Tuesday, February 15, 2011
For only 99 cents the Biggest Bargain of the Week is: download IC's own a cappella ensembles Ithacappella and Premium Blend cover of "Firework" to benefit the Trevor Project - it's a great song for a great cause! Learn more about how the groups decided to donate the proceeds to the Trevor Project, and read the additional coverage in Fuse. The song reached #141 on the iTunes top downloaded songs chart soon after it's release, and since then has received attention from Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and a variety of media. And please be sure to thank the fine folks of Ithacappella and Premium Blend for their kindness and generosity the next time you see them around campus!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
IC students staged outstanding performances of the Laramie Project on campus last semester, and this semester a unique campus-community collaboration brings the story to the stage once again. Several of the original IC cast members will act in the community production - in all, nine student actors from Cornell, Ithaca College and Ithaca High School will join eleven actors from the local community to bring to life the nearly seventy characters who make up the voices of Laramie, Wyoming as it reacts to the murder of one of its own, a young gay man named Matthew Shepard.
The two-performance event will be a concert staging of the play by Theatre Incognita at the Community School of Music and Arts in downtown Ithaca. Performances take place at 8 pm, Thur and Fri, Feb 10 & 11. All profits will go to local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth programs. Tickets are $10 in advance through Ticket Center Ithaca (607.273.4497 or 1-800-28-ITHACA), next to 15 Steps on the Commons, or online at ithacaevents.com. They will also be available at the door for $15.
Local favorites and Incognita vets R.M. Fury (American Buffalo) and Kit Wainer (The Dodgson Girls) are joined by newcomer Nathan Shinagawa, Tompkins County legislator and Guthrie hospital administrator. Shinagawa will play the role of Rulon Stacey, the CEO of the hospital where Matt spent his final days.
Students in the cast include Sarah Perry, Hillary True-Palmer and A.J. Wolbrum from Ithaca College; Nathalie Berman, Danny Bernstein, Alejandro Ruiz, Jesse Turk and Erin Wagner from Cornell; and Kevin Hilgartner from Ithaca High School.
Rounding out the cast are Eric Kofi Acree, Payal Ballaya, Erik Bjarnar, Sherron Brown, Junito Cubero, Darryle Johnson, Carolina Osorio Gil and Kathryn Russell.
Theatre Incognita’s artistic director Ross Haarstad directs. Well-known Ithaca musician John Simon will provide live musical accompaniment.
In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie. Five weeks later, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play, a chronicle of the life of the town in the year after the murder.
The Laramie Project is produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., NYC, and is being presented with grant support from the Community Arts Partnership. Cosponsoring The Laramie Project are the Multicultural Resource Center; Out for Health: Planned Parenthood's LGBT Health and Wellness Program; Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services; Cornell LGBT Resource Center and Suicide Prevention & Crisis Services.
More information is available at theatreincognita.org .
Incognita’s “Our Town Project” is an ongoing, multi-year series of concert readings and related events that explore the ideas behind Thornton Wilder’s classic play through a variety of lenses, with a particular emphasis on what makes an American community. Previously produced in this project was an October 2010 concert staging of James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie.
“Not since Angels in America has a play attempted so much; nothing less than an examination of the American psyche at the end of the millennium." Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press
Friday, December 17, 2010
Right about at this exact time, finals week is coming to a close on our campus. My day was filled with many last-minute meetings with students, planning with faculty members for future collaborations, and with a delightful visit from an alumna who is about to embark upon an exciting graduate program in student affairs in higher education. (This post is for everyone, but I thought it was particularly timely for her). The last papers and exams have been written, students (and their suitcases) could be seen across the quads and parking lots, and there is joy, relief, and anticipation in the air. Many members of our campus community are about to settle in for holiday celebrations, and a welcome winter break. But news never sleeps, and neither do possibilities. At the very close of the last semester, Out for Good spread the news of a new professional group - a group of out LGBTQ college and university presidents. It seems fitting that at the close of this semester, the group has created a video. I encourage you to watch it, and to think of the possibilities.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Last spring, I blogged about a new directive from President Obama to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop policies for hospitals to allow LGBT people some of the same rights and responsibilities afforded to heterosexual people and their families - for instance visitation rights. Just a few weeks ago, the policies were announced, and they will go into effect next month. Read the new policies, which require all hospitals that receive federal funding to allow patients to designate who may visit them. It also prohibits discrimination in visitation based on several factors including sexual orientation and gender identity. Allowing our loved ones to visit us while ill is good medicine, and it's good news!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day to raise awareness and remember those we have lost. During the last decade, there have also been stunning advances in treatment and prevention, including news just last week about remarkable rates of effectiveness of a specific one-pill per day oral pre-exposure prophylaxis.
As we commemorate World AIDS Day, please consider learning more about ways AIDS impacts us both at home and as global citizens. www.aids.gov/is a great place to start. Or, check out what Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Serena Williams, Jennifer Hudson, and others will be doing to observe the day.
A new report released by UNAIDS this month included these findings:
- An estimated 33 million people live with HIV worldwide
- About half of new HIV infections occur in young people
- Half of all people living with HIV are women.
- Deaths from AIDS have declined worldwide, yet HIV is still the leading cause of death worldwide. 1.8 million people died of AIDS this year.
Learn even more about ways we are impacted in the U.S. and around the world. Join the Center for Health Promotion, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier AIDS Program for a World AIDS Day event at 6 pm in IC Square, Campus Center, immediately followed by the annual Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series screening in commemoration of World AIDS Day at 7 pm in Textor 103.