Omar Offendum: hip-hop, poetry, and peace

Omar Offendum will be coming to Swarthmore on Thursday, November 20th to give a hybrid performance/lecture.

Omar Offendum

In addition to performing some of his songs, he will speak about connections between the artistic community and the Arab uprisings, with a special focus on hip hop.  Omar will also discuss his efforts to use art and music to raise humanitarian relief funds for Syrian refugees. Opening performance by OASiS.

Thursday November 20, 2014
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College (directions)

Omar is a Syrian American hip-hop artist, designer, poet and peace activist. He was born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington, DC, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He tours the world performing at international music festivals, lecturing at major academic institutions, and fundraising for humanitarian relief organizations. Most recently, Offendum has been involved in creating several critically acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is also working on several new collaborative projects while touring to promote his solo work.

This event is sponsored by the Arabic Section (MLL), the Intercultural Center, the William Cooper Foundation, the Islamic Studies Program, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Department of Music and Dance, and the Muslim Students Association.

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh November 19th and 20th, 2014

Join the Womyn’s Resource Center and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in conversation around street harassment and art in activism.

Stop Telling Women to Smile

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Poster installation with the artist
November 19th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
meet in Kohlberg coffee bar at 1pm

Artist’s lecture and reception
November 19th 7:00 pm – 8:30pm
Science Center 101

Catered Lunch and Discussion
November 20th 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Scheuer Room
limited space, please RSVP at
++open only to women and trans folks++

Sponsored by: Forum for Free Speech, the Serendipity Fund, Interpretation Theory, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Art Department, Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of History, and Dean Henry’s Office.

Stop Telling Women to Smile Fazlalizadeh

Global Nonviolent Action Database research seminar offered Spring 2015

We are thrilled to celebrate the fact that the Global Nonviolent Action Database, housed here in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College, reached 1,000 cases this summer!

Even more, we can announce that PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle (Cross-listed as SOAN 071B) will be offered during the Spring Semester 2015.

Professor Smithey will be instructing the course, and Professor Lakey will return in a supporting role during the beginning of the semester.  (Professor Smithey’s course, Gun Violence Prevention, will unfortunately not be offered in the spring).

Global Nonviolent Action Database banner


This one-credit research seminar involves working and updating the Global Nonviolent Action Database which can be accessed by activists and scholars worldwide at The database was built at Swarthmore College and includes cases of “people power” drawn from dozens of countries. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace.

Students will be expected to research a series of cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a 2-3 page narrative that describes the unfolding struggle.  In addition to research/writing methods, students will also draw on theories in the field.  Strategic implications for today will be drawn from theory and from what the group learns from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.

This writing (W) course has a limited enrollment of 12 students.

You can learn more by visiting a collection of posts about the database in the Peace and Conflict Studies blog.

In this video, Professor Lakey introduced the launch of the database in 2011.


Senior Company brings EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON to the Frear (12/5-12/7)

senior company poster (LPAC)EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON is a contemporary epic environmental disaster drama by British playwright Mike Bartlett. The climate is in crisis, and we’re drinking and dancing as fast as we can. Join Senior Company 2015 on a rollercoaster ride to the year 2525 and back, to witness the end of the world as we know it. If you want to be green, hold your breath.

LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater
12.5.14 (Fri) @ 7PM
12.6.14 (Sat) @ 1PM & 7PM
12.7.14 (Sun) @ 1PM

More info: x8260 or

Latest reviews of the latest shows: MAD FOREST & THE IMPERIAL HOUSE!

Allison Hrabar reviews THE IMPERIAL HOUSE:

And more from the Phoenix’ Daniel Bidikov:

Plus a sneak peak at MAD FOREST in action:


Caryl Churchill’s LOVE AND INFORMATION (11/14 -11/22 @ Bryn Mawr)

Love and Information poster







Make it a Caryl Churchill weekend and check out LOVE AND INFORMATION at Bryn Mawr and MAD FOREST at Swarthmore!

The Theater Program of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges (Mark Lord, Chair) presents Love and Information, directed by Catharine Slusar, a Barrymore Award-winning Philadelphia actor and director and a faculty member in the Bryn Mawr College Theater Program. Love and Information is Caryl Churchill’s newest play, was first produced in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012, and is heralded by The Guardian as the “play that everyone should see.” Love and Information explores what happens to our brains, our personal connections and our privacy as we are besieged with information. We are, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, bombarded with information from computers, phones, and texts. How do we keep our minds active, our feelings alive and our privacy intact while navigating the information superhighway? Caryl Churchill’s play asks us to question the role of technology in our lives by presenting over 50 scenes exploring these concepts of rapidly eroding privacy and memory, and our desperate thirst for knowledge (and cat videos).

Love and Information opens the Theater Programs 2014-2015 season, with six performances (November 14-16 and 20-22) at the Hepburn Teaching Theater (Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College). Opening night is Friday, November 14.

Ticket Information and Performance Schedule:

Tickets for Love and Information are free and available to the public, while supplies last. Reservations are recommended.

Friday, November 14, 7:30 pm – Opening Night
Saturday, November 15, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 16, 7:30 pm
Thursday, November 20, 7:30 pm
Friday, November 21, 7:00 pm
Saturday, November 22, 7:30 pm

Love and Information is presented in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

To reserve by phone: (610) 526-5210
To reserve in person, visit the Office for the Arts in Goodhart Hall from
9:30 am – 1:30 pm or
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Hepburn Teaching TheaterBryn Mawr College’s Hepburn Teaching Theater is in Goodhart Hall at
150 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA.

Catharine K. Slusar, Director
Maiko Matsushima, Scenic and Costume Designer
Alec MacLaughlin, Sound Designer
Jessica Wickes, Lighting Designer
Justin McDaniel, Technical Director
Amy Radbill, Production Manager and Props Designer
Joshua Samors, Sound Engineer
Maddie Brady (BMC ’15), Assistant Director
Marisa Arellano (BMC ’16), Dramaturg
Anu Goedhart (BMC ‘15), Stage Manager
Kristin Kury (BMC ’16), Assistant Costume Designer
Qi’er Luo (BMC ‘15) and Maya Neville (BMC ’16), Master Electricians
Paige Toft (BMC ‘15), Scenic Assistant / Bouncer
Julie Henrikson (BMC ’16), Running Crew
Stacey Horesh (BMC ’16), Running Crew


Marisa Arellano (BMC ’16)
Emma Basen-Engquist (BMC ’17)
Delia Bloom (BMC ’15)
Henry Bradford (HC ’15)
Maddie Brady (BMC ’15)
Anna Bullard (HC ’15)
Amelia Couderc (BMC ’16)
Camilla Dely (BMC ’15)
John Dominguez (HC ’15)
Sophie Karbjinski (BMC ’16)
Christabel Koomson (BMC ’17)
Saskia Levy-Sheon (BMC ’16)
Heather Liang (BMC ’18)
Qi’er Luo (BMC ‘15)
Sasha Mathrani (HC ’18)
Bridget Rose McJohn (BMC ’17)
Erica Rice (BMC ’17)
Christina Stella (BMC ’17)
Emma Wells (BMC ’17)
Margot Wisel (BMC ’18)


Honors Playwriting Thesis: DAUGHTERS OF GOD AND MAN (11/22 & 11/23)

Daughters of God and Man
Honors Playwriting Thesis, Patrick Ross ’15DAUGHTERS OF GOD AND MAN Poster

Directed by Jill Harrison
Written by Patrick Ross ’15
Stage Manager: Madeline Charne ’14

DAUGHTERS OF GOD AND MAN is the story of the three daughters of poet John Milton: Deborah, Mary, and Anne. Scenes from the poem are adapted within the play, which is otherwise a work of historical fiction. 1660s London life is intercut with sweeping scenes of Heaven and Hell, and we find ourselves facing the temptation of another Eve— or three.

November 22, 2014
LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater
November 23, 2014
Headlong Studios, 1170 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA


Premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92

Founders Day Concert with the Swarthmore College Chorus and the Swarthmore College Orchestra

December 5, 2014; 8:00 p.m.
Lang Music Building
Swarthmore College (directions)
(Universal moment of silence at 8:00 PM EDT)

Featuring the premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92, commissioned for the Swarthmore Sesquicentennial


The program will also include works for orchestra by Sibelius and Fauré, and choral works from a variety of American composers and traditions.

This event is one of several planned during the 2014 calendar year to celebrate Swarthmore’s Sesquicentennial

Production Ensemble 2014’s MAD FOREST (11/14 – 11/16)

Mad Forest PosterCaryl Churchill’s remarkable play, MAD FOREST takes place before and after the revolutionary events of December 1989 in Romania that marked the end of a Communist dictatorship. The title, which alludes to a Romania of the past, a Romania populated with forests and horseman warriors, simultaneously evokes the surreal nature, the euphoria, and the devastation of a revolution.. The play puts a human face on the turning point of a people and of a nation – two families under scrutiny from the secret police, one rich, one poor. Blending stark realism and uneasy fantasy, Churchill achieves a look into the belly of the revolutionary beast as the characters succumb to and rebel against the shifting realities of a world in transition.

With a stark and simple set by Matt Saunders, costumes by Laila Swanson and lighting by James P. Murphy, and sound by Liz Atkinson, director Alex Torra takes the ensemble cast of eleven (Sarah Branch, Rex Chang, Avni Fatehpuria, Makayla Portley, Htet Win, Nina Serbedzija, Kate Wiseman, Katy Montoya, Jaime Maseda, Thomas Butler and Oliva Jorgenson) on a supple journey into the tumultuous times of the late 80s in Bucharest.

Alex Torra is a Philadelphia-based director, performer, producer, and educator. He is a Company Member with Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he has worked as a Performer in Twelfth Night, Zero Cost House, Cankerblossom, Welcome to Yuba City, Pay Up, 365 Days/365 Plays, and Anodyne; as Director of Come to my Awesome Fiesta, it’s Going to be Awesome, Okay?; and as Creative Producer for PAY UP 2013 and I Promised Myself to Live Faster. He also serves as Co-Founder and Resident Director for Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, where he has directed Punchkapow and JapanAmerica Wonderwave, and the upcoming production ofThe Sincerity Project in December at FringeArts. Alex has received fellowships from the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Live Arts Brewery, the Princess Grace Foundation, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and NY’s Drama League, and last year was a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. in Directing from Brown University.

LPAC Pearson-Hall Theater (Mainstage)

November 14, 2014  – 8PM

November 15, 2014 – 2PM &  8PM

November 16, 2014 – 2PM

“Mad Forest” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

For more information about these and other events in the Theater Department contact or call 610-328-8260.


Honors Dramaturgy Thesis: THE IMPERIAL HOUSE (11/8 & 11/9)

There are two great chances to see this staged reading adapted from interviews at the Imperial SiegelPoster2House apartment building, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Throughout the spring of 2014, Nathan Siegel ’15 conducted interviews with residents of the Imperial House–an apartment building largely, but not entirely, populated by senior citizens, many of them Jewish. The most compelling pieces of these interviews have been adapted, added to, and mixed together to create several characters: sisters, brothers, friends, husbands, wives, rivals, and neighbors. The Imperial House tells their collective and individual stories. What does it mean to grow old in a community like this? What will happen if someone tries to put flowers in the lobby? If a new resident runs for the board? If someone slices the challah instead of ripping it? The Imperial House seeks to create a hilarious and poignant portrait of what it means to live, and grow old, in a communal space.

Dramaturgical adaptation by Nathan Siegel
Advising and direction by Rebecca Dizzy Wright

LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater
November 8, 2014

Church of the Crucifixion
(620 S 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA)
November 9, 2014