Indonesian gamelan degungPerformance Works is a lower-division, two-quarter program in the arts and literature at The Evergreen State College. In this program we examine and celebrate the ways in which people tell and adapt stories to reflect their priorities and the ways they see the world. How are stories drawn out of people? In Southeast Asia, for example, storytelling through the use of puppetry is a normal and expected part of adult interaction. In Ireland, storytelling might occur through song. How are stories adopted, adapted, expressed, and reacted to across cultures? How does a Biblical story turn into a bluegrass gospel tune, or a Greek myth become reinterpreted in a Brazilian film? We will explore the theory and practice of storytelling through words, movement, and music. While our words may be limited to the English language, our field is the world. The faculty for this program have extensive experience living and studying outside the United States, and bring multiple perspectives and ways of seeing the world to bear in our collective exploration.

Students enrolled in this program should expect a performance component but also a strong emphasis on the written word. In many cases, stories take life only when they leave the page and find expression in the performing arts. In other cases, a vision that is expressed through the arts may develop deeper meaning through its adaptation to the written word. In all cases, however, interpretation is an essential go-between, and our roles as interpreters form an important part of the objects of study.

Note! The first day of class is Monday, September 29, at 10 am. Come to the Seminar II building C, room 1105 (first floor). If you do not attend on the first day, you may be disenrolled from the program. See you there!