Monday, October 16, 2017

UIS Theatre presents “Machinal” by Sophie Treadwell

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield presents “Machinal” by Sophie Treadwell opening Friday, October 27. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 27, 28, 29 and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, November 2, 3, 4. All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday performance (April 9), which will begin at 2 p.m.

Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, UIS associate professor of Theatre, will direct the production. Dathan Powell, UIS assistant professor of Theatre, will be the scenic designer and technical director.

“Machinal” is an expressionist play inspired by the sensational 1927 New York murder trial of Ruth Snyder. “Machinal,” told in nine episodes, focuses on a young woman, as she navigates the oppressive, mechanized, hard society and the cultural expectations placed on her – and all women at the time. Treadwell takes the young woman through the stages of a kind of modern everywoman: work in a boring office, marriage to a boss who offers financial security, a motherhood that oppresses her, and a lover who abandons her.

The cast includes UIS students Beatrice Bonner, Shanda Courtaway, Dawson Daffron, Diamond Dixon, Chris Vemagiri Marbaniang, Krista Massat, Sherri Mitchell, Grant Naughton and Katie Simpson, along with UIS alumni Blake Detherage, Tom Hutchison and Ellyn Thorson and community members Sean McCord, Nic Mulcahy, Kenny Naughton and Judy Nichols.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults; $12 for senior citizens (65 or older with a picture I.D.); $10 for UIS Faculty/Staff; $8 for UIS students (and all other college-level students) with a valid, current i-card or college I.D. card; and $6 for 17 and under. Please note that a service charge from Sangamon Auditorium, not included in the prices above, will be added to each ticket price, at the time of purchase. To avoid a higher service charge, buying tickets in person at the Sangamon Auditorium ticket office is highly recommended. You may also purchase tickets over the phone by calling 217/206-6160.

For more information on the production, please visit the UIS Theatre website at

Friday, October 13, 2017

UIS Speaker Series to screen and discuss the classic film “Ran” about life in medieval Japan

WHAT: The UIS Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series and the NPR Illinois Foreign & Independent Film Series sponsored by the Office of Student Life present a screening and discussion of the 1985 film “Ran.” The discussion will be moderated by UIS Associate Professor of History Peter Shapinsky. This event is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Friday, November 3, 2017, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: “Ran” explores the human condition through a lens of feudal Japan. In medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the newfound power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other and him.

A facilitated discussion led by Shapinsky will follow the movie to explore accurate historical understanding and cultural appreciation along with other takeaways from Akira Kurosawa’s classic film.

Shapinsky is the author of “Lords of the Sea,” a book on medieval Japan. He was the recipient of the 2016 University Scholar Award at UIS and is understood to be one of the foremost scholars on Medieval Japanese piracy and Japanese maritime history. Shapinsky is also fluent in Japanese to aid in his studies of East Asian history.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or in advance.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit

UIS Diversity Center and Lincoln Home National Historic Site host a screening of the film "An Outrage"

The University of Illinois Springfield Diversity Center and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site invite the public to attend a screening of the film "An Outrage," a new documentary film about lynching, on Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Brookens Auditorium on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield. The screening and discussion is free and open to the public; doors will open at 3:30 p.m.

The film, produced by the Richmond, Virginia-based independent filmmakers of Field Studio, had its world premiere at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. in March, and will be distributed by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project to nearly 500,000 teachers—and their millions of students—across the United States starting this fall.

In April, at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, "An Outrage" received the Audience Award, marking it as the favorite among more than 80 films in competition. In August, the film was awarded Best Documentary Short at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in Vermont.

"An Outrage" was filmed at lynching sites in six states – Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia – with descendants of victims, community activists, and historians. The film highlights the oft-hidden history of lynching and its resonance today. Jonathan Holloway, Provost of Northwestern University and an historian of the Jim Crow era, notes in the film, “I promise you, once you start taking in the ‘unofficial histories,’ the official history doesn’t look quite so accurate anymore.”

The film is directed, edited, and produced by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, co-directors of Field Studio, who seek to make the film a hub for action. “Our principal goal,” notes Warren, “is to spur needed conversations that lead to real change, so the film conveys powerful stories and vital history in short form.” Ayers and Warren are currently on a 20-state tour of the film.

The filmmakers note that the film’s content is particularly timely in light of the national debate about the display of Confederate flags and monuments honoring Confederate leaders and the white supremacist violence in Charleston, Charlottesville, and elsewhere. “An Outrage reveals the long, unbroken tradition of white supremacy in America—as expressed by extremist organizers as well as community complacency—and how its history echoes for the families of the thousands of victims of racial terror,” Ayers says. Warren adds: “We hope the film demonstrates why people of conscience, from all political backgrounds, must resist ongoing injustice, threats, and violence motivated by hatred over ideas about race.”

"An Outrage" includes interviews filmed in an artistic style uncommon for historical documentaries. The interviews include Holloway; two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson (author of The Warmth of Other Suns); Mia Bay, Rutgers University historian and Ida B. Wells biographer; and Yohuru Williams, historian and University of St. Thomas Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"An Outrage" will be available for free to teachers starting this fall through the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, an anti-bias education program with a network of nearly 500,000 teachers across the United States. The film has a 33-minute run time designed for use in classrooms and community forums. Teaching Tolerance is also developing curriculum to use with the film.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information regarding the screening of the film "An Outrage" is welcome to contact Lincoln Home National Historic Site at 217-391-3241 or the University of Illinois Springfield Diversity Center at 217-206-6333.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “of strange shadows” from Texas-based print collaborators Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “of strange shadows” from Texas-based collaborators Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban. The exhibit will open on Thursday, October 26, and run through Thursday, November 16. An artist reception will take place on Thursday, October 26, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit, “of strange shadows,” is an investigation of color, print and collective memory. Contrasting a subdued primary palette with gray images of residual protest and violence, artist-collaborators Mutchler and Urban look back to the 1960’s and 1970's as captured in printed matter from the same era. The installation of layered digital prints evoke the smoking and obscured remnants of a civil strife and political tumult at once too familiar and yet distant. The layering of large-scale, abstracted images printed on everyday bond paper suggests the ephemerality and fragility of any one generation’s defining moments.

As artists and collaborators, Mutchler and Urban are interested in the handmade (handprinted) and the duality of actual and virtual, experience and meta-experience. Both have multiple degrees in printmaking and have been working for several years to make relevant the archaic and dying craft of print.

Mutchler’s recent projects are experiential and examine the functionality of the printed form through multi-participatory installations. Urban is co-founder and co-editor of, a 2011 Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant winning blog, focused on interesting and relevant contemporary printmaking, print, and print-related issues. Both teach in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin where Mutchler is associate chair and director of the AAH Core Program and Urban is head of the studio division's print area.

The Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201, and is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Access Gallery is located in the Visual and Performing Arts Building and is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or

Monday, October 2, 2017

UIS Speaker Series presents "Investigating How Cancer Cells Survive: The Key to Blocking Metastasis?"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series and the Notre Dame Club of Central Illinois Hesburgh Lecture Series presents “Investigating How Cancer Cells Survive: The Key to Blocking Metastasis?” featuring speaker Zachary Schafer, an associate professor of biological sciences and the Coleman Foundation Collegiate chair of cancer biology at the University of Notre Dame. The event is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Monday, October 23, 2017, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells spread from the primary tumor to distant sites in the body, is responsible for in excess of 90% of cancer deaths. This lecture will focus on recent Notre Dame research studying how cancer cells survive during metastasis, and how this information can be used for the development of novel cancer therapeutics. Schafer will present his research on the molecular mechanism utilized by cancer cells to survive during metastasis.

Schafer is a Springfield native and a 1997 graduate of Springfield High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Notre Dame and completed his Ph.D. in molecular cancer biology at Duke University. He proceeded to complete postdoctoral studies in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of a V Scholar Award from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society and a Career Catalyst Award from Susan G. Komen.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or in advance.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit