Syzygy: The Solar Eclipse Plays (& Poetry)

The Jasper Project will present two special literary activities in conjunction with the total solar eclipse that will run through Columbia on August 21, 2017. On Thursday, August 17, they will present a poetry invitational with poems commemorating this unique event, and in the evening, they will present “Syzygy: The Solar Eclipse Plays” in two stagings. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in July 2017.

The Syzygy Poetry Invitational will feature some of South Carolina’s most elite poets sharing newly created work about the total solar eclipse. The free reading will take place at Richland Library  on Thursday, August 17 at 3:00 p.m. and will be followed by a brief reception. The participating poets include: Marjory Wentworth (SC poet laureate), Marcus Amaker (Charleston poet laureate), Ed Madden (Columbia poet laureate), Ray McManus, Jennifer Bartell, Cassie Premo Steele, Len Lawson, Vera Gomez, and Glenis Redmond. They will all bring their unique interpretations of eclipse to the page and stage during this first of its kind reading and release of the bound poems in commemorative form. Two new and previously unpublished poets selected from an open call by adjudicator Cassie Premo Steele will share both the page and stage with these veteran poets.

“Syzygy: The Solar Eclipse Plays” will  take place in two stagings later on August 17 at 7 pm and 10 pm at Tapp’s Arts Center, with a public reception honoring the playwrights from 9 – 10 pm in the Tapp’s lobby. Six esteemed South Carolina playwrights each created a 10-minute play with no more than 3 actors and with 2 and a half minutes of darkness in the script. The playwrights are Jon Tuttle with Cindy Outen, Nicola Waldron, Leasharn Hopkins, Terry Roueche, Chad Henderson, and Dora Julia Vargas.

Finally, a two-part panel presentation one week later will ask artists and audiences to process these significant events in the history of South Carolina. This culminating discussion will take place on Sunday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m. at Richland Library.

The Jasper Project was created to facilitate multi-disciplinary arts projects among emerging and established artists and to build on the success of Jasper Magazine.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.