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Thursday December 8th

Artists perform unfinished 'works in process' with UNC Process Series

Graduate student AhDream Smith discusses her vision for her upcoming play, /up-rooted/, with technician Will Bosley on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.
Buy Photos Graduate student AhDream Smith discusses her vision for her upcoming play, /up-rooted/, with technician Will Bosley on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Joseph Megel, artistic director of the Process Series, views an artist's processes as an important piece of their art.

The series is a collection of artistic events and productions to shed light on creative processes and artistic qualities, while allowing the UNC community to see what artists’ development processes look like.

“We promote work that is in process so when an artist is working on something, this gives them an opportunity to bring it in front of an audience they can get feedback,” Heather Tatreau, producer of the series, said.

The series produces and promotes a variety of performing arts, including theater, dance and music.

“(Events and productions) look like play readings," Megel said. "They look like dance recitals. They look like concerts. They come in all shapes and sizes."

He said the 2020-21 season was entirely virtual, and events — including a remote storytelling festival — were livestreamed.

"We had a storytelling festival with 12 storytellers from Indigenous Americans to African American storytellers to Asian American story tellers to Latinx storytellers," Megel said. "We had a very diverse group of storytellers over a four-day period doing the festival of storytelling, and it was all new stories."

As a result of moving online, the Process Series was able to reach audiences across the country and world — a larger audience than ever before. Megel said around 900 people attended the online event.

For this season, audience members have the option of attending a physical venue or watching versions of the performances online. The series is focusing on UNC student, faculty and alumni artist performers this year.

In November, Tatreau curated the first performance of the Process Series, called "Voices: A Walking Tour." The performance guided an audience through historically significant sites around UNC's campus.

The sites on the walking tour included the Old Well, Unsung Founders Memorial and Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street. At each site was a different performance, ranging from dance to spoken word.

"We had different artists with a variety of different types of performance at those locations," Tatreau said. "And that’s sort of a yearly thing that we will continue."

The next event of the Process Series, “An Evening of New Work,” includes a diverse program from five UNC students with pieces including dance and plays. Themes of the pieces range from generational trauma to identity and reflection on the summer of 2020.

“This is all a part of our season’s focus on UNC artists," Megel said. "The theme is 'Close to Home.' These works are all deeply engaged with social justice issues and the world we live in."

At the event, senior Rainey Scarborough will showcase a dance performance in collaboration with her twin sister, Anabelle Scarborough, called "Dear Life Traveler."

The performance is a two-year-long project that was originally created in one of Megel’s classes. It has since been reworked into a dance and multimedia project, using sound and visual projection designs, Rainey Scarborough said.

“I’m excited to be performing and dancing because I know it’s normally live theater, and I am excited to add a different element to the show,” she said.

She is also excited to receive feedback from the audience at the end of the performance.

“Since it is a work in progress, we are expecting to keep going on with this work and hopefully put it on elsewhere,” Rainey Scarborough said. “It would be nice to get feedback from an audience that is invested in helping other artists realize their work and their true potential.”

The event will take place in the Black Box Theatre in Swain Hall on Feb. 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event can be reserved here.

Other upcoming events include performances that will focus on the climate crisis, underrepresented voices, natural disasters and more. Information on the events can be found on the Process Series' website.

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