From music and poetry to plays involving meaningful life lessons and dead hookers, the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival provided opportunities for students, faculty and community members to showcase their talents in art, written word, music and theater.
The SLAB release party was held at the Alumni House on Wednesday, April 18. SLAB, the Sound and Literary Art Book, takes hundreds of submissions each year to publish fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and graphic art. This year’s release party featured Jim Daniels, a poet and professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, as the main speaker.
Sheena Carroll, 22, a senior communication and English major and president of SLAB, said that Jim Daniels was a good sport in spite of minor problems in scheduling dinner prior to the speaking engagement. In an effort to treat him to some Slippery Rock cuisine, the SLAB crew took Daniels to the North Country Brewery. What they encountered was something all too familiar to Brewery patrons – a long wait at the door.
“It turned into an hour and a half wait, so Dr. Boggs just took him to En Lai,” Carroll said with a laugh.
On Wednesday, the Collaborative Music Faculty Recital was held in Swope Music Hall. The event was sponsored by Mu Phi Epsilon, the music honorary fraternity. At the reception afterwards, students in attendance expressed their gratitude and appreciation for their music professors and for the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival.
“It’s good to hear the masters of the instrument play, and it’s also nice to know that they’re our teachers,” music education major Jordan Stahle, 21, said. “[Kaleidoscope] is a way to bring awareness back to the arts.”
Junior music education major Amy Mikalauskas, 21, said, “I thought it was cool to showcase all the faculty, because they’ve all had concerts in the Kaleidoscope Fest and just to have them all perform in one venue was really cool. I really enjoyed it.”
Music education major Sean Hamilton, 20, said, “It’s cool just to see people that are so far advanced playing, and it’s great that they’re so accessible to us. They’re people we can talk to on a daily basis and get feedback from. I think seeing them perform and being able to talk to them can directly influence our playing. I just think it’s cool that the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival brings in so many things that people don’t see on a regular basis.”
Throughout the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival, Miller Auditorium hosts Brave New Plays, a series of short plays written and performed by students.
Jason Wolfe, 23, a senior philosophy major, expressed great appreciation for the actors and directors who brought his two plays, “The Heretic’s Agony” and “Painting of Love,” to life on stage.
“It was an inspiring and rewarding experience, seeing my work go from the page to the stage,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe described his play, “The Heretic’s Agony,” as a play about living life to the fullest but with an interesting twist.
“It’s a solo play, but the guy on stage is handcuffed to a dead hooker, so technically there are two people on stage,” Wolfe said.
The plot involves a man who resolves to live a life of sin in defiance of God, whom he believes was indifferent or responsible for the death of his wife and child.
“He’s yelling at God, because his wife and his child both died in the act of giving birth,” Wolfe said. “He thinks that God did this because he loved his wife more than he loved God. It ends with him unshackling himself and announcing to God that he’s going to live life to the fullest and continue to live in defiance to God.”
Upcoming Kaleidoscope events include Taiko drums Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Swope Music Hall and the James C. Maynard Sculpture Invitational Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Sculpture Building.