James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Director and choreographer Daniel Banks will discuss the origins and manifestations of hip hop theater in his talk "Hip Hop Theatre: Theatre of Now," on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room of Shain Library. Hip hop theater is a relatively new theatrical form that presents contemporary stories using elements of hip hop culture. Banks, who is also a faculty member at City University of New York and the founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, will not only address the genesis of the genre but also the ways in which it embodies elements of sustainability. "Hip hop theater is making theater relevant for a new generation of audience members by telling their stories and by telling older stories in a style that speaks to them, and introducing an older generation to the dazzling use of language and powerful truths of hip hop culture," said Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater Nancy Hoffman. "Hip hop theater is also developing new staging techniques and producing an entertainment quotient that can go through the roof. "If you're skeptical about hip hop or the power of theater, come and listen - you'll likely be surprised," she continued. "If you're a fan of one or the other, you'll be fascinated by thinking about their blend." The event is sponsored by the Connecticut College Department of Theater and made possible by grants from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. It is free and open to the public. To view other events on campus this month, visit the Connecticut College calendar of events.