As a part of its curriculum, Stanford University requires every student to do one creative class, regardless of major. As part of our exciting relationship with education, the Curran joined forces with Stanford Live to bring costume designer Machine Dazzle and show creator Taylor Mac into the workshop at Stanford, giving participants unprecedented access to the process that goes into staging a professional production.
We spoke with students and staffers alike, and they shared their thoughts about this incredible opportunity.
“Stanford Live is bringing artists into the academic life of the university. What is so awesome about this arts initiative is that what students are asked to learn can be augmented by the expertise that professional artists can bring that the university is trying to inspire students to work on.
What’s so special about the Taylor Mac experience for the students is that the opportunity to see that there are different processes to creating art other than what’s in the classroom firsthand. They are able to envision possibilities for themselves that they can venture out into. No one has a process like Taylor Mac/Machine Dazzle and for these students to learn firsthand from them is it’s a one of a kind experience.
Stanford Live cannot be more excited because we think the Curran is best theater experience in the city and we hope that people think of Stanford Live as the same thing on the Peninsula. We both are places that hope to support art that is inspiring, unexpected and provocative.”
And some insights from the student participants in the intensive:
“I have been doing experimental political theater -gender bending work. When I first saw this show I said this is why we do theater..live performance is dangerous and vulnerable all at the same time and Taylor leaves it all out there. I wanted to learn about his process for creating his shows.
Working with Machine is everything-he is just so thoughtful, curious and ebullient-he brings everyone into his world in a generous way and makes you feel you can do anything.
Taylor Mac is my favorite living performer and the opportunity to work on the Decades project is just amazing for me. I have never worked in production and to be able to do it for this show is special and with this program there is no real differentiation between interns and the paid production staff. It’s all hands on deck.”
“I did the Arts Intensive two years ago, and had a great experience. When I saw the Taylor Mac was being offered this season, it seemed amazing. I haven’t seen the show, but I think seeing the amount of effort put in is admirable and the passion of everyone is palpable, creates a fun to watch finished program. More enjoyable when it’s apparent people on the stage are enjoying themselves-everyone that I have met has shown that they are definitely enjoying themselves.
I’m really excited about the possibility of combining my science and technology in society, in social issues.”
“I knew I wanted to do an arts intensive-did a lot of music in high school and when I signed up I didn’t know a lot about Taylor Mac-to have the opportunity to be involved with such a well known production and get to participate in a way that is intimate with cast and crew
I’m going to be a dandy minion! I’ve done a little bit of costume designing in high school, but I have no prior experience. The fact that we got to put our voice and ideas into our costumes is awesome-you are able to feel like there is no right or wrong.”
Workshop participants are part of the show for all four chapters; be sure to keep an eye out for them among the Dandy Minions!