May 20, 2021

Three WCU Professors are the Creators of Original Performance Piece about Consumerism

CARNIVAL OF RUIN to be presented for FREE on Saturday, May 29 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in East Goshen Township ParkCarnival of Ruin 1

Three associate professors at West Chester University - Constance Case, Gretchen Studlien-Webb, and maria Urrutia – find themselves in a new role as the creators of CARNIVAL OF RUIN, an immersive, original performance piece for all ages about the effects of consumerism. West Chester’s East Goshen Township Park will host two FREE outdoor public performances of the show on May 29, 2021, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 1661 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA. For additional information visit or on Facebook @carnivalofruin. This event is free with registration, which can be acquired through the East Goshen Township Park website.

Carnival of Ruin 2The “stars” of CARNIVAL OF RUIN are the stunning and unique costumes, sets, and props that are created entirely from post-consumer waste by the three associate professors from West Chester University’s department of Theatre & Dance. 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. The show was created to increase awareness of sustainability issues and spark community action.

Studlien 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.”

Scripted with original music and dialog, CARNIVAL OF RUIN 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.

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.Carnival of Ruin 3



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