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Reflections from a GA – Traveling Through Fall 2021

By Jenna Renaud 

This semester is coming to a close as well as 2021, so it’s the perfect time to reflect back on my third semester working in Falvey as a Graduate Assistant (GA.) Also, I may or may not be stealing the idea from Falvey’s other GA Ethan, so make sure to check out his post! At the beginning of this semester, I officially handed off the duties of Cat in the Stax to Ethan.

As excited as I was to see someone new take over the role and provide their creativity, I wasn’t sure where that left me in regard to blog writing. That being said, reflecting back, I definitely was able to fill my semester with fun and challenging projects and content to take on! 

Courtesy of Jenna – Beckett Bites

The first weekly blog post I took on this semester was Peek at the Week, a preview of all the events going on in the upcoming week. I then expanded that to include a “Word of the Week” and a “This Week in History” section. Looking back, I would have to say that my favorite “Word of the Week” probably had to be my first, “petrichor” or the smell of rain. This was also a word I learned during a team meeting at my summer internship and was able to bring over into my job here! Through my “This Week in History” sections, I learned more about historic events from the opening of the New York subway to the lore surrounding the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. 

In addition to expanding my history knowledge every week, my Weekend Recs allowed me to scour the internet to deliver snapshots on what is going on in the world. From recapping important topics like COVID vaccinations to silly topics like potatoes, I kept up with the news and maintained a pulse on what was happening outside of my Villanova community bubble. I also got the opportunity to write about some of my favorite topics including Taylor Swift, the NFL and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Falvey continuously challenges me to find ways to tie my passions and interests into my Falvey writings and the Villanova community.  

Writing for the blog has also allowed me to create and maintain relationships outside of Falvey, including with Villanova Theatre! Last year I got a taste of Villanova Theatre through their virtual productions; however, fall 2021 brought the full experience and the opportunity to see the first live performances in the brand-new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. This semester I covered “WHITE” and co-wrote a blog on “Beckett Bites” with Ethan. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the theatre community and promote incredibly talented individuals every semester. 

HHAW Falvey display

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week display

Being back in-person full-time for the fall semester brought with it new and exciting changes to my daily duties. Rather than being in the office solo once a week, I was surrounded by my co-workers and a team of student workers! The opportunities for collaboration were something I didn’t know I craved so much coming out of last year. From learning the ropes on poster deliveries from Kelly, to collaborating on the Taylor Weekend Recs with Anna, to reading Allie’s Flick or Flip blogs, I have genuinely enjoyed growing with all of Falvey’s student workers.  

Being on campus altogether also calls for more displays and events! Putting up the Homelessness Awareness Week display with Anna challenged me to think about ways to get students’ attention for important topics through a static display. Our salty & sweet finals grab-and-go table required creative thinking to find a way to help relieve students’ stress in a COVID-safe way!  

All in all, I cannot express how grateful I am for this past semester at Falvey and part of what made it great was you all reading and engaging! Time is flying by and I am excited to make Spring 2022 the best semester yet. Cheers to 2022! 

 

 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Stephen Sondheim’s Legacy Lives on at Falvey Library

By Ethan Shea

Stephen Sondheim Headshot

Merrily We Roll Along Playbill

Last month, the world lost one of its most talented theatrical artists. This artist, Stephen Sondheim, was a composer and lyricist who changed musical theatre forever. His career started with a bang when he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, but the hits do not stop there. Sondheim has composed and written for countless classic musicals, such as Company, A Little Night MusicMerrily We Roll Along and Into the Woods to name just a few.

Given Villanova University’s longstanding theatrical tradition, the loss of Sondheim was particularly heartbreaking on campus. Sondheim has had such a profound impact on Villanova that his play, Merrily We Roll Along, whose playbill is featured to the left, was scheduled to be the final production performed in Vasey Hall before the COVID-19 Pandemic paused the 2019-2020 Villanova Theatre season.

To honor his legacy, Falvey invites you learn more about Sondheim’s incredible life by checking out a book. For example, Stephen Sondheim: A Casebook is a collection of 14 essays that examines the development of Sondheim’s work over the years. This book lives on the third floor of our stacks and is currently available for pick up. Another book, Sondheim, written by Martin Gottfried, is a biography that tells a detailed story of Sondheim’s life and career up until the book’s publication in 2000. This text is also available on our third floor stacks among many others.

Without a doubt, our Villanova community will continue to enjoy Sondheim’s timeless body of work, and Falvey Memorial Library is happy to help you do so.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Villanova Theatre Hosts Sue Winge Award-Winning Plays

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By Jenna Renaud

Villanova Theatre is hosting the public reading of two 2021 Sue Winge Award-winning plays on Thursday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m., in the Smith Performance Lab at the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The reading includes The Invisible Ones by Aly Gonzalez and Laundry by Megan Schumacher, directed by Kimberly S. Fairbanks, Schumacher ’18 MA and Gonzalez ’21 MA.

The readings, directed by Kimberly S. Fairbanks ’11, are connected by themes of retaining individual identity and personal humanity while weathering unjust systems.  

“We’re really delighted to be able to confer this year’s Award on two playwrights with very different, yet equally engaging, theatrical visions,” Villanova Theatre Artistic Director Michael Hollinger says. “Aly’s The Invisible Ones is a beautiful snapshot of two unhoused teens living beneath an underpass, one of whom hopefully pursues a college education despite her strained circumstances. Megan’s powerful Laundry reveals another kind of ‘underworld,’ where five women, stripped of individual identity, labor under a dehumanizing system while struggling to retain their essential humanity.”  

Production dramaturg Paul Goraczko provided insight on the qualities both plays have in common: “In Laundry and The Invisible Ones we have two utterly compelling pieces of theatre about people who are marginalized, forgotten, and yearning to be seen. Seeing these plays back-to-back will surely be a thought-provoking experience that audiences won’t want to miss.” 

The Sue Winge Playwriting Award was established in memory of beloved Villanova University employee Sue Winge, who served the University for many years in the Theatre Department and the President’s Office. The award annually supports the creation and development of new plays at Villanova University, including the recent Bakkhai Variations commissions and workshop of Julia Izumi’s Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea.

You can register for your free tickets on the Villanova Theatre website: http://villanovatheatre.org/sue-winge-2021/  

Source: Villanova Theatre (2021, November 29). Villanova Theatre Presents the 2021 Sue Winge Playwriting Award Winners: The Invisible Ones by Aly Gonzalez and Laundry by Megan Schumacher [Press release]. 


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 

 

 

 

 


 


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“Beckett Bites” Recap (SPOILER WARNING)

By Jenna Renaud and Ethan Shea

"Samuel Beckett"

This week, frequent blog contributors Jenna and Ethan attended the latest Villanova Theatre production, Beckett Bites. This performance consists of four brief plays by Samuel Beckett: Play, Footfalls, Rockaby and Come and Go.

Rather than writing a traditional review of the performance, Jenna and Ethan will both be responding to questions posed in the production’s education guide. As stated in this resource, the education guide is “intended to help guide and inspire conversation, reflection and further research connected to Villanova Theatre’s production of Beckett Bites,” so if you would like to view the guide in its entirety, check out this link.


Play

What do you think the three characters in Play are fighting with? What do you think they want by telling their story over and over again?

Jenna: Each character is ultimately fighting with their loneliness, isolation, and regret within the intertwining relationship. They are working to justify their actions by replaying the scenario of what happened repeatedly. The repetitiveness, however, seems to trap them in this cycle of replaying what happened over and over again. Despite all playing different roles in the affair, they are all reduced to the same emotions and the same fight against their isolation and regret.

Ethan: The three characters in Play seem to be arguing about a relationship scandal. This situation became clear simply because the characters addressed it directly, but the occasionally cluttered nature of their dialogue made the circumstances difficult to unravel at first. The repetition of their story plays into Beckett’s use of repetition which, given the context of absurdism, is meant to “drain away meaning” according to the aforementioned education guide. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the characters repeat their stories to cope with the pain caused by the relationship scandal. By repeating their stories, the characters hope to render the situation meaningless, taking away any power it has to hurt them.


Footfalls

In Footfalls, many people often believe that May is a ghost, literally or figuratively, or living in a ghost-like state. Discuss what you think she represents.

Jenna: I believe May represents someone living in a ghost-like state, trapped by the role she had to play as her mother’s caretaker. I believe that May exists; although, her mother has since passed and it a replaying of conversations that May struggles with as she paces back in forth. May puts forth a state of psychological imprisonment, the loss of agency, and, ultimately, the loss of identity.

Ethan: Regardless of whether May is literally a ghost or not, she is certainly “living in a ghost-like state.” Her solo presence on stage represents her mental isolation and physical separation from the rest of the world, an isolation similar to that of a ghost who is trapped in another world and only able to call upon others from afar. In this particular production, when May is revealed in reality behind the screen, she functions as a living shadow as she walks in sync with the cinematic representation of herself. Calling attention to these similarities between life and the screen make May appear to be both a figurative and literal ghost.


Rockaby

If the narrative comes from audio, what effect do you think that has on the actor/audience relationship?

Jenna: With the audio narrative, I think it helps the audience ultimately relate better to the actor in that many people often feel as though they have this internal narration going on inside their minds. In reflecting on the play, I think the narrative is the internal dialogue of the woman, who is working to cope with her mother’s passing and themes of loneliness and a desire for others to understand. Versus the woman speaking her piece, the narration allows the audience to see the grief more clearly on the woman’s face.

Ethan: The recorded audio in this play creates a bit of distance between the actor and audience. Given the current COVID-19 Pandemic and its detrimental impact upon live performances, I felt especially separated from the production due to the use of recorded audio and film. Although I am fascinated by the incorporation of these mediums onto the stage, after nearly two years of waiting for the return of live performances, being greeted by yet another screen was not the theatrical experience I had in mind.


Come and Go

Some have said that the three women can represent school girls, old maids, or witches. What do you think of when you see the three women, and why?

Jenna: When I see the three women I think of three women somewhere between school girls and old maids. They have moved on to the next stage of their lives, but there is still something drawing them back to that place. They represent the desire of returning to that childhood innocence and bliss, working to get there, but realizing that it will ultimately be slightly marred by the life that has occurred since then.

Ethan: Although the three womens’ outfits reminded me a bit of Alvin and the Chipmunks, out of the three representations mentioned in the question, I would say the women represented school girls the most. Because of the gossip that is stereotypically associated with children at school, the indiscernible whispering the women take part in is reminiscent of schoolchildren.  Regardless of the shock of gossip, the three women still come together at the end and join hands. This reading of the play asks audiences to learn from children. in doing so, perhaps they could also put aside their differences as children do.


Jenna Renaud and Ethan Shea are Graduate Assistants at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Dig Deeper: Samuel Beckett

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” 

– Samuel Beckett 

Beckett Bites: A Villanova Theatre Production 

Villanova Theatre’s newest production, Beckett Bites, is here. Beckett Bites is a collection of four short plays by Samuel Beckett, directed by Edward Sobel, and running Nov. 414 in the Court Theatre at the brand-new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. There are four plays comprising Beckett Bites: “Play,” “Footfalls,” “Rockaby,” and “Come and Go.”

The play is described by Villanova Theatre as follows: “As we reemerge from a world defined by screen interactions to rejoin each other in shared space, we return with Beckett Bites, four short plays by the modern theatre’s greatest existential clown. Samuel Beckett’s plays exquisitely capture the powerful longing for connection, the inexorable nature of time, and the sheer absurdity of being human. In this deftly curated collection of four short works, audiences will imaginatively progress from isolation to the communal experience of live performance, alternately laughing at the ridiculous and glimpsing the sublime. “

Dig Deeper into Beckett Bites

Theatre of the Absurd 

The theatre of the absurd describes the post-WW2 designation of plays that focus on absurdist fiction. Late 1950s European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, as well Harold Pinter, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov, amongst others, alluded to the question of “why are we all here?” The four main features of the Theatre of the Absurd are anti-character, anti-language, anti-drama, and anti-plot. In addition, read below for more characteristics and themes of the Theatre of the Absurd.  

CHARACTERISTICS OF THEATRE OF THE ABSURD 

  • Situations and characters’ emotional states may be represented through poetic metaphor (dreamlike, fantastical, or nightmarish images). 
  • The notion of realism is rejected: situations and characters are not “realistic” and characters are often placed in unreal situations. 
  • Set and costumes may not reflect an outward reality. 
  • Dialogue is often nonsensical, clichéd, or gibberish. 
  • Communication is fractured. 
  • There is usually an emphasis on “theatricality” as opposed to realism. 
  • Absurdist playwrights often use dark comedy for satiric effect. 
  • Characters exist in a bubble without the possibility of communication. 
  • Characters may be one-dimensional, with no clear motivation or purpose. 
  • Characters may be symbolic of universal situations. 
  • Behavior and situations may not follow the rules of logic. 
  • Structure may be circular, without a precise resolution. 
  • Action may be minimal. 
  • Setting of the play may be in one locale. 
  • Often characters perceive a threat from the “outside,” leading to a sense of powerlessness. 

THEMES OF THEATRE OF THE ABSURD 

  • Isolation of human existence in a world without God 
  • Lack of communication between individuals 
  • Dehumanization in a commercial world 
  • Social disparity 
  • Life without purpose or examination 
  • Class difference/the haves and have nots 
  • Loneliness 
  • Fear of the disenfranchised 

(Beckett Bites Education Guide, 2021) 

Dig Deeper into the Theatre of the Absurd 

Still want to learn more about the Theatre of the Absurd? Check out the following Falvey offerings: 

About Samuel Beckett 

Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. Beckett wrote in both English and French, being born in Ireland, but spending the majority of his adult life in France. He is a playwright known outside of the field of theatre, primarily for his most famous work Waiting for Godot. As a member of the Theatre of the Absurd, Beckett often explored themes such as the passage of time and utilized repetition and silence to emphasize key ideas. 

Dig Deeper into Samuel Beckett 

Still want to learn more about Samuel Beckett or read some of his works? Check out the following Falvey offerings: 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Villanova Theatre’s First Show of the Season: WHITE

“If it’s not entertaining, why the hell are we doing it? Make’m laugh. Make’m cry. Make’m call their senator. But by any means necessary. Make’m do something. Can’t change anybody’s mind if they’re asleep.” – James Ijames, Playwright and Director 

Opening weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Villanova Theatre’s first show of the season, WHITE, in the new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The center is an 85,000-square-foot space for performances, featuring three performance spaces. WHITE took place in the Court Theatre, an open format, 200-seat theater that features flexible seating, a balcony, and technologically advanced lighting and sound equipment.  

I had the opportunity to explore the new space before and after the performance. In addition, everyone in attendance Friday night was invited to a reception following the show on the third-floor Belle Masque rooftop terrace. The rooftop terrace allowed guests to flow from outside to inside easily and take in what was a beautiful evening. 

The show itself was captivating and entertaining, while simultaneously challenging, as it forced the audience to re-evaluate their own implicit (or explicit) biases. The small cast kept the audience engaged throughout the 90 minutes, and the whole auditorium rose to their feet in applause following the final scene.  

Learn more about the show below.  

SYNOPSIS (Drawn from the Educational Guide below)

With a premise equal parts playful, prescient, and preposterous, art imitates life (or is it the other way around?) in James Ijames’ comedy WHITE. Gus is an artist. Vanessa is an actress. When a major museum seeks to showcase diverse voices in their next exhibition, Gus enlists Vanessa’s help to create an audacious new artistic persona to get him in the show. This contemporary Frankenstein story gleefully skewers the modern monstrosities of racism, misogyny, and cultural appropriation, all the while “subverting expectations, cracking wise, and opening eyes” (DC Metro). 

WHITE: BASED ON A TRUE STORY 

The plot of White is inspired by a true story that took place in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. In 2014, the museum invited three outside curators—Anthony Elms (Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), Michelle Grabner (Artist and Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago), and Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA)—to each curate one floor of the exhibition from their varied perspectives and methodologies.  

Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney, Donna De Salvo, touted the exhibition’s offerings as, “one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.” However, of the 103 invited participants, just nine were black. Of those nine artists, one, Donelle Woolford, a 37-year-old woman from Conyers Georgia, was actually the fabrication of a white man, 52-year-old artist Joe Scanlan. This brought the total of black female artists in the biennial down to one. Read the full story in the education guide found here. 

MORE RESOURCES 

Trailer 

The show is put forth as a contemporary Frankenstein story. Borrow Frankenstein by Mary Shelley from Falvey’s collection. 

Get your tickets to WHITE today! The show will be playing through Oct. 3.  

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR 

James Ijames, MFA, is Associate Professor of Theatre and a playwright, director and educator. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People’s Light and Theatre.

James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theatre, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden.

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he has two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise and a 2020 Steinberg Prize.


""Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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TBT: New Beginnings for Theatre

By Ethan Shea

"Excerpt from Belle Air 1969"

“Excerpt from Belle Air 1969”

As Villanova Theatre’s 2021 – 2022 Season begins this week with performances of James Ijames’ White, this excerpt from the 1969 edition of Belle Air reminds us of another time Villanova’s theatre program changed venues. The snippet describes the theatre’s “new location in Vasey Hall” with an enthusiasm similar to current attitudes toward the upcoming inaugural performance in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts.

This new beginning gives us an opportunity to reflect on the changes Villanova has underwent since 1969. Upcoming performances of White will challenge audiences to reckon with “racism, misogyny and cultural appropriation”, contrasting the lack of diversity in the image above and reminding us of the importance of continuously striving to embody an accessible culture of inclusion.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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Slaphappy Delivers Pitch Perfect (Inspired) Show

By Shawn Proctor

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Unprecedented. Challenging. Socially distanced.

If you thought I was talking about living through the pandemic, then you haven’t seen Slaphappy: A Covid-Era Commedia, streaming from Villanova Theatre until May 30.

To these terms I would also add joyful, sly, and triumphant.

“Why triumphant,” you ask?

Because to create new art in a time when performance is so very rare, to discover new methods and inspirations and collaborators in order to bring it to audiences is a triumph.

Full stop. No debate.

Slaphappy proves the play is the thing.

Conceived and directed by Valerie Joyce and filmed by Hezekiah Lewis III, Slaphappy eludes easy definition. It’s one part The Office, two parts Pitch Perfect, and a splash of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Oh, and yes, instead of a cappella competitions, the college groups vie for top commedia dell’arte troupe in the country.

Emma Poley, second-year graduate student, who made her Villanova Theatre acting debut as “Kathy Brown, PhD,” in the show explained Slaphappy follows in the commedia tradition of devised theatre. “The actors were free to improvise within a structured outline,” she says. From that four-hour rough cut, the production team edited down to a two-hour film.

Within this almost-too-wild-to-be-conceived premise, the entire cast shines, showing their growth from novice commedia players to seasoned actors within the traditional Italian dramatic style. The result holds the attention through backstage and onstage meltdowns, smack-downs, jaw-dropping revelations, and power plays that underpin the efforts to bring their performances to the regional, then national competitions.

Kirsten Sughrue’s muscadet-dry wit as competition coordinator “Penny Hollis” and Ryan Henry’s hilarious turn as uber jock “Julia Wrong” stood out among a large and delightful cast. And perhaps the biggest delight of all was hearing a crowd reacting to a play in Villanova Theatre’s new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, just one of many performances to come.

Complimenti to all!

 


Shawn Proctor is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


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Review: Villanova Theatre’s The Scar Test Shines in Virtual Presentation

By Shawn Proctor

The Scar Test Scene

 

“Women cry, are dragged out screaming. Where do they go?”

This line of dialogue, delivered late in the play by a detainee without a name, cuts to the heart of Villanova Theatre’s The Scar Test, which streamed online March 25-April 4.

Hannah Khalil

Hannah Khalil, playwright of The Scar Test

The person provides merely one of the fragmented stories that create Hannah Khalil’s play. And, together, their narratives explore and illuminate the lives of those individuals detained at Yari’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in the United Kingdom. The centre holds hundreds of women who are seeking asylum from their countries. It has been described as “inhumane” by detainees who receive spoiled food and report racial abuse by staff.

This virtual production, lasting an hour and recorded socially distanced and masked, renders its eight ensemble cast members even more anonymous. Their faces are obscured, except for their eyes.

From afar, it underlines that their humanity has been stripped away. They could be anyone. They could be us.

But the online format also provides a focus unavailable to theatre performed on stage. Director Claire Moyer and Director of Photography Michael Long use the camera to push the viewer to both look closer and not look away. This eye does not let the audience’s attention wander to study the set or secondary characters in the scene. And even masked, the detainees’ intimate struggles come through, as they are forced to relive and defend their reasons for fleeing their countries: the scar test.

The issue of immigration is complicated and fraught. And current Charles A. Heimbold Chair for Irish Studies Hannah Khalil treats it with complexity and nuance, largely allowing the quiet desperation of the situation permeate the scenes.

They appear. They disappear.

They have no names, and we are not told their fates. But what remains is their stories, along with this burning question: “What do we do now?”

Khalil will present a digital lecture and reading as part of the 2021 Villanova Literary Festival on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 5 p.m. Register here.


Shawn Proctor is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.


 


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Villanova Theatre Preview: The Scar Test

Scar poster
THE SCAR TEST
By Hannah Khalil
Directed by Claire Moyer
Streaming on demand March 25–April 4

“We’re in prison. But we’ve done nothing wrong…I just–I can’t believe this is England.”

They expected to be free from the horrors of their homelands when they finally fled to the United Kingdom; instead, imprisoned together at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, a cohort of asylum seekers find themselves stuck in limbo, stripped of their privacy, and isolated a world away from the lives they used to know.

Based on interviews with current and former detainees, Irish-Palestinian playwright Hannah Khalil’s The Scar Test offers a powerful and unflinching snapshot of life inside England’s migrant detention system. Fiercely felt and fearlessly told, The Scar Test is an incendiary theatrical experience that will stay with you long after the performance has ended. Click here for more information and a content advisory. Check out the teaser video for the show.

An award-winning Palestinian Irish playwright and dramatist, Hannah Khalil is Villanova University’s 2021 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the spring 2021 semester. The visiting writer-in-residence program offers Irish Studies students the enriching experience of a close classroom experience with one of Ireland’s finest authors.

Cost:
$10 suggested donation per viewer.
Run time: approximately one hour.

Content Warnings:
Racism, Sexism/misogyny, Homophobia, Transphobia, References to and discussion of Sexual assault/rape, Abuse, Self-harm/suicide, Death, Kidnapping/abduction, blood, gunshots.

Learn more about Hannah Khalil and The Scar Test:
 

  • Falvey’s collection include several of Hannah Khalil’s books, in addition to The Scar Test.
  • Learn more about Hannah Khalil and her plays on Drama Online.
  • Watch The Scar Test in Conversation” with The Scar Test Production Dramaturg Kate Fischer and Director Claire Moyer. They spoke with Margaret O’Sullivan, Executive Director of Nationalities Service Center and Michele R. Pistone, Professor of Law at Villanova and Director of the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee, and Emigrant Services at Villanova.

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Last Modified: March 24, 2021