WITHIN THE FAMILY
Columbia Celebrates the Arts
BY ALEX SACHARE '71
This month, the University is sponsoring an exciting venture —
the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Salman Rushdie’s
novel, Midnight’s Children, at the Apollo Theater
in Harlem, and a month-long Humanities Festival on campus and around
the city that is designed to expand upon the play and enrich the
theater-going experience. In addition, Columbia’s Double
Discovery Center and instructors in Core classes
are playing an important role in bringing the experience to high
school students in the neighboring community, who will attend a
special matinee performance of the play on Tuesday, March 25, that
already is sold out.
C. Bollinger has mentioned on numerous occasions, including
his inaugural remarks, that he would like to enhance the School
of the Arts and take advantage of the University’s proximity
to the Broadway community to make it one of the premier arts schools
in the country. Columbia’s involvement with the Royal Shakespeare
Company in staging Midnight’s Children is his first
step in that direction, and a big one.
But this is far more than a University contracting with a famous
theater company to stage a play on or near campus. The Humanities
Festival and DDC involvement make this a special undertaking, a
true celebration of the arts.
The Humanities Festival, which runs March 2–30, will use
many of the University’s leading faculty in a series of dialogues
and debates on topics such as the creative process, literary traditions,
contemporary culture, colonialism, censorship, civil rights and
more. In addition to Bollinger and Rushdie, among those scheduled
to participate (listed alphabetically) are Peter Awn, Janaki Bahkle,
Russell Banks, Homi Bhabha, Vikram Chandra, Michael Cunningham,
Nicholas Dirks, Todd Gitlin, Margo Jefferson, Eduardo Machado, Manning
Marable, John Rockwell, Edward Said, Patricia Williams and members
of the Royal Shakespeare Company cast of Midnight’s Children,
The DDC, meanwhile, is using its community contacts to bring the
excitement of the production to juniors and seniors in neighborhood
high schools. Cast members, along with instructors in Core Curriculum
classes, visited schools during February to speak with students
about the play and the process of bringing a novel to the stage.
There will be 12 performances of the play between March 21–30.
Saturday night, March 22, has been designated as Alumni Night, and
any alumnus interested in attending this (or any other) performance
should call the alumni hotline: (212) 870-2537. Tickets cost from
$20 to $80, plus a $2 restoration fee levied by the Apollo Theater,
with student tickets costing $10 for those with a CUID and $20 for
other students. Alumni purchasing tickets through the alumni hotline
will receive a 20 percent discount for the March 21 or March 22
performances (so prices would range from $18 to $66), or a 10 percent
discount for other performances. Tickets also are on sale at the
Apollo Theater box office or the Miller Theatre box office on campus.
Tickets for Humanities Festival events are $5 each and also may
be purchased through the alumni hotline: (212) 870-2537.
For more information, visit www.MidnightsChildrenNYC.com.