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Fall 2003

September 25, 2003
Einstein’s Dreams 

Alan Lightman explores the possible dimensions and perceptions of time in his celebrated novel Einstein’s Dreams. He joins artists from the People’s Branch Theatre, and Vanderbilt professor of religious studies and psychiatry in a discussion of the strangeness of physical reality and human relationships in time, while providing insight into one of the greatest triumphs of the human imagination, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

David Alford
Artistic Director, Mockingbird Theatre

Volney Gay
Profressor and Chair of Religious Studies Department, Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, Vanderbilt University

Alan Lightman
author of Einstein’s Dreams and Reunion, and the John Burchard Professor for Humanities and Senior Lecturer in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bryan Niece
Artistic Director, People’s Branch Theatre

To learn more about the theatrical performance of Einstein’s Dreams, which was adapted for the stage by David Alford and Bryan Niece, please visit 

A portion of the proceeds collected at this luncheon were donated to the People’s Branch Theatre.

October 16, 2003
Featuring Bill Shannon

Known internationally as a conceptual, interdisciplinary performance and media artist, Bill Shannon considers his work to be rooted in New York street/club culture and informed by the fine arts. As a choreographer and dancer, Bill embraces his own “disability continuum” through the use of his crutches and skateboards in his self-described “Shannon Technique.” He will discuss and demonstrate his latest work-in-progress, Weeble-Tech, a multimedia project that combines dance, visual imagery, and an original soundscore, and is inspired by breakdance, street-skating, and modern dance forms. 

To learn more about Bill Shannon and the “Shannon Technique, please

A portion of the proceeds collected at this luncheon were donated to Very Special Arts

November 20, 2003
Eclipsed Chapters of the Crescent and the Cross

New York’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre founder and artistic director Abdel Salaam joins Vanderbilt Professor of Religious Studies Richard McGregor in an exciting dialogue exploring the harmony and dissonance between Islam and Christianity. Academia teams with the arts to seek creative ideas for peace. Inspiring African and classical ballet dance excerpts celebrate the influence of spirituality and religion throughout history and examine the development of our cultures - in a way only the arts can.

Adbel Salaam
Artistic Director and Founder of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company

Richard McGregor, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Department, Vanderbilt University 

A portion of the proceeds collected at this luncheon will be donated to The Village Cultural Arts Center