, with a Q&A session following the performance. The performance is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Online seating reservations will be available in February 2018.

For a complete schedule of events, visit as.richmond.edu/tucker-boatwright.

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Note for the media: Universes Theatre Ensemble will be on campus as Artists in Residence Feb. 17-23 and Nora Chipaumire will be on campus as an Artist in Residence March 26-April 15.

Related Campus Units

Theatre and Dance Department

Associate Professor of Theatre
Affiliate faculty in the American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Programs
Theatre as Social Change
20th and 21st Century American Theatre and Performance
Latina/o Cultural Productions
Solo Performance
Documentary Theatre
Gender and Performance
Hip Hop Performances
Associate Professor of Theatre and WGSS
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board Member
Theatre history
Gender studies