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Studio Series Workshops 2022

Harper Joy Theatre’s Studio Series kicks off with three unique workshops held 6–8 p.m. on
November 28, 29, and 30 in Harper Joy Theatre’s Freimann Studio Theatre (the black
box). No prior experience is required. Email Peter de Grasse to sign up and we’ll see you

Sadiqua ImanSadiqua Iman | Workshop
Monday November 28: 6–8 p.m. Freimann Studio Theatre/black box
The Art of the Tease
An interactive workshop where gender and sexuality are erased and the core of seductive performance is brought to the forefront. You will learn how to capture audiences from the front row to the back row of a theatre with a single look. You will discover your own personal sensual power moves, and learn how to infuse them into various theatre, dance, and public speaking engagements. Most of all, you will gain confidence in telling stories with your body that you may never have the courage to tell with your words. 

Mina NishimuraMina Nishimura | Workshop
Tuesday November 29: 6–8 p.m. Freimann Studio Theatre/black box
Becoming No-one: A Dance of Absence
This workshop will offer a series of somatic, breath and movement practices, which reflect some principles of Buddhism, butoh and Noguchi Taiso (or Water Body Movement). Butoh is a Japanese avant-garde dance form, which has kept evolving over the last 60 years or so since its emergence. Although there are no absolute forms and definitions of butoh because of its consistent evolution, the form navigates practitioners to the deep inquiry of their internal landscapes while introducing them to alternate and unorthodox approaches to body and movements.

While getting introduced to butoh-based practices and body-based philosophical inquiries, this workshop will propose a way to liberate our body from a pre-conditioned sense of self in order to facilitate unprecedented transformation and to channel to ever-evolving process of being.

Christopher Williams | Workshop
Wednesday November 30: 6–8 p.m. Freimann Studio Theatre/black box
Queering Myth Through Movement
Drawing from a longstanding personal passion for ancient mythology and folklore, Christopher Williams will offer a workshop inviting participants to reimagine age-old mythic themes in the context of contemporary movement-based performance. A short physical warm-up will prepare participants to learn a series of gestures and/or movement phrases drawn from Williams’s relevant existing repertory and/or create their own. Participants will then be invited to form groups and use these phrases/gestures as building material for collectively devised mini dance compositions embodying and reimagining a selection of proposed archaic queer-themed myths with regards to gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, etc. Teams will then be invited to perform their creations for one another and engage in a large group discussion analyzing their functionality as possible performance pieces and their relevance to our present-day cultural moment as we strive for equity and inclusiveness. Open to all levels of dance/theater/movement experience.

Every Day is Halloween 2022

The Theater and Dance Department invites all students, faculty, and staff across campus to participate in "Every Day Is Halloween!" 

On weekdays from October 24-31 at 4 p.m., Harper Joy will host a WEEK-LONG COSTUME CONTEST!

We invite all Whitman students to the Harper Joy Theatre Lobby to show off your spooky, fabulous, and creative costumes! Our judges will be walking around, and each day the person with the best and most creative costume will be awarded a prize!

If you can't come at 4 p.m., you can come earlier in the day and someone in the Theatre Office will snap a photo of you in your costume, to be entered into the competition at 4 p.m.

  • You can participate as many days as you wish: just one day or every day.
  • Yummy Halloween snacks are provided daily at 4 p.m. to all who show up.
  • Prizes will be awarded each day for the Best Costume.
  • Winners are announced daily with photos.
  • You'll learn what theater people already know: every day can be Halloween if you costume.  

Our judges are: 

Aaron Chvatal, Costume Director for Harper Joy Theatre
Laura Hope, Director of Theater for Harper Joy Theatre
Barb DeLauter, Admin for Harper Joy Theatre
Cade Gordon, Student Undecided
Kiana Ching, Student Philosophy Major

So, dress up, and come enjoy the spooky season at Harper Joy Theatre!


Day 1: Ella Shropshire, Jaime Fields

Day 2: Jaime Fields, Kellen Flynn

Day 3: Banyan Moss, Kellen Flynn and Gillian Brown

Day 4: Nikki Scott, Natalie Traw and Katie Chilton

Day 5: Ella Shropshire, Cas Alexander

Day 6: Kiara Jenins, Gillian Brown, Sonia Xu

Fall Picnic 2022

You are invited to a picnic!
Yes, you!

You don't have to be a Theatre major or Dance minor or have experience!

Join us for pizza & beverages, and get to know our department faculty and students in a casual setting and ask questions.

Drop in next Monday, Sept. 5 between 5:30pm - 7 pm on the lawn outside of the Harper Joy Theatre building.

Rumor has it that there just might be some lawn games.....

Spring Studio Series Workshops

February 28 - March 1 Spring Studio Series guest artists Dez'Mon Omega Fair, LROD, and Jessie Young will teach evening workshops in Harper Joy Theater's Freimann Studio Theater.  No prior experience is required! 
Scroll down for workshop details and email Peter de Grasse to sign up.

February 28|7:00 - 10:00 p.m.|Freimann Studio Theater
Dez'Mon Omega Fair

We'll write. We'll draw. We'll dance. Starting with a check in, group vocalization, and a few short writing prompts. Based on those writings we'll draw.  Then embodying the writing//drawing. But there's a twist, TBA at the workshop!

March 1|7:00 - 10:00 p.m.|Freimann Studio Theater
Jessie Young: Making Practice

Let's use this time to workshop self-directed solo practices, together. We will start with a movement warm-up, then talk with one another to make a list of conditions, practices and durations we will work inside of for the remainder of our time. Please bring any of the following: notebook, book(s), camera, headphones, etc. We will practice making solo practices together in a room and see where we end up by the end of our time. 

March 2|7:00 -10:00 p.m.|Freimann Studio Theater

During this movement session and communal time, we will discover tools and strategies for cultivating movement practices driven by activation, imagination, and daydreaming while holding space for radical tenderness.
No movement experience needed. Open to all.

The Business Side of Theater: Creative Approaches to Diversifying Arts Organizations from the Stage to the Board of Directors

April 30, 2021

Our guest Debbie Chinn will discuss her trajectory from college to high profile positions such as Managing Director of Anna Deavere Smith's Pipeline Project, Girls, Cal Shakes, and CENTERSTAGE; Executive director of Carmel Bach Festival ad Opera Parallèle; membership on Boards of Directors at various institutions. Chinn will share her insights into the business side of the arts and her experiences on the successes and challenges of building diverse and inclusive organizations.

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Putting the Middle East Center Stage

April 23, 2021

Originally from Iran, Torange Yeghiazarian, is the founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, one of the first Middle Eastern-focused theatre companies in the United States.  She will share her journey from her beginnings as the daughter of an Iranian film star and Iranian military officer / night-club owner, to her immigration to the United States following the Iranian revolution, to creating Golden Thread Productions, and bringing theatre about the Middle East and by Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American artists to stages in the United States. The theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary. She is also a director and playwright and was also crucial in the founding of Middle East America: A National New Plays Initiative (MEA). She will share the program’s lasting impact and the future of Middle Eastern American theatre.

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On Borders and Hybridity: Contemporary Latinx Theatre

April 16, 2021

Please join the Theater and Dance department as we explore Latinx theatre with four award-winning U.S. playwrights: Luis Alfaro, Migdalia Cruz, Elaine Romero, and Enrique Urueta.  Co-moderators Laura Hope and Enrique Urueta will lead a discussion about the work of our guest artists, and how their plays engage with ideas of immigration, border culture, hybrid identities, family, language, bilingual play texts, and the importance of Latinx voices in crafting American theatre and identity. A question and answer session with the audience will follow the panelists' discussion.

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Patrick Page: Career Trajectory—Whitman to Broadway

April 9, 2021

Patrick Page, star of Broadway musicals such as Spring Awakening and Hadestown, in which he played Hades. Mr. Page is also a Whitman alum and the Wall Street Journal has called him one of the finest Shakespearean actors in America. Mr. Page will discuss his trajectory from being a theatre major at Whitman, to a career in regional theater and on Broadway.  We will ask for his thoughts on why departments such as Theater and Dance, Music, and Classics are crucial and necessary at a Liberal Arts college.

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Grappling with Othello in Contemporary American Theatre

April 2, 2021

Our guests are Eric Ting, Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater & Obie-award-winning director, and Aldo Billingslea, actor, former Artistic Director of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, & Professor of Theatre at Santa Clara University, where he has also served as Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion.

Cal Shakes’ 2016 version of Othello, was produced in the wake of ongoing high-profile killings of black men in the United States. Mr. Ting and Mr. Billingslea found themselves suddenly more aware of the ways in which the play could recuperate or exploit racist and misogynist images of black men. They wanted to provide an opportunity for audiences to reflect on how art can potentially recuperate racial tensions in our society. As a result, they produced the play with Brechtian “interruptions,” where the actors broke the fourth wall to talk to the audience as themselves in monologues reflecting on the action of the play during key acts of violence in the play that was not staged.  This was also Eric Ting’s first production as the new Artistic Director of Cal Shakes and the first Asian American Artistic Director of the company. Ting also directed the production, and Billingslea starred in the Othello. They will discuss their process and audience reaction.

A Senior Project world premiere and a Paranormal Zoom Production

Developed by Oriana Golden, Eva Sullivan, Emily Krause, Christopher Petit

Do You Think About Me, Too?

Ana has been missing since this summer, presumed dead. Evelyn has run off to Ecuador to avoid that fact. Local talk radio host Miss Claudia has devoted her life to the paranormal, with diminishing returns. And Margot is becoming something other than herself. In, Do You Think About Me, Too? the lives of four women collide in a tangle of grief, ghosts, and good intentions. They say the people we've lost are never truly gone, but who said that was a good thing?

Performed live on Zoom

Thursday–Saturday, March 4–6 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m.

Written by: Emily Krause
Directed by: Christopher Petit
Stage Manager: Jaime Fields
Performed by: Oriana Golden and Eva Sullivan
Audio/Video Prod. /Design: Alyx Kruger
Stage/Zoom Artists: Grace Sanwald, Taylor Kolkem

Life After Whitman: Harper Joy -> NYC

by Emily Krause ’15

Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m.

A job lined up. A job interview lined up. An apartment lease. The lay of the land. This is a (partial) list of things I didn't have in hand when I moved across the country to New York City, two weeks after I graduated from Whitman. What I did have, in my opinion, was a liberal arts degree in theatre that had taught me to Say Yes To Doing Things I Don't Know How To Do. Nearly six years later, I'm still doing that. I'll share some brief background on my journey from Walla Walla to New York, including my transition from acting to writing, but then I'll turn it over to you. Come armed with your questions, fears, and excitements about pursuing a creative life after Whitman, and we can have a conversation about what's next. Spoiler alert: that question never goes away.

Emily Krause is a Brooklyn-based playwright, actor, and songwriter originally from Portland, Oregon. Her work has been read or developed with support from the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Exquisite Corpse Company, The Tank, the Playwriting Collective, the Bechdel Group, The Hearth, and TinyRhino. Her work has been produced at the Center for Performance Research, the IRT 3B Developmental Series, and on Governor's Island. She is a playwright-in-residence with Exquisite Corpse Company, where she is currently developing the mobile, outdoor performance piece Zoetrope. BA: Whitman College. Proud alum of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

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