April 11, 2011

College Theater Presents the Farcical King Ubu at Downtown Arts Plaza April 13-16

Lafayette College Theater’s production of Ubu Roi (King Ubu) will be presented outdoors at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 through Saturday, April 16 in the arts plaza next to the Williams Visual Arts Building. Rain date is Sunday, April 17. Tickets for the performance are $6 for the public and are available by calling the Williams Center box office, (610) 330-5009.

Ubu Roi, by Alfred Jarry, premiered in France in 1896 and marked the beginning of avant-garde theater and an aesthetic that influenced art movements such as Dada, the surrealists, and the absurdists. The play uses scatological humor and farce to present Jarry’s views on art, literature, politics, the ruling class, and religion. The first night it was performed in Paris, fisticuffs broke out and critics condemned it as vulgar and obscene.

Directed by Suzanne Westfall, professor of English, the production is part of an interdisciplinary course she co-teaches with Ed Kerns,  titled, DADA: Visual and Performing Art.

The play’s set designer is Jeffrey Helm, associate professor of mechanical engineering. The majority of actors are Lafayette students, however, several high school students, involved with the art department’s Community-Based Teaching program directed by Jim Toia, will join the cast for an over-the-top take on the satirical play.

In conjunction with the play, the Lafayette Association of Visual Artists will hold an Evening of Paint from 4:30-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 at the Williams Visual Arts Building. The event will feature live music in the arts plaza, food and multimedia sculptures. Participants will work together to create a mural that will be displayed at the Williams Center for the Arts.

The Williams Visual Arts Building and the arts plaza are part of the College’s new $10-million Williams Arts Campus. It will serve as the new headquarters for Lafayette’s theater and film & media studies programs.

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