With a diverse array of performances lined up this year, the Department of Communications Studies’ performance studies program tries to push the boundaries of traditional theater — even if audiences don’t always understand the differences.
“Performance studies and communications studies is sometimes a misunderstood department because it’s not theater,” program coordinator and professor Joseph Megel explained.
“It’s always gonna be innovative, it’s always gonna be non-traditional, and it’s always gonna be stretching limits.”
Although the productions may be performed on a stage like a traditional dramatic arts production, the performance studies program is dedicated to constantly questioning and exploring how performers view every aspect of their performance, Megel said.
Last year, the performance studies program received a Triangle Arts Award for their series from the Independent Weekly.
“The combination of professors and performances has created its own identity on campus,” Megel said.
“Nothing Pink,” the first performance of the series, premiered in early September. The one-act play, written and directed by communication studies professor Paul Ferguson, addressed the sometimes-tense relationship between the Christian Church and homosexuality.
The next performance of the series will be a stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Vertigo,” written and directed by communications student Lucius Robinson with assistance from Megel.
Premiering Nov. 12, the cinematically-inspired production promises to be an eccentric performance, Megel said.
“It’s a real challenge to take something as classic as ‘Vertigo’ and find out what it means to do it live and how that changes the story,” he said.