A blog of the Center for Experimental Ethnography
From the beginning of the semester through the start of spring break, the students in Dr. Marcia Ferguson’s class at the University of Pennsylania, “The Edinburgh Project,” read works by Virginia Woolf and rehearsed a production of Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Woolf’s classic novel Orlando. The production was to premiere in April on campus, then travel to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Their rehearsals with Ferguson and their training with Blanka Zizka, Artistic Director of the Wilma Theater and the 2020 artistic resident for the Theatre Arts program, were cut short by the pandemic.
With the University moving to remote learning and the Edinburgh Fringe ultimately canceled for 2020, it was clear the course would not be able to proceed as planned. Looking for a way to build on this initial work within a new format, Dr. Ferguson gave the group a new assignment: weekly video projects in which the individual members of the class reflect on Ruhl’s play, the Virginia Woolf novel on which it was based, and their experience of the pandemic. The resulting film blends distinctive imagery, original music, and first-person accounts.
The 28-minute film is available on YouTube throughout the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and beyond.
PENN MUSEUM 336
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