In "Silence," master raconteur Dolores Hydock enacts the 700-year-old tale of a young girl who is raised as a boy for the sake of property rights. The classic Arthurian legend is re-enacted in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." The early music trio PanHarmonium accompanies both performances.
"Silence" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29 in Thompson Recital Hall of the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts.
"Sir Gawain" will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 in the Great Room of the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics. The event is sponsored by the Butler Fund of the department of art and art history, Cultural Resource Center, the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and women's studies program.
Both programs are free and the public is invited to attend.
In both of her poignant and humorous tales, Hydock creates several characters onstage -- from an old hag to an avaricious king, to Sir Gawain himself. Her minimal props and staging create true theatre of the mind that combines the ancient with the modern.
PanHarmonium uses instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy, psaltery, recorders, harp, lute and viols to enhance the authenticity of her performances.
Hydock is a writer, storyteller and actor who has toured extensively in the United States. Her six compact discs of original stories have all received Resource Awards from "Storytelling World" magazine.
PanHarmonium, comprised of musicians David Cantrell, Susan Merchant and Gilbert Ritchie, has performed at the National Storytelling Festival and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, among others. Their repertoire includes medieval, Renaissance and baroque music.
"The performances by Dolores Hydock and PanHarmonium offer our community the unprecedented experience of seeing and hearing works of medieval literature come to life," said Anne F. Harris, chairman of the department of art and art history. "The stories of 'Silence' and 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' are gripping and speak to contemporary issues of identity and the self in the world."
"I'm excited that we're closing out the 2011 Performing Arts Series with two performances that combine elements from so many performances and literary genres -- theater, music, fiction and poetry," said Ronald L. Dye, associate professor of English and communication and theater, and coordinator of the Performing Arts Series. "It's likely that most modern performance genres have their origins in traditional storytelling. So, hopefully Hydock's two shows will appeal to wide audiences."
For the Saturday performance at the Prindle Institute, Rural Transit will provide free shuttle service departing from the front of the DePauw Memorial Student Union Building at 1:40 p.m. and returning after the performance at approximately 3:30. Additionally, transportation will be available from the lower parking lot up to the Institute for people who have difficulty walking up the steep hill.