March 4, 2021

Award-Winning, Sustainable Costume and Set Designs Showcased in New Exhibit at West Chester University

CARNIVAL OF RUIN, The Exhibit is Open to the Public March 20 – 26, 2021Carnival of Ruin

Three associate professors at West Chester University find themselves in a new role this month when CARNIVAL OF RUIN, The Exhibit opens as part of the Art + Design season in the John H. Baker Gallery, E.O Bull Center for the Arts, 2 E. Rosedale Ave., West Chester. Open to the public and campus community March 20 – 26, CARNIVAL OF RUIN, The Exhibit, showcases stunning and unique costumes, sets, and props created for a theatre/dance performance piece of the same title, and made entirely from post-consumer waste by associate professors in the department of Theatre & Dance - Constance Case, Gretchen Studlien-Webb, and Maria Urrutia.

A livestreamed gallery presentation and reading of the script will be offered to the public here via YouTube on Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. Other performance events prior to that date will also be recorded and posted. The exhibit will be open for public viewing from March 22 – 26 by appointment only from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Call Laurie Moran in the Department of Art + Design at 610.436.2755 or email at

Both the performance piece and the exhibit were created to increase awareness of sustainability issues and spark community action. A “big top” tent is made from thousands of plastic bags, and costumes are made from plastic bags, soda cans, hula hoops, bottle caps and repurposed clothing.

Carnival of RuinStudlien Webb says, “As artists we feel it is our responsibility to create work that reflects society and ignites social change. CARNIVAL OF RUIN is an impactful and innovative work that is based on sustainability research and is expressed through thought-provoking movement language and cutting-edge costuming. We are pushing the boundaries of what it means to create innovative dance costumes and sets in a work that clearly speak through the movement narrative about the effects of consumerism.”

For their work on the show, the three professors were recently recognized with a Woman Warrior award from the West Chester Green Team and West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability.

Scripted with original music and dialog, CARNIVAL OF RUIN, The performance is based on the story of a careless carnival barker, visited by a mystical fortune teller, who convinces him to live a more sustainable existence. The moral of the story is to reduce, reuse and recycle, and the action revolves around six dances with stories of change. The piece involves West Chester University Theatre and Dance students and alumni in all performance roles. On May 29, 2021, East Goshen Township Park will host a FREE performance of CARNIVAL OF RUIN at 1661 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA. For additional informationCarnival of Ruin visit or on Facebook @carnivalofruin.




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