“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
Newman University’s 2022 Arts & Literature Festival celebrates past and present female leaders with live on-stage performances, gallery artwork, creative writing from students and much more.
Themed “Queens & Things: Art & Gender,” the Arts & Literature Festival is scheduled for Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4 with a variety of events that appeal to any age.
“Queens & Things: Art & Gender” schedule of events:
Thursday, March 3
- “Gender Roundtable: Let’s Talk about Masculinity & Femininity” with students of the Newman Studies Program Gender Studies course, taught by Marguerite Regan, associate professor of English, with senior Matthew Clark as moderator – 11 a.m. in Jabara Flexible Theatre, De Mattias Hall.
- “So Long, Fare Well” Art for Lunch with artist Ann Resnick – 12 p.m. in Steckline Gallery.
- “Women Leaders” presented by Director of Mission Effectiveness Sister Therese Wetta, ASC, and Sister Tarcisia Roths, ASC – 3 p.m. in Jabara Flexible Theatre, De Mattias Hall.
- Theater department presents “Mary, Queen of Scots” on stage, followed by a talkback with the director and cast – 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall. Tickets are available for purchase online at newmanuniversitytheatre.org or at the door.
Friday, March 4
- Tissue paper flower-making workshop, “Como La Flor” (Like the Flower), led by Shannon Johnston, assistant art professor and director of the Steckline Gallery and Sonja Bontrager, assistant professor of Spanish – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the De Mattias main hallway.
- Open Mic & Coelacanth Literary Journal with moderators Matthew Clark and Madeline Schnieders – 12 p.m. in Jabara Flexible Theatre, De Mattias Hall.
- Creative writing showcase with students Hadassah Umbarger, Matthew Clark, Madeline Schnieders, Austin Schwartz and Hannah Shubert – 1 p.m. in Jabara Flexible Theatre.
- First Friday gallery crawl presents “So Long, Fare Well” with artist Ann Resnick – 5 p.m. in the Steckline Gallery.
Inviting guest interaction
Almost every event during the Arts & Literature Festival features an opportunity for audience members to participate and interact with the art or discussion at hand.
Friday’s “Como La Flor” flower-making workshop builds off of featured artist Ann Resnick’s flower motif throughout her March exhibit in the Steckline Gallery.
“The song, ‘Como La Flor’ was a big hit for singer Selena Quintanilla back in the 90s and has been revived with the recent Netflix ‘Selena’ series,” Bontrager explained. “Characteristic of many other examples of Spanish-language popular music, the lyrics express deep pain but the melody is joyous.”
Johnston added, “Sonja and I brainstormed up an ongoing interactive station where anyone can make a brightly colored tissue paper flower to add to an installation in the DeMatt hallway or take with them. Supplies and instructions will be available and anyone can join in as they like.”
Selecting the theme
Traditionally, the spring play is an important aspect of the Arts & Literature Festival. With this year’s production being “Mary, Queen of Scots,” Rachel Lang, administrative assistant for the Division of Arts & Humanities, said it was “only fitting to have the theme of the festival centered around the theme of the show.”
“I’m most looking forward to seeing the Newman students share their thoughts, opinions and personal works with the campus community,” Lang said.
Senior Allison Williams, a double major of psychology and criminal justice, said she is honored to portray Queen Mary in the upcoming production. The pacing of the play and elements of the stage are some of the most exciting aspects of the show. The modern-day parallels also extend into the realm of gender and religion.
“As a woman, I see that Mary and Elizabeth are in similar positions,” Williams said. “Both have power only as long as the men in their lives approve. In a time where having a queen ruling the land was still baffling, Mary and Elizabeth both had to play the game to show that they knew how to lead.”
All of this year’s “Queens & Things: Art & Gender” events during the 2022 Arts & Literature Festival are free and open to the public.