Media Projects

My most recent media projects include a new podcast with Noorain Khan called In Theory. In each episode, we raid academia for the the most fascinating and relevant social, cultural, and scientific theories and use them to help make sense of this beautiful mess of a world we live in. Check out episodes on our site or via iTunesStitcher, or Overcast.

In association with Early Drama at Oxford, or EDOX, I made a trio of experimental documentaries about staging medieval drama in the 21st century. They are: Magnyfycence: Staging Medieval Drama (2011), Three Laws in Oxford (2013), and Performing Dido (2015). Click on the links above to jump to video, images, and descriptions below. Detailed info on the EDOX site: http://edox.org.uk/.

My previous work includes the documentary film Momentum: Math and Science Teachers in Zambia (2006) and a WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documentary for Worldview’s Global Activism series, based on the audio from my Zambia footage.

Magnyfycence: Staging Medieval Drama (2011)
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This documentary follows Elisabeth Dutton‘s staging of John Skelton’s Magnyfycence in Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Skelton was Henry’s former tutor, and the play seems to critique the king’s extravagant lifestyle. Co-directed with Mike LaRocco, the film plays with the ways in which live theatre and cinema can each allow for unique forms of access to this allegorical morality play. The film features footage from rehearsals, performances, and scenes staged especially for the camera, as well as interviews with medieval drama scholars and conversations with the actors and director. This film was funded in part by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council. For film stills and more information on this project, see the Staging the Henrician Court page.

Three Laws in Oxford (2013)
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Watch the introduction above, then check out the rest on Vimeo here. For more information, see the Early Drama in Oxford (EDOX) Three Laws project page and 3L Film page.

In this film, student actor Alex Mills moves around the city of Oxford, England, talking with experts and taking part in scenes from John Bale’s 16th-c. Protestant play Three Laws. These scenes situate Catholic vices in contemporary city spaces that speak to the religious tensions of Bale’s time. Three Laws in Oxford considers the connections and disjunctions between the historicized past and the lived present, between archaic texts and contemporary experience. It can be watched as a single 20-min film, or in four shorter sections that address 1) the play as a whole, then specific Reformation-era concerns with 2) sodomy and “clean marriage,” 3) the authority of the word over images, and 4) martyrdom.

Performing Dido
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Performing Dido features two all-male productions of the Dido and Aeneas story performed in the hall of Christ Church, Oxford in 2013. Adult actors bring the Elizabethan undertones of Christ Church student William Gager’s Latin Dido (1583, newly translated by Elizabeth Sandis) to life with passionate scenes, sumptuous costumes, and original music under the direction of Prof. Elisabeth Dutton. Edward’s Boys, the boys’ acting troupe from Shakespeare’s King Edward VI school in Stratford-upon-Avon, follows this staging with an energetic interpretation of Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage as directed by Perry Mills. Their performance plays upon the traditions of gymnastic training and choirboy music associated with English boys’ schools, sweeping together comedy and tragedy in a heady mix. This documentary film juxtaposes moments from these gender-bending stagings with commentary from the directors and actors, as well as intimate rehearsal scenes.

 

Momentum: Math and Science Teachers in Zambia (2006)
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Scenes from the film. Zambian teachers plan an experiment; a student demonstrates how to use her homemade lab equipment; a group of American and Zambian teachers try out an experiment with bicycles and stopwatches.

Zambian and American teachers work together to design simple, effective lab exercises that can be used in both countries, forming friendships and creating opportunities for their students along the way. Funded by a UChicago Arts Grant and supported by the ZASE-COSM teacher workshops.

Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ) Global Activism Radio Documentary: U.S. Science Teachers Go to Zambia (2006)

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