The VOICES Program at Dartmouth

The Department of Theater’s VOICES program aims to create an artistic space that honors creativity, diversity, and inclusion. VOICES is committed to presenting and creating work of particular relevance to underserved communities, to expanding and enriching the repertoire of department offerings, and to celebrating the diversity at the core of the Dartmouth community.

VOICES Programming


Spring 2016: 

  • Sponsored guest artist Deena Selenow's residency, to direct Theater Major Carene Mekertichyan's honors thesis production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf  by Ntozake Shange. Recently named a "Person to Watch" by American Theater Magazine, Selenow's directing credits include Riot/Rebellion for the Watts Village Theater Company,Toxicos at the REDCAT New Original Works Festival, and In Case of Emergency for the Chalk Repertory Theatre.

Fall 2016:

  • Sponsored guest artist Tazewell Thompson's residency to direct the Fall Term MainStage production of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage. An international director of opera and theater, Thompson's credits include Lincoln Center Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, Washinton National Opera, Everyman Theatre, and Arena Stage. The production process included a panel discussion on the poetry and politics of playwright Lynn Nottage; panel members included Thompson, Dartmouth faculty member Chante Mouton Kinyon, and Soyica Diggs Colbert of Georgetown University.  In addition to directing, Thompson also served as a professional mentor for the Fall Term student production of Circle Mirror Transformation.

VOICES Programming



  • Sponsored Baron Kelly’s residency in the winter and spring terms. He taught two classes and directed a production ofThe African Theater Company Presents Richard III by Carlyle Brown
  • Co-sponsored the visit of acclaimed scholar and playwright Cherríe Moraga for a campus talk and classroom visits.


  • Co-sponsored the visit of Ugandan playwright Judith Adong and activist Victor Mukasa for a screening of Call Me Kuchu and a class visit to Laura Edmondson’s Human Rights and Performance.
  • Sponsored visiting mixed media and performance artist Clifford Owen for a presentation in the Bentley Theater and a classroom visit to Maya Winfrey’s Black Theater, USA.

VOICES Programming


  • Co-sponsor of performance by E. Patrick Johnson, “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales,” on February 24. 
  • Guest Voices Artist in conjunction with THEA 23 / AAAS 54:  African Theater, taught by Laura Edmondson:  
    • HOPE AZEDA, a renowned director and choreographer from Rwanda, was on campus working with students from Feb 15 – March 3.
    • Musician/performer Robert Ajwang’ collaborated in the production created with students in the THEA 23 class.
    • Original work performed by Hope Azeda (“Echoes from a Thousand Hills”) and students in THEA 23/AAAS 54 (“from the dark to the dawn”) was performed in the Bentley on March 3.
  • Co-sponsor of panel discussion, “Visualizing and Performing Violence: Local and Global Acts,” with Hope Azeda, Mary Coffey and Ford Evans on  February 28 in Kreindler Auditorium.
  • Fences by August Wilson, performed by BUTA (Black Underground Theater Association) on March 8 – additional performances added for April 10 and 12.

VOICES Programming


  • Guest artists and events in conjunction with THEA 10/WGST 66: “Hearing Voices through Invisible Walls: The Art(s) of Facilitation,” co-taught by Pati Hernandez and Ivy Schweitzer:
    • Gregory Sharrow, Storyteller. Topic: “Telling Stories in Place” followed by dinner and discussion with invited students and guests, April 11 in East Wheelock.
    • Buzz Alexander, Founder of Prison Creative Arts Project.  Topic: “Is William Martinez Not Our Brother? Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project.” Dinner and discussion with invited students and guests on April 26 in Carpenter Hall.
    • Fox Butterfield, Author and Journalist.  Topic: “When Crime Runs in the Family: Four Generations of Killers, Thieves, and Con Men.”  Public presentation with reception following on May 16 in Carpenter Hall.
    • Liz Lerman and John Borstel, Creators of the Liz Lerman Critical Response Method.  Workshop on May 2 with students from Theater and Women/Gender Studies, followed by dinner with students, faculty and staff in Brace Commons/East Wheelock Cluster.  John Borstel discussion with students on arts administration at luncheon on May 3.
    •  Original VOICES performance created by students in THEA 10/WGST 66 in Rollins Chapel on May 30.
    • Travel expenses for Pati Hernandez, co-instructor of THEA10/ WGST 66.
  • Co-sponsor of “Black Theatricality: Race and Representation in Black Literature and Culture,” the 2010 Bildner Symposium, April 9-10.
  • Co-sponsor of BUTA alumni event, “Looking Back to Look Forward: A Retrospective of BUTA Performances” on April 24 in Dartmouth Hall.
  • Still Waiting...Poverty, Drug Abuse, and the Vicious Cycle of Modern Reservation Life” presented by Theater Department and Dartmouth Pow-Wow.  Selections from Becket’s Waiting for Godot, directed by George Neptune ’10, following by panel discussion with invited guests.  Presented on May 8 in Carpenter Hall.

VOICES Programming


  • Visiting Artists: artists visiting campus in conjunction with the Theater Department's fall term "Performactivism" course included:
    • pioneering dancer and choreographer Jorge Pabon, known as Popmaster Fabel. The hip-hop legend offered a public presentation in the Bentley and led a series of master classes.
    • multi-discipline theatrical artists Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz (pictured at right), co-founders of the NYC-based ensemble company UNIVERSES fusing poetry, theater, jazz, hip-hop and more. The performers offered a public presentation in the Bentley and led a series of master classes.
    • activist,dancer, and puppeteer Pati Hernandez. An adjunct professor at Dartmouth, Hernandez directed students in their final presentation/performance for the course.
  • Visiting Artists: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Ms. Nottage attended a reading of her play Ruined, performed by the student-run Black Underground Theater Association, and participated in a Q & A session on the play. the playwright also visited the classroom for the Theater Department's Human Rights and Performance and Contemporary Playwrights of Color courses. March 2009.

VOICES Programming


  • Visiting Artist: Suzan Lori-Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Our inagural VOICES guest artist presented a lecture and performance, followed by book signing and public reception. October 2007.
  • Performances & Productions: 365 Days/365 Plays and TopDog/UnderDog, both by Suzan-Lori Parks, performed in the Bentley Theater. Guest artist Niegel Smith ’02, Artistic Director of the Flea Theater, directed. October 2007.
  • Events: special reception for guest artists visiting the classroom for Professor Laura Edmondson's course in African Theater. Spring 2008.
  • Performances & Productions: provided funding support to the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies for their "Latinos on Stage" Series. Spring 2008.
  • Other Support: underwrote the work of student Bryan Lee '07, who acted as the Associate Producer of VOICES programs and events in its inaugural season.