Swiss group coming to campus

Lashana Harney

A Swiss ensemble will put on a show of silence in Van Meter Hall, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The group, Mummenschanz, uses a combination of shapes, costumes, puppets and colors to redefine Mime-Masque Theater and awe audiences. 

David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, and chair of the Cultural Enhancement Series Committee, said the group inspires the imagination.

“They don’t talk,” Lee said.  “They communicate essentially through your senses.” 

The Cultural Enhancement Series committee hosts several events throughout the school year in order to expose students to various learning experiences, Lee said.

“Part of what the committee tries to do is bring groups here that people have never experienced before,” Lee said. “We want to push the boundaries of what’s been available here in the past, and we want folks to hear speakers they’ve never heard because they’re different and that’s part of their appeal.” 

Lee said so far, the committee gave away about 700 tickets for the event. 

“We generally have a lot of walk-up folks,” Lee said. “So, I think we will have a good crowd.”

Some committee members have previously seen Mummenschanz performances, so the committee decided the act would be a good addition to the Cultural Enhancement Series, Lee said. 

Kelly Scott, communications coordinator for Potter College, said the Mummenschanz event and the Melissa Harris-Perry event occurred so close because of chance. 

“We try to have all of our events in Van Meter Hall,” Scott said. “It’s been a history of the series. So, we have to look at scheduling, as far as the building goes, and the availability of the artist.”

Lee said students learn different ways to express themselves and different ways to look at the world by attending the series’ events.

“We want students to encounter things that are intellectually challenging as part of their daily lives,” Lee said. “It’s important to have things like the Cultural Enhancement Series as a part of their richer learning environment.”

Scott said she plans to bring her 3-year-old child to the family-friendly event and said the troupe is unique. 

“It’s just really something we’ve never done before,” Scott said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the nationality of Mummenschanz.