Theater and Film Take Center Stage in the Spring 2019 Graduate Research Series – OHIO University Libraries

Theater and Film Take Center Stage in the Spring 2019 Graduate Research Series

This spring, the Graduate Research Series brings research on the stage and silver screen to Alden Library. The selection committee chose two presenters for the Spring 2019 series:

Headshot of Inna Tsyrlin
IInna Tsyrlin. Photo provided by Inna Tsyrlin

Inna Tsyrlin, MFA candidate in Playwriting, will present “A Night in the Theaters of the GULAG” on Monday, April 8 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Erin Drake, master’s student in Film Studies, will present “The Prevalence of Homophobic Narratives as Seen in Disco Films” on Tuesday, April 9 from 1-2:30 p.m.

Tsyrlin, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and has since lived in Melbourne, Australia and New York City, uses her work to explore ideas of identity and freedom in a political and cultural context and society’s responsibility to the natural environment. Utilizing archival and historical materials from the GULAG Museum, the International Memorial Society, and the Sakhorov Center in Moscow, Tsyrlin wrote the play “Stitched with a Sickle and Hammer.” The play explores defiance and the pursuit of truth at a GULAG theater in the Soviet Union. Tsyrlin’s travels and research in Russia also reveal the way that censorship still threatens the telling of the history of the GULAG today. “Stitched with a Sickle and Hammer” will be performed at the 25th Seabury Quinn Jr. Playwright’s Festival at Ohio University this April.

Photo of Erin Drake.
Erin Drake. Photo provided by Erin Drake.

Drake hails from Greenwood, Indiana and previously studied at Ball State University. Her research explores disco films as primary sources through the lens of queer and narrative theory, uncovering both the subversive history of disco as well as the ways in which it was co-opted by mainstream culture. In exploring disco films, Drake drew heavily on the film collection in Alden Library, particularly when analyzing films that are less popular or that have been rarely discussed in the academic literature. Though these films may have faded from public attention, Drake argues that we should still examine these titles as we make sense of modern day texts that ignore the marginalized roots of disco.

Both presentations are open to the public and will be in the Friends of the Library Room (Alden 319). Please direct requests for accommodations or more information to Jen Harvey (