Spring 2023 Events

Projects & Participation Kick-off

The Projects & Participation Kick-off is a general information session for Cornell students wanting to get involved in PMA's theatre, film, dance, and live performance projects.

January 25th, 7:30 p.m., Kiplinger Theatre


PMA Call for Actors - Spring 2023

Roles are available for stage and screen. Meet directors in a low-stress environment and see what interests you! 

Open to all Cornell students, faculty, and staff.

The directors of Soul MiningMine, and The Family Copoli will be in attendance to meet with interested actors and performers.

January 26th, 7:00 p.m., Flexible Theatre


Festival 24

Festival 24 features an array of plays written, directed, rehearsed, and performed by students in just 24 hours!

January 28th, 7:30 p.m., Flexible Theatre


Professional Directions: A Conversation with Gabriella Moses

Gabriella A. Moses is an award-winning director, writer, and production designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Her production design work has been featured across top film festivals across the globe including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and SXSW. Co-sponsored by the Latina/o Studies Program

February 16th, 5:00 p.m., Film Form


PMAPS Colloquium: Dotun Ayobade

Dotun Ayobade is an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He studies how embodied forms of popular culture shape the meaning of community, justice, and activism in late twentieth century West Africa. The title of Professor Ayobade's talk is Ethnographies of Serious Play: Sensing the Ludic in a Women’s History of Afrobeat Music. Co-sponsored by the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program.

February 17th, 3:00 p.m., Film Forum | Register in advance for Zoom option


Heading into Night: a clown play on... (forgetting)
A Clown Workshop by Daniel Passer, Cirque du Soleil/CalArts

Heading into Night: a clown play on... (forgetting) is a performance piece focusing on the realities, the ache and pull, the emptiness and the peripatetic joy-the language of loss-inherent in experiencing (encountering) dementia.

Heading into Night is a collaboration between devisor/collaborators Associate Professor Beth F. Milles (Cornell University) and Daniel Passer (Cal Arts/Cirque du Soleil), devised as a clown ode on loss and remembrance.

Daniel Passer will be doing a clown workshop on Saturday, February 18th, at the Schwartz Center. Participants will learn from a world-renowned clown Conceptor, performer, and educator (performance instigator).

February 18th, 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Class of 56 Flexible Theatre | Contact Associate Professor Beth F Milles to sign up for the workshop.


Soul Mining

A staged reading of a work in progress, Soul Mining is a short meditation on emotion, connection, and sensation as we consider the entirety of our lives and the eventual trajectory of the natural world. More of an allegorical or abstract representation than anything else, the work follows four unnamed characters as they puzzle over what they have been left with and what they have left behind. Written by John Colie.

February 18th, 7:30 p.m., Black Box Theatre | Get Tickets


Locally Grown Dance

Locally Grown Dance (LGD) is an annual dance showcase performed by PMA dance students.

March 9th, 10th, and 11th, 7:30 p.m., Kiplinger Theatre | Get Tickets


PMAPS Colloquium: Jung Joon Lee

Jung Joon Lee, Associate Professor, Theory and History of Art and Design, Rhode Island School of Design; Fellow, The Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, 2022-23, In this talk, Jung Joon Lee explores trans-Pacific intimacies engendered through collaborative art projects, namely QueerArch (2019), focusing on spaces of exhibition as sites generating affective ruptures with the official histories, memories, and kinships of East Asia that maintain a strong hold on both sides of the Pacific. The title of Professor Lee's talk is On Trans-Pacific Collaboration and Repair: Notes from QueerArch (2019) and Queer/Feminist/Praxis (2021). Co-sponsored by the History of Art, Asian American Studies Program (AASP), FGSS and LGBT Studies Program.

March 10th, 3:00 p.m., Film Forum | Register in advance for Zoom option


Professional Directions: A Conversation with Daniel Passer (Clown Conceptor, Cirque de Soleil, CalArts)

Daniel Passer creates work as a performer, writer and director. For over a decade, Daniel has been a lead Clown and Comedy Conceptor for Cirque du Soleil and Dragone Entertainment. Daniel currently is on the faculty of the Theater School at CalArts where he is also the Associate Director of Performance. He has taught Commedia/Clown/Improvisation at Moscow Art Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Brown University, Harvard, Cornell, CalArts, Trinity College, The Second City and was a Master Acting Teacher for The Edward Albee Theatre Festival and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. Daniel was the U.S. representative at the International Commedia dell’Arte Festival in Italy and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. For more, please visit danielpasser.com.

Moderated by HEADING INTO NIGHT collaborator and PMA Associate Professor Beth F. Milles

March 13th, 5:00 p.m., Film Forum


Professional Directions: A Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker – David Siev (BAD AXE)

Midwest-born and raised, David is a first-generation Cambodian-Mexican-American filmmaker. Prior to directing his SXSW award-winning feature debut, BAD AXE, David attended the University of Michigan film school. He spent his early career embracing the versatility of guerrilla filmmaking, working on various projects under director Jeff Tremaine including BAD TRIP (Netflix), THE DIRT (Netflix). He first made waves in the Asian-American festival circuit with the debut of his award-winning short film based on his father's experience of surviving the "killing fields" titled YEAR ZERO. The film would go on to win Best Narrative Short awards from the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Manhattan International Film Festival, and several others. David now lives in New York City and is focused on developing narrative and documentary projects.

March 16th, 4:30 p.m., Film Forum 


Contact and Transmission: A Queer Historiography of the Artist Keith Haring, a talk by Professor Ricardo Montez

In this talk, Ricardo Montez discusses the challenges of writing a historical narrative about the popular artist Keith Haring. Most stories about the artist fail to address Haring’s desire for and contact with Black and Latinx bodies with any depth, choosing instead to privilege a vision of the great, white male artist who made “art for everybody.” What does it mean to make racial production a central part of art historical analysis? How do traditional forms of historical narrative fail to capture the political complexities of cross-racial contact? How does one demonstrate a deep respect for the skill and brilliance of an artist while giving scope to political ambivalence toward productive ends? Montez explores these questions through an interdisciplinary approach to archival matter and visual art, feeling through fields of affect and desire animated by Keith Haring’s line as it travels across surfaces including subway walls, canvases, photosensitive materials, and human flesh.

Part of the Critical Moves: Performance in Theory & Movement Series, this event is funded by a Humanities Impact Grant, with generous support and co-sponsorship from the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the Latina/o Studies Program.

March 23rd, 5:00 p.m., Film Forum


Special Film Screening FANCY DANCE, a film by Erica Tremblay

FANCY DANCE announces the arrival of a major directorial talent: Erica Tremblay. Her unflinching exploration of marginalization uses a mystery narrative as a springboard for an oblique coming-of-age story, lovingly and luminously enacted by Gladstone and Deroy-Olson. Tremblay’s juxtaposition of settler violence against the strength of Indigenous communities offers a nuanced account of the human costs of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic and the possibilities of healing for those left behind. This event is sponsored by the Department of Performing and Media Arts, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP), and the Cornell Cinema.

March 23rd, 6:00 p.m., Cornell Cinema


Blending realism and abstraction, this full-length play explores the future and the past, technology and humanity, solitude and family. Written, translated from Russian, rewritten, and directed by Anna Evtushenko, PhD candidate in Information Science.

March 24th, 5:00 p.m., March 25th, 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

and March 26th, 2:00 p.m., Black Box Theatre | Get Tickets

From the Big Red to the Red Carpet: A two-day visit with alumni filmmakers Scott Ferguson ‘83 and Michael Kantor ‘83

Cornell alums Scott Ferguson and Michael Kantor will reflect on their award-winning careers in film and television production. The pair — Cornell classmates — will discuss their parallel paths in narrative and documentary filmmaking from their student days at Cornell to their current roles as executive producers of HBO’s “Succession” and the PBS series “American Masters,” respectively.

Day One: A conversation with clips, moderated by PMA Associate Professor Austin Bunn. Immediately followed by a Red Carpet Reception, Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room, featuring food, selfie stations with Emmys, a chance to meet the producers and other activities.

March 28th, 6:00 p.m., Cornell Cinema

Day Two: At 5:30 p.m. a sneak-peek screening from Season 4 of “Succession,” followed by Q&A with Ferguson and at 7:30 p.m. Screening of “Dr. Tony Fauci,” Kantor’s newest documentary about the star of the COVID pandemic response, followed by Q&A with Kantor.

March 29th, 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Cornell Cinema

A Love Supreme, a conversation with photographer Lola Flash

As a longtime figure in New York's downtown art scene, Lola Flash’s artistic practice focuses on the intersection of race, sexual identity, aging, and social justice activism. Flash directly engages those who are often deemed invisible, as their work is an introspective assessment of their life experience. Their art and activism are profoundly connected, fueling a life-long commitment to visibility, and preserving the legacy of LGBTQIA+ and communities of color worldwide. Flash has work included in important collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, MoMA, the Whitney, the Museum of the African American of History and Culture and the Brooklyn Museum. They are currently a proud member of the Kamoinge Collective, and on the Board of Queer Art. For further information on flash, please visit: Lolaflash.com Part of the Critical Moves: Performance in Theory & Movement Series, this event is funded by a Humanities Impact Grant, with generous support and co-sponsorship from the Department of Performing and Media Arts.

April 13th, 5:00 p.m., Film Forum


Nature’s Play: An Invasive Performance

Adam Shulman '23, the creator of "Nature's Play: An Invasive Performance," has spent a year tending to a degraded thicket near Cornell University's North Campus. The result of Shulman's efforts will become an immersive, eco-theatrical installation to reconsider the effect of human apathy and give voice to the grove's residents. The installation will feature a sculptural set design woven from uprooted invasive plants and collected debris. The on-site performances will draw parallels between biological and social networks to challenge perceptions of land ownership, standards of natural care, and the origins of invasive species. For more information, please visit https://www.adamshulman.art/nature-play

April 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd, 7:00 p.m., Palmer Woods at Cornell University

Free and open to the public.
First-come, first-served.

"Nature's Play: An Invasive Performance" is sponsored by the Cornell Rural Humanities Initiative from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award.

PMAPS Colloquium: Shanti Pillai & Marc Gomes

To the Academy is a multimedia performance work inspired by Kafka’s short story, A Report for an Academy, and the ancient Sanskrit treatise on performance, The Natyashastra. The piece weaves a tale about an ape couple rehearsing a music hall show for a group of scholars. As the apes grapple with how to entertain their audience, they stage a sexy romp through contemporary culture wars and collapsing institutions. The one-hour performance is followed by discussion with the audience. Content Warning: moment of nudity

April 21st, 3:00 p.m., Film Forum

Out Here: 3 Short Films about Rural LGBT Life

This spring event, sponsored by Cornell's Rural Humanities Initiative, will feature three award-winning short films by writer/director Austin Bunn, Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts. A post-show panel Q&A will include those featured in each film: David Hirsch ("Lavender Hill"), Claudia Brenner ("In the Hollow"), and Wayne Mitteer ("Campfire"), and will be facilitated by Gerard Aching, Cornell's W. E. B. DuBois Professor in the Humanities. The films have screened variously at Outfest (L.A.), Inside Out (Toronto), Cleveland Film Festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, Sidewalk, Shortoftheweek.com, and elsewhere. The screening and Q&A will be followed by a reception at Moosewood Restaurant.

April 26th 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Cinemapolis

The Family Copoli: a post-apocalyptic burlesque and repopulation play

PMA presents 'The Family Copoli: a post-apocalyptic burlesque and repopulation play'. Written by Andy Colpitts (book/lyrics) and Michael Wookey (music). This new musical follows a family theatre troupe in an environmentally ravaged world where humans have utterly lost the will to carry on, and the population has sunk to near extinction levels. The Family Copoli goes from settlement to encampment performing a rowdy, sexy burlesque show to try to arouse the audience to copulate, procreate, and save the human race. It is an exuberant, irreverent and dark exploration of entertainment at the end of days.

April 28th and 29th, May 5th and 6th, 7:30 p.m., Kiplinger Theatre | Get Tickets


Centrally Isolated Film Festival (CIFF)

Centrally Isolated Film Festival celebrates the work of student filmmakers from across the upstate and greater central New York region.

April 29th and 30th, Film Forum


Student Film Screening

Join us as students from PMA's film production courses screen their films in the Schwartz Center's Kiplinger Theatre. Free and open to the public. First come, first served. *For mature audiences only. Films contain material that may be triggering to some audience members.

May 12th, 5:00 p.m., Kiplinger Theatre