Performance of "The Ruse of Medusa," a surrealist play

Performance of "The Ruse of Medusa," a surrealist play
Friday, April 27, 2018
Great Hall, Living Learning Center
Appalachian State University
6 - 8 p.m.

Tickets are required - see details below

"The Ruse of Medusa," is a surrealist play by French composer and pianist, Erik Satie, and translated into English by M.C. Richards (poet, potter, essayist, translator and painter, who taught at Black Mountain College in the late 1940's). The play was first performed at Black Mountain College in August of 1948, and was a collaboration by some of Black Mountain College's most noted personalities, from Buckminster Fuller as the Baron Medusa, to John Cage arranging Satie's music, and Merce Cunningham choreographed the dance of a mechanical monkey.

This is the play's premiere at Appalachian. Direction by Dr. Christina V. Sornito, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and a BMCS Fellow. Production and acting by the anthropology students of ANT 4275 - Experimental Ethnography. Musical accompaniment by Jonathan Snead and McKenna Blank. The production venue will be set up in a cabaret style setting, with the audience sitting at tables.

Experimental Ethnography is a new capstone course as of the spring 2018 semester. This course explores how "ethnography" has from its inception been an experimental arena wherein anthropologists work out what to do with the material gathered during the prolonged encounter with "strangeness" that is long-term fieldwork. The goal of this course is to figure modes and practices towards a media ethnography that is "experimental" insofar that our expressions, while doing as much justice to the stories of others as possible, also reflect how histories of the Western senses (particularly with regard to the desire to record/capture images) are epistemologically founded in colonial pasts, capitalism and other structures of power.

This event is also a fundraiser for the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Appalachian Studies.

Bar and lite food will begin at 6 p.m. Performance begins at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the campus and community, but requires a ticket for entry. Tickets will be available by sending an email request with "Ruse of Medusa tickets" in the subject line to the Appalachian State Ethnography Lab, and will be first come, first serve. Limit 3 tickets per email address. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

About the Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology offers a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world — past, present and future. Learn more at

About the Center for Appalachian Studies
The Center for Appalachian Studies promotes public programs, community collaboration, civic engagement and scholarship on the Appalachian region. The center is committed to building healthy communities and deepening knowledge of Appalachia's past, present and future through community-based research and engagement.

By Ellen Gwin Burnette
April 17, 2018

Published: Apr 17, 2018 9:36am