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Join the Arts at Brandeis E-List for the inside scoop on plays, concerts, and fine arts at Brandeis, as well as free and discount tickets to arts events in Greater Boston.

The Brandeis arts magazine, State of the Arts, provides a complete schedule of events. To be added to the magazine’s mailing list, email

Arts@Brandeis Calendar

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

globeDec. 1-2

Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence

This two-day symposium explores the performative dimensions of justice-seeking in the aftermath of violence, with a focus on Cambodia, Peru and the United States. Free, public sessions examine three broad questions: How can societies best recover from widespread violence and human rights violations? What do public ritual, theater, truth commissions and criminal trials each offer as justice-seeking strategies? and How does performance, broadly conceived, satisfy the human need to understand violence and reconstruct dignity in its wake?

For a complete schedule of events and parking information, visit the Ethics Center website. Questions? Contact Hosted by the Ethics Center in collaboration with Northeastern University School of Law.

Friday, Dec. 2-3

Brandeis Comedy Festival
Shapiro Campus Center Theater 
8 p.m.

Professional and collegiate troupes perform original sketch comedy in this annual festival of irreverence and utter disrespect. Mature audiences. Produced by Boris' Kitchen, Brandeis' student sketch comedy troupe. Tickets available at the door.

Saturday, Dec. 3

Brandeis Jazz Ensemble Plays Mingus
Slosberg Music Center
8 p.m. 

Jazz legend Charles Mingus (1922-1979) recorded over 100 albums and his performance at the 1955 Brandeis arts festival established him as a leading composer of his day. Revisit his ferocity with a program of his best-known works. Bob Nieske, director.

Sunday, Dec. 4

Leonard Bernstein Scholars and Fellows Recital
Slosberg Music Center
3:00 p.m.

Performances by two fine undergraduate chamber groups named in honor of former faculty member Leonard Bernstein. 

Brandeis Wind Ensemble: Twisted Melodies
Slosberg Music Center
8 p.m.

Familiar tunes that we’ve heard many times, in many places, but never like this. “Frère Jacques” in a minor key? Really?! Thomas Souza, director.

Monday, Dec. 5

Improv Collective
Slosberg Music Center
7 p.m.

Jam. Vibe. Groove. Invent. Music without preconceptions or limitations. Tom Hall, director.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 


Close Looking
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library
3:30 p.m.

Discussion of "Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto V," from the Bern Dibner Collection in the History of Science. Published in 1590, this huge book describes one of the greatest engineering feats of the Renaissance, the moving of an obelisk to St. Peter’s Square and its erection before the basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. The stunning detail of these drawings may interest students of the arts as well as students of engineering, as many combine scientific depictions with allegorical and mythical figures such as “Concordia” and “Firmitas” who preside over the engineers’ labor. With Charles McClendon (Fine Arts), Mary Baine Campbell (English, Comp Lit, WGS). Part of yearlong series sponsored by the Rose Art Museum, the Mandel Center for the Humanities and Library and Technology Services.  


Senior Studio Opening Reception
Dreitzer Gallery, Spingold Theater Center
5 p.m. -7 p.m. 

Students in the senior studio art program show paintings, sculpture and prints. Through Jan. 20, 2012.

urinetownDec. 8 - 11

Urinetown: The Musical
Shapiro Campus Center Theater

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Hollman and Kotis' irreverent musical romps through a revolution against the evil Urine Good Company. Produced by the student-run Tympanium Euphorium. Tickets are $5/$3. Purchase tickets online or call Brandeis Tickets: 781-736-3400.

Saturday, Dec. 10


New Music Brandeis

Slosberg Music Center
8 p.m.

World premieres of new works from Brandeis’ renowned graduate composition program. Featuring the Lydian String Quartet.

Sunday, Dec. 11

Early Music Ensemble: Power to the Pious!
Slosberg Music Center
3 p.m.

Music of the 16th-century Reformation in Europe, performed on period instruments. These popular songs and ancient chants, adopted for congregational singing, were a rich source for piety and praise, reflection and joy. Sarah Mead, director.

afdrumFafali: African Music and Dance Ensemble
Slosberg Music Center
8 p.m.

Traditional music and dance from Ghana, West Africa, led by master drummer Nani Agbeli. The ensemble performs on bells, rattles and drums with call-and-response singing in local languages. Discover how the rhythms of Ghana speak to all people.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Handel's "Messiah" Community Sing
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium
4 p.m. 

Grab a Handel and join the chorus (and members of the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra) for the music department’s annual community celebration. Neal Hampton, conductor. James Olesen, director. 


Celebrate the newly renovated Rose Art Museum and three new exhibitions:

Art at the Origin: The Early 1960s (Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Gallery) celebrates the museum's formative period by displaying paintings, sculptures and prints created during the museum's first years, 1961-65. Key works by Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Marisol are displayed in newly renovated spaces.  


Collecting Stories (Lois Foster Gallery) documents the collection's growth over five decades, from gifts of modernist paintings that inspired the Rose's formation to contemporary art acquisitions connected to its legacy of bold exhibitions. Left: Marsden Hartley, Musical Theme (Oriental Symphony), 1912-13. 

Bruce Conner: EVE-RAY-FOREVER (1965/2006) (Mildred S. Lee Gallery) presents the Rose's newest acquisition, a groundbreaking triptych film installation originally shown at the Rose as part of the late artist Bruce Conner's first major museum exhibition in 1965. In honor of the museum's 50th anniversary, the museum has acquired Conner's 2006 recreation of this groundbreaking film experience. 

At the Kniznick Gallery, Women's Studies Research Center, through Dec. 20:

EMBODIED: Painter Laurie Kaplowitz and sculptor Stacy Latt Savage share a conviction in the female form's expressive potential in contemporary art. Kaplowitz paints iconic heads of women, adorned with the flora and fauna of the earth, that reference a universal impulse to ornament oneself. Conversely, Latt Savage's figurative sculptures are stripped of all embellishment and adornment to expose an underlying emotional core.