Here’s something we haven’t seen before in the library world.
The USC Libraries have begun a collaboration with USC School of Dramatic Arts professor Oliver Mayer to showcase the essential role of libraries in discovery and the creative arts through an upcoming series of flash plays.
The original plays—short, one-act pieces written by Dramatic Arts students, faculty, and alumni—will appear spontaneously across campus beginning this spring and continuing throughout the fall 2013 semester.
“Through immediate, meaningful pieces of dramatic art, this project will underscore the libraries’ contribution to writing, performance, and all modes of creativity on campus,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “One of the most rewarding kinds of discovery that our libraries make possible is discovery through creativity, and I know these plays will highlight that process in unexpected and entertaining ways for our community.”
The flash plays join several other library initiatives that unite disciplines and encourage inventive use of the libraries in artistic endeavors. The USC Libraries Wonderland Award, now in its 9th year, recently awarded five prizes to its second largest set of entrants ever. In the Doheny Library lobby, an exhibition of a giant origami fractal inspired and informed by library collections and built by 300 USC community members, continues through commencement.
“As I’ve worked with Dean Quinlan and engaged more and more with the libraries, it’s become obvious that our libraries are ideal partners for a project like this,” said Oliver Mayer, professor of dramatic arts. “Our surprising, mini performances will occur in public areas on campus. Sometimes they’ll include a celebrity actor, or a special guest writer will compose the plays. The idea is to have fun while spreading the word about the incredible resources that the USC Libraries bring to our artists and scholars. And this is only the beginning.”
Jonathan Munoz-Proulx, a graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, will direct the first flash play in the series. The performance, at a specific time and location to be announced through Twitter (@USCLibraries) and other social media, will take place near Doheny Memorial Library during the week of April 22.