Disruptive Stages

Disruptive Stages

By Jennifer Williams
Conversations about the ideas that disrupt and transform the performing arts. Each episode features an interview with an artist or performing arts scholar that delves into how innovators challenge the boundaries of their art forms. Interdisciplinary artists and work, such as opera, music theater, multimedia performance art, and dance theater; cross-cultural perspectives and historically marginalized voices are in focus. Hosted by Jennifer Williams.

Original photo credit: Fay Fox
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Kamala Sankaram: Composing for the Technological Revolution
Jennifer Williams interviews Kamala Sankaram, acclaimed composer of the first Zoom opera (All decisions will be made by consensus) as well as commissions from Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and Beth Morrison Projects, among many others. The diverse media for which she has written include virtual and augmented reality; multimedia installations; and her operatic Bollywood surf ensemble, Bombay Rickey. We discuss the creation of her innovative works and the multifaceted relationship between technology and live performance.
35:16
June 17, 2020
Laura Kaminsky: Transgender Stories on the Operatic Stage
Jennifer Williams interviews Laura Kaminsky, acclaimed composer of As One, the first opera about a transgender protagonist. Since its premiere in 2014 by American Opera Projects at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, As One quickly became the most frequently produced new opera in North America. We discuss the genesis of her landmark work and how an artist can expand the narrative of the human experience we see and hear on stage.
42:45
June 8, 2020
Manual Cinema: Chicago’s Emmy-Winning Collective on Pioneering a New Art Form
An interview with interdisciplinary artist Sarah Fornace and composer Ben Kauffman of Manual Cinema, Chicago’s Emmy Award-winning performance collective. We discuss the essential role of collaboration in their work, the genesis of a new form of multimedia immersive storytelling, and how they uniquely fuse technology and live performance.
31:34
May 16, 2020
Alberto Varon: Contemporary Latinx Opera
A conversation with Alberto Varon, Associate Professor of English and Latino Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. We discuss the disruption of genre, gender and the idea of borders in contemporary Latinx opera.
35:01
April 30, 2020
Ben Barson & Gizelxanath Rodriguez: Mirror Butterfly, The Migrant Liberation Movement Suite
Composer Ben Barson and vocalist Gizelxanath Rodriguez, co-creators of the global jazz opera, Mirror Butterfly: The Migrant Liberation Movement Suite, discuss the role of artists as activists and the possibility of an intersectional conversation about colonialism’s lasting impact on the environment.
52:06
April 8, 2020
Kirsten Paige: Wagner and Environmentalism
An interview with Dr. Kirsten Paige, musicologist and THINK Fellow at Stanford University, on how Wagner assimilated 19th-century climate theory into his music dramas, stage technology at Bayreuth, and concept of "the total work of art."
38:47
March 27, 2020