May Earns Recognition for Creative Work – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

May Earns Recognition for Creative Work

Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May has been selected for an artist residency in Indianapolis this spring and a performance in Portland, Maine in the summer.

In early June, May will be an artist at Indy Convergence’s artist residency before traveling to Portland to perform her solo work, “Rearranging the Furniture.”

At Indy Convergence (IC), May says, “I will be bringing the current version of ‘Rearranging the Furniture’ with me. One of the things I’m hoping to do when I’m on leave in 2020 is to transform the piece from its short form that I’ll be performing for PortFringe into a stand-alone performance that is perhaps a bit more audience-interactive and makes better use of technology and design. I hope that the other artists at IC can help me imagine what this fleshed out performance might be and kick start my work developing that.”

The residency is collaborative in nature, designed to push artists beyond their comfort zones in a supportive and collegial environment.

In Portland, May will perform at PortFringe, a lottery-based, non-juried “fringe festival” that encourages performance artists to experiment and innovate while offering an accessible, affordable creative outlet for the local community.

May’s piece, “Rearranging the Furniture,” was “incited by a round of visits to doctors that left me feeling unmoored,” she says. “This performance is a diagnosis of a disease plaguing us: lack of vision. A reflection on Tiresias, disability, and the disorientation of the early days of the Trump administration, ‘Rearranging the Furniture‘ challenges audiences to create space for difference, hold ground that feels increasingly unstable, and to learn to love or cut the ties that bind.”

An HWS faculty member since 2013, May is the founder and artistic director of Mosaic NY, a theatre company comprised of student actors who work with May to create performances that celebrate diversity, provoke dialogue, develop community and encourage the active pursuit of social justice. Although primarily a professional theatre director and professor, she has recently returned to what brought her to theatre in the first place: performing. This year she also wrote her first full-length play, #TheBallantineDays.

May has served on the Strategic Diversity Planning Committee and was a Fisher Center Research Fellow during the 2014-15 academic year. She earned a B.A. with honors in theatre from Grinnell College, an M.A. in drama from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in theatre and drama from Indiana University.