The University’s Theater and Film Departments and student groups are on track to host a variety of enticing events this semester. If you want to enjoy compelling stories and gripping performances, make sure to check out as many of them as you can!
The fall semester brings the production season of senior thesis films. Some upcoming senior thesis films searching for cast and crew include “Seeing Double” from Natalie Williams ’24 and “Knocking On Wood” from Stefano Canavesio ’24. Those interested in taking to the big screen (both on and behind the camera) should keep an eye out for auditions and crew recruitment starting soon.
The Wesleyan Film Series resumed for the Fall 2023 semester on Wednesday, Sept. 6 with a showing of “Hairspray” followed by a Zoom Q&A with Academy Museum curators Jenny He ’02 and Dara Jaffe ’09. This will be the third week in the Film Series lineup, showcasing “A New Old Play” (2021) on Thursday, Sept. 21, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (2023) on Friday, Sept. 22, and “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters” (1985) on Saturday, Sept. 23. Other notable movies coming up in the series include “Barbie” (2023) on Friday, Oct. 6 and “Scream” (1996) on Friday, Oct. 13.
Until Oct. 11, the Film Series will show recently released movies from Hispanic filmmakers around the world on Wednesdays in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Having kicked off the celebration with the Bolivian film “Utama” (2022) last week on Sept. 8, the Series will show a new feature-length film made by Spanish, Mexican, Chilean, and Puerto Rican directors each week.
All movies in the Film Series start at 8:00 p.m. at the Jeanine Basinger Center for Film Studies. On Fridays, admission is $5, but all films shown on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are free to watch. For more information about the Film Series as it continues, check out our Cinefiles column!
Starting off the fall for theater at the University are One Day Plays, intense and fun one-act theater productions that are written, blocked, and performed in 24 hours. One Day Plays have been postponed to Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23 to avoid scheduling conflicts with Rosh Hashanah and the SHADES theater collective’s open mic event, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 16. One Day Plays are open to all students, who are welcome to sign up to participate as playwrights, directors, and actors.
Spike Tape has a busy season coming up this semester, kicking off with “About Her,” a play focused on a relationship between a woman and her husband and how they’re perceived by the community around them. It will be premiering on Oct. 13 and 14 in the Patricelli ’92 Theater. Two more performances will take place at the end of this month. “Bad Jews” is a 2013 off-Broadway dark comedy about family, faith, and the beliefs you choose. It will show on Oct. 27 and 28 in the Patricelli ’92 Theater. “Almost, Maine” spotlights nine different emotional experiences under the northern lights in Maine using a cast entirely made up of puppets, and will show in WestCo Cafe on Oct. 27 and 28.
Additionally, check out “BONAR!,” an original musical written by Noah Frato-Sweeney ’24 that will debut in the Patricelli ’92 Theater on Nov. 3 and 4. The musical is based on Bonar Law, a forgotten British prime minister from the 1920s, and satirizes modern historical musicals like “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02. November is a hot month for student performances, continuing with a Y2K reimagining of William Shakespeare’s play “Much Ado About Nothing,” which will be performed in WestCo Cafe on Nov. 10 and 11. Musical lovers should be sure not to miss “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” an electropop opera adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” that will be performed in the ’92 Theater on Nov. 17 and 18.
Closing out the Spike Tape season on Dec. 1 and 2, dancers of all experience levels will perform Act II of “The Nutcracker,” bringing holiday cheer to the University. For more information about Spike Tape performances, or to find ways to get involved, be sure to check out their website.
In addition, Noisy Visuals, a student art collective, is combining film and theater to create two music videos for their multimedia musical “PIPPIN,” adapted from the musical of the same name. Rehearsals and filming for the musical will begin in early November, with production continuing until April 2024. Stay tuned for more updates as the semester progresses!
Erick Buendia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caleb Henning can be reached at email@example.com.