January 30, 2009

SIUC to host Patti Pace Performance Festival

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Marion Kleinau Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes the Patti Pace Performance Festival Feb. 5-8.

This is the first time for SIUC to host the performance festival honoring Pace, an SIUC alumna.

Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, festival coordinator and associate professor of performance studies, explained that Pace earned her doctorate in speech communication and performance studies at SIUC. She taught at Louisiana State University as a visiting professor and at Georgia Southern University. While at GSU, she organized a performance festival, but unfortunately did not live to see it come to fruition. The festival went on, named in her honor.

By design, the festival site rotates among the universities with which Pace was affiliated. Gingrich-Philbrook said he expects participation from about 10 universities, including Bowling Green State University, University of North Texas, and DePaul University.

The festival includes special guests Ruth Laurion Bowman from Louisiana State University and Benjamin Powell from Bowling Green State University. Bowman hosts workshops on creative responses to performance art, and Powell, an experimental musician, focuses on the process of performance selection.

Gingrich-Philbrook said non-competitive performance festivals such as this one give students a chance to network and learn more about their chosen field. It also gives the universities a chance to recruit potential students.

“Patti Pace was an amazing person,” he said, noting her significant research on the politics of children’s literature. “She really had a big impact on a lot of us.”

To learn more about the Patti Pace Performance Festival, contact Craig Gingrich-Philbrook at 618/453-2291 or craiggp@siu.edu.