c/o Pearl D'amour

c/o Pearl D’amour

With so many different arts events on campus, our arts roundup is going to be split into two articles, so stay tuned for Tuesday’s issue to hear about the visual arts, music and film departments! From the revival of TERP to the expansion of Spike Tape, we’re excited to showcase the various dance and theater events happening this semester!


This semester, student dance groups and the University’s Dance Department are planning many showcases, performances, and opportunities for students to audition for and attend.

To kick things off, senior dance majors will be showcasing their theses at the Spring Senior Thesis Dance Concert on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, April 1 in the Patricelli ’92 Theater. The following weekend, Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, the Spring Faculty Dance Concert will feature a collection of works by Visiting Associate Professor of Dance Doug Elkins, Visiting Instructor in Dance Sarah Konnor, and University students. The Spring Dance Concert will be held Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. This show will feature dances from across genres by University students from various class years. Closing out the dance department’s semester, the Worlds of Dance Showcase will be held on Sunday, May 7, showcasing a variety of dances in styles from around the world.

In addition to getting involved with the Dance Department, make sure to check out some of the incredible performances from the University’s talented student dance groups. 

Starting off, the deadline to sign up to dance or perform in Collective Motion (CoMo)’s spring showcase was Friday, Feb. 3. CoMo welcomes all undergraduate students who are interested in dancing and choreographing, and gives space to many forms of dance including contemporary, modern, jazz, and ballet. The group will hold its spring show on Saturday, April 2.

“I am looking forward to our showcase because it is always so fun to see what everyone comes up with and how for one night we all come together and perform,” CoMo Director Anoushka Saluja wrote in an email to The Argus. “CoMo is a super fun dance group to be in and it is open to everyone (any style of dance and any amount of background in dance) so everyone should join!!! We have fun social events and hope to have some exciting classes and workshops this semester too.”

FXT, a hip-hop dance collective consisting of Fusion Dance Crew, X-Tacy Dance Collective, and Precision Dance Company, held auditions on Sunday, Feb. 5, and will have three separate performances this semester, one for each troupe. Though show dates and locations are still tentative, it is likely that the troupes will perform back-to-back for three weekends in April.

Separately from FXT, Precision Dance Company will be holding two showings of its annual formal spring performance on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7. Titled “Illuminate,” this performance will showcase a variety of contemporary, jazz, and lyrical pieces choreographed by students.

“This year, I’m most excited about seeing all the new choreography that our dancers will create!” Precision Director Ava Hogan ’24 wrote in an email to The Argus. “We have so many talented and creative minds on our team, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. I’m also very excited to choreograph with my fellow co-directors and create our Intro/Outro pieces. We’re gonna put together a killer show this semester, so I’m also excited for everyone else to see it!”

KPop Dance Crew (KDC) will host its end-of-semester showcase on Saturday, May 6 in Memorial Chapel. KDC welcomes all students interested in KPop and KPop dance regardless of previous dance experience, so make sure to get involved if you are interested!

“We’re just looking for some fun time doing each other’s favorite dance together,” KDC Co-leader Maxine Ma ’23 wrote in an email to The Argus.

WesBurlesque hosted auditions for their annual spring show on Sunday, Feb. 12, Monday, Feb. 13, and Tuesday, Feb 14. Featuring a burlesque dance show of around 15 acts, WesBurlesque is dedicated to focusing on sexuality, intimacy, and vulnerability through its performance. The group will perform on Sunday, May 4, Monday, May 5, and Tuesday, May 6, and all proceeds from this show will go to a charity or local organization. 

And finally, this semester campus will see the return of Terpsichore Dance, otherwise known as TERP! Though COVID-19 has put this group’s performances on pause since 2019, TERP is happy to be back. Terpsichore Dance will be holding “auditions” Thursday, March 2 in Fayerweather 106, and their show will feature dances choreographed by students. TERP encourages all to participate regardless of dance experience, so grab your sneakers and go bust a move!

If you can’t get enough of dance on campus, don’t forget to check out student dance groups including Wesleyan Swing Dance, WesMalai, Suya, Wesleyan’s Latin and Ballroom Dance Club, and more!


Kat Struhar can be reached at kstruhar@wesleyan.edu


From the faculty department show “Everybody” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins to the Spike Tape original show “Untitled Christmas Special,” the theater scene on campus last semester was packed! This semester is filled with even more productions, showcasing the many talented casts and designers on the Wesleyan campus.

Starting off, we have the faculty department show, “Ocean Filibuster,” an original production created by Lisa D’Amour, Sxip Shirey, and Assistant Professor of Theater Katie Pearl showing in the CFA Theater on May 4 through 6. The show takes the audience into a future global senate called the Global Federation for Humans on Earth. There they meet Mr. Majority, who is proposing a bill to shrink the oceans down into marketable lagoons, develop the land that is left behind, and turn to science and technology to do all the jobs that the ocean currently does. When he opens up the floor for debate, the first person who comes to filibuster against the bill is the ocean in human form.

Both Mr. Majority and the Ocean are played by the same professional actor Pearl is bringing in. However, over the course of the musical, the ocean expands into a full ensemble, and this is where the Wesleyan student cast comes in.

When asked about how she came up with this idea, Pearl detailed how she and her collaborator, D’Amour, were given a commission from the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the American Repertory Theater to create a show about an aspect of the environment. From speaking to scientists, they honed in and became interested in telling a story about the ocean. 

“We started getting a picture of the ocean as this entity that for hundreds of years has been taking human crap, whether that’s increased carbon emissions or plastics and pollution or whether it’s over fishing,” Pearl said.“It’s been made to serve humanity and because it’s so vast and so good at taking our crap, humans have been protected from recognizing how bad our behavior actually is.” 

Pearl expressed her excitement about the collaboration between the Theater and Earth & Environmental Sciences departments for this project as well as other arts and activism events curated by the CFA Theater leading up to the show. Events like “Art and Policy Salon: Acting on Climate Change” and “Sea Creature Sewing: Entangled and Ingested” (and more!) were planned by the new Director of the Center for the Arts Josh Lubin-Levy ’06 and Associate Director for Programming and Performing Arts at the Center for the Arts and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater Fiona Coffey. 

Next up, we have “Top Girls” by Caryl Churchill! This is a senior thesis directed by Annabella Machnizh ’23 that is going up in the ’92 Theater on March 2, 3, and 4. The show revolves around a central theme of feminism, what it really means to be a girlboss, and the ultimate fall of the girlboss.

c/o Wesleyan CFA

c/o Wesleyan CFA

“‘Top Girls’ is a story about the best and worst in women,” Machnizh said. “It’s a story about how patriarchy has seeped into ambition and how patriarchy has seeped into the way women behave with each other. And it really posed the question to me of ‘do empowered women really empower other women?’” 

Machnizh was drawn to “Top Girls” because of how it centers on women from all different walks of life coming together into a shared space and talking. When reading through the play, she realized that she wanted to make her thesis an opportunity for female-identifying and queer students, and facilitate a space for each person’s voice to be heard.

“There’s conversations about being a woman and being a mother and what it means to live a life in patriarchy throughout time. So much of our lives are conditional on all of that history and that’s led us to where we are now,” Machnizh said.

With such a quick timeline, Machnizh started the planning process early into last semester, and rehearsals with the cast started over winter break. When asked about the creative process so far, she spoke fondly of both the designer team and cast.

“The creative process has been a beautiful jumbling up of my brain with a bunch of other peoples’ brains and once I got a beautiful cast, I was able to see it come alive and start that creative process in the room and through conversation, so far that’s been absolutely fantastic,” Machnizh said.“It’s had its bumps and it’s had its difficulties but it’s been really rewarding.”

Spike Tape, the student theater organization on campus, has a lot lined up for this semester. They started the semester off strong by bringing back One Day Plays, which was originally a Second Stage tradition, on Feb. 4. Like the name suggests, One Day Plays are when a writer, director and actors get together and put up a one-act play in one day. The following week, on Feb. 11, there was a Spike Tape Cabaret in the ’92 Theater run by Miles Allen ’24. This was a different version of last year’s Musical Showcase, Spike Tape’s debut event.

Future shows to look out for are “A Fable for Now” going up April 7 and 8, “Leave if No Response” going up April 14-16, “SMAC: A Farewell to Butts D” going up April 21 and 22, “Twelfth Night” going up April 27-29, “Dance Nation” going up April 28 and 29, and “Fun Home” going up May 5 and 6. Two other shows that Spike Tape is publicizing are “Aubrey’s Pencil Box” going up April 28 and 29, and “Crush! Crush! Crush!” going up May 8.

Before the semester began, the team had a Spike Tape Summit where they laid out policies and protocols for how to facilitate interpersonal conflicts and address burnout.

“Last semester, we knew there was a lot of policy organizational stuff that had to be discussed that we just didn’t have the time to discuss because we were so immersed in all the productions happening,” Charlotte George ’24 said. “So we thought of the idea of having an intensive three to four days where we come in, only talk about Spike Tape, figure out policy, organization, that kind of stuff.”

The summit started the Monday night of move-in and went on for three days. At the end of their meetings, they would grab dinner with each other and have after-dinner socials.

“It was a great way to talk policy while also getting closer with everyone,” George said.


Sabrina Ladiwala can be reached at sladiwala@wesleyan.edu

Comments are closed