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THE COLONY

AN Art-SCIENCE PERFORMANCE ON SOCIAL LIFE

WORLD PREMIERE
SEPTEMBER 6-8, 2019
STUDIO THEATRE, STORRS, CT

 

THE COLONY — A show about sisterhood and the evolution of communication in two of the most social creatures on earth: humans and ants.

In this performance, as Mona struggles to reconnect with her estranged sister Hennie, she turns to the ant colony for inspiration. With more than 500,000 ant sisters migrating, raiding, and even reproducing as one superorganism, an army ant colony appears to Mona as the paragon of successful social existence. Informed by scientific research on ant colonies, The Colony ventures into speculative fiction and includes projected animations and imagery alongside live spoken and musical performance. 

Funny, poignant, enlightening, and just the right amount of strange, The Colony aims to kindle a sense of awe and understanding of our diverse biological world, while using the ant colony as a lens for understanding the ever-present challenge of human connection. As part of a new genre called Evo Devo Art, The Colony weaves together evolutionary and developmental biology (Evo Devo) with multidisciplinary art. Audiences can expect to be entranced by visualizations of ant pheromone trails, a musical aria from the perspective of an ant queen, and a dance sequence set in a grocery store inspired by army ant swarm raids. In all, The Colony juxtaposes forms of biological communication – which have developed over millions of years – with modern technological media as a means of grappling with the paradox of acute loneliness in a world more connected than ever. 

The Colony draws visual materials and research in part from the world-class Carl W. and Marian E. Rettenmeyer Army Ant Guest Collection housed at the University of Connecticut and is one of a number of “AntU” initiatives inspired by the collection. The Colony is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts; the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts Dean’s Grant and the Office of the Vice President for Research; the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts Project Completion Grant; the University of Connecticut Department of Digital Media & Design; and a grant from the University of Connecticut Provost’s Academic Plan competition for the AntU project.

 

see the show

 

World premiere of The Colony
September 6-8, 2019 

The Studio Theatre, University of Connecticut
802 Bolton Rd, Storrs, CT 06269

Tickets are free, but seating is limited and reservations are encouraged.

Make your reservation below or by visiting our Eventbrite page. 

Contact thecolonyshow@gmail.com with any questions. 

 
 

The Studio Theatre is located in the Drama-Music Building at the University of Connecticut. Parking is available in the S Lot behind the Art Building. 

 
 
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credits


An art-science performance on social life by Anna Lindemann

Script by Anna Lindemann and Emma Komlos-Hrobsky 

Mona - Anna Lindemann 
Hennie / Soprano / Ant Queen - Lucy Fitz Gibbon 
Ian / Keyboard - Ryan MacEvoy McCullough 

Composer - Anna Lindemann
Animation Art Director - Anna Lindemann 
Animators - Sarah Shattuck, Jasmine Rajavadee, Allie Marsh, Anna Lindemann 
“Swarm Raid” Directors - Ryan Glista and Anna Lindemann 

Consulting Director - Michael Hofmann 
Costume Designer - Brittny Mahan 
Lighting Designer - Sam Biondolillo 
Sound Engineer and Sound Designer - Katie Salerno 
Stage Manager - Sarah Shattuck 
Props Fabricators - Ulysses Jones, William Dillon, Matthew Sorensen  
Technical Director - Carleigh Meyer
Projection Engineer - Kelly Daigneault
Master Electrician and Lighting Board Operator - Alex Glynn
Production Master Electrician - Michael Demers
Set Run Crew - Stephanie Treviso 
Electrics Crew - Jacob Sikorski, Julius Cruz
Graphic Design - Michael Hofmann, Allie Marsh, Anna Lindemann
Production Manager - Robert E. Copley Jr. 

“Swarm Raid” Cinematographer - Alex Rouleau
“Swarm Raid” Assistant Cinematographers - Charlie Gorski, Evan Olson
“Swarm Raid”Consulting Choreographer - Felice Lesser

“Swarm Raid” Featured Dancers - Elizabeth Barbeau, Felicia Famularo, Maddie Gidman, Lenore Grunko, Allie Leonard, Rachel Surridge, Stephan Vazquez, Paige Woods

“Swarm Raid” Dancers - Cat Boyce, Lydia Briones, Janine Caira, Karin Ching, Josh Chirip, Evan Dennison, Jack Dillon, Heather Elliott-Famularo, Eric Ellison, Ben Gladstone, Ryan Glista, Bernard Goffinet, Charlie Gorski, Robyn Guyette, Ann Harper, Herbert Jenkins, Thomas Jensen, Stephen E. Johnson, Krissy Johnson, Sierra Kane, Emma Komlos-Hrobsky, Mike Krywinski, Meredith LaMalva, Edwin Lewis, Lisa Weixel Lippert , Eleanor Magnuson, Josh Matthias, Dwayne Mullings, Julia Oppenheimer, Jane O’Donnell, Sandi Petersen, Ena Pottinger, Eric Quinter, Jasmine Rajavadee, Emma Santasiere, Alex Semendinger, Sarah Shattuck, Kelly Zimmermann


Special Thanks
Storrs Price Chopper and Kevin George and Mona Golub, Matthew Hicks, Yohei Igarashi, Bonnie Mettler, Eric Lindemann, Michael Toomey, Stacy Webb, Mike Vertefeuille, Heather Elliott-Famularo, Michael Bradford, Bob Copley, Michael Chybowski, Christina Lorraine Bullard, Michael Demers, Erik Lawson, John Parmelee, Susan Tolis, Edward Weingart, Alexander Woodward, Bart Roccoberton, Matthew Pugliese, Anne D’Alleva, James Ouellette, Alain Frogley, Eric Rice, Janine Caira, Jane O’Donnell, Geert Goemans, Bernard Goffinet, Elizabeth Barbeau, Leanne Kennedy Harty, Nicholas Boston, Amy Feineman, Meg Hammond, Max Schleusener, Suzanne Barnett, Rob Rose, Laurel Kennedy, Meg McLean, Lenora Warren, Rob Scott, Caroline Golschneider

 
 
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meet the team.

 
 
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ANNA LINDEMANN (WRITER, COMPOSER, ANIMATOR, ROLE OF MONA)

Anna Lindemann calls herself an Evo Devo artist. Her work combines animation, music, video, and performance to explore the emerging field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo Devo). Her work seeks to uncover narratives within rigorous scientific research, to visualize biological processes in novel ways, to define new artistic creative processes modeled on biological processes, and to examine the human emotion and subjectivity behind scientific research. Her Evo Devo Art, including the animated short Beetle Bluffs and the art-science performance Theory of Flight, has been featured nationally and internationally at black box theaters, planetariums, galleries, concert halls, biology conferences, film festivals, digital art conferences, natural history museums and in the book Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution.

Anna graduated magna cum laude with honors from Yale with a BS in Biology before receiving an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an Assistant Professor in the Digital Media & Design Department at the University of Connecticut where she has pioneered courses integrating art and science. She is currently co-director of the AntU Academic Plan at UConn, which involves 16 innovative interdisciplinary activities inspired by a world-class collection of army ants and their guests. Anna first conceived of The Colony three years ago and she has been delighted to work with a wonderful and diverse team of collaborators in bringing the project to life.

For more about her work, visit: www.annalindemann.com

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EMMA KOMLOS-HROBSKY (writer)

Emma Komlos-Hrobsky is a writer, illustrator, and editor who tells stories at the intersection of the human, and the fantastic. A creative polymath, Emma’s work often combines word and image to create narrative through maps, mail art, comics, and forms beyond category. She has a particular interest in the ways the ideas of science can provide new means of relating human experience and emotion. For nine years, as an editor at Tin House magazine and Tin House Books, she collaborated with such luminaries as Sy Montgomery, Louise Erdrich, Kelly Link, Rebecca Makkai, Alexandra Kleeman and Steve Almond. Her editorial work has been honored by Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize, and has been anthologized in a collection that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She also founded and directed the Tin House Craft Intensives, a pioneering brand of writing workshop held in the magazine's Brooklyn offices.

Emma received her BA from Wesleyan and her MFA in fiction writing from The New School, where she later taught as an associate professor. She has mentored writers as a guest teacher at Columbia, NYU, Colgate, Fairleigh-Dickinson, and the University of Connecticut, as well as for the Masters Review and Writers @ Work. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Hunger Mountain, Conjunctions, Bookforum, Tin House, Hobart, and The Story Collider. She currently serves as associate editor at Poets & Writers. With the support of a fellowship from the Elizabeth George Foundation, she is at work on a novel about particle physics, family, and the Alps.

For more about her work, visit: www.emmakomloshrobsky.com

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Lucy Fitz Gibbon (soprano, role of HENNIE)

Noted for her “dazzling, virtuoso singing” (Boston Globe), Lucy Fitz Gibbon is a dynamic musician whose repertoire spans the Renaissance to the present. She believes that creating new works and recreating those lost in centuries past makes room for the multiplicity and diversity of voices integral to classical music’s future. As such, she has worked closely with eminent composers including Pauline Oliveros, John Harbison, Kate Soper, and Reena Esmail, among many others; The Colony marks her fourth collaboration with Anna Lindemann.

Lucy’s 2019-2020 season highlights include two different tours with Musicians from Marlboro (venues including Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Kalamazoo Symphony, Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Eureka Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony at Cornell University, and the premieres of a work by Shirish Korde with Boston Musica Viva and a new arrangement of Foss’ Time Cycle by Barbara Kolb. As a recitalist Lucy has appeared with her husband and collaborative partner, pianist Ryan McCullough, in such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Park Avenue Armory, and Merkin Hall; and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. In 2020, they will give recitals at NYC’s DiMenna Center, SongFest, and the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, premiering a work written for them by Alan Louis Smith. Three forthcoming CDs feature works by Harbison and James Primosch (Albany Records), Sheila Silver (alongside Dawn Upshaw and Stephanie Blythe), and mid-20th century Polish composers (Acte Préalable).

For more about her work, visit: www.lucyfitzgibbon.com

 

 
 
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RYAN MACEVOY MCCULLOUGH (PIANO, ROLE OF IAN)

American pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough has worked to stretch his musicianship in every way possible, working with music old and new as soloist, collaborator, recording artist, and pedagogue, and at times as programmer, sound diffusionist, and engineer. His multi-faceted interests have developed a repertoire that balances not only the canonical with the unknown, but also aesthetics from the classical sublime to the noise of electronic experimentalism. His work as a performer includes not only careful attention to written text, but also the instruments of performance, from historical keyboards to recreations of instruments from canonical electroacoustic works. Despite this diversity of musical activity, his aim is to find “the sound” that best clarifies the music at hand, whatever the circumstances. Ryan has worked closely with some of today's foremost composers, and has had many works written for him, including by John Harbison, James Primosch, Carter Pann, John Liberatore, Christopher Stark, and Dante De Silva. Ryan's growing discography of new works includes Andrew McPherson's Secrets of Antikythera for magnetic resonator piano on Innova, solo piano music of John Liberatore on Albany Records, and the complete piano works of Australian composer Nicholas Vines on Navona. A forthcoming album of vocal and piano works by Harbison and Primosch will appear on Albany Records with soprano (and wife) Lucy Fitz Gibbon. Mr. McCullough studied primarily with Deborah Clasquin, David Louie, and John Perry, in addition to influential work with Stephen Drury, Leon Fleisher, and Xak Bjerken. Ryan holds degrees from Humboldt State University, Colburn Conservatory, University of Southern California, Glenn Gould School, and Cornell University.

For more about his work, visit: www.RyanMMcCullough.com

 
 
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MICHAEL HOFMANN (CONSULTING DIRECTOR)

Michael Hofmann is a performer, arts administrator, artist, and opera stage director based in the Hudson Valley and New York City. Hofmann's directorial debut, a semi-staged production of Bernstein's Candide with The Orchestra Now in February 2017, was was noted as "stunning in its brilliance, humor, and overall gestalt... an astonishing accomplishment" (Millbrook Independent). Other operatic production credits include stage director for Bard College’s 2018-19 Opera Workshop scenes program, stage director for the June 2018 east coast premiere of Constantin Basica’s Knot an Opera with Fresh Squeezed Opera, and assistant stage director for R. B. Schlather’s November 2017 production of The Mother of Us All in Hudson, New York.

Hofmann enjoys a diverse schedule of small ensemble singing, freelance graphic design, and administrative work as the Executive Assistant of the Fisher Center at Bard. He sings regularly with the Church of St. Luke in the Fields and appears on the ensemble’s critically acclaimed November 2018 recording of Palestrina’s Missa Tu Es Petrus. Memorable performances include the sold-out July 2017 New York City premiere of Griffin Candey's Sweets By Kate as Joe Brigmann at Stonewall Inn and his three seasons as a core ensemble member of the medieval music drama, The Play of Daniel at Trinity Wall Street, produced by Gotham Early Music Scene and directed by Drew Minter. A New Jersey native, Hofmann trained as a multi-instrumentalist through high school; he later earned a B.A. in music from Vassar College and an M.M. in voice from the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program.

For more about his work, visit: mkhofmann.com

 

SARAH SHATTUCK (ANIMATOR, STAGE MANAGER)

Sarah Shattuck is an artist, animator, and animal lover interested in scientific visualization. She is studying animation at the University of Connecticut's Digital Media and Design program.

For more about her work, visit: vimeo.com/sashattuck


JASMINE RAJAVADEE (ANIMATOR)

Jasmine Rajavadee is an animator and multimedia artist from Columbus, Ohio. Much of their work combines traditional and digital animation techniques to explore intersections between subjects such as memory, nature, and motion.

For more about their work, visit: www.jasminerajavadee.com

ALLIE MARSH (ANIMATOR)

Allie Marsh is a Senior BFA student in UConn's Digital Media & Design program with a concentration in 2D Animation & Motion Graphics. She worked on the AntU traveling exhibit “A Legacy of a Lifetime of Collecting: The Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer Story” in the Spring of 2018.

To view her work and see what she's up to, check out her website: www.alliemarsh.co

 

RYAN GLISTA (“SWARM RAID” CO-DIRECTOR)

Ryan Glista is a filmmaker and digital producer with a Film BA and Digital Media and Design MFA from the University of Connecticut. He's a skilled director, photographer, music producer and project manager with the mission of creating visual and musical stories that are exciting, emotional and unique. His award-winning short films have screened nationally and internationally. Ryan currently works as a Digital Project Manager at The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts.

For more about his work, visit: ryanglista.com

Katie Salerno (sound engineer and sound Designer) 

Katie Salerno is a Senior BFA Design/Tech Theatre Major at University of Connecticut. Previous Connecticut Repertory Theatre designs include Good Children and Henry IV as well as UConn’s Department of Dramatic Arts production of I And You. She was also the assistant sound designer for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, She Kills Monsters and Eurydice, as well as the audio engineer for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Newarts production of Newsies, and Hangar Theatre's Production of Kinky Boots.

Carleigh Meyer (technical director)

More information is coming soon!

BRITTNY MAHAN (costume designer)

Brittny Mahan is a third year MFA candidate at the University of Connecticut. Mahan’s latest costume designs include: Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Crucible; Circle Theatre’s Rasheeda Speaking and Who Am I This Time?; Amphibian Stage Production’s The Trap; Northside Hollow, Smart Pretty Funny, and I’ll Eat You Last; Texas Christian University’s The Women of Lockerbie, A Day in Hollywood A Night in the Ukraine and Tigers Be Still. Assistant Costume Design credits include CRT's Mamma Mia, Cabaret, The Grapes of Wrath and As You Like It; Circle Theatre’s Funnyman; Trinity Shakespeare Festival's King Lear and Loves’ Labours’ Lost; and Theatre TCU's Guys & Dolls, Holiday, and Closer Than Ever.

Samuel J. Biondolillo (lighting designer)

Samuel J. Biondolillo is thrilled to be working on The Colony at the University of Connecticut. Sam is a Boston and New York based lighting designer working across the northeast. His work has been seen off-broadway, regionally, and internationally.

For more about his work, visit: SJBLightingDesign.com

Alex Rouleau (“Swarm Raid” cinematographer)

Alex Rouleau is a filmmaker with a degree in Digital Media and Design from the University of Connecticut. He has directed and shot multiple award winning short films and continues to produce multimedia projects. He currently works as a freelance cinematographer and editor in the New York City area.

For more about his work visit: www.alexrouleau.com

 

behind the scenes

the colony

an art-science performance on social life
by Anna Lindemann

WORLD PREMIERE
September 6 - 8, 2019
Studio Theatre, Storrs, CT