Incorporated in 2003 and based in New York City, the Flying Carpet Theatre Company has created and premiered seven award-winning productions. Through the University of Nevada, Reno's Artist-in-Residence Program in the School of the Arts, Flying Carpet will fly into Reno and perform on campus Nov. 1 and 2.
"Flying Carpet offers a diverse range of devising tools and the company has worked to perfect a process of their own for devising new and engaging work," Jonathon Taylor, production and design technical director in the theatre department, said. "They are also using music and musical theatre in their devising process, which makes them somewhat unique, and provides a connection to our upcoming musical theatre specialization."
Flying Carpet Theatre makes a robust commitment to community outreach. The company has taught and performed at community centers, public schools, museums, parks, and universities in New York and throughout the country. Members of the company will spend a week collaborating and producing original works with University theatre students.
"The Artist in Residence program invites accomplished artists from outside of our immediate region to come to campus and become quite involved in our community," Tamara Scronce, interim director of the School of the Arts, said. "Artists in residence may give presentations, offer workshops, present exhibitions, stage performances, and/or collaborate with students, local artists, or the general public over an extended period of time."
Taylor articulated the importance of exposing students to those in the profession.
"With residencies, it has been important for our department to engage with groups, companies, and individuals whose work complements our own without a tremendous amount of overlap," he said. "Another layer to a residency experience is exposure to the profession for students in our program. We use productions to mirror the professional world, and we maintain professional profiles, but a student in a residency gets to work with independent artists who are working in the hubs of the theatrical world. The opportunity to ask questions about how to live and work as an artist in these hubs is invaluable to a student artist considering a life in the arts."
The residency culminates with two joint performances with University theatre students and the guest artists from New York.
Performances are Wednesday, Nov. 1 and Thursday, Nov 2, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Redfield Studio Theatre, located in the Church Fine Arts building. Performances are free and open to the public.
The School of the Arts in the University's College of Liberal Arts is committed to bringing outside artists to campus with several different programs, including the Visiting Artist in Residence. It devotes $20,000 a year to residencies. The funding rotates yearly among each of the School's three departments - art, music, and theatre and dance.
"The residency engagement is well beyond a typical visiting artist that may be on campus for a couple of days to lecture, perform and/or exhibit," Scronce said. "The time provided by the structure of the residency offers students increased exposure and valuable extended opportunity to engage with guest artists in our educational environment."
Previous Visiting Artists in Residence have included jazz pianist Uri Caine and his band, the second saw composer Terry Riley, actor Ben Crystal and artist Erika Harrsch.
The University's School of the Arts embraces its role as a vibrant center for arts and culture in northern Nevada. Its degree programs provide a strong foundation in a range of artistic disciplines, enabling students to contribute as artists, educators and scholars at the local level and beyond. The School also supports and encourages research, innovation and the artistic endeavors of its faculty. Finally, the school encourages broad campus and community participation in the arts through its numerous performances, lectures, shows, core courses and outreach activities that explore diverse cultures and encourage lifelong learning.