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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘American Vaudeville’ great summer opportunity

    Image courtesy of Dr. David Soren.
    Image courtesy of Dr. David Soren.

    During Tucson’s summertime lull, mental stimulation can be just as valuable as well-deserved relaxation and leisure time. Starting July 7 and continuing every Tuesday until July 28, the Tucson community can have the best of both worlds as the College of Humanities and Regents’ Professor David Soren present the summer seminar series, “”American Vaudeville: A Personal Retrospective.””

    Vaudeville is a cultural phenomenon where lighthearted song, dance and comedy took the main stage but within the wings held important social issues within early 20th century societal thought. The history and depth of this form of pre-Great Depression American entertainment comes to life when learning about such vaudeville legends as Bert Williams, a courageous and inspiring monologist, the Duncan Sisters, comedic predecessors to Lucille Ball, and the beautiful women of the Ziegfeld Follies.

    This seminar in particular is exciting because the UA has recently acquired the American Vaudeville Museum Archive, the biggest vaudeville collection in the world. Moreover, Dr. Soren is an excellent candidate for teaching this seminar because as a boy he danced and charmed audiences on the vaudeville stage. His roots in what he calls a “”uniquely American”” form of entertainment have manifested into an ability to recapture the enchantment and relevance of vaudeville. To have this subject matter presented with the passion and personal experience of Dr. Soren is a worthwhile opportunity for anyone.

    During the school year, Dr. Soren scratches the surface of the world of vaudeville, with his students, in some of his courses. However, this four-week seminar will expand on his typical coverage of American vaudeville, and thanks to the College of Humanities’ summer outreach program, the broader Tucson community can access this educational seminar on campus taught by an award-winning staff member, which is sure to be more rewarding than anything on daytime summer television.

    American Vaudeville: A Personal Retrospective
    Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – noon, $65
    July 7, 14, 21, 28
    Helen S. Schaefer building
    Dorothy Rubel Room
    1508 E. Helen St.
    Contact Kerstin Miller at (520) 626-7845 or for more
    information. Seminar is not available for school credit.

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