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The Camouflage Project: Conference

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:00 AM - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

The Camouflage Project: Conference

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Event Details

The Camouflage Project

Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21, 2011
The Ohio State University

For more information about the conference and performance, please visit the official The Camouflage Project website

Lesley Ferris, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Theatre
Mary Tarantino, Professor, Department of Theatrey


The Camouflage Project Symposium focuses on the theme of secret agents, camouflage, deception and disguise in World War II, specifically the F section (France) of Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE). Guest scholars will present papers linked to this theme and OSU faculty and students will discuss the research, development and creation of the Performance | Exhibition that is a centerpiece of the Symposium.

The Symposium opens with a guided tour of the exhibition that is on the Thurber Stage followed by the keynote address of Juliette Pattinson (University of Strathclyde): “Passing as a French Native: Camouflaging the British Body in Occupied France.” See below for the full schedule of events, which includes the world premiere of The Camouflage Project.

The Performance | Exhibition

The majority of the stories told about the war effort in WWII are generally focused on combat, usually featuring brave men, and celebrating individual heroics. This project seeks to look at different and often hidden aspects of the war: the use and creation of camouflage, both literally and metaphorically, by people who had to work secretly behind enemy lines. The performance storyline will highlight the work of women agents, many whose accomplishments have been concealed, erased or obscured for a variety of reasons. 

The work considers how the war effort used artists to develop a range of camouflage strategies to assist the Allies. A variety of theatre artists—scenic, costume, make-up designers, and vaudeville magicians—were employed to use their theatrical skills in both design and craftsmanship to deceive and fool the enemy. This project will itself implement camouflage in various ways beyond its thematic underpinning: a major research component is to utilize new technology to create a compelling artistic rendering of the historical material


Friday, May 20, 2011
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

8:00 a.m. -- Coffee

9:15 a.m. -- Members of the creative team discuss devised work and verbatim
Lesley Ferris, Mary Tarantino, Vita Berenzina-Blackburn
and Jeanine Thompson

10:30 a.m. -- Coffee

10:45 a.m. -- Selections from 2010 research video interviews
Introduction by Janet Parrott
Interviews with MRD Foot (former SOE Historian), Noreen Riols (F-Section agent), and Tania Szabo (daughter of F-Section agent Violette Szabo)

Noon -- Lunch

1 p.m. -- "Performing History: Testimony, Memoir, Documentary, and Evidence"
Moderator: Peter Cutts
Student Panel of Actors/ACCAD animators; Dramaturg, Assistant Director

3 p.m. -- Break

3:15 p.m. -- "Post War Representations: Memorializing the Women of SOE F-Section"
Kate Vigurs
Moderator: Anna Birch

4 p.m. -- Break

4:15 p.m. -- "Stumbling Into History: Reflections on the Search for Historical Identity"
Rita Kramer
Moderator: Thomas Davis

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

9 a.m. -- Coffee

9:15 a.m. -- Perspectives on Camouflage
Moderator: William Childs
Roy Behrens, "Camouflage as Art and Illusion"

10:15 a.m. -- Break

10:30 a.m. -- Perspectives on Camouflage
Moderator: Brian Rotman
Dan Gray, "Theatrical Scenographers and the War Effort"
Matt Lewis, "3D Modeling, Mapping and Altering Spaces"
Beth Kattelman, "Creating Illusion in the War Effort"

Noon -- Closing Thoughts
Moderators: Lesley Ferris and Mary Tarantino
Juliette Pattinson, Jenny Morgan, William Childs, Kate Vigurs, and Rita Kramer


Roy Behrens, University of Northern Iowa
Vita Berenzina-Blackburn, The Ohio State University
Anna Birch, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
William Childs, The Ohio State University
Peter Cutts, Actor, Writer, Director and Producer
Thomas Davis, The Ohio State University
Lesley Ferris, The Ohio State University
Dan Gray, Scenic Designer
Elizabeth Harelik, MA Candidate, The Ohio State University
Beth Kattelman, Associate Curator of Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute Theatre
Kristine Kearney, Costume Designer, The Ohio State University
Rita Kramer, Author
Matt Lewis, The Ohio State University
Eric Mayer, MFA Candidate, The Ohio State University
Jenny Morgan, Filmmaker, Editor and Journalist
John Mueller, The Ohio State University
Janet Parrott, The Ohio State University
Juliette Pattinson, University of Strathclyde
Performance Team, The Camouflage Project, The Ohio State University
Chelsea Phillips, PhD Candidate, The Ohio State University
Brian Rotman, The Ohio State University
Mark Shanda, The Ohio State University
Francesca Spedalieri, MA Candidate, The Ohio State University
Mary Tarantino, The Ohio State University
Jeanine Thompson, The Ohio State University
Kate Vigurs, Museums consultant and historical interpreter

The Camouflage Project is produced by the Ohio State Theatre Department and Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design. Major sponsors are the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and The College of Arts and Humanities with additional support from The Arts Initiative, Department of History, and the Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Grant.

Have questions about The Camouflage Project: Conference ? Contact the organizer

When & Where

Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave
Columbus, 43201

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:00 AM - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

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The Camouflage Project: Conference
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