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The Colony

  • The Studio Theatre 802 Bolton Road Storrs, CT 06269 United States (map)

THE COLONY — A show about sisterhood and the evolution of communication in two of the most social creatures on earth: humans and ants.

In this performance, as Mona struggles to reconnect with her estranged sister Hennie, she turns to the ant colony for inspiration. With more than 500,000 ant sisters migrating, raiding, and even reproducing as one superorganism, an army ant colony appears to Mona as the paragon of successful social existence. Informed by scientific research on ant colonies, The Colony ventures into speculative fiction and includes projected animations and imagery alongside live spoken and musical performance. 

Funny, poignant, enlightening, and just the right amount of strange, The Colony aims to kindle a sense of awe and understanding of our diverse biological world, while using the ant colony as a lens for understanding the ever-present challenge of human connection. As part of a new genre called Evo Devo Art, The Colony weaves together evolutionary and developmental biology (Evo Devo) with multidisciplinary art. Audiences can expect to be entranced by visualizations of ant pheromone trails, a musical aria from the perspective of an ant queen, and a dance sequence set in a grocery store inspired by army ant swarm raids. In all, The Colony juxtaposes forms of biological communication – which have developed over millions of years – with modern technological media as a means of grappling with the paradox of acute loneliness in a world more connected than ever. 

The Colony draws visual materials and research in part from the world-class Carl W. and Marian E. Rettenmeyer Army Ant Guest Collection housed at the University of Connecticut and is one of a number of “AntU” initiatives inspired by the collection. The Colony is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts; the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts Dean’s Grant and the Office of the Vice President for Research; the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts Project Completion Grant; the University of Connecticut Department of Digital Media & Design; and a grant from the University of Connecticut Provost’s Academic Plan competition for the AntU project.

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Earlier Event: April 4
Joseph Haydn - Stabat Mater