Naropa University MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance Program Presents The Moons of Jupiter

BOULDER, Colo. (September 20, 2013)--Naropa University's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program presents The Moons of Jupiter, a futuristic drama by Jessica Litwak depicting a prophesied future which has finally come--a world without water. These circumstances set in motion furious diatribes and thoughtful discussion among the ever-observant and meddling Greek deities; gifted and terrified earthbound mortals who might have the answer, but lack confidence; and a chorus of dead but deeply concerned commentators from the pantheon of western science. All convene to find a solution.

What: The Moons of Jupiter, presented by Naropa University's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program

When: October 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.; October 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; October 25, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.; October 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Naropa University's Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder

Cost: For tickets, please visit General: $15; Non-Naropa students (with ID): $10; Naropa community and seniors: $7

Writer of The Moons of Jupiter, Jessica Litwak is a playwright, drama therapist, teacher, actor, and activist with an international presence as a theater artist and teacher in Iraq, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, and London, as well as throughout the United States. Her work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times. Plays include Emma Goldman: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs, directed by Anne Bogart and A Pirate's Lullaby, winner of The Oregon Book Award. According to The Los Angeles Times, "Litwak is a radiant, born storyteller who knows how to walk the walk and dance the dance. A modern day shaman, she spins a healing tale of the power and potency of womanhood." As an actress, Litwak has appeared extensively in theatrical productions across the United States, as a company member at The Guthrie Theater, and as a member of The Actor's Studio.

On the steering committee of Theater Without Borders, Litwak co-leads the organization's Arts and Human Rights initiative. She also works as a trainer for Acting Together on the World Stage, and as a case consultant and co-leader of the Artists in Distress Services Committee for freeDimensional. Her work also includes teaching internationally, combining rigorous theater training with drama therapy and social justice work. Litwak also teaches at Naropa University, upon invitation from founding director of Naropa's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program, Wendell Beavers.

Beavers, 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 include the co-founding of Movement Research Inc. in New York, twenty-five years of teaching and directing NYU's Experimental Theater Wing, and founding Naropa's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program in 2004. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with our students, a fearless, brilliant, and committed lot, and with Jessica Litwak," comments Beavers. "As colleagues we have a long and deep shared artistic history."

Naropa University's MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance program, with over one hundred 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; A Celebration Service composed and directed by Meredith Monk; Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, performed in a North Boulder warehouse; a 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; and most recently, in 2012, an original production based on Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, adapted and directed by Wendell Beavers. MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance is embarking on a new initiative joining training in applied theater and theater for social change with rigorous multidisciplinary training of performers capable of creating original work or reinterpreting classics. The program has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leading innovator in contemporary theater training.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is 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 to 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.