Marianne Kubik: The Forgetting River
In an effort to examine and shine a spotlight on one of modern society’s most troubling and tragic issues, Associate Professor Marianne Kubik’s award-winning project The Forgetting River flips the script on one of the oldest stories in the book. The piece brings together physical theatre, puppetry and ensemble devising to tell the mythological tale of Orpheus from the oft-neglected viewpoint of Eurydice. And in the process, it addresses dark truths about sexual assault in our communities and violations of women’s rights happening around the globe. What emerges is a portrait of a woman facing life-altering choices that resonate across cultures and forces us to ask how we shape our future based on how far we’ve transformed our past beliefs. Kubik, who earned a National Puppetry Conference Emerging Artist grant from the Jim Henson Foundation for the initial development of the project, also uses The Forgetting River to challenge the ways in which the myths that are so deeply ingrained in our culture serve to uphold damaging falsehoods, particularly about women. Last April, The Forgetting River was presented as the culmination of a special course taken by 15 undergraduate students and, with support from the Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts, was performed with post-show discussions in the Helms Theatre as part of the Department of Drama’s RecentWorks series. The course and public performance offered new skills in puppetry, acting, movement and stage combat while sharing the experience of devising new theatre and using it as a vehicle for social action. The production was awarded for its outstanding ensemble, puppet design and directing by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.