Original Theater Performance Inspired by In|Dignity Exhibit at CSUSB Anthropology Museum Set for Dec. 14-15

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– “In|Dignity,” an exhibit at Cal State San Bernardino aimed at exploring and dismantling intolerance, will mark the end of its nearly yearlong run with the presentation of an original theatrical presentation it inspired.

The exhibition, co-curated by CSUSB assistant professors Arianna Huhn (anthropology, director of the Anthropology Museum) and Annika Anderson (sociology, director of Project Rebound) centers on the life experiences of Inland Empire community members, told in their own words and arranged into seven thematic sections. The narratives are brought to life through audio, personal mementos, concept cards and documentary photography by Thomas McGovern, CSUSB professor of art.

In|Dignity, a double entendre, simultaneously reading as a single word — indignity, and two separate words, in dignity — opened as an exhibition in January of this year.

“The two meanings of ‘In|Dignity’ capture what the exhibition explores by bringing stories to the center that are often at the margins of our consideration; bringing dimensionality to portraits of diversity by laying bare the intersectionality of individual identities along with the diversity amongst members of groups often portrayed as monolithic; and evoking through these stories the common shared humanity of us all,” Huhn said.

The indignities considered in the exhibition are wide-ranging and include personal experiences with ableism, androcentrism, cisgenderism, Islamophobia, racism, heterosexism, educationalism, ageism, colorism, size-ism, pro-natalism and other axes of life outside of the societal “norm.”

“In|Dignity: The Devised Performance” is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the anthropology, sociology and theatre arts department that focuses on visualizing and performing the oral narrative and some of the individual stories in the exhibition using theatrical performative techniques.

The production will be performed by a cast consisting of CSUSB theatre arts departmentmajors, local actors and community-based artists from the Inland Empire. Kathryn Ervin (professor, theatre arts) will direct the piece, Jason Mann (assistant professor, theatre arts) will design the scenic elements and Andre Harrington (professor, theatre arts) will design the props and costume elements.

“In|Dignity: The Devised Performance” will be presented twice: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, both at the Barnes Theatre at the Cal State San Bernardino Performing Arts Building. Both events are free, but seating is limited. A reception will follow the Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 shows, held at the CSUSB Anthropology Museum. The public can RSVP online for both shows and receptions on the event webpage. The Dec. 15 event doubles as a closing reception for the exhibition.

The In|Dignity exhibition will remain open to the public until Dec. 15. The Anthropology Museum is located on the third floor of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building, room 306. The museum is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There is no admission charge; parking at CSUSB is $6 on weekdays and $3 on weekends.

A mobile version of the In|Dignity exhibition is planned, and may begin touring to local area high schools as early as fall 2019. A full color exhibition catalog is also available for sale in limited quantities from the Anthropology Museum.

In|Dignity was made possible with support from California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional financial support for In|Dignity was provided by CSUSB students through their Instructionally Related Programs Fee, a CSUSB Office of Student Research Faculty/Student Grant, the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement Service Learning Fellowship and Community-Based Research Mini-Grant, and a Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic InstituteResearch Grant. The space for production of “In|Dignity: The Devised Performance” and additional resources was provided by the theatre arts department.

The closing reception for “In|Dignity: The Devised Performance” is sponsored by the CSUSB University Diversity Committee.

About In|Dignity: The Devised Performance
Director: Kathryn Ervin
Prop and costume design: Andre Harrington
Scenographer: Jason Mann

About the Anthropology Museum
The CSUSB Anthropology Museum was founded in 2000. Located within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building at Cal State San Bernardino, the breathtaking gallery space provides expansive views of the surrounding San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains.

The mission of the Anthropology Museum is to serve as a teaching laboratory for museum studies certificate students, who gain hands-on experience in collections management, exhibition planning, curation and museum administration. The museum additionally provides space for the presentation of exhibitions that illustrate and interrogate the cultural contexts and meanings of community histories, events, identities, and behaviors — locally, across the world, and over time —  and other anthropological perspectives on topics of interest.

Visit the Anthropology Museum website for more information.

About the CSUSB Department of Theatre Arts
The theatre arts major is both an exciting artistic adventure and a practical liberal arts degree. The broad range of subjects studied enable the theatre major to qualify for a wide variety of fields in California’s vast network that is the entertainment industry. Live theater, design, film, television, corporate and media training, radio, public relations, advertising, business, law, and education are all avenues pursued by recent graduates. The diverse nature of theater training develops skills for working as a theater artist, as well as exploring human interaction and awareness of the human condition.

The CSUSB Department of Theatre Arts season includes three main stage plays on our Ronald E. Barnes stage, as well as several Black Box productions during the academic year. Black Box productions may be student directed/designed. In addition, the department provides opportunities for students to perform in tours to local schools, libraries and community centers.

On Feb. 7, the “Student New Play Showcase” opens in the Black Box Theatre, with new productions written by CSUSB students and alumni. Then on March 8, the CSUSB Department of Theatre Arts will feature the Pulitzer Prize-winning production “Picnic,” directed by department chair Terry Donovan Smith; followed on May 31 with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical extravaganza “In The Heights,” directed by professor Kathryn Ervin.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit inside.csusb.edu.

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