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By Ellen McLaughlin
Based on the play by Aristophanes
Directed by Fontaine Syer

Tickets Online » Ticket Info » Find Us

December 2, 3, 6-9 at 7:30 pm
December 10 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Wells-Metz Theatre


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War Making Bodies

The First Annual Graduate Symposium on Theatre and Performance Studies

Join us Saturday, December 10 as the department hosts its first annual Graduate Symposium on Theatre and Performance Studies, where young scholars from all over North America will convene in Bloomington to present their research in progress. This event is open to the public, though seating is limited.

The conference has been organized by Ph.D. candidate Neal Utterback and first-year Ph.D. student Sara Taylor, with faculty support from assistant professor Amy Cook. The conference is titled “War Making Bodies,” and will feature academic paper presentations, demonstrations, a short play relating to the effects of war on the human body and the way those bodies are then represented in culture. The event also features a keynote address by Dr. Rhonda Blair.


Ellen McLaughlinRhonda Blair is president of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) and Professor of Theatre and Acting at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. She has directed and performed in over 70 productions and has been doing original solo and collaborative performance work since the 1980s.

Her main areas of interest include acting theory—particularly looking at applications of cognitive science to the acting process—performance studies, theatre and politics, feminism and theatre, alternative performance, and Chekhov. Her book, The Actor, Image, and Action: Acting and Cognitive Neuroscience, is being used by acting teachers in both the U.S. and England.

Blair bases her research in cognitive science to support the belief that consciousness emerges in the interplay between language, thought, and emotions/feelings, which are firmly rooted in the body and its experiences in the world. Blair holds editorial board positions on Theatre Topics, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and has also been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Paper Presentations on Saturday, December 10:

All events are in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center 275 N. Jordan Avenue, Bloomington, IN  47405. Those driving to the event should park across the street from the theatre on the upper level of the Jordan Avenue Garage.

8:30-8:40 am
Welcome from Department Chair, Jonathan Michaelson (Wells-Metz Theatre)

8:40-9:20 am
Q&A with Lysistrata director, Fontaine Syer (Wells-Metz Theatre)

9:30-10:30 am
Panel 1a: "War Making Bodie," (Studio Theatre)

Erection as Weapon and Wound in the Plays of Edward Albee
   Joe Stollenwerk, PhD Student, Department of Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

• The Battlefield as Stage: Performing Hyper Masculinity and Femininity in a Wartime Environment
   Carrie Bunch, PhD Candidate, Theatre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

• The “Girl-American Hero”:  A Sculptural Analysis of The Feminine Body Portrayed in The GI Joe Toy Line
   David Reed, MFA Candidate, Directing, Baylor University

9:30-10:30 am
Panel 1b: "The Body Politic" (A 201)

“Let Them Send Rockets, We’ll Send Them a Good Song:” Civilian Bodies in Performance at the Anti-NATO Concerts in Belgrade
   Mina Sohaj, PhD Student, Theatre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sidney Kingsley’s The Patriots: A Dramatic Parallel between Eighteenth-Century America and WWII
   Emily Davis, PhD Candidate, Theatre, The Ohio State University

•  Brecht’s Mother Courage: Integrating War, Religion and Economics
   Dan Ciba, MA Student, Theatre, Villanova University

10:45-11:45 am
Panel 2a: "Fighting Words" (Studio Theatre)

War of Words: Battling for the Polity in García Gutiérrez’s El Trovador
   Kyle Davis, PhD Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

King Richard III, Shakespeare’s “bunch back toad” persists in the public mind
   Jenna Johnson, MA Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

‘A Singing Army Cannot Be Beaten’: Four Minute Men Speakers in Song, a Historical and Literary Perspective
   Amy Rubens, PhD Student, English, Indiana University

10:45-11:45 am
Panel 2b: "(Un)Making  Bodies" (A 201)

Exorcising The Audience:  Shakespeare, Harsnett, and the Power of the Actor
   Timothy Pyles, PhD Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

The Rule(s) of Violence on the Early Modern and Postmodern English Stage
   Thomas A. Oldham, PhD Candidate, Indiana University

“If we are what people say we are, let us take delight in the blood of men”: watching violence and/or feeling pain in theatres of war from the Classical to the Renaissance era
   Jessica Tooker, PhD Student, English, Indiana University

12:00-1:00 pm
Panel 3a: "Myth Making" (Studio Theatre)

• The Dis/Embodiment of Myth: De/Mythologization in the Work of Natália Correia
   Eric "C" Heaps, PhD Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

Looking to the Heavens:  Warriors, Gods, and a Tragic Optic
   Jeremy Gordon, PhD Student, Communications & Culture, Indiana University

Memorial Conflict: Titus Andronicus, Trojan Myths, and Collective Memory
   James McClure, PhD Student, English, University of Ottawa

12:00-1:00 pm
Panel 3b: "Bodies Making War" (A 201)

Resurrecting Warriors: Suzuki’s Movement Method and the Re-Development of ‘Acting Bodies’
   Justin Rincker, PhD Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

War Making Scotsmen: The National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch
Deana Nichols, PhD Student, Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

2:30-4:00 pm
• Coward Land; A New Play (Studio Theatre)
David Marcia, PhD Student, Theatre, University of Missouri-Columbia

4:30-5:00 pm
Award presentation and introduction by Amy Cook

5:00-6:00 pm
Keynote Address by Dr. Rhonda Blair (TBA)


Meet Lysistrata Playwright Ellen McLaughlin

Opening Night Talk-back with the Playwright

Join is after the show on Friday, December 2 for a talk-back featuring Ellen McLaughlin.

Themester Lecture by Playwright Ellen McLaughlin

On Thursday, December 1 at 5:30 pm in the Studio Theatre, Ellen McLaughlin will discuss her play, the Lysistrata Project, and her work as a playwright and actress on Broadway.


Ellen McLaughlinEllen McLaughlin is a playwright, actress, and theatre artist. Her plays include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity’s House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters,Tongue of a Bird, The Trojan Women, Helen,The Persians, and Oedipus. Her work has been produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Actors’ Gang, L.A.; Classic Stage Co., N.Y.; The Intiman Theatre, Seattle; Almeida Theatre, London; The Mark Taper Forum, L.A.; the Public Theater in NYC; The Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and The Guthrie Theater, Minnesota, among many other venues. Her most recent play, Septimus & Clarissa: Sign of the Woolf is an adaptation of Mrs. Dalloway and was given its premiere September 21 by Ripe Time Theatre in New York.

Ellen McLaughlin is also an accomplished stage and film actor, most wellknown for having created the role of the Angel in both parts of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Other favorite roles include The Homebody in Homebody/Kabul (Intiman Theatre, Seattle), Pirate Jenny in The Threepenny Opera (Trinity Rep. Elliot Norton Award), Mrs. Alving in Ghosts (Berkeley Rep.) and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the McCarter and the Paper Mill Playhouse. She has taught playwriting at Yale School of Drama and Princeton University. She has been teaching at Barnard College since 1995.


IU Cinema Screens Operation Lysistrata

Operation Lysistrata imageOn Tuesday, November 29 at 7:00 pm in the IU Cinema, Operation Lysistrata, Michael Patrick Kelly’s documentary about the Lysistrata Project. Cosponsored by the Department of Theatre and Drama and the IU Cinema, this 85 minute film will be presented Tuesday, November 29, at 7:00 p.m. in the IU Cinema. This is a free, but ticketed event, and the tickets are available at the IU Auditorium Box Office.

In January 2003, Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, two actresses from New York City thought to organize readings of the ancient Greek play byAristophanes, Lysistrata, as a protest of the imminent preemptive war on Iraq.

Originally conceived as a local event, over the course of a several weeks, word of the Project quickly gained momentum and became a worldwide happening forpeace. On March 3, 2003 nearly 1,100 simultaneous productions of Lysistrata were performed in 59 countries around the globe.

Operation Lysistrata illuminates the way in which two women transformed their individual aspirations for peace into a movement which allowed the global community to share in their vision, using grassroots activism, conflict resolution, community building and the role of art in a functioning democracy. The organized readings of the ancient Greek play, all performed on March 3, 2003 was extraordinarily successful. Celebrities as well as small theatre companies world-wide turned out in force for this unique event.

Tapes of readings poured in from England, Iceland, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Montreal, Nova Scotia, the U.S.A. From a Kurdish Refugee Camp in Northern Greece to Havana, Cuba, to Moscow, Idaho, all to document this once in a lifetime and truly amazing experience.