TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
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dress that question was to continue making their archives, well, archive-able,” Blackson said. “These organizations usually aren’t able to think about the history of their organization because of all their events happening every day, so this was an opportunity for them to pause and pull out some of the objects which would have otherwise just been lost in history,” he added. The Restoring Ideals project is currently working on a live conservation of a historic 19th century flute clock from the Franklin Institute, of which its music hasn’t been heard in more than 100 years. “We went to the Franklin Institute and asked them what would be an interesting object they would like to see conserved and they chose the flute clock as something valuable and interesting for the people of Philadelphia to recognize as an important object from their history,” Blackson said. The conservation is taking place now Wednesdays and Fridays in the Temple Contemporary gallery on the ground level of the Tyler School of Art. Conservation woodworker Scott Kip and horologist Randy Cleaver are working together on the restoration process to bring the clock back to life. Cleaver already fixed the pendulum in the process to get the clock ticking again while Kip is working on the music mechanism by reconstructing the 100 wooden pipes inside. When finished, the clock will sit atop an 8-foot tall German chest which holds long weight-driven cables that allow the bellows to provide air and winds to play the pipes. Kip said the cylinder inside has pins that record and play different musical pitches. The tunes are played manually by winding a crank that causes
THOMAS JOYCE TTN
Randy Cleaver, horologist, works on a 19th century flute clock in Temple Contemporary as part of the Restoring Ideals project.
the clock to trigger the barrel organ and play music through the pipes. “It’s mechanically recorded music, sort of like a music box—a very old music box,” Kip said. Kip figured out there’s about nine different songs recorded on the barrel and he said if time allows, he would like to try and create his own pitches of music within the pipe organs. “There’s five cylinders with, I think, about nine tunes on each one, so I’d like to maybe make a few reproduction cylinders and put my own tunes in to make it play something else,” Kip said. The date for the finished product is estimated to be January 2016. Blackson said Temple
Contemporary has worked with a range of other objects through their collaborations with local organizations, accumulating many artifacts important to the community. “We were able to get some of the very first issues from The Public School Notebook and restore those,” Blackson said. “There was also great things from other organizations such as the Attic Youth Center,” he added. “We got the first flag they flew as part of an [LGBT] adolescents’ march for coming out. It’s just been such a beautiful range of objects that we’ve conserved here in the gallery space at Temple Contemporary.” * firstname.lastname@example.org
THOMAS JOYCE TTN
Randy Cleaver (left), horologist, and Scott Kip, conservation woodworker, will be restoring a flute clock from the Franklin Institute live in Temple Contemporary through January 2016.
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MICHAEL SOTTILE TTN
Emily Murphy (left), and Alex Cove act out a scene for “Daycare After Dark: Movies That Traumatized You As A Kid.”
as funny and diverse as possible,” said Glatfelter, a senior media studies and production major. This is the first year Insomnia Theater is officially adopting the practice of having one “giant overarching theme with little different prompts” for each group of writers, directors and actors. This method was given a trial run last semester during Insomnia Theater’s two spring performances, and the
MICHAEL SOTTILE TTN
Jillian Klimko (left), Jess Baar and Ash Miller perform the roles of female prisoners as Jess Varughese, in drag, plays a CIA agent in disguise for “Dear CIA: Gritty British Prison Dramas” during the Insomnia Theater show in the Student Center Underground Sept. 19th.
club officially adopted the theme strategy starting with this performance, their first of the year. “We used to pick just one word and have everybody use that as their central theme,” Glatfelter said. “A lot of people found that it was kind of limiting; a lot of the shows were too similar.” Leah Murray, a sophomore journalism major and a director for the Netflix Spectacular, participated in Insomnia Theater’s productions last year when every group was still sharing one singular word for their theme, like “crash” or “light” and putting their own spin on it. “I was a writer for when they only had the general theme,” said Murray, also the club’s finance director. “There was only so much we could do.” Murray said individual theme prompts make it easier for students to take their productions in different directions, while still staying under the show’s main umbrella theme. “You can just go crazy,” Murray said. “And as a writer you don’t really have to worry as much in the writing room if someone is doing the same thing as you.” The differing theme categories for this year’s Netflix Spectacular resulted in skits with storylines ranging from what happens when an undercover CIA agent finds himself in a women’s prison to how a Canadian transfer student might deal with rude American classmates.
Glatfelter praised the creativity of the writers, along with their casts. “They took [their themes] in new and different ways than I even expected them to,” Glatfelter said. “I was really happy to see that originality play in.” Morgan Ash, a senior film and media arts major, served as a writer in the group creating a “Goofy Pubescent Dance Musical.” “We kind of based it off of the background characters of early 2000s Nickelodeon shows,” Ash said. The variety of prompts allowed for more diverse performances but left some groups with a more difficult and time-consuming writing and production process. “I think we had an added challenge, because we had to create a song and put it in our play,” Ash said. “So we were the last group to finish [writing] in the wee hours of the morning.” “But I think we ended up getting a pretty good song out of our project,” he added. Insomnia Theater plans on implementing this theme strategy for the rest of their shows throughout the year. “There was a lot of variety,” Glatfelter said. “I think the audience really appreciated it.” * email@example.com
*Editors note: Leah Murray was a former freelance writer for The Temple News. She did not contribute reporting to this article.