Naropa University MFA: Contemporary Performance Program Presents “The Siddhartha Project” 

A re-interpretation of Herman Hesse's classic features music by Gary Grundei, set elements by Takayuki Kida, and directed by Wendell Beavers. Created in collaboration with the MFA 2nd Year Ensemble

What: "The Siddhartha Project," presented by Naropa's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance Program
Where: Naropa Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO 80302
When: 10/11-13; 10/18-20; 10/27-28
Cost: General/$15; Non-Naropa students (w/ID)/$10; Naropa faculty/staff/students/seniors: $7. 
Info: For tickets:
Box Office information line: (303) 245-4798 and email: .

BOULDER, Colo. (August 29, 2012) -- Naropa University MFA: Contemporary Performance Program presents "The Siddhartha Project," a 21st century rendering of the classic story as originally told by Hermann Hesse and reinterpreted by one of the country's most innovative MFA programs. "The Siddhartha Project" is directed by Wendell Beavers, the founding director of the MFA program.

"The Siddhartha Project" will take place at Naropa University's Performing Arts Center (PAC), 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, Colorado on Thursday, October 11, Friday, October 12, Saturday, October 13; Thursday October 18, Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20 and Saturday, October 27, Sunday October 28. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. The production will feature original songs and score by Gary Grundei, well known for his work with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, as well as a number of Naropa productions including last year's MFA indie rock production of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

Japanese master woodworker, Takayuki Kida, will collaborate on design elements for the Siddhartha Project. Mr. Kida's public commissioned work in the Front Range includes the Buddhist Chapel at the Air Force Academy's Hall of Worship in Colorado Springs and the Moon Gates and contributions to the Japanese Garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Gary Grundei is an award-winning composer, pianist, sound designer, and teacher whose music has been heard at the Kennedy Center, Denver Center, Boettcher Concert Hall, New York Stage and Film, Boulder's Chautauqua Community House, Naropa University, the Boulder International Fringe Festival, Occidental College, the Ohio State University, and various modern dance performances. He has worked with Bill Pullman, Meredith Monk, and Barbara Dilley among others. He is the director of the Golden Lotus studio in Lafayette.

Wendell Beavers, a post-modern choreographer and well-known educator in the field of physical theater and new dance, has been closely associated with some of the most provocative and innovative developments in contemporary performance art. These have included the co-founding of Movement Research Inc. in New York, 25 years of teaching and directing NYU's Experimental Theater Wing, and founding Naropa's MFA Theater; Contemporary Performance program in 2004. "To have the opportunity to re-tell the Siddhartha story at Naropa University was irresistible, and more than a little risky, I must admit," Beavers says. "This is probably the only ensemble cast I will ever work with who all have been introduced to meditation themselves giving them a personal, experiential relationship to the teachings referred to in Hermann Hesse's story--that changes everything."

The Naropa University MFA Program. The Naropa MFA program, with over 100 extremely active alumni, has developed a new paradigm in performance training based on new somatic techniques, contemplative practice and view, and world theater and dance forms. The program has attracted both emerging theater artists and seasoned mid-career performers and has accumulated an impressive record of innovative and professional/off-Broadway level productions. These have included original productions such as the 2008 SITI Company's collaboration with the MFA program, 23 Seconds About John Cage; a musical version of The Trojan Women; a Butoh treatment of several Samuel Beckett Plays with guest artist Katsura Kan, Luminous Emptiness (2009); a multimedia adaptation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead; Celebration Service composed and Directed by Meredith Monk, Carol Churchill's Mad Forest, performed in a North Boulder warehouse; and most recently, the Fall 2011 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Directed by Stephen Wangh, author of An Acrobat of The Heart, a widely used primer on psychophysical acting.

The MFA Program at Naropa aspires to train multidisciplinary performers capable of creating original work or reinterpreting classics; the department has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leading innovator in contemporary theater training.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.