Friday, October 23, 2009

First-Year Students Go Beyond Broadway | Arcadia University Bulletin:

Assistant Professor of Theater Arts Jonathan Shandell is currently teaching the first-year seminar, Beyond the Broadway Blockbuster: Exploring Thoughtful Theater, with a primary goal in mind. “My goal is to engage students with live theater that might not be familiar to them: in other words, something other than Broadway-style musicals,” he says.

The class recently saw a performance at the Philadelphia Live-Arts festival titled The Last Cargo Cult by performance artist Mike Daisey.

Shandell knew that students would find the show to be different. “The performance was highly unconventional for those students only familiar with Broadway theater,” he says. “One man sat behind a desk on a bare stage and told stories for almost two hours. The stories were tales from his own life, centered on his visit to a remote South Pacific Island where the native peoples do not use money. The performance posed serious and difficult questions about the role of money in American society and in our everyday lives.”