Princess Vasilisa and The Firebird
Wellesley Summer Theatre Company members collaborate on a new and playful interpretation of classic Russian folktales.
Adapted by Marta Rainer, directed by Danny Bolton.
June 20 (Sat) 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM
June 21 (Sun) 11:00 AM
WST Presents: Three Sisters
Three Sisters is Anton Chekhov’s classic 1901 portrait of Russia’s disappearing aristocratic class and their quest for meaning and fulfillment in the ever-changing modern world. Written in 1900 and first produced in 1901, Three Sisters was Chekhov's first specific commission for the Moscow Arts Theatre.
A year after the death of their father, an army officer, the Moscow-bred Prosorovs, including the three sisters Olga, Masha, Irina, and one brother Andrew, are finding life drab and increasingly hopeless in a provincial Russian town. Only the proximity of a nearby artillery post and the company of its officers make their existence bearable. Each of the sisters is in pursuit of love and happiness, but both of these desires seem increasingly out of reach as the play progresses.
The play has often been described as "the decline of the aristocratic and artistic elite coupled with the search for meaning in a modern world." Chekhov offers us the Prozorov siblings, who are refined and cultured youth, raised in Moscow but living a small and "lifeless" provincial town for the past eleven years. With the recent death of their father Colonel Prozorov, they await a return to Moscow where the "good life" can begin again.
From its initial success to current productions, audiences have responded with enthusiasm to this beautiful collision of envisioned dreams and frustrated hopes as well as the memorable characters of the Prozorov family and their friends, lovers, and acquaintances who populate the stage (pcpa.org).
The Kenner Lecture
Professor Joseph S. Nye, Harvard Kennedy School
Cinephile Sundays: A Touch of Sin
A brilliant exploration of violence and corruption in contemporary China, A Touch of Sin was inspired by the shocking (and true) events that forced the world’s fastest growing economy into a period of self-examination. The film focuses on four characters, each living in different provinces, who are driven to violent ends (atouchofsin.com).
A blistering fictionalized tale straight out of China, A Touch of Sin is at once monumental and human scale. A story of lives rocked by violence, it has the urgency of a screaming headline but one inscribed with visual lyricism, emotional weight and a belief in individual rights. You can feel the conviction of its director, Jia Zhang-ke — one of the few filmmakers of any nationality who weighs the impact of social and political shifts on people — in every shot. In “A Touch of Sin,” the world isn’t an amorphous backdrop, pretty scenery for private dramas, it is a stage on which men and women struggle to fulfill basic moral obligations, including recognizing one another’s humanity (nytimes.com).
This film is presented as a part of the spring Cinéphile Sundays series. Filthy lucre, dirty money…this spring, we turn to a suite of films that explore our many orientations to money: greed, lust, power and impotence, the temptations of gambling, global economies and personal struggles, and stock market manipulations from 1909 to 2009. In films ranging from the magnificent 1928 French silent film L’Argent to the entangling 2011 Margin Call, from China to Senegal and Mali to the United States, we invite you to join our growing band of cinephiles for a series of brilliant films by major world filmmakers, all on the big screen.
All films are shown in Collins Cinema and are free and open to the public. This program is generously supported by the Rebecca Bacharach Treves Fund, with additional funding from the Wellesley Art Department and Economics Department.
House and Home Conference
"Theories, Texts, Metaphors"
May 1-2, 2015
Location: GRH-237 Newhouse Lounge, GRH-235 Newhouse Conference Rm, GRH-240 Newhouse Conference Rm
The Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities will host an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the many ways that the related notions of house and home are constructed both literally and figuratively in art, literature, film, and on stage. How does the physicality of a house—its architecture, spatial configuration and design, even the furniture within—intersect with the more intangible emotions, aspirations, and sense of ownership we associate with the place we call home?
Sessions begin on Friday, May 1 with a panel on Theory and Metaphor, 4:30-6:00 PM. Dinner follows the session, and the keynote address will begin at 8:00 PM. The keynote is also the 2014-2015 Wilson Lecture, hosted in cooperation with the Office of the President: Michael Ondaatje in Conversation with Pico Iyer.
Conference sessions continue on Saturday, and include the following:
9:30 AM-11:30 AM: Architecture/Interiors/Gender
1:00 PM-3:00 PM: Emotions/Interiors
3:30 PM-5:30 PM: Leaving Home/Losing Home
The painting above is Agnes Abbot, House, 20th Century. Watercolor, 10 3/4” x 15 1/16”. Gift of Mrs. Walter Tower to the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. 1992.48
Full Schedule of the Conference
Friday, May 1
4:30-6:00 pm Newhouse Center for Humanities
Session One: Domestic Poetics
Panel Chair: Joel Burges, Assistant Professor of English, University of Rochester and Newhouse Fellow
J.D. Rhodes, University Lecturer in Film, Department of Italian, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, Cambridge University
“The Spectacle of Property”
Carol Dougherty, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Classical Studies, Wellesley College
“The Chelonian Home: Mobile Asymmetries of House and Home”
8:00 PM Houghton Chapel
The Wilson Lecture, Michael Ondaatje in conversation with Pico Iyer
Saturday, May 2: 9:30-5:30 Collins Cinema
9:30-11:30 Session Two: Domestic Interiors
Panel Chair: Martha McNamara, Director, New England Arts & Architecture Program; Co-Director, Architecture Program, Department of Art, Wellesley College
Alice Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art; Professor of Art, Wellesley College
“Poker Faces: Seeing behind the Mask of Convention”
Kate Gilhuly, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Wellesley College
“The Politics of Housekeeping in Classical Athens”
Beatriz Colomina, Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Media and Modernity Program, Princeton University
“The Total Interior: Playboy Architecture 1953-1979”
Lunch Break 11:30-1:00
1:00-3:00 Session Three: Emotional Interiors
Panel Chair: Margaret Carroll, Professor of Art, Wellesley College
Alex Purves, Associate Professor of Classics, UCLA
“Standing by the Stathmos: Suspense at Home”
Eugenie Brinkema, Associate Professor of Literature, MIT
“For the Increments of Death at Home: Michael Haneke’s Amour”
Karen Bassi, Professor of Literature and Classics, University of California at Santa Cruz
“Domesticating Death: Life in the ‘The House of Hades’”
3:30-5:30 Session Four: Leaving Home/Losing Home
Panel Chair: Anjali Prabhu, Professor of French, Wellesley College
Ato Quayson, Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto
“An Elliptical Symphony: Michael Ondaatje’s Toronto”
Bridget Murnaghan, Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek, University of Pennsylvania
Concluding Remarks: Pico Iyer
The Wilson Lecture: Michael Ondaatje
In Conversation with Pico Iyer
From the memoir of his childhood, Running in the Family, to his Governor General’s Award-winning book of poetry, There’s a Trick With a Knife I’m Learning to Do, to his classic novel, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje casts a spell over his readers. He is the author of four collections of poetry and six works of fiction, and The English Patient was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Ondaatje has garnered several literary prizes including the Booker Prize for fiction, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Médicis, and the Giller Prize.
The themes of house and home permeate Michael Ondaatje's novels, a writer who has said that "he likes writing in other people's houses." As the Wilson Lecturer, he will read from his own work and then engage with renowned travel writer Pico Iyer in a conversation about the ways that they share a fascination with people whose own mobile history has made them tentative about where they belong.
Pico Iyer is an acclaimed travel writer and author of twelve books that explore the contrast between local tradition and global pop culture. He delves into topics that range from Cuba, globalism, and Graham Greene to Canada and the XIVth Dalai Lama. Recently, Iyer has shifted his focus to the idea of finding some sort of stillness in the frenetic movement of our modern world. In 2013 and 2014 Iyer delivered popular TED talks entitled “Where is Home?” and “The Art of Stillness.” Having lived in England, the United States, and Japan, Iyer recognizes the difficulty in defining what the word “home” means to an individual. He writes up to 100 articles annually for a variety of magazines including Vanity Fair and Wired. He has also written introductions for roughly 50 books, among them Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.
The Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities is pleased to host the Wilson Lecture on behalf of the Office of the President. The lecture will serve as the keynote address for the House and Home Conference: Theories, Texts, Metaphors.