Magic and Wildfire: Dreaming in Public

Josten Library's "First Fridays at Five," patron-driven performance series, continues Dec. 7 with a performance by Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan.

Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan

Friday, December 7, 2012
5 pm Live performance - Magic and Wildfire
Josten Library Mezzanine

First Fridays at Five is a patron-driven performance series that surfaces the creative work of our library users -- in the same space normally devoted to their quiet work. Novelist and master theatre artist Andrea Hairston ( L.Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre) and vocal artist Pan Morigan, both of Chrysalis Theatre, bring a richly imagined world in song and story to the Josten Library Mezzanine.

Andrea will offer a reading from Will Do Magic for Small Change, her forthcoming novel. Set in Pittsburgh in the 19th century and 1980’s, it features Warrior Women from Dahomey, and young women who want to act -- a story about story tellers.

Pan will offer newly recorded songs created on lyrics drawn from Redwood and Wildfire, Andrea’s most recent published book. Library audiences may remember Andrea’s visit to the Neilson Browsing Room last fall, when she read from Redwood and Wildfire , which conjures “murder, magic, and the transformative power of music,” according to one reviewer. We hope many will join us for a late afternoon of “dreaming in public” to see out the year.

Books and CDs will be available for sale. Free and open to the public.

Andrea Hairston

Andrea Hairston is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for over thirty years.

Ms. Hairston’s plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on Public Radio and Television. She has translated plays by Michael Ende and Kaca Celan from German to English. Ms. Hairston has received many playwriting and directing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Playwrights, a Rockefeller/NEA Grant for New Works, an NEA grant to work as dramaturge/director with playwright Pearl Cleage, a Ford Foundation Grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, and a Shubert Fellowship for Playwriting.

Since 1997, her plays produced by Chrysalis Theatre, Soul Repairs, Lonely Stardust, Hummingbird Flying Backward, and Dispatches have been science fiction plays. Archangels of Funk, a sci-fi theatre jam, garnered her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for 2003.

Published essays include: “Different and Equal Together: SF Satire in District 9,” in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts; “Stories Are More Important Than Facts: Imagination as Resistance in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth” in Narrative Power: Encounters, Celebrations, Struggles edited by L. Timmel Duchamp; “Romance of the Robot: From RUR & Metropolis to WALL-E” in The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 4 ed. by Sylvia Kelso; “Lord of the Monsters—Minstrelsy Redux: King Kong, Hip Hop, and the Brutal Black Buck,” in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts; “Octavia Butler—Praise Song to a Prophetic Artist,” in Daughters of Earth ed. by Justine Larbalestier; “Driving Mr. Lenny,” article for The International Review of Science Fiction.

In March 2011, Ms. Hairston received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding contributions to the scholarship and criticism of the fantastic.

Ms. Hairston’s first novel, Mindscape, was published by Aqueduct Press in March 2006. Mindscape won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick Award and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. "Griots of the Galaxy," a short story, appears in So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, an anthology edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan.

Redwood and Wildfire, her second speculative novel was published by Aqueduct Press in February 2011. Redwood and Wildfire was a Locus New and Notable Book, on the Locus 2011 Recommended Reading List, and won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in March 2102.

Pan Morigan

Pan Morigan, dual citizen of Canada/the U.S., is a vocalist, songwriter, and producer known for her passionate stage presence, improvisational chops, unique songwriting style, and wide-ranging voice stretching across multiple octaves, that “reaches into a deep hollow place, then climbs out and soars.” (Tzivia Gover, Front Row, Hampshire Gazette)

Pan’s music is inspired by the wide stormy skies and immigrant cities of the Midwest where she grew up. Her father made instruments for folk musicians. The sounds of Jazz, blues, Irish traditional music, Greek and Persian music alike, were heard in the kitchen, live. Music had no fences around it. Pan drank those sweet sounds, took them inside - heart-close. Music was her first, and best, teacher.

Pan won the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Music Composition for her original songs.Musical projects have included singing with Bobby McFerrin and his a cappella, improv vocal ensemble, Voicestra, on tour; improvising a score for NEA award-winning playwright, Andrea Hairston’s tour de force, Dispatches; doing a series of concerts with Irish children’s choir and orchestra at Charleville Castle in Tullamore Ireland, with composer, Adele O’Dwyer; and producing/singing Castles of Gold: Songs and Stories of Irish Immigration for Public Radio International & Green Linnet Records. The award-winning Castles of Gold was aired on public radio for three years.

Pan has performed in venues as diverse as the Ironhorse Music Hall, Hallie Flanagan Theater, (Massachusetts,) New Hampshire Institute of the Arts, (Manchester, N.H.) Tonic, The Soho Gallery for Digital Art, the World Financial Center, (New York City,) Boston Women’s Theater Festival, Istanbul Jazz Fest, Folk Auf Der Badeinsel (Germany,) and Enoteca Buttrio, (Italy.) Working solo with guitar, violin, hunter’s harp, and other interesting instruments in tow is her favorite scenario. She also performs with world class musicians as a duo, trio, or full band.

Pan is music director of Chrysalis Theatre, a scrappy, adventurous theater company, with whom she’s received awards from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has created songs and improvisations for over twenty-five theatrical productions.


Janet Spongberg
(413) 585-2932