SIUE Xfest anticipates sellout crowds entering annual 8th year at SIUE

To start off the 2017 Fall Semester, the SIUE Theatre and Dance Department is hosting another installment of Xfest. Xfest delivers a week long experimental theatre experience for students and the public from September 12-15th, 2017.

Conceived in 2009 by Peter Cocuzza, professor of theater and dance, and Chuck Harper, associate professor of theater and dance, Xfest invites artists and theater companies from around the nation to SIUE to share inventive, fresh new performances with the community and campus. The festival will feature productions from four different theatre companies, as well as master classes from some of the dance companies.

Sidra Bell New York’s; “Stella”

“The idea is to experiment,” said Chuck. Experimental theater alerts the audience to “wake up.” Sometimes experimental theater allows artists to celebrate ways to involve audiences in a show. Other times it might incorporate a specific style of dance, such as tap, or creative movement or music, such as jazz, in a space-age setting or a time period that is not customarily associated with the specific style or music genre injected.

“It’s a really big deal for our students and our curriculum, with all of the artists that come here are also teaching…” Antonia Lassar, who performs the one-person show; Post Traumatic Super Delightful (PTSD) on Wednesday night, but will also be teaching 90 min classes the other days of the week. Antonia will be teaching students in a specific interest topic; “Art & Activism”.

“By exposing our students to unique styles of theatre and dance, we encourage them to gain a better understanding of the discipline and to be inspired to create their own works,” said Chuck. “We also believe that it is important to share the creation of new works and gain exposure to experimental theatre, and Xfest plays a vital part in this learning-sharing process.”

This year’s lineup is sure to amaze with a wide variety of topics presented from “Oedipus Apparatus”; a Greek Tragedy, “Post Traumatic Super Delightful”; a critique of sexual assault on college campuses, “Do What You Love”; a dark entrepreneur tale, and Sidra Bell Dance New York’s “Stella”; a dramatic dance ensemble.

“When I started this, it was a lot of work. I do it cause I love it…I love the energy on campus during the week of Xfest. Just watching all people from all over the country, I’m learning things and seeing plays that I’ve never seen. It’s a great experience for all,” said Chuck.

Xfest is made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Provost, College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Theater and Dance.

Tickets are now available at the Theater & Dance Box Office, with SIUE students provided free admission with a valid student I.D.

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