March 09, 2012 by Ali Swider
The students of Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design areinthe middle oftheirown March Madness, presenting a multitude ofdifferentperformances, presentations and exhibits across the spectrum of media arts and design majors.
March 1 marked the first of manyanticipatedshowings created by our fellow Dragons for the cultural fancies of students, faculty and visitors alike. To recap:
The Mandell ProfessionalsinResidence Project presented “The Poet Laureate of Capitalism” (previously “BadBoyShakespeare”) March 1-4. As a collaborationbetweenThe RiotGroup— aNew York Citytheatricalcompany— and Drexel students, “The Poet Laureate of Capitalism”features14 Dragons and professionalactorBrian Osborne. Through the creative authority of playwright Adriano Shaplin and director Whit MacLaughlin, the play de-romanticizes the life of William Shakespeare to culminateinhis final tragic work.
The Drexel Gospel Choir celebrated its 34th anniversary March 3. They performed celebrated gospel pieces such as Milton Brunson’s “Available to You,” James Roberson’s “Revive Us Again” and Joe Pace’s “Everything That Hath Breath.” In addition to this musical performance was the Jazz Extravaganza XIII. Director George Starks and the Drexel Jazz Orchestra joined forces with the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble for this annual celebration of the legendary genre.
While these groups delivered unforgettable performances, the show has only just begun — though for some programs the show has been running for some time now. The Architecture: Faculty and Alumni Show, hosted in the Pearlstein Gallery and Chapman Court, opened Feb. 21and runs until March 16. This exhibition displays the work of faculty, alumni and students for the upcoming architecture accreditation visit. Based on the presentation of models, publications, boards and creative pieces, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) will judge the University’s architecture program for accreditation, which is needed for proper licensure in the field. Needless to say, this is a weighty presentation, and for that reason it could certainly benefit from the enthusiasm and support characteristic of the Drexel community — so we can all do our part to help!
Westphal’s music program has also started “A Week of Music,” scheduled to run until March 18. This puts the spotlight on student musicians, starting with the Drexel Fusion Band and Rock Ensemble Winter Concert on Tuesday, March 13. The Guitar and Mediterranean Ensembles will then perform an American-international fusion show March 14. The All-College Choir and String Orchestra will continue the celebrations on Friday, March 16, with an inspiring nod to classical music throughout history. Though, for a more otherworldly experience, the Percussion Ensemble is also conducting a concert on Friday that will feature numbers from sci-fi hits like “Star Wars,” “Dr. Who” and “The Twilight Zone.” The University Chorus, led by Steven Powell and accompanied by four professional soloists and the Fairmount Chamber Orchestra, will then conclude the week on Sunday, March 18, with Mozart’s “Requiem,” a tribute to the composer’s last and most controversial work.
As though audiences do not have enough options already, “Urban Intersections,” a photography exhibit,willrun simultaneous to “A Week ofMusic” at The Enclaves in South Philadelphia. Running March 12-19, “Urban Intersections” will present the work of students in Westphal’s Exhibit Design class. Under the direction of professor Victoria Prizzia, these students photographed the city of Philadelphia and its diverse components, subjectively capturing the overlapping relationships and connections between them.
Lastly, Westphalwillbe hosting the Israeli Film Festival for the third consecutive year, screening two films with only a limited supply of free tickets for students. The first, Yossi Madmoni’s award-winning “Restoration,” will air on Saturday, March 17, followed by Doron Eran’s “Melting Away” on Saturday, March 31. Both films are part of the greater Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia, which aims to acknowledge and value the Israeli culture through cinema.
Allinall, Marchwillbe laced with madness — not just from sports, but from the arts as well. Westphal is offering such an abundance of cultural thrills that even the most nonartistic person will have something to take part in and appreciate. So buy a ticket (or multiple) and enjoy the show!