Orange Alert

PICS: Performing Identities Across Cultures

Performing Identities Across Cultures (PICS), a Language Matters Research Initiative funded by the CUSE grant for Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research and supported by the LLL department is now in its fourth year at SU. This year’s PICS is also generously sponsored as a Central New York Humanities Corridor Signature Event for ALACI (Afro-Latin American, Latinx, Caribbean, and Indigenous) performances. This performing arts festival aims to showcase diverse perspectives on varying themes regarding life, identity, home, etc. as a way to recognize and feature our University community, as well as engage in new dialogues surrounding these topics.

PICS 2023 invites applications for 10-minute live or video performance proposals centered on the theme “Moving Forward.” Selected performances will receive an award of $500.

“Moving Forward” involves the reconstruction and redefinition of a past that might be painful and uncomfortable, but necessary to reevaluate its effects on our communities. Tied to migration(s), mobility, unrest, social justice, (in)equities, movement, revolution, belonging or change, this year’s ALACI-PICS will explore some of the following questions:

● In the wake of a global pandemic, racial violence, and unprecedented manmade and natural disasters, how do we move forward as individuals and as communities?

● ·In Moving Forward, are we taking the time to reflect back?

● In Moving Forward, what do we discard, maintain or create?

● How do we really know that we are Moving Forward?

● How do we define (and perform) our movements to those around us (and to ourselves) as “progress”?

● What do we gain by not moving backwards or standing still?

● Where do we want to end up?

● Is the place we’re moving “towards” more or less relevant than where we were or than the journey itself?

The call for brief performance proposals is now open, and can be submitted here. Proposals should be submitted by February 10th, 2023, to be considered for this year’s event.

Once selected, live performances must submit their scripts to PICS by March 10th. Filmed/video performances are to be submitted by March 15th.

The ALACI-PICS event will take place on April 13th on the Syracuse University Quad.

If you have any questions about the event or submission materials, feel free to contact us at:

Please follow @picsplayssu on Instagram for updates and further details.

Latest PIC posts

PICS 2021

posted on: Nov. 25, 2020

Call for Performance proposals now open! Topic: "Together Apart"

Megan Hu honored for research

posted on: May 26, 2020

SOURCE-funded Megan Hu was awarded the Chancellor's Citation for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and the LLL Undergraduate research prize.

PICS 2020 Winners

posted on: May 26, 2020

Allie Berger, Rebekah Burton, Jacob Gedetsis, Leopoldo González-Barajas, Ana Guerrero, Chenhui Liu, Yuxuan Luo, Liam McMonagle, Athena Myers, Seema Sureshkumar, Sahily Tamayo.

PICS 2021: “Together-Apart”

Call for Performance Proposals Now Open
Topic: “Together-Apart”

Brief proposal form due by February 20. Final performance scripts due in late March. Performances on Instagram in May 2021.


Please follow picsplayssu on Instagram for updates and further details.

Call for Performance Proposals 2021

PICS invites proposals for 10-minute digital performances in any language on the topic “Together-Apart”

Separated by the pandemic, racial injustice and by so many other social tensions, Language Matters, an interdisciplinary initiative, invites you to consider how we come together to foster inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility and justice for all. Whether it be through Zoom or socially distanced in the park, art binds us together through difficult times. As such, we would love for you to create a digital performance (whether that be a taped piece of theatre, a film, a story told through music or any other collaboration of kinds of performance!) exploring the idea of “Together-Apart.”

PICS 2020: "We are Orange"

PICS invites proposals for 15-minute performances in any language on the topic “We are Orange.” Performances will take place in tents on the quad on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

PICS Information workshops with Drama Professor Ricky Pak:

  • Wednesday, November 20 @ 12 noon in 311A HBC
  • Thursday, November 21 @ 6:00 in Eggers 018
  • Tuesday, December 3 @ 12 noon, room TBA

Syracuse University is one of the few universities in the world to take “ORANGE” as its school color and mascot. But, what does it mean to be ORANGE? In some ways, our school color is very appropriate. After all, orange is a blend of so many colors and, as a signifier for SU, orange symbolizes the beautiful blending of the countless communities that make up our university. In addition, our mascot is an orange – a piece of fruit that doesn’t originate in our harsh winter climate. Yet, we embrace our orange Otto, who comes from far-off warmer lands and comes to Syracuse to grow and thrive and to spread joy, fun, laughter, cheer, and good will. This academic year marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Syracuse University. As such, we would like for you to create something representing the past, present, or future of Syracuse. What does “We Are Orange” mean to you?


In the past few years, the SU campus has been engaging in challenging, complicated conversations on racism, diversity, inclusivity and social justice. Global theater and performance have a long history of addressing, questioning, and impacting these same issues (Notre Dame U and Shakespeare Behind Bars projects, Becker et al, Taylor). Practice-based research on these topics is already being done by some LLL scholars. Recent conversations among SU faculty show growing interest in forging research collaborations to examine the socio-psychological and political potential and impact of bridging the "discord between pragmatics and aesthetics" and framing "the work of art in the world" (Sommer) to improve our campus climate and address national and global challenges.

Performing Identities Across Campus has been running since the Spring 2020 in various capacities due to the growing nature of the event and COVID restrictions. Previous themes have included “We are Orange”, “Together-Apart”, “Recharging Home”, and this year’s “Moving Forward”.

Guiding Questions:

  • How might openly performing social justice issues change local and global attitudes and behaviors toward inclusivity and diversity and work to dismantle prejudices?
  • How is communication enhanced through performance?
  • What is the impact of performed and embodied language on domestic and international students and their campus communities?
  • Can engaging students in challenging conversations through the safe spaces of performance help break down linguistic, cultural, psychological and social barriers on our campus and beyond?
  • How might performance lead to conflict resolution?


Partnering with other campus constituencies and using a Microteatro-type ( model of short, impactful performances (digital this year), we aim to empower SU students and faculty through creative expression as a way to foster dialogue among and bring together campus members from diverse races, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, sexual preferences and abilities. In the spring semester, we will call for groups to create and perform original 10-minute performances, using language to dialogue with a challenging critical topic (this year’s being the idea of “Together-Apart”). All centered on that one relevant theme, performances will be chosen by a panel of students, faculty, and administrators and judged for their original, distinct, and productive approach to the topic and for their impactful and creative performance of it. Each performance will be directed by a student with theater production training. Possible topics: Living through the pandemic, prejudice, stereotypes, race, inclusion, gender, bullying, violence, justice.

Future Goals:

Documented change in campus climate through two years of performance-based campus dialogues on challenging topics; peer-reviewed published article(s) on pilot study outcomes; enhanced student/faculty collaboration around sensitive campus issues. We aim to increase the number of SU performances in subsequent years to provide greater diversity of perspectives and richer campus dialogue. We also plan to expand internationalization through this research strand's connection with London's "Translation Acts" (Language Acts and Worldmaking) and through the global Microteatro movement.


Becker, Florian N., Paola S. Hernández, and Brenda Werth. Imagining Human Rights in Twenty-First Century Theater: Global Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

"Language Acts and Worldmaking. Our Words Make Worlds." Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, United Kingdom.

Microteatro in Madrid.

Notre Dame University Student Performance Project.

Sommer, Doris. The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2014.

Taylor, Diana. Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's Dirty War. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.