Faculty art to be presented March 20 at the Moody

Sneak a peek at works in progress by Rice faculty this week

If you’ve ever been curious about how creative works come to life, this week is your chance for a sneak peek into works in progress by Rice faculty members. The first-ever Faculty Arts Showcase on March 20 at the Moody Center for the Arts will explore four of those works, including two operas that are currently underway.

Jesús Vassallo will present his winning architectural plans for "Big Room, Small Window."

Jesús Vassallo will present his winning architectural plans for “Big Room, Small Window.”

The first work is a scene from “Kassandra,” an operatic adaptation of the Greek myth of Cassandra and Apollo updated for the #MeToo era by Anthony Brandt, who chairs the composition and theory department at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. It will be followed by a scene from “The Leader,” an absurdist political satire from Karim Al-Zand, associate professor of composition and theory at the Shepherd School, based on Eugène Ionesco’s play of the same name.

Both scenes are previews of full-scale productions yet to come. “The Leader” will be co-produced by Opera in the Heights and Musiqa as part of their 2020 seasons and will feature in a double-bill with Brandt’s “Kassandra.”

The event also features architecture, as Jesús Vassallo will present “Big Room, Small Window,” his plan for an affordable housing project in Munich featuring a modular construction system for mass production. Vassallo, the Gus Wortham Assistant Professor in Rice’s School of Architecture, was one of the winners for the Munich-Taufkirchen site of the Europan 14 competition and is now turning his prototype into reality.

Amber Peace Dermont, associate professor of English, will close the evening with a reading from her novel in progress. “The Laughing Girl” is inspired by the 1962 Air France plane crash that killed 121 art patrons from Atlanta.

A Q&A will follow the presentations, finishing with a reception in the Moody’s Central Gallery that will provide an opportunity to talk with the creators over wine and cheese.

“The Moody is delighted to elevate and celebrate arts at Rice University,” said Alison Weaver, executive director of the Moody Center for the Arts. “A big part of that is making available the creative endeavors of Rice’s world-class faculty. We’re honored to host the first-ever Faculty Arts Showcase and offer a glimpse into the creative process.”

Faculty Arts Showcase, Moody Center for the Arts, Lois Chiles Studio Theater, March 20, 7-9 p.m.

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.