Performing arts explode on campus

Acting ensemble main stage production, dance performances, music concerts, and art by students and faculty all on view at end of term.

May 24, 2017

Students perform Lanford Wilson’s The Rimers of Eldritch.

The arts are in bloom on campus this month, as Exeter’s thespians, actors, dancers and visual artists take to the stage — and the gallery walls, so to speak — to share the fruits of their talents, vision and hard work with the Academy community.

Directed by Rob Richards, chair of the Theater and Dance Department at Exeter, the spring Main Stage production of Lanford Wilson’s The Rimers of Eldritch is the story of a small mining town struggling in the face of the coal industry’s demise. Wilson’s play examines what happens when that community is forced to confront some painful truths in the aftermath of a sexual assault. The play, presented last weekend, was an invitation to the Exeter community to build empathy and continue, through theater, some of the urgent conversations taking place on campus this year, according to Richards.

Exeter’s musicians will be keeping time in The Bowld during their annual end-of-year performances: Concert Band, Jazz Combo and PEA Jazz Ensemble; Orchestra Concert, with performances by the Symphony Orchestra, featuring the 2017 Concerto Competition Winner Hoojoon Kim '17 and additional performances by Symphonia and the Chamber Orchestra; the Choral Concert, with performances by the Concert Choir, Exeter Choral Union, Women’s Chorus and Vocal Chamber Ensemble; and the Chamber Ensembles, with performances by student chamber groups.

This year’s spring Dance Concert explores 100 years of film and cinema. Through choreography created by Dance Department faculty, guest artists and students, PEA’s dancers offer interpretations of classic films and pay homage to a range of genres, including beach films from the ’6os and movie musicals from the ’40s and ’50s. Master drummer and choreographer Theo Martey and the PEA West African Drumming Ensemble make special guest appearances.

On display in Lamont Gallery until June 4, “INDY 500 ... and beyond” features work by advanced art students. Highlights of the exhibition include a giant Wonder Woman, colorful animation, sophisticated fashion design and large-scale portrait photography. Related events include the “Syllabus Project” in which Art Department faculty work alongside students, and the 2017 edition of “We All Bleed Red,” a powerful exhibition of art and writing, in which PEA students explore diversity, identity and community as they attempt to answer the question: “What is it like to be ___ and ___ at Exeter?”