Visions & Voices Spring 2020

Palace of Fine Arts Pond SF

Theme Guides to selected programs from the Spring 2020 Visions & Voices program were created in partnership with USC Libraries faculty and staff.
Look for recommended books and readings on the people, performances and topics covered by these events.
Visit the current season of: USC Visions and Voices

Photo: Melissa L. Miller from California, USA, "Pond, San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts"

Nina—A Story about Me and Nina Simone: A Performance by Josette Bushell-Mingo (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Bing Theatre (BIT)

USC Libraries Contributor: Andrew Justice

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: Josette Bushell-Mingo’s searing and soulful theatrical production inspired by the life and music of legendary artist and activist Nina Simone will make its U.S. premiere at USC. With live musical accompaniment, Bushell-Mingo connects Nina Simone’s political acts as part of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement to struggles in her personal life and persisting inequities in today’s society, questioning how far we’ve really come. Some of Nina Simone’s best-loved songs gain new life in this production directed by Dritëro Kasapi with musical direction by Shapor Bastansiar. The performance will be followed a post-show conversation with Bushell-Mingo and USC professor Anita Dashiell-Sparks.

Nina—A Story about Me and Nina Simone is a co-production between Unity Theatre (UK) and the National Touring Theatre of Sweden and was originally performed at the Unity Theatre  in Liverpool in 2016. After that, it toured Sweden before its London premiere at the Young Vic and Scottish premiere at the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. The show toured the UK in spring 2018.

Kimberly Drew: On Contemporary Art, Activism, and Navigating Creative Careers (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Location: Doheny Memorial Library (DML), Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Room 240

USC Libraries Contributor: Stacy Williams

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: There are few more qualified to explain the power of social media and its impact on museums than Kimberly Drew. Sharing her experiences as the social media manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and as a freelance curator and art influencer, Drew will recount her unique career path and efforts to grow her audience and impact beyond museum walls.

A student-moderated Q&A will follow, touching on Drew’s personal journey in the art world, her work in fashion and the Internet, the digital power wielded by museum attendees and community members, and more. This special presentation is sure to inspire not only young art-minded professionals but anyone looking to dismantle power structures in the pursuit of diversity and equity.

The Life and Afterlife of Eurydice (and Orpheus) in Opera  (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

USC Libraries Contributor: Bryn Ziegler

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: In anticipation of the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera, composer/conductor Matthew Aucoin and playwright Sarah Ruhl will be joined by UCLA professor Kenneth Reinhard and singers from LA Opera’s Young Artist Program for an evening of musical performance and conversation. The event will explore the original and ongoing role of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the history of Western opera. Both the musical performances and the discussion will range from earlier Orphic music by Monteverdi and Gluck to recent pieces by Harrison Birtwistle and others, including excerpts from Aucoin’s new opera.

Traditionally, Orpheus is the subject of the story, while Eurydice is no more than a lost object. Aucoin, Ruhl, and Reinhard will invite the audience to examine tradition and then break it, posing many questions: Why do composers of opera continue to turn to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice? What special resources does the story offer to composers and librettists, and how have they understood the way it presents problems of life and death, memory and forgetting? And what does it mean to portray Eurydice as the central consciousness of the story, as Aucoin and Ruhl do in their opera?

A book signing with Sarah Ruhl will follow.

Sean Dorsey Dance: BOYS IN TROUBLE  (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Location: Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center

USC Libraries Contributor: Andrew Justice

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: Sean Dorsey is a San Francisco–based choreographer whose works powerfully fuse full-throttle dance, luscious partnering, intimate storytelling, and theatre. Recognized as the nation’s first acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has been awarded five Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and the Goldie Award for Performance.

As America grapples with toxic masculinity and renewed attacks on trans and LGBTQ rights, Sean Dorsey Dance’s newest work, BOYS IN TROUBLE, will powerfully unpack masculinity with unflinching honesty from unapologetically trans and queer perspectives. Highly physical, accessible, and rooted in story, each timely and urgent piece is performed with precision, guts, and deep humanity. A moderated discussion will follow the performances.

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Location: Wallis Annenberg Hall (ANN), Auditorium

USC Libraries Contributor: Kelsey Vukic

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: In 1963, Michigan State Head Coach Duffy Daugherty recruited 23 African American football players from the American South. Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, a powerful documentary about the first fully integrated college football team in America, unfolds through the eyes of filmmaker and USC alumna Maya Washington, the youngest daughter of Michigan State Athletics Hall of Famer and 50 Greatest Vikings honoree Gene Washington. She retraces Gene’s footsteps from the segregated South to Michigan State, and later the NFL, revealing how scholarships impacted the lives of players of color, who were literally dropped into an integrated environment for the first time, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

A screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, her father, his teammate Clinton Jones, and USC professors Daniel Durbin and Ben Carrington about the themes and issues that the film explores, which remain relevant to this day.

Dancing the Archives: Emerging Choreographers and Living History (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 12 pm

Check-in at Doheny Library Main Entrance.
12 p.m.: Performances at Alumni Park, EF Hutton Park, and McCarthy Quad
1 p.m.: Panel and Lunch at Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Doheny Memorial Library 240

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Thursday, January 16, at 9 a.m.

Location: Alumni Park

USC Libraries Contributors:  Javier S. Garibay and Anthony Anderson

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: Schedule of Events: In celebration of the recently debuted USC Dance Heritage Video Archive Project (DHVA), emerging, Los Angeles–based choreographers Chris EmileJinglin Liao, and Marina Magalhães will explore materials housed in USC’s renowned cultural repositories: The DHVA, ONE Archives, the California Historical Society Collection, and the Los Angeles City Archives. The choreographers will draw inspiration from the archive materials as well as the architectural landscapes in and around Doheny Memorial Library to create simultaneous, site-specific dance works to be enjoyed by roving audiences.

Afterward, choreographers and audience members will come together for an interactive panel led by legendary choreographer Bebe Miller, who has spearheaded a variety of digital archive projects. The conversation will focus on the creative processes and illuminate the ways in which students, artists, and the community can engage with archives, not just as static spaces for preservation but as storehouses of cultural memory rich with possibilities for future creativity.

Seamless: A Play about Japanese American Incarceration and the Afterlife of Historical Trauma (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 4 p.m.

Location: USC Brain and Creativity Institute's Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall (BCI)

USC Libraries Contributor:  Alvaro Quezada

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: Seamless revisits the Japanese American incarceration and dissolution of the American Dream during World War II, exploring the ways the past haunts the present. Written by USC professor Dorinne Kondo and published in her most recent book, Worldmaking: Race, Performance, and the Work of Creativity, the play examines the afterlife of trauma, history, and memory. It also considers the (im)possibility of knowing the people you love most, compelling the audience to question themselves, their families, and their past.

A staged reading of Seamless directed by Tim Dang (Dramatic Arts) will be followed by a conversation with Kondo moderated by USC professor Beth Meyerowitz, an expert on the psychological adjustment among survivors of genocide and on the causes and treatment of post-traumatic stress.

Ear Hustle: An Evening with Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Location: Wallis Annenberg Hall (ANN)

USC Libraries Contributor: Stacy Williams

V&V Event Information:

Event Description: Ear Hustle is a top-rated, award-winning podcast produced inside San Quentin that showcases stories about life behind bars. Now about to begin its fourth season, it has been featured in The Atlantic, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. This event will feature Ear Hustle co-creators, co-hosts, and co-producers Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods in a conversation about the behind-the-wall creation of the podcast, the challenges and rewards of recording from inside prison, the hard realities of mass incarceration, and the possibilities of restorative justice.

Related event:
Amplifying Voices: A Workshop with Nigel Poor

Friday, February 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML) 121

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Stephanie Bower (Writing Program), Willa Seidenberg (Communication and Journalism), and Heidi Rummel (Law, Post-Conviction Justice Project).