By Stephen Wilson

Improv in iambic pentameter. Shadow puppet cinema. Seriously good ukulele playing. The unique, renowned, and impactful events that make up the 2019-20 season as part of the Performance Series at Williams Center for the Arts will turn the stage in Easton into an eclectic collection of distinguished artists and emerging stars.

Some of the centerpieces include tributes to Gwendolyn Brooks, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pope Leo X, and Henri Matisse, performances by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Joey DeFrancesco, and collaborations among four legends in their fields: choreographer Lucinda Childs, dancer Wendy Whelan, cellist Maya Beiser, and composer David Lang.

The 37th season brings the world to Easton as many events will be linked to Lafayette faculty publications, research, and areas of interest, including Anthony Cummings’, professor of music, work with Switzerland-based early music ensemble La Morra; Ingrid Furniss, head of the art department, and Larry Stockton’s, professor of music, expertise in Asian art and music in conjunction with Japan’s gagaku ensemble Reigakusha; and Megan Fernandes, assistant professor of English, and Randi Gill-Sadler’s, assistant professor of English, scholarship in poetry as part of a Manual Cinema performance that brings the story of poet Gwendolyn Brooks to life.

“Our goal each year is to search for the very best and most diverse artists and productions the world has to offer and bring them here to the Lehigh Valley,” says Hollis Ashby, Williams Center for the Arts artistic and executive director. “It is a gratifying pursuit, indeed, as the region is home to so many different peoples and ideas, people who are naturally inclined to value the thrill of discovery and who have a desire to reflect on those experiences together.”

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