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Media source: Performing & Media Arts



Community-based play imagines future of climate change in Ithaca

“The Next Storm” (November 15–23, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts) is a community-based play by the Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA), Ithaca-based theatre company Civic Ensemble, and playwright Thomas Dunn. Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., Civic Ensemble co–artistic director and PMA senior lecturer, directs this wry comedy.


PMA play reading explores future of climate change

What would the Earth look like if we banded together to counter the destructive forces of climate change? Writers Aoise Stratford and Toby Ault bridge science and art in the multimedia experience “Virtual Landscapes,” which offers audiences the opportunity to contribute to the play-in-progress.
 Students PMA


PMA 10-Minute Play Festival set for Oct. 3-5

Animate grocery store items, a haunted 500-dollar bill, and the provocative case of actor Jussie Smollett are among the varied topics explored in this year’s 10-Minute Play Festival from the Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) and the Graduate Researchers in Media and Performing Arts (GRMPA). The annual festival, now in its seventh year, serves as a laboratory for the development of student-written plays and presents students with a range of opportunities in theater.


“The Wolves” spotlights complex dynamics of girls’ athletics

Rehearsing and training for “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe (September 26–28, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts) has been an exercise in stamina and endurance for Cornell University senior Sabrina Liu. “Being in ‘The Wolves’ has pushed me out of my comfort zone not only in terms of the way that I normally act and perform, but also in terms of what my body can do physically,” said Liu.
 Ellen Gainor


Professor Ellen Gainor speaks at London’s National Theatre

This summer, London’s famed National Theatre is staging Githa Sowerby's 1912 play Rutherford and Son, which is on the Theatre’s list of the top 100 plays of the 20th century. Prior to the play’s opening, the National Theatre invited J.

 Nic Ceynowa


Balancing Two Worlds

Nic Ceynowa feels lucky to live a dual life. In addition to his job as a DevOps Engineer for Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, he teaches and choreographs dance in the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA).

 Professor David Feldshuh


Professor David Feldshuh’s “Antigone” adaptation “rings true to modern audiences”

Laws of nature versus man. Misogyny and elitism. Dissent as a crime. These themes and more are explored in Antigone by Sophocles, adapted by Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts professor David Feldshuh and recently produced at Baltimore Center Stage to sold-out audiences in March 2019.

 Student performers


Graduate student to direct production of ‘SPILL’

Cornell Performing and Media Arts PhD candidate Caitlin Kane directs performances of “SPILL” April 26–May 4 in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Flex Theatre.
 James Baldwin and William F. Buckley


PMA presents theatrical re-imagining of ‘American Dream’ debate

In 1965, the Cambridge Union Society invited African-American novelist James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, then-editor of the National Review, to debate the question, “Has the American Dream been achieved at the expense of the American Negro?”

 Cino Play Poster


“An Evening at the Caffe Cino” pays homage to famed 1960s NYC theatre

Considered the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway—theatre that is more experimental and less commercial than mainstream staged productions—the Caffe Cino was a haven for budding playwrights and performers, as well as for the queer community, in New York’s Greenwich Village from 1958–1968. From April 18–20, 2019, “An Evening at the Caffe Cino” pays homage to the historic venue in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Black Box Theatre.
 CIFF logo, two hands framing the word CIFF


Centrally Isolated Film Festival to be held April 12 & 13

Despite its name, Cornell University’s Centrally Isolated Film Festival isn’t so isolated anymore. Now in its sixth year, the annual celebration of cinema, hosted by the Department of Performing and Media Arts, continues to expand, with submissions from distant states such as California, Illinois, and Rhode Island.

 Image of of two boys carrying a load


New play addresses activism, intent and justice

The events of August 2017 brought worldwide attention to the issue of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, who had long been persecuted and oppressed by the Burmese government and military. Despite the initial reaction to the violent displacement of over a million men, women, and children—as well as the deaths of thousands—global media outlets were slow to follow up on their first reports. With information about the genocide scarce and the call to action not nearly loud enough, it was cle

 Schwartz Center


Heermans-McCalmon competition winners present their work

The winners of the Department of Performing & Media Arts’ Heermans-McCalmon undergraduate writing competition will be honored Friday, March 22, at 4:30 p.m. in the Class of ’56 Dance Theatre, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

 Students with play ad


Student teams with alumna to produce touring musical

What would you do if you only had 100 days left to live? That’s the central question explored in the musical "Hundred Days"; Julia Dunetz '19 is associate producer and alumna Dana M. Lerner '14 is co-producer.
 Amanda Idoko '10


Alumna lands feature film deals

The first feature film of Department of Performing and Media Arts alumna Amanda Idoko ’10, "Breaking News in Yuba County," will be produced in mid-2019, starring Allison Janney and Laura Dern.
 David Feldshuh


“The Awakening of Spring” sheds light on chasm between youth and adults

Since its 1906 debut, “The Awakening of Spring,” by German playwright Frank Wedekind, has often been criticized and sometimes banned for its controversial subject matter, including sexuality, violence, and mistrust between generations.

 Actors in the production of Constellations.


Two People Encounter Infinite Possibilities in “Constellations”

How many chances do we get to make a first impression? For Roland and Marianne, the two protagonists in Constellations by Nick Payne, the answer is infinite. In the play, running November 1–3 in the Black Box Theatre at Cornell’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Payne proposes that life exists in a multiverse, in which countless parallel existences play out simultaneously, allowing for an infinity of possible futures.

 J. Ellen Gainor


PMA professor receives Achievement in Scholarship Award

The Women and Theatre Program presented Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) professor J. Ellen Gainor with the Achievement in Scholarship Award at their annual conference in Boston on August 1.

 Ni'Ja Whitson, photo by Scott Shaw


Multimedia performance invites exploration of Black/Queer identities

Cornell Council for the Arts’ (CCA) 2018 Biennial kicks off Sept. 14–15 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts with “A Meditation on Tongues,” conceived and directed by Ni’Ja Whitson, and performed by The NWA Project. The piece is a live-dance and multimedia adaptation of Marlon T. Riggs’ iconic film “Tongues Untied” (1989). 


Conference on contemporary theatre features artists, scholars from around the world