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Collidescope 2.0 Archival Page

Collidescope 2.0 - Campus Unrest from Katherine Freer on Vimeo. A scene from the UMass Amherst Department of Theater production of Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, presented April 2016 in the Rand Theater.

Slideshow: Rehearsal photos by UMass photographer John Solem

UMass Amherst photographer John Solem captured these behind-the-scenes images of rehearsals of our production Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America.

Archive: Articles published in Stages

The UMass Department of Theater publishes Stages, its newsletter for alumni and friends of the department approximately 6 times a year, giving us an excellent online venue for documenting the Art, Legacy, and Community project as it progressed from the planning stages to the final production of Collidescope 2.0. Below in reverse chronological order, you will find excerptsof the articles published between July 2015 and May 2016, with links to each of the full pieces as they appeared on the website.

Collidescope 2.0: Students share their perspectives

In Stages, over the past few months, we have been sharing interviews and stories told from the perspective of the guest artists and industry professionals that we brought together as collaborators on the UMass Spring 2016 production of Collidescope 2.0. We wanted to wrap up this coverage by sharing the perspective of some of our UMass undergraduate and graduate students who had the opportunity to work with these professionals on this production. Below are interviews and excerpts compiled by members of Collidescope's dramaturgical team, Gaven Trinidad and Priscilla Page, as well as MFA Directing student, Mary Corinne Miller. ...

From our May 2016 issue: Collidescope 2.0: Students share their perspectives

Meeting one of the minds behind Collidescope 2.0: Co-Creator Talvin Wilks

By Priscilla Page 

Talvin Wilks is an acclaimed director, dramaturg and playwright who took time out of his busy schedule to talk with me by phone about our upcoming production of Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, which he has co-written (and will co-direct) with Ping Chong. The performances will take place at the Rand Theater, April 14, 16, and 20-23. He is currently in residence at Penumbra Theater in Minneapolis wrestling with Adrienne Kennedy’s The Owl Answers, an imagistic and hauntingly imaginative meditation on colonialism, race, and identity. From there, he will return to UMass to dive into Collidescope 2.0.  He is a masterful theater artist who deftly moves from the troubling interiority of Kennedy’s play to the far reaches of outer space with his upcoming project at UMass. ...

From March 2016: Meeting one of the minds behind Collidescope: Co-Creator Talvin Wilks

Collidescope: Art Legacy and Community begins its next chapter

by Priscilla Page

...Last year, Professor Al-Bilali inaugurated Art, Legacy & Community, a two-year exploration of the legacy of Black radical activism and creative expression in our department, on our campus and in our community.  She has been an active participant in this rich legacy from three vantage points: as an undergraduate student working with choreographer Diana Ramos and jazz musician Archie Schepp in W.E. B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies; an MFA graduate student mentored closely by Professors Virginia Scott and Dick Trousdell; and now as an Assistant Professor who specializes in Theater and Performance for Social Transformation. Between her comings and goings at UMASS, she founded Brown Paper Studios, an applied theater company in Cape Town, South Africa and has also taught at both NYU and CUNY. Through Art, Legacy & Community, Professor Al-Bilali models her approach to theater, one that is equal parts political and cultural pushing the bounds of aesthetics. ...

From October 2015: Collidescope: Art Legacy and Community begins its next chapter

Art, Legacy, and Community: Using theater to explore Amherst's African American cultural legacy

This year was a busy time for professors Judyie Al-Bilali, Gilbert McCauley and Priscilla Page as they worked on their collaborative, creative endeavor Art, Legacy & Community.

This endeavor, which brings the Department of Theater together with Afro American Studies and the Commonwealth Honors College, is a two-year project that has received significant funding from a number of sources including, prominently, UMass’s President’s Creative Economy Fund to investigate art and activism in our area. ...

From July 2015: Art, Legacy, and Community: Using theater to explore Amherst's African American cultural legacy

A year after Collidescope 2.0, artists, audiences, and organizers of the Art Legacy and Community project reconvened in the Rand Theater for Return of the Mothership, a follow-up conversation by creators Talvin Wilks and Ping Chong, moderated by Priscilla Page. The entire talk is available for viewing above.

Art, Legacy, and Community — The Weebly Page

As escalating incidents of racialized violence continue to occur across the USA – including the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Tamir Rice – we devised Art, Legacy & Community as a forum where artists use creative expression to document, intervene, organize and agitate for social justice.
We interrogate the relationship between art and activism with the specific goal of transforming our society into one that truly reflects the diversity of the world and that values justice in all its forms.
Art, Legacy & Community is a two-year intervention to use artistic process and production as a forum for our students to examine race, racial representation, and racial justice on our campus, in our region, and across our nation.

Visit the page

Slideshow: Archival photos by photographer Jon Crispin

Writings about Collidescope 2.0 and its collaborators

The work of our Collidescope collaborators received coverage beyond our department newsletter as well. Please click the links below for the articles on the work.

A Look at Race History — an article about producer Judyie Al-Bilali published online by the UMass Alumni Association

Collision course: Race Relations, As Seen From Outer Space — an article in the Stage Struck theater column in the Valley Advocate

Collidescope 2.0 Brings Issues of Racism to Center Stage — an article on the College of Humanities and Fine Arts website

Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-racial America — an article in Research Next online magazine

Loving the Alien: Collidescope 2.0 — a look back at the production in the UMass Magazine

Collidescope 2.0: Du Bois, Dunbar & Space — a blog post

Collidescope 2.0 Part 2: Fractals & the Fabric of Life — a blog post

Slideshow: Rehearsal and class photos by Christina Pellegrini

Graduate student Christina Pellegrini served as archivist for our production Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, capturing elements of the production's design, rehearsal, and construction process.