PCA Professor Receives Humanities Grant
The New York Council for the Humanities has awarded Charles Pepiton, a visiting assistant professor of Performance and Communication Arts at St. Lawrence University, a $3,000 grant for his performance project, “Now at the Uncertain Hour.”
The show features characters speaking from both historical and contemporary perspectives, live music for clawhammer banjo and modular synthesizer, and projected video. In addition to Pepiton, the creative team for the project includes playwright Damon Falke from Bergen, Norway; musician and Adjunct Assistant Professor for First-Year Program Camilla Ammirati; and Assistant Professor of Art and Art History Richard (Wes) Kline.
According to Pepiton, “Now at the Uncertain Hour” is a theatrical dialogue of stories and music designed as a multi-format experience to engage simultaneously a local onsite audience, regional listeners of North Country Public Radio (WSLU-FM), and worldwide viewers of an online video feed. The production encourages the different audiences to engage with each other in real time and to contribute their own stories to be preserved digitally for future listeners.
Pepiton explained that the focus of the theatrical production is storytelling. “Our facility for storytelling suffers as technologies teach us to emphasize the present over the past, the superficial over the substantial, the transitory over the eternal,” he said in the grant proposal. “In contrast, this show will invite audiences to take a sustained look at that which can be saved – story, memory, and connections between individuals.” The production also:
- Encourages processes of making meaning and articulating identity through storytelling.
- Provides a concrete means for community members to share and document their own particular stories as a lasting digital record for the public.
- Creates a shared understanding of how individual and personal histories fit together within the complexity of human history.
- Increases free, universally accessible humanities and cultural programming for rural and underserved communities.
- Explores the potential of live theatrical performance given emergent capabilities posed by interconnected live audio/video streaming and radio broadcast.
"Now at the Uncertain Hour" builds upon the 2010 stage production of “The Sun is in the West,” which was created by playwright Falke, Square Top Repertory Theatre, and Pepiton as director.
The premier performance of “Now at the Uncertain Hour” will take place on May 10, 2014, at the Edwards Opera House in Edwards, N.Y.
For more information about the project, visit www.cpepiton.com/now-at-the-uncertain-hour/.