Theater and Dance Presents Bittersweet Chekhov Comedy

Kirby Theater transforms into pre-revolutionary Russia for 8 p.m. performances ThursdaySaturday and a Sunday matinee.

October 28, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

The Cherry Orchard
In Amherst's production of The Cherry Orchard, acting and
design work by students and faculty takes center stage.

In the early morning hours of a crisp spring day, at the turn of the 20th century, sunlight creeps across the branches of blossoming cherry trees in the orchard of the Ranevskaya family’s estate.

So begins Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, a four-act play about one family’s effort to save their home and celebrated orchard, presented by Amherst’s Theater and Dance department Thursday, Oct. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 1.

Original Play by Professor Wendy Woodson Connects Imagery, Memory and More

October 13, 2015
By Rachel Rogol


Ecology. Resistance fighters. A case study by Sigmund Freud. These are the underlying themes of Dora, an original performance about two people who meet and lose one another repeatedly against continually shifting landscapes of history and memory.

Written and performed by Wendy Woodson, Amherst's Roger C. Holden 1919 Professor of Theater and DanceDora simultaneously explores the relationship between its two characters and the many possible connections between images and human memory. "Dora is not a naturalistic or realistic play," Woodson says, "but rather a series of encounters."

Film and Media Studies Program Expands with New Faculty, Courses and Events

October 13, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Students in Adam Levine's Experimental Cinema course gathered together under a tree on Valentine Quad.
Students in Prof. Levine's spring 2015 Cinema Experiments
course meet under a tree near Chapin Chapel.

Now in its sixth year, Amherst’s Film and Media Studies (FAMS) Program recently appointed two new faculty members and is offering more courses (24 this academic year) and public film screenings (with internationally renowned artists and scholars) than ever before.

The FAMS program originated at Amherst in 2009 and officially launched as a major in fall 2010. Since then, the program has steadily gained momentum. Nine students have graduated as majors and nearly two dozen filmmakers and scholars have shown their work on campus. In fall 2014, Adam Levine, assistant professor of art, film and media studies, oversaw the installation of a black box studio in Fayerweather Hall; students majoring in film and media studies, as well as art and the history of art, can access it any time, day or night.

Last fall, Professor Amelie Hastie—the first FAMS faculty member and current chair of the program—oversaw the hires of new faculty members Pooja Rangan and Joshua Guilford.

Music at Amherst Series Kicks Off with Sold Out Performance, Performer Interview

October 1, 2015

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Saxophonist Archie Shepp in conversation with Assistant Professor of Music Jason Robinson

Playing to a sold-out Buckley Recital Hall on opening night of the Music at Amherst 2015–16 series, revered saxophonist Archie Shepp and Moroccan musical group The Dar Gnawa of Tangier presented an exciting fusion of musical ideas from as far as Morocco and Paris, and as near as Louisiana and New York City (photos below).

Alumnus Returns for Powerful Performance Highlighting the Realities of Racism in America

September 21, 2015

The Lower Frequencies

Racial injustice. Social inequality. Black stereotypes. White privilege. These and other issues are at the heart of The Lower Frequencies, an original play written and performed by Amherst graduate Bryce Monroe '15 that is as captivating as its subject matter is difficult.

The show debuted at Amherst in April 2015, riveting students with its powerful and timely commentary on what it means to be a black man in America, and is back by popular demand for three nights only, Thursday, Sept. 24–Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in The Powerhouse.

Amherst’s Theater and Dance Season Kicks off with Shakespeare, Reimagined

September 7, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Photo by Scott Treadway

In the earliest years of the 17th century, Shakespeare wrote a little-known play called Pericles, Prince of Tyre. This Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 9–12, Amherst’s Holden Experimental Theater transforms into Pericles’ world, complete with shipwrecks, assassins, pirates, romance and the heartbreaking story of a family torn apart.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre kicks off Amherst’s Theater and Dance 2015–16 season. Even if you’ve seen a production of Pericles before, chances are you haven’t seen it like this.

5 Free Things to Do on Campus This Summer

By Elaine Jeon ’17

The newest season of Game of Thrones has ended, and you’ve already binge-watched all of Orange is the New Black. And you can’t keep frequenting restaurants in town or your credit card will surely explode. Whether you’re a student, professor, staff member, alum or visitor, here are five free things to do on the Amherst College campus to keep you busy and financially solvent this summer.


Professor Writes Book on Yoruba Art

Submitted on Thursday, 7/2/2015, at 11:47 AM

Yoruba Art and Language (cover detail)In his 2014 book, Yoruba Art and Language: Seeking the African in African Art, Amherst Professor Rowland Abiodun uses the metaphor of a point-and-shoot camera to describe why western art history principles are not applicable to the study of African art.

Political yet Personal: Student Documentaries Explore Torture and Immigration

June 16, 2015


A former military police officer attempts to reconcile his love for music with the memory of hearing it used as a weapon while stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

An immigrant family from Cuba mourns the loss of their wife/mother/grandmother thousands of miles from the place they know as home.

These are the real stories behind two documentaries filmed, edited and produced by Ashley Blasczyk '15 and Joyzel Acevedo '15 as part of their Film and Media Studies senior thesis projects.

Amherst Professor Debuts New Opera During Free Workshop Performance


In 1960, nationally renowned literary critic and Smith College professor Newton Arvin was arrested and tried for possessing homosexual pornography. On Sunday, June 7, his story came to the Buckley Recital Hall stage in The Scarlet Professor, a new opera by composer Eric Sawyer, professor of music at Amherst, and librettist Harley Erdman, a theater professor at UMass Amherst.