Plays at Play: Three Playwrights Respond to Art & Empathy

Lanxing Fu, Julia May Jonas, and Andrew Rincón create new work inspired by the exhibition ‘Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy’

Installation view, Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy, on view at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College through December 18, 2022. Photo by Shawn LaChapelle.

SARATOGA SPRINGS— The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College announces the premiere performances on Thursday, October 27, of newly commissioned works-in-progress by acclaimed playwrights Lanxing Fu, Julia May Jonas, and Andrew Rincón in response to the Tang exhibition Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy.

The three new works will be performed at 6 pm and 7:30 pm on October 27, in the Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy exhibition at the Tang. Skidmore College students from the Theater Department will perform under the direction of Skidmore faculty members Artist-in-Residence Teisha Duncan, Visiting Assistant Professor Ji Won Jeon, and Lecturer of Dance Hettie Barnhill.

Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy presents photography, painting, textile, and moving image from the Tang collection to explore ways art can support empathic feeling. The collaboration between the Tang and Skidmore’s Theater Department is organized by Tang Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara, the exhibition curator, and Lisa Jackson-Schebetta, Associate Professor and Chair of the Theater Department.

“When Rebecca first told me about the exhibition and how it explores ideas of empathy, image, and bodily experience, I was immediately inspired because theater and performance also grapple with these complicated aspects of meaning making,” Jackson-Schebetta said. “I am thrilled to be able to invite such esteemed playwrights to work with our students and faculty to present something new, surrounded by the stunning, though-provoking work in the exhibition. This has been a wonderful opportunity for learning and exploring together, an opportunity we now extend to the broader community.”

The performances are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Masks are optional, and mask-wearing is supported. For more information, contact that Tang Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or tang@skidmore.edu, or visit https://tang.skidmore.edu.

About the Playwrights

Lanxing Fu is a Chinese American theater artist and co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, an interdisciplinary community engaged in theater-making to shift culture toward climate and environmental justice. She is also a lead teaching artist with Big Green Theater, an after-school eco-playwriting program in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her writings are published on HowlRound and in American Theatre. She has taught acting at Peridance Capezio Center, and has been a workshop facilitator and speaker with The New School, Asian American Arts Alliance, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, CESTEMER, and more. She was a member of TCG’s 2019 Conference Committee on Climate and is part of TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color 2020 cohort.

Julia May Jonas is a writer, director, and the founder of theater company Nellie Tinder. She is also a novelist, whose debut, Vladimir, was published earlier this year. She has taught at Skidmore College and New York University and lives in Brooklyn with her family. 

Andrew Rincón is a queer Colombian American playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been developed with Rising Circle Theatre Collective, INTAR, Amios, the Austin Latino New Play Festival, The Amoralists Theatre Company, Pork Filled Productions (Seattle), Out Front Productions (Atlanta) and The 24 Hour Plays. He was one of six playwrights in Wright Club, The Amoralist’s Theatre Company’s yearlong playwright development program (2015–2016). He was a member of INKtank Lab for Playwrights of Color (2017) and the 2017 Fornés Playwriting Workshop (Chicago). He is winner of the 2018 Chesley/Bumbalo Grant for writers of Gay and Lesbian Theatre and New Light Theatre Project’s New Light New Voices Award (2019). He is a company member of Unit 52 at INTAR, a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow (2019–2020) and a MacDowell Fellow (Winter 2020).

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