By John Hogan
The winter is finally thawing and gaggles of Nantucket red shorts are migrating back to New England. Frisbees, sunshine and warmth, visible grass—so many things that seemed like a distant memory have returned. And what better way to celebrate the end of a winter that even Ned Stark wouldn’t have had enough blankets for than attending this year’s Arts Festival? Beginning this Thursday and continuing on until Saturday, the campus-wide celebration of creativity is bound to have at least one event for everybody. Are you a theatre pundit? A literary connoisseur? Check out our list of top three festival essentials for every artistic persuasion.
Top Three Can’t-Miss Festival Moments…
…for Art Aficionados
Don’t get lost in the in the marathon of events and forget to see the star of this year’s Arts Festival: alumni Chris Doyle ’81. His receiving of this year’s Arts Council Alumni Award is more than deserved: his interdisciplinary work combines video, animation, and watercolors and channels the parallels between urbanity and nature. Watch the full version of “Bright Canyon” here. Other works of his, like “The Fluid,” explore how cultural frames affect our view of landscapes. A constant theme of his work is the evocation of ecological wonder and vibrancy and the relationship between civilization and nature. Doyle will receive the Arts Council Alumni Award on Friday at 4:00. The ceremony and following reception are free and open to all.
Make sure to come by on Friday at 2:15 for Inside the BC Studio. Here Doyle will be interviewed about his career, his time at BC, and the relation between the two. Also stop by the tent on Saturday at 2:00 for the Industry Insider Panel. Here the tables will be turned and Doyle will interview Denise Markonish, Curator of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the MFA. Both events will paint a portrait of the arts industry and illustrate what it’s like to be the person painting the pictures as well as the person who puts them on the wall.
…for Theatre ‘Thusiasts
If you’re longing for live performance—whether comedic or dramatic—there are a few events to keep an eye out for. The Boston College Theater Department will be performing Shakespeare’s final play The Tempest all three nights in Robsham at 7:30 PM. But if you’re looking for something more lighthearted than fraternal betrayal and twisted monarchial machinations, the Committee for Creative Enactments is putting on an “interactive comedic murder mystery” in the O’Connell House on both Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 and 9:00. Another option is to come celebrate the 35th anniversary of My Mother’s Fleabag—they’re performing in the O’Neil Plaza on Friday night at 8:00.
…for Music Maestros
Thursday and Friday both have a few notable options for live music in the O’Neill Plaza. For those of Gaelic origins or orientations, Seamus Connolly is directing the Irish Studies Music Program Thursday at noon. There will be dancing, music, and discussion of the culture behind them both. Later on at 8:00, CAB and the Music Guild will co-host BC’s Best. Come watch original singer-songwriters and bands battle each other for the approval of tired college students! Jazz enthusiasts should be pleased to hear that BC bOp! is performing Friday at noon. If you feel like bOpFlix! wasn’t enough, then you have the opportunity to see bOp! perform one more hour of its extensive jazz literature. Whatever you spend the rest of your day doing, make sure to stop by the O’Neil Plaza again at 9:30 for BC Underground. There you’ll find an hour and a half of genres that are typically underrepresented in the BC community. Break dancing and electronic music aren’t advertised too often around campus, so don’t miss the opportunity to transcend the BC bubble on-campus.
…for Lit Lovers
There’s a plethora of literature and poetry readings at his year’s Arts Festival. Stylus—BC’s largest and oldest student-run literary publication—is having a reception for the launch of its Spring issue. Come to Stokes South 195 at 7:30 to hear short fiction and poetry read by their original authors. But if that’s not enough to entice you, know that there will be snacks.
If Stylus doesn’t interest you, there will be two smaller—and perhaps more subversive—readings to keep an eye out for. Juice will be having two readings, both in the Stokes Art Tent. Come Friday at 6:15 or Saturday at 6:00 to hear poetry that embodies the black experience in both the university and postgraduate worlds. The Laughing Medusa will also have a reading Friday afternoon, again at the Stokes Art Tent. Take a seat at 1:00 to hear the work of BC’s most progressive and creative women.
… for Dance Devotees
BC’s dance teams have been rehearsing vigorously these past few weeks for their upcoming three days of performances. Rather than splitting each team into its own event, there will be a Dance Showcase of all the teams together in the O’Neil Plaza each afternoon. You can watch the eighteen groups perform styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop at either 12:45 or 2:45 on Thursday, 1:15 on Friday, or 1:00 on Saturday. These showcases are a unique opportunity to see extraordinarily talented dancers perform styles you’re both familiar and foreign to in the same space.
If you’d rather dance than watch people dance, you’ll have to wait until 8:00 on Saturday for Dancing with bOp! There’ll be live jazz and choreography from BC dance groups. If you’re not too busy watching The Tempest, there could no better way to end this year’s Arts Festival than with dancing and jazz. You may be tired after three days of wandering from creative spirit to creative spirit, but I guarantee you’ll leave in high spirits.